Moon Dog with the Roses in His Eyes

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain

Thirteen days into 2017, a white person attacked me (during a conversation he started) for talking about the quantum field. That’s where my love life is, I insisted. He didn’t get it.

The conversation started out with him whining about his job. Then suddenly I was being attacked for being a capitalist and a racist. I admittedly had no idea that the whole “you create your own reality” shtick mimicked capitalism.

What Whitey didn’t know, however, was that in November 2014 I attempted to teach an Indigenous man on the street—Moon Dog—about quantum principles. I told him to start imagining his way out of his hardship, like I was attempting to do.

“No,” Moon Dog said to me firmly, “you don’t understand.”

He was right. I didn’t understand, but Moon Dog still smoked his joint with me anyways.

The white person who attacked me had also never spent a Christmas alone, and as such it never occurred to him to forego family dinner to feed Indigenous people on the street. On the evening of December 25, 2016, I modestly fed Moon Dog, Yvonne and an unnamed white guy. The streets in Victoria that evening were cold and relatively barren.

“It’s getting harder and harder for people to find me,” Moon Dog said as we hugged.

“I walked downtown hoping to find you,” I said to Moon Dog.

We weren’t standing together for long before an Indigenous woman named Yvonne joined the party. Yvonne didn’t consume substances, but she was crushed that her kid wanted nothing to do with her on Christmas. She had spent all her money on everybody else, and had nothing left for herself. Nobody gave her anything, she said.

“Do you want some Brussel sprouts?” I asked Yvonne, reaching into a plastic bag for a care package. I had enough Brussel sprouts to make up six small packages. Each care package consisted of Brussel sprouts, strawberries, chocolates, and a joint. Yvonne was stunned.

“What can I give you in return?” She asked, reaching into her pocket as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Nothing!” I exclaimed.

“You mean this is free love?” she asked.

“Free love!” I declared.

Yvonne was floored that I wanted nothing in return for the meager serving of Brussel sprouts. We hugged at least six times.

Before Moon Dog and I walked up to Centennial Square to smoke a joint together, we stopped in front of Shoppers where the lone white guy sat. I gave the guy a care package, while Moon Dog dropped the change he had collected into the white guy’s hat. We all wished one another a Merry Christmas, then Moon Dog and I carried on.

I can’t help but consider story time with Moon Dog, who’s in his fifties, a privilege as well as a good opportunity to practice my listening skills. Did you know that “listen” and “silent” share the same letters?

After Moon Dog and I sat down on a bench in Centennial Square, he gave me shit for my posture.

“I told you to start sleeping on better pillows,” he reprimanded.

Moon Dog is a healer. When we first met in 2014, Moon Dog stopped me on the street and asked me if I would smoke weed with him in a nearby park. I obliged. I bought him rolling papers and a lighter, and we walked to the park where he proceeded to give me a postural assessment. I don’t recall telling Moon Dog that I had been in a rather traumatic car accident, and he didn’t tell me that he was “uneducated” or illiterate, yet he instinctively placed my body back into alignment. He told me to get a better bed. I was fresh off the boat onto disability, but I didn’t tell Moon Dog that either.

Moon Dog, a bona fide body worker, understandably refuses to work at McDonald’s. I remember at my first and only income assistance group intake meeting, a guy younger than most of us telling us that he wasn’t the Ministry and wouldn’t tell any of us to work at McDonald’s like our case workers did. Moon Dog hasn’t spoken to me about residential school or the sixties scoop, but he did tell me the last time I sat down with him that he was getting his mind straight and that he’s not ready to go yet.

“I’ll just have to live with this pain,” he said.

Moon Dog’s life has been rifled with injury. Apparently he and a friend are banned from Yates Street in downtown Victoria. He said they walked into one of the theatres downtown without paying for the movie. They were minding their business when the police were eventually called because they refused to leave. A couple behind Moon Dog and his friend offered up a free pair of tickets, he said, so that the gentlemen could stay and enjoy the movie. The “owner,” however, wanted them gone. Moon Dog said that the police didn’t say anything to him and his companion about the beer they were drinking. They got to keep their beer, but they couldn’t stay to watch a movie that the couple behind them offered to pay for. Moon Dog said that the “owner” of the theatre also owns Yates Street, and banned them from both. Apparently police are upholding the ban.

“Yates Street will miss me,” Moon Dog said.

I don’t know; I’m inclined to believe Moon Dog. Regardless, I figure if you’re rich enough to own an entire city block worth of buildings—including a movie theatre—then you’re probably rich enough to let Indigenous people watch movies at your theatre for free.

The Writer Just Wants to be Honest

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I had no desire to fall in love with a married man, but there I was: enraptured by a perfect stranger. I hadn’t slept in 48 hours. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t breathe through my nose. Dr. Google pointed towards nasal polyps or collapsed sinus valves, both of which apparently required surgery that in most cases didn’t work. I figured treating myself to breakfast sausage on a new moon in Taurus would magically heal my sinuses, while I half expected the universe to make up for the hell I’d been through by hooking me up with my man.

On my walk down to Victoria’s inner harbor, I remember watching a man hand, what appeared to be a young homeless woman, twenty bucks and thinking, I wish someone would hand me twenty bucks. Then I remembered that I could afford to buy breakfast.

Down at the harbor I learned that the Flying Otter Grill (where I intended to eat) stopped serving breakfast a few months earlier. I wanted breakfast, not lunch, so I continued on to watch the harbor ferry ballet while I renegotiated plans with the universe.

