Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just Another Spiritual Adventure With The Mountain Dreamer

People make assumptions. We all do it. I am sometimes surprised at the assumptions some people make about me because they’ve read something I’ve written, or heard my medicine name (and that can go either way: either Enlightened Spiritual Teacher or Flaky High-Woo-Woo Nut- wrong on both counts) or know someone who knew someone who once attended a ceremony I lead or a retreat I facilitated.

Once, a lovely young woman who was interviewing me mentioned something about a television show she’d watched and then apologized, saying, “Oh I know you wouldn’t watch TV – you’re probably meditating in the evening.”

Yeah. Right. That’s me- in a constant state of meditative serenity.

I could not help but think of inflated projections on Saturday night. I’d gone to get groceries after an early dinner. (Yep, life in the fast lane.) When I got home, unpacking included unwrapping a twelve-roll pack of toilet paper and stashing it in the cupboard under the bathroom sink.

Suddenly I noticed a strange smell- an odd chemical scent. I was alarmed.

For those of you who don’t know, I recently came out of a (new record for me) seventy-three day migraine. Like most who suffer from this affliction, my migraines can be triggered by chemical scents, and you can bet that after two and half months of agony I was hyper-alert to anything that might send me down that road again.

I sniffed around cautiously and discovered it was the newly purchased toilet paper. They make scented toilet paper! Who knew? I closed the cupboard door and stepped out onto the balcony to gulp some relatively fresh air. But there was no way around it- I needed to get rid of the offending toilet paper rolls. The trouble is, they were now mixed in with old rolls- all white, with no distinguishing pattern on the paper.

This is how I came to spend my Saturday evening sitting on the bathroom floor, sniffing toilet paper rolls one at time and stuffing the stinky ones into a garbage bag between breathing breaks on the balcony. At some point, as I lightly passed another roll under my nose to detect what the manufacturer called “chamomile fragrance,” I muttered to myself, “Yep, just another exciting and enlightening evening with Mountain Dreamer.”

And I started to laugh.

I was still laughing and shaking my head as I took the garbage bag to the recycling bin outside my building. The good news is I did not get a migraine, and laughing at the whole predicament truly sent me to bed with a smile on my face.

The truth is I don’t know anything about enlightenment- and have never claimed I do. But I do know that not taking myself too seriously makes life easier and more joyful. Laughter makes me glad to be alive, even if it is in a world where resources are used to create something as absurd as scented toilet paper.

Good to laugh, wherever we can, whenever we can.

Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House (c) 2016


  1. Needed this one today. And yesterday's. My dad died a little over a month ago, unexpectedly. Your honesty and clear reflection are greatly appreciated. xxoo

    1. So sorry for your loss Sharon. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. so you bought 12 new rolls, when there were still rolls in your cupboard??
    My hat off to you, you wise woman. If only I had a little of your planning skills.
    But I'm really happy it didn't bring back your migraines! 72 days! How on earth did you manage? And what did get you out of it in the end? Do you medication? (Or is that a question like: do you watch tv).
    Here's to laughter!

    1. lol- I do use meds but the problem with them is that even when they work there is a cost (usually wipe me out.) For most of the 73 days I stopped using meds (which were clearly not working) and took care of myself as well as I could. And yes- I DID buy 12 rolls when I still had about 9 in the cupboard. (I am a Virgo :-) )

  3. I so get it with buying toilet paper in advance and I'm a (probably unusual) Sag ;-) I guess the one thing I will never ever run out of are toilet rolls lol
    Good for you Oriah, for being able to laugh at/over yourself and see how hilarious life sometimes really can be. THAT is the true strength of a human being, not that holier than thou attitude of most of those seemingly wise people who would be appalled at even considering that they look the same as us with their pants down when using those toilet rolls ;-) I'm so happy and glad for you that your migraine didn't come back. They really do suck. You take good care of YOU and keep being the wonderful awesome Oriah that you are :-) You rock! xox Sabine

    1. Thanks Sabine. It was good for a real giggle. :-)