Wednesday, 21. November 2012

Wisdom teeth

I am a bit embarrassed to admit this….

So after my adventure to the dentist…

He didn’t take my teeth out.


I woke up this morning feeling sick with dread. My entire practice on my mat ended up being about connecting to and listening to my solar plexus (3rd chakra). Afterwards, for breakfast, I even found that I craved only yellow things: all I wanted was lemon, dandelion, turmeric and honey tea…bee pollen….and mango.

My dental appointment was in the afternoon. This morning I took my bicycle to get to a meeting and, as usual, was listening to my ipod. I mostly have it on shuffle which means I’ll get a cross-section of dance music, mantras, indy rock, music for healing, ceremony music, world music, and Don Miguel Ruiz and Carolyn Myss. Just like I have a hard time reading any “inspirational” books cover to cover…I have the same challenge if I were to listen to something…So the ipod shuffle’s great because the gods always send me that perfect 5 minute tidbit that I need to hear that’s appropriate to whatever is going on in my life.

My 3rd chakra was up with its “stuff” today. I knew, not just because of how my solar plexus, liver, and stomach was reacting…not just because I was craving yellow – but in observing my anxiety over this damn dental appointment. Those of you in my close circle have already heard me hem and haw and question: “Do I get my teeth out in LA? Or Bali? At the mansion? Or in Denpasar?” I must have interviewed at least 20 people on their experiences, scoured the internet reading tripadvisor reviews…even asked a shaman to tune in…and used my ownpendulum…and made my friend use hers to make this decision…twice.

I’m neurotic. In so many ways that I don’t need to list – but I have this classically obsessive compulsive side. I get fixated and stubborn – which is how sometimes I have made the impossible quite possible – and even more so – how I’ve created strange messes and events for myself. Luckily I have a sense of humor.

This back-and-forth of where and how to get my teeth out had been going on for weeks….I had appointments in LA AND Bali – and 2 places in Bali (I had my bases covered). I don’t know how I can convey how quickly I kept changing my mind…and of course – it was all because I wasn’t centered in myself in thinking about this.

Why did I have to get my teeth out? Well, because a dentist said so. This white guy in LA whose name I can’t remember( though he gave me a great teeth cleaning). I have so much shame with my teeth – as they are beautiful – and I’ve spent many years bulimic…It’s been painful to acknowledge the pain I’ve put myself through…

So this dentist told me that I had to get my 2 wisdom teeth out. I already had 2 out when I was 20…and was told then that the other two would be coming in fine. So now, 13 years later, I was delighted when one finally poked through. This year I’ve felt like I HAVE matured and gotten a little wiser – and this was my body celebrating. And I like brushing the little guy.

With the dentist in LA, I looked at the x-rays…they didn’t seem so bad but I don’t hang out with teeth xrays much. Plus, I just don’t seem to question dentists (if you’re a gynecologist though…I will give you a thorough cross-examination)…

So this is what’s funny. I dropped out of pre-med in college because I wanted to go the “alternative” route…and now I preach in my classes and workshops that everyone must listen to themselves, that they are their best authority…and… I watched myself this morning and afternoon totally give my power away…in so many ways.

1. I didn’t question the surgery suggested even though any sort of surgery..even teeth cleaning…can stress my system out.

2. And with the questionable surgery, I spent weeks asking everyone else to tell me where to go…

3. That was the theme in my digestion of my latest relationship…that I still have this part of me who..ummm…wants the guy to sometimes tell me what to do (granted oftentimes so I can reject the suggestion but still…)

So back to my bicycle…yep – this was a digression from my bicycle adventure this morning – remember my ipod shuffle? At one p point, Carolyn Myss comes on to talk about power in the chakras…and when we start to make our power our own…different from our tribal power…and when we finally stop asking or wanting our tribe to tell us what to do and we make choices for ourselves. She said a lot more and, I must say, quite eloquently. but this is the paraphrased version.

For me, with the dentist:

The only thing I did know in my internal neurotic clamor was that for some reason I had to go to Denpasar…I didn’t know anyone who knew of this dentist I had chosen – it’s called Ivodent – but it felt good to me somehow. And my pendulum really liked it.

