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Kim Petersen

Change in a Pandemic World: Who’s Complaining?

Everything has changed.

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I went to the store today and the shelves were almost empty. Toilet paper, tissues and paper towel supplies were nil. They’ve placed quantity restrictions on the little items remaining, and all is carried out beneath the scrutinizing stares of security.

Did I complain?

No.

I can’t source hand sanitizer; although they’re selling an 8-pack of 100ml bottles for $60 AUD on Catch of the Day and toilet paper is going for somewhere in the hundreds.

Some catch.

Strangely enough, the thought of running out of toilet paper doesn’t faze my husband. In fact, he seems to find the idea amusing because while he grew up in Holland, his father is Indonesian.

If you are familiar with how Indonesian’s tackle the matter of anal hygiene, then you’ll know that they seldom have the need for toilet paper.

Here’s a quick overview of the process from Wikipedia:

“Anal hygiene, or anal cleansing, refers to hygienic practices that are performed on a person’s anus, usually shortly after defecation. The anus and buttocks may be washed or wiped (typically with toilet paper or wet wipes) in order to remove remnants of fecal matter.”

My husband was raised with a bottle next to the loo and practiced using a “pencuci botol gelandangan” or bottle bum washer until the age of 17. They used the tips of their fingers and a squirt of water to finish their business.

Each time he cracks another joke about how we might be forced to change our bathroom habits to more primitive (and gross) practices, my insides cringe rebelliously. It is this thought driving my quest to seek out toilet-paper on an almost daily basis.

Still not complaining.

I have a mother who likes to hunt more than me. She does me a solid and brings rolls each time she visits. She even haggles with the toilet paper street hustlers — who knew that would ever be a thing?

The good news is that I did manage to score an extremely overpriced pump bottle of hand soap today. It smells like orange and almond and the label states that it’s “Nourishing & Life-changing”.

Now, that’s ironic.

I wonder if the soap manufacturers knew something that eluded the rest of us. Albeit, I’m using the life-changing soap not to ignite change in my life, but because life has changed beyond my control.

I often speak about change and how the only control we really have is the way we choose to respond to it. Sometimes, we can stick our heads in the sand and pretend a thing never happened; we think if wait long enough the issue will just go away.

Then, there is a time when we are faced with a pandemic disease in the form of COVID-19 that no amount of sand-head-sticking can erase.

Nobody gets to escape the change taking place in the world right now, but we all have a choice on how we deal with it. It is crucial now more than ever to become aware of ourselves; our actions and reactions.

We can stop complaining about it.

It’s natural for us to become agitated from time to time and need to vent in some way. Even the calmest among us still blow a fuse every now and then. But given the drastic shift happening in our lives and communities, it’s important to keep tabs on our mindset and be aware how our energy affects others.

People are fighting over toilet paper, bribing grocery truck delivery drivers and pulling out knives in supermarkets.

Welcome to the new reality.

I grabbed a coffee at a local café a few days ago. I was inundated with people complaining about how the out-of-towners are showing up to scour “our” grocery store for necessities. Like toilet paper.

The conversation grated at me. I drove home questioning the mindset of people who are usually quite open and giving in their nature.

Why is it that when the world begins to show us our fragility that we resort to out-of-character behavior?

It’s unsettling and scary. I’m here and listening, and I’m thinking that we are being kept in the dark for the most part.

Do I complain?

No.

But my heart is hurting, my oldest son is remotely interstate, uncertainty rims and my home is far away.

Pandemics have a way of kickstarting our “survival mode”. People behave in ways that they usually wouldn’t. Don’t be one of those people. We get to choose how we react — choosing fear and panic will only breed more of those emotions.

Then what?

We’re going to encounter people who will be driven by fear, or maybe even the complete opposite — nonchalance.

Just the other day, hundreds of Sydney-siders flocked onto Bondi Beach to enjoy one of the last of the season’s warm days. It was a scorcher, and it was clear that no one was thinking about “social distancing” or taking the matter seriously.

Until the authorities showed up and sent everyone on their way.

Did they complain?

Probably.

The point is that neither fear or indifference is going to cut it right now.

If we’re going to overcome this, we need to be informed and prepared to do our part in helping to keep the virus contained as much as possible. Better times await us, but we have to wait it out to get there.

Now is a good time to practice the art of minding your own business. The noise from the outside can be deafening. Choose what you allow to infiltrate into your sacred sanctuary and focus on keeping the love alive.

These are the times when our love, patience and sense of empathy are being pushed to the edge. When what it is on the inside will reveal itself to you and to others. This pandemic is going to change you — but how it changes you is completely in your court.

And there’s no point complaining about it; unless we have to resort to practicing “pencuci botol gelandangan”.

Be safe everyone and much love,

Kim xx


Value Your Creative Energy: The Benefits of Connecting with Your Higher-Creative Mind

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The higher-self is a term associated with a variety of belief systems, but its basic premise describes an eternal, conscious and intelligent being which represents our most authentic state.

The higher-self embodies our spirit which is expressed through our human vessels — the part of ourselves that exists beyond the conditioning learned throughout our life experiences. Conditions such as fear and ego fixations, limiting beliefs, negative thinking patterns and old wounds.

Our higher-selves are never lost to us — your soul or spirit is ever-present and flows with unhindered and effortless love from the higher-realms.

When we refer to the higher-creative mind, we are speaking in terms of the creative resources available to us from that sacred space within. The incredibly creative part of you that remains hidden and unexplored, and brimming with story concepts and fascinating characters you have yet to meet.

But sometimes, we can lose touch with this part of ourselves. Life happens and we easily become weighed down with everyday stresses and responsibilities which can lead to feelings of disconnection. With the Corona virus currently ripping through the world, this is apparent more than ever right now.

We can tell when we are disconnected to our higher-selves because this state breeds lower vibrational feelings such as anxiety and depression, as well as other negative ways of thinking about ourselves and the world.

This is when problems are likely to arise with your creative output.

We have all been there. Some days, it can feel as if your creative well has dried up — that there are no more interesting words and stories left in you to tell.

It’s normal to experience creative burn-out from time to time. I do. I know how it feels when creativity seems out of reach. When you believe there is nothing left inside of you to creative and bring to the world; at least, nothing worthwhile. We want to produce our best work, and yet, it’s impossible to always be on top of our game.

Sometimes, a small shift in our perspective is all it takes to kick-start the creative juices again, and taking the time to replenish our creative resources is important if we are to thrive as prolific artists and writers.

In fact, recharging the creative batteries is a vital component in the life of a creative. We need to refill our spirits with renewed energy, and we need to allow ourselves time to unwind in order to create a fresh space for revived and invigorated visions and the formation of new ideas.

Often, it is the simple activities that are most helpful in clearing our creative blocks and managing stress levels. The core notion lies in the necessity to separate yourself and your mind from your work and creative project for a block of time.

