We are over-complicators existing beneath self-created blinders. The world keeps turning. Time slips by as we leave our prints upon the days and nights of yesterday.
We sift and sort as we move through life. Some of us analyze and reflect, others blame, scream and argue. Complications arise to push us towards evolution. Babies are born. Death is everywhere. Love and connection come calling to rattle our senses.
Pain passes from one to another as if through a shifting flame. Some of us go deep inside to seek an ancient knowledge embedded within the spirit beyond the flesh.
Truths are often distorted until it feels right — till you’ve positioned the situation someplace where you can summon a sense of false justification for the wrongs you’ve caused.
It’s okay, baby. It’s okay. You can only do the best you can at any given moment.
But the truth simmers deep within. It hides in the core of your being and awaits your attention. Someday, you will make an internal leap toward a tsunami of revelations that will uncover all that you have buried — All that you’ve tried to forget, and all that will unravel you when you are brave enough to explore the uncharted path.
No one escapes the human experience. Above all else, each one of us yearns to be pulled out from the inside by someone who can really see us. We crave to be heard by those we love and hold dear.
Do we really listen to one another?
Life. Death. Love & Connection — All that encompasses the moments between birth and death may never be fully articulated, but in sharing our experiences and deepest truths, we may reach greater states of the human condition.
We may bond and understand. We may love more deeply, forgive faster and speak to one another without judgement, fear or resentment.
We may discover a better world.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
If I said …
However, that one thing encompasses many different facets of the same jewel. Within gratitude, there is love and hope. There is appreciation and strength, consciousness and humility.
There are concepts which transcend the specific aspects in life. There are aspects which occupy the shadows which I try not to complain about because it seems inconsistent with the gratitude I have for my life.
— Xavier Eastenbrick.
If I said …
With death comes distinction. The contrast between the living and the dead is absolute. Mortality becomes reality. Yet, so does our immortality — the eternal spirit within. You feel it more than ever.
When sharing time with a dying person, the space becomes sacred; the energy shifts into something higher to aid the transition.
Divinity is revealed.
When you can sense that, the pain accompanying the death of a loved one becomes enshrined with a god-force — with love and gratitude.
Respect and love for everything is magnified. Death is all around, and you learn that what was once a great fear is no more.
— Kim Petersen.
If I said …
Sacred Bonds & friendship.
“May love find you and wrap your heart in an inspired cocoon, and draw from that wrapping the beautiful butterfly of you coming into all your being.
Live out loud and let nothing steal your voice. Let 2020 be a year of transmutation.”
— Xavier Eastenbrick.
Love is a snippet of conversation:
“You say the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. How come?”
“I don’t just say things. I mean what I say, I think you know that. I trust you.”
“I trust you, too.”
“Thank you. I appreciate you and the gift of your communication.”
“Who are you?”
— Xavier & Kim
Love is stripping the layers and living from the inside out. It’s being willing to share yourself with someone because you know they sense your worth.
They see you and you see them back. To love and be loved is the highest privilege.
It would depend on when you asked me because over the years it has evolved from a concept rattling around the developing mind of a young man, to an amorphous, overwhelming emotion, to an intensely conscious feeling of its presence within me.
Since encountering her, love immediately gravitates to mean her.
Love floods my soul with a radiating energy that extends to all parts of my creativity and the best parts of me; both in the now and in the making. Love pushes me forward. While at the same time, when needed, it keeps me at a distance.
Many confuse sexual desire and lust for love, and while they exist in the bounds of love the reality is, those elements alone are hollow and ephemeral. When desire and lust exist within love, they have the ability to transmute the energy of love into another level of consciousness; the space between the intersecting circles of the Vesica Piscis.
Once this energy is created, it multiplies just as cells divide and becomes life within the order of the universe’s sacred geometry.
My life has been the crucible fire; forging an understanding of love that makes me humble to appreciate the dichotomy of the smallness of me as a being, but also the infinite of participating in it.
Aside from the fate laden descriptive way I articulated my response, love is also playful and personal; it’s laughing with abandon, soft to the touch, and a raging passionate monster almost untameable.
Love fearlessly searches for greater degrees of depth.
If I said …
Oneness. Completion. Tranquillity. Truth.
Connection is that slight pulse that begins in your soul and grows intense when confronting deep truths. The feeling you cannot ignore when you sense the invisible cords linking you to something more; something beautiful … something like higher-love and all that is.
It is inner-recognition; a spark igniting in your soul when you encounter someone significant. The flame. It’s piecing the puzzles of moments passed and marveling at divine synchronicity.
It is being afraid to explore sacred bonds but finding the courage to go there because to deny the connection is to deny yourself the opportunity to experience the deepest love you’ll ever know.
Connection is peeking from the blinders to behold the wonderful moments when clarity finds you; when you become still and reach for more. When you find the key to unlock parts of your soul to revelations that blow your mind and you realize connection had never eluded you.
It was you that had avoided real connection all along.
Thank you for reading! What’s your answer when confronted by those words?
In this collection of short, heartfelt essays, Kim Petersen explores what it means to live an authentic life, strengthen bonds and nurture real connections in a hyper-connected world, while Xavier Eastenbrick goes deep on the Twin Flame Soul Connection.
Each piece shares the unpredictable, meaningful and often humorous experiences of one woman’s journey as a daughter, a wife and a lover, a mother and a friend as she ignores boundaries to get real and gritty.
In these short pieces, Kim and Xavier tease out their vulnerabilities to bring unity and love to the page by recounting some of their most pivotal moments, deepest fears and wildest dreams. Through their unique voices, you will find a safe place to laugh, cry and be inspired to live an authentic life.
If you like to explore deep soul connections, love and sexuality, and ponder the meaning of life with a side of humor, this book is for you. Life. Death. Love & Connection is the first collection of short memoirs from Whispering Ink, with bestselling author Kim Petersen and Xavier Eastenbrick.
Last night, I attended a Shamanic Drumming circle. It had been a few months since I had joined circle. When my friend Catherine mentioned the upcoming session, I didn’t hesitate — something inside me recognized the need for the soul-cleansing and inner-healing these sacred drumming circles bring to my psyche.
It was the black dog.
I knew that spending two hours in a sacramental environment listening to our Shaman teachers speak of shedding, soul-growth and revitalization would provide the perfect outlet to get away from myself; away from thought, feelings and the depression shadowing me.
I have battled bouts of depression in the past as well as anxiety on occasion. As much as I have tried to deny how I’m feeling is as much as it produces feelings of failure — admitting to a decline in happiness seems to equate with being an epic screw-up.
The thing is, I know better. I know how to identify the triggers. I have studied philosophical teachings offered by the great ancient masters of Buddhism; Stoicism; Shamanism and the like. I have spent years learning, practicing and seeing the results produced by raising my awareness through meditation and deliberate pondering, as well as the benefits achieved by controlling my thoughts.
