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Rock, Stars & Signs

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Photo by David Calderón on Unsplash

“I’m part of you

You’re part of me

There’s nothing said

That cannot be undone”

– Lyrics from I’m Just a Man.

Songwriters: Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss

Michael Hutchence. In my opinion, he was one of the greatest rock stars of all time. Indeed, he was among the last true rock stars of his era, right up there with Bono, Billy Idol, Axel Rose and Mick Jagger. He possessed the right amount of magnetism, mystique and recklessness, and his stage presence was unbelievably dynamic. When he strutted out on that stage, the world became a faded memory, swallowed by the charismatic guy crooning a tune and seducing the crowd with the deliberate grind of his hips.

Qualities of a rock star.

Some say Michael was sex-on-a-stick. I couldn’t agree more. Somehow, that man had more sex appeal entwined around his little finger than Brad Pitt starring in Legends of the Fall.

Hold on a second, I’m recalling the female sighs drifting above the cinema during a screening of that flick and I’m thinking that might be a slight exaggeration. Regardless, the man wasn’t ashamed of his sexuality. He owned it and flaunted it accordingly.

Sigh.

He was definitely no prude. I think he must have appreciated the yin and yang between the sexes because let’s face it, he was never short on “yin” company, and he was probably smart enough to nurture those precious connections too.

Yin: the divine female principle of the universe.

Do you ever notice the signs the universe throws your way? Sometimes those signs can be subtle little hints to let you know you are on the right path. Other times, they’re like a freight train smacking you in the face till you laugh like a crazy person and yell at the cosmos to “just stop already”.

Recently, I drove my daughter to her boyfriend’s house before picking up some lunch at the local fish & chip shop. I was literally on the road for about twenty-five minutes during which time I saw “yin” five times.

Five times. What is that?

Maybe its some kind of cosmic prank. Either that, or I think there might be a sudden influx of “yin” infecting car number plates around here. Gets even better. I arrived home to find my other daughter had sketched a picture for me, and low and behold it was the Yin-Yang symbol.

I literally gasped when she waved in front of me.

“Do you like it?” she asked.

“Uh-yeah. It’s beautiful, pussycat.” Slight pause, then: “Why did you draw that?”

Eyes the color of the earth blink up at me with a shrug.

“Because I like it and I wanted to.”

Duh. 

“Do you know what it means?”

Nose crinkle. Cherry lips twist. Eyes narrow over me.

“Nah. I just saw it on some paper in Ashy’s room and I liked it.”

Double duh.

Freight train effect going wild. Go figure. Perhaps Michael is in a position to better understand the motives of divine forces from the realm he currently occupies.

Hmm.

Besides Yin, Yang and all matters strange, whatever that X-factor quality is, Michael Hutchence had it nailed, and it wasn’t because of the way he looked either. It was much, much more than that.

I was fortunate enough to have met Michael after attending one of his shows one night. Before that evening, I’d spent the better part of my teenage years plastering the man over my walls and collecting every piece of media I could get my hands on to add to a chunky scrapbook I’d lovingly created.

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Dreamy Sigh.

Yes, I was the hardcore fan, following him to every event I could, and cursing every woman he dated, Helena Christensen being the exception (Sorry Kylie!). During those hardcore years, I’d even managed a few phone conversations with him along the way.

But when the universe had finally decided it was time for our paths to collide in person, I was past the buckle-at-the-knees fangirl phase and had matured into a young woman who didn’t blink twice when brushing shoulders with celebrities (Clears throat and keeps writing). Or so I had thought. In my defence, the thoughts were valid because I wasn’t a stranger to spotting the odd celeb partying the night away in some VIP area of an Oxford Street Sydney club.

To make a short story even shorter, I completely caved when the moment of truth arrived and I was confronted by him. I could barely manage an audible hello much less answer his questions with anything remotely intelligent. Yep, I was suddenly drowning in a bad case of “fangirl syndrome”, and totally tongue-tied.

Erm. Awkward.

That’s a kind way of expressing those moments, but I do commend Michael for his efforts in lingering around, watching me with amusement and trying to engage me in some kind of rational conversation. It was just an epic fail, is all. The fact that he was trailed closely by a group of protective women frowning my way didn’t help the situation either. If looks could kill, I feel sure I wouldn’t have survived that night.

In any case, he was soon piled into the back of a minivan and whisked away with said women in tow, a victorious smile playing on each of their lips as they sashayed into the van after him. Eye roll. Heart plummet. I followed with a barrage of four-letter words as I watched the love of my teenage life slip into the night and vanish without so much as an autograph to my name.

Ah, the things we do. Or not do.

Michael Hutchence was a piece of gold. I learned he was special because although he possessed the above-mentioned rock star qualities, he was also very authentic. There were no airs and graces about him when he was faced with “fangirl fail” me, no traces of arrogance to his nature. In fact, every interaction I’d experienced with him was easy and real – even when I fell short in his presence. That’s what made this man so unique.

I’ll always be grateful for the major part Michael played during my teenage years. He and his band, INXS, provided the backdrop to many adventures, fuzzy fantasies and beautiful moments with treasured friends. I’d listen to him when the world fell from beneath my feet. I’d plug him in my Walkman and sing with him at the beach. He was there when I danced like crazy, and there during the awakening of love in my life. He was so much more than a rock star. He was a way of life, and he was some kind of special.

I write most of this post today, on January 22, 2019, on what would have been Michael’s fifty-ninth birthday. I’d always taken comfort knowing he was out there, walking the earth and doing his thing. Somehow, I’d formed an invisible connection with him that I’d cherished – along with thousands of other women (but who’s counting?). It was a sad day when the world lost him. My heart ached and I cried. He was the kind of man that isn’t easily forgotten. He was the kind that come here to make a difference in the world. Just listen to some of his lyrics and you’ll understand what I mean.

Every now and then, I still miss him. I find the times when I’m falling short, and feeling low are the moments I reach for my earbuds, switch on one of his songs, and submerge myself in his voice. It’s almost twenty-two years after his death and he still has the ability to comfort me.

Michael Hutchence was more than “Just a Man”, he was revolutionary, and the world could use more like him.

Life is fleeting and precious. Embrace your inner rock god and walk the earth with love while you can, and while you’re at it you’d do well to remember that life is not complete without seeing Dogs in Space.

Grin.

Do you have any memorable celebrity encounters or weird signs from the universe you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading!

The Truth about Love, Sexuality & Creativity

“It is passion, more passion and that we need. The moralist who bans passion is not of our time; his place these many years is with the dead. For we know what happens in a world when those who ban passion have triumphed. When love is suppressed, hate takes place. It is passion and ever more passion that we need if we are to undo the work of hate.”

~    Havelock Ellis

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Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

 

I used to be a little girl with a little room filled with nothing particularly girly. There were no pink mermaid curtains draping the windows nor were there white frills adorning the bed covers. I loved climbing trees, riding bikes and erecting forts on top of the carport roof with my younger brother. Wrestling matches were fun too, till one of us was hurt enough to scream blue murder. I’ll be honest, a lot of time that person was my brother. Those were the times when the fun turned sour and I shot dagger-eyes and mouthed terrible things that made him go crying to our mother.

Tsk. Mamma’s boy.

Oh, brothers! There’s a whole lot to say about growing up with a little brother shadowing your every move. Almost three years separate my brother and me, and once upon a time he used to be smaller than me. But you know what? His lack of height had never stood in the way of his ingrained sense of protectiveness for me. He was loyal and courageous, and his love was fierce. I had seen that kid take on the meanest beefcakes in the name of love for me, and I always had his back too.

