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TSA Discovers Alarm In My Crotch

I was traveling back home from vacation in Branson, MO with my husband. Standing in the security line at the airport, I was decidedly not frustrated by the antics we air travelers have been required to go through since 9/11/2001: removing shoes, belts, hats, emptying pockets.

As I stood there, I thought back to that horrific day and why we do this. We had to come up with something. We had to reinvent travel. As I stood in solidarity with my country, I thought: They should have a poster up on the wall to remind people. And then I saw it: a black and white and gray poster of the two white beams shooting up into the night sky, the new memorial at ground zero. At the bottom of the poster, it read: “Never forget.” 

I proceeded through the line, placed my things in bins, emptied my pockets, and walked into the booth. I assumed the stance: feet on feet, arms up and bent at the elbows as if under arrest.

“Ok, step out and stand here,” a male TSA instructed me pointing to yellow footprints on the floor. “She’ll be over in a minute,” he continued, indicating a female TSA nearby. Dave was still putting his things on the belt and walking through. 

The female TSA approached me and said, “We found an alarm on you.”

“You did?!” I quickly self-scanned in my head, but I had removed anything metal. She pointed behind me to a small digital sign of a stick figure standing with arms raised, as if under arrest. There was a red mark in the crotch. Hmm, I thought. That doesn’t even look like me.

She then explained in rapid succession what she was going to do to me with her gloved hands. “I’ll start in the back, go down the outside of your legs, up the inside, then…” She rattled it off so fast, I couldn’t keep up.

When she was done, I said, “Inside my clothes?!”

“No-o-o-o!” she responded with the sarcastic tone of a sassy teenager.  “Who are you traveling with?”

I pointed to my left behind me. “I’m with Dave, that guy there.”

“Is he laughing at you?” she asked.

“Probably,” I said.

They finally let me go after molesting me over my clothes. They never found anything because there was nothing to find.

We continued on toward our gate and had time to stop for lunch and a much needed drink. I had a Moscow Mule, which kicked in hard on an empty stomach before the panini caught up with it.

Later, at the gate, I texted my friend: “TSA found an alarm in my crotch and I’m not even wearing a thong!” It made sense to me at the time.


Dragonfly Wings

“Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.” ~ Robyn Nola

Three dragonflies caught my attention recently. One was staring me in the face as I raised the bedroom shade to let in sunlight one morning, unable to move from its spread-eagle position, caught in a perfectly woven spider web against the screen.

One landed on my husband’s pointer finger as he was holding our one-year old granddaughter.

One stood atop an ornate wrought iron fence in the shade as I strolled by on a sunny July morning.  “Write about me,” he said.

Dragonfly wings are translucent, so delicate, and vulnerable. Have you noticed? If these friendly insects are lucky enough to live out their short six-month lives–most die tragically young, caught by predators– their wings face the daily risk of damage, or of being caught in a hungry spider’s web. Luckily, some are still able to fly and catch food even if a wing is damaged or missing.

Our wings are delicate and vulnerable, too, or so we perceive them to be. We believe our ability to fly, to soar is damaged, hindered by our past, caught in the web of injustices and hurt, by flawed parents or an unenlightened society. Some of us, frozen with fear, flutter in the breeze as we choose to stay stuck in the gummy net of early childhood experiences.

But we are not physically stuck. That would be weird! We are mentally, emotionally, and/or psychologically stuck. I know! That seems worse in a way, doesn’t it? We point to our broken, tattered wings and blame others, giving away our power without realizing it.

What do we gain from staying stuck? Perhaps an excuse not to face fears, not to feel grief or pain, not to grow and expand into the being we started out as. We choose instead to stay in our uncomfortable “comfort zone.”

A diamond doesn’t get to become a diamond by lying like a lump of coal, doing nothing, binge-watching Netflix, scrolling for hours on Facebook to see who ate what on which day and where. No. A diamond must endure a lot of pressure and come out of it strong enough to cut glass ceilings and become a reflector of light.

Break free of your past. It may have shaped you, but it does not define you. Obstacles were placed before you for a reason, so that you would rise up and share your knowledge with the world about overcoming adversity in what ever way feels best to you.

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly,” wrote Paul McCartney. Learn to be a reflector of light.

It’s the thought that counts.

Today I’ve decided to watch my diet of thoughts more than my diet of food.

While vacationing in Curacao this past May, I noticed something: my recent chronic physical symptoms of seeming ph imbalance, i.e. sores in my mouth from an excess of sugar or salt, candida build up at the corners of my lips, and a looming threat of a yeast infection. I know…TMI! No, that’s not a disease, that’s Too Much Information! Ok, then look away. Go check Facebook and stop reading! I’m trying to work something out here! 😛

So, at this all-inclusive resort that I was lucky enough to afford, I was drinking alcohol (sugar) every day, inviting carbs (sugar) back into my diet, and practicing leniency when asked, “Would you like to see the dessert menu?” (more sugar)

My ph should have gone further out of whack, but it didn’t. I had a higher tolerance for “bad” foods. What was different?

My thoughts. My thoughts were different. I was in my tropical, seaside, pina-colada-induced, feet up, no obligations, stress-free element of bliss and joy.

The build-up of stress from the past six months had taken its toll: full-time job while enrolled in two classes for credit towards a degree; daughter going through the rigors of a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation; my car breaking down and draining my bank account; my cat being diagnosed with diabetes and needing twice-daily insulin shots, not to mention mounting vet bills.

My life as a sad country song had become a broken record! Something had to give!

Ok, back to the scene of a tropical vacation paradise. Ahhhh… So, yeah. Being in joy for a week cleared up all the physical symptoms that stress had compounded.

Moral of the story, if there is one: If you can’t fly off to your place of paradise…Be very strict about eating healthy food when stressed out to maintain ph balance in your body, even though we are biologically driven to reach for comfort food in those times.

Be just as strict with your diet of thoughts.

This means: battle stress by releasing worry thoughts. There are infinite possibilities for how things turn out and we don’t know until we know, so be a ninja warrior about keeping your thoughts in the present moment where your power is. Be a warrior, not a worrier.