When sinus valves collapse, you can’t sit or lay down without your sinuses seemingly closing up on you. Nasal polyps are similar. The solar plexus shifts into overdrive, while the frontal cortex takes a beating so severe that you’d have to be living a short distance from your body not to know that you aren’t getting enough oxygen to your brain. Breathing through the mouth activates the stress response (fight, flight or freeze), which causes stress hormones to surge through the body—shunting blood from the organs to the limbs, and suppressing the immune system. Human bodies were not designed to handle chronic, 24/7 stress. Adrenaline pumping nonstop through the system wreaks havoc on the kidneys and adrenal glands. Sinus problems indicate a lack of peace and harmony in one’s life, according to Louise Hay in her little blue gem of a book Heal Your Body. For whatever reason, I can’t breathe through my mouth and sleep at the same time. I wake up immediately and feel like everything’s wrong in the world, like I could die prematurely—the exact feeling that would affect a person’s sinuses in the first place.

Fifteen minutes passed by and I couldn’t muster the attention span, or interest, to watch sea taxis play ballerina in the water. I couldn’t get past their warm-up. Off to my left I noticed the Hotel Grand Pacific, where I remembered once (or possibly twice) eating a bountiful breakfast buffet with my dad. The Pacific Restaurant stops serving breakfast at 11:30 a.m. daily, which gave me thirty minutes to get there, be seated and load up on food.

In the restaurant, I found myself seated alone at a four-person table facing the windows. I was told to serve myself at my leisure. Up at the buffet table I irritated a tall, unfriendly, married man to my left because I was struggling to scoop up long slices of cantaloupe and honey dew melons with spoons. I couldn’t find a fork in sight. Shortly after sitting down to feast, a good looking older couple (in I’m thinking their sixties) were seated across from me at the windows with three young girls, two of whom were walking. The, I assumed, grandmother was in agony and not making any attempts to hide it. She openly moped between their designated table and the buffet with the toddler faceted to her hip, making whining noises out her whiney looking face, while the man did what he could to attend to the two older girls.

“When are they getting here?” I heard the grandmother whine towards the man several times. He didn’t know. He looked detached, amused and exhausted. I caught the sense that he wasn’t the girls’ paternal grandfather.

The three little blonde girls were adorable but clearly busy. I imagined the parents pulling up in a Subaru Outback, and when they did finally arrive, neither were smiling. I remember the blonde mother wearing hot, black boots, her hair tied back in a braid, and her eyes lined with black makeup. Her face was strikingly pretty. Unhappy looking and on the verge of tears, nonetheless, she slumped down in a chair beside her unhappy (I’m now assuming) mother, both blonde, neither speaking to anyone but each other. The little girls, especially the older two, were elated to see their dad. There weren’t enough chairs at their table to seat the dad, so their waiter asked me if they could borrow a chair from mine.

“Those chairs are for my invisible friends,” I said (with a straight Capricorn face) to the waiter who laughed and hesitated before snagging the chair.

Not wanting to miss a moment of what my subconscious heart had decided was my dream man, I watched in awe as this superstar dad ensured all members of his family were comfortable and feeding. He even held down the fort for his wife like a perfect gentleman while she filled a plate for herself, before visiting the buffet a final time to fill up a plate for himself. I looked down at my plate and noticed that it was nearing empty.

“I figure I might as well eat more bacon and breakfast sausage since I’m paying $25 for it,” I said to the dad, who true to form, stood back while I dished up first.

“Take your time,” he responded, flashing a bright, warm smile that melted my knees. We shared a genuine laugh together. I understand the frontal lobes are involved with judgment, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior, but up close and personal I didn’t want to rape this dad; I wanted to merge souls with him and fill him with all the appreciation I could.

Back at our respective tables I continued watching the reality show before me, unable to understand why the wife wasn’t being nicer to my husband, or why for that matter, my husband was married. I wanted to stand up on my table and yell at his wife to be nicer to him. Meanwhile I was also carrying on a winded conversation with my Virgo waitress about how I hadn’t slept in 48 hours, and that this had been going on for over a month.

“That sounds like a slow form of torture,” the waitress said consolingly. I can’t remember her name, but she had her own story of sleepless nights from a car accident and chronic, debilitating pain.

I finished up my breakfast and left the Hotel Grand Pacific feeling delusional and defeated. I didn’t explicitly say “married man” to the universe, but apparently “taken” was active in my vibration. I would totally marry that guy, I contended. If he gets himself unmarried, I said to the universe, you send him to me.

Why did my dream man have to be married? Was the universe playing a cruel joke on me? To make matters worse, the breakfast sausage didn’t heal my sinuses. So, I walked the shame back to my apartment and smoked weed with a neighbor who thought I might want to have sex with him because we share a birthday.

Throwback Thursday – A Tribute to Louise Hay

“Life loves me.” – Louise Hay

Because of Louise Hay, Hay House exists, and because of the Hay House publishing contest, this blog exists.

A couple years ago, my older brother suggested that I transition my writing onto a blog, but I didn’t have the money at the time. He mentioned something about monetizing the site, which I attempted to do recently, but those ads looked so terrible that I couldn’t do that to my readers or myself. Even on welfare, though it may not have appeared as such, I did have standards.

Sustainability has been the latest theme song of my life, and with that in mind, I intended to post bi-weekly in coordination with the moon cycles when I first started this blog back in February. I’ve already deleted the first blog post, because it sucked, which is the thing about deadlines: without them, we might never release crap; with deadlines, however, we at least release something.

Failing the bi-weekly schedule, I’d like to post a minimum of twice per month. I found out on August 11 that I would be moving by August 27, so that is where my efforts have been. Capricorn can’t fail herself, though, so below is an article I published in the Winter 2011 issue of Homes & Living Magazine—right, of course, in the nick of time.

