On Rage and Flusteration

Before I ever started playing music, I worked lots of odd jobs. One of those jobs was in the rental office of an apartment building. I was the assistant to the Building Superintendent.

Now, the title Building Superintendent might bring up an image of masculinity, of dark browns and greys. However, this building superintendent was named Merilee. And she was the Southernest woman I’ve ever met. I never once saw her without make-up or without her hair done, or without a fresh coat of nail polish that looked like it came directly off of a fire truck or the Barbie corvette, or without shoes that had at least three rhinestones on each of them. She would gossip about the tenants, and tell stories of her stormy marriage and about her life as the manager of this apartment complex. Often, her stories ended in her being frustrated. Only she never said “frustrated.” She always was “flusterated.” In a honey-thick southern accent, she would end the story by saying, “Ah was just so flusterated!” (She’d raise her voice up about an octave for the last syllables of the word.)

Now, I’ll admit it. I’m a grammar snob. You can’t imagine what happens in my spine when someone casually says, “supposably” or “irregardless.” I get the heebie-jeebies.

The ONLY exception to my snobbery is when the grammatical error becomes poetry. And in the South, this happens quite a bit. You can almost hear Flannery O’Connor typing along in the background. And to watch Merilee fanning her 3-inch bright red nails dry while she said, “Lord child I was just so flusterated!” always cracked me up.


Last week, I changed web servers. That means that my web pages switched locations. In the process, lots of things got wonky, lots of people couldn’t see my website, and many of my emails never found their way to people’s mailboxes, and a few emails sent to me got lost. (Thankfully though, the spam still found its way to me. Otherwise I might not have been able to find that day’s dosage of Hoodia. Then where would I be?)

As I was driving to Charlotte, NC on Friday afternoon to finish the final edits on my upcoming DVD release, I talked on the phone with Web Guy about the whole situation. He apologized profusely. (It is his server to which I am moving.) As the conversation ended he said, “Why aren’t you pissed at me? If I were you, I’d be raging.”

After we hung up, I tried on the idea of being outraged. I imagined pointing my finger up in the air and yelling, “This is an OUTRAGE!” Nothing happened. I fretted for a moment that I might be in denial. But really, I just didn’t have the energy for it.

I thought about outrage. I thought about what it requires. And as I thought about the reasons I could be in a rage, I realized that every single one of those reasons required a basic belief in lack. I could’ve imagined that I was letting my blog readers down and that they’d never return, that I was losing CD sales on my website, or that people couldn’t register for the upcoming retreat or book me for performances. The story could go on and on, but at its core is belief in lack. Not enough.

That would mean that I believed that my readers, or customers, or retreat goers are limited. That I have to fight and struggle to keep each and every one of them. That I’m not able to attract a stream of new and regular visitors to my site. That the 1500 – 2000 people who visit everyday are it. That they are a temperamental bunch who throw a fit and never return. That’s ALL! No soup for you!

A belief in lack can hook you if you let it. We’re all taught to believe in limitation and competition. And it takes discipline to remember that the opposite of lack is abundance, and the opposite of competition is creativity. Abundance and creativity are better starting points. They are inspiring. And besides, they’ll raise the level of your work, and make you a happier person.


What I decided in the end is that I was flusterated. That I had had a flusterating week. And that there was truly nothing to do but accept my flusteration and wait until the website found its way out of the matrix. In the meantime, I could get my toe-nails painted Brothel Red and tell my readers that Lord child I was so flusterated!

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  1. yogajenn says

    So happy to see that you are back!! I can completely relate to the grammatical snobbery (spelling too…) I do my very best not to make assumptions about anyone based on spelling and grammar, but it can be pretty tough sometimes – especially if they are marketing themselves or their product online.

    I heard a woman from Oklahoma give a talk last month, and she told a story where she called her friends ‘heffers’ (jokingly of course). Well, I almost choked, I started laughing so hard. In and of itself, not very funny. But throw in that Southern chirp and it brought down the house…the delivery was pretty good too. It sounds soooo much more animated and expressive than us Canadians! Sometimes, they don’t even need to say much – it just oozes charisma and charm. Like some Brits too. (maybe I just need to get out more… :) )

    Are you familiar with the Sedona Method? I’m just looking for some feedback as it was recently recommended to me but I’ve been through a stack of self development/personal growth/healing programs and am a little weary of it all. Any thoughts would be great.

