Help Support Underpaid Insurance Executives

Please Help to Protect Our Nation’s Health Insurance Executives From Unfair Changes in Their Lifestyles

 Grabbed this off WillPen’s World. Feel free to grab and share.

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Enough said. More later. Peace.

Perchance . . . to dream?

Stream of Unconsciousness

Disclaimer:  The following is brought to you in living color, so there will be no pictures as all of the pictures were already in my head, and that is waayy too hard to recreate here, but in an attempt to give you something to look at, I will use color here.

Caveat: Corey will hate the following as all of the men are made to look like imbeciles, but I have a very good reason: It was a dream (granted a very realistic dream), but a dream, nonetheless.

Warning: The following contains material that may be too graphic for some readers. I would rate it a PG because it’s pretty good and comes directly too you from my subconscious and/or dream state, but some people might rate it R because it’s a bit raunchy, but honestly, no sex is involved.

Okay. Now that I’ve gotten all of that out of the way, I can begin. I’m on day 5 or so of my latest insomnia jag. I started to write a post a few days ago about not being able to sleep, and how when I do sleep, I have weird dreams, but the post was so boring, that I deleted it. This particular post looks different from most of my other posts because, well because it’s different from most of my other posts. Bear in mind a few things: I’ve had little sleep. I have a warped sense of humor. I didn’t check for typos . . .

Let me just preface this by saying that it is now 9:07 a.m. my time, and I did not fall asleep until sometime after 6:21 a.m., which is the last time I looked at the clock to see how late/early it was (depending upon your point of view), before I fell asleep. Should the preface have gone with the disclaimer, caveat, and warning?

Okay. Wait, already said that. Moving along: I have been having terrible nightmares for the past four or five nights, from which I awaken screaming, which is kind of a good alarm clock, except no one has really needed an alarm clock in the middle of the night. So imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning laughing my buttocks off. Nice change. Then I thought about why I was laughing my buttocks off, and began to laugh again. I put my head down, prepared to try to go back to sleep when I realized, “Hey! You will not remember all of this with all of the details (especially the cats and the microwave dog pretzels) if you go back to sleep, so get your butt out of bed and get it down now while it’s fresh.”

Rational self said, “Are you out of your freaking mind? It’s 9:07, and I haven’t even had three hours sleep yet.”

Other self said, “I know that, but most people in half of the world, or at least several time zones are already awake and at work.”

Rational self said, “Well, you have a point. But I don’t have a job, so thanks for reminding me.”

The debate would have continued, but I needed something to drink, whereupon I took my empty glass and went to the kitchen to get some  juice. Tillie, who was comfortably ensconced on the couch, lifted an eye as if to say, “You? I never see you before the afternoon unless I get you out of bed, and I don’t think I got you out of bed.”

I acknowledged her look, and she went back to sleep. Got my juice, walked back to the bedroom, and decided that I had to get this down because it was a full episode of a sitcom that I was never going to remember. All that being said, let me tell you about my dream, which we will call Episode 32: “Why I Never Dated After My Ex Left and Fell In Love With a New Woman Because I Knew That I Wouldn’t Be Very Good At It. (The True Story, well the title is true, but what happens in the dream never happened, or at least never happened all at once in one night).”

Stay with me. It gets bettter. Honest.

The Dream:

Setting: My sister-in-law Anne’s house, or at least for the purposes of this dream. Real time. A casual get together in which people were supposed to bring their own drinking materials, which does not include microwave doggie treats.

I’m sitting on the floor near the door. There are several people here who I do not know, a few are couples. The man next to me I do know because I thought that I was dating him, but I am ignoring him. Let’s call him “The Relationship that didn’t happen,” or TRTDH.

TRTDH: “So, why aren’t you talking to me?” (sotto voice or whispering)

Me: “Are you talking to me? I thought that when you said that you didn’t really see us going anywhere, that meant that you didn’t want to see me anymore, so I’m not not talking to you. I’m ignoring you.”

TRTDH: “There’s a difference?” (still trying to whisper even though everyone in the room is now looking at us).

Me: “Of course there is a difference. Just ask any woman in this room.”

At this point, one couple excuses themselves and leaves by the back door. The three guys who are sitting next to each other on the couch begin to squirm a little.

Woman I Don’t Know #1: “Ask us what?”

All of the other woman I Don’t Know: “What?”

TRTDH: “Nothing. It’s personal.”

Me: “It’s not personal. It stopped being personal when you said that we didn’t have  a relationship.”

WIDN#2: “He said that?”

Smirks on the faces of a few of the males.

Me: “Gentlemen. You think that this is amusing?”

Vigorous shakes of the head indicating denial, including TRTDH.

Me: “Ladies, this person next to me told me that he didn’t think that our relationship was going anywhere. In my mind, that meant that we, and therefore he no longer existed. Correct?”