I love mirrors, and I never thought to call it “mirror work,” but several years ago I started smoking weed and having loving, appreciative conversations with myself in the mirror. Somebody needed to tell that babe with the quasi-mullet and emaciated face that she was beautiful. Then I find out last year sometime that the queen of affirmations herself had adeptly coined the activity “mirror work”? Of course!

Since you’d been stashing mirrors in your bras for as long as I’ve been alive, this one is for you Louise.

P.s. I am surrounded by mirrors.

H&L’s Galleria: Mid Century Art & Décor is clean and shiny (H&L magazine, Winter 2011)

Victoria may have been slow on the uptake with Emily Carr, but we’re on the fringe of mid-century modern furniture, accessories and artwork, which is making a huge comeback on Vancouver Island. I’m particularly elated by the resurgence of mirror and crystal glass creations

I think what I like most about living spaces decorated mostly with crystal and mirrored glass is not a lot of homeowners do it anymore, which makes it somewhat elusive to collect. [2017 Addendum: I will talk another day about my aversion to mass appeal. It’s something I’m working on.] Too much of anything can be obnoxious, sure, but when chosen and displayed with minimalist intention in mind, glass can be tasteful and elegant. Let glass be the anchor for furniture and minimal décor in the room. Enhance the experience with appropriate and inviting shades of colour. Glass décor options are clean, shiny and perfectly modern.

Mirrors and decorative glass notwithstanding, post-war architecture makes sense on the West Coast landscape, as does the mid-century art and design found blossoming in West Coast homes. Perhaps the comeback is not the art form but Vancouver Island getting back to its roots. [2017 Addendum: Canada’s roots are Indigenous. Decorate your homes mid-century modern, sure, but include Indigenous art. Also give credit to the unceded territories on which you live and conduct business.]

The early modern décor mantra, “form follows function,” applies, yes, but Vancouver Islanders have been hit with Big Shiny Ball syndrome; [2017 Addendum: Okay, me.] art reflects not only the honesty of the work but also a legitimate part of function: delight. Clean spaces in the home make room for rare finds that delight your heart and express your flair.

The modern art movement in Canada alone is appealing for so many reasons, and then you open your home up to Italy and the rest of the world, and a true human being of the earth would not grow bored of honest and classy décor options. Danish teak furniture and accessories designed and produced mid-century, for instance, are becoming functional art for the home, and contemporary pieces make this practical Scandinavian art form affordable for most homeowners. Vintage furniture, lighting, ceramics and glass can be found in showrooms, as well as reproductions of classic mid-century designs. Jazz up a Hans J. Wegner sofa table with a Florence Knoll sofa. Make your home a classy yet minimalist melting pot.

Also hot in the market is furniture designed by Charles and Ray Eames, late American design duo well known for the Eames Lounge and Ottoman, which has been in production continuously since its creation by the Herman Miller furniture company in 1956. The original /vintage chairs used Brazilian rosewood veneers (which have been on a worldwide embargo since 1992) and were constructed of five layers of plywood and leather. The chair is an icon of modern style and design and was called “the chair of the century” by influential architectural critic Esther McCoy.

The Eames Lounge and Ottoman have appeared on both House and Frasier and tout an impressive acting career in television. The chair is stylish and comfortable, and satisfies the refined retail therapist’s need for conspicuous consumption. Although, I guess that depends on your idea of chump change. If I had $9,000 to spare, I’d like to think I’d pare down some debt; instead, I’d probably buy art to dress my body when I get back from reviving my suntan in the tropics. Perhaps I should start saving for a Coach to go with my Eames.

If you’re up for taking risks, Italy will blow your mind with its unconventional and cutting edge art décor and design. Italian design is vanilla. [2017 Addendum: This line may have fallen flat, but I meant it’s like vanilla as in an aphrodisiac. I borrowed the line from a Starsky and Cox astrology book (Cosmic Coupling). The authors were discussing the sex life of a Scorpio and Capricorn.] The smell of the Pininfarina chairs adorning an expandable glass table will enrapture your guests more than the food you serve. Don’t forget the mirrors.

In the spirit of supporting Canadian artists and designers, you can always opt for ceramics and art and copper enamels from Quebec, or other rare Canadian finds, including radios and stereos from the 60s and 70s, as well as salt and pepper shakers, to name a few. Modern or not, I wouldn’t scoff at a wooden chest, but that’s just me.

Much of what’s being collected is vintage, but retro pieces and reproductions are popular in furniture showrooms as well. The M3 Chair by Thomas Feichtnerby of Vienna, for example, boasts an open, wooden cantilever construction and makes creative and honest use of oak wood. The chair is said to be comfortable, too. And then, up close and local, Walter Dexter, one of the great fathers of design in Canada, lives in Oak Bay and is still producing pottery and ceramics. [2017 Addendum: Walter Dexter died on June 2, 2015.]

Jettison mid-century modern art and design into the future, and you’ve encountered post war meets shiny ball. Contemporary furniture design, accessories and artwork accompany sleek curves, honest use of materials and creative use of colour. Throw in a brick wall and a Mexican quartz donkey, and you may be the next style icon for your postal code. Oh, and don’t forget the decorative mirrors.

I Am Good, I Am!

“Don’t complain, don’t explain.” – Raymond Carver

The Moses Code.

The burning bush, or God, introduced himself to Moses as I Am That I Am. That’s about as much bible as I can handle, too.

Nonetheless, the comma between “That” and the second “I” is the Moses Code, as in I am [that], I am. Notice the emphasis on the second “I am.”

“I am” are the two most powerful words in the English language, because what comes after—or what those two words strung together affirm—creates the reality in which we breathe. I started becoming acutely aware of this concept several years ago while my life was in shambles. I, of course, knew about and practiced Sankalpa (intention) in life and yoga, but I didn’t understand the gravity of the Moses Code until recently.

