Clearing Out the Lungs

“If you want to clean a house, you have to see the dirt.” – Louise Hay

As some of you may recall, we’ve been talking a lot about ego. Yogis and spiritual types refer extensively to ego, and many refer to ego projections as shadow qualities. Coming from these questionably refined people, who out there can’t help but feel slightly judged?

Because I can’t speak on behalf of anyone else, let’s explore my history. On January 19, 1983—exactly forty years from the date Janis Lynn Joplin was born—I was born Jillian Joyce Lang to a Roman Catholic family who baptized me, and now I’ll never burn in hell. Growing up in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, I recall detesting church so much, that my parents would coax me out of bed on Sunday mornings with the promise of breakfast at the Modern restaurant, which included generous servings of meaty Treen’s bacon. Until age 21, I called this bacon Modern bacon. I stopped attending church when my family moved to Strathmore, Alberta, in 1996, and thus began my journey through the public school system.

At age 18, I read my mother’s copy of the book The Celestine Prophecy. I honestly don’t remember details of the book, but I do know that it launched me onto the spiritual path. Around age 20, without ever having stepped onto a yoga mat, I assured myself while working out at the Mount Royal then College gym, that one day I’d be a yoga teacher. I had been taking kinesiology classes, including a flexibility and relaxation elective (which I excelled at), and I remember feeling inspired. It turns out I did have a gentle nature.

By this point I was a long-time natural born counsellor. In grade nine I remember couple friends calling me over to help them resolve conflicts. Strangers, spilling their life stories to me on the Greyhound bus. People liked talking to me. I think it’s how I won over the hearts of men, although growing up I was quite busty.

Fast-forward to a newspaper co-op during the spring of 2007. I was assigned to cover the Grandmother Drum tour. Not only did I pay my own way into the event (which is not protocol), but I was also asked by local white people organizers to chip in for the $1,500 community drum. I didn’t mind the former because I appreciated supporting indigenous arts and culture, but I didn’t understand the latter request. I didn’t live there; I was a student on a co-op. The woman who asked the newspaper to cover the event asked me for $350. I gave the drum I made—and paid for—to a local woman with severe cerebral palsy and otherwise felt alienated by the pushy and clearly unreasonable, not surprisingly white, “spiritual” community. The same woman who introduced me to Archangel Michael (if the priest talked about archangels in church, I didn’t pay attention), was the same woman who called me nonstop at the newspaper asking for the money I never agreed to paying her. Free advertising wasn’t enough.

During this time I was uncomfortably overweight. I had been yo-yo dieting and binge exercising at the gym to no avail. Through another assignment, I found myself caught up in a raw vegan program. I attended various potlucks and this latest diet lasted all of four days before I fell back onto the emotional eating bandwagon. I wanted to give Bikram’s Hot Yoga a go, but the woman in charge of the raw vegan program told me that I would have to choose between the two. I chose hot yoga. I couldn’t starve the fat off my body; I had to burn it off—and it worked.

Thanks to Bikram yoga, I lost all of that uncomfortable weight. Throughout my final year of university, I even let myself eat macaroni and cheese with sausage once a week. A friend of mine gifted me a coil of sausage for my twenty-fifth birthday. Several months after graduating university, the local hot yoga studio hired me part-time to work the front desk. I must have forgotten that my dad paid for my hot yoga membership during my last year of university, and one of the perks of working at the studio was free yoga, when I would smugly tell people who couldn’t afford the steep membership rates that they would have to learn how to prioritize their expenses. I watched my boss do it. We all talked smack like that, but to be fair, hot yoga studios typically pay their teachers fairly.

I wasn’t willing to sell my 2008 Toyota Corolla (which I later crashed) to attend the live Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, so I veered off into the realm of therapeutic yoga. I had kept an eye on a teacher who offered training locally since before embarking on the newspaper gig, and signed up for a training with her in 2009. By December 2009, I was officially a certified yoga teacher.

A beginner training wasn’t enough for me, though, so I went on to pursue an advanced certification in therapeutic applications of yoga. From there I moved to Vancouver, bounced around in that cog for eight months, then got in an accident moving for a guy whose mother didn’t like me because I didn’t have a fancy career earning a lucrative income. It was like being kicked when I was already down.

Suffice it to say, that relationship fell to pieces, and less than a year later the alleged gold digger found herself on welfare. I no longer had the physical capacity to work full-time—or to work as much as I needed to when work was available. I even had to give up my freelance arts columns because my nervous system couldn’t handle being on deadline.

