Ode to a Commode

I have been plagued by bathroom dreams my entire adult life.  I’ll spare you most of the details, but the common themes center around not being able to find a bathroom, no privacy when I do find one, or I find one and it’s filthy. A few years ago, I spoke with Dr. Michael Lennox, a psychologist and world-renowned dream expert and author of Dream Sight: A Dictionary and Guide for Interpreting Any DreamLlewellyn’s Little Book of Dreams, and Llewellyn’s Complete Dictionary of Dreams all of which help people understand their dreams by helping them to navigate the symbolism and universal meanings in a dream.

Dr. Lennox explained that this type of bathroom dream is very common and has an interesting meaning. In this context, the bathroom represents a place we sit with our shame. It’s a symbol of our individuated sense of self.  He explained that when we have these dreams, we’re seeking to integrate our public self with our most private, shameful self (i.e., “I can’t find the place in my psyche where I’m comfortable being with my most shameful parts).  And here I thought I was having these dreams because I’d experienced some terribly stress-inducing toilet overflow mishaps.  I remember one, in particular, about 30 years ago where most of my apartment was flooded.

All of this said, it should come as no surprise that when my downstairs bathroom started having issues, I began to panic.  Last summer I noticed the toilet making noises (like the sound it makes after it’s been flushed, only I hadn’t flushed it). It freaked me out at first. Even the cats who had been comfortably perched on the back of the couch, sat up and took notice. But after a while we all got used to it and it became background noise.

About 6 months ago, a new issue started: after flushing, a tiny amount of clean water would pool just behind the toilet seat where the tank and the bowl are connected. “No biggie” I thought and mopped it up with a paper towel.  This went on for weeks. But after a time, I noticed that there were streaks of rust forming in the toilet bowl. The innocent pools of water had apparently rusted the hardware and now the rust was running into the bowl.

Still, I didn’t have it fixed reasoning that the toilet was completely functional. Even though I was constantly cleaning the bowl, it was, at times, looking dangerously close to a truck stop toilet. I’ve actually never seen a truck stop toilet, but that’s how I imagined it.  I looked for ways to remove the rust stains.  It was a real pain and none of the remedies worked well. “Best to have guests use the upstairs bathroom,” was my sensible conclusion.

But the final straw came when the flushing noise started getting louder.  In fact, it was combined with a high-pitched whistling sound in the wall. It was also happening a lot more frequently—every minute or so. Imagine taking a shower while someone flushes the toilet over and over.  That was what my showers had become. Can’t a girl shampoo in peace?  By now I was getting concerned that a pipe would burst.

The amount of energy I was expending worrying about this toilet was ridiculous. That’s when I remembered something I read in Simran Singh’s book, “Conversations with the Universe” which is all about how the Universe is always communicating with us. In one section she explains how issues will crop up in our cars and homes before they manifest in our bodies or in our lives.  It’s a friendly warning of sorts: “pay attention to this.”

I had done very well in my business in early Spring and then everything slowed down to a trickle. The outside reflects the inside. So, what was happening on my inside? What I realized is that I wasn’t being consistent in my practices—manifestation, mindfulness, visualization, ceremony—I was all over the map. No consistency on the inside, no consistency on the outside. I was carelessly expending my energy—flushing it over and over by engaging in a lot of busywork.

Believe me, I love a good webinar, class, etc. But I also know that sometimes I use this as an excuse not to get anything done.  To be clear, the “doing” isn’t always things like working on a course or crafting a LinkedIn post.  The doing is the work of raising my vibration, manifestation, and playing with and transmuting energy.

Why was I hemming and hawing over a toilet?  Partly because I didn’t want to spend the money and partly because I had the irrational fear that the plumber would find some massive problem. I imagined him wiping his brow and saying “Yep, we gotta rip all this drywall out.” Again, wasted energy.  I knew it was time.