We may be facing uncertain times and even isolation, but that doesn’t mean we have to be totally limited in finding ways to refresh our creative palettes. Here are a few things you can do to help pull you out of a creative rut (current circumstances permitting):

· Take a walk outside — preferably someplace that encourages positive feelings. Sunshine, trees and air will do wonders to replenish your imagination, and besides, it just feels good to be out and away from the computer sometimes.

· Go veg out at the beach — dig in your toes and imprint your mark into the sand while soaking up the purifying salt air for a few hours (my favorite!).

· Spend time with your children/dog or cat. Laughter uplifts the spirit and children have a knack of bringing out your inner-child. Animal therapy is a proven mood-booster.

· Coffee with a treasured friend — great conversation and connecting with someone special can cure the most contrite of hearts.

· Catch a flick or binge a series on Netflix — movies and TV are modern-day oral storytelling. Inspiration right there.

· Cook up a storm — this can be an extremely pleasant activity in switching up your focus. When we take away the “chore” aspect of cooking and do it for the pleasure, cooking transcends into something utterly delightful.

· Take a drive to destination inspiring — the world is brimming with naturally rustic beauty. Whether it be inhaling the country air over rolling green pastures, breathtaking views from mountain peaks, or dreaming on the wings of an eagle over rugged ocean cliffs, there is sure to be a slice of the magic near you.

The above suggestions are great ways to help improve your mindset when you’re feeling flat on the creative front. It is likely you’re already practicing similar activities. I think we all know when we need to just close down for a while and think about anything other than our work-in-progress or all tasks that are piling up on our desks.

This is true for our higher-creative minds, too. The more time spent intentionally cultivating that inner-resource, the greater your access will be to those extraordinary invisible realms.

We do this through connecting to the higher-self.

Deliberately choosing to spend time on strengthening your relationship with your inner-spirit is an act that will help nurture the bonds with your creativity.

It’s not hocus-pocus. It’s not even “woo-woo”. Those labels are formed by those who don’t get it. Think of it like this; there is so much more to our world and existence than what we are able to acknowledge and perceive. Often, it is fear driving the ridicule behind those who negate alternative thinking and practices with their labels.

Being willing to open your mind to different ideas and ways of being will add richness to your life. It’s like traveling — the experiences will broaden your perspective and increase the good stuff like empathy, love and kindness.

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Connecting to your higher-creative mind will help you achieve:

· A holistic sense of well-being

· Forms of awareness

· Trust in yourself

· Trust in the creative process

· Honor the incubation period — allowing the ideas and thoughts time to stew

· Build on your intuition

· Value vulnerability

· Push past fear

· Free expression

· Keep the creative channels flowing.

When it comes to the higher-creative mind, there are some simple methods we can practice to help get you there and keep you there during your creative output sessions.

Catherine Evans and I are going to discuss all of this and more during our Creative Writing Energy presentation in next month’s WriteHive 2020 convention, where we hope to help you pave a way to connect with and honor your higher-creative mind.

WriteHive 2020 is a free online writing convention featuring everyone from huge names in the literary industry to brand-new writers, and will be live across the world from April 18th — 19th.

Check it out here: https://www.writehive.org/

We hope to see you there.


DARK CHAMBERS

Blood Legends: Rebirth – Chapter One

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Indifference felt like cold armor. Hunger gripped me. Exhausting. My mind contorted. I squeezed my eyes shut and hung my head. Strangled sobs tormented me. Each cry stoked the insatiable need to feed on their blood. My veins palpitated beneath my skin. I shivered and groaned as I shifted my back against the sandstone wall. My ass was paralyzed.

Avila’s body curled on the ground. Her head was heavy in my lap and she trembled in a fitful slumber. Candlelight offended my senses. Sun’s voice rasped over my pulse.

“Is this how it ends for us – starving in a filthy airless cell mocked by our food?” She gave a rueful laugh.

I lifted my chin to look at her beside me. Her skin was like chalky mesh sunk against cheekbones. Her hair fell in dull yellow clumps, almost concealing the stony eyes peering back at me. She licked chafed lips and flicked her chin toward the opposite cell. It was crammed with humans. There must have been about fifty of them.

“I can’t tell which side was better.”

I squinted toward the other cell. My joints ached; especially my knuckles as I clenched and unclenched them. The scent of fear and sweat carried along the shadowy shaft separating the cells. It hurt to look at them. Their offerings were too much to bear.

“Neither.”

My gaze lingered on a woman who stood pressing her forehead against the rusty steel bars. Grimy fingers clutched the metal posts; burnt-red hair like straw. Brown eyes ebbed as she blinked at me. My ears pricked with the sound of her thumping heart. My mouth watered. I tore my eyes away from her and swallowed hard.

“We’re all living the nightmare no matter which side we’re on.”

Sun grazed a hand across my arm. Her skin was like ice.

“I’m on your side, that’s all that counts.”

Emptiness gripped me when I looked at her. Time had lost meaning. How long had we been here? Weeks? Months? Endless time snatched in the shadows and feeding on sewer rats. We were prisoners now; thrown in the putrid cells beneath the city with the humans they hunted and collected. It was punishment for betraying Marius. I deserved it, but Avila and Sun didn’t.

My eyes locked onto hers.

“I’m … sorry.”

I’m so sorry.

She shook her head.

“Don’t be.” She leaned in closer as the sound of stomping boots drifted along the tunnels. “Remember what you told me; don’t let them take your soul, Jett.”

“What soul?”

She said nothing but her darkening stare conveyed her thoughts. The truth was my soul was sucked into a black abyss the day Scarla was murdered. It was the same day I’d made the choice to die. But even the apathy accompanying my human death couldn’t erase the agony she left behind. Everything was meaningless without her. 

 Death could claim me again.  

 I looked away from Sun as Avila stirred. She sat up, stretching over sickly pale features and pitted eyes. Dark hair brushed at her waist as she cocked her head.

“The guards are coming.” Her voice was hoarse.

“Yes.”

Her eyes widened at me. Fangs glinted as she winced before she made the move to stand up. Her legs buckled slightly when she extended an arm toward me.

“Get up.”

My girl. 

She was the only reason I had to keep going. I reached for her hand and hauled myself up, steadying myself against the wall. I felt like cardboard. Weakness crept through me, but I ignored it as a low rumble began to rise among the human captives across the way.

High pitched shrills and disembodied wails erupted as they began clawing at one another in an effort to distance themselves from the cell entrance. Terror was an intoxicating emotion. Excitement rimmed.

“The vampire guards are coming!”

“God, help us … Please, no!”

Limbs entangled. A few of them fell beneath the panicking mob. The blunt sound of crushing bones was a distinct melody in my ear. My gaze found the woman who still clutched the cell bars. Ragged lips mumbled breathless secrets. Her eyes were closed. She appeared in another world. 

Sun stood beside me. We exchanged a look before I pushed off the wall and walked toward the cell bars. I stopped across from the woman and watched her, tuning out to the chaotic fever and the laughter that echoed along the tunnel walls as the guards drew closer.

