I planned to swim laps after work yesterday, but I made a hard left into a strip mall and ended up at nail salon. My feet were cracked and dirty from the trip; a souvenir I didn’t want to keep.
“Hi, Rebecca. Come with me.”
She had one of those complicated braids in her hair, the kind that takes patience and time to weave. I was envious. I’ve never been good at braiding. She was wearing a name tag, Rose.
“Ah…” She touched my thigh and then put her hands together and bowed.
I felt embarrassed. I think it’s sacrilege to wear Buddha on clothing, but I was drawn to these pants. I loved the colors, ethereal. Buddha’s silhouette was camouflaged within the design, but she spotted him.
“Do you practice?”
“No, I’m not a Buddhist. I just study it a little.”
“I’m a Buddhist. My son is a monk. He became a monk at 8 years old; he’s 13 now.”
Rose and I connected, immediately. She told me about her son, her meditation practices, her philosophies on life, her work and her visions.
She didn’t call herself this, but I am: she’s an intuitive. I could feel her feeling me, communicating with me through her hands. She knew me; she told me things.
She looked over the rim of her glasses as she painted my toes orange-y-pink:
“You are lotus. Get white lotus, here,” she tapped the nape of her neck. “White, it’s pure.”
I chuckled: “Um, I feel like every yoga girl has a lotus on her skin, it’s so overdone.”
“Yes, you’re right, but very few have earned it. You’ve earned it.”
I think I’m healing from a spiritual dysmorphia of sorts, just like people who lose a lot of weight struggle with body dysmorphic disorder: their mind exists in the past, in their plumped flesh, not in their present svelteness. They don’t see their reality; they see what used to be.
The mind is slow to the uptake; it takes a while to catch up to reality.
I’ve experienced this before: I was a chubby pre-teen and then I lost all the weight, yet every time I looked in the mirror I saw the old me.
The same applies when you’ve suffered for so long. When you’re not suffering anymore, the mind doesn’t know what to do. It takes a while to settle into the peace, into the purity of contentment.
I guess I still feel muddy, even though it’s dried and sloughing off; now, there’s more white than brown.
She carefully put on my sandals. I rose from the chair and we hugged. She turned her lips to my ear: “It’s your turn now. Remember that. This is your new beginning. Enjoy it.”
Om Mani Padme Hum