The Astral Sh*t – Jamie in The Elephant Journal

We have all come to earth to have an experience as an individual.

There is an amazing breadth of experiences on this planet.

We were born incredibly open. Then we have a series of experiences that shut us down in a unique way. We chose to edit parts of ourselves off that people didn’t like.

Debbie Ford says that when you are born you are a castle with a thousand rooms. Then we start boarding rooms up to please others. Most people end up as grownups thinking they are a three bedroom flat that needs some work.

We decide to shut ourselves down in different ways until we are a lot smaller, less open to each other unconditionally, fearful, “once bitten twice shy,” weary, cautious, grasping about things that we think are scarce.

We have edited ourselves down to uniquely freaky, wounded shapes. We are not tolerant, or unconditionally open to how we are—to those parts of ourselves that people didn’t like.

Ram Dass tells a story about one winter when there was much less light on the tree and so it grew this way and that way to find the light. We come and see that tree and we say, “What a beautiful tree.” Yet, we are so not like that with one another and ourselves.

We don’t say, “Wow, what a beautiful twisted shape.” That creates a huge amount of hiding from each other. We want to look our best. That hurts just to say that. Anything less than my best will result in rejection.

There is a violence in that.

There is a violence I feel in myself when I want to improve. There is improvement that comes from excitement. I don’t think there is violence in that.

There is a beautiful side to an exciting challenge and then there is an idea that you are not lovable just as you are right now. I can not love myself fully as I am. This is violence, and it stops us from loving each other fully.

If God came into the room right now and said, “You are not going to evolve or grow one more millimeter than you are today. You are not going any further than this. You wont be any more wise, free or enlightened.” Could you still love yourself 100% fully? If the answer is “no,” then we need to clean your tubes.

We want to sign a contract that says, if you see my less sexy bites: my neediness, my drama queen, my greed, my sexual perversion, my dark parts then you won’t want to hang out with me. We are hiding from each other so much. Hiding is the opposite of intimacy. When you get close to someone they let you see your dark spots. You get to see their broken mask. Then you can fall in love with someone.

Who ever fell in love with someone for being appropriate?

Part of the admission fee for this theme park, Earth World, is you have to be an individual. What comes with that is loneliness, alienation, competition and heartbreak. Will they like me? Where did everyone go? Am I ugly?

All the head trips come with being an individual. It is a big challenge being an individual. No wonder all those spiritual teachers we spend so much money on tell us:

“Don’t worry it is an illusion we are all one.”

“Whew, I thought I was an individual and it really did my head in.”

I find it tough being an individual. When we come across something that breaks the spell of being an individual, that gives us a hint that we’re not one. When the actor on screen makes us all sob, and break down together, then we give them all our money. The big money goes to the stuff that melts the feeling of being an individual.

Jamie CattoThe thing that is great about this is that which melts the idea of being an individual: our family, children and loved ones. When we melt that feeling of being an individual then life feels good. We are in this funny paradox where we have every reason to do things to cut off from everyone, to hide and go to the job interview and say, “I’ll be anything you want me to be.” Yet, what we all want is intimacy and to feel deeply connected.

I want to be more intimate with everybody.

In my film I interview an Indian who says, “I like to talk to people as if I already know them.” That is the world that I want to live in. I have to elect myself as the mayor of everywhere.

Some activists made a spoof with stickers on the trains in London, “Please avoid eye contact at all times. Respect public solitude.” I don’t respect public solitude. I want to be intimate with everyone. I want to dare to show up in all my light, and all my darkness. I want to be a walking permission slip. When I allow myself to be fully seen it automatically liberates others to be seen. You create a culture of visibility and less hiding and more bravery.

I want to know how I feel. I want more intimacy with myself. If I am a more ‘dropped in’ person I am going to be more honest about my boundaries and give myself what I need in any given situation. The parenting ends when you are an adult (often before). It is no ones job to account for what you need. No matter what your husband or wife promised you at the altar it is not their job to telepathically know what you need.