Fast forward. I show up at the dentist’s office. My friend Meg is with me – to do reiki on me during the teeth pulling even though she was really sick. She’s amazing on so many levels. That would be another facebook series – the celebration of my amazing friend Megan MacDonald.

When we walk in, I’m not really seeing the dentist’s office. My eyes are primed only for “what’s wrong.” I was already prepared for everything to fall apart (there’s a reason why I’ve been called “Chicken Little.”). I smelled moth balls. That could be one of the top 10 worst smells in the world….

Meg kept reassuring me as I gave her my wide-eyed startled look. I felt myself ready to puke. The dental assistant walked in and I started to cry. I’m not a baby but I am when it comes to dentists – and when I’ve spent months psyching myself out – I wanted to lose it.

I was ready to bolt. This place would screw up my teeth, pull the wrong tooth out, infect me with ebola. Well maybe not that dramatic but that’s the ride I was creating.

I knew I looked like a special mess. If only my students who think I have my sh*t together, could see me now…The ideas in my head…the emotional reactions…it was a wonder I didn’t start puking in the dental chair spit cup attaché.

Finally I allowed her to xray my tooth though I was convinced that Meg and I should hightail it out of there and make it to the Mansion. It’s fluffy and clean there….

Meg was a sport and ready to go at any moment. Remember she’s sick…she also was sick with something else the week before…but she was the best dental advisor any girl could have…If I ever get pregnant and go into labor, I will import her.

The dentist came out…Twenty minutes beforeI had seen him from behind and already had a jaded idea of this guy…until…

He sat in front of me and looked me in the eyes. I was literally crumpled in the dentist chair. No needles, no drills yet…but I was already down for the count. Look at the power of the mind.

“Why do you have to get your teeth out?”

Now, you need to know that I have looked many people in their eyes. I’m even known for my own stare that can see right into their souls (or so I’ve been told).

These were some of the best eyes ever.

“I was told they are pushing on my other teeth,” I said.

“But they’re not,” he said.

This guy (I think his name’s Indra?) has been doing dentistry for way longer than I’ve been alive. Again, what stuck out to me was his directness and clarity.

He also said a lot more than this but I’m too tired to reiterate everything.

“No pain?”

“No,” I said.

“No swelling?”


“Would you have known you needed them out if a dentist hadn’t told you to?”

“Ummm….no,” I sheepishly replied.

“Look,” he said. “You don’t have to be scared. We’ll run one more set of xrays. If you do have to get a tooth out, it’ll be quick, easy, and painless. And if you don’t, then you just got a free consultation.”

He walked out of the room. Meg mentioned the concept of “second opinions.” I suddenly realized how I made everyone’s opinion THE opinion – in fact – THE truth – and how I barely tune into what I really think and feel…STILL. It was a great wake-up call in my decision making process as a human being – and a little amazing to see how and where I still gave my power away.

The short of it was that he came back, we talked some more, and I felt relieved. Not just that I didn’t have to get 2 new holes in my mouth, but it showed me who, what, and when I was making “god.” I was willing to do this even if it would make me uncomfortable or drain my bank account. And I don’t have to do that. This dentist felt like a gift. He kept saying, “I don’t want your money. I’m just being honest with you that you don’t need to get your teeth pulled.”

I think about students who want sessions with me. I don’t take everyone…Sometimes I sit and talk with them about their motivations for coming to see me – to make sure they aren’t just chasing patterns or stuck in the mentality that there’s something to “fix” when the real problem is we keep forgetting we are already whole…I just want to help too. I could pretend there’s a problem and take their money…but that’s not why I’m here. So I felt like the universe was mirroring that back to me as well.

Perhaps I’ll need a 3rd opinion. I heard there are great dentists in Mexico. Hell, I could do a dentistry tour world-wide and start making postcards of all my wisdom teeth x-rays.

And again, the perfect metaphor. Today I got to keep my wisdom teeth. And this is one dentist visit where I left definitely feeling wiser….

1 comment

One reply to Wisdom teeth

  1. Landen Worley writes:

    Now, this shows the role of second opinions. Wisdom tooth removal, even when not needed, is rarely harmful so it won’t make a difference whether you pushed through with the surgery or not. However, with people who don’t deal with pain well, undergoing surgery can be a big risk. It’s a good thing that you were able to receive a 2nd opinion. =)

    Landen Worley

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