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personal growth - Kim Petersen

Love Doesn’t Always Mean Monogamy

And it’s not as bad as you think.

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Think back to your first relationship. Could you have been completely satisfied with remaining with that person forevermore? Could you have faced a lifetime of learning and growing from that first love? What about your second lover … third?

While some of us are destined to discover true connection within that first relationship, more often than not this isn’t the case. By true connection, I am referring to the kind of bonds that trigger inner growth on the essential levels — emotionally; spiritually; sexually; soulfully.

Complete fusion.

These are the qualities vital to propel and shift us into expansion as we move through life. Relational aspects that continue to flourish and deepen as the connection matures — rare bonds established on a soul level destined to rattle our senses, ignite change and show us deep love.

There are all kinds of love — Self-love; affectionate and playful love; familiar and enduring love. Unconditional love.

It is through experiencing love that we learn how to give and receive love. We learn important qualities like empathy, gratitude and compassion. Each connection brings inner growth and teaches us what it means to bond and share selflessly.

To love and be loved is our ultimate purpose during our lifetimes.

It is strange how western society in particular has managed to erect invisible boundaries and rules around the concept of love, and in the process, thwarting the true meaning behind love and connection.

Real love is freedom.

To believe we embark on a lifetime to experience just one significant mate is delusional. Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle said: “Monogamy is invented for order and investment — but not necessarily because it’s natural.”

If humans were truly monogamous creatures, we would behave like geese — stick with our first mates and take none thereafter; even after the death of a spouse. There would be no divorce or second marriages, and there would be no tallying up the U.S. average of 7.2 sexual partners found in a recent Superdrug survey.

While the idea of committing to and sharing our lives with someone we love is a natural state to experience, so too is the falling ins and outs of relationships. In other words, not all relationships are designed or destined to last a lifetime.

In fact, most are not. It is natural for us to form and honor important connections as those souls move through our experience. Yet, we are on a continuous learning path and therefore, are supposed to be reaching for more in order to expand and evolve to higher states of being.

We do this through relationships and connections.

Relationships are the springboard for life-lessons and growth. Some relationships reach their peak before the connection plateaus to a place that no longer challenges us to grow and evolve into a better human being.

It is all about personal and spiritual growth and less about societal expectations and the pre-conceived ideals surrounding marriage. We are taught that it is wrong to fall in love with someone else when married or involved in a long-term relationship. We are made to feel ashamed for experiencing deep feelings for someone other than our spouse.

This school of thought is limiting and self-serving.

It doesn’t take into account how we change with time and attract new situations into our lives. It doesn’t acknowledge that it is natural for us to encounter, bond and share connections with other people who cross our paths for the purpose of expanding love and further propelling us into higher awareness. And it does not equate to love without condition.

Life happens.

Sometimes, we are presented with a bombshell in the form of a special connection despite our current circumstances. I have listened to folks speak about how we get to choose who we love, when in reality the opposite is true.

When real love touches our lives and imprints upon our soul, we have as much control over our feelings as we do the weather. We cannot control who captures our hearts and when; we cannot account for the appearance of those deep soul connections.

That is one of life’s most beautiful mysteries.

In fact, it is common that we cannot be truly ready to experience the greatest love of our lives until we have journeyed through other relationships that serve to prepare us for the ultimate connection.

I am by no means condoning cheating in the self-gratifying, adulterous sense. Nor promoting disrespect or hedonistic behavior.

What I mean is that often we make commitments and promises that hold true in the moment. Yet, signing a marriage contract doesn’t always account for the inevitable transformation bound to happen with maturity. Existing commitments cannot foresee detours in a person’s feelings or predict the future.

From the moment we are born we are learning, evolving and experiencing the world for the sole purpose of personal growth and soul lessons. Whether we acknowledge the fact that we are much more than our fleshy tombs becomes highly personal and reflective of where we are in terms of spiritual advancement.

When we are able to step back long enough to recognize connection for its true purpose, we may grasp the notion that nothing about relationships should encompass feelings of control or possession over another being — marital contract or not.

It is then we can see that relating and bonding with another person is about opening the heart and learning how to love unconditionally. It is the ability to allow your mate the freedom to experience their portion of life without imposing your will, insecurities or underlying desires upon their journey.