Yet, I am still not immune to depression. Have I failed in my quest for inner-peace and happiness? Did I do something wrong?
Honestly, it is my belief that not many of us manage to avoid experiencing some form of mental dysfunction during our lifetimes — no matter how aware we become or how informed we are. Especially in this day and age.
There is so much going on all the time. Lifestyle has become a fast blur. People have become disconnected; replaceable. We treat one another as if exchangeable goods, never really seeing or acknowledging the precious soul behind the flesh. Never really holding one another.
Internet-based relationships for business and social purposes means we are able to engage with others without actually becoming invested in their authenticity. It means we can pretend that the person on the other side of the screen isn’t real. Feelings become invalidated; people become a dime-a-dozen and avoiding the hook is as easy as deactivating your account or hitting the “block” icon.
Only the joke is on us.
We are losing sight of the importance of connection. Our sense of self becomes tainted by behaving like strangers, ditching good manners, ghosting and treating others less than they deserve.
Where is the organic connection? Where is the love?
Writers are among the most prone to depression, but I wasn’t always a writer and I’m not sure that I was always prone to depression. I’ve always had a solid grasp on my feelings for the most part.
The writing life does something to you. It changes you. We delve into the deepest parts of ourselves, get vulnerable and share our inner-most layers with the world. Writing becomes a channel of self-discovery; a passage of growth and exploration. Sometimes, we soar. Other times, we bleed.
Creating stories has the ability to make you fly.
It is when I am working on my fiction that I’m at my happiest. Yet, there are so many elements about the writing business that can leave us feeling utterly deflated.
Kay Redfield Jamison, who is a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and author of Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament has reported that writers experience depression more often than non-writers.
It is thought this is due to several reasons.
For one, some writers desire to be familiar with misery, suffering and pain to guide the writing process and give their work authenticity. They may have not experienced the deep sense of trials and tribulations as their characters, so they seek to gain insight by manifesting similar emotions.
Extended hours of isolation, lack of exercise and natural light is another factor to influence depression in writers.
There is also the emotional roller coaster associated with rejection, which is an element familiar to just about every writer — Rejection in the form of editor’s, publishers, agents, readers and peers.
Clinical psychiatrist Alan Manevitz says: “A large part of a writer’s success depends on how other people think of him or approve.”
How many times have you emailed another writer who is further along the path than yourself only to be ignored?
And all you said was thank you.
How often has one of your peers deliberately inserted a subliminal swipe at your work or future project ideas? How many times have you read some trivial heated debate among writers on social media, or heard authors in a position of influence publicly slam the works of others?
I am not sure how success has assimilated a superior attitude.
I don’t understand why some people behave in ways that breed contempt.
I cannot fathom why we feel the need to judge, ridicule or perceive a sense threat toward one another when we’re all in it together — there are readers aplenty. There are words abundance. Limitation is an illusion.
So is separateness.
They say that depression lies in the past; anxiety waits in the future. But I think those blue feelings can strike for other reasons as well. Sometimes, even the thickest skin becomes porous enough for negativity to seep through. Sometimes, people and situations hurt like hell.
If only members of the writing community could see past their own egos long enough to get real, we might be able to hold and support each other long enough to feel the authenticity on the other side of the screen — to acknowledge that the person beyond the screen is a real human with real feelings.
Last night, my Shaman teacher concluded the circle by suggesting we all hug each other. My first reaction was to baulk at the idea. I’m not a hugger of strangers, even when bonding over a sacred alter and making medicine together.
Yet, as the other circle members approached me with their arms wide open and I stepped into their embrace, I realized how symbolic the gesture was and found myself in a state of appreciation — acts of kindness and affection go a long way to healing the invisible threads connecting us.
We may not be able to physically embrace all of the time, but our energy is as tangible as anything in the physical world. Perhaps if writers practiced hugging one another on the energetic level instead of looking for ways to get outraged or feel threatened, our community will become less hostile and more loving; more supportive.
Even if it stretches our comfort zone. Especially if it stretches our comfort zone.
You often hear about people being in the zone.
Painters being in another place, the paintbrush seeming to have a mind of its
own; musicians so engrossed in the music they are creating. You only have to
look at some of the great guitarists to see what I mean; writers sitting at the
keyboard for hours without a break, not wanting to stop because the words just
If only it was like that all of the time. Alas, that is not always how
it is. Sometimes, we just sit and look at the screen, the empty sheet music
page or canvas and nothing flows.
I am not a writer, artist or musician. I am a Clairvoyant and, in my
work, I have to go to my highest self and above every time I connect to Spirit.
The principals are the same. The following are some of the practices I use to
centre and reconnect to my higher creative self.
Drink water, without hydration you cannot work to your highest potential.
Breathe. The breath is one of the most important and easiest tools we can use to open to our highest creative self.
Close your eyes and take in a deep breath, breathing in through your crown and into your heart.
Take another deep
breath, in through your feet and into your heart. Take another deep breath in
of love from the universe and feel your heart expand.
Breathe in love
from the earth and feel your heart expand.
Breathe in the I AM
love from the universe into your heart, breathe in the I AM love from the earth
into your heart.
Feel your heart
expand, the energy in your heart is your creative essence, let it expand.
Feel the love for the I AM self that is you,
feel it, sit with it, be one with it and allow it to expand and flow through
you to every cell of your being.
Opening your eyes when you are ready.
Affirmations are such a wonderful way of instilling self-belief.
I am a Creative Being
I know who I am and I know how I serve
I am open to my joy
I am peace and allow my joy to flow
We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. I also believe that we can change something by looking at the emotion that you are feeling. Sit with it, bring it into your heart, not your mind.
How does it feel?
What emotion are you experiencing?
Fear, anger, frustration, not good enough, fraud? All emotions are valid, even it they are not real. i.e. you are always good enough etc.
Feel the emotion,
hold it in your heart and say this until it lessens or goes away.
I CLEANSE YOU. I CLEAR YOU. I LOVE YOU
I CLEANSE YOU. I CLEAR YOU. I LOVE YOU
I CLEANSE YOU. I CLEAR YOU. I LOVE YOU
Prayer or Invocation
I always use a simple invocation before every reading, or healing. You can do the same thing. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out prayer it can be very simple. As I work with Spirit, I always ask for God and the angels to be with me. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, but I will say asking your angels for help is one thing that you can do and the angels love helping you.
You can say something simple like:
“Thank you, angels for being with me while I write
Thank you, angels for helping me through this block
I call on all the Angels of Creativity to be with me today.”
Judy is a well-known Psychic Medium and Workshop facilitator who is now
in the beautiful and tranquil Tanilba Bay, Port Stephens.
With the move to Port Stephens she will be concentrating more on her
Reading and Healing work with a focus on Light Language.
