Part 1 – AIR

So here is my ode to Air. That first element of life. When you slide onto this earth, and begin to breathe. There are numerous books on breath I can recommend. I will try to make decades of connection to breath as warm as this gentle embrace from Spirit is. Within air we remember. We connect to all that moves and whispers. Listen to your sound… what does it share with you now?

AIR includes that first breath, and in that cycle of breath you will find the healing cycle. Breathe in and grow. Expand and feel the fullness, until it gets uncomfortable to hold. Then breathe out and release. Be in the empty space between breaths, and rest. Then when ready, the inhale begins once again. The first element to explore, is what reminds us of the birth/rebirth cycle itself, our breath.

Breath is the most loving messenger, moving some thing wherever you choose. It reminds you that movement is life, and with movement there is choice. You can direct breath. Move it up, move it down, sideways or hold it. It’s your choice. But the most incredible thing is that, if you hold it for too long, your Spirit will come in and take the reigns. It will remind you that you are not alone on this journey. You are not alone. Spirit is with you always! You are Spirit, as well as connected to Great Spirit, Source Creator Energy, whatever you choose to call IT that IS. So, your breath reminds you of that first dance, between you and Spirit, between growth and release, between fullness and emptiness. Breath carries you through all these parts of the creation cycle.

Breath is a continuous reminder that there is a life-force within you, something that is moving, and with intention and awareness can move with you. Breath is also a protector and a carrier of sound. Inhale deeply. Deep into the belly and right up into the chest. Feel the breath expand out into your armpits. Pause and feel the fullness, until it brings up pressure to release. Exhale then down to the point of the pubic bone. Pause here allowing an expansion until that spark of spirit inhales again. Do a round of 3 breaths, becoming aware of the 4-part cycle. Allow the inhales to come through the nose and the exhales to move through the mouth. How far does your breath move around you? Can you feel your globe? This beautiful torus field of energy that is yours? Your energy body. It’s a magnificent being! Breathe deeply, yet softly. Start to envision the expanded energy area around you.

Just think for a moment of all the things that try to take you away from your breath. What tries to limit your breath – hard/constrictive/excessive force/effort, speed, intense necessity? What makes you feel restricted in breathing, what does not allow you to be fully you? What parts of society and your upbringing made breath restrictive and constrictive? What threatened your birthright – to live, to choose, to be You!

This course is a deep dive into facing your story and all that is You. Moving through the cycles of breath and healing as you access more and more of You. It requires responsibility, which I enjoy breaking up into 2 words – response & ability. Gifting yourself the ability to give space for a response, to face when you may wish to quickly/forcefully react with what comes fast, or what is at the ready. To face that trigger/trauma response with compassion and gift some more time and space for you to gently breathe into the next step. How much time you want to have in the discomfort, in the release, in the rest or in the growth. It’s your choice.

But choice is the first thing that may feel like it was taken from you. Upon birth, your energy body was given a gender and a race, and with that you inherited a series of boxes, which shared with you in the current white supremacist capitalist patriarchal society whether you were better than/less than, whether you were worthy/worthless. Either this or that. You innocently stepped into a series of comparative boxes to navigate the systems that kept someone at the top and many at the bottom. These are our first times when something has been decided for us, that because of our body features such as genitalia and skin colour, we were put into these first boxes. We were placed into proximity to power, not reminded that we each carry energy that is power within. We learned that we may be female, intersex, or part of the lowerarchy, or were at the top of the hierarchy (white skin and male-identified). We learned that gender had to be adhered to, if you were male, you could only be masculine, and vice versa.

Within our first breaths, our choice to Be/Become You was taken away. We have been introduced to the better than/less than system. We learn of privilege and oppression. And with each additional breath we take, we are either rewarded or chastised for being good or bad. We are then introduced to the judgements and opinions of others in the cultural & societal ‘norms’ of these systems, where these habits of judgment have policed our power of Spirit and sense of Self for a very, very long time. So much so, that they play within the tapes of our mind, so we can self-police when no one else is around. They also leave landmines to be discovered in the body, where with breath and sound we may experience their detonation as we heal.  Are you ready to take your power back? It’s time to heal our Body & Spirit so we can have the strength and courage to bring new practices into creation. Systems that support us all, not just one.