Vigorous nods of assent by females in the room. Ann walks into the room.

Ann: Can you handle everything for a minute. We have to go somewhere?”

Don’t ask me why she is going somewhere in the middle of her get-together, just roll with it. It’s a dream.

Me: “No problem.”

Immediately, another couple leaves by the back door, whereupon one cat runs out the door and another cat comes in the door, which confuses me as I believe that the cat that isn’t supposed to be in the house just came in, and the cat that isn’t supposed to be outside, just ran out. I walk back into the living room completely confused but still mad.

Me to attractive WIDN#3 who is chugging rum out of a bottle: “Great. You’re drinking half of the liquor that is supposed to be for all of the guests directly out of the bottle. Were you raised in a barn?”

WIDN#3 spits out the rum.

Me: “Well that didn’t really help anything. Don’t you move (I yell to TRDTH, who is trying to sneak out of the room)”

Woman on the floor sitting next to woman who chugged rum: “What exactly did he do?”

Me: “After we had several dates, he told me that he didn’t think that our relationship was going anywhere, and then he shows up here tonight thinking that he can act like he’s my date. And by the way, the guy on the end of the couch is my ex-husband, father of my children, so pay attention to nothing he says.”

Everyone turns and looks at Ex.

Ex: “I’m not here, but buddy, you are in for a world of shit (to TRDTH).”

All of the men in the room nod commiseratingly, while their dates, if they have them, glare.

Me: “Tell me (to no one in particular), do I need to acknowledge his presence?”

Woman coming into the back door: “Whose presence?”

I move to the kitchen and trip over one of the dogs, fall into the arms of the woman who is coming into the back door.

Me: “Great, you brought food. We only have frozen peas.”

Woman coming into the back door (this would be so much easier if I knew their names): “These? Oh no. They are yogurt covered dog pretzels that you pop into the microwave.”

Dogs upon hearing the word ‘treats’ all run into the kitchen. Disgusted with her offering and disappointed that there is no food, I return to the living room to continue my rant.

Woman coming into the back door: “What did we miss?”

WIDN#1: “Oh, she’s really pissed at her boyfriend, and they’re having an argument.”

WIDN#2 and TRTDH simultaneously: “He’s/I’m not her boyfriend.”

Me: He’s not my boyfriend. He’s just some guy that I slept with because I thought that we were in a relationship, but then he said that we didn’t really have a relationship that’s going anywhere.”

Nodding and shaking of heads all around the room, depending upon gender. Ann comes back in the room.

Ann: “Where’s the cat? And where’s Mallory (her younger daughter).”

Damn. I knew that I was supposed to be watching something besides the cats and the rum.

Me: “Isn’t Mallory with you?”

Mallory from corner of the room: “I’m over here listing to Aunt Lola yell at some guy she’s been sleeping with. What’s sleeping with?”

Ann: “Eat your peas.”

Mallory: “I can’t. Aunt Lola bent all of the forks.”

It’s true. I hate the way that peas roll off the fork so I have bent all of the silverware. Don’t ask me when.

WIDN#3: Can we get back to the story?”

Guys on couch turn on the television and pretend to watch football.

Me: “Hey you! Yep you guys pretending to watch football. Do you know how rude it is to watch television during a get-together and an argument?”

Rapid shaking of heads.

Me: No. I don’t suppose you do because you’re men.

Knowing nods of assent.

Me to TRTDH: “Do you see what you’ve done.?”

TRTDH: “What have I done?”

Greek chorus echoing from the kitchen: “You led her on, made her think that you had a relationship when all along you never wanted a relationship.”

(I think they were singing.)

TRTDH: “I never did that. We went on a few dates, had some fun. Now it’s time to move on.”

Me: “My point exactly. Hence, I am ignoring you.”

TRTDH: “But that’s childish.”

All of the women in the room break out into spontaneous remarks. Too many to put down here. Use your imagination. I did.

Me: (screeching) Childish?! I cannot believe that someone as asinine as you would call me childish.”

TRTDH: “I know what asinine means. I’m getting another degree, so you can’t talk to me that way.”

At some point, alcoholic beverages appeared in everyone in attendance’s hands, except for the really skinny woman.

Me as an aside to Ann: Hey. What do you want to bet that that skinny bitch says any minute now that she just wants water because she is so full?”

Ann: “But we haven’t had cake yet. How can she be full?”

Skinny Bitch: “Oh, just water for me. I ate entirely too much.”

Ann and I look at each other and chug our beers.

TRTDH to guys on the couch and my ex: “Don’t you think that she is making too much out of this?”

Ex: “You have no idea?”