Skype and phone sessions are available for my overseas, interstate and
distant clients, or if you just can’t get to me in person. Distances makes no
difference to the quality of the session as everything is done with Spirit and
your higher self.
With a quirky sense of humour and many years’ experience, including reading at festivals, the Mind Body Spirit, New Age Shops and her private rooms, you are guaranteed a high degree of accuracy, empathy, integrity and confidentiality.
Turn highly sensitive characteristics into a power tool for your writing career.
“I’m a fraud!”
“I’m not a good enough writer.”
“What am I thinking? No one will be interested in reading my work.”
Any of these self-deprecating mantras resonate with you?
Mantra. There’s a word. If you’re thinking it’s one that doesn’t quite gel with the negative connotation preceding it, then you’d be right. Words like ‘self-deprecating’. A quick squiz at Wikipedia will inform you that the word “mantra” denotes a sacred meaning, a numinous sound or utterance — ‘A group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and/or spiritual powers’.
No, I’m not delusional (yet!) nor am I messing around with your head. I’m not attempting to spin a dark twist on an ancient practice rooted in the divine, either, but I did choose the word ‘mantra’ for a reason.
Still uncertain about my intentions? Read on, skeptic creatives, as I attempt to dissect our self-sabotaging inner-demons and pave a way to eliminate those bad boys forever.
Imposter syndrome (IS) is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. In a nutshell, IS boils down to lack of self-belief and self-confidence. This upbeat, feel-good phenomenon isn’t just reserved for the creatives of the world. We’re not so special in that regard. It affects people in all walks of life. However, are you aware that creatives are almost always highly sensitive people who respond to the world in a more reactive way? Nuances like IS are always lingering beneath the surface, ready to pounce.
The nature of writing is an extremely personal practice. Through our words we purge our souls, bleed our hearts, drown in our experiences and flirt with our innermost fears and desires.
We draw on those cards; writers write about what obsesses them.
But finding the courage to go there doesn’t always equate with the fearlessness required when the time comes to share our gift with the world. For highly sensitive people, this is the moment when imposter syndrome strikes like an old relic you cannot shake.
You know what I’m saying. It’s that moment of truth. You’ve just spent countless hours banging on the keyboard and drinking endless cups coffee. You are a writer — committed to story and dedicated to producing your best work and all that entails as you’ve persevered through the long journey. You’ve plotted and outlined. You’ve developed and argued with your characters; you’ve spent more time procrastinating than you’ll admit, and there were times when you succumbed to resistance. Afterwards, you probably paid with a hefty side of guilt. You’ve gnawed, screamed and knuckled down. Then you’ve pushed through the creative blocks and rejoiced when those sweet, magical bouts of inspiration arrived to flow into your words.
Ah, the life of a writer — fascinating yet frustrating all at the same time. And rewarding, because all those hours accumulated to produce your baby, and now that you’ve cleaned, pampered and typed the last words on your preciousness, other people are going to read your work. People are going to judge your intellectual labor too. Cringe.
Brace yourself, dear writer, as you battle those rancid nerves and sometimes forget that you need to breathe. I’m not sure this feeling will ever completely subside but I can offer you a few tools to combat those inner brutes as well as provide suggestions for turning highly sensitive characteristics into a power tool for your writing career.
So, take a deep breath as we get into the guts of this article.
High Sensitivity is a Superpower
Science has confirmed the existence of high sensitivity (did we really need it validated?). In fact, research has showed about 20% of the population are highly sensitive by default. What I mean is that people don’t choose to respond to the world in a sensitive way, they just do.
Before you go brushing this trait away as a sign of weakness, think again. Studies reveal that highly sensitive people (HSP) are often intellectually gifted and are extremely empathetic creatures. They have a heightened sense of awareness too, with an uncanny ability to pick up on the emotions and vibes of those around them. Additionally, highly sensitive people are more likely to cultivate and trust their ability to become attuned and communicate with their higher-mind, AKA their inner-guidance system. Superpowers!
Being a highly sensitive person can mean pain. Quite literally. You may experience acute physical, mental or emotional responses to many situations. These triggers may be external or internal (damned those intrapersonal feedback loops!) While some people want to accredit high sensitivity to the shy at heart, this is not always the case. They can be introverted, extroverted or somewhere in between. However, the traits making you highly sensitive can also be a magical gift for being an amazing writer. Let’s look at how we can use sensitivity to enrich our creative writing.
Embrace your Super-Sensitive Qualities.
HSPs are aware of details. This characteristic is invaluable as a writer. Often, the small details in our stories can be overlooked or drowned in the bigger global story. Whether it’s story structure and plot or character development, paying attention to detail can provide the qualities and insights that will enable our manuscripts to shine.
This mystical resource is critical to the success of every fiction writer. However, the best fiction taps into the minute details that brings characters and scenes to life.For example: An unexpected character thought, reaction, oddity or flaw; the paint flaking as a door opens; the slight limp in his swagger; the way her eyes glaze when she becomes whimsical. You get the drift. Without extreme sensitivity, these details might be impossible to capture.
Writing is sharing information and giving to the world. This is particularly true for non-fiction writers. Our true intentions stretch beyond literal recognition or other desires. The act of being an author is generous. Non-fiction authors spend hours tapping into their most sensitive parts — downloading their brain, coordinating and cataloging their thoughts to produce their most useful information to benefit others.
Now that we’ve plunged into why imposter syndrome may be a prominent factor affecting writers and covered a few ways high sensitivity can positively impact our creative work, it’s time to break open the shell, reach within and circle back to those mantras. It’s time to explore the Solar Plexus, discover its key characteristics and how we can make the most of this powerful energy center.
The Solar Plexus is part of the sympathetic nervous system.
This complex system of radiating nerves and ganglia is found in the pit of the stomach. While it plays a vital role in the functioning of the stomach, kidneys, liver, and adrenal glands, this bunch of nerves is also responsible for anxiety symptoms.
That’s right; after the initial rush of excitement accompanying a book release, how often does that high suddenly fade into an internal slide into self-doubt and belief? If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then you’ll know it’s a bad case of imposter syndrome that’s making you feel like a walking scam.
Considering it is the Solar Plexus in our physical bodies that lies at the center of these discordant feelings, we’re going to push beyond the flesh, nerves and ganglia to explore this part of ourselves in a somewhat intangible sense. We’re going to get a little esoteric and discuss the Solar Plexus Chakra.
You’ve probably heard about the seven chakras that exist in our subtle etheric bodies. They are often referenced in the context of emotional healing or meditation. However, you may have found the concept confusing, or not quite figured out what place it might have in your life. But don’t fret, it’s not just the experts that can work with chakras; you can too.
The Solar Plexus Chakra is the third chakra. It is located just above your navel, resonating with the color yellow. This is the energy center associated with self-belief, self-worth, ego, courage, confidence, and personal power. It is vital for this energy center to be balanced so that we don’t experience negative emotional issues.