We can choose to ignite the power of Self – not a power that will cater to these old systems of power over others, but one that will protect, heal and clear our energy body. The power of clarity of identity, perspective, feeling, boundaries, love and guidance. This is being and becoming sovereign once more. The first step is to reflect on your initial story of gender and race. To breathe through the sharing of it, to welcome all the expansions and contractions that may come as you do. And then, in the clearing that follows, to take back any power that others may still carry of yours. To revoke their access to it.

I will give you an example with my story. Practice breathing and moving through the words shared. Observe the sensations in your energy body, breathe into them, the dips and the flutters and the pings. You are welcome here. Welcome your responses and breathe into them, allow them to be a part of you. Breath will move energy into those spaces and gently clear anything that is ready to move through you. Then we can further protect all access to your energy body. Let’s restore our energy boundaries with intention and integrity.

I now, by 2020, publicly identify as genderqueer. This means that I identify sometimes more feminine, sometimes more masculine, and mostly as my non-binary self that is a spectrum of infinite form. This is an integral part of my story, for this healing of my identity allowed my gifts and medicine to fully actualize. As a child, I saw and felt all as beings of energy, but I was taught of difference, privilege, judgement, abuse, and hierarchy. It was incredibly confusing for me. How this being, because people identified him as white male, was granted more power over me? Even felt the right to harm me? Or, how someone who was Black and female had their power taken from them? Then had to fight for the same privileges granted to this white man? The oppressor-oppressed cycle is the first one we learn. We learn to conform, succumb or let go of our power. Or, we learn the harmful ways of survival, and become the oppressor.

I remember being shown from an early age an anatomy pop-out book of how babies were made. I believe this was the way my parents hoped to explain procreation, pregnancy and gender, with an all-in-one book that showed no human bodies, only inner anatomy, very scientific. I now see the difficulties this created. I identified the genitals I had at birth and knew then I had to be female. But I didn’t feel it fully, so I was super scared for years that I would wake up one day and see my penis had grown in. I read up on hermaphrodites and knew from the research I did (pre-Google internet days of books and encyclopedias!) that this would have labeled me a ‘freak’, and in some cultures they were even killed! This terrified me, for I knew I must survive in the society and culture that I was in. I had a birthmark under my left nipple that looked like a little nipple and had nightmares it would grow into a third breast. I spoke to my body, for I knew it was an energetic being, a shapeshifter, and willed it to be female. This was the first box I stepped into, one of female, and to be honest, was the last one I stepped out of in my self-healing journey.

My family was always very inclusive, and I grew up with friends who had 2 moms and were different cultures and races. We were super poor, and my parents both worked a lot, so I did also have a string of babysitters who added to the different judgements & opinions shared. I am the eldest child, and knew as soon as I could remember, that my mom chose to keep me, even though that wasn’t the norm at the time. As my mom shared with me, all she could remember of my father was that she met him at a disco. She thought his name was Michael and that he was Spanish. Yes, I was the outcome of a one-night stand. She shared that at some point closer to my birth she remembered his name was Joseph, so named me Josephine. Or, so her memory goes. I knew I was always her choice, which sometimes she used against me when she was angry. She reminded me of it many a times in my formative years. But I also knew, since my mother was Scottish-Irish-French settler (French Canadian), that I wasn’t fully white. That I was different. As I grew, I became more aware that my skin tone was darker, ashier and olive than the peach I saw around me. Oh, and I was definitely hairier.

I grew up with a Jewish 2nd father, that later adopted me in my mid-teens. Through his family, I was introduced to an entirely new level of judgement and opinion, that of religious ideals and standards. I also was shared what was done in public (accepted) was different than what we did in private. In my home, we meditated and practiced yoga, my mom was a meditation teacher and artist. Without the funds for after school activities we learned to paint, act and dance. I have four younger siblings all from my adopted father. Later in my life, I also was able to connect to my biological father’s Spanish and Indigenous roots within my energy body. I was able to connect to my body’s wisdom and meet my ancestors – my abuelitas, brujas, paqos and medicine women.

I finally took a DNA test in my thirties, more to just have an answer to the most common question I experienced throughout my entire life… “What’s your background? Where are you from?”. It was very disconcerting to have to constantly explain who you were when you weren’t fully aware of that yourself. I would share freely as much as I knew of my story, of how I had a different biological father. Kids on the playground would look surprised at this story, and then ask… “Why don’t you look for him?”, then followed by, “do you believe in Jesus?”.

