Today I’m sending you an excerpt from the book I’ve just written … enjoy! * * *
Almost two months later, you are once again packing your suitcase, but this time you are heading into the mountains for retreat. Caroline Myss is coming to Whistler to teach the “Essential Guide for Healers,” and you want to be in that room with her. You leave the Cedarhouse in the care of your capable younger son, who is now eighteen years old. He and your dog, Dante, are delighted Mom is leaving for the week!
The setting for this retreat is much more intimate than the workshop you attended in Chicago with her. There are at most fifty women. You are up close and personal with Caroline, humbled by the privilege to be here. You don’t really understand why you feel such a deep connection to her teachings. It’s not about the fame of the woman herself. It’s deeper, and more real. It’s as though you are called by her work, so it’s not really about her at all. It’s actually about what comes through her, and speaks to you. And you sense to ignore or turn away from what you are being called to, even if you don’t understand what that is, would be tragic.
Your hotel room is tucked away in the side of a mountain with nothing but stillness all around. And this is just the way you like it. You are here to deepen into yourself, not to socialize with others.
On day three of lectures with Caroline, you experience a seismic shift that rocks the ground you stand upon … within you. The mountains haven’t moved (or maybe they have), but some way of being you has shifted.
Today Caroline is teaching that the third energy centre of the human body — the third chakra — is about processing emotional and mental issues having to do with responsibility. And the Law of Magnetic Attraction, which is the mystical law corresponding to this part of the body, is the law that is activated by the myths being lived.
In the context of understanding power and responsibility, she demonstrates her teaching by asking, “What do I have the power to attract in life?”
You understand this teaching. Through Caroline’s tutelage over the years, you know the energetic logic of how attraction works. If the first mystical law of life is the Law of Gravity then weight anchors you, and it does. If the second Law of Action and Reaction, which is located in your gut, gives you the power to act in a split second, then you can follow a hunch, or save your own life, by being directed into spontaneous action. Knowing these first two laws, and moving up the power system of the human body, it makes energetic sense that the third centre of power is the place where you begin to come alive with a sense of self.
“With your third chakra, you’re beginning to become a little conscious of yourself, and conscious of what you’re attracting,“ she says.
“So, for example, you’ve had thirty-five relationships and they’ve all gone down the tubes, and you finally say, is it me?”
The room breaks out in laughter. But you’re not laughing.
“Am I attracting something? Is it me?” she continues in a playful manner.
“The first time you ever say, is it me? Is it something I’m doing? Is it something I said? Is it me?”
She scans the room.
“Well, there’s a real good chance everyone’s gonna say … um .. yes!”
More laughter. And you are quivering.
“Is it me? The first time you wake up and say, what am I doing right? Or wrong? Is it me? Am I attracting something? Is the first day you wake up to the Law of Attraction.”
Now Caroline kicks into her infamous theatrics. She is comedic, and laser sharp. But you’re still not laughing. In fact, you’re feeling increasingly uncomfortable. Your pulse is racing. Your body feels hot. And you notice you’re actually a bit annoyed.
“I mean … What am I doing? Is it my cologne? My clothes? My hair? What am I doing?!”she continues theatrically.
She pauses for affect, and looks around the room.
“There must have been a moment when you asked that question. You must have! Someone in here must have asked that question, is it me?”
The tension in you compels you to speak. You are either going to have to say something or leave the room.
“Has anyone?” she repeats the question.
There is a murmur among the women.
Now you know you must speak, whether you want to or not.
“I wrote a book about it,” you say from the back of the room while looking in her direction.
She follows your voice to find your face.
“You wrote a book about it? Is it me?” she is both surprised and delighted, thinking you’ve written a book titled, ‘Is It Me?’
“No,” you clarify. “It’s called ‘Three Marriages: lies I’ve lived by.’”
Now the room is lifted on Caroline’s outrageous witchy cackle, and the laughter notches up. She shimmies her hips, clasps her hands, then opens her arms to the entire room and says in staccato, “Oh …my…God…you…must…speak…to…us… at…some…point…that’s…fan…tas…tic!”
Then she repeats your words for everyone to hear.
“You wrote a book called three marriages and lies I’ve lived by.”
You nod your head in agreement.
“I brought you a copy,” you tell her.