Let’s examine some of the main elements correlating with the third chakra before moving on to talk about a few alternative approaches we can take to ease our anxiety when it comes to those jarring feelings imposter syndrome can produce.
Key Meanings Associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra.
· Willpower and personal power
· Taking responsibility for one’s life, accepting self-control
· Mental abilities — the intellect
· Forming personal opinions and beliefs
· Making decisions, setting the direction
· Clarity of judgment
· Personal identity
· Self-assurance, self-confidence
Signs your Solar Plexus Chakra may be Imbalanced.
· Excessive control and authority over your environment and people
· Or the opposite in case of blocked energy: Feelings of helplessness.
· Being obsessed with minute details, seeing life through a filter of negativity which may cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture
· Being manipulative
· Misusing your power
· Lack of clear direction, purpose or ambition
· Self-sabotaging behavior and feelings
The Solar Plexus Chakra plays an important role in our self-confidence and self-worth. When this area is out of balance or blocked, we can experience feelings of depression or anxiety, lack of self-control and low self-esteem. These symptoms can also manifest physically and may include:
· Irritable bowel problems
· Reflux problems
· Binge eating
· Overweight or underweight issues
· Diabetes and stomach ulcers
As we move through life, it is important for us to maintain our health in all facets — mind, body and soul. Given the nature of our hyper-connected world, sometimes this can be a challenging state to achieve. If your personality leans toward the highly sensitive side, events like book releases can become overwhelming, particularly when facing deep-seated, self-worth issues fanned by the frenetic flames of imposter syndrome.
By focusing on clearing the Solar Plexus chakra, we can find balance in those moments when dissonance becomes a prominent emotion. Here are a few tools to get you back on track and back to the page.
Crystals for Third Chakra Balance.
Did you know that crystals vibrate with specific frequencies of color and light? There are many crystals and gemstones that help to balance and clear the Solar Plexus Chakra of blockages. Solar Plexus Chakra crystals include:
Happiness and confidence, emits large amounts of positive energy. This crystal encourages you to maintain a positive state of mind to attract everything you want in life.
A crystal of positive energy. Helpful for negative thoughts fixed on misfortune and despair.
Helps to increase your vitality and strength. It can give one new hope and a renewed sense of optimism.
Helps to release fears and anxieties. It is a great stone for giving courage and self-confidence. Particularly helpful for those who experience lack of self-worth.
Now that we’ve lined up a few crystals, you may be wondering how we’re going to use these gem-babies to help balance our energy center. I have two words for you — meditation and mantras. Yes, this is the part we turn those self-deprecating “mantras” into something positive. So, grab your crystals and let’s get started!
Meditation and Crystals for Third Chakra Balance.
Meditation is an extremely effective way to balance and clear your chakras. The following is an example of how to combine crystals with meditation and mantras when your Solar Plexus Chakra feels out of balance.
1. Hold your crystals in your non-dominant hand while sitting or place them on your body above the naval while lying down.
2. Inhale deeply and imagine a white light coming into the top of your head, allow the light to fill your entire body.
3. When you exhale, imagine any negative energy releasing from your body through your breath — consciously release any low energy vibes and stress.
4. Envision a golden ball of light below your naval spinning clockwise. Every time you inhale, imagine this light growing bigger and brighter. As you breathe out imagine all the blockages and negative energy leaving your being.
Mantras for Third Chakra Balance.
· I am a great writer
· Through my words, I have much to offer the world
· I can make a difference
· I believe in myself
· I am confident
· I am worthy of success, happiness, love (or insert desirable outcome here)
· I am grateful for the opportunities presented to me
· I am a creative writer
· I have the courage to keep going and conquer my fears
· I am everything I wish to bring forth
I’m certain you’ll agree these affirmations sound more like the sacred mantras Wikipedia told us about earlier, right? The greatest thing about practicing mantras is that you can offer yourself any positive outcome you desire. Your thoughts and words have power beyond the ones you release to the world in the form of your stories. They also form the essence of who you are, so choose them wisely.
Now that you’ve become more acquainted with imposter syndrome and high sensitivity and discovered ways to balance your all-powerful Solar Plexus Chakra, it’s worth remembering how important it is to practice self-care.
When you balance your Solar Plexus center, you will feel lighter and confident, and recognize your true potential. You are a creative being, here to spread love into the world through your words and creations. Keeping yourself balanced and cultivating your self-belief will not only improve your quality of life, but also reflect in your work.
Give it a shot sometime; what have you got to lose other than the demonic imposter syndrome?
Natural disasters. Terrorism. Racism. Human rights. Animal cruelty. Inequality.
The world won’t stop for you. Nature will always do its thing, and people … well, they will always be people. Personally, I am among the benevolent among humanity. There is not an inch of me that understands the unjust behaviors often displayed by mankind. I reject discrimination, hate and fear. I reject cruelty of all kinds — violence, malicious intent, inequality, intolerance, corruption and the mistreatment of animals. I renounce spite, resentment and narrow-mindedness.
Humanity is capable of deplorable acts and a merciless attitude. For those that feel deeply, live compassionately and with heart, these immoral behaviors can be extremely unsettling. I turn away from that which affects me negatively and focus on bringing positive and uplifting qualities into the world.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to ignore the ugly stuff. Sometimes, it hits close to home. So close, the option to ignore becomes impossible.
Other times, we are faced with issues and situations at the micro level; personal conditions involving love and relationships, responsibilities, an unseen event or financial concerns. Those are the ordeals we can’t pretend don’t exist. At least, not for very long. Those conditions are a part of life and are also the ones that grip our emotions and cause our bodies to react in some way as our nerves stretch to the very edge.
Stress. It affects us all at some point in varying degrees. Whether it is becoming disturbed about the horrible things affecting our world or our personal experiences, we have no choice but to learn how to cope with the twists and turns life throws at us. Professional writer or not, I believe writing has many benefits from the psychological standpoint. But as writers and creatives, it is through the written word that we find the perfect outlet to work through our emotions, as well as drive home our beliefs and visions for the world. Depending on where you want to take it.
We are complex creatures with many layers and depth. We view the world through the fluidity of our unique perspectives as we evolve, change and reach for new experiences. We are the flesh and blood; the tangible and malleable. Yet, we are also the esoteric and the mysterious; the light and the dark dwell within each of us. And it is our emotions that are our greatest muse.
Words are power
‘Everything begins with words — our stories, thoughts, messages. Each word has its own vibration too. It is these vibrations that create the reality that surrounds us. Words create more than just stories; they inform our universe, our lives and our reality — and they teach us. Through creating words, I have managed to reacquaint myself more fully with my soul and to live a more authentic, love-driven and passionate life.’
Exploring our feelings through writing — personal journals or storytelling — is extremely therapeutic. Some of these benefits include:
By expressing yourself and communicating complex ideas in a much more effective way, you can discover your true self and honor that part of you.