I Am represents the God force and leverages the energy that creates worlds. Remember we live in a universe governed predominantly by the Law of Attraction. This universal law states that like attracts like. Look into your own life to answer your questions. What type of experiences do you attract when you are in a foul mood? What type of experiences do you attract when you’re feeling peppy? Be a scientist. Put your questions to work.

Now… throw in a lunar eclipse in Aquarius for good measure, and watch life cascade into boxes of chocolates. Nobody, not even astrologers, can tell you what you’re gonna get. Who else has spent way too much time focusing on their missteps?

Let’s, for a moment, focus on everything I’ve done right lately. Every day, I wake up, which means there’s no need to feel suicidal because the universe is gracing me with yet another day. After I wake up, I usually smudge with sage or palo santo; I burn lavender incense and chant to Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance (pronounced “lock-sh-me”); I meditate, and I also practice yoga nearly every day. I’ve even been eating half a melon for breakfasts lately, which (according to medical medium Anthony William in his book Life-Changing Foods), constitutes both an intravenous vitamin therapy as well as an anti-aging serum for the body. William, with an impressive body of work to back him, claims that he channels his information from spirit (he’s clairaudient, so he can hear messages), and everything I’ve tried out in said book has worked. As an aside, channeling a book clairaudiently—that is, by dictation—would be awesome. If that were the case, I’d probably have a few written by now.

Let’s see… What else? I show up to work every day I’m scheduled to teach yoga classes. I’m writing on this blog bi-monthly. The last time I saw my older brother (who can push my buttons), he told me that I’m freaking out less. Here I thought he was laying off, while I just wasn’t reacting.

I drove a car in Vancouver for the first time since the accident and started losing patience only while driving through the West End on Pride Sunday. My younger brother happened to be in the neighborhood, though, and rescued me on a skateboard. I hopped in the backseat and didn’t pay a sniff of attention to the streets as he drove me to my older brother’s penthouse.

I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in thirteen years, and I finally met another friend’s fiancé.

I’ve only put one penis between me and my ex, whom I loved with all my heart, and that relationship ended nearly five years ago. Relevance? You could call me a sage, maybe, but definitely not a slut.

I doubled my income in a year. I’m being smart with money.

I could go on, but creating your own reality is personal. P.s. I don’t have a problem with promiscuity.

I could also yammer on in the vein of Namaste, but you know what I could benefit more from in my world? Manergy. That’s right. Man energy. You know what I like about men? They rarely apologize. They like Leos that way. No condemnation, no apologies necessary. However, there are as many communication thresholds as there are humans on this planet. We’re not navigating a political system down here; we’re navigating volatile communication threshold barriers.

If you’re afraid to mess up, you will. And if you’re focused on opportunities, you will rendezvous with opportunities—opportunities to mess up, if your wires are crossed. Canadian neuropsychologist Donald Hebb famously said, “Neurons that fire together wire together.” We’re talking neuroplasticity, that is, building new neural pathways in the brain.

I am.

What?

Take a moment with mindfulness. Breathe. Relax your back, your shoulders and your jaw. Smile. I saw it there for a moment; you’re… happy!

You might as well be good-feeling things since you get to choose. You could think of it as adjusting your attitude, the barometer being how you feel. Every time someone else thinks you messed up—whether you agree with them or not, whether there’s proof or not—think of what’s occurring in your reality in terms of results. What results would you like to achieve? Peace? Harmony? There’s officially no judgement here. We’re not weighing a recalibration upon anyone else’s thoughts (spell-casting aside). There’s nothing shameful about results.

You get to decide what you adjust to improve your results: your thoughts, your actions, your diet. You get to choose if and how you medicate. You get to choose who you relate with. You get to choose who you are; nobody else gets to choose who you are for you.

Most importantly, you get to choose your thoughts. Sometimes thoughts float by seemingly unannounced, yet welcome. Sometimes we conjure up thoughts. Other times thoughts plague us like viruses. Nonetheless, you get to choose to continue thinking a thought—or not. Those thoughts, and the feelings stirred by those thoughts, attract more ‘like’ thoughts until you create or manifest a like experience. Our feelings let us know what we are attracting. But, during a lunar eclipse, in Aquarius (for example), not practicing mindfulness could bite you in the ass.

Refocusing on results, however, reminds us that we are simply producing a result. The practice of mindfulness could be looked at as perpetual reorientation towards one’s intentions—a multitude of your “I am” beliefs, shifting like tectonic plates and shaping who you are. Who are you? You, along with your life experiences, are a compilation of your beliefs. Beliefs are thoughts you keep thinking. Beyond beliefs, you are pure conscious awareness.

Focusing on the wheel, though… If beliefs are thoughts you keep thinking, and beliefs shape your life, then you can change your thoughts to change your beliefs to reshape your life.

Altruism: Dead or Revived?

“Where are all the hero lawyers launching class action lawsuits?”

The one thing that dealing with ICBC, the insurance industry and the legal system taught me is that rulings are not up to fact, but rather personal opinion. It’s like that time the mom called the cops on a friend and I for sun tanning topless on the Gorge near a park. Although it is indeed legal to strut the streets tits out in BC, that legality is subject to public opinion. Did it matter that a stranger was photographing us naked?

To his credit, he asked us for our permission.

“See I was gonna photograph you ladies anyways,” the man said, “so I thought I would ask for your permission first. I can email you the photos when I’m done?”

To my credit, it was an excellent exercise for my self-esteem. I never gave the man my email, but my friend did, and she also forwarded an email from the man asking me if I’d like to do a private photo shoot in his home. I still remember the man’s name. I never responded to his email.