Me: “Too much? Too much? (voice goes up an octave with each repetition). I had my nails done. I hade my hair done. I bought a new dress (look down at myself and realize that I have on a new dress, pretty hot one, at that). I’m eating peas. I can ignore you any time I want to (ending sentence in preposition because, well, it’s a dream).”

Ann: “Why are there dogs here?”

Me: “Would you keep up with the conversation. And oh yeah, your dumbass friend over there brought dog treats instead of real food.”

Dumbass Friend: “Ann told me to bring dog treats. Besides, aren’t they cute?”

All of the women ooh and aah at the pastel pretzel that DAF is holding up.

Ann: “Why would I tell you to bring dog treats. I have cats. We need some food.”

Me: “Can we get back to me? This is about me.”

TRTDH: (attempts to whisper) “That’s why we can’t have a relationship.”

Me: “I heard that. You’re sitting right next to me. Geez, you really aren’t too bright are you?”

TRTDH: “I knew what asinine meant.”

Me: “That’s really great. Commendable. I’m still ignoring you.”

WIDN#2: “If you aren’t going to date him, can I have him?”

Incredulous looks all around. Men look at #2 in entirely new way, as in, whoa, new prospect. Women look at #2 as if she has just grown horns.

Me: “No you can’t have him. I’m dating him.”

WIDN#2: “But you said that you were ignoring him. He said that you don’t have a relationship.”

Ann: “Where’s Mallory?”

Me: “She’s outside.”

Ann: “It’s midnight.”

Me: “Well we do have a relationship.”

Ann: “You and Mallory?”

Me: “Stop drinking rum and try to keep up. Not Mallory, this guy (gesturing towards TRTDH). We have a relationship. He just doesn’t want to acknowledge it.”

Enter my mom and dad. Everyone immediately pretends to be doing something.

Mom: “Where’s . . .?”

“Bathroom. Kitchen. She left.”

“Guys. She can see me.”

Mom: “It’s past your curfew, and you left your window open.”

Me: Mom, I haven’t had a curfew in years. What are you talking about?”

Mom: “That’s right. I’m always wrong. Blame it on me.”

Eye-rolling.

Mom: “Don’t roll your eyes at me. Ken, she rolled her eyes as me.”

Dad: “Don’t roll your eyes at your mother. It’s disrespectful.”

Me: “Can you guys go back home? You’re embarrassing me. This is a party.”

Mom and Dad disappear. New people appear. More beer and rum appear. Still no food except for the dog treats and peas.

Me: “I’m so confused.”

TRTDH: “You’re confused . . .”

WIDN#3: “Shut up. No one asked you. If you weren’t here, we could be having fun. Instead, we have to listen to this crap.”

Me to WIDN#3: “We could have a fight.”

Guys murmur something about chick fights.

Me: “Don’t call me a chick.”

Ex: “She hates that.”

Other two guys on the couch: “Are they going to fight, or what?”

Me: “No, we are not going to fight. (to WIDN#3) I really like that shirt.”

Ann: “Everyone needs to go home now. It’s late, and I need to put Mallory to bed (Mallory is now an infant in an infant carrier).”

Everyone stands up and starts to go to the kitchen. I open the freezer and look inside, but there’s still nothing but peas.

Me: “Do I have to go too?”

Ann: “Nah.”

Corey: “Can I stay?”

Ann and Me: “When did you get here?”

Me: “You can’t be here. I have a date.”

Corey: “What do you mean you have a date?”

TRTDH: “I AM NOT HER DATE. WE ARE NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP.”

Corey: “Why is that guy yelling?”

Me: “Ignore him. He thinks that we’re dating. Did you bring the rum?”

Corey: “No. But I brought Tillie.”

Ann: “We have microwave dog treats.”

Corey: “Why do they have to be microwaved?”

Ann and Me: “Don’t know. She never told us.”

There was actually more, but it’s 10:12, and I’m actually feeling sleepy. Maybe it was funnier in the dream. But at least I didn’t dream about knives, or crocodiles/alligators (never know which is which), or any of the other strange things that I dream about. This dream was almost normal. For me. That being said, enough said.

Eat your peas. More later. Peace.

“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.” ~ Rumi

lotus 

“Thirst drove me down to the water where I drank the moon’s reflection.” ~ Rumi

“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.” ~ Rumi

I’ve been having really strange dreams again, probably due in part to my latest bout with insomnia. Most of these dreams have involved killing in some way, knives, and blood.

Dark-stormy-cloudsDelightful, n’est pas?

For example, one of the dreams involved a young girl who murdered her parents and younger brother. I had watched a program about this true story, and found it appalling as the girl was only 13 years old when she committed this crime with her 23-year-old boyfriend.

When she appeared in my dream, the girl was much younger, about 5, and she had killed a kitten and was storing it in a drawer. She had made a purple velvet pillow and placed the tiny body of the white kitten atop the pillow inside the drawer, which was spattered with blood stains. I was trying to explain to someone that psychopaths very often kill animals when they are children, and it can go unnoticed.