Although I would not have dreamed of admitting it at the time, my brother was my best friend, and for the most part, I adored hanging out with him. We spent hours creating new adventures and exploring uncharted territory as children. But sometimes, I had to retreat to a place of my own and turn my back on his pouting lips to leave him to his Matchbox cars. I had to shut the door to our room and delve into a world where he was not welcome or permitted. It was the delicate world of dolls.

Yes, dolls. Barbie dolls to be exact. I kept a bag beneath my bed filled with loads of Barbie dolls, one Ken doll, an assortment of accessories, and the biggest kicker of all – a Michael Jackson doll.

Every now and then, I needed to explore the soft feminine urges of the little girl I was and unleash my imagination with a focus on love. Romantic love. You know, the kind of love that springs from your fluttering heart and inevitably results in the happily-ever-after? It is the type of love that captures your breath and steals your soul. It wraps around every cell in your body till you can’t imagine a future without that person.

When you think about it, it is not so unusual that we begin to probe and delve into the beautiful mystery of love from such a young age, because it is love that governs your greater-self, your deeper-self. It is the part of you that connects you to all of creation, and this isn’t something you can ever know intellectually; you can only feel and be aware of it.

Our view of the world is usually less tainted as children. Those magical years when our imagination knows no restrictions are also the years when our memories are the strongest, and our perceptions are most pure. Somehow, we innately realize the knowledge that we are more than the flesh and blood peering back at us when we gaze into the mirror; we know that it is love from which we were born, and love that builds our whole existence.

Then time kicks in. The years pass and we settle into the dense 3D reality of our physical existence. We’re bombarded with societal rules and restrictions, beliefs and religions, fear, hate and worldwide threats breeding the rancid contempt in the bellies of our leaders and spilling into the population. It is greed, materialism, brutality and murder, and the ever-present outcries of injustice constantly influencing and informing our worldview.

The veil thickens and the invisible barriers are firmly placed around our lives, leading to those moments when we forget who we really are. They are the same moments we get to choose if want to continue living beneath the cloak of ignorance or embark on a journey back to the real stuff.

From time to time the curtain will lift to reveal a glimpse of the eternal source gracing all that is. It’s in those moments when you gaze from a mountain peak and your being soars with the beauty filling your essence; or those silent times when your soul lifts higher and you’re encapsulated with a sense of unconditional love; or even a simple gesture from a stranger that touches your heart in a way you hadn’t expected. However, most of all, it’s in the relationships we experience with other people.

In her book, A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says, “In every relationship, in every moment, we teach each other love or fear.”

It is in demonstrating love toward others that we learn how to love more deeply. In exhibiting fear, we learn to be more frightened of life.

There exists one underlying force that connects us through our entire life. Despite the negative circumstances I mentioned above, humanity strives toward that feeling whether we realize it or not. It forms the basis in each one of our thoughts, interactions and tasks, it informs the words we utter and the way in which we see ourselves – Love.

Bold, fearless, glorious love.

It is love that forms the groundwork of most of our literature, art, music and drama, and love that has given birth to the endless inhibitions that humanity imposes on a false attitude toward sexuality – the most important expression of mankind. Sex is really life expressing love.

Love or fear?

You choose.

“In this relation between a man and a woman, in the sexual act, is expressed the complete physical, psychic, and spiritual hunger of being for another. No other activity or expression of mankind provides such a total outlet for love as the sex act.”

~ U.S Andersen.

When contemplating that statement, it’s easy to recognize how little sex is understood, and how abused, particularly when we consider how readily available sex has become in our virtual worlds. We live in an age where voyeuristic perversions are fostered by the exploitation of sex. The overexposure of sex has had a significant impact on changes in our sexual behaviors and continues to influence our younger generations.

At the other end of the spectrum we face the age-old taboos and condemnation surrounding the sex act. This is when people get touchy and uncomfortable about sex, but how could such a natural and wondrous part of being human become saddled with shame, ridicule and immoral ordinance?

When love is present, there is no such thing.

Love is the recognition of our true selves – the motivation for unity and the desire for fusion. It’s no wonder our stories are brimming with tales about love and romance. Even those authors who claim not to write romance are really writing some of the greatest love stories of all because it is love that flows from them and into their words; and love and passion, fueled with imagination, that embodies their creativity.

I believe every human is a creative. Every human can manifest and love; every being is ultimately cut from the same divine cloth. It’s the golden threads that weave your heart and soul together and bond you with the universal energy – that brilliant light shining resiliently from behind every negative thought and experience that lets you know you are loved.

Love and creativity are one and the same. Love is the source of creativity.

Through all our experiences – the good and the bad – there is one profound and complicated sentiment that remains a universal thirst. One element is instinctual to our nature that is continuously streaming through the veil that blinds us from the truth. It is the invisible link driving us to a common basis – love and sexuality.

When I was a little girl, my dolls fell in love in the stories I created for them. Now that I’m a woman, my characters fall in love through the stories I create for them. I fall in love every day through story, my beautiful interactions with people, sacred soul connections I cherish, gratitude and the simple pleasures of life.

Love is more than a word on a page or a choice; love is fundamental to being human, and you cannot evolve, thrive and appreciate without it.

It is through our divinity that we are created by the source of love. It is through our humanity we learn how to express, give and receive love in our physicality.

When we look past the taboos, the abuse, and the exploitation of sex, and nestle down and really search ourselves within, we can acknowledge and celebrate the magnificence of sexuality and all its forms of expression. In his wonderful book Three Magic Words, U.S. Andersen articulates this perfectly when he states, “The end of the sex act is not procreation – it is the expression of love!”

Free yourself. Love yourself. Express yourself.

Finding Keepers

People. Unless you’ve shunned society altogether and have carved out a piece of land for yourself someplace at the end of the earth, you cannot escape them. If, for one hypothetical moment, we agree to engage in the notion of a solitary existence, the likelihood of avoiding human beings altogether during your self-imposed isolation is still quite improbable. Let’s face it, most of us will not be the outlier who chooses to embrace a Bear Grylls persona and charge off into the wilderness to live indefinitely in a log cabin in the woods.

It’s a fact that people need other people. It’s also fair to say that without interacting and forming relationships with other humans, our own abilities to love and evolve, and develop interpersonal skills such as empathy and compassion would eventually stifle before heading on a downward spiral toward emotional immaturity. You see, relationships are vital to personal, spiritual and emotional growth, and critical in fuelling the embers of love from which we are born; the same realm which we will someday return.

People do need other people. Solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment within our prison systems for hundreds of years. Isolating and stripping a human being from contact with others has a profound psychological effect. Despite its “time to reflect and connect to God” origins, there is no evidence to suggest any positive effects on inmates from time spent in solitude. In fact, the opposite is true. Solitary confinement has received severe criticism for having “detrimental psychological effects, causing trauma and an array of mental disorders, and in some cases, constituting torture”.

So, for the one who concludes his existence rests on the provision of food, water and shelter and proclaims love is not vital for life and survival, I respectfully disagree. All the food and water in the world cannot fill you enough to nourish your soul or cultivate your heart. You might eat and drink, and you might find warmth beneath shelter, but if you are starved of the one true thing your heart and soul crave in order to grow and thrive, eventually you’ll start talking to coconuts while you shrivel from the inside out and lose your mind.

The world is full of people. They are here, and they are there. Some are good, and others are not. We need each other, but do I need you?