That is the true meaning of unconditional love — to love unselfishly and without placing a set of restrictions along with your affections or companionship. Unfortunately, very few of us strive to practice this kind of love.

The institution of marriage is a somewhat outdated notion in the grand scheme of things. Particularly when considering the advancement of humanity, and especially when contemplating the natural state of relations between the first humans to inhabit the earth who had very little use for marriage.

It is presumed that early males and females had sex with many partners, with the initial formations of marriages emerging around climate change and food — a richer meat-based diet meant that babies were born earlier requiring more care from their mothers. Before that, mothers were able to gather fruit and nuts whilst caring for their infants.

These may not have been marriages in the way that we think of marriages today, but couples in this period would probably have stayed together for about three or four years before parting ways. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this is exactly the length of time at which divorce rates peak in modern day marriages.

It was during this era that marriages became a union between two people and recognized by the community. Agriculture tied people to the land, meaning that at the end of the four-year period couples were less inclined to separate, choosing to work as a unit to feed and care for the children they produced.

The creation of marriage as a legal contract between men and women came into being over time as communities settled on what was a normal way for them to organize a family and then condense that normalcy into law.

Laws were created that gave men assurance that the children they were raising were their own; women that their husband would not leave them destitute.

So, the real origin of marriage evolved from the biological desire of both men and women to see their children survive, and until recently had less to do with love.

We are fast to claim each other forevermore. We typically thrive on co-dependency and are quick to pass judgement, point fingers and damn the one for following their heart should love come calling unexpectedly.

We seek to own, take commitment and twist it into something unnatural until it becomes a liability, when our natural state of being is the opposite — real love is the opposite.

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Love is as mysterious and as beautiful as the meaning of life. Love doesn’t know restrictions — gender, age, geographical or race differences. Love doesn’t always recognize the institution of marriage.

It is an illusion to believe we have control over another human being within a marriage or otherwise. It is a farce to believe we can prevent another from falling in love with someone else.

All we are able to do is to practice being the best possible version of ourselves within any given moment — including when a relationship begins to no longer serve our greater needs, and especially when facing a straying spouse.

How we handle those high-level situations are what defines us as human beings.

Our greater needs are always about love and experiencing love in its highest form. Letting go of stale relationships is a part of the human experience. Allowing a relationship to end gracefully rather than bitterly is a part of love — caring for yourself enough to take the higher-road and knowing that all things unfold for your own growth and well-being as well as that of others.

Love only knows freedom and expression — It is acceptance and the ability to see past the blinders, the ego and the societal expectations on what constitutes a proper relationship. Love is allowing someone to be who they want to be, even when it hurts.

Real love is truly freedom.


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


Happy New Decade and thanks for reading!

Give and Take

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My mother has been catapulted into a new existence since my stepfather passed away in early 2018. She has had to learn how to stand on her own two feet for the first time in her life. She’s had to work out how to pump her own petrol, pay the bills and handle finances. She’s learned how to interact with industry people, negotiate deals and assert herself in the world. Mostly, she’s had no choice but to sift through the many layers of herself and discover who she is without her husband.

It’s in those small, quiet hours alone that you cannot hide from yourself. Those are the moments when the truth finds you. When you can no longer run from who you are. 

She’s not into being alone. I am. I can happily spend hours at a time without interacting with people. Introspection is my thing – almost to a fault. This might sound weird, but I love thinking, reflecting and delving into the deepest zones of my mind. I can easily become lost in a world of my own making; analyzing, day dreaming, over-thinking situations and playing futuristic conversations and scenes in my head.

Ah, cerebral heaven. Is it wrong that I would rather spend my time in this reflection mode than engage in meaningless, no-point conversations?

This is something else my mother has had to learn since she’s been on her own – me.

Okay, I admit that my preference to living in my own head might sound a little aloof or unfriendly, but it’s really not. It comes down to need and sanity. I need space – lots of space. It’s the way I process the world, my life and feelings. She doesn’t understand. If I’m denied this reflection time for extended periods, I tend to get irritable and edgy. Maybe even a little grouchy.

