Healing is Revealing Your True Self

“It’s my job to lead me into the Vortex.” – Abraham

My one and only book dropping off a shelf experience happened in 2007.

A month or two earlier, I was living in Victoria preparing for my one and only co-op as a newspaper reporter. I had reached a peak weight of 160 pounds and desperately wanted to start a regular yoga routine. Before heading up island for the co-op, I discovered that the studio I had been practicing irregularly at (maybe a dozen or less classes in two years) offered a yoga teacher training certification program. One of the mandatory books in the course syllabus was Stephen Cope’s Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. Interesting. The kitchen light just blinked as I typed that.

Like the good mercurial Capricorn that I am, I mentally made note of the book, then stashed it away in my subconscious mind.

Within a month of starting the co-op, I found myself in Nanaimo at a Chapters on a Saturday afternoon off from reporting—though apparently I was to be on call 24/7. Like the good Capriquarius that I am, I ignored that rule.

I must have been browsing through the yoga section when Yoga and the Quest for the True Self mysteriously yet gently flew off a shelf and onto the floor beside me. It’s undeniable when it happens. Since angels don’t have egos, it must be so common because it works. Anything to get our attention.

So I read the book and started Bikram yoga. I went from practicing the life-affirming addiction a few times per week, to four days per week, to practicing every day for 60 days. After the 60-day challenge, I dropped back down to about five classes per week until the fall when I shifted into a therapeutic yoga teacher training. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if selling my 2008 Corolla and attending Bikram yoga teacher training would have kept me out of trouble. I would have caught the tail-end of its heyday, struggled less financially, and perhaps I may not have gotten into an accident moving for a man’s whose mother didn’t like me. So, what do I do—rewrite the Akashic record and attend a live Bikram yoga teacher training? Or, rewrite the record and not move to the Kootenays?

It’s interesting. The morning I loaded my car and left Vancouver, I drove away from where I had been living with a slashed tire. In the hours before dawn, somebody—I don’t know who—slashed the left rear tire of my car. Then, driving from Calgary to Vancouver to pick up another load of my stuff a couple weeks later, a reckless driver flew around a curve five kilometers west of the Roger’s Pass summit, angled at my car, and blasted into me. Still, I lived and was more convicted than ever to be with that man.

In her book, Assertiveness for Earth Angels, Doreen Virtue talks about ignoring red flags and warning signs from our angels. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Or, every time I tried, I couldn’t reconcile it. He left me for dead, but I didn’t die.

In the weeks following the accident, a friend of mine reassured me that the universe wouldn’t have kept me alive for Saturn to continue raping me in the ass. For the next four years, it didn’t feel like she was right, but I returned to her words again and again and found some semblance of comfort in them. How many times I had cried out about Saturn raping me in the ass in the years leading up to the accident… it’s not a wonder I almost died.

We could psychoanalyze my upbringing, but then that could alienate family members who are still alive. For brevity and respect, let’s say I’ve been like the wolf: highly misunderstood (which is not uncommon for an Indigo). My mother found me at age 5 having what doctors went on to diagnose as an asthma attack on the end of my bed. Not only was I told that I had a disease, but I was also told to believe it—yet I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t feel real or make sense to me. “I have a disease,” I said to myself repeatedly in disbelief, unknowingly programming my subconscious mind.

I didn’t understand what had happened to me at age 5 until January 2013, when I found myself having a panic attack after interacting with one too many assholes. Less than a year after the accident—my heart, my body and my life broken—and people having the balls to have no integrity with me. It felt like I was in a fight with everyone and everything, one after the other. I didn’t know how to stop it. Fighting fanned the flames.

Finally, over two years later, the fire got a choke hold on me and nearly snuffed me out—twice. Mainstream medicine, of course, has no answers for me, yet I stopped taking OTC pain killers within three months of the accident, and I haven’t taken an OTC antihistamine in nearly four years. I woke up one morning in the spring of 2013 and decided that I wouldn’t be allergic to tree sperm anymore.

“Welcome to my humble home, sperm,” I said with open arms, as spores poured in through open windows.

To this day I’ve experienced sinus conditions, which I would rather not name, and have not suffered one time from seasonal allergies. If only I could do that for cats and a “loose” ALAR ligament, though apparently cats are not the indoor creatures that we make them out to be.

Yoga teaches us about the intelligence of our bodies, whereas doctors typically do not. Thousands of years after India introduced yoga to the planet, science is finally catching up with it. Who introduced yoga to India? That’s what I’d like to know, but we’ll save that far out conversation for another day.

Today we’re talking about the True Self.