She shifted her weight from side to side and squeezed her eyes shut even tighter. Her shoes were made of worn brown leather and fringed a pair of torn denim jeans. She flung her head back. Grime appeared like patchwork over the skin of her throat. Her words became frantic. Louder.    

“Lygarou … Lygarou … the prophecy is born … the city will burn to ashes.”

Avila and Sun sidled up either side of me. Screams escalated. Mayhem like wild alley cats. My heart pounded. My fangs ached for blood. Four guards rounded the bending shaft and came into view. Avila stiffened.

“Lygarou?”

I shrugged. My gut curdled as I looked back at her. She froze suddenly. Shadows flickered across her face like an apparition as she steadied her gaze on me. Lips spoke cryptic messages.

“I’ve seen the birth of a Lystalker – the half-breed. She’s arrived to ignite the Legends of Blood.”

“Legends of Blood?”

I frowned and gripped the steel bars. The guards halted between the cells. They were clad in the usual black leather attire customary to the kindred. Chunky boots adorned their feet and twisted on the damp ground. They had their backs to me.

The woman’s eyes darted toward the guards. They sniggered and cackled, nudging one another as they surveyed the humans. The prisoners quietened, albeit for a man who lay curled and groaning on the floor. Blood oozed from his skull and spilled over his fingers as he clutched the wound.

Thirst stabbed my stomach like a serrated knife.  

I looked back at the woman as one of the guards hissed and held up a set of keys, shaking them. He laughed even louder when some of the people sobbed, shrinking further into the shadows. Just as the cell gate creaked open, the woman took a quick breath before she mouthed two words at me: “Blood Legends.”

Blood Legends. 

A chill went through me. Mysterious predictions and farfetched superstitions haunted me. They were the same words that had passed from the ginger-beard hawker before I tore his head from his neck. Words that foretold a time of reckoning that would bring the kindreds undone. Our greatest existential threat.

I had to know more.

Two of the guards converged on the human prisoners. The crowd instantly became restless. A few women screeched as the guards hunched over them, hissing before ensnaring sharp talons around their arms and dragging them closer.

I looked away. My attention was captured by the guards that had turned our way and were now opening our cell door. All thoughts of Blood Legends and folklore evaporated as eyes the color of bright lemons pierced into me.

Conceit. I could smell it. He leaned against the cell bars and regarded us with a dark grin. His mouth was a shock of scarlet, parting to reveal stained fangs. His crony had a neck like a bull. He grunted and pushed into the cell behind lemon-eyes, stopping with a sneer. An inky stare settled on Sun.

“It appears as if fortune has bestowed upon you this day.” Lemon-eyes ran bony fingers through his hair, giving his head a toss for good measure.

“How so?” Avila gripped her hips and glared.

His grin widened. Screams shattered my ears. I looked back at the other cell to see the guards hauling three prisoners from the chamber. Two women; one man. The redheaded woman was among them. Lemon-eyes’ voice grated into my bones.

“The Masters have decided it is time for your citation. You are to have an audience with Master Zaros.”

Zaros? The name was unfamiliar. My thoughts scattered as the three humans were shoved into our cell. They stumbled and immediately cowered together as the guards returned to the other cell. Hunger overwhelmed me as I eyed the fresh blood now within arm’s reach.

“Yes … you are permitted to feed before your attendance.” Lemon-eyes motioned toward the man and two women who began to sob uncontrollably. Not the redhead though. She stood trembling but her eyes daggered into mine when I looked at her.

Lygarou. They’re coming; the prophecy holds true. I can show you.

The words weren’t spoken yet I heard them clearly. I turned to see the guards dragging the wounded humans from the other chamber. Some of them were dead. Agonizing wails reverberated all around.

Lemon-eyes spoke again.

“Well; what are you waiting for?” he laughed. “You must be famished. Your feast awaits you.”

Sun and Avila didn’t hesitate. Desperation was like a vapor as they moved forward. The guards yanked the injured who were still alive over the cell threshold, dumping them near my feet. My eyes darted back to the woman. Her gaze widened. My pulse screamed as I stepped forward.

“Wait!”

All eyes turned on me. I squared my chin and gestured toward the woman.

“That one is of use to the Masters. Let her live.”

“Why?” Lemon-eyes glared. Talons twirled the ends of his hair.  

“Because she’s a witch with valuable knowledge.”

The guards laughed but Lemon-eyes didn’t. He slinked closer to me. Eyes like deadly firestones burned into mine.

“What knowledge does the witch possess?”

“She knows about the Blood Legend prophecy.”

His features twisted and paled beneath the dim light.

“Very well. We shall inform the Masters.” He flicked a wrist toward his cronies. “Return her and fetch another!”

An odd sense of relief flooded through me. My gaze fell to the groaning man at my feet. I bent to my knees and gripped his head roughly. My pulse quickened. Anticipation had never been so sweet. My fangs sunk into human flesh and reprieve was mine. I fed like a demon.

Hunger did have a soul. It was created from human flesh and blood, and death was its heart.

And it owned me.  


Also published by P.S I Love You on Medium


Blood Legends: Rebirth is available at all online book retailers right now!

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Promises made by the undead remained undead.

A mysterious prophecy has come to pass with the arrival of a newborn baby.

The survival of the vampire clan is now threatened with the rebirth of a long-buried species. The Lygarou have reawakened with an unquenchable thirst for blood.

The next full moon is looming and Jett has no choice but to face the reckoning. He must find and kill the wolf-mother and her baby before his sire destroys the only person remaining in his life worth living for.

But when Jett unearths the truth about the Lygarou bloodlines, he is forced to face a choice that will forever altar the future and question his loyalty toward the clan.

Can Jett risk all that matters to him on a future paved with uncertainty? Or will his loyalty to the clan prevail?

Rebirth is an urban fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world from bestselling author Kim Petersen, the second book in the Blood Legends: Ground Zero series.

The Most Important Relationship of Your Life

I bet you know what I’m going to tell you. Well, maybe.

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We never stop learning through our relationships with people. Or rather, people never stop teaching us. It has taken a long time for me to learn how to trust my intuition. It’s been a journey paved with dark nights of the soul, as well as amazing moments of clarity.

Throughout my earlier years, I had always doubted my inner-gut feelings or just plain ignored them. I never quite trusted myself — or who I was, for that matter.

One prime example was when my first husband proposed to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him. It was more that I was just twenty-one years old and reasonably fresh out of a five-year relationship. I had plans. I was working to save money for travel. New York beckoned me with a pull I couldn’t deny.

He took me to the beach, produced a diamond and spoke words that would claim me. I’ll never forget that day. Not because it was the happiest day of my life or anything — it is more the distinct memory of ignoring the inner-turmoil circling through my head as I accepted the ring and said “yes”.

The inner-screams were yelling “no”, by the way.