The same is true when it hits a certain time of the evening and I see one of my kids trouncing around the house. I could never understand how some folks allow their children to stay up till all hours – argh! Give me a break; I need “adult time”. You know, to get my reflection on and chill without looking at a chicken.

My mother likes to talk … a lot. To the point it drives me crazy. She likes to tell me about people – what they’re doing, where they’re going and snippets of conversations. Suffering, that’s what that is. I don’t want to know why so-and-so is going to Timbuktu and how the old buddy is getting the whatchamacallit. In the politest sense possible, I don’t give a fuck.

It gets worse. Well, from an introvert’s perspective. She wants to know stuff that I know too. About people. A few days ago, she asked me about a friend of mine that is planning to move farther north. He and his wife are considering an island life.

Mother took it upon herself to have a rant about this decision – farther north means cyclonic weather. Island life means …. erm …. the probability of encountering Bogans. I didn’t understand why she would bother wasting brain power on other people’s life choices; she really meant that shit. I was utterly baffled.

Then came the question:

“Which island?”

Which island? Was she serious? Does she not know me?

I responded with a shrug and the truth.

“I don’t know; my brain doesn’t retain that information, mum.”

“In other words, you don’t give a fuck?”

Ding, ding! Now we’re getting somewhere. She really said that by the way. Don’t tell her I told you though because she’s truly a lady and we all know that ladies don’t talk that way. Apart from the lady typing these words. And yes, I am a lady. Particularly when it suits. I might be elegantly corrupting her a smidge.

Elegantly. There’s a word. It just rolls off your tongue, does it not?

A little intel for the word nerds:

Elegant origins: Meaning “characterized by refined grace” is from 1520s. Latin elegans originally was a term of reproach, “dainty, fastidious”: the notion of “tastefully refined” emerged in classical Latin. Related: Elegantly.

2019 and the word “fuck” can be elegantly inserted in most annotations. Everybody is aware of the versatility this word holds. In fact, it’s one of the most resourceful words ever created. Its use can convey happiness, sadness, anger, disbelief, arousal, excitement and confusion among other things. But did you know there’s another multi-layered word used in Australia that is just as if not more adaptable?

Hint: It rhymes with runt.

There are all kinds of …. umm …. “runts” here – cheeky ones, sick ones, mad ones, good and bad ones. There are “runts” all over the place in this sun-blessed country. You can’t avoid them, but I try to steer clear of the crazy ones.

As much as Australians have taken this word beneath their laid-back “she’ll be right” wings, I avoid using it like the plague because I fucking hate it. My mother might say it’s not very elegant.   

I walk in the mornings when the sun rises. Sometimes, I run. Mumma-bear sleeps at my place at least one night a week and joins me for these dawn outings when she’s here. She won’t run though. I’m not sure if it’s because running is a bit much for her at her age or if it’s because when she tried it once, I laughed so hard that I almost fell over. I can’t even begin to describe the sight of her arms flapping around in her white sweater like a baby penguin chasing its mother.

Entertainment. Some might even say cheap thrills, but who’s listening and who actually gives a fuck? Apparently, and according to her, I run elegantly. Who knew that was even a thing?

Told you I was a lady.

Jokes aside, it’s not that I don’t care about people – even the crazy “runts” from time to time. On the contrary, I care very much about the people that matter to me. That doesn’t mean I concern myself with the nuts and bolts of their lives or judge their choices and motivations. I’m sure they know what they’re doing. Somewhat. Who really knows what they’re doing, anyhow?

Show me someone who has it all figured out and I’ll show you a pair of earbud cords that never become tangled. They don’t exist, at least not in my world. Have you ever cursed those damned cords? I do. Frequently. They always seem to knot in the most intricate way when you need to get them in your ear quick-smart. They’re the times when I might be inclined to use the word that rhymes with runt.

Psyche.

Maybe one day I will figure it all out. Till then, my mother is still learning that I’m nothing like her and that I don’t have the capacity to engage in a continuous stream of phatic conversation. And I’ll keep trying to pretend to be interested in Bob, Sue and Whathisname for just that little bit longer because in the end, relationships are about giving and taking, even when you don’t give an elegant fuck.  