Dr. Christiane Northrup said, “Your soul loves you so much, it will use your body to get your attention.” But even cancer hitting close to home can take North America’s “greatest” yogis out. What constitutes “great,” I’ve discovered, is winning popularity contests, which, in all fairness, falls in the category of creating our own realities.

My day job—my primary source of income—involves exercising people, and I love that. I exercise people for a living. Pinch me. I did it, and it works. How cool is that?

Cooler than being left for dead, but being dropped on my ass and blatantly ignored forced me into self-reliance. Let’s take a moment to celebrate the silver lining.

It’s how I know that the people I turn down and away—because I can no longer physiologically take on their crap—are capable of it. It’s how I know that you can heal in isolation, maybe not as quickly, but I wake up every day. It’s why I’m not interested in carrying on codependent relationships with energy vampires. No matter what you do for them, it’s never enough, and, as a result of you enabling their reliance on you, they never learn how to rely on themselves. It’s how I know that giving with strings is business, not generosity. It’s how I know that you can call on your angels for help, too. It’s why I’m a recovering rescue addict.

And, it’s how I know that it’s my job to get me into the Vortex.

Recovering from Hell

“Forgiveness is distracting yourself.” – Abraham

I rarely make plans with people anymore. Isolation, according to Doreen Virtue in her book Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle, is my darkest yin quality. You could say it’s what happens when you have X-ray vision that can see through everything, or you could call it a symptom of post-traumatic stress. Both explanations are plausible. My work—that is, teaching yoga—gets all of my energy and attention, and the rest of it goes to me. Or, it’s my preference that my spare time and attention go to me. Because when you’re recovering from hell, you can’t be there for people the way that you used to be, and you certainly can’t be there for people the way that they want you to be.

My brightest yin quality? Understanding. If you have a permanent injury that affects your ability to work full-time, then that same bodily condition likely affects your social life. This isn’t something even the most well-meaning of people readily understand. And if the people in my life are willing to drain all of my reserves and then not help when I need a lift up in the world—or lock me into some form of codependent arrangement that isn’t sustainable given the condition of my body—then I’m left to assert boundaries. I cannot continue explaining myself. Explaining myself drains energy and requires me to argue for limitations that I’d rather not perpetuate.

Years ago, I was told by a studio in Victoria that I couldn’t teach certain classes because my teaching style was too similar to one of the owners, and this owner didn’t need competition from me. Then, before I moved to Vancouver in 2011, that same owner sat me down at Bubby Rose’s Bakery & Café and told me to my face that my life would get a lot worse before it got better. Interestingly, though (and running parallel), not only did the owner of another studio hand over her Flow Level 2 class to me, but she also asked me to teach the last class at her studio before it closed.

How can I line up with cooperative components when I’m focused on uncooperative components? I wish I would have listened to my counsellor Ash, who, a year earlier in 2010 told me a story about being in a group with twenty other people. Nineteen of the twenty liked him, but he couldn’t get past the one person in the group who didn’t.

According to Mario Martinez in his book The Mind-Body Code, the tribe mentality keeps us stuck. The tribe will protect and accept you as long as you operate within the bounds and beliefs of the tribe, but the minute you step out of this set of ideas, you’ll be punished in three ways:

  1. Betrayal
  2. Abandonment
  3. Shame

Guilt says you made a mistake (and attracts punishment…), whereas shame says you are a mistake. Dr. Christiane Northrup, women’s health pioneer and author of the book Goddesses Never Age, said that you must strengthen the divine part of yourself so that it is stronger than the human part that is stopped dead in its tracks by shame, betrayal and abandonment.

Yet Louise Hay said, “A victim is always in a powerless position, and blaming others keeps us powerless—keeps us stuck.”

What I like about me is that I don’t pretend to be forgiving when I’m not. Although, to my detriment, I can hold a grudge. I’ve learned that when I get too busy—mainly when I’m saddled with unsolicited demands on my time—I get angry and negative, and the consequent drop in vibration challenges my health. I’ve learned that I cannot rely on others to honour my body or respect my health. In fact, if it were up to some people, I would be dead, and they don’t even realize it.

So, enough of these depressing posts. Easy people exist. I like teaching yoga because I’m less inclined to swear, judge, or deviate from my heart. Otherwise I do have an intensely active mind—a shamelessly strong ego. I’m doing what renowned Canadian poet Lorna Crozier said, and putting my sensitivity to good use. Atlantis is my latest obsession. I believe in fairies, mermaids, unicorns, dragons, and ghosts. The sun, moon and stars mesmerize me. Give me a warm, sandy beach and I could lay there forever listening to the waves kiss the shore.

“Yoga,” in the wise words of Eric Paskel, “is not about tightening your ass. It’s about getting your head out of it.”