People cross our paths all the time, whether it be through social meetings and mutual acquaintances, work opportunities, meeting someone by chance at an event or some other scenario. They come and go, and for the most part they drift into the background of your past and barely summon enough effort to be thought of again.

So, how is it that we know when someone is a keeper? How do we push past the screen and the superficial courtesies that often accompany our encounters long enough to know when a connection feels right? And when do we allow our precious hearts to become vulnerable?

In 2008 I met a man during a night out with my friends at a local bar. We’d gone out to watch a band and celebrate my divorce – yes, it was an essential moment etched along the string of my life-path and warranted the celebratory occasion. I called the evening “the D-party”; I know, it’s not so creative, but then again, the “D” didn’t necessarily stand for divorce.

A bunch of my friends, my brother and I pulled on some threads and hit the small town of Springwood to welcome in my new life of freedom. New beginnings. I remember the evening well because it was early-July, the mountain night air was icy cold, and well, it was a great night. It wasn’t often that my brother would drag himself up those mountains from Sydney to come see me, and I was delighted to spend some time with him.

It was great – the conversations were awesome, the drinks flowed and the cover band played the usual rock classics. We danced and laughed; the “D-party” was getting down and rocking it. I was totally in the moment, enjoying myself and sitting at a table with my friends when suddenly my attention was drawn to him. Like a beautiful, buff blonde vision, Mr Confident emerged from the parting crowd with me firmly in his blue-jeweled sight.

You know how it goes; heart temporarily seizes, pulse ramps up a notch and all of a sudden, you’re feeling a little more than heady. I mean this guy was close to perfect. So perfect, I almost felt pale in comparison. When his lips spread into a wide grin and he greeted me as he took the chair beside me, it took all I had not to focus on the dropping jaws of my girlfriends as they ogled him.

As it turned out, he was an athlete and had mutual acquaintances with my friend’s husband in the professional sporting arena. He was friendly and charming; charisma oozed from each deliberate remark and gesture as he set about making me the center of his universe. And when he realized the big guy in the corner chair was my brother, he put out all the stops to impress.

Mr nice-guy. Mr cool-cat. Mr can-I-take-you-out-for-dinner-next-week-when-you’re-all-alone-guy.

Of course, I agreed. Why wouldn’t I? It was a no-brainer. The man was hot, and I was available. There were no rings on my fingers, and I thought it might be about time to dip my toes into the perilous depths of the dating game. My friends thought he was awesome, and my brother gave his nod of approval too. I had nothing to lose.

Or so I thought.

There’s that thing about me, the part that believes the good in everyone and takes people at face value. I assume the best in people’s intentions. I never intentionally set out to hurt people, so why would they want to hurt me?

In hindsight, the signs were there. Had I paid closer attention to a few of his mannerisms the night I met him, I might have avoided the date night. Had I listened to the way my incessant nerves tortured me right up till the moment he knocked on my door to take me out, I might have avoided him forcing himself on me. I might have avoided the breach of my personal safety and the ordeal of being violated, but I didn’t.

It’s not that I dislike sex. On the contrary, I’m quite partial to the steamy activity. No other act can fuse two people together so deeply, so intimately. When two people are in love their connection and hunger for each other expands, flows and thrives as they merge themselves completely through love-making. This is fusion in all its wondrous glory; physically, mentally, soulfully. It is the kind of stuff we live for and crave above all else; the ultimate expression of love that transports us to higher realms. Exquisite realms.

Of course, not all sex is like that. Sometimes, we just need to be close to another human. Sometimes, we just want to have fun. All good, as long we all understand each other.

I saw a man once. I met him during a trip to Canada. He was seven years younger than me, eager as a bucking bull on rodeo night, and packed just like one, if you know what I mean. He boarded a plane and travelled to Australia to spend some quality time with me. Twice. He happened to arrive in my life when it was exactly the kind of quality time I was looking for. Right on time. I did things with that guy I hadn’t ever done before. Or since. We understood each other.

Until his possessive tendencies kicked in and he didn’t want to leave.

The point is, mutually agreed upon sex is an awesome part of being human. I enjoy sex. More than likely, you do too. But if I’m not feeling it, then I’m not feeling it and it’s not on – period.

Mr Horny-cool-cat had other ideas.

There’s that the thing about some people – you know, the ones that have trouble understanding that part about sex. They are the same kind of people that play games and reel you in, the ones that get off on power tripping and saying the right things at the right times to gain the trust they don’t deserve. They show you what they want you to see in order to get what they want from you. Those kinds of people are dangerous because their truth is probably false, even to themselves.

Want to hear the real kicker? He called me the following week to ask me out on another date. When I ignored his calls, he pinged me with a text. I mean, really? I’m not sure if he was clueless or cunning as a rat’s ass. Either way, seeing his number appear on my phone sparked the anxiety attack that had landed me in the emergency room the day following our first date.

We can never really know what lies beneath the exterior that a person chooses to present to the world. Hell, even Mr Gorgeous had my usually doubtful brother fooled – and that’s saying something. Not to mention my over-protective friends. It was the clean-cut, white-toothed, good-guy image he had going for him, and it worked a treat. I can only imagine how many victims he has tallied up on his date-rape quest, and I can only hope that he eventually encountered more than he bargained for.

I know that Mr Confident became my experience because he was the final thread that released me from men like him infecting my life. He was the catalyst in reminding me what I didn’t want and what I refused to settle for – bullies and men who didn’t respect women. In the end, though, without taking the time to look beyond our initial encounters and getting to know someone who captures our attention, how would we know the keepers from the rubble? How would we harness and nurture the important connections destined to cross our paths?

We wouldn’t. Yet, I know now to pay more attention to my internal warning system and give it the trust it deserves. People need other people. Sometimes, we do have to take a chance and put ourselves out there, because if we don’t, we might end up talking to coconuts and dancing naked with a broomstick to Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy. Or worse, we might miss the greatest love of our lives.

I’ve learned by honoring and loving myself first, that I will attract those with the best intentions in all arenas of my life. They are the diamonds in the rough; those special ones that are sent here to shine over you and touch your life in a magical way. You can’t miss them – they are the ones that make the little moments special; the ones unafraid to love.

Treasure your diamonds for not only are they rare, they form the groundwork beating your heart with love.  

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Me and my “blurred out” girlfriend on the “D-party” night. 

 

Unravel Your Thoughts, Ponder the Mysterious.

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“Life is a series of constantly shifting cycles. When we resist change, we resist the natural flow of life and create unnecessary stress. Go with the flow – you will be surprised where it leads.”

I pulled the above quote from a pack of heart-shaped Lovers Oracle Tarot cards I bought back in 2009. That particular deck is beautifully illustrated with inspiring messages designed to uplift one’s spirit and provide guidance on love. I own a few decks of Tarot cards. Some have been given to me as gifts, others I have bought myself with the driving thought being that I would someday use them to cultivate my intuitive gifts. I’m still waiting for that day to arrive.

While I respect the Tarot and those that have the abilities to use them as intuitive divination tools and a means to interpret information from the other side, I have discovered they are not the type of tool I can personally connect with. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Tarot and all the mystical elements it represents. I have spent many hours receiving accurate readings but the Tarot doesn’t personally speak to me as a channeling tool.

Of course, I’ve experienced some bogus Tarot readings. One woman told me I’d never write books. My heart plummeted. She must have noticed.

“You may write children’s books,” she added quickly.

“Huh?” I replied, noting the inner-resistance in my gut. She was wrong. “Nah.”