Freud would have a field day with that particular dream.

In another dream, I was speaking with a woman who had a head but no body. Her head was encased in glass. She was alive and articulate, but she had no torso, hence, no heart. I thought to myself in the dream: “How can she be alive with no heart?”

Wait, they get weirder.

This morning I forced myself to wake up as I knew that I was in the middle of a really terrible nightmare, which, thankfully, I do nt recall, and I was close enough to the edge of wakefulness to be able to force myself into an upright position. What I didn’t realize was that I screamed out loud when I woke up. Scared the bejeezus out of Corey.

But the worst one involved a concentration camp. It wasn’t a Nazi camp, but it was a camp in which the people arriving were separated into two groups. I realized that the guards were taking all of the women with long hair out of the main line and putting them into the line that went directly to the showers. I took a knife (that I just happened to be carrying), and began to saw off my hair in big chunks. I convinced a female guard to help me to cut off the rest of my hair before I got to the head of the queue.

I hate having these kinds of dreams. I wake up totally discombobulated with my heart racing, gasping for air. Not the best way to greet the day.

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.” ~ Rumi

Metta Prayer Beads
Metta Prayer Beads

Speaking of greeting the day, I was reading a post on After the Gold Puppy a few days ago in which Reya was discussing manifestos, life affirmations, statements of purpose.  Throughout my own life, I have always had phrases and sayings that I repeat to myself silently. These affirmations or mantras have varied depending upon my need and/or at what point I found myself in life.

Metta prayers or meditations, which are derived from the Buddhist tradition, are focused on the translation of Metta (trans. Pali) as loving kindness or loving friendship. A Metta prayer allows the speaker to feel empathy for others and for all living things. Metta is unconditional love without attachment, without a desire to possess.

Metta prayers should be repeated often as a means of exercising positive mental qualities. The intention is to create a habit of mind that “allows us to soften into the deeper experiences of our lives, the chances to connect with all that is around and within us…. to live more fully. It allows spaciousness to develop in the mind allowing us to be less reactive, less stressed out, more calm in the face of challenges, losses, injustices (http://www.bemindful.org/metta.htm).

Metta meditations are usually harmonic in patterns and sounds, for example, pairs of words, or phrases of the same length:

Mind clear and alert

Body fit and strong

However, an individual who wishes to employ the Metta can adapt any of the existing prayers as needed. Here is an example of a Metta Bhavana, which encourages us to give Metta to ourselves so that we can be better able to offer loving kindness to others:

May all beings be free.
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be happy
May all beings awaken to the light
of their True nature
May all beings be free

The following is a selection taken from the Metta Sutta, Universal Love Prayer (adapted by G. R. Lewis):

May all beings everywhere,  
Seen and unseen,  
Dwelling far off or nearby,  
Being or waiting to become:  
May all be filled with lasting joy.  
 
Let no one deceive another,  
Let no one anywhere despise another,  
Let no one out of anger or resentment  
Wish suffering on anyone at all.  

“Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more—more unseen forms become manifest to him.” ~ Rumi

The Metta must first be directed towards the self. Only by learning to nurture ourselves can we offer love to others that is based on integrity and truth. The purpose of the Metta is to become more open and aware in our love towards the self.

Botswana agate prayer beads
Botswana Agate Prayer Beads

Metta is then directed towards someone for whom we feel gratitude and respect, such as a teacher or mentor. This person is known as a “benefactor.” Next, the metta is directed towards a friend or family member. By making these connections with people we respect and love, it becomes easier to move on to the next step, which is to direct the Metta towards someone neutral; this may be a hard step as it is not always possible to identify a person to whom we feel true neutrality, but consider all of the people who are in and out of your life on a daily basis with whom you do not interact directly: the mail carrier or the barista at Starbucks, for example.

Finally, the Metta is directed towards those for whom we may not necessarily feel loving kindness, someone with whom we have experienced conflict, fear, or who we have been unwilling to forgive. After praying for all of these individuals, direct the Metta towards all sentient beings (taken from “Facets of Metta” by Sharon Salzberg).

The Metta prayers can be recited with or without prayer beads. These beads can be made of stones, agates, crystals, and can be anything from simple wooden beads on a string to carved jade beads on silk string.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”~ Rumi

Here is the Metta that I have composed for myself:

I am content
I am calm

May I be safe
May I be strong

Loving kindness and
Peace will come to me
Clear mind and strong body
will set me free

Loving friendship
from sister moon
and earth mother 
will strengthen my heart
for the trials I suffer

And I will face each day
with hope and joy
and truth in my soul
anew.

 

flower2

 

More later. Peace.

“The Promise,” Tracy Chapman