In first grade I did go to an alternative school called ‘Age of Enlightenment’. My parents followed Maharishi Ayurveda, and it was a small school that started from the Toronto families that were all practitioners of transcendental meditation. It was in a church basement on the Danforth, and I remember being a very precocious kid that knew I did not look like all the blonde and white gentle babes. Luckily, I was smart. This helped me bluster through the multitude of schools I went through as efficiently as possible. I ended up being paired by the teacher with another girl that cut her hair short and dressed more masculine. She thought we could get along. At first this really challenged me and my efforts in blending into the feminine ideal, but we then became close friends.

By grade 3, this school dismantled and we moved into my first public school experience. I remember how I was then introduced to Christine, for the teacher thought our difference would make us good friends. Christine was Black, you see. We could then commiserate on us being alone in a sea of white Christian faces. Teachers were the first people that taught me outside of the home that difference was to be categorized and segregated, hence my initial reluctance to become a teacher. I had to face this wound of power over others and the pressure of maintaining old teachings/ways.

Segregation was also shown to me as a ‘good thing’, a reward, like me being granted ‘gifted’ status. We were being bred to be ‘top of the class’, or top of the patriarchal structure. We were taught many boxes to step into weren’t we? Being smart, beautiful, athletic, etc. the list goes on. I remember being asked on the playground why I was so hairy, and why didn’t I shave. This was in grade 5. Of having men leer out of car windows on the walk back home, “are you a girl or a boy?”. I quickly realized that what was accepted within our home wasn’t ‘normal’. It also wasn’t perfect, and I have also had to move through numerous layers of healing of my privilege. This is continuous work. Overall though, I discovered in childhood that I was weird and different in a society that teaches us to excel and then succeed in being perfectly the same.

There are more stories of my childhood, but that will suffice for now. I share these to encourage you to look back upon those formative years, and how your identity and your concept of power was formed. What boxes were you given by society and which ones did you step into to survive the patriarchal systems? And why is this important? Well, how can we reconnect to our divinity, our energy body, and our sovereign power, if we do not face what is within us that is trying to inhibit us? We must look at what is at the root of our connection to these concepts. Through many, many cycles of kaka, I did finally face the deep ‘worth wound’ and stepped back into remembering my divinity. It required me to look at how I was both the colonizer and the colonized. I had to see that literally within my blood and bones I was both oppressor and oppressed. We are complex beings, and our energy body can heal itself. ‘No outside source is healing you. You have simply aligned in your learning to heal yourself’ (channeled message, 2019) It is a constant practice of protection, boundaries and trust. Trust in spirit, your breath and capacity.

Stories come in memories, some in dreams and intuition. They carry sensations of expansion and contraction within your being. Follow the sensations, welcome them as you journey through your stories. Breathe and choose. Choose to grow and to release. Accept that parts of the journey will feel uncomfortable, overwhelming, empty, fearful, or more.

Take some time now to sit still and breathe. Face what constricted and what expanded, what reactions have come from reading so far. Can you breathe into it and welcome all sensations in your body? What is your story? Can you share it without judging yourself? Can you look at yourself and the first boxes you were given without forming new opinions or cementing old ones in place? Take some time now to write down your story, even on the back of these pages, or in your journal. When you feel it is complete for now (there will be more layers to come later, and that’s okay), then you can move into breathing into the new pathways this self inquiry brought forward. Breathe into them. Welcome the sensations and witness the clearings. See what parts of your identity (from gender, race, and culture) you align with, which ones you can move from accepting as part of you, and which parts of you are not actually you but opinions within you of others that you are ready to release.

Accept the healing cycle, which is the breath cycle, and understand this 4-part cycle can be a season, a year, a moon cycle, or a simple breath. The amount of time depends on you and Spirit. Remember, you are in this together! It depends on how much of those old constrictive parts you still carry, be it emotions or thoughts that go along with them. Not to worry, we will get to those and learn how to move through them and with them as they come. But first, Self. Look at your childhood, your upbringing, and how you connect with the patriarchal structure of better than/less than. Look at the parts of you that played small or played large. We must face those parts of Self to step back into remembering You divine.