Still, a woman calling the cops on other topless women? Something tells me that woman hadn’t learned the art of minding her own business yet.

For me that lesson hit home near settlement. For some reason, I thought that it was my business to know what my passenger and the reckless driver who hit me received for their settlements. Then I realized the weight of letting their business off my shoulders.

“It’s none of my business!” I cried to my lawyer, who readily agreed.

Some people must think I’m so unreasonable because I can throw a fit on the one hand while exercising extreme indifference on the other, yet a little communication goes a long way. People who can’t communicate confound me.

I found myself talking up a stranger at the park near where I live recently—a female Aquarius—and I heard myself saying that I didn’t know how to reach people who couldn’t handle direct communication. Nonviolent communication isn’t a synthetic fragrance you wear to be more palatable. You don’t have to dress up your truth with someone else’s less abrasive personality and decorate it with smiley faces to get your point across. Instead, you speak your peace, however you’re feeling inspired to speak it, with dignity and grace (if you can). How the other party, or parties, handles your truth is none of your business. Likewise, how the universe whoops your ass for being tactless is none of theirs.

I used to work for a woman who had a problem with me saying the word “fuse,” and she also didn’t like it that I wore revealing—second hand—clothing. Eventually I told her that was her problem, and promptly she terminated me.

It reminds me of that song Lena Horne sang: “I’m flat,” she sang, “and that’s that.”

I also heard this woman utter the words, women who dress like sluts deserve to be raped.

I can’t help but wonder, how in blue perfect hell do people learn to think like that?

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

Man did Val Kilmer ever win my heart over in that movie. The gay private investigator who could talk my panties off in five seconds. I’ll never let that go. When is his birthday? Oh shit, son; he’s a Capricorn! That would explain the bulge.

You know what I’d like to do with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars? I’d create affordable housing. I dream of owning a high rise near downtown Vancouver, fully renovated or brand spanking new, where the one condition for eligibility is that the tenant does what he or she loves for a living. Also, the building would be 420-friendly, while smoking cigarettes strictly prohibited. I’d rent out bachelors for $450, 1-bedrooms for $650, 2-bedrooms for $850, and 3-bedrooms for $1,050. Since there would be no debt because I expensed the project on my over occurring millions, rent would cover: building-wide high speed internet service; free community laundry rooms, including machines and detergent; one full-time superintendent and one full-time building manager, along with (of course) sufficient relief staff; utilities, gardening and maintenance. If excess income did squeak through the cracks, it would be cool if I donated it.

Then there’s the food forest, the luxury condos (where I will live in Vantacular), and I’d love to buy an enormous piece of land somewhere beautiful, then give it back to the Indigenous people who rightfully own it. God, then I would fund them to do whatever they wanted to do with their land.

In my perfect world, however, we wouldn’t be raped by electricity, telecommunications and other utility companies. The rock star government wouldn’t allow it. Rent increases would die along with the people who upheld them. Burn. But you know? In Swami Satchidananda’s translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he mentioned how uncooperative cells spoil and eventually die. Some people would call this cancer.

Darwin wasn’t totally right, and his work was also misinterpreted. Evolution is based, not on competition, but on cooperation. Apparently cooperation is the theme song of Saturn in Scorpio. I was born with Saturn in Scorpio in the twelfth house, at a degree exactly trining my north node (destiny). Cooperation hasn’t always been easy for me, but I’ve learned that fighting with or against anyone or anything serves only to challenge my health. My cells can’t cooperate (or function optimally) if my vibration is out of sync.

Resistance.

That’s all yoga does is release resistance so that the cells can function optimally. Feeling good is your job.

The body is intelligent. Cells are intelligent. It’s cool when science can explain the body, the planet or the universe, but science can be abused and manipulated. Unfortunately inquiry stops there. People who dismiss nature and spirituality don’t realize that science separated the body from the mind during the renaissance, leaving the Church with the jurisdiction to remain in control of the mind. In truth, the body and mind aren’t separate, and our souls use our bodies to get our attention.

Thanks to Darwin and the Victorian era, the Church relinquished some control to science, but now we’re being controlled as a society by science in much the same way that we used to be controlled by the Church. And I think the Roman Catholic Church remains one of the wealthiest empires on the planet?

Personally I would like to see more discussion in the yoga, spiritual and health communities about the power of the mind—because that’s what yoga is, and a healthy body is indisputably contingent upon a healthy mind. But let’s toss the cookie cutter model. No two snowflakes are alike. We’ve been sloppy creators living in a world of everyone else’s mess. We didn’t always have the cosmic support we do now.

I’ve learned that openness depends upon two factors: education and interest, the latter consideration inextricably linked to purpose.

The key to cooperation?

Namaste: The light in me honours and salutes the light in you, while you are free to roam your path, not mine.

Throwing Bones

“Sifting through the sands of men.” – Abraham

“Excuse me, miss, but can I help you?”

The man must have walked for a couple of blocks before turning around and walking back towards me. By this point, I had walked on from the bench where I had first smiled at him.

“Uh, yeah,” I responded, then quickly added, “I mean, no. Did you just walk past me a bit ago, like did you turn around and walk back for me?”

“Yeah,” he said. “You looked so peaceful, and pretty. Then you smiled at me. You shouldn’t have done that.”

“What do you do?” He continued.

“Like for a living?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

“I’m a yoga teacher,” I said.

“When’s your birthday?” I not surprisingly asked. I figured at this point since we were getting so personal that it was a pertinent question.

Aquarius, the stranger answered.

“Yay!” I exclaimed. “I love Aquarius! Aquarius is my favourite sign.”