    Warm sparkling blessings!!

  2. Caren says

    Wow. So, I was thinking of myself as I read… because it IS all about me 😉 and I was picturing myself in the same situation and rage didn’t come up… and it rarely does in my life. Instead of lacking a belief in lacking, my thoughts were more about being in the moment, and accepting what is. Maybe it’s all these years in a 12-step group, saying, “Accepting the things we cannot change…”. It got me thinking… does acceptance of NOW mean belief in abundance? And, ya know, after reading your blog and pondering… I think it does! I can just sink into that. I didn’t think I had “thoughts of abundance” down because of SO many thoughts of lack, and fears of not providing well for my boys… but I do have LOTS of practive with acceptance for what IS. SO, I have more practice with abundance than I thought, I just didn’t see it that way! I don’t know why that makes a difference to me, but it does. Kind of… I’m not as bad at this as I thought I was. LOL

    Yogajenn – can I offer some thoughts? If not – stop reading here! 😉 I’ve been in that same place of feeling inundated with different modalities for healing/growth/change… and the best thing I learned to do was to STOP looking, and just BE. Be more mindful in my day. I started a meditation practice that helped immensely… but it just came along as the right thing to do, it wasn’t “another #@*$ thing on my list”; it was just sitting. And accepting…and accepting…and accepting. And when I stopped looking “out there” then things came to me in the right time… various things at various times, but all perfect in their timing.

    Glad to have your words back, Christine! At least you haven’t been bored! peace, peace to you-


  3. says

    I have another one for you … “birfday”. Several southerners I’ve met have said it that way. At first I thought I must be hearing wrong but realized that’s just the way they said it. Initially, it bugged me but now – after watching my nieces and nephews grow up and out of their kidisms, I think it’s kind of cute – along with flusterated and the others. we’re working hard to record all the cute mispronunciations – “catapiya” (catapillar), “Baby Jee and Mah Joe too” (Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph), “Here me go!” and many many others. They all make us smile so much that we are the ones who now say them and the nieces and nephews think we’re nuts. Ok, so we are. But it keeps us laughing. Welcome back Christine!!

  4. Megan says

    I just love the image of your southern lady boss with bright red nails. It’s great. One of my favorite southern sayings is, “I swaney!” means”I swear.” My best friends mother uses this all the time and I can’t get enough of it. Christine your blogs just get better. Have a great week and I will try to stay creative, not flusterated.

  5. Stacey says

    I really appreciated this post. I am listening to Tolle’s A New Earth and while it all is resonating deeply, I am especially struck by the part about ego identification. This is the work I need to do: you are not your ego – that part of you that has the thoughts and feelings about what you *deserve* ( Marshall Rosenberg calls “deserve” the most harmful word in the English language.) and being outraged when you don’t get it – you are the observer of your ego. Something just clicked when he spoke those words even though I know I have heard/read them elsewhere. I’m just more receptive now. And I’m pretty sure your posts have helped me get to that receptive place. Thanks again. Time to go play in the snow!

  6. says

    YogaJenn – Yep, the online marketing thing is where you really see lots of those errors… and to me, those are the worst! I figure if you’re spending the time trying to sell something, then make sure the details are at least correct! As far as the Sedona Method, I’ve heard good things. But I would encourage you to read Caren’s note. If you keep reaching outside of you for more and more stuff to make you okay, then you might end up not being all that okay. Take some time to be. Take some time to breathe. Take some time to be flusterated that you’re not feeling totally okay. Then, let a little inspiration guide you as to what’s next…

    MK, Lots of people say flusterated. It’s pretty common in the south! Glad you’re still out there!

    Hi Caren, Yes, I think you are right. Being in the now is the ultimate prosperity consciousness. It’s where all the inspired action comes from. It’s the ultimate risk. (to the ego that is!) Thanks for your insights…

    Kathy… I have to say that “Here me go” is pretty cool. I’ll have to use that more often!