“I want it!” she says in a suddenly serious tone. And she rallies the group with her arms waving to say, “We are honoured to have an author in this group. Well done! Oh, brilliant!”
And she leads the audience into celebratory clapping.
Just like that, your soul is seen. When you let others spot what is special in you, clarity of purpose lands at your feet. It comes through ordination. You’ve been outed as author.
“Oh my God! Oh my God! We’re privileged to have you here,” she exclaims.
Then she opens her arms to the whole of you in the back of the room and says, “Oh my God! I have the Law of Magnetic Attraction sitting in my group!”
Then with a theatrical wave of her hand over her face she says, “This is too much. You see what I mean about you? I mean, it’s just too much!”
The laughter settles down. There is a silence in the room that is more a presence than an absence of something.
Your souls are like two tectonic plates rubbing up against each other. For years, it’s been a slow and steady movement toward growth. While in the privacy of your own life, you’ve been studying and excavating and discovering your inner world. All of it leading to this moment, in this room, with these women. In a quake of progress, a sudden release of pressure sets a part of you free.
As Caroline falls back into teaching, she becomes even more animated on a stage she creates to demonstrate what happens when a woman is on the hunt for a man (or, she adds, another woman if that’s your style).
Now you feel free to laugh. The tension in you is gone. What a raucous group you are! But there is more going on than what appears on the surface. This is not mere entertainment. Caroline Myss is nailing all of you with truth, and the hilarity of seeing the inner workings of a woman on the hunt for a man is deeply unsettling.
It’s been four years, almost to the day, since the Writer telling this story sat in that room with those women in Whistler. She watched the video of that lecture in order to revisit the words that were spoken, so she could write it on the page today. And what strikes her is that the skit Caroline performed about courtship, marriage and what happens when myths stop working the way we expect them to operate, is actually prophesy of the highest order — not a foretelling or forecasting, but rather a direct description of the divine order of things.
Listening to the recording is like getting a clear map of the journey you’ve travelled, and have yet to travel. The teaching lives out of time. But you can’t see what the Writer knows now. You will only realize what you need when you are ready to see it, use it, and grow yourself through it.
Nobody should be blamed for being unconscious. And everyone should be taught what it means to be human, and what it means to awaken in relationship with other beings. For ignorance is a birth right of being human. To sacrifice all the lies as you live and learn them, is to make sacred your right to claim the truth — the eternal light of your being will break through when you allow it to.
The Whistler retreat comes to an end. You’ve sold some books. And you are not the same woman going home as the one who arrived here a few days ago.
The drive through the mountains on your way back to Vancouver is exhilarating. It’s not just the stunning beauty of the landscape — the blue of the sky, the bright of the sunlight, or the eagles that seem to follow you. There is some kind of something that is palpably up-lifting. You have never felt so visibly supported or acknowledged. Everything feels possible from where you are now. The drive itself is full speed ahead, not one red light stops you.
Enjoying the flow of the go, you drive for ninety minutes on what feels like a current of bliss, and then notice traffic up ahead as you enter the North Shore rush hour.
The phone rings.
Suddenly you are in a different reality. It is Wordman. The tone of his voice is a stark contrast to the high you are feeling, and you resist having your flow disrupted. When you hear him speak, you need to apply the brakes as you come upon a mile of backed up traffic.
What is this?
It takes you a few moments to recalibrate. You hear him talking, but you’re not tracking the conversation mentally. It’s like listening to the cartoon character Charlie Brown’s teacher drone on and on. You lose connection on the call a couple of times, and you hope it remains disconnected, but it doesn’t. He comes back. You ask him if you can call him back when you get home to the Cedarhouse. But he’s still talking. He needs to know if you’ll meet him in California for Christmas. His son is hosting the family, and Wordman wants you there.
You’re reluctant to commit to anything. After the latest episode in Toronto, you feel safest staying at home.
You also notice he doesn’t ask you anything about the retreat in Whistler. He’s not interested.
You tell him you’ll think about California, although you’ve already decided there’s no way in hell you’re going to go. You just want to get off the phone.
Ending the call, you feel uneasy. Now you sit in the middle of a traffic jam. The glorious mountains are behind you. There are no eagles overhead. And the blue sky appears overcast.
Is it me, or has everything changed?
Send your questions to: magi