Emptying your mind through writing helps to eliminate the stress hammering in your head. Capturing those moments, developing and working through your ideas produces a ripple effect; since not only do you declutter your mind, but it is also a process of rationalization.
Writing activates neurons in your brain and gets you set to face the day. It is demonstrated that setting your goals or systems in writing significantly increases the possibilities of achieving them.
You will learn more
About yourself, the world and others.
You will strengthen and cultivate your writing skills. You will find your voice.
You will gain awareness
If you write down what you have in mind regularly — your dreams, worries, fears, deepest desires — you will realize yourself.
So, now that we’ve explored some of the benefits of writing, let’s take a quick look at how we can use our emotions in our work to enrich our characters and stories.
Frustrated or angry
Use the rage to create story conflict. Inject the anger into your words and release the tension. You’ll find those pages to be edgy and fast, your characters a little narky or moody. Get gritty, dark, even profane. Burn your scenes with the crude and rude, twist the plot with vengeance in your heart and your readers will thank you.
Even better. Those words will capture depth and authenticity, pain and despair. Use the turbulent heart to stain your words with grief, bitterness and agony. Your characters are now real, complicated and imperfect. Your plot may be a little dangerous, shady or inspirational. Whatever feeling you’re attempting to convey, it will be sure to bring your readers to their knees as they resonate with your energy.
Humor brings joy to the world and to your readers. Allow your happiness to bounce into your words and fill the pages with positivity and feelgood vibes. Surge ahead and spread the happy!
Alchemy and deep treasures abound through words of love. There is nothing more sacred in the world. By allowing your love to infect your story, you become an instrument of the highest order. The greatest mystery; the pinnacle of life — love. Deep love. It doesn’t get more real than this. The world cannot get enough of this stuff. Neither can your readers.
Despair and Gloom
The heartbeat of your story; the why, how and where. The all-is-lost moment — vanished goals, mammoth obstacles, impossible situations — build the conflict for your characters and make your story matter. There is a time for everything; a time for tears and expressing the darkness; a time to mourn and wallow in pain. It is through pain that we learn our greatest lessons; through pain that we are reminded we’re still alive. Lend your characters the gift of pain and feel your own lighten in return.
Whether we’re reacting to widespread chaos, disasters or events in the greater world or the experiences we endure in our own worlds, writing is an exceptional tool to use to navigate those rocky waters and glorious peaks life offers us. So, the next time you are feeling a strong emotion, go ahead and get into your writing and see where it takes you.
Our stories can uplift the world one reader at a time. The world needs your emotionally driven words now more than ever. The world needs your love and emotion in all its forms.
“Be where you are otherwise you will miss your life.” – Buddha
I’ve known about
mindfulness and I thought I did okay at it. I live in the present moment and I
try to enjoy things with a child-like glee—or so I thought. Then I heard and
saw someone who excelled at it … and it blew my mind.
I’m emotional and sometimes feelings swamp
me – negative and positive emotions. When this happens, my mind goes at a crazy
rate of knots. Memories flood in taking me back to similar circumstances and
events. I might then get multiple scenarios of what
if as I play out a heap of options in my
head. I go beyond my reactions and circumstances to include those of
other people involved. I may project into the future and imagine what a changed
life might be like, what else may now happen, and how things might work out for
everyone involved. Amid the crazy, swirling emotions and rampaging thoughts, I
try to survive whatever event it may be with dignity. Ha! I always end up
overwhelmed and dignity flies out the window.
I thought this was normal, so imagine my
surprise when my favorite sportsperson (I’m a sports tragic) was going through massive
emotional circumstances—leaving the club he’d always played for, moving cities,
getting married, and preparing for a grand final—instead of being overwhelmed, he
focused his thoughts on the task at hand, whether that was packing a box,
answering a question, or training.
Mindfulness in practice.
His composure made me realize how much I
sucked at it. I had none of that mind control. I was struggling as I imagined
what he was going through. There was no way I could focus on one task and not
think about the future. Besides, as I did a task, I’d be wondering if it was
the last time that I would ever do that and how I felt about that, would I miss
it, would others miss me, etc.
I went out and bought Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness
for Beginners: Reclaiming the present moment – and your life. I devoured
it, learning many tools and techniques I had missed. There has been a lot of
improvement but I’m nowhere near the skill level of my sporting hero. I can
attend events where I would have been overwhelmed in the past, such as at a
funeral. I now stop imagining everyone’s life changing, stop imagining their
sorrow, stop wondering how life will turn out, and stop pulling every memory of
previous funerals and grief. I simply allow myself to feel my emotion in that
This mindset makes a big difference to my
writing. I focus on writing my story and doing the best I can, today, for these
characters. I don’t compare them with previous characters. I don’t compare my
writing today with yesterday, last month, last year. There’s no projecting into
the future, wondering if my publisher or readers will like my story. I keep my
mind in the present moment, and the scene, or sentence, I’m writing.
Of course, I fail often. My mind wonders
and wanders constantly, and that’s okay because I notice it now and I know how
to breathe and call my attention back to this moment. I like to talk to myself,
mostly silently, so I might say, “Hey, don’t stress about what your
publisher’s going to think; you’ve got to get the damn thing written first so
let’s focus on that now.” And my mind laughs and focuses. If I’m
lucky, I get lost in the writing and I’m totally nailing mindfulness.
For complete transparency, yes, I’m embarrassed
that I’ve spent a chunk of my life not knowing how to control my own brain. I
support an Aussie program that’s trying to get mindfulness taught in all schools,
so kids can learn these simple techniques to help them in life. I believe it’s
Mindfulness is about much more than helping with creativity. It assists with everyday life and helps me to navigate the stresses of living without getting completely frazzled and lost in looping memories and projections. If you’re interested in the technique, there are heaps of apps that help by reminding you to be mindful.
Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mindwill give you a range of alternative methods and ideas that you can use to access your higher-creative mind. That part of yourself that remains hidden and unexplored, and brimming with story ideas and characters you have yet to meet. Muse or no muse.
One way to access
our creative higher-mind is through meditation. I know what you’re thinking – meditation
is nothing new and it doesn’t sound as exotic or as sexy as the Tarot. But
before you go jumping to conclusions, I’m going to tell you that meditation is
extremely exotic and stone cold sexy.
How? I hear you ask. Great question. It is
through entering the euphoric buzz offered through meditating that we are able
to push through our inner boundaries to frolic with mysterious tales and visit
enchanting worlds – and most importantly, we then allow higher messages to flow
through to us that inform our daily writing. Is there anything sexier than
Considering meditation has increased in
popularity over recent years, there may be a good chance you’re already doing
it, have tried it, or popped it on the to-do-someday list. If it’s one of the
latter two, now is the perfect time to chillax and get your Zen on.
practice of stilling the mind has been around and exercised by our ancestors
for centuries. And for a tradition to stick around for so long, obviously there
must be something to it, right?