We would rather not ask for what we want and get pissed off for not getting it, or look upset until someone notices. When we are intimate with ourselves we get what we need much quicker. We take space when we need it. We have the permission slip to pause and ask ourselves, “What do I want right now?”

My deep belief is we have suppressed and amputated ourselves into crippled brochures that we think will be loved and accepted. We have made ourselves much smaller than the big, unapologetic, juicy version of ourselves. There are so many “should” and “should nots.”

Yet, the body is the most incredible self-mending machine. It is hard wired to mend itself. And it is also mending the screwed up way we edit ourselves. However, manicured or brilliant you think you are life is inviting us to stretch ourselves into the big, juicy, unedited version of ourselves. You spend the first half of life editing yourself and then the second half opening up.

Difficult people, difficult situations, are all part of some beautiful way life is beckoning me back to unedit myself to this big, humble genius you see before you.

A symptom of the weird way we shut ourselves down is the huge accumulation of ‘ick’ that lives here in the solarplexes. We have a huge accumulation in the pain body. When someone upsets us we feel a disproportionate, huge overreaction. I believe our lives’ genius is the self-mending, self-cleaning body. The self cleaning body does not want to carry all that stuff.

The body knows we are carrying a huge accumulation of traumas. The tears we did not cry. The huge accumulation of volcanic ‘blah’ that is ready like a time bomb to get triggered by an asshole. Your body creates, and magnetizes, and invites an asshole so that if you are skillful you can do a little astral shit at that moment.

There is something more deep, creative and ‘warrior like’ when you turn your attention to feeling deeply. We have to turn everything around so you can, instead of escaping feeling, participate in this incredible self mending being. We become fascinated with feeling. What happens is we melt, and move, and that constipation releases.

Many of you are used to thinking your chakras are for pumping your energy, and there for your meditation. That is only half the story. The other half is that your seven chakras are astral anuses to shit out the accumulation of everything that happens to you. If every time someone pisses you off, you take an astral shit and love it, it will start to turn into laughing and wisdom.

Welcome and be friendly with every annoying person. Even when it hurts a bit, become fascinated with what hurts. Become fascinated with the way you are feeling and the way life is impacting you.

The one tool to cultivate, that I want to share, to navigate the self-love trip is Full Body Listening. Not just when you are doing your practice, but always to be in a state of Full Body Listening. That means feeling everything in my body from my toes to my crown—to be a Nasa space station, a sophisticated listening device.

Turn your body on right now.


  1. GENIUS Jamie !!!

    really quite the best yet …

    so happy to see you linked up with Elephant,
    another of my favourite sources of virtual inspiration :~)

    could you not persuade Barefoot
    to do something with Elephant too ?!

    may the force be allWays with you

    cordialement Sally@Earthsky


  2. Brilliantly written Jamie. I love you where you talk about “I want to dare to show up in all my light, and all my darkness. I want to be a walking permission slip.” Thank you x

  3. That’s funny I wrote a status earlier about owning our own shit and not dumping it onto others…it’s seems the universe wants to communicate something on this poopy day. Gorgeous article.

  4. ”I don’t respect public solitude. I want to be intimate with everyone. I want to dare to show up in all my light, and all my darkness. I want to be a walking permission slip. When I allow myself to be fully seen it automatically liberates others to be seen. You create a culture of visibility and less hiding and more bravery.”

    Thank you Jamie. You utter a common feeling amongst us people or those who want to look people in the eye and want to connect with others regardless of their background. Whether it be through a bus trip, a shopping expedition, an interaction with a parent while picking up one’s child from school, or if you meet a new person immigrated from another part of the world through your line of work (sales in this case for me), it works and it is a magical feeling. I get goosebumps when I experience the connection from another when they and I mutually accept each other because we’re open to learning from each other.

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