Living from the heart – are you an under or over-roller?

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There are two types of people in the world: those who hang their toilet paper rolls in an over position, and those who hang it in the under position. You can tell a lot about a person about the way they hang their ass-napkins. According to Dr Gilda Carle, “People who roll over are more dominant than those who roll under.”

Carle went so far as to suggest that you could use this information to see if you’re compatible with new partners. There’s an idea. Perhaps those looking for love should add this information to their online dating profiles or use it as an opening line when someone in a crowded bar catches their eye.

“Hey baby, do you take it under or over?”

Gasp.

“How dare you!”

“Nah, you got it all wrong, sugar. I mean your shit sheets? Do you like the roll under or over?” 

“Err … I’m an under-roller.”

Brows raise. Hands wave furiously while backing up. 

“Oh … you’re one of those psychopathic weirdos who like to make it hard on yourself. Sorry … I’m only looking for over-rolling ladies.”

Have you ever switched the hang of a toilet roll when using the bathroom at someone else’s house? I have. I’m guessing by now you may have worked out that I’m an over-roller. Yep, I take my toilet tissue over and my eggs over-easy please (not necessarily in that order). It just makes sense. Why make it harder on yourself?

Speaking of harder, I’m wondering if those submissive under-rollers are among the touchier beings in our society. Think about it, hanging a toilet roll in the under position is awkward if not miserable. Clearly it takes an under-person sadist to enjoy unrolling the paper in the wrong direction.

Some people are broadminded. Others are not. Maybe there is a correlation between “under-rollers” and intolerance, or “under-rollers” and bizarre social hang-ups. Rolling the toilet paper under may indicate core issues about uptight behaviors and attitudes.

Of course, this is just harmless speculation and I’m (partly) joking (under-rollers, lower your pitchforks and lighten up). But while we’re on the subject of rigidness, why not explore the difference between broad-mindedness and narrow-mindedness a little?

Societal structure and cultural conditioning help to define our values, beliefs and ethical systems, ultimately shaping the way we perceive ourselves in the world. Yet, if we take a group of people from the same community with similar upbringings and look closer, we soon realize the vast differences between them, including their outlook on life.

Personality plays a significant role. We’re all unique in that sense. Friedman and Rosenman conceptualized a set of behavioral responses collectively known as Type A Behavior Pattern. Their research showed that people with the Type A personality behaviors were more competitive, ambitious, impatient and aggressive than those exhibiting Type B behaviors who are said to be relaxed, non-competitive individuals. And just in case you’re wondering, apparently Type A’s favor the over-roll.

The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an extensive, research-based adaptation of Carl Jung’s psychological types theory encompassing 16 personality types. And while they act as useful reference points to understand your unique personality, it’s worth keeping in mind the human experience is complex and cannot fully be defined within such narrow perimeters.

For instance, I fall into the INPT personality type on the MBTI. Much of the traits attributed to this type are relatable to my personality, and yet I cannot completely rest my identity as an INPT. In other words, I won’t allow a set of personality-based indicators define who I am as a person. I am much more than a list of indicative words in a study. I have deep layers, intricate fabric and human experiences that have accumulated to make up who I am.

The above-mentioned factors definitely play a part in forming a person’s mindset tendencies, but in the end the difference between a fixed mindset and an open mindset comes down to personal choice. In each moment we choose how we want to see the world and our reactions toward it. We choose our perspectives and therefore, the empathy we demonstrate toward others in any given moment.

Small fragments of time exist between our responses. Each time we are confronted by a situation is another opportunity to choose our behavior. Poor reactions are indicative of the emotions we have toward ourselves. In other words, when someone treats you like garbage, it says more about them than it does you. Those poor responses are usually symbolic of a fixed mindset and the emotions driving it.

As we mature, so too do our hearts. Forms of love exist to teach and cultivate the rich stuff like empathy, compassion, connection and courage. We begin to learn patterns of love early on through family relationships. We thrive and grow through our love of life, forming friendships that teach us about respect, compromise and integrity. Then, we are confronted with the ultimate heart-lessons through romantic love and connection.