Upon entering the social welfare system, the first social or “case” worker I met with told me that writing and teaching yoga weren’t real jobs. She then went on to insist that since I clearly had slow-processing skills, I must have a brain injury from the 180-kilometer combined-impact accident. This blonde, pregnant case worker clearly didn’t understand the wrath of Indigo Angel Jill’s fury, though after having some time to think on a couch outside the horrifying mother-to-be’s office, I figured that she was right and the employment program for people with brain injuries would be more appropriate than going back to work full-time.

“I got these slow-processing skills,” I said to the blonde, my negatively focused ego wants to say, bitch. “You were right. I think the brain injury program would be more suitable.”

The blonde horror show was nauseatingly pleased with herself.

Meanwhile the insurance industry wouldn’t cough up a cent, and on the one hand told me that I didn’t make enough money before the accident to qualify for coverage, while on the other, I was making too much money on welfare and teaching one class per week to qualify for coverage—that I paid for. My lawyer told me that I would have to stop working, yet later on I was told by another lawyer that it’s illegal not to ensure every effort is made to work after an accident—regardless of injuries and bodily conditions.

The system told me that I was worthless. There were no boxes for me.

Fortunately I had a roof over my head, but chronic malnutrition along with neglected injuries nearly killed me on two different occasions. I reached out to local studios and asked if they would donate proceeds from karma classes to my online fundraising campaign, and was met with silence. I even volunteered to teach the classes! Afterwards, I watched friends in my community—who ignored my efforts to raise money for myself—share the campaigns of friends in their communities who had cancer. Later I realized that it wouldn’t have mattered if I had been raising money to remit cancer. It wasn’t the fucking cancer; it was me. My own community treated me like I was crying wolf.

Don’t get cancer, Donkey, I whispered in tears on my deathbed, nobody would fucking care.

Though I bet none of those people have heard the music of the spheres.

Can you imagine if I had been charging money for all those years of free counselling I had been offering, to my friends? I would have never run out of money to take care of myself. Yet because I basically had no one to turn to, I was forced into self-reliance. I had no choice but to call on Jesus and the angels for help. Oh yeah, I remembered, Archangel Michael—the great protector angel. Capricorn could abandon people who didn’t respect her boundaries, but I didn’t have to abandon a relationship with Archangel Michael. Because I couldn’t pay my way out of my predicament, I had to pray my out.

Eventually you learn to navigate your way around the system within the system. And, of course, I did get by with the help of a few good friends. Remember how Yogi Bhajan said that there’s a way through every block? Judgment strikes back with the gale force of a boomerang, a lesson (as a Capricorn ruled by Saturn), I’ve learned time and again. For this Indigo, judgment is largely a defence mechanism, yet without all that suffering I might not be so humbled with compassion and understanding.

Like anyone, I have my moments of short-sightedness, but fortunately I can’t call Auschwitz my middle name.

And that’s what we’re dealing with. It is by no means a reflection of me that people choose to act like assholes. It is, however, a reflection of me that I rendezvous with them.

Meanwhile, it must have been Venus in Aquarius who invented silver linings.

Catching 22s in the Mirror

“Nothing can permeate the ego’s defense system, and your escape is merely to step away and remember love.” – Doreen Virtue (Messages from Your Angels)

I once knew a man named Joe, the soup guy. Now Joe claimed that he didn’t have an ego.

“It just dissolved,” Joe told me one day.

“That’s impossible,” I said to Joe. “Everyone has an ego. It’s not so much that having one is a problem—that’s inescapable; it’s how you choose to focus it.”

Remember we talked last time about how ego is the focusing mechanism. Let’s annoy the atheists for a moment and backtrack to the story of creation: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve didn’t notice that they were naked until they were tempted by a serpent to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and Eve, of course, bit into that fat, lusty apple first.

Because I live in Chicktoria, where women compete for and chase men, the notion that Eve fell first isn’t unbelievable. Seriously, where I live a woman could see you out on the town with a man, move in on him afterwards, sleep with him before you do, then suffocate herself in a jealous tirade because he’s still hanging out with you. Then, because she embodies the definition of spiritual bypassing (without even knowing it), she acts like you’re the one who’s giving off bad vibes because you’re not giving in to her unsolicited line of questioning. No, Scorpio darling, everything is not your business. You know the Church of Truth isn’t working when you’re clueless to your own bad behaviour. Good thing everything I need to know is revealed to me.

When we’re talking about The Book of Genesis, there’s Sarah, there’s Rebecca, then there’s Rachel—all, of course, descendants of slutty, conspicuous Eve. Moving on to the real holes in the story.