Another woman told me I would write books. That felt right. A man with a colorful swathe wrapped around his skull told me someone I loved would not come closer. Wrong again. In 2016, before I published my first book, a woman predicted I would travel to New Orleans. Bingo. Of course, I had no idea at the time I would travel to NOLA to attend a writers’ retreat the following year. Evidently, that woman had predicted many other things that have come to pass.

I have a favorite psychic. His name is Blair. He used to live nearby but has since moved interstate. Blair has to be one the most beautiful people I have ever known. He is always upbeat and happy, and he chooses to appreciate every moment of every day. I love that about him. I make him laugh too. Geez, I make him laugh. He finds my life and my thoughts extremely amusing. Not such a bad thing considering we speak just about every week.

Blair has become more than just a guy that I call when I need another perspective on a particular situation. Our relationship has transcended the professional one we had originally established; we’ve become firm friends that care for each other. Yes, that does and can happen when people connect and honor those special bonds.

That’s another thing I love about Blair – his transparency and openness to give and receive love, and his endless compassion and ability to offer guidance. He is extremely patient too. He would have to be to put up with someone like me, because I’m the kind of person that thrives on deep connections. Always have been, always will be. Those unique connections are rare, so once established and I have landed in the comfort zone, I will give you a run for your money – that’s a promise. Just ask Blair. It is not unusual for Blair’s Messenger app to bling with an incoming message from yours truly:

“Blair, my world crumbled today.”

Ah, the drama.

“Hey Kim, how are you? Didn’t your world only crumble just last week?”

“Well, yeah, but it happened again. Lol.”

I’m a writer – give me a break.

“Did you sleep well last night?”

“Erm. Yeah, I did actually. Why?”

“Because I asked the angels to watch over you and help you sleep.”

Huge grin.

“It worked, thank you. Do it again.”

Did I mention he was patient?

Yeah.

I might be a little bit addicted to Blair. I am honestly glad he is wise and mature enough not to interpret my over-enthusiastic messages as a form of harassment. Shock. Horror. Did someone say harassment?

Someone call Moses.

Blair dislikes that word. Immensely. He also uses an interesting vocabulary for those that don’t appreciate me or worse; mistreat me. I think he might love me too. Although, had he possessed an inflexible mindset guarded by the iron gates of a bigoted belief system, things might be different. Then again, considering my unconventional way of thinking doesn’t gel so well with those inclined to be dogmatic and judgmental, it is fair to say we never would have become friends in the first place.

This does circle back to the Tarot.

How? I hear you ask.

Good question. Blair doesn’t use Tarot cards when discerning information from the other side. He uses his highly developed Clair Senses.

Rhymes with “Blair”.

Other than that, Clair Senses are actually types of psychic sensitivity: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. Blair’s psychic abilities are a combination of clairvoyance and clairaudience. He is able to reach into another vibrational frequency and visually perceive and/or hear something existing in that realm.

Pretty cool, huh?

Well, yeah; especially if you are inclined to believe in more than what your earthly senses perceive. This is the part where you leave your narrow-minded tendencies at the door and embrace the mystical elements that exist in our universe. Welcome the esoteric. Invite the obscure and explore unknown territory.

And why not?

Many of the ancient races to inhabit the earth before us were much more attuned to our connection to the universe and celestial forces. They worshiped natural divine deities based on a polytheistic belief system. It is surprising how tightly woven the invisible boundaries are that many choose to erect around their inner-world today.

Unhinge your thoughts. The universe is as mysterious as you and I, and functions in perfect divine order. Do you really think the universe exists solely to expand the blackness of space by creating planets and stars through spectacular explosions and great bursts of energy? That’s it? Really? Seems a little fruitless. Perhaps the ancient races were on to something.

The ancient Druids believed the Earth itself was like the body of a dragon. They went ahead and built their sacred stone circles upon the “power nodes” of this body. They believed dragons connected us with the Earth’s magnetism and healing waters.

The Egyptian conception of the universe centered on maat – a word that encompasses several concepts in English, including “truth”, “justice”, and “order”. It was the fixed, eternal order of the universe, both in the cosmos and in society, and it was often personified as a goddess.

Kabbalah emerged during the Middle Ages – a Jewish mystical and magical system. Native Americans practice Shamanism: the shaman travels to the spirit realm to gain information regarding the community’s needs like healing or spiritual growth. And we cannot discount the spiritual practices, traditions and beliefs based on the original teachings attributed to the Buddha – a set of philosophies sharing the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood.

I often wonder if evolution among the human race has actually declined over the centuries. Sure, technology has advanced us in leaps and bounds. We have access to anything we desire at a click or two, and our screens are filled with images of “the beautiful” people demonstrating the facade of what we ought to be striving to become. Our minds and lives are overflowing with constant stimulation. We have all of this yet it has come at the expense of losing sight of the universal energy that flows through our being and connects us to all that exists; it has come at the expense of losing touch with the real; the kind of real those ancient races honored and sought to worship – source energy, divine spiritualty.

There are many other ancient practices and spiritual beliefs that encompass the enigmatic nature of life and our universe, and through the ages those beliefs and teachings have seeped like golden nuggets of wisdom to guide and inform, and help us understand if we want to push past the chaos of the modern world and listen; and all that unlimited wealth begins by looking within rather than to the outside world. It’s right inside you.

The universe, our existence, and the place we call earth comprises a series of wondrous miracles that occur in magnificent divine harmony with an energy whose sole objective is expansion, creation and ceaseless unconditional love.

How could we be so quick to disregard the unknown when you yourself are part of the great mystery? Psychic tools like the Tarot, clairvoyance, channeling or any other mystical practice really are not such a far stretch to believe when the foundation upon which we stand is riddled with a path of intricate beliefs, spirituality and sacred ancient magic.

Believe. Anything is possible. Anything.

Visit Blair’s website and discover more about this gifted healer! 

https://www.blairstewart.com.au

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Lovers Oracle Tarot Cards: A Four Card Spread I pulled For Myself about 5 Months Ago.

 

Tribes – An Introvert’s Perspective

I’d never been the outgoing, make-friends-easy type. I have been shy around new people for as long as I can remember. I was the little kid hiding behind my mother’s skirt if a stranger dared smile my way. Should an adult so much as utter a word to me back then, all kinds of inner turmoil would ensue. I would clam up, be tongue-tied and nervous while trying to figure out how to speak without sounding like an idiot. I would later discover my Myer Briggs personality type, which happened to explain a lot.

The Myer Briggs personality type indicator was constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, and is based on the conceptual theory proposed by Carl Jung.

Turns out, I’m an introverted personality type, a rare INTP to be exact. And surprise, surprise, it’s normal for INTPs to feel odd, because underneath all that cool exterior, we are oddballs at heart and so easily misunderstood. Now I know why most people just don’t get my dark sense of humour. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it 😉

Not only did I have an introverted personality to contend with, I also had a torrent of self-esteem/confidence issues deeply ingrained in my psyche ever since I can remember. In short, the self-confidence was lacking somewhere beyond my feet. It would take me many years to yank it back where it belonged – and even then, the struggles are ongoing. Perhaps it is because I come from a long line of introverts (father’s side of the family).

My father must be the most introverted person I’ve ever known. You want reserved, quiet, non-speaking individuals? I’ve got plenty lined up around here. Let’s just say dinner conversation wasn’t a big thing in my childhood. Nevertheless, exploring what it means to be an introvert is a whole other subject to dive into in the future. For now, we’re hitting the tribe topic – friends.