His blue eyes were so vulnerable as he looked at me expectantly. I didn’t have the heart to turn him down, despite that marriage wasn’t on my agenda at that time.

You can call it gutless. You can even call it stupid. Maybe a bit of both?

I used to be a soft touch. I think I still might be. Better that than a heartless human. Like some.

Fact: When you ignore your intuition, shit will probably hit the fan. The lessons will be harder.

It wasn’t even that marriage would deny me the freedom of travel. It was that that marriage became a living nightmare. As it turned out, his true qualities eventually surfaced to reveal a narcissistic and violent man.

I ignored my inner-warning bells and experienced great pain because of it.

One for the intuition.

People have screwed me over. I’m certain you’ve been screwed over, too. It happens to be a part of this thing called life.

Years later and following the inevitable divorce (that wasn’t gutless), a very handsome man asked me out for dinner. I was so nervous. It would be my first date with someone new in twelve years.

In the moments leading up to his arrival, I remember hitting rewind on Pearl Jam’s “Black” over and over. It was my favorite. Yeah. I was into Pearl Jam (not as much as my friend who named her vibrator “Eddie”). Somehow, listening to that song quelled my nerves. Somewhat.

It was probably a sign from the Intuition Gods.

Was it normal to feel this uneasy before a date?

He played league cricket and had mutual sporting connections with one of my closet friends who had been a professional hockey player for the Australian team. And he was hot.

Bonus.

Still, I couldn’t quite conquer the whirring sirens in the back of my mind. Something didn’t feel right. I’d met him once. I didn’t miss his dominant energy, but I did pretend not to notice.

He took me to dinner and followed up with a side of date-rape.

That didn’t go down so well. Another one for intuition.

The next day, my girlfriend looked at me and said, “I hope this doesn’t make you bitter — not all men are pricks.”

Just some. I seemed to be a magnet for them.

Truth is, I knew that if I allowed others to infect my outlook on life with their shit-ass, negative behavior, that would be letting them win. Unfortunately, some people do want to bring you down.

Fact: Even your intuition can get it wrong.

Wait — not really. Please don’t start distrusting those gut feelings you’ve worked so hard to strengthen — they are designed to lead you along the right path and help you learn.

I think I’ve worked it out — it is all about the lessons. Remember my opening paragraph? These little lesson-nuggets are about helping us nurture our relationship with our inner-guidance.

Even when we get it wrong. In fact, sometimes we are supposed to get it wrong. Other times, we’re not actually getting it wrong — it’s the other person in question that isn’t quite getting it.

Confused?

I don’t blame you.

Take a soul connection for instance.

What? You didn’t think I could get through a post about intuition without including a spiel about your soul?

It’s the only real part of us, you realize …

Let’s explore a little.

Have you ever met someone and instantly felt an indescribably strong connection toward them? It feels as if your soul recognizes them and your human part is tripping to catch up.

Soul connections are no mistake. They arrive in our lives to trigger inner-growth and fuel creativity, as well as to create new patterns of love in the world and foster our path toward enlightenment. They show up to open new thought concepts and kick-start your heart.

They show up to blow your mind.

When these special people arrive on the scene, you cannot ignore the deep sensations the meeting ignites.

Rare gems. Real world.

That’s right, I said “real world”.

Ermm … and what is “real”? I hear you ask.

Real is that which doesn’t change. Your soul won’t cark it. Your body will.

Don’t be so hasty to dismiss what your physical senses cannot detect. You cannot see love but you know it exists because you feel it, right? Well, I hope you do. Real love doesn’t change. You can’t see your intuition either, by the way.

Speaking of intuition, all of that instinctual drive you’ve been cultivating over the years seems to fall to the wayside when encountering a significant soul connection. All for a purpose — to test and explode the boundaries of love while propelling you into greater states of awareness.

To learn to love unconditionally.

Fact: Meeting someone you know in soul isn’t all peaches and cream.

Far from it, actually. It’s not supposed to be. The true soul connection is designed to make you feel uncomfortable because its created to evoke fire to change. It’s about pushing your inner-boundaries and shattering pre-existing beliefs and societal expectations on what is deemed as “acceptable”.

We’re good at doing that, you know — imposing systems of “right and wrongs”, judging one another and acting from a place of fear. Which isn’t real by the way.

Your soul wasn’t created to fear. The human condition did that.

In short, a soul meeting of this nature will stretch your perspective beyond your physicality and catapult you into “trigger zone” while developing your inner-strength and self-belief. A realm reserved for facing yourself — the good and the not so good.

Sounds like a picnic, huh?

Growth is never easy. You will need to courage-up to get through this thing called life and actually grasp greater perspectives. Free your mind. Start by contemplating the real stuff.

Some people have what it takes to explore deep love. Others do not.

When you’re there, you discover moments that will define you for the rest of your life — moments when you either choose take a leap of faith, or run back to your comfort zone screaming,“Hell, no!”

When confronted with matters of deep soul truths, it becomes more important than ever to lean on your inner-guidance system. It’s as if each experience, relationship and past lesson have been in preparation for the ultimate test of faith. When trusting your intuition becomes vital.

My Shamanic Medicine Drumming Teacher often speaks of giving thanks to our paths. She reminds us that it is unique to each of us; that it stretches before us perfectly raw and unpaved; and that we shouldn’t be afraid to be true to ourselves as we walk toward the unknown.

She instills the courage.

Sacred soul journeys are more about personal growth than the other person actually “getting it”. It is when we learn how to open our hearts and free our minds that we begin to connect with our souls to live authentically.

And that is what its all about.

Life.

At the end of it all, it is through our soul connections and relationships that will result in refining our most important relationship of all — the one you have with yourself.

Self-discovery is there for the taking if you but have courage enough to wade through mysterious territory and trust the path.

One for me.

P.S. I did make it to New York. Right after my divorce.


Originally published by P.S. I Love You at Medium on January 20th 2020.

Love or Fear — You Get to Choose Every Time

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When I was fifteen years old, one of my friends decided to hate me. I had known her since Kindergarten and we had been close. I’d spent so much time at her house that her family was an extension of my own. Including her pudgy Golden Retriever, Candy-girl, who shared a mutual adoration with me.

Kids can be fickle when it comes to friendship. I’d experienced my fair share of “friends with conditions”, but not within this relationship. She was special. I loved her and I had thought she loved me back. When her friendship turned into hostility, it shocked me to my foundations.

More than that, though, I was hurt beyond measure. My world suddenly blackened with an indescribable pain because not only had she turned against me; she was also in a position of power to influence all of my other friends in joining her on the “Hate Kim” bandwagon.

None of them knew why I was suddenly branded an outcast — there was no reason behind her animosity. Yet, they all fell into place like puppets on a string. One former friend was even commissioned by their “leader” to physically attack me. I was never one of those tough girls that went around looking for a fight.

Neither was my opponent.

She went ahead and did it anyway. She hit me and I hit her back. It wasn’t long before we were surrounded by a horde of hollering teenagers as we attempted to … god knows what because neither of us could actually fight.