“These experiences of love and expressions of love drive this center to transform our whole being to greater states of awareness as the heart closes to heal, transform and reopen to yet another love. This is how your heart transforms you, moves you to fulfill your passion and challenges your courage to go deeper and quest longer. This is transformation through cycles of rebirth of your spirit.” – Rose Carey

It is through the wonderful journey of our hearts and love-lessons that we learn tolerance, kindness and the ability to open our minds as we open our hearts to others. It is our hearts that provide the gateway to an open mind and not our personalities or cultural backgrounds. Our hearts are powerful enough to embrace new ways of thinking and being, and smash away invisible rigid boundaries that imprison us. It is through our hearts that our worldview is shaped.

Choosing to live from the heart center means we choose benevolence over self-centeredness, love over fear, tolerance over narrow-mindedness. Through our heart center we realize that we are much more than the “physical” self as we become aware of our divinity. And whether you are an under-roller or over-roller in the shit sheet department, that my friends is what makes the difference between a fixed mindset or an open mindset.

How open is your heart?  

Where’s the Excitement at?

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Everyone else had it nailed. They seemed to be sure of who they were and what they wanted out of life. My friends graduated from school with plans. I graduated with a half-baked idea of umm … hairdressing. I think. That was after notions of becoming a marine biologist or a photographer idled through my mind.

A few years out of school I ran into a friend at a train station. I was heading home after spending the day in Sydney working a modeling shoot. It was during one of her interludes between our homeland and the States. She’d met an American fella when he was visiting Australia some years before. It was an encounter that solidified her path and had her spending much of her time in America until they eventually married and she settled there permanently.

“How’s your sex life?”

No, she didn’t say that, but it was the first thing that popped into my head when I spotted her; along with fuzzy memories of a Diesel concert, Love Cats and Working Class Man. Ah, the impression people leave in our minds – crowded school halls, The Cure and Jimmy Barnes scrawled over her canvas bag, and her staple line reserved for me when our paths collided.

“Hi Kimmm, how’s your sex life?”  

“Steamier than 91/2 Weeks.”

Grin.

We both knew the only thing happening between my sheets was a whole lot of sleep after some imaginative fantasies starring Michael Hutchence, but that’s what made this quirky exchange even more interesting.  

I wish I could say the same when faced with her incoming statement on the station that afternoon. Sometimes, snippets of conversations can stay with you for eternity. This was one of them.

“I always thought it would be you with the exciting life and not me.”

“Huh?”

I mean, what the actual fuck? I was 19 years old for crying out loud. Did she expect me to have an exciting life already? What constituted an exciting life anyway? I was smothered in studio make-up after a day beneath heavy lights and a fast stint on location, and that didn’t spike her “excitement” radar? Was America where the excitement was at?

I walked away feeling somewhat flat. I didn’t have an American boyfriend. My guy’s idea of adventure started and began with the car engine he kept mounted in his bedroom. Throw in a Van Damme flick, a bowl of weed and some munchies and it was happy days.

I never had it sorted. The modeling career was short-lived. I discovered very fast how much I loathed being photographed, and I couldn’t work out which was worse – the catwalk or the cameras. When my agent told me to drop five more kilos for a gig in Japan, I walked. I turned down an opportunity to experience excitement. Was Japan where the excitement was at? 

I’ll never know.

Not long after, I was walking home from the bus stop when a man drove by. He hit the brakes, chucked a “uey” and parked up ahead of me. He got out of the car with a huge grin. I was thinking I had a nutcase on my tail. Nothing new there but there was no place to go other than forward – he was on my street. I could almost spot my house if I squinted hard enough.

“Hi beautiful.”

“Hey.” Keep walking.

“Wait – I saw you and I had to stop because I know you’re perfect for a job.”

Stop walking. I was in-between jobs and needed cash.

“What job?”

“It pays well, 100 bucks an hour plus tips. You’ll get A LOT of tips, trust me.”

“A-huh, what’s the job?”

No, I’m not going to tell you he was looking for a hooker. He ran a high-end underground gambling house and wanted me to be their waitress-cum-eye-candy-cum-grope girl. The look on his face said it all.

He pushed a card in my hands. “Call me. You can start right away.” 

Was working in an illegal gambling house where the excitement was at? I never made that call. I’ll never know. 