Despite my shortcomings in the making-friends department, by the time I reached sixteen years of age, I managed to eventually surround myself with a handful of gems. Genuine people I will never forget. I guess being an introvert, you’re able to sift along the sidelines, scraping through the constant noise and chaos in the world and eventually attract the stickers – the diamonds in the rough, the real deal. In case you didn’t get it, I’m talking about the bona fide sincere folks who live with integrity in their hearts and breathe the air of loyalty.

I found them. Or they found me. Either way, the tribe was established and we were in it together through thick and thin. Apart from two close school friends, the members in my tribe were about three to four years older than me. Looking back, I think the age difference made all the difference – they had cars (yippee!). No, seriously, the difference in age reflected in their take on the world. These guys and gals were thoughtful visionaries, penetrating the future with a contemplative flare I admired.

Every weekend, we’d grab our gear before we’d all pile into those cars and head west towards the Hawkesbury River – a 120 kilometre stretch of water that eventually flows into the Tasman Sea. Once there, we’d find our little weekend hub in the form of a camp ground by the river – a quiet spread of countryside nestled in the green valleys of Lower Portland. I can tell you, though, that the rolling, serene landscape was no longer serene following the arrival of our tribe. Especially come night.

By day we were slaves to the river. The speed boats were lowered carefully down the eroded ramps and into the water. The flashy wetsuits were adorned, the water skis dusted off for another run, and we’d hit that water like tomorrow might never come. Then, the sun would begin to shift over the horizon, giving way to a more chilled vibe involving camp fires, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. You can fill in the rest for yourself.

Good times. We’ve all had them – memories that impress somewhere in your brain matter and lend you that nostalgic smile every now and then. Recalling the good stuff is like the sweetest candy for your soul, and I am grateful for every single piece that indulges me. Those are memories I’ll cherish for all of time. Even the ones that were born from horror. You see, hanging out with people and enjoying great experiences is awesome, but it isn’t until the shit hits the fan that you realise the strong bonds you have formed with the people in your life. That’s when friends transcend beyond the standard friendship. That’s when you realise the love that exists between you.

It was New Year’s eve 1991 and I was seventeen years old with no parents in sight (Helloooo freedom). It was those weird-ass summer months in Australia, you know, those strange days that begin around Christmas and last until the school year resumes. I was staying on my own in my home with my boyfriend and my little brother.

We’d decided to attend a party at a nearby beach pub beer garden – minus the little brother, of course. The usual players came along – my beloved tribe, as well as a whole lot of other people I didn’t know. The night passed in the standard New Year celebratory fashion. The bourbons went down faster than you could say “I want another drink”. The music caused some hips to swing, and the conversations were intense – in a good way, I think. I could say we saw the New Year in gracefully, but I’d be lying.

By the time the hours grew thin and we made the move to go home, things got a little out of whack. There’s that threshold with booze – the moment when it all seems to flood your system at once and control becomes a faded inkling beyond your grasp. Before you jump to conclusions, I’m not actually talking about myself. It was the boyfriend – way too much beer and whatever else might have found its way down his cake hole that night, and things got bad fast.

I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty of it all, but the scene ended with lost car/house keys, broken glass and vanished precious jewellery, an enormous amount of blood, emergency surgery and tears – buckets of them. By the night’s end, I was sitting in a hospital waiting room waiting for the doctors to bring news of my boyfriend’s microsurgery and watching the sun rise.

Meh. Shit happens.

Actually, at the time, it was pretty traumatic shit and the experience left me feeling numb, lost and alone, and totally out of my depth. There were no parents around to mop up the mess. Nobody to take the lead and make it all right. I was seventeen and going home to an empty apartment stained with gallons of blood and shattered glass. With no keys to unlock the front door, no less.

As it turned out, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Remember those friends I was rambling on about earlier?

Yeah. Hell. Yeah.

They swept in beneath me like the feathers of angel wings, cocooning all around me. They had all the keys replaced; they picked me up and took me to the hospital every day; they cleaned out the apartment and took me to the location to painstakingly search for the gold chain and pendants that were so sentimental to me. They made sure I was okay each moment of every day until the ordeal passed.

As I write these words, I can’t help but feel the warmth trickling through my being. I will always love those people. They are my people, even when the years stretch between us. The power of true friendship is an all-encompassing journey not to be taken for granted. Treasure those that honour you and appreciate the layers they bring to your life. For in a world filled with superficial encounters and nameless strangers, it is rare to find authentic connections. Sweet soul candy can never be underestimated.

And yes, with the help of my friends, we found each and every little gold charm that’d I’d lost on a shadowy street when the world darkened, and sanity was temporarily misplaced. I still have them.

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Greenhorn; beliefs and opinions

“Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.”

~ Dirty Harry.

The first time I heard those words spoken wasn’t during a screening of a Clint Eastwood flick. No blue-eyed, hard-nosed, convention defying Harry Callahan strutting with his Smith & Wesson revolver lit up my screen and branded my ears with that sentence for the first time. Far from it. I was twenty and it had been during a showing of the Nazi symbol firmly tattooed on the brawny arm of a bikie greenhorn.

Maybe I’d had one too many bourbons that night, or maybe I’d grown comfortable enough around these new friends to finally express myself a little. But then again, perhaps it was just when I was confronted by a symbol that to me represented fascism, dictatorship and the murder of around six million people that I had trouble taming the instant revulsion swirling in my belly. And there it was, flung out in the open before I could catch it – my opinion.

The words started to roll over my tongue, and at each unsatisfactory answer, I probed even more. Suddenly, I wanted to know why the bikie beefcake wore that symbol on his arm as if it were a prized medal, and more importantly, I wanted to know how he could choose to believe in such an atrocity.

And he wanted me to “shut the f**k up”.

I have an asshole, you see.

Those were the days when I was introduced to a new world of long whiskers, leather jackets and hot motorbikes. I know what you’re thinking, but before romanticised visions of Sons of Anarchy flood your mind, I’ll stop you right there. There were no super-hot males swaggering around in tight jeans and fitted shirts. And certainly, no Jax Teller straddling a shiny Harley-Davidson and beckoning me to cosy up behind him before whisking me off into the sunset.

Uh-uh. Not even close.

But that’s not why that scene fast became a fleeting memory for me. I stuck it out for a few months because my boyfriend had decided they were his new tribe. To be fair, some of them were his childhood friends. But in the end, I discovered it was a world in which I didn’t belong.

It wasn’t that they were bad people. Although none of them remotely resembled Jax from the above-mentioned notorious biker series, for the most part, they were fun to hang out with and quite accommodating. There were no qualms when it came to sharing, and I have to admit, they knew how to party. And party hard they did. I’d even made a friend among them. She was one of the girlfriends. She was blonde and nice, in a rough-around-the-edges kind of way, and she took a liking to me.

After a while, though, she was banished from her biker-girlfriend position, and cast aside for the next in line. She piled her belongings into her car and to my surprise, stopped by my house on the way out of town to give me my first dreamcatcher because she said I was the nicest person she’d met in Sydney. Another surprise. I mean, I knew she liked me but to be the nicest person she’d met in Sydney? I was honoured.

Then I remembered her choice of company.

Wait – was that another opinion flung out across my keyboard?

Well, I do have an asshole remember, and I’m betting the last time you checked, you do too. In all seriousness, I didn’t think more or less of that particular group of people. They were no different to me, and free to express their opinions and beliefs as much as the next person, even if the Nazi symbol had offended me at the time.

Actually, the part that had upset me the most during that interaction was when the bikie greenhorn responded with the phrase so famously spoken by Clint Eastwood in the movie The Dead Pool. I remember blushing and feeling embarrassed. I had no idea how to react, and suddenly felt self-conscious. I guess he had accomplished his intention, because yeah, I shut up pretty fast following that remark. And something else occurred to me – not everyone wanted to hear my opinion, and nor was it necessary for me to share it.

