Knowing me, if you’ve been following me and what I do, this is likely to be a long post. At least, that’s what I am thinking as I write… There is more that I considered including here, but in order to avoid disrupting the flow, and to avoid over-complicating things, I will focus on the main points. At some points, this has the potential to be quite triggering. In these instances, I would invite you to do some self-inquiry and/or feel free to ask for clarification or discuss. I am always open to that. This is one perspective amongst a billion – or so.
So, you know what to do. If you don’t want to hear it, feel free to X this one out. I respect that. Or, if what I talk about resonates, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and as my daughter, Lola, says from her favorite movie, “Frozen”, cosy-up and: “Scooch in”.
2020 began for me quite some time before Covid-19. I had been in preparation for what was to come for a few years prior with the work that I had been/am doing. But, for me, the intensity of 2020 came before the month of March, and this is where my lessons really came into effect.
January, or was it perhaps February, was the first time that the Earth really shook under my feet. Some of you may remember me writing about the Kundalini scandal. This is a quick re-cap for those in the know and those who aren’t. At the beginning of the year, it was revealed that the deceased founder of Kundalini yoga had engaged in, to put it mildly, some very abusive and violent behaviour. This is not something new and commonly happens in many religious and spiritual communities, as well as within the clique next door.
But, this revelation is not what unnerved me. I was not attached to Yogi Bhajan. But, I was attached to the practice. This was Buddha’s teaching in action for me. The teaching of: “attachment to anything, results in suffering”.
As things began unravelling, doubts within the Kundalini community sprouted concerning the authenticity of the practice. I spent some time holding on to the authenticity of the practice, but after a while, I began to crumble. I began to doubt myself, I began to question all the synchronicities that I had experienced; all those things that we are taught to be skeptical of. I began to question my sanity. I, therefore, began asking those nearest to me to verify my sanity and if what had ensued had indeed happened, and that it wasn’t just my mind being extremely persuasive. Sure enough, they verified. However, that wasn’t enough. And, neither was it enough for the 3HO, nor the Kundalini Research Institute to conduct an inquest into the matter. I had to do it – for myself. And, so I delved into the practice even deeper than before – but with more care this time. Care, in that I had to become the unattached observer, rather than to be sucked in and convinced by a mind that wanted to see what it wanted to see. And so, I took my time. I was honest with myself, and I came out the other side. I had verified the practice – my truth.
While I absolutely do not support the abuse carried out by Yogi Bhajan, I was still able to see that no human is perfect. I was able to see that within every human being carrying shadows, every one of us carries a light – no matter how dim it may appear. Yogi Bhajan had a purpose or he would not have been. He was a messenger who imparted us with many gifts, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Exit January/February. Enter March.
The ground just about settled under my feet and in marches Covid-19. Covid was not (and still isn’t) a ride in the park, including for someone like me, who extracts the teachings over and over again . It was/is an unsettling time and called/calls for more recalibration – repeatedly. Being an extroverted-introvert observer by nature, living in rural Canada with an incredibly fortunate low case-load, given the shakes to my nervous system a month or two previously, and in addition to my steady, daily practice, I was a little more prepared for this one. I have never been one to revere authority. A title means nothing to me. I give respect in relation to how people carry themselves -rather than a title, a role or a certificate. I have been careful, or so I thought, in avoiding placing others on pedestals – continue reading on for that one. I have always questioned things and to see whether things personally resonate for me. In short, I am no sheep. I have always been called to use my intuition and my inner wisdom. And when I do, I am rewarded. Yogi Bhajan, and my personal practice taught me to believe in myself, trust myself and to use my intuition. This gift served me into navigating Covid-19. I am respectful of the virus, and it appears to be a real threat. I do have respect for science, and it does have its place – as does something else. Simply put, there are things that do not add up for me, concerning Covid. And, I trust that.
But, Covid continues to teach me. It teaches me virtues. Covid-19 offers us what we would like to cultivate .I see two big themes here: Fear/Separation or Trust/Faith/Humanity/Compassion. I had to choose whether I was going to nurture fear and separation when someone walked closely by me. I had to accept another, learn to let go, become less judgmental and realize that I only have power over myself and my own choices when someone is not wearing a mask. I choose not to engage in a civil war amongst the people I live with. I choose to unite, rather than segregate. And, this is something I have to keep practicing in order to deepen that neurological groove within my mind.