I ripped off the Band-Aid, and texted my handyman to see if he had a recommendation for a plumber.  He immediately texted back and said that he could do it and asked if I would be home that day.  And just like that, within a few short hours, I had my beautiful new toilet. No more flushing sounds, no more hissing in the walls, no puddles, and no rust.  AND—it cost a fraction of what I thought it would. All that angst and craziness over the past year when all this time it could have been wrapped up in a couple of hours.

Best of all, it was like a spigot opened on my own energy.  I felt so light, happy, and abundant.  I now had a clear channel to free myself of any thoughts or energies that didn’t serve me. The next day I signed a new client.  What a lesson I learned!  Don’t flush away your energy Don’t get mired in fear or procrastination. These are things I know. These are things I teach. But sometimes I need to be reminded to take my own medicine.  The Universe speaks in mysterious ways. This time it was through a white Kohler toilet.


Carol Campos
Carol Campos
Like many, I struggled for years wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I had been working in the corporate world for over 20 years, most recently in a leadership role with a Fortune 5 company. Although I was consistently recognized and promoted throughout my career, I somehow knew that I was meant to do something different. I felt stuck in a life that didn’t fit, yet I had created it. What was my purpose? I had no idea. Finally, I left my corporate job and made the leap into the unknown. After doing months of self-discovery work (actually, play!), reconnecting to my higher wisdom, and re-remembering who I was at my core, I realized I didn’t have to fix myself. I also realized that I didn’t have to worry about “finding my purpose.” What I found was that I’m multi-passionate and didn’t want to be boxed into one thing. I didn’t HAVE to be boxed into one thing. I started a podcast and a blog where I explored the human experience—including my own beautiful, messy, but perfect road. This blog later became my column on BizCatalyst 360°. I became a mentor and a wayshower for others. I became a consultant to help improve company culture and improve client relationships. These are things I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. But as often is the case, the Universe had an even bigger plan for me than I had for myself. My Soul knew what I would be doing long before I did, and I’m grateful that I followed the Divine map that was laid out before me! I love traveling, exploring new cultures, being in nature, and helping people on their own paths. I hold a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University. I live in Massachusetts with my rambunctious and hilarious cats, Petey, and Emmett.

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  1. This was a humorous lesson Carol. The Universe I believe in…with all its messages but never have I thought it would be from the toilet.. maybe on while on it This was interesting and well written. I mean who would have thought where this was going … cheers to the fixed toilet and the lessons😀

    • Haha! Thanks so much, Paula. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve often heard of issues manifesting in our pets, cars, or homes before manifesting in us. It’s a fascinating study in energy! Have a wonderful weekend! 💗

  2. Dreams is a subject of which I know very little, but I am not surprised that shame would be connected with this particular subject – supposedly the potty training phase of life is when we learn about shame first.

    I have three new commodes in my shopping basket; not just because the house I recently moved into has the sounds you so colorfully describe, Carol, but more water efficient models is soon a must with the CA drought.

    I can completely relate to the energy wasted with procrastination. In my – and your – defense, not attending to something is often because doing so violates some values that we at least need to be aware off. Hesitation is worth looking into.

  3. Oh Carol 🌳 Campos, I do believe it was my mother who prompted this piece to come out today. I literally just put an offer in on a home, and was accepted this morning. Although the move is somewhat anticipated with my youngest going away to school next week, I was still overcome with some fear. Our current home is the first home I ever purchased, at the age of 47, to live with my sons post divorce. I had no job as I was a full time mom yet found one local bank who loaned me the money with my parents as co-signers on their pensions! This house has been very special to us. And then your story popped up, a sign (from my now deceased mother) that is time to for me to get unstuck! Thank you for a wonderfully written, you had me at the title, kind of piece. I’m glad my mother nudged you. All is well. ❤ 🏡

    • Thank you so much for sharing this, Laura. Like I said in my LinkedIn comment, I’m so glad I could be the conduit for your mother’s message. Congratulations on your new home!🙏🏼💗 Wishing you a beautiful weekend.