Opinions. Unless you’re a Buddhist monk, most of us can’t get through life without forming them, believing in them and living according to them. Hell, even Buddhist monks live according to their beliefs, right?

They are the threads of thoughts drawn from our experiences, our cultural, societal and academic backgrounds, and family heritage, and are strung together to eventually inform our belief systems.

We have all kinds of belief systems, too – religious and spiritual beliefs, political beliefs, philosophical and ideological, and the list goes on to eventually settle in the core of your being after you have sifted through it all and decided to adhere to a set of beliefs that feel right to you.

But what are beliefs and opinions really?

Practised thoughts. Practise a thought enough and it will become your reality. I could say I believed the sight of that Nazi tattoo offended me – until it didn’t. Until I realised that by allowing the outer conditions of my world to influence my reactions and feelings, that I was really giving power to circumstances and conditions outside of myself.

I’m not saying I had a complete about-face and now advocate the heinous actions of the Nazis and what would result as the holocaust. Quite the contrary. But I am saying that you can never escape the opinions and beliefs of others, and you’re not always going to agree or like what you see or hear. You can, however, choose how you react to those situations, and you can choose not to allow the opinions of others influence your self-esteem and self-worth.

Do I always get this right?

Hell no.

I still get hurt and feel emotional pain, and sometimes have fleeting moments of loss of control. Only now, it is the people that I love that can stir my most inner emotions. I don’t give that power away too easily these days, and even then, it has its limitations because I remind myself that I cannot pin my happiness, the outcome of my life, or my self-worth on anyone other than myself.

People will always have opinions, feel the need to share them and judge. You can’t stop it – even in yourself at times. But when I hear someone judging another person or impressing their opinions about them, or even when I feel the urge to pass judgement on another myself, I recall the words of Matt Kahn when he said, “May the person judging be the next in line for love.”

At the end of the day, that’s all we can do – qualify judgement with love and move on.

Move on with love.

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The Unreal

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“What is real?”

“That is real which never changes.”

~  Ancient spiritual avatar from the book Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer.

During a recent conversation with my mother, she asked me what I considered to be materialistic. I felt a slight surge of delight ripple through me as I gazed towards the rolling green ranges that spread out from my home on the other side of the valley. They are the same peaks I regularly consult. Yes, I talk to the mountains as well as the stars and the ocean, because it is among those natural elements that I feel most anchored to the mystery of life.

The mystery of life has nothing to do with anything I own, or how much money I have in my bank account. I took a breath and smiled. I was ready to engage; this was my kind of talk.

Materialism.

The word instantly conjures images of money-oriented people who are excessively concerned about gathering material possessions – and yes, it’s exactly what the word implies. According to Madonna we do live in a material world, right?

Look around. Just about everything you see is tangible. If you can touch it, squeeze it and mould it, it must be real. The more money you can accumulate, the more of the real you can gather. The more of the real you can collect and own, the more you become real. Well, you must be real if you own things, and I’m more real because mine is bigger than yours.

Bigger. Better. Bullshit.

I’ve never measured my success or my self-worth on material possessions, even when I was younger and surrounded by people that liked nothing more than to compare their earthly possessions or talk non-stop about money. I’ve never understood. Honestly, I could not care less if your shoes are worth $500 or what kind of car you drive, or how big your house is.

Granted, it’s nice to have cool things to play with – I get that, I do. I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the stuff you want. After all, that’s why we come here – to sift through our experiences; desire, want and create what we want, and learn as we walk the path. Of course, I want things for myself and my family. But for me, it’s the intention behind the desire that differs from the materialistic sense.

I’ll be honest, I do want success. I want financial freedom, I want to travel and explore parts of the world that beckon me, and I want to live in a home on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. I would love to own a secluded cabin nestled deep in the woods too. Is that being materialistic?

Maybe. To some. Especially for those who might be getting a little uncomfortable reading this article and are beginning to think I’m being hypocritical.

My desires are fuelled by something other than physical comfort and wanting the biggest and the best. I want what I want because we do live in a world where money is necessary in order to survive, and fundamental to be able to expand our experiences.

More than anything, I want to expand, experience and savour what the world has to offer. I want to visit sacred caves in Colorado. I want to travel to places off the beaten track, be among Tibetan monks, make love at Niagara Falls, and experience diverse cultures because that is the kind of stuff that will enrich my soul. I choose the home by the sea and a cabin in the woods because that’s where I feel most connected with earth’s energy. That’s where I can breathe and just be when I need time away from the world.

I say this, yet at the same time it’s so important to get away from the importance of money, and to view it as only a means of exchange. But how do you achieve that? – By working to shed the cultural bonds that have been conditioned in us since birth; by dying to the ideals and values that measure us on a materialistic basis and reinventing our perspectives, and perhaps surrendering to a new outlook that money and material possessions are not real.

The answer I gave my mother was simple – I consider anything that cannot be taken with you upon your physical death to be materialistic. Anything.

This is where it gets interesting for me because I’m not only talking about material possessions. I’m talking about anything that isn’t really you – Ego. Reputation. Beliefs. Personality. Values. Hatred. Fame. Accolades. Emotions. Body.

I’m not saying these attributes are unimportant, or as important as you want them to be, but each of those qualities change. All these unseen influences make up who we are and how we view the world during our lifetimes, but you won’t be taking your reputation along with you when you cark it. Nobody on the other side is going to care how many awards you won.

At the end of your life, all you get to take is your soul and the growth fostered during the experience of your lifetime. And I’ll tell you this for free; it’s only about love – how much you learned from it, and how much you were able to give and receive.

If that is real that never changes, then real can only be your spirit or soul.

What is real is love.

 


Karmic Dad

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“Then what is the truth about hate? The truth about hate is love. Hate is simply love turned upside down.”

~ U.S Andersen.

I was sixteen years old when I met the man who would become my stepfather. If there was ever a karmic relationship, this was it. It was a summer afternoon and he lazed across his sofa with a beer firmly nestled between his fingers. He was friendly in a stern kind of way, and he called me “Mortica” (which would fast become my nickname widely used among my friends – Mort, to be exact). He then asked me rather bluntly if I could actually talk. I smiled and chirped back like the little shy bird I was back then, while my insides whirled at the prospect of such a loud adult confronting me about my lack of confidence.

He was my boyfriend’s father.

I had no idea what to make of the man we called John, aka U.J. He was bold and indiscreet, confident and outgoing. He was larger than life, and he was everything I was not. I was very self-conscious every time I was in his company during those early days. His extroverted nature seemed to evoke my deepest insecurities. Until I finally became comfortable around him. Of course, I had no idea at the time of the intense feelings and major role this man would eventually evoke and play in my life.

It’s weird how some people stick around and can drive you insane. You see, it wasn’t long after I’d met John that he in turn met my mother. It was love at first sight, and before anyone could say “what the hell is happening here?”, the two of them took off on an adventure that would last almost thirty years.

Meh. There was a lot of bullshit that went along with that ride. I was young and I’d lost a mother. Naturally, I blamed John. Yes, I was surrounded by some questionable influences at the time – all with their own agenda at play. But at the end of the day, I can honestly say that it was John that had first stirred the deep feelings of hate in my belly.

I say this without an inkling of those feelings present, and I say this with as much love as I now feel for the same person that had managed to provoke in me a hostility that I didn’t quite understand.

Enter karmic relationship.