According to the Kabbalah, Archangel Metatron (said to formerly be the prophet Enoch) is the first angel on the Tree of Life. I’m not sure how this works, but Metatron is also apparently the archangel who wrote out all the Akashic Records of the universe, extending back to the beginning of time and into the far reaches of eternity. Akasha comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “skies” or “ethers,” thus these records of existence are written into the imaginary (to us) ethers. Each of us has a record, and although we are always creating our reality in the now moments, we can rewrite historical records (even from past or concurrent lives), and we can reprogram future records. I think what the latter means is we can make different choices—meaning, we’re not condemned to our past, or present, circumstances. We can choose to think different thoughts.

That said, I think we can get over Adam and Eve now. But wait. We’re not done. Let’s talk about this Tree of Knowledge.

Assuming the Tree of Knowledge represents the Akashic Records, the only rule of paradise was that Adam and Eve were not allowed to access these records. Let’s call that rule what it is: bullshit. Everyone has access to the Akashic Records. Everyone has access to divine wisdom, intelligence and memory.

At best this parable represents awakening the experience of separation, but then that means ego didn’t exist until Adam and Eve ate a fucking apple. And this all happened 6,000 years ago? Well, the jury’s out on that one. We now know that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, thanks to Clair Patterson. We can’t hate the oil industry for funding that discovery, yet who’s The Man who’s perpetuating the War on Truth?

When we feel “bad,” no matter what we feel bad about, it’s because our physical vessels haven’t caught up with the expansion of our imaginary selves. Abraham calls this process of catching up with our expansion “closing the gap.” Ego, as you’ll recall, is the focusing mechanism. So often these spiritual bypassers will hate someone for being different from them, or for being out of the Vortex.

What follows is an excerpt from Jerry and Esther Hicks’ book on the Teachings of Abraham, The Vortex – Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships:

“In order to help you get a sense of that process of expansion, we [Abraham] have called it your Vibrational Escrow or your Vibrational Reality. It is the furthermost, expanded version of you. … When the Law of Attraction, the universal manager of all Vibrations, responds to the clarity of Vibration offered by your newly expanded Inner Being, the result is a powerful swirling Vortex of attraction. … The Vortex is literally drawing in all things necessary for the completion of every request it contains. All cooperative components are being summoned and are coming for the completion of these creations, for the answering of these questions, for the solutions to these problems.”

Abraham goes on to say, “It is important to understand that you get what you think about, whether you want it or not.”

Contrast, it seems, pervades our reality as unrelentingly as the air we breathe. Falling out of the Vortex—that is, being negatively focused (for the purposes of this discussion)—is one of those inescapable realities of living on planet Earth. What matters isn’t so much that you fall out of the Vortex; it’s how you deal with that bad mood, or that low moment, or that rough day—and get back into the Vortex, thus closing the gap—that counts.

Yet, the spiritual bypassers hate on, and don’t even realize that you can’t hate on anyone inside the Vortex. In my experience, yoga and “spiritual” people run the roost. Superimpose the darkest yin and yang qualities of each of the twelve zodiac signs, and there you’ll find the workings of people who turn. One word: conditional. People who turn are not unconditionally loving, supportive, compassionate and understanding; they are conditional. They need you to change, or drop everything and tend to them, to feel better about falling out of the Vortex themselves. Falling out of the Vortex for extended periods of time, by the way, creates resistance which in turn creates dis-ease, illness and injury—mental imbalances that lead to bodily conditions. And for whatever reason, people who keep up with appearances adore people who turn. They’re almost one in the same, and it’s not common for either to stand up for an Indigo who holds the power to recreate and transform that dysfunctional bond.

Because getting back to where we left off last time, being who you are brushes so closely with being unprofessional. Don’t make friends with your clients (check). Coddle egos (I don’t think so; that’s codependence). Be less of who you are to make others comfortable (go f… I mean, bless yourself). You can’t teach any of those styles at our studio because your teaching style is too much like the owner’s, and the owner doesn’t need any competition (yet, there’s no competition inside the Vortex). You’re not a good yoga teacher unless you give physical adjustments or play music in your classes. You’re a liability if you don’t carry insurance (translation: studio premiums are greatly reduced when studios are too cheap to cover their teachers, yet we’re all being encouraged to physically batter our students and pay more attention to playlists than safety; lest we forget that the insurance industry isn’t yogic). I was once even treated like a criminal by a rec center because I was making $500/month and couldn’t afford a criminal record check. Instead of the rec center paying for the $45 document they required from the commissionaire’s office, the supervisor filed a noncompliance report on me.

Who is it a reflection of that I could go on?