When a teacher came along to break it up, I remember one of the “tough” girls sniggering the obvious as we were carted off to the Principal’s office.

“You guys can’t fight for shit.”

Yeah. No shit, Sherlock.

Cue Michael Jackson: I think I told you, I’m a lover not a fighter.

Kylie and I were stuffed into the same waiting room outside the Principal’s office and promptly left alone. We looked at each other. I took in her busted lip and noted the aches reverberating around my own body. I was shaken and upset, and knew that I ought to be feeling angry and outraged for the disgusting treatment handed to me by my peers.

Yet, I couldn’t. All I saw was the expression in her eyes as they teared up and she said sorry.

Sorry.

There is power in that word. When expressed sincerely, a simple apology is all it takes to begin the path toward healing. Yet, an apology is easily negated if left unreceived.

The act of forgiveness is where true power lies.

I nodded.

“Okay.”

It wasn’t even a choice. I had forgiven her the moment she had caused me pain because I knew she acted out of fear and not malicious intent. A weight had lifted. We hugged before proceeding into the Principal’s lair to receive our punishment.

Neville Goddard:

“The drama of life is a psychological one in which all the conditions, circumstances and events of your life are brought to pass by your assumptions.”

In other words, your life path is determined by the feelings you assume. Focus on negative feelings like jealousy, hate and resentment, then you will discover your reality tainted by situations that evoke more of those feelings.

Steer your thoughts and focus toward the positive aspects of life and these feelings and experiences will become the dominant theme in your world.

Skeptical?

Pay close attention to those folks that fill in endless hours switching between the latest news channels. I’m willing to bet that they are among the biggest complainers in your life.

Each time you choose to watch a show, a movie or listen to a broadcast, you are making the choice to allow the essence of that broadcast into your personal energy field — you’re effectively inviting the substance of that transmission into your life; which in turn evokes a deep reaction.

A feeling is assumed.

Keep watching or listening to something or someone who brings you down, that’s where you’ll find yourself. In a bottomless pit of self-repugnance and unrealized dreams.

The same holds true of people and the way we choose to treat one another.

I could have easily chosen to hold a grudge against Kylie for attacking me. In fact, most girls that age would have done just that. But gathering grudges and lashing out does nothing but wither your soul and hinder self-growth.

Deep down, you know this; each time you mistreat, disrespect or devalue another human being, there exists a tiny ping in the pit your gut that you might try to ignore — guilt. You cannot escape it. No matter how deep you bury it.

Don’t make amends, it’ll eventually catch up to you one way or another. It always does. Life is designed this way — what you dish out is what you get back. In this life or the next…

As my mother likes to say: It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

It’s never really over by the way. Nor is that my mother’s quote, but I think you knew that.

People are always going to “broadcast” their message to influence your life or decisions in some way. Unfortunately, a lot of the time those people have their own interests and agendas at heart. Even when we think they are a friend.

Empathy is a resource that most of us are unwilling to invest for too many people. Sure, we’re good at shooting off at the mouth about it. Putting it into practice is another matter altogether. It takes time and effort to understand how and why others feel the way they do. Even when motivated, doing so isn’t always easy.

Without empathy, our relationships cease to exist. At least on any level worth experiencing. Yet, in those quiet moments when you’re alone and the truth is staring you in the face, no amount of empathy or understanding from others can fill the void in your heart left by the choices you make.

The fact is, we were not born into this life to acquiesce to others. We came here to create our most fulfilling life; to make authentic connections, learn how to express love and value those that imprint upon our lives and souls along the way.

We came here to find freedom, joy and light in a condition of human struggle. We came to sift through it all to arrive at the place where we realize who we really are.

So, who are you?

It all begins by mastering our assumptions, how we treat others and how we choose to move through our ever-changing world. The way you see the world is how you will experience the world.

Love or fear?

That’s the basic principle governing everything we encounter. It is love or fear that we choose to allow into our inner-worlds and will influence our life-energy, desires and outcomes.

Every time.

No one can choose for you. Nobody knows what or who is best for you except you.

Friends, acquaintances and family — they all have their own unique paths and they don’t own your soul. Neither do our responsibilities for that matter. We can honor these people and afflictions where necessary without becoming shackled to them.

Freedom is our birthright — it’s a state of mind.

Your thoughts and assumptions make the world as you know it to be true. Choose them wisely, or others will choose for you.

That is when you lose — when you sacrifice your happiness for others and end up without the dream.

As a fifteen-year-old, I had spent months attending school in a private hell. It doesn’t sound a like a big crisis, but it looked very different back then. School and friends are a teenager’s life. I was stripped of friendship, loyalty and bonding. I had cried myself to sleep each and every night.

The evening following the fight with Kylie my phone rang. It was her — the one who had turned my life black. I answered to hear her sobbing uncontrollably.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m calling to say sorry — I’m so sorry, Kim.”

Long pause, then:

“It’s okay.”

It takes strength and character to say sorry. It takes a whole lot of heart and empathy to forgive. I may not be a fighter in the physical sense, but when the love is real and reciprocated authentically, I’ll fight for love every time.

To this day, that friend remains one of the only two school friends I have kept in touch with, and she was worth the pain.


Originally published by P.S. I Love You on Medium

Write with Feeling: How Relationships Bring Depth to Our Characters

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Do you struggle to create full-bodied characters?

Churning out words, outlining and wrapping your brain around plot twists, story themes and arcs can often be mentally exhausting, and then we have to make sure our characters have depth enough to resonate with our readers.

“I know the feelings but I don’t know how to express them in words.”

That’s what my new client said during a recent meeting. She had reached out for assistance after reading some of my work. She has an important story to tell.

After an extraordinary experience, her quest to bring her unique story into the world fell short when it came to expressing high-level concepts and deep emotion through the written word.

Enter, me.

It is true that I write about love, relationships and soul connections in addition to my fiction work. I post these articles regularly on Medium and my blog. When the year is out, the articles are then culminated into a book - a keepsake documenting both my nonfiction writing pieces along with my own personal journey.

Life lessons and personal growth.

Some people baulk at the idea of sharing their personal experiences publicly. There was probably a time when I might’ve reacted the same way. It’s different now. I feel different now. I’m not the same person I was when I first began writing.

I realized that by sharing our experiences and perspectives, and then expressing the lessons we’ve learned from those fragments in our lives is one of the most powerful ways we can impact the world and help one another.

Obviously, not all of us are writers. There are many other ways to make a positive difference in the world. Humanitarians and those in service occupations seek to promote human welfare. The magical paint strokes of gifted artists have the capacity to uplifts spirits; thereby raising vibrations through the loving energy invested in the creation.

The same is true for words.

Yehuda Berg said:

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”

As a word smith, and whether you write nonfiction, fiction or both, it is vital to have a firm understanding of the power literally at your fingertips.

