Read Pushing Upward Online

Authors: Andrea Adler

Pushing Upward

ALSO BY ANDREA ADLER

Books

The Science of Spiritual Marketing: Initiation into Magnetism

Creating an Abundant Practice: A Spiritual and Practical Guide for
Holistic Practitioners and Healing Centers

Audios

Moving Through Fear Gracefully

To Advertise or Not to Advertise, That Is the Question

Aligning with Our Soul's Calling

All available at:
www.HolisticPR.com

Copyright © 2012 by Andrea Adler

Published and distributed in the United States by:
Hay House, Inc.:
www.hayhouse.com
®
•
Published and distributed in Australia by:
Hay House Australia Pty. Ltd.:
www.hayhouse.com.au
•
Published and distributed in the United Kingdom by:
Hay House UK, Ltd.:
www.hayhouse.co.uk
•
Published and distributed in the Republic of South Africa by:
Hay House SA (Pty), Ltd.:
www.hayhouse.co.za
•
Distributed in Canada by:
Raincoast:
www.raincoast.com
•
Published in India by:
Hay House Publishers India:
www.hayhouse.co.in

Cover design:
Amy Rose Grigoriou •
Interior design:
Riann Bender

Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint excerpts from the
I Ching.

North American Rights:

WILHELM, RICHARD: THE I CHING, OR BOOK OF CHANGES (THIRD EDITION). Copyright © 1950 by Bollingen Foundation Inc. New material copyright © 1967 by Bollingen Foundation. Copyright © renewed 1977 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

International Rights:

German copyright law public domain.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording; nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise be copied for public or private use—other than for “fair use” as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews—without prior written permission of the publisher.

The author of this book does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales, or persons living or deceased, is strictly coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Adler, Andrea.
  Pushing upward : a novel / Andrea Adler. — 1st ed.
     p. cm.

ISBN 978-1-4019-4125-3 (tradepaper : alk. paper)

I. Title.

PS3601.D57P87 2012

813'.6—dc23

2012019241

Tradepaper ISBN:
978-1-4019-4125-3

Digital ISBN:
978-1-4019-4126-0

15  14  13  12      4  3  2  1

1st edition, September 2012

Printed in the United States of America

To Brian, for his patience
To Cynthia and Gene, for their ceaseless support
To the Siddhas, for providing the path

 

Sometimes the journey takes us to India,
     to travel barefoot along the Himalayas,
          or to Australia, to live among the Aborigines.

Sometimes the journey takes us to
      Los Angeles …

The year is 1974.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Working with the
I Ching

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Chapter 1

The beginning of all things lies still in the beyond
in the form of ideas that have yet to become real.

—
I C
HING

Panic had settled into the crevices of my bones. I'd become a powerless victim of circumstance. I was confused, totally stuck in this moment of complete fear and helplessness. Not knowing what to do, I closed my eyes and lay there, trying to be comfortable on the bumpy mattress whose springs had worn out long before I'd rented this apartment.
Sandra, you are not allowed to swallow, exhale, or blink until you have a precise plan of action. Not a move.
Holding my breath while my body remained rigid on the concave bed, I waited for the top of my head to open up so I could receive some kind of guidance—praying that insight into this dark tunnel of existence would reveal itself. Really soon.

My life had become a tragic myth. Not yet suicidal, I was in a state of severe uncertainty and knew that some kind of action had to be taken, really soon. I just wasn't sure what. My creative soul burned to express itself in ways that my present job at Martha's Boutique could never provide. My artistic skills yearned to be challenged in ways that no longer included the exclusive talent of selling women's clothes. My heart burned to be reciting the words of great playwrights, keeping an audience on the edge of their seats as I delivered soliloquies from Ibsen, Chekhov, Shakespeare, Williams. But I was stuck in a nine-to-five grind, and didn't know how to get out.

I gave myself permission to breathe, but I still couldn't blink. So I continued to lie there, counting the brown watermarks on the ceiling, tracing the water leakage to its origin, which diverted my attention just long enough to allow a thought of genius to slip through a narrow passageway into my brain.
What would I do if I were a struggling artist living in Paris? What would I do there to support myself?
It took less than two minutes to come up with the perfect scenario: if I lived in Paris, I would check out the Parisian newspapers for housekeeping or governess jobs. I could have a roof over my head, a small income, and free time to paint.

I tore off the blue polyester bedcover—knowing this was at least a beginning to an action I could pursue—and tripped over my shoes on the way to the front door. I grabbed the
Los Angeles Times
from the doorstep … and saw the eviction notice taped to my door.

Shit!
I decided to ignore it. I waited for the screen door to slam on my butt, and plopped the paper down on the old oak table. I tore through the sheets, in hot pursuit of the classifieds section.
Where is it? Where is the goddamned classifieds section? Here it is.
I looked eagerly up and down at each ad:
HOUSEKEEPER/live out. Daytime DRIVER needed for six children. COOK for gay couple. BABYSITTER for triplets. GARDENER/COOK/DRIVER wanted for elderly couple.
Give me a break! Not one job for a live-in.

I headed to the kitchen and yanked open the refrigerator door, looking around for the jars of peanut butter and jelly. Smearing these ingredients onto a cracker would totally satisfy this craving I had to chew. But I was out of both. I slammed the door and returned to the paper. Again, I looked through the ads—up, down, side to side.

Nothing. I went back to the fridge, flung open the freezer door this time, frantic to put something—anything—in my mouth. I began to paw around for one of those chocolate-covered ice cream bars. Just thinking of the soft ice cream and hard chocolate crust made saliva well up in anticipation. But all I could see behind the freezer-burned loaves of bread were orange-flavored bars. Whatever had possessed me to buy those? I
hated
orange. I tore off the wrapper of one anyway, threw it in the sink, and sucked the hell out of the orange coating. I began to pace around the tiny living room.

All of a sudden, as if a large chip from a meteor had fallen from the sky and hit my brain, I thought:
Why don't I place an ad of my own?

I stood there in complete awe of my own genius.

The orange coating had melted off its stick and was halfway down my knuckles, so I licked the remaining nasty liquid into my mouth, and probed the classifieds columns to see how the other ads were written. Then I saw it—a sign, clear as day: D
ISCOUNT COUPON FOR ONE PERSONL AD
. The deadline was today!

Knowing that the next set of letters about to be formed would be
the
most important selection I'd make in life, I closed my eyes, prayed for inspiration, and spent the rest of the morning trying to edit a torrent of words down to twelve—which I finally did. And then I, Sandra Billings, placed an ad of my own:

Drama student in need of RM and BRD
in exchange for housekeeping.

Chapter 2

The superior man
refines the outward aspect of his nature.

Male responses came pouring in like a school of salmon swimming upstream. Within a week, I'd heard from a firefighter, a stockbroker, a wrestler, and a radio announcer—as well as a “carpenter by day” who dressed up as a woman at night and wanted me to go with him to cross-dressing bars. Can you imagine? I also heard from Maria, who, I think, was a lesbian. I wasn't sure, but she said she lived on a boat in Marina del Rey. I have nothing against lesbians. It's just that living on a boat wasn't the kind of stability I was looking for … at this time.

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