There was another conversation that stuck with me. When I turned 40, a friend told me that I was going to love the 40’s. I was skeptical. 

“Okay, why?”

He laughed.  

“Because those are the years you discover who you really are and begin to own it. You just don’t care about as much – only the stuff and the people that matters.”

Sounded good. Maybe even a little exciting. I wasn’t sure that I believed him, though, because this was coming from a man who’d never had kids. He lived the life of a carefree artist without responsibilities. Enter wife and kids and that’s all changed now. I wonder how that’s working out for him. In his 40’s.

But it begged the questions: Who was I really and how would I find out?

I was never like everyone else. I’d spent my life trying to be like everyone else and feeling at odds with myself because I wasn’t. I mean, time and time again I’d turned down excitement, mostly because my idea of excitement didn’t gel with the usual. Or maybe because I never knew who I really was or what I wanted.

There were years when I devoted my life to my children. They filled the void. That happens, you know. To mothers. Children can provide that sense of purpose. Except, it’s a farce that cannot be sustained because we are not here for our children and nor are they here for us. They are here to fulfill their own destinies as we are.

Some people know right off the bat what they want out of life, but I never did, and I’d spent years trying to figure it out. I remember thinking that I probably didn’t have a “purpose” like other people. I was just here and that had to be enough. But it never was, and it wasn’t excitement that I craved; it was purpose. Soul purpose.

The moment I let go and stopped worrying about “why I was here” was the moment I knew where the excitement was at. It wasn’t in America or Japan, or an underground gambling house. It was in the little things and the big things, the simple stuff and the complexities. And it was ingrained in my experiences.

Excitement is:

  • Desire and yearning – feeling the pain and learning how it shapes you.
  • It’s in creation – carving out your life and choosing something different.
  • It’s taking chances, believing in yourself that little bit more and cultivating faith.
  • It’s listening to your gut, following your heart and claiming your joy.
  • It’s getting vulnerable, making mistakes and breaking the rules.
  • It’s passion – deep kisses that last forever and making love till the sun comes up.
  • It’s not caring if you lose sleep.
  • It’s letting the small stuff slide.
  • It’s feeling your baby kick for the very first time.
  • It’s forgiving people and forgiving yourself.
  • It’s taking a deep breath and telling someone you love them.
  • It’s pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • It’s choosing not to play it safe.  
  • It’s daring to dream and appreciating each step it takes to realize your dreams.
  • It’s failure and disappointment, then gritting your teeth and trying again.
  • It’s tears and missing somebody until your heart cracks.
  • It’s finding a message from someone special.
  • It’s recognizing the rare.
  • It’s the person that makes you feel things that you never thought possible.
  • It’s the one that takes your breath away.
  • It’s in the grit and the profane, the utterly crude and rude.
  • It’s the beauty and the mysterious.
  • It’s the sun emerging from the sea and the star soaring across the night sky.
  • It’s the way your heart flutters when love comes calling.
  • It’s learning to love yourself.  
  • It’s in the perverted underground clubs.
  • It’s the hookers and hustlers working the strip.
  • It’s the filthy homeless man asking for a dime.
  • It’s getting stuck out in a summer storm and laughing like a mad person in the rain.
  • It’s finally being to true yourself and having the courage to follow through.
  • It’s plugging in and plugging out.
  • It’s not equating death with the end.
  • It’s discovering your connection to life.
  • It’s music and dancing like a crazy person.
  • It’s exploring the unknown.
  • It’s not being afraid to love through the storm because you know it’s worth it.
  • It’s not being afraid to be different.
  • It’s the way someone looks at you.
  • It’s the way you look at yourself.
  • It’s spending time with the people you care about.  
  • It’s finding your wings – realizing who you really are and filling in the missing pieces.
  • And it’s finally knowing your soul purpose and being good with however things turn out.  

Excitement never eluded me; it was already there, every step of the way. And my purpose? When I stopped overthinking it and searching outside of myself for the answers it found me and I realized that too was always there. I just wasn’t looking in the right places. Maybe my friend was right about the 40’s after all, because these years belong to me, and I’m owning them.     

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.

 

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

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“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.