Apparently, the exact origins of meditation
are subject to debate among scholars, but whether this spiritual exercise
originated from the Dhyana, Taoists or Buddhists, makes no difference to us
writers. It is in the here and now that we can reap the many benefits offered
through the continued use of meditation, and where we should take advantage of
this limitless well available to us.
While it comes as little surprise that many
people throughout the world are keenly interested in meditating, only a few
really understand its true purpose. Most of us are aware of the many benefits
meditation provides. Research shows that when we meditate, our brain stops processing
so much information. The frontal cortex goes offline, the activity in the
parietal lobe slows down, the flow of incoming information in the thalamus
reduces, and the reticular formation dials back the arousal signal.
What does this mean? – Loads of mental
benefits. Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an Alpha state that
promotes healing and mindfulness. With regular practice meditation helps to:
Reduce anxiety and depression
Improve emotional stability
Increase creativity, happiness, clarity and intuition
Sharpen the mind
But wait, there’s more! The benefits of
meditation are not only limited to our minds; our physiology undergoes a change
too. Every cell in the body increases with more prana (energy). As our prana
increases, so too do the physical benefits. Some of these include:
Lower blood pressure
Lower levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
Decreased tension in the body – eliminating headaches, ulcers,
muscle and joint issues as well as easing insomnia
Increased serotonin production that improves mood
Improving the immune system
Increased energy levels
If you know a little about meditation, the
above examples are probably familiar to you. There’s no denying the perks of the
regular practice of meditation. Overall, stilling the mind reduces suffering on
many levels, yet there is a higher, more valuable purpose to meditation that
you may not know – It is through meditating that we strengthen our awareness to
and begin to nurture our connection to the source of all creation, and thus
open the portal to our higher-creative minds.
How perfect that you have this unlimited
resource available at your fingertips!
I know that the prospect of meditation can
be discouraging at times. Often, it can be difficult to calm your mind, stop
the thoughts and get into a space that is quiet. I’ve been there. When I first
started out, I soon gave up after a few tries with the assumption that
meditation wasn’t for me. I’m an INTP personality type, which means my mind
rests at an almost constant stream of ideas and thoughts – to the point I often
drive myself mad. Naturally, meditation was an impossibility for someone like
I did leave it alone for a while. A few
years passed, until one day after studying some spiritual text, I dug my heels
in. I found a piece of meditative vibes that suited me, grabbed my earbuds and
set off to embark on a journey, determined to nail this baby or die trying.
That’s another characteristic INTPs possess – when the conditions suit and
we’re feeling it, an unshakable mindset can be our greatest asset. Although,
I’m not sure my husband would agree.
Regardless of all things
personality-driven, once I had decided to persist, nothing could stop me from
my daily meditation sessions. Slowly I learned how to still my mind and release
my soul to other-worldly dimensions. The invisible barriers parted more and
more until I was able to enter the higher realms and succumb to the joy and
peace those places brought, and I experienced the intensity of a love the likes
of which cannot be fully articulated. There are no words enough to explain it
to those who do not understand. Yet, for those that do understand, no words are
I want you to understand.
The higher realms can seem like an abstract
notion – a golden mirage dangling like a transparent carrot you can never quite
reach. Truthfully, I can understand the driving thought behind that assumption.
There was a time that I may have considered something similar. But I am here to
tell you that those other dimensions your physical senses are unable to
perceive exist and are as real as the tangible life you are experiencing at
this moment. Some would argue that those higher realms are more real than our
physical world, but that’s a whole other subject.
main point and takeaways are this – through meditation we can raise our
vibration. When we achieve a higher vibration or energy, we begin to disembody
from our fleshy exterior, and still our mind enough to enter the great silence.
This is where we can feel our connection to all that is and become aware of an
intelligence much higher than any of us. When we begin to make the journey
toward these higher planes, we begin to dissolve the invisible veil often
shrouding our lives; we begin to reacquaint with our authentic selves.
This is where the magic happens. Meditation
is like the springboard for your creativity. It is the place where limitations
mean nothing and we open a current to receive information and messages, and act
as a vehicle to a higher intelligence. This is where art has the ability to
transcend art and is truly worth persevering through the sessions it may
require to achieve a higher-state of mind.
Now that we know the value that meditation
has on opening the pathways to our higher-creative minds, let’s have a look at
a few tips to get you in the Zen zone.
Sit or lie comfortably. You may want to invest in a meditation chair
Close your eyes – or not. I prefer to shut my baby browns and see
through the eyes of my soul.
Choose a soothing or divine sound that resonates with you. I use the
spiritual sounds mentioned in the book Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer.
These sounds are based on I Am, That I Am.
Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with
each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe.
If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
Meditate with a focus on creating a current with your creative
resource. I will often ease into a session by repeating the mantra “I Am
creative writing” or “I Am this pure revelation of everything I wish to know” –
keeping my current work in progress in mind.
Meditation is where we find our sacredness and our truths, and with continued daily practice, meditation will help bring balance and clarity into your world as well as magic. As a storyteller, the world needs your magic. Get sexy and exotic with meditation and relish the beautiful experiences that abound in you. I promise you won’t regret it.
“The little things? The little moments?
They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mostly, I have
always had a positive outlook toward life. I’ve always believed at my core that
everything would work out for me – like an inbuilt faith mechanism. Do you know
what I mean? I think we’re all born with this inner knowledge to some degree.
Think about it – it’s an innate survival instinct to believe that no matter
what happens, we’ll be okay. It’s as if we’re aware that something greater than
ourselves is watching over us, guiding us through our darkest moments.
Maybe it’s a kickback from the realm in
which we originate. Maybe the “Creative Source” or some angelic being working
for the Source sprinkled us with golden dust before sending us off to dwell in
human form. But not before serving us with a big dollop of amnesia.
Yeah, some hallowed being with crooked
fingers and a cheesy smile dusted us and said, “Go forth, greenhorn; descend
into the Earth and live your life with no recollection of your true self. That
to rediscover who you really are, you will know joy and love, but you must also
experience pain and suffering – but try not to worry too much because even
though you cannot see or remember us, we’ve got your back. You’ll be okay.”
Sound like a viable scenario? That we were
sent off from our divine origins dusted with amnesia and a side of faith?
Go on – roll your eyes and label me crazy,
but it won’t take away the pain and suffering that we all experience throughout
our lifetime. Years ago, I fell into a deep depression that I struggled to escape.
I had experienced bouts of the blues before when life seemed to get the better
of me, but I was usually able to turn those burdensome feelings around and
fight my way back to a better-feeling place. This time was different though.