    Thanks Megan! I’ve never heard of that one. I’ll have to keep an ear out. The biggest one here in Asheville is “might could.” I included it in a song of mine called “Southern Girl.” My husband actually says it from time to time and then shrugs at me when I glare at him!

    Hey Stacey! I loved A New Earth. The stuff that most kicked my butt (in a good way) was the pain body stuff. I’ve never read anything that defined the emotions so well. Thanks for the note and kind thoughts! I’ve already been out in the snow with my dog. Much fun!

  7. yogajenn says

    A big thank-you to Caren and Christine for your thoughts and feedback – I really appreciate it. Of course, you are right. Somewhere along this healing journey, a couple years back, I surrendered and dove into just ‘BEING’. Since that time I have had a consistent meditation/yoga practice that is the best part of my days. I will be going on a 14 day silent retreat as well in Feb that I am looking forward to.

    This restlessness seems to have shown back up since I began a small business. I guess it demonstrates that those old patterns sneak in during times of stress. I feel somewhat at the mercy of my emotions and that is not very helpful in business. Normally, I am pretty good at sitting with my emotions, but now I’m finding myself worried about how these negative emotions will affect the LOA & business. I really like Christine’s post on 5 Things about Effortlessness, and I refer to that often. The clutching/clinging/control thing really resonates and seems to help me let go. But I suppose I am still searching for that ‘magic bullet’.

    There’s an Indian parable about a brash young man determined to discover a new, abundant source of underground water for his village. He chooses a plot of land and begins frantically digging in one corner. He digs until he is about a foot deep in the hole but doesn’t tap into any water. So he moves on to begin digging again in a different spot. Eventually, he has dug hundreds of holes, each about a foot deep. (Of course) a wise old man comes by and guides the man to find one spot and then to dig DEEPER. Sure enough, by digging two feet down into the next hole, he taps into an abundant and overflowing source of water.

    Abundant blessings to you!

  8. says

    Hi Christine,
    I, myself, have been flusterated many times. And then other times, I am as fine as frog hair split down the middle!

    Perspective is everything. I visited your site several times while it was down and although I didn’t get a new fix of Christine wisdom, I was able to do some surfing through the archives and read some old stuff. Except for that one time when I got the dreaded message that your site could not be found! Oh dear! But I knew from talkng with you that Web Guy was working his magic and sometimes these things happen.

    My internet was down all day yesterday. I never figured out why. It just suddenly worked again around supper time, after I re-booted the equipment one more time. We had a snow day, my lovely daughter was home from school and we had no internet. I think I got a mite flusterated about it, but not in a major fashion. I wrote a big long email to a friend and saved it since I couldn’t send it, and mostly we just did other things. Which included going to Blockbuster and renting movies that we never got around to watching! We went shopping instead. I know! Snow day! But the snow was gone pretty early in the day and the roads were clear. This IS still the south, even if it is in the mountains! And how wonderful it was that it happened to snow on my day off so I could spend it with my daughter, especially since her birthday is tomorrow. (My little baby triple Aquarius girl will be 12….not that she has ever in her life behaved like a baby, being a very old soul.)

    Love ya!

  9. says

    Personally, I’ve come to like uniquely pronounced words like “flusterated”. Several days ago a housemate of mine started talking about “amblee-ences”. It took me a moment to realize that she had meant ambulance. But I like the word amblee-ence. I get this image of this ambulance just ambling on up, and the guy stepping out and saying “Hey. Got a problem?”

    Y’see, because he “ambles on up”… Heh heh. Sorry.

    Anyway, good to heat that your website did not explode.

  10. says

    thanks for stopping by michelle! i love your site!

    hiya chickie pam! thanks for your own unique way of writing your thoughts and life stories!

    zach, thanks for that one. I’ll have a new word next time I hear those sirens!

  11. Carole Guest says

    ‘SRIMP’ is one from the south that gets to me. WHy can’t they put an H in there…SHRIMP

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