 


I am a BIRD

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When my mother was pregnant with me, my parents moved to a tidy brick, semi-detached home nestled in a quiet street in the southern suburbs of Sydney. There was a huge tree on the street outside our home, and the front yard had two small sections of lawn. The gardens were minimal but well maintained thanks to my father, and the backyard was a huge concrete oasis, which was fabulous when you’re six years old and you ride a bike like the wind. Not so great when you stack it, though. There were no pushbike helmets in the ‘80s, but I survived.

Rockdale.

Honestly – and I’ve never admitted this to another soul – I was never proud to be born and raised in that suburb. It’s not that I’m ashamed. I guess the town has served a purpose in shaping my life. It’s through these contrasts that we learn what we don’t want. It’s more that I never really felt comfortable there. I got out as soon as I could, fleeing to the Gold Coast with my boyfriend when I was 21 years old because I thought life would be beautiful there. Well, it had to be better than southern Sydney, right?

Wrong. Well, maybe a little.

I have since travelled and lived in at least ten cities across Australia, yet it wasn’t until recently that I really felt comfortable where I was – and it turned out it had nothing to do with the location, and everything to do with myself.

When you’re little, you know no different than the experiences to which you are born. The truth is, I had no idea we lived on the wrong side of the tracks until I had started school. Another truth? Even the right side of the tracks in Rockdale sucks. It’s not a beautiful town, but that’s not why it sucks. It’s the energy. It’s fast and unforgiving, and everyone is out for themselves. It’s a multi-cultural hub with a rancid veil hovering over the town. It’s all about drugs, gangs and illegal gaming houses, dictated by those with the most muscle. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a smidgen, but you get the picture.

I’ve heard of the old times when Rockdale had some charm, but those days were long gone even when I was a child. In the old days, the world was untarnished and charm was everywhere. I guess you could say it still is – that charm, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. What Rockdale lacks in charm, it makes up for with an ever-growing population. Maybe that’s where the problem lies, because people aren’t always charming. Nor are they always good.

But what is good? I hear you say.

Good is deep in your bones and ingrained in your soul. Good is empathy, and integrity, and treating others with respect and dignity. Good is your truth. It’s in your words and actions, your thoughts and feelings, and it’s the small voice whispering in your ear when confronted with choices. We can’t always be good all of the time, but good is not killing a baby bird for pleasure.

One of the first and harshest lessons involving the lack of good in humanity came when I was about five years old. Before that day, I knew not everyone was good all of the time, but I’d never witnessed cruelty firsthand. I guess that’s why this day has imprinted upon my memory like an ugly stain.

Don’t get me wrong, I was and still am no angel. I’m not always good. In fact, sometimes I like to be bad – in the best sense possible. The point is, I don’t intentionally cause pain to another living being.

The school day was just beginning and it was raining. There was a bird’s nest nestled deep along the eaves of one of the school buildings and a baby bird had fallen to the ground of the asphalt playground.

My heart had leapt from my chest at the sight of the little grey bird struggling helplessly in a puddle of rainwater, and I remember being frightened for the creature. Before I had a chance to do anything, three older boys raced towards the chick. I was relieved. They would save the bird and hand it over to a teacher who would somehow return it to safety.

I was wrong.

Those boys huddled around the bird and began to laugh. Then the unthinkable – they started to take turns at stomping on the little grey bird as if it were better amusement than a Game & Watch Donkey Kong game (which by the way, I mastered – only a Generation X would appreciate that fact).

My heart shattered and I screamed at those boys. They took no notice of me though. They just continued to stomp and laugh and I eventually had to turn away from the scene.

I’m not sure why those boys did that to the little helpless bird. I’m not saying they were or are bad people. Good people make wrong choices too. The incident played out within a matter of minutes, and it was over just as fast. Little birds turn to mush fast when stomped upon in the rain. I cried for that bird. I cried in the playground, and I cried when I got home from school, and I cried when I awoke with the nightmares that had ensued.

One small bird showed me what it was to love and feel pain for something outside of myself and my family. One small bird showed me how to empathise, and taught me that people don’t always do good things. And one small bird revealed something about myself that has remained with me all the days after – I am a bird.

You are too.

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