Not every writer has the desire to burrow into their deepest selves to divvy up those experience-gems publicly. I can understand that. There is a certain amount of vulnerability and courage required when you begin the deep, meaningful work - and make no mistake, releasing messages into the world at an intimate level takes a brave heart (and maybe a firm set of balls).

Either that, or those of us who journey through the murky territory are just plain crazy.

Psyche.

The good news is that we don’t necessarily have to roll up our sleeves and get gritty (and maybe a bit soppy) by revealing our inner-most selves in order to make real connections and benefit the human experience through our words.

The fact that you write is gift enough. Throw in some passion, a generous side of imagination and the beautiful resources existing within the fabric of your past experiences, and you are a potential change-maker.

Smile.

You just felt the little tingles ignite at the base of your spine, right?

At least, I hope you did.

Those zingy feelings are more than just confirmation that a draft is blowing from the window you left open in the other room - they are a part of your inbuilt intuitive system and appear as way of confirmation when the truth rings true.

Learn to trust your tingles.

Grab your cape and give yourself a pat on the back, too. You, dear writer, are a gift to the world and your words have power. Used with intent, love and courage our words become a force to be reckoned with. We have the capacity to influence, create waves and stir the pot to bring meaning to the lives of those who read our work - particularly when created with the breadth of our hearts.

We can achieve this through delving deep within; stripping the layers to extract the nuggets from past and present relationships; looking back on memorable experiences and reflecting on our most intimate feelings to examine the way we relate, perceive life and love others.

After all, love is the ultimate source of emotional resonation. It is the most profound emotion we will ever experience.

Whether romantic or platonic, whirlwind and complicated or long term and lifelong, it is love that has the power to nourish meaningful relationships, crush our hearts and teach us important lessons.

“When Love speaks, the voice of all the gods,

Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.”

– William Shakespeare  -  From Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Is it no wonder that the greatest writers in history explored love in all its forms through their literature?

There was only one Shakespeare. There is only one you.

Love in literature is boundless because it defies barriers by appearing across all genres and age groups, as well as periods in history. The presence of love in our stories has the ability to bring acutely heartfelt and memorable moments to the page, regardless of the outcome.

We all know about love and relationships to some degree. Even hate is love turned upside down. Honestly, we learn so much and gather bucket loads of personal data through the relationships we form; and we can use these insights when developing our characters to bring authenticity into their worlds and connect with readers.

To help get you into reflection mode, let’s take a deeper look into what Greek philosopher, Aristotle had to say about relationships. He described three kinds of relationships, with only one of which is built to bring true happiness.

First: The Relationships of Pleasure.

These are the romantic interludes fueled by passionate sex, a possible side of drugs and a generous helping of ego. Insert a playlist that looks like Metallica’s Master of Puppets and Bulletboys Smooth up in Ya, and you get the drift. These affairs are more about body and less about soul and connecting - never a great recipe for lasting happiness.

Second: The Relationships of Utility.

These types of relationships may be grounded in materialism or hopes of gathering status of some sort. They can also include relationships that involve a need for each other for the “necessities of life” and raising children. Aristotle describes the friendship of utility as shallow, easily dissolved, and for the old.

Keep in mind that even though he may have been coined “the father of philosophy” he was just one Greek guy who liked to explore high-level concepts … with a very thick beard.

Third: The Relationship of Shared Virtue.

Like a classic Rod Stewart song, Aristotle firmly advised hauling up your sails over stormy waters in search of what he called Relationships of Shared Virtue. This is where you arrive on the shores to find a partner who truly gets you in soul - your core self.

It’s that real-connection love who will ignite change, challenge and inspire you to grow into your highest potential.

Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good as It Gets said it best when he said: “You make me want to be a better man.”

Of course, the above relationship examples described by Aristotle are brief summaries of the complex bonds and emotions that we experience through those who touch our lives. Yet, taking a look at what some of the world’s greatest philosophers had to say about the human condition can act as a springboard to unlocking parts of our past when creating full-bodied and dynamic characters - ones that imprint a lasting memory on our readers.

Deep reflection is a muscle you can strengthen to bring the essence of your story to a place where the power of your words has the potential to positively influence and improve the lives of your readers. Even if only an inch at a time.

Keep it real.

It’s worth investing the time to reflect on your past and present loves to give your characters depth and relatable complexities. Aim for the Kindle highlights.

Just like love, your words can change lives forever.


Originally published by The Ascent at Medium.


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Is it Real? You May Never Know Unless You Walk Away

Sometimes, you have to let it go.

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When I first met my husband, we both had ex-partners floating around the sidelines of our lives. Having people on the sidelines is like moonlighting — they appear in your life as distractions, or as leisurely pursuits with mutual understanding that the relationship is on the fly.

That’s not to undervalue those people in any way. Everything for a purpose, right?

My husband had enough moonlighting going on to fill a sin bin, so I can’t be overly confident that his sideliners fulfilled anything meaningful, other than sex.

I couldn’t escape them. We managed to bump into some of these women each time we ventured into town on a date. I was okay with it for the most part, unless the woman in question shamelessly flaunted herself all over him — which surprisingly occurred a lot. For some reason, the fact that he was no longer on the playing field was an unfathomable notion.

Hmm …

The gift of indifference works well in those situations. I had it nailed. So much so, that when one ex-sideline floozy unabashedly approached him to resurrect an old game they’d often play, I met her victorious stare with a wink.

Her frazzled expression was priceless.

We all have a past. Those women were a dime a dozen. I can’t really say that I was sound in the knowledge of his feelings for me at the time, because it was still early days.

But I was confident in me — in my worth as a person and as a woman, and what I have offer to the people in my life who love and respect me.

Everything. Glory, glory!

I loved him. Yet at the same time I knew that if he wasn’t able to see the value in me, then it would be his loss and not mine. There is no mistaking it when it’s real. You can’t replace the deep connection that happens through the unexpected moments that leave you breathless, and the meaningful conversations that inevitably lead to hours of love making. More glory.

Exploration and fusion in every way.

I wasn’t imagining it. He was there, connecting with me. Intricate experiences of that nature with another person cannot be felt by just one party. It has to be reciprocated in order to reach a level of deep resonation. I knew it was more than a fly-by-sideline fling, even if he didn’t admit it at the time.

Something magical happens when you meet someone special. You’ve got to believe in it.

There was one particular woman from his past drifting around who did manage to sneak under my cloak of indifference. Mariska. The one who he had loved before me. Everything changes when big “L” word is involved.

She felt like a threat even though she didn’t live in the same country. She was some twenty-plus hour flight away and back in his hometown near Holland, and she was hellbent on rekindling their relationship.

It didn’t help that he had her image propped up on his bedside table-cum-bookshelf in his tidy little bachelor pad, either. Photos taken from the instances when she’d flown out to visit him. Sparkling green eyes. Long golden hair … vivid grin.

Classic Dutch-clutch. Whatever that looks like.

She found out he preferred brunettes. Next thing, his email lit up with incoming updates; Dutch-clutch turned black.