The black dog gripped me during a time when I was
raising my three children on my own. Something had happened that triggered me
to spiral into a dark abyss. Every morning I’d awake, force myself out of bed
and get the kids off to school, feeling utterly exhausted and devoid of energy
by the time I arrived back home. Then, I’d curl up on the lounge and stay there
for most of the day. I remember thinking that I’d never cried as much as during
that time, and when I wasn’t crying, I was numb.
This went on for a few weeks before I was
able to step away from myself long enough to have a good look at what was
happening. I was self-aware enough to know the power of thought, and that the
process to feeling better meant I had to adjust my thoughts accordingly. One
better thought at a time would supply the ladder I needed to climb from the
depths of depression encapsulating me. Yet, I was so far down that it was nearly
impossible to create and hold onto positive thoughts and feelings for any length
of time. I knew then that I needed help.
I arranged to see a psychologist. I dropped
my children off at a friend’s place before attending these sessions once a week
during the evening. I can’t recall her name or how she looked but I’ll never
forget how she was able to help me see my situation in a different light. I’ll
always remember how she reminded me of the importance of mindfulness.
“Wherever you go, there you are.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
She taught me how to train my mind on the
present – that in any given moment to shift my attention to whatever I was
doing and focus on that task and notice the simplicity of my actions. For
example, if I was washing the dishes, I was to focus on the dishes and nothing
else. She asked me to only think about washing the dishes – the warmth of the
water; the way the glassware squeaked beneath the suds; the cleaning process.
Those six sessions with the psychologist
were enough to pull me from the depression shrouding my life. I learned that it
was fruitless to fret about things beyond my control. I couldn’t change the way
others behaved, but I had the power to alter my own perceptions and reactions.
She gave me the tools to curb my own thoughts from dwelling over a past that
was haunting me, by bringing my attention to the present and focusing on now.
Even through washing the dishes. Most of all, I learned how to appreciate the
moments as they arrived – moments that I will never have again.
That is the point of being mindful. When we
train our mind to be in the present moment, we free ourselves to make better
choices. We can focus. We can dream. We can reach further into our
higher-creative minds because we’ve allowed that space to breathe through the
simple act of being present in the moment.
“The only way
to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” – Tara Brach
I have encountered rough times since. I’ve
struggled with personal matters through writing projects. It is when I can
recall those simple instructions given to me long ago that I tame any urges to
mull over and mourn past events or worry about a future that I’ve yet to
experience. If every minute is unrepeatable, then every minute must be a
miracle. By anchoring yourself in the present, you give yourself permission
to fully experience your life as it unfolds. The more you practice this, the
more you are filled with gratitude and appreciation. In turn, it is those
unbridled feelings of gratitude that pave the way into dissolving the invisible
barriers to your higher-creative mind. I love the way Wayne Dyer explained this
concept when he stated, “Change the way you look at things, and the things
you look at change.”
It’s so very true.
A Moment to Ponder Mindfulness:
Idowu Koyenikan said, “The mind is just
like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it
Considering your daily “thinking” habits, consider the above quote and techniques that you can use to strengthen your mind for expansion. Are there current situations in your life that could use a little mental tweaking?
Can you think of a circumstance that may require a change of thinking on your part?
Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mindwill give you a range of alternative methods and ideas that you can use to access your higher-creative mind. That part of yourself that remains hidden and unexplored, and brimming with story ideas and characters you have yet to meet. Muse or no muse.
Being a man often means I must accept the fact that men have (arrogantly) made all kinds of decisions affecting women. Many of which were designed and intended as a means of control. Generally speaking, they were designed and intended to forbid women from exercising equal rights and privileges men enjoy because of a deeply flawed sense of paternalism. This decisional oddity is reflective of the culture at the time. I accept this as an historic reality – a reality that was ripe for change.
We live in an age where the situation appears to be improving, but unfortunately isn’t equal. The dynamics of the abortion debate are often difficult and messy because we make it so. It is even difficult for both sides of the discussion to use the same language when talking about their positions. Unfortunately, the law and decisions surrounding the issues often further complicates the matter.
Separate and apart from the
respective sides of the discussion, the sub-debate on abortion is whether men
should have any say in the matter because it’s not their body.
The history surrounding the issue
of abortion has been dominated by the voices of men in the United States until
the Supreme Court determined that it is the woman’s right to choose. That is
settled law and regardless of political movements to change the law, it is
highly doubtful such attempts would survive constitutional scrutiny, at least
in the United States.
At the same time and putting aside principles of constitutional law, if a couple is considered as one in the eyes of God (using a religious view) and the government (the legal view which is reflective of the religious view), shouldn’t a decision about a life created by two people within that union be a matter of qualified agreement to some degree during the pregnancy? After all, the law recognizes rights of fit biological parents once the child is born.
I’m going to say something which
may seem controversial, only because of the ongoing societal debate. Life
begins at conception. That should be an accepted scientific fact. Life even
exists prior to the sperm fertilizing the egg, but upon conception, mitosis
follows and the process of the human embryo begins. If it is left alone and
assuming no other factors, natural or otherwise interrupt it, that embryo will
turn into a human fetus and be born a baby.
All of those words describe a
part of the process and development of human life. However, it is all still
human life – a separate life and distinct from its mother, regardless of
whether it could survive on its own.
The argument that it isn’t a life
unless it can survive on its own is a rather dangerous and slippery slope. If
you put a baby on a hill and left it alone, it will likely die because it
cannot survive in its own. Is a life any less alive in utero than outside
the womb, if neither could survive on their own?
Here’s something that may shock
you; the fact that it is a life is not the end of the discussion for me. So,
you understand this isn’t some kind of academic debate. Allow me to discuss my
personal experiences involving my ex-wife that occurred within our eleven-year
Early on, my wife and I became
pregnant. Of course, she was the one carrying but the life inside her was ours.
That isn’t some antiquated notion of paternalism or latent misogyny. She
didn’t become pregnant by way of a visit from an archangel. Having said
that, it turned out that my swimmers were way too eager and fertilized the egg
in her fallopian tube, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy.
The doctors told us that there
was no chance that the fetus would develop or be born, and that if we did not
abort, my wife could go into shock and die.
No brainer, right?
After two shots of methotrexate,
the HGC (Human Growth Hormone) levels in my wife’s system remained elevated, posing
a danger to my wife. It had to be surgically removed. What entailed was a
traumatic experience. My wife bore the brunt of the pregnancy and the burden it
brought – complications, medication and surgical procedures. I was essentially
a supportive and passive bystander who paced a waiting room and did what I
could to attend to her needs.
About a year later, we found out
that we were pregnant again with our son. He is now 9 years-old. Success, from
conception to delivery. There wasn’t a decision to be made about whether he
would be born. He was a life with whom we interacted before he was born.
Legally speaking, she could have terminated him and there would be nothing I
could have done to stop her.
About a year later, we were
pregnant again. When we went for the ultrasound, we were thrilled when we found
out that she was carrying twin girls. We saw them on the monitor and heard
their heartbeats. They were no less alive than our son.