The thing was, even long after my relationship with my boyfriend had ended when I was twenty-one, I still couldn’t shake John from my life. He was there like a chunk of pasta baked to the bottom of a pan – relentless and stubborn, and no matter how hard I scrubbed, I just couldn’t move that damned piece of pasta.

What do you do, right?

Choices. In the end it always comes down to choices. What we choose for ourselves is neither wrong nor right, but every time you get to choose is another chance at choosing love.

I chose love, and I chose forgiveness.

My mother had vanished from my life for seven years. That was her choice, and one I know she struggled with for a long time. I had missed her so much, more than ever when I began a family of my own. Yet still, I remained a silent daughter in the face of her attempts to contact me. That was my choice, until I could take no more.

I could have chosen to continue to withhold her from my life and the life of her grandchildren. I could have held that sword of damnation over her head for walking out on me and my brother when I was teenager. I could have nurtured the animosity, succumbed to the feelings of abandonment that had plagued me, and continued to punish them.

But at what cost?

I’d realised holding onto the pain and continuing to blame others for the hurt I was feeling wouldn’t benefit me in any way. All it did was foster the negative feelings of depression, resentment and torment. By holding the sword of damnation over their heads, I was really balancing the blade over my own. I was punishing myself.

I was twenty-three when I next saw my mother, not long after I’d given birth to my first child, a son. He had arrived to remind me what love was really all about. He came on the breath of angels, filling the void in my heart that I hadn’t known was empty, and oh, how I wanted him. He saved me in more ways than he’ll ever know, and would later reveal himself as another karmic relationship! That boy had a plan for the both of us.

The point is, the arrival of my son had reminded me that love is nothing if not forgiveness, and that people can only do the best they know how. We all make mistakes. That’s why we’re here – to screw up and learn, and screw up all over again. So, I pushed aside the past and allowed it to become just that, and I slowly embarked on nurturing the relationship with my mother and stepfather again.

It wasn’t always easy, and John still had the uncanny ability to drive me crazy at times. He knew how to push my buttons and sometimes found great pleasure in provoking a reaction out of me. I’d rise up and bite, and he’d respond with a chuckle, then I’d become frustrated and stalk away. We didn’t always see eye to eye. He had trouble grasping my way of thinking and my spirituality, often treating me to a “woo-woo” spooky comment of some sort. And I’d get up him for never learning how to cook a decent meal or how to wash his clothes. Oh, and when the subject of equality between the sexes arose – watch out! He’d hit a home run every time. What? It’s a touchy subject with women.

Did I mention he drove me insane?

Yet, as time passed and we both matured, I learned to understand him. I learned he could only view the world from a lens in which he chose to see, or could only see, and I accepted him for everything he was, everything he tried to be, and everything he wasn’t. In turn, he eventually went easy on my personal beliefs and even managed to come to respect me for it. Acceptance all around.

But the best thing about the relationship I’d experienced with my stepfather was the love born from turbulence that grew between us over thirty years. He was there when my world blackened and spun out of control. He was there when I needed a father to talk to – his patience for listening to my dribble turned out to be darned remarkable. He was around when I just needed a good laugh, too. We shared a similar dark oddball sense of humour.

We found a common ground that connected us, and formed a bond so deep that it was me he asked for when he needed to tell someone he was dying. Someone that could talk to him about the other side.

That man that had scared the bejesus out of me when I was sixteen, had turned out to be someone I loved. He had touched my life and enriched my personal growth in ways I will never forget. He had made the effort to work through the past and listen to my shit because he loved my mother to pieces, and he loved me.

At the that time of writing this, a year has passed since his death. I miss him every day, and every day I feel his gentle touch on the side of my cheek, letting me know he’s still around when I need him the most. When times get tough and I’m batting some internal demon, I feel him stronger. I open the door and he is there. He’s always there … and I know now that he doesn’t think I was as crazy as he thought when he was dwelling in his physical body.

Most of all, though, I am grateful that I chose love and forgiveness. Imagine what I would have missed out on had I chosen to stay stubborn and indifferent towards my folks? I would have missed out on one of the most challenging and treasurable relationships of my life.

Life is made up of choices. I choose love every time. Even when I’m hurting so bad that I feel like my heart might collapse from the pain, still, I choose to qualify those emotions with love. And my life has been richer because of it.

 


Getting Real

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Who Am I?

Have you ever sat down and silently pondered that question? I mean, really allowed the thought to seep into your consciousness to the point you’re confronted with your deepest truths. What you see and acknowledge when you strip the layers can be rather unsettling at first, but when you push past the flesh and bone, and give your undivided attention to your essence, the feelings that erupt are indescribable.

It’s at this moment you come into the full realisation that you are nothing that the outer-world sees, and everything that lives and thrives within you.

In January 2007 I walked out on a life I’d been living for over a decade. It was a life that flourished beneath the oppressive hands of brutality and domination. I had left that world behind with no inkling of who I was, who I could be, or indeed, if I was even worthy of happiness.

In that marriage, I wasn’t permitted to be myself. Every remark, thought, idea and action I’d made was inevitably met with harsh criticism and condemnation, and sometimes, a hard slap on the face. I was living on the edge of my nerves, and slowly suffocating as a result. My then husband had no idea who I really was, and he had no interest in discovering what I could offer as an individual either.

I believe even the most difficult relationships exist solely for our personal growth. Sometimes it might feel just the opposite, though. What can you possibly learn about yourself when living under such repressive conditions? Surely those relationships hinder your growth?

Maybe. I guess.

I once knew of an elderly couple that lived in my neighbourhood. They were widely known around town because the old husband severely abused his wife. The abuse had been going on for decades, through the raising of their family and the eventual arrival of grandchildren. Nobody could understand why that little old lady stayed with her monster of a husband. He was cruel and unjust, and he treated her worse than their family dog.

The thing that stuck out in my mind the most, though, was that when they drove past in their car, the husband would force his wife to sit in the back seat. She wasn’t worthy enough to claim the front seat beside him. In his mind, she was beneath him. So, he’d drive his car down the street with his ego belted in, and his thin frail wife hunched behind him in the back seat. It was plain to see that this old man had accomplished his objective – he’d broken her spirit.

How does that make you feel? That a human being could view another in such a derogatory light? That a person compiled of the same flesh and blood as you and me could dare think he was a superior being and squish the light from another?

I’ll tell you how it makes me feel – saddened. For both of them. There is nothing more tragic than for one person to limit another human being. Such mind-control towards a sensitive person can limit that person for years and can even be compared to murder – spirit murder.

When another person treats you in that way, it is never about you and everything about the way the perpetrator feels about themselves and their view of the world. It’s what you choose to accept to be true that informs your experiences. Can you imagine the internal torment involved in such circumstances? I can. I’ve lived it.

That old lady had suffered at the hands of her husband her entire married life and eventually accepted that to be true for her experience. She felt that she deserved nothing more from life. She was too broken, too hopeless, and too unloved to act on any impulse to change her life, even if she had wanted to. And I’m not talking about the love she didn’t feel from her husband, I’m talking about self-love.

Yet, the life that woman had accepted to be true for herself was the driving force behind the life I eventually rejected. It was her slouching image sitting in the back seat of the car that played in my mind for twelve long years. It was the same image that I vowed not to become. Sometimes, a chosen life of despair has a profound ripple effect far greater than what we realise. For that woman’s heartache and horrific experience, I can only wish her love and give gratitude for the impact it had over mine.