Covid was already a lot for us all to digest. And yet, June rolls in with the devastating and extremely painful loss of a hero who awakened a movement: George Floyd. George was a lighthouse. Separation, in the form of racism and xenophobia is well-known. Yet, many of us have seen ourselves as powerless. Many of us have just “tut-tut'”ed and turned away from the discomfort. George Floyd – and his perpetrator (yes, even him) – were a huge wake-up call and people began rising, in the form of the BLM movement. If it weren’t for them, we may still be waiting for things to move.
When the BLM movement began, I knew that it wasn’t long for other disparities to emerge. And, a few months later, the heated conflict between the Native and commercial lobster fishermen, in Nova Scotia, began.
I have learnt so much amidst this heavy dispute. Firstly, I finally woke up from a fantasy – one that I did not even realize that I was engaging in. I had nurtured a romanticized view of the Native Americans. This is amusing, because a few months prior, a friend of mine, whom is Native said to me: “It’s so strange. People have this view of us that we are so spiritual. “I didn’t really want to accept what she meant until this illusion got unpacked. But, in a funny way, the Natives continued as spiritual teachers and taught me – just not in the usual fantasized fairytale way. They were rather a hard knock. Tough love.
I always had this view that Native Americans were highly evolved human beings, whom had an incredible connection and reverence for Mother Nature. Yet, here we were witnessing immense disrespect for the environment in favour of nurturing one’s ego and pride – under the guise of “rights” and “Treaties”. I felt deeply heartbroken for the disrespect being expressed towards Nature. I then realized that the Natives are no different from any other race. There’s some very disconnected, as well as some very connected people amongst all kinds of people; whether that be White, Black, Asian, Native and anyone else that I am missing out. I am not even sure if the Natives really knew what they were really asking for and I doubt that the message got received on the other end. People can get so lost in their own labyrinth. By not being so involved in the debate, and being an observer by nature as well as one of human behaviour, I believe that I was able to discern what the Natives were asking for. They were really asking for respect. They were asking for acknowledgement, and equality and unity. They wanted to be seen. They were asking for all the good things that every human being wants and deserves. However, they weren’t aware, as many of us aren’t when we get too heated – that their plight was saying the opposite. By fighting, they were nurturing separation. Their message got lost in translation.
A few times, in town, I found myself walking behind some Natives, and I caught anger rising within me. At this current time, I have only had the opportunity to recognize this feeling and haven’t had the chance to transform it into something else more empowering. But, recognition was success in itself. After some reflection, and realizing what the Natives really want, I suggested to my fisherman partner, who is more likely to be in contact with Native fishermen than myself, to rather offer the Natives kindness instead of adversity – whether that be that in the form of a wave, a smile or even a cup of coffee.
However, the Natives taught me something even bigger, yet. I realized that the Natives are/were able to manipulate the government. I am understanding more and more how powerful we actually are. If the Natives were able to pull strings like they could, surely we, as a human race could overturn the government? It is a real possibility. The thing is that in the past, we have chosen not to. After all, it takes tremendous effort and energy to cultivate personal power and band together. It has seemed easier to sit back and let another take the rein. But, it can be done. Great lesson.
At this moment in time, I see a crumbling, a dismantling, all around me – of organizations, institutions, governments, which are holding on by a shear thread. They are not as almighty as they appear.
My last take-away of 2020 – unless Life has something else in store for me, in the next few days – was something that hit even closer to home. My man quit his lobster fishing job. In the past few years, this would have unnerved me – being our only form of survival and livelihood. I would have previously asked him to persevere the disrespect in favour of a paycheck. But this time, I was unafraid and we had grown in self-respect. Let’s just dive in! We’ve got this.
So, if the message didn’t get through very clear, here’s what 2020 taught me.
It taught me to continue cultivating that trust and belief in myself.
It taught me to be self-reliant. It taught me that no-one and nothing else is the answer. I am the Answer – for me.
It taught me to be courageous and surrender. It taught me to let go. It taught me to let Life take over.
2020 isn’t over, and this may unnerve some people. 2020 is the beginning. The intense beginning. The dismantling began some time before 2020, with some crazy lead-up years. But, currently, I see us in a state of quickening. More is to come. And as one of my teachers says “It is unlikely for this to be over in a year, or two, or 5 or 10. This is something that will most likely take at least 100 years, if not more.”
We may not see the end of this process in our lifetimes, but how privileged we are to see all of this dismantling and transformation: The beginning of the Rebirth.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you 2020.
Thank you Life.