They never know what to say when you compliment them off guard, but I’m convinced that they like it all the same. We agreed to walk over to the park and sit on a different bench to continue talking. Aquarius had the same birthday as a former lover who happens to be my best audience yet. Because of that Aquarius, I want another one.

I didn’t mean to grill Aquarius, but it came out that he lives with his girlfriend. I could handle the two divorces and two children, I told him, but I couldn’t handle the girlfriend.

“I’m impressed,” he said as I picked myself up from our affair and walked off into the night. I think he may have even liked me more than my pink, crushed velvet sneakers. We agreed to be friendly in the event we ever run into each other again.

In 2011, 28-year-old Jill collected unsolicited dick pics—I had a library full of them in my Blackberry—while six years later, 34-year-old Jill is collecting business cards. I think we’re growing up. Now to meet an Aquarius who’s single, unmarried and prefers monogamy.

Recently I received a business card from a Leo who wanted to talk about feelings and sex, naturally of course, moments after meeting him. He asked me for coffee; I asked him for a business card, and told him that I might actually call him. Afterwards I felt skeptical because he talked about sex. Then in contemplation it occurred to me that it would be okay for an Aquarius to mention sex during a first encounter, but not for a Leo. Leos, as it stands, happen to be great in bed. Generous lovers to say the least, those lions like going down.

Movement, I tell my friends, is movement.

I can’t help but desire, however, a man closer to my age. A man in his thirties would be nice, the logician tells me, because then we could die together in each other’s arms. That way our donkeys wouldn’t have to spend a moment apart. I can think of only one man on my bucket list who’s fifteen years older than me. Okay. Fourteen-and-a-half, because sometimes a girl needs a half.

Cancer runs a close second. In fact, at one point I wouldn’t consider Aquarius because Aquarius doesn’t need anyone. Then a Cancer trampled all over my heart, and I figured as long as I’m good to my Aquarius (which I will be), he’ll be devoted to me for life.

Monogamy isn’t slavery in a healthy relationship, not that I’m against polyamory; I’m simply not into it.

I suspect many people turn poly in much the same way that many women turn to women after having their hearts broken by one too many a man: because (in theory) one person can’t hurt us when we’re dipping our parts into many (or, satisfaction eludes us and we won’t grow bored). Or, for whatever reason, we think that women aren’t bitches who can hurt us. I’ve only witnessed the first line of logic bypass one human being who happened to be a woman who co-related with multiple men. The only bona fide polyamorist I’ve ever met. A beautiful, blonde Aries, she claimed that she never experienced jealousy, yet all of her male partners did. Open relationships, from what I gather, are slightly different. And then there are extended relationships.

Sexual energy, when not properly harnessed and channeled, can be dirty and chaotic—and you absorb and distribute that low-vibrating energy from and to all active, concurrent partners when you’re mindlessly (or desperately!) sleeping around. Two words: No thanks. Been there, done that. Got the T-shirt.

Yet, a whisper of jealousy (in my opinion) never hurt anyone. Although, in my inexperienced black and white picture, jealousy only makes sense in monogamy. In yoga, we would call that whisper information. What is that information telling us? To fly off the handle? No. Remember we’re collecting business cards and growing up now. When I experience jealousy with respect to a man, that tells Capricorn (who may acknowledge her vagina but unlikely her feelings) that we may have a heart on for him. It happens occasionally, and that information is also enough to keep me from knocking boots with a man who wants me solely for sex.

So, because I’m not personally interested in polyamory, does that make polyamory or exploring polyamory wrong? No. I admittedly can’t speak experientially about it either. Monogamy and polyamory are preferences—sexuality is a freedom, a privilege and a preference. In a world of contrast, we are entitled to our preferences.

I attempted to commingle in an open relationship dynamic with aforementioned Aquarius, but I wasn’t his No. 1, and the experience taught me that I didn’t share lovers well. Does that mean I can’t leave a man to his devices? I wouldn’t be surprised if my ex in that respect is kicking himself.

This brings me to the reason that I’m not interested in Vipassanā—that is, organized silence—retreats. I spend enough time silent and alone in contemplation without paying money for it. I like my own company.

Why, then, do I want a man in my life? Because when I live with my love and do what I love for a living, I do have it all.

Redneck Yoga Teacher

“Be who you are. Be as you as you can be.” – Anita Moorjani

But, no. Don’t be like that.

We could end there. That would be enough.

Rednecks have a reputation for being assholes because they are assholes. I could fall in the category of ‘reformed redneck,’ but even then, rednecks don’t like reform.

Not all rednecks are racist, but it could be argued that all rednecks are mouthy. Okay. All the rednecks who aren’t mouthy, are sweet, dumb and would still fuck your husband. Or, if Sagittarius were involved, some combination of the two.

What I like about rednecks? I can be my mouthy, asshole self around rednecks and nobody blinks an eye. What happens when I start talking about angels, astrology and quantum fucking? I’m suddenly off my rocker and rednecks don’t know what happened to me. Smoke another one, Jill, they say. No. Seriously, smoke another one.

Okay. To be fair, literary rednecks can’t handle conversations about the quantum field (their scientific educations aren’t up to date); however, fundamentalist rednecks can talk about blowjobs, sex and pussies any old time. Reformed rednecks, too.

These aren’t words I typically utilize when teaching yoga classes.

Serious people, it dawned on me, are always working and that’s why they’re so impossibly serious. Seriously, holier than thou yogis and spiritualists, we’ll never reach rednecks if we strip them of their dirty words. Perhaps reaching this crowd is not your dharma. Right? So lay off mine.