Still, I did not go unscathed, and entered a new life without really knowing who I was or what I wanted. It wasn’t long after that that I felt an underlying pull towards the divinity. When the moments grow silent and stillness is all around, and you are alone, eventually you have to face yourself and travel a path towards the truth.

The future spread out before me like an uncarved road I couldn’t quite envision, and although there were often times that I felt scared, I chose to trust in the part of myself that was real – my soul, my essence. It was the part that connected me to something far greater than myself.

Well, I figured I had no choice really, and I did so with a sense of excitement.  In those early years of awakening to new ideas and self-awareness, I didn’t understand what I was feeling all of the time, but when I discovered new revelations, it was like pure bliss for my soul. I could sense my soul rejoicing as I evolved. I remember opening books and reading the text, and revelling in the euphoric buzz that would ensue as the remnants of the truth resonated within me.

I look back now and I realise I had been standing on the threshold of what would unfold as my own personal spiritual journey. And with every fibre of my being, I understand I couldn’t have reached that level of self-evolution and self-awareness without experiencing the pain and angst of abusive relationships.

I chose to grow from those experiences. I chose myself, and I chose to seek answers to the questions that had always plagued me – who am I, really? I knew there was more, much more, and I wasn’t satisfied with the dense 3D version we face here on the earth plane.

So, what is real?

Real is love, real is what is inside of you.

I am love, and so are you.

 


Abuse Me, Abuse Me Not

depositphotos 58628561 xl 2015

“Everything depends on your attitude towards yourself. That which you will not affirm to be true of yourself can never be realised by you, for that attitude alone is the necessary condition by which you realise your goal.” ~ Neville Goddard.

I tend to never think about the past. For me, the past has served its purpose, and I know I will accomplish nothing if I choose to dwell over it. I’d rather look forward, focus on how I want life to be – not just only at the micro level, but at the macro level too. Yes, I want to see change in the world, in humanity. I want to see a shift towards world peace, and I want to see every person act out of love and not fear. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am one of those dreamers John Lennon so famously sang about in his classic song, Imagine.

I am a dreamer. I have always been a dreamer. Even the darkest moments couldn’t quite diminish the spark deep inside of me, and like many of us, I’ve lived through some dark times.

Relationships are a beautiful and necessary part of life. It is through our relationships and interactions with others that we learn so much about ourselves and the world. We learn great things like love, respect, empathy and consideration. We learn how to relate with others and the art of compromise. We fall in and out love, hearts break and we grow and evolve, and we realise what we do and don’t want for ourselves.

Sometimes, those lessons are tough. Well, let’s be honest, our biggest lessons are always the toughest to learn. The worst thing is when we get caught in a revolving-lesson door – the cycle drill that won’t quit till you make a change in yourself. That was me. I was on repeat – a lesson that began when I was sixteen years old and lasted until I finally kicked it in the butt when I reached thirty-four. That’s right, almost twenty years of enduring one lesson through three relationships – abuse.

I am not a trained psychologist, nor have I earned any qualifications in social welfare. I have studied towards a Bachelor of Social Studies (psychology), earning two years of transcripts before I went on hiatus and began writing fiction books. It was through study that I rediscovered my love of writing. I loved writing the essays for my modules, yet each of my lecturers had at some point mentioned the same thing upon reading my assignments – I wrote too creatively and needed to be more scientific, but hey, I wanted my work to be interesting, even when including the principles of clinical jargon and conventions. I loved writing books so much; the rest is history (excuse the cliché).

The point is, I don’t traditionally qualify as a trained person to guide others going through abuse. But I do qualify as a domestic abuse survivor. I have experienced verbal and emotional abuse, physical and sexual abuse. Image abuse, and stalking. I know how it feels to be that person – the one that lives behind closed doors in a world of shame; the one that beats herself up every day for her weakness; the person that can barely stand looking in the mirror because she failed herself and her children, and can’t find a glimmer of light in a world of shadows.

For a long time, that was me. The worst thing about being a victim of abuse is the guilt that comes along with it. Guilt becomes a constant companion in a fake, plastic world. It’s there when you wake up every morning, and it’s there every second of pretending everything is okay.

There are all kinds of guilt – guilt for betraying your own convictions; guilt for convincing yourself it will never happen again while knowing full well it will, and finally, the guilt that eats you from the inside out – not protecting your beautiful children from the ridicule and violence.

Looking back, I guess I thought I didn’t deserve any better. Sometimes, all it takes is one life-changing incident to set off a chain of events that can last a lifetime. I did it for almost twenty years. I lived on my nerves and walked on eggshells, and every now and then I’d let loose and face the demons with a defiance I couldn’t ignore – that spark deep inside of me flared to the surface and desperately screamed for justice, dignity and self-worth.

I know how it feels to have your life threatened. My first husband used to tell me that he would gladly do jail-time for my murder. Words enough to send a chill down my spine even recalling them.

I know how it feels to see the fault in yourself. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I do anything right? I’m a loser. I’m nothing.

And I know how it feels to see no way out of a black tunnel – “You couldn’t survive without me, you wouldn’t make it.” “Nobody would want you, you’re used goods.” “You’re useless, dumb, stupid, fat, ugly.” “I’ll use you up till there’s nothing left.”

Hear some things enough and you start to believe them.

So, what changed?

Me.

I’d had two little boys with my first husband, but it wasn’t until we had a little girl that something really shifted in me. My little fair angel was the catalyst in a world of darkness. Maybe it was because of the time when my then husband pegged a TV remote controller at me when I was breastfeeding my newborn. He missed me but he didn’t miss her. Or perhaps it was how he’d ridicule me for not producing enough breast milk and our baby girl began to lose weight fast – my fault. Or maybe it was the times when he came home late at night drunk and woke me just to terrorise me.

Whatever it was, I knew I could no longer live that life. I knew there was more, much more, and that life was supposed to be happy. I could find happiness. I could. I wanted more for my children. I wanted peace for them. I wanted to see them laugh more and make a mess if they wanted. I wanted them to feel confident and to know a better existence.

I remember one night I went outside and gazed at the stars. I looked and looked until I believed in something higher than myself. I asked for strength, guidance and courage, and I knew if my life was going to change it would be up to me to make the change. No one would do it for me. No one.

So, I did it. I took a breath and summoned my courage. I got a house and packed our stuff and with the help of some beautiful friends, I moved myself and my children out of that situation and I never looked back. Not once – even when he begged me to come home, or when things got tough and he made life difficult. Control is not something people easily relinquish. I was out and it was the best thing I’d ever done.

The thing is, I chose myself. I chose my children. And I chose to believe in those stars. Somehow, I knew everything would be okay. I took a leap of faith, and even though it wasn’t always easy going, I still chose to believe. It would take another five or more years for me and my children to sift through the emotional scars that that environment left on us. There were challenging times dealing with adolescents with major anger issues; there was heartache and tears, feelings of hopelessness and working through the guilt. But we got through it together, and my children were my salvation and I was theirs.

I still gaze at the stars and I still believe in them. I know for a fact the abilities I possess to initiate the changes I desire in my life because I’ve done it, and I know that the power comes from within, and not from outside of myself. It’s in all of us. If you want change, only you can make it happen. And if you don’t want to get stuck in the revolving-lesson door, you need to adjust the way you think regarding the specific subject. One of my favourite Wayne Dyer quotes is when he said, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Those words resonate with me so much, I wrote them down and stuck it on the wall next to my bed to remind me that no situation is immovable, no matter how static or impossible it seems.

Choose happy. Choose yourself. And please don’t focus too much on those dark times you experienced in the past – give power to the future you desire and be a dreamer like John Lennon. Imagine.