Ah, Mariska!

Her name sounds like it should be in a Skid Row song. I Remember You. She remembered alright and she wouldn’t let him go. Judging by the photos on his shelf, he wasn’t letting it go so easily, either. Obviously, there was still something between them.

You know those early months in a relationship when you’re still finding your ground and trying to figure out what the hell is actually going on? It was a bit like that. I could handle the sideliners, but I couldn’t compete with love and I wasn’t about to try.

So, I walked away.

I didn’t kick up a stink; didn’t accuse him of foul play or demand that he stopped corresponding with Dutch-clutch. I simply told him that I couldn’t do it anymore and that I wasn’t going to play second to anyone. Period.

I meant that shit. The thing is, you can never change the way people feel. It doesn’t matter how much or how deep you love someone; they will always do what they’re going to do regardless. And if the person you love doesn’t love you back to the same degree, it is never going to be balanced enough to completely fulfil you, anyway.

Happiness in a relationship cannot thrive with doubt, suspicion, disrespect or distrust. This is where we trip up so readily when it comes to relationships. When we tend to accept less than what we know we deserve because we are in love — all of the opposite characteristics that deny a healthy relationship. Things like: Trust. Respect. Honor. Compromise. Dedication and great communication.

It is never easy to walk away from someone you love. I was already in deep and the pain was intense. Suddenly, every lyric to every love song killed. Lost love lingers like subtle poison. Yet sometimes, the act of letting go of someone is necessary and, believe it or not, it is the ultimate act of love. For the both of you.

There is truth to that old saying that goes something like:

“When you love someone let them go …”

In the past, I’ve been forced to cut ties with people that I have shared time with and loved very much. Friendships that turned toxic and demanding. A family member who is not unlike the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead: “When she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.”

It’s never an easy decision to discard those from your life who hurt you, but it comes down to self-preservation and protecting your quality of life. You can love someone safely from a distance. I’ve learned this and to this day, I still practice it.

Yet, when it comes to romantic love it can be excruciatingly more difficult to let go.

It didn’t matter how many times I told myself that he wasn’t right for me; that he didn’t love me; that it was the wrong timing and it could never work out; I couldn’t quite quell the yearning inside for him.

My heart fought my brain at every moment spent convincing myself that it was never real.

But sometimes, we have to walk away from love in order to discover its authenticity. Sometimes, it’s the only way to know for sure.

About a month later, he called. Told me that he met me in his dreams and that he didn’t want a life without me in it. It would be first time he uttered the words I had longed to hear.

I love you.

It took me walking away for the penny to finally drop. He returned a different man ready for the breadth of my love and all I had to offer — minus the Dutch-clutch and the sideliners, of course.

“… and if they return, they were always yours.”

The truth is: When the right people come into your life, it can never be wrong timing. The right people are timeless.


What Does a Gentleman Look Like to You?

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A gentleman, while antiquated as a term, is a description of one with grace. Isn’t it odd that we call a civil man a gentleman and a woman who carries herself with self-respect, a lady?

– Xavier Eastenbrick.

My mother used to tell me that I was a beacon for jerks.

She was right. Somehow, I had a knack for attracting men who play games. Dangerous games that hurt me. Men who thought it was okay to treat me as some kind of possession.

Question: Does a gentleman devalue a woman?

Answer: A gentleman never lies to a woman — he should go out of his way to never make her cry unless they are tears of happiness. He always treats her like a lady.

– The Gentleman’s Journal.

Some men have an ingrained sense of entitlement. They think bedding a woman equates to ownership. I remember reading somewhere that this sense of “ownership” over a partner actually sticks with these men even after that particular relationship dissolves.

Take my ex-husband for example. Long after our divorce, he would still call me with all kinds of unreasonable demands and questions. More than once, I had to remind him that we were no longer married.

He didn’t back off until I married someone else.

It comes down to emotional maturity.

If you Google the phrase, “when do men emotionally mature”, you’ll find the magic number is forty-three.

It’s thirty-two for women. That’s a whole lot of years for a woman to wait for the penny to drop. Even then, it isn’t always a given.

I’m not convinced that all men in their forties are actually emotionally mature. Some women, too. I have encountered mature women who exercise emotionally manipulative tactics, and men who exhibit behavior like a five-year-old — as if they have chronic man-flu.

Constant complaining, gaming and knee-jerk reactions all round. Not so hot for developing strong bonds and trust with others.

Question: Should a gentleman do the Moonwalk?

Answer: No one wants to see a grown man Moonwalking and grabbing his testicles on the dance floor anymore. Let it go. Literally.

No one wants to see a grown man clad in a pair of skimpy Speedos at the beach, either. We refer to them as budgie-huggers here in Australia.

Sometimes, the “huggers” don’t quite hold all of the “budgies”, if you know what I mean. Sometimes, less is actually not more.

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A gentleman should be open-minded though.

An intelligent man knows the benefit of listening to other’s views and being prepared to learn and develop his own world view. He seeks to broaden his perspective.

He doesn’t judge, either.

Nor does he ever tell.

Uh-uh. A gentleman has no interest in Chinese whispers, vicious gossip or running others down. He doesn’t shoot off at the mouth before thinking, and he doesn’t always have to have the last say.

There is something to be said about thinking before responding — a small window of time exists where you get to choose how you respond to the situation confronting you.

Sometimes, it might be even longer. Make it count.

A gentleman learns to quell the knee-jerk reaction; he carries himself with dignity and respect at all times.

When my parents divorced, my mother ran into the arms of a much older man. Like, thirty years much older. At first, I tried to resent him. He wasn’t my dad. That resolve didn’t last, though.

Ron was a gentleman. Old school style.

Question: Do they even make them anymore?

Answer: In this day and age, grace is often sacrificed on the altar of selfishness, greed, and convenience.

– Xavier Eastenbrick.

Ron opened doors for my mother and showed her what it meant to be treated like a lady. A lady (check out featured image)I don’t know that that skill is common these days.

Not really.

Question: Should a man open a door for a lady in this day and age?

Answer: This time-honoured gentlemanly gesture has become problematic in the modern world. For a lady, a gentleman always offers his seat, opens the door and helps her with her luggage.

– The Gentleman’s Journal.

Hmm … interesting.

Which leads me to …

Question: Do men actually sacrifice their comfort for a woman?

Answer: Offering your coat to a lady is an act of attentiveness and selflessness. A gentleman should always offer his coat to a lady, walk her home and offer to pay.

– The Gentleman’s Journal.

I asked my fifteen-year-old daughter what a gentleman looked like to her.

Answer: Respectful. Considerate and not selfish.

Good answer.

“Do you think the boys at school behave like gentlemen?”

Laughs.

“No way!”

When does it kick in? When emotional maturity takes hold at … umm … forty-three?

She could be waiting until she’s a middle-aged woman before she experiences a true gentleman.

I hope not.