Let’s save the karmic scrutiny for another day. For now, we have rednecks to reform. Somebody, bring me a bag of chocolate dicks. Eating chocolate dicks is okay (we tell them), while killing Indians for oil is wrong.

Growing up in Saskatchewan, I remember learning about slavery in the deep south, while closer to home—yes, the Catholic school system used the term Indian—we learned about long houses, tipis, totem poles, potlatch ceremonies, weapons, tools, hunting, migration and bannock bread. That’s it. I didn’t learn about cultural genocide until I moved to Victoria twenty-one years after I was born. Even then, I knew the Missing Sisters was a thing, but I didn’t know that 6,000 Indigenous children died at the hands of Catholic nuns and priests, which doesn’t include the many who were beaten, raped and remain alive and illiterate today. I don’t know specific numbers or details without further research, that’s how uneducated I am.

But then if we’re having our Atlantean brothers’ backs, I want to talk about literacy. What is that? Oh yeah, we stripped them of their languages, their art, their spiritual practices and their resources, and now we’re appropriating a culture that white people nearly obliterated. And we think it’s okay because rednecks are masters at makin’ a livin’.

Who built the pyramids? Probably you, rednecks. Who was likely responsible for four of the five known previous mass extinctions? Probably you, rednecks. Who holds the tipping balance of power for good on this planet? I would imagine all of the people doing whatever they need to do to get by—at the expense, not only of the environment, but also of their souls. The balance of power is in your hands, rednecks. You are the workhorses of the planet. We need your manpower to create a sustainable future. Otherwise, step aside.

Rednecks are basically Leos, and don’t like talking about consequences unless the gun isn’t turned on them. My beef with rednecks is the whining and bitching they do about their failing health and relationships. I have this theory that health doesn’t fail in healthy relationships, unless, of course, you have an unhealthy relationship with yourself. The universe doesn’t usually kick your ass for doing work you love, unless you have a permanent head injury. But then what does a workhorse redneck know about that?

Vacation. Ah yes, vacation.

Disability, to a redneck, is basically a vacation.

Here’s a prayer from A Course in Miracles that helps to retrain the biology of the mind: Dear redneck, I forgive you, and I release you to the holy spirit.

Holy spirit, in this case, refers to the higher self—that part of me that doesn’t react or judge. I learned recently that the whole “God the father” pronoun thing, isn’t actually about pronouns at all. “He” refers to spirit, whereas “She” refers to Earth, that is, matter. I can stomach this better now.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m called to run online redneck reform camps, but even then (I keep telling High Jill), I just want to teach yoga. Maybe this is what the cards mean when they keep telling me that I’m going to work with children. I intend to write and publish books, too, but I’ve made peace with the fact that my writing doesn’t appeal to adults with the intellects of seven-year-olds, while only the reformed and unconventional of rednecks have the capacity to understand and appreciate my writing. I want to be a big deal only so that I can show the world that you’re not confined to selling out to white supremacy to succeed, otherwise I just want to play with fun people and do what I love.

The secret, rednecks, is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thinking. What can I say? I’m studying A Course in Miracles, and I, too, benefit from taking my own advice. Spiritual psychotherapy—or, psychological mind training—goes hand in hand with yoga, the mental science of self-realization.

The secret we use to achieve results in yoga? Intention.

Neuroscientist and chiropractor Dr. Joe Dispenza said, “Intention is a vision, a potential that already exists in the quantum field—that you get to select.”

And yes, rednecks, you must move your masses on the matter, moo.

Angels of Ganja

“From half an hour to three hours after taking a full dose of cannabis, the patient feels a sense of well-being, or as if he had heard ‘good tidings of great joy.’ There is a tendency to laughter, and the subject in many cases says comical and witty things.” – Maritime Medical News, 1897

Hail ye! Humans exclaimed in ancient times. We beheld kings, queens and emperors in the distant past with the same mindless reverence human culture holds royalty, celebrity and affluence today. At best, you are a machine—according to an invisible and elusive “system”—while at worst, you are worthless.

Who runs the system? The same people who don’t look up at the sky are the same people who don’t ask this question.

So, those of us detectives in the crowd do some digging, and, behold! We have this thing called the internet to share our findings around. Some of us are optimistic, others of us are not. Enlightenment, remember, is temporary. We are sometimes called “Indigo” and are distinguished by our ability to handle the truth, and nothing but the whole grist of the truth. If the truth hurts, call upon Archangels Raphael and Uriel (the angels of healing and brilliance, respectively) to soften the blow. Raphael isn’t associated with an astrological sign, but Uriel is said to govern the domain of Aquarius. Most astrologers agree that Mercury is exalted (that is, at his best) in Virgo; however, Aquarius can talk my panties off in five seconds. Aquarius, I contend, exalts Mercury. Mercury in Aquarius is what happens when you like having a dick in your mouth. The Angels of Ganj fearlessly promote freedom of speech. That, Virgo, is perfection.

Archangel Uriel is also known as the psychologist angel. Uriel oversees the Angels of Ganj—also known as the Angels of Weed and the Angels of Marijuana—who, I’ve discovered, work closely with the Angels of Love.

“To ignore this valuable resource,” quantum life coach Sandra Anne Taylor said of the angelic realm, “would be like not turning on the lights, and then cursing the furniture when you walk into it.”

I’ve never had a problem with the ganja angels (that I know of)—there are, after all, angels for everything—but I felt compelled to consult the Archangel Michael oracle for his thoughts, and the cards I pulled pleasantly surprised me.