Later, the doctor needed to talk
with us because there was a potentially serious complication. The girls were
monoamniotic monozygotic twins. That’s a complicated way of saying that they
were identical twins, and instead of two occupying separate amniotic sacs
inside my wife’s womb, they were developing in one sac together.
This is a dangerous situation
because of the risks of cord strangulation. The doctor explained the risks –
explaining that we (she) could choose to terminate the pregnancy. We discussed
the matter, agreeing that our twins deserved a chance at life.
We didn’t debate what these two lives
were or whether my wife had a right to choose or whose bodies they were growing
in. We wanted to afford our daughters their fair chance to live. Their fate was
initially in our hands, but no more than the fate of our infant son. In our
son’s case, his birth means that he is protected by the law as a free human
life and we, as his fit parents are both legally responsible for him.
June 3rd, 2011 and twenty-six weeks into the pregnancy, a routine ultrasound revealed that our twins had died. I’ll never forget that day. I was working in NYC and received a call from my wife with the devastating news. Right away, I grabbed my things with no desire to talk to anyone, leaving the most brutal email I have ever composed and sent to my supervisor; “My twins died. I left to be with my wife.” The train ride home was a blur, and not once had I debated whether those girls were a “life”. We had lost our daughters. We didn’t lose feti.
The umbilical cords were
irretrievably tangled around their necks. The potential danger became a
horrible reality. One died and then the
other. On June 5th, 2011 they were officially “born” – if that’s the
right word. I will spare you the gruesome details. But what I saw that day, I
will never forget.
My wife went through the hell of
the delivery. My hell was psychological; to see her going through the painful
labor, and then watch my daughters born dead, strangled in an unholy mesh of
once life-sustaining umbilical cords.
What you might not know is that
after 24 weeks, the hospital does all of the normal things that occur during a
birth, except instead of a birth certificate, they issue a death certificate.
If you are at a hospital and see
a picture of a purple flower on the door of a delivery room, please say a
silent prayer for the poor souls experiencing a quiet and unspeakable journey
through a highly personal hell. I often wonder what kind of strange laws
created this anomaly of having died, but also never having been born. I suspect
it is the result of people not wanting to acknowledge a life in the womb is a
life. Once you call it “life”, people who are not invested in that life assume
they need to make decisions for the lives of all involved.
To recap and to better understand my opinion; I have participated in pregnancies – the necessary termination of one, the birth of another and the death of our twin girls. My wife didn’t get pregnant alone, nor did she decide alone. It was her right to do so and I fully recognize that, but the decisions were made by us. If I had the ability to be pregnant and/or bear her pain, I would have, but that’s not how biology works. I am a man; she is a woman and no debate will change the process of procreation.
It is interesting how these
experiences have molded my perspectives. Having grown up Roman Catholic, I was
always taught to be rigidly prolife. It was a matter of religious dogma, not
subject to debate. As I matured, life also guided me. As a younger man, I
watched my grandmother who had showed me how to love unconditionally, suffer
with Alzheimer’s. I could only watch her slow torture at the hands of that horrible
disease. Until a stroke ushered her death, but not before paralyzing half of
her body and stealing virtually all of her memories.
Later, my father would suffer the
same fate, except mercifully be taken by pancreatic cancer. That’s how bad
Alzheimer’s is; that cancer was a blessing.
What was the state of their
“lives” in the end?
I’m not going to debate the issue
of euthanasia or assisted suicide; however, my point is that they were not able
to live without extraordinary medical intervention. No one would argue that my
family had the right to terminate their lives, only because they were born.
However, in my father’s case, my
mother was his healthcare representative. When my father, riddled with
Alzheimer’s and cancer, and who also had a heart condition, the doctors
recommended a pacemaker be installed. She discussed my father’s options with my
brother, sister and me, and wisely decided not to prolong his journey with
extraordinary means. She remembered my grandmother, who had a pacemaker
installed 20 years prior, and who also went through the entire horrible journey
of Alzheimer’s. She spared my father from that fate. My father wouldn’t have
wanted to live that way.
Put aside the legal discussion
surrounding the abortion issue for a moment because nothing I say will sway a
court of competent jurisdiction, or even move the needle of society’s momentum
in general to agree with my viewpoint.
That having been said, what if
we were to fairly and equitably create a societal standard to guide the rights
of those affected by a pregnancy, and instead of a purely liberty based
standard, we introduced an element of responsibility?
The first thing introducing
responsibility would accomplish is broadcast a message to society in general
that unless it is your sperm or egg, go sit in the corner and shut the fuck up.
Put your cape and collar away and stop reciting the fiction that it is
society’s responsibility to protect that life. If society has a responsibility
to protect life, it wouldn’t fail so miserably when that life is born. Just
look around and tell me about the banged-up job society is doing with the lives
of the born.
If you are advancing a religious
agenda, realize this truth; God will decide things that God decides and your
good intentions have no tangible merit in the discussion. Once the parish
leaves the pews, they must use their God given free will in their lives.
And before you get your markers,
poster boards and pink hats out for the pro-choice march you think I’m intending
to join – let me put my purple hat on and upset you too. (Trigger warning) If
the parents-to-be intend to care for the child once born, both of those parents-to-be
should have near equal rights in the decision about that life. I say “near
equal” because in fairness, a mother carries the child procreated by the couple
and should be the driving force of the decision-making process while that child
is within her.
Why not let the natural order of
the universe guide the extent to which a mother and father-to-be should decide?
Look at it like this, compare the size of the egg to the sperm and that
proportion should be the weight of the decision-making input between the mother
Before anyone asks the dumb
question: “Well, then shouldn’t a rapist or an abuser be given rights?”
No. Just no. My view point
assumes two consenting adults to the act of procreation. Neither a rapist, nor
an abuser fall into this category. Likewise, where the mother’s life is in
danger, it is her right of self-determination that is paramount.
What I’m talking about is the
elective decision to end a pregnancy; whether or not there is a heartbeat. At a
certain point in the pregnancy where the life is viable, I would add, the
decision of the child should control.
That wasn’t a moment of insanity
or a typo. I mean it. If the child has progressed in their journey to the point
that medical science has determined it is viable and able to otherwise survive
outside the womb, there should be a presumption that the child wants to live.
At that point, I think parents should have made their decisions already, and
unless there was a compelling reason to end that life, the baby should be given
the opportunity to live.
Before everyone on both sides of
the debate begin to sharpen their pitchforks and ready their torches to chase
me out of the debate, I don’t have the ability to affect your decisions and
wouldn’t want to affect them either. If you are pregnant, I would gladly take
my own advice; wish you and yours well and sit in the corner, shutting the fuck
Go ahead, be offended. You have that right.
Xavier Eastenbrick is a soul on a journey of life, meeting souls along
the way. He adds to the richness of the universe and is grateful for each