Question: What does it mean to be a gentleman today?

Answer: The most common perception for a gentleman is a man who ensures that he is chivalrous towards women. The term attaches itself to men who are courteous and treat women with respect. Gentlemen are attentive to what a woman wants and needs, yet in the same regard they understand their own value and purpose.

– Brian Cornwell.

Historically, a gentleman was a way to describe a man of character. The term gentleman has changed over the years, nowadays it’s used to describe the actions and behaviors of a man.

Perhaps they should introduce these behaviors within the education system to reinforce what I hope is being taught at home. Things such as teaching boys how to become men who are polite, calm, respectful and considerate — the cornerstone for defining what it means to be a gentleman.

Vital qualities are necessary for forming and nurturing healthy relationships.

Question: What does the modern-day gentleman look like to you?

Answer: Here’s what my views are about the quality that makes both a distinction above the base animal within:

It is the quality of grace.

We tend to have an image in our minds of a suit-clad man and a dress clad woman, but it isn’t by any true measure the defining quality. Any brute can put on a suit and be as disgraceful as one clad in filth.

One with grace is polite as their default position, slow to anger and respectful of others.

One with grace is not fearful to stand up for what is right and express themselves with the truth of their intention.

One with grace doesn’t manipulate to move ahead.

One with grace understands that they don’t know it all and strives to be more than who they are.

A gentleman is caring and kind, strong and confident in that which matters.

– Xavier Eastenbrick.

Spoken like a true gentleman.


Xavier on Twitter | Pinterest | Quora

Awakening the Heart Can Do Anything

But it takes a whole lot of courage to get there.

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A rustic wooden heart dangles on a solitary, wrought iron candelabra that my son crafted during a metal workshop lesson some years ago. It’s rough and wore-torn, and it leans slightly to one side but I love it. It stands atop a chest of file-drawers beneath the window in my office; a keepsake from his early teenage years.

I used to live in the Blue Mountains — a rugged stretch of dramatic ranges west of Sydney. It’s one of those places that seeps into your bones and forever ensnares a part of your soul. Much like the moments before dawn when the sun emerges from the sea to leave you standing in a place of awe.

Nature has a way of stripping you bare when you allow its essence to bleed into you. Connecting and grounding to our natural world is important in maintaining inner-balance and peace. They are some of the most precious moments existing throughout our lifetimes; created to nourish your soul and remind us of our humanity, as well as the eternal spirit within.

Have you ever gazed at the stars and completely surrendered yourself to their cryptic twinkles, or stood at a cliff top and succumbed to the glorious scene spreading before you?

It’s deeply humbling and empowering at the same time.

You can literally feel yourself merge with the earth’s spirit which sparks an undeniable connection to something far greater than yourself. It is through contemplating your bond with the universal spirit that will unlock the path to self-awareness and higher states of love.

God frolics among the forest treetops, snow-capped mountains and rugged coastlines. God waits for you to recognize yourself in each moment gifted to you, and every glance you didn’t really see.

I’m not religious. At all. I don’t adhere to any religious deity, and I do not use the word God in the context as such. To me, God is not a supernatural force who judges our earthly indiscretions, but a term to describe source energy — the higher intelligence governing creation and all that is. The source of unconditional love.

Let’s leave the judgement for the lower vibrational beings in our world. Those who are tethered to a set of rules and systems bred from fear and designed to control the masses. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to escape the reality concocted by fear.

Blinders.

We are born shrouded by invisible blinders that conceal the truth of the divine resources available to us. Limitation is everywhere and shown to us at the onset. It’s no wonder that we become so confused and frazzled as we move through life; that our mental health suffers beneath layers of pressure, stress and delusion.

Delusion for inauthenticity, and for the perceived limitations that we allow to determine the choices made from a closed mindset. Choices made from fear — the opposite of the unconditional love we should be aspiring toward.

Often, it is our most hearts desires that are left on the altar of authenticity. We learn to sacrifice deep love or passion because we believe that to follow our truths is too hard, selfish, or unattainable. We think we’re not good enough, smart enough or talented enough.

We believe in those blinders.

The best hippie store ever is in those mountains west of Sydney. The owner travels the world to scour exotic foreign markets in India, South East Asia and South America to gather the most exquisite, rare and usual pieces and trinkets for his store. Which actually resembles some place you might find in an obscure market alleyway in Turkey. At least, that’s what I envision.

His store was one of my most favorite places to visit when I lived in the mountains. That’s where I picked up that old timber heart piece over a decade ago. The bold message etched across its face spoke to me:

Love. The heart can do anything.

It may sound a bit mushy for those who dismiss romantic notions, but opening the heart isn’t just about romantic love. It is about choosing to live from your heart energy through practicing opening, clearing, cleansing, supporting and strengthening the heart space. 

Consider this quote from Rumi:

“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

One whole heart home. Some of us are ready to forsake half-loves to take one whole heart home, but what does that mean?

It means courage.

Often, we forget to just sit with the feeling of love and allow its intense hues to fill us up until it overflows from our being. Life throws us so many challenges. We all tend to have a knack for switching off our hearts when it is convenient or when it seems too hard. The blinders close in all around us until we think there isn’t enough love inside of us to go around or turn the impossible, possible.

Closing your heart means stagnation.

It means rejecting your life-force energy, which will serve to wither your soul and narrow the scope of your world. It means settling for discontentment, getting used to feeling unfulfilled and being afraid because it is through our hearts that connects us with others and allows us to feel compassion, empathy, courage and love.

Moreover, it through our hearts that opens the channel toward realizing our connection to our sacredness — the key to transformation, joy and happiness.

Courage is vital to realizing out most fulfilling life. 

It is true that the greatest forms of love we may encounter will be our most difficult to perceive and express — the precious whole hearted love you want to take home and keep forever. 

These forms of rare love arrive to push us into greater states of awareness as they test our inner-strength and faith as our hearts reopen to love to a greater degree.

This is how the heart transforms us — through daring us to accept deeper spheres of love and contemplate new ways of thinking and being. A higher love that propels us into deep reflection, causing a significant a shift within.

It is the cycle of rebirthing your spirit.

The courageous heart is driven toward questioning the blinders to ponder higher-level concepts that will shatter preconceived notions and expectations surrounding love and limitation. 

It is through a brave heart that will move you toward fulfilling your passions, emerging into your truths and facing the challenges as you go deeper and quest longer in the name of love, ease and expansion.

Transformation is a choice.

It starts with you. Allow the energy and wisdom of your heart guide you toward transformation and living a self-focused life paved with moments of creating greater awareness.

It is through love that you will expand your mind to see past the blinders and create new realities in the world. It is through contemplating your connection to the earth and universal spirit that will act as a springboard toward awakening your heart and accepting great love in your life; and ultimately each heart transformation affects us all. 

It is time to trust in yourself that you may feel love, have compassion and find the courage to embrace all of life’s sweetest offerings. 

It is time to awaken your heart.