  1. Eternal Love – The Angels of Ganj help one to perceive love. I sensed that the Angels of Ganj work closely with the Angels of Love because love tends to the gardens of abundance. If you’ve ever made love on marijuana, you would know that the Angels of Ganj appreciate romance and passion. The Angels of Ganj want you to be in sync with your soulmate, because the Angels of Ganj love all that intimacy encompasses. The Angels of Ganj work for Archangels Uriel and Raphael. You can even call on the Angels of Ganj if you don’t smoke weed, but they will never judge you if you do. Smoke connects us to spirit. Marijuana can be a direct pipeline to Archangel Uriel—your free psychologist angel—if you can handle the truth. If not? Smoking marijuana will be an uncomfortable experience, and you might assume that your experience is universal. It’s not. Some people genuinely do not vibrate in sync with psychedelics. If this is you, don’t use them. Weed, when consumed regularly by a professional, offers a mild psychedelic afterglow—the same glow, I would imagine, Moses saw emanating from the burning bush. Unless, of course, the bush was actually burning.
  2. Admit the Truth to Yourself, and Act Accordingly – Marijuana is a truth serum, and the Angels of Ganj don’t pander to “offended” or “victim.” Have you ever noticed that marijuana tends to distract you from your grievances? You can always call on Archangel Michael to protect you if you don’t feel safe smoking ganja because it’s illegal where you live. Or, don’t smoke weed. The Tao says that the more rules you make, the more rule breakers you create. Archangel Uriel and the Angels of Ganj know this. Aquarius, not surprisingly, is the rule breaker or proverbial rebel of the zodiac. Rules are made to be broken, whereas codes (like conventions) can be followed or not. The worst that could happen is you lose a friend. But the Angels of Ganj have no egos and will always be your friend. The Angels of Ganj see you through rose-colored eyes of love (that is, unconditional love). The Angels of Ganj are benevolent angels of light, and benevolent angels of light don’t judge. Archangel Michael, the great protector angel, oversees all benevolent angels of love.
  3. Sense of Humor – Santa Maria isn’t a merciless goddess; she’s the goddess of ganj. I would imagine she works closely with the Angels of Ganj, but you can always call on Archangel Michael to protect you from lower energies if you’re unsure. I sense that Santa Maria would prefer practitioners smoke weed only when we’re in vibrational alignment with our inner beings. Being in harmony with who you really are means that you feel good. Santa Maria, from what I gather, can only work with us from the higher, feel-good planes. Like with the Angels of Ganj, we do not need to be consuming cannabis to connect with Santa Maria’s energy. She is like the goddess of the tropics and all things good. The Angels of Ganj work with Jesus to dig you out of a slump, while Santa Maria and the Angels of Ganj work in conjunction to get you laughing. They sprinkle fun on an otherwise gloomy day. Appropriate, remember, is not synonymous with classy.

Appropriate, in many cases, is boring.

I know we typically think of Jesus as nailed to a cross, but I’m not convinced that’s how he wants to be remembered. Jesus, as Kris Kristofferson so adeptly pointed out, was a Capricorn. Capricorn is the proverbial rock star of the zodiac. We are like fine wine: we get better with age, and, we have a dry sense of humor. Capricorn is also the workaholic of the zodiac, and not surprisingly, Jesus doesn’t have time to placate our hunger for scrutiny when he’s tirelessly plucking souls from damnation. If you ever die and find yourself anywhere other than Love, call on your friend Jesus. Jesus will bail you out any time, any place.

Yoga. The Angels of Marijuana love to dance with the Angels of Yoga. Like driving a car, experienced practitioners only please. I tend to experience a post-traumatic stress reaction to unnecessary (and/or prolonged) tension, whereas marijuana in small doses tends to ground me. A bowl a day melts anxiety away. Purple Kush is like the vitamin B12 of cannabis, and is to marijuana what yoga is to the mind. In the aromatherapy kingdom, lavender grounds the soul in the body. Apparently sandalwood (an aphrodisiac) grounds the soul in the body, too.

Recently I met a guy who on the one hand was impressed with my memory (I remember birthdays), while on the other hand told me to go smoke another one when I refused to respond to his ridicule. If I smoke myself into oblivion, it’s likely because I’m feeling depressed and suicidal, in which case, marijuana remains therapeutic. Suicidal people don’t talk because privileged people don’t listen. The world, Caroline Myss said, is having a spiritual crisis, not a psychological one. Death is an illusion. Marijuana might not teach you this, but it can be Novocain for the soul. People commit suicide because authorities can act like assholes with zero legal ramifications, while the people who don’t look up at the sky don’t question these authorities. Regulating our brothers and sisters (instead of ourselves…), we insist, is necessary.

I prefer to teach yoga and read books sober, otherwise I do my best to smoke after I drive. Authorities are uneducated about weed. Or conversely, cannabis prohibition is lucrative. You’re more likely to cause harm driving angry and out of the Vortex, but the insurance system isn’t teaching us about the Vortex. It might be helpful to know that the Angels of Ganj work tirelessly with activists to reform marijuana laws. If you are an activist, call on the Angels of Ganj.

The Angels of Ganj also work closely with Archangel Metatron to purify our intentions. Although the Angels of Ganj don’t wear the many faces of Mars in Pisces, they don’t judge us when we do. They understand the confusion we live amidst, and they want us to be in sync with our inner beings. The Angels of Ganj know that harmony coalesces with harmony, and that it is vibrationally impossible to rendezvous with dormant or unconscious thoughts.

Santa Maria resonates with Saturn in Scorpio (the detective), and understands that while fighting weakens us, cooperation strengthens us. Saturn in Scorpio bends reality. Archangel Metatron, patron angel of spiritual seekers and Indigos, is known to bend time. Time is reality, and anything nightmarish is an illusion. Santa Maria doesn’t play in the illusion.

As for the infamous plant? It’s time we nip that tattle-tainted reputation in the bud.

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.”