Back when I was doing my recapitulation Jeanne told me that if I did not find a way to speak about what had happened to me during childhood the long hidden secrets would putrefy inside me. I’d already had proof of this with intermittent pains and illnesses with no medical explanation, skin problems, and cancer. Don Juan explained to Carlos that the purpose of recapitulation consisted of:
“…a systematic scrutiny of one’s life, segment by segment, an examination made not in the light of criticism or finding flaw, but in the light of an effort to understand one’s life, and to change its course. Don Juan’s claim was that once any practitioner has viewed his life in the detached manner that the recapitulation requires, there’s no way to go back to the same life.” —from The Wheel of Time, page 4.
The process of recapitulation consists in learning how to release blocked energy to achieve the detachment that allows us to fully accept and experience new life. Once again, near the end of my recapitulation, Jeanne reminded me of the need to continually release all energy blockages. As I began to take on the job of becoming her channel she warned that if I did not find a way to speak about her, and what I was learning from her, that everything would begin to pile up inside me again, creating new blockages, and eventually I would die.
At that point, I had a dream in which I was feeling the fullness of being Jeanne’s channel and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that my intent was pure, that I had pureness of heart. In this dream I was confronted with a stadium filled with hecklers who, no matter what I said, would not listen to me as I tried to explain that I was a good person and I was only doing this because it was the right thing to do. Jeanne told me that I had to let my feelings go, that in feeling that I was not being appreciated for my simplicity, my goodness, that I was not listened to and ended up feeling ignored and insignificant, that I was in fact expressing self-importance. She said that no matter how justified and right I felt it did not matter. The only thing that mattered was taking the journey. She was challenging me to take the journey with her more fully. Was I ready to do it, to leave everything behind and go with her into a new world?
In taking the journey, by accepting every challenge as a challenge to let go of my ego, I discovered that most of my blockages were bundled up in self-importance. In order to truly release blocked energy and access my own vital stores of energy I had to get to a place where nothing mattered because nothing had any significance. I had to totally detach from everything that my ego previously felt was important, even the importance of being good, right, or pure of heart. As don Juan taught, in learning detachment—non-attachment to the structures of this world, including feelings of self-importance—we gain the means of shifting our perceptions and evolving.
I finally understood what Jeanne had been telling me all along: if I allowed blockages to remain inside me they would continue to eat up my energy and I would eventually rot away, just an empty carcass. I also knew that either way I was facing death. It is a known fact that we are all going to die, but now I was being asked to make a decision in how I wanted to face my death. Did I want to stay attached to the old self, so known and full of pain, or would I choose to let her go and open up to something totally fresh and new? I was headed the same place no matter what I decided. “Are you taking this journey with me, Jan?” she asked. “Or are you going to stay attached to self-importance?”
I finally understood that in giving up the ego I could become free. “I get it,” I said, “when you can accept death you are free.” How simple that statement sounds! We already possess the knowledge that death is inevitable, but we can change our perception of death by constantly finding new energy: by doing recapitulation, by breathing out old stuff, by releasing energy blockages. We can choose to give ourselves new energy and in so doing free ourselves from the fear of death, removing its dark shadow from our lives. When we allow ourselves to let the true journey begin, death no longer matters either, just as ego no longer matters.
Once I sat and did the recapitulation breath during a thunderstorm, aware that the energy of it was powerful and that if I could tap into it I might be able to create a shift. I sat for a long time and did the sweeping breath, moving my head to the right and then the left, breathing in and out slowly and methodically as I swept my head back and forth, simultaneously going deeper and deeper into myself. I breathed out the energy of my abuser, even the smell and taste of tobacco smoke that appeared, cleaning my nose and lungs of the memory of him, unblocking my body of everything else that arose to get in my way as the storm raged outside the windows, as the lightning flashed and the thunder shook. I went further and further back into the past and beyond, until I became an old Indian woman sitting under a thick and roughly woven blanket on a precipice of a high mesa overlooking a desert landscape as a thunderstorm raged and cracked all around me. As I did the breathing I was letting go of all the dark secrets, breathing out the energy of my abuser, sending him away and replacing his energy with my own, going deeper and deeper as I cleared a path to my truth, into what I had stored inside me, until I was able to leave this world and enter another.
As I took that recapitulation journey that day the energy was very much like the energy of this day, the energy of the storm that now rages outside my windows much the same as that thunderstorm, the wind offering a similar power. With awareness of energy, of our personal energy and why and where it is blocked inside us, in learning how to release ourselves from the past, we become available for experiences of energy as it flows in the universe, as I was that day when I did succeed in shifting my world.
With the intent already set to change, we just have to accept the mission set before us. We have to face death, but in so doing we also have to face life. Are you ready to take the journey? Today, with the power inherent in the southerly wind, it may be your moment. Good Luck!
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Sending you all love and good wishes,