Bobinzana and Healing the Masculine and Feminine Wounds 

Tikal, Guatemala, April 10, 2021 

 

During my last few days in Guatemala, my housemate asked me if I wanted to join her in attending a Bobinzana and Hand Pan Session. Not knowing what Bobinzana was but trusting my housemate completely, I happily accepted, as I wanted to make the most of my remaining time at the Lake. 

Those of you who know me know I’ve never even smoked weed or a cigarette. I’m not a big drinker and I’ve never taken any drugs or psychedelics until I tried Ayahuasca in February. As the world seems to have gone to shit in 2020, I decided to explore the human experience a little more fully during my time in Guatemala in case we never get to do anything ever again. (Drama Queen you say?) 

Bobinzana is considered plant medicine, but is very soft and subtle, like cacao. It’s basically like drinking cold tea. 

To be honest, I didn’t feel a thing and spent the entire session, or ceremony if you will, annoyed at my allergies acting up and at the amount of dust in the room. It wasn’t a great night for me. To add to my state of profound oh-for-fuck’s-sake-ness, everyone talked about their feelings for what seemed like the first two hours of the evening as I grew very, very impatient, boiling inside like “dude, there’s 12 of us here, this will take forever if you are trying to navigate through all of your life’s trauma with the group, just get to the friggin’ point already!!!”. I was basically screaming inside…Trust me, I’m working real hard on my patience!  

But then, just as I was annoyed, impatient and not able to relax, a thought came to me, which had nothing to do with the places my mind was drifting off to. 

 

“You claim to want to meet your soul mate, yet you are still very angry at men. You must heal for yourself, for your mother, your grandmother and all the women before you. Heal your wounds, heal your lineage.” 

 

Random, I thought, but interesting. 

 

I was then suddenly bombarded by images and memories of the men who have hurt me in the past as I grew angrier and angrier, still trying to relax with the rest of the group. These memories resurfaced until the end of the ceremony. 

When I finally got home, I decided to write down a list of all the moments when men had disappointed, hurt, offended me or let me down in any way. From the unexpected breakups to the much older men shamelessly trying to flirt with me on social media every single day (inappropriate as fuck FYI), I had A LOT of bottled-up anger, just waiting to be released. 

So, I wrote without stopping for about an hour. Yep, a full hour of male bashing… 

And then as I started feeling the exhaustion, I decided to make a new list, this time writing down all the moments men had been loving, kind, helpful and trustworthy in my life. 

Needless to say, the second list was much shorter.  

I went to bed, still upset, but completely emotionally drained. 

 

That’s when Bobinzana worked her magic! 

 

Right before waking up in the morning, I had a very vivid dream of the first guy I dated, when I was 15.  

In the dream, I deeply felt his pain from rejection while he was trying to get back together. But we were adults now, here in dreamland. That’s when it hit me: 

 

I have also hurt men.  

 

I have played my part in the dance of human suffering. I’ve never been just a victim; I’ve also let men down myself. I had simply never seen it that way…I have hurt some men, then other men have hurt me. The people are different but the teachings remain the same. 

So, I woke up and immediately wrote to my ex from when I was a teenager to apologize for dumping him without any explanation all these years ago. I wrote him that I had truly loved him, that this growing love had scared me and that I had broken up with him because my friends had made me feel pressured into having sex and I simply was not ready. Of course, 15-year-old me could not thoroughly understand or articulate these emotions at the time, so I had simply run away, like I did many more times in my life with people and situations that made me feel uncomfortable. He never knew why I had left. 

I told him that I knew this story had happened over twenty years ago but that if any part of him had been scarred or hurt from this, I sincerely apologized for my part in the matter and that I now wanted to cut all negative karma or links between us. I wished him happiness with his new family and more love than his heart could ever dream of… 

I instantly felt liberated. He answered back immediately with humor and I knew a weight had been lifted from both of our teenage and now adult shoulders. A dagger had been taken out of our hearts and the wound was ready to be healed. Thank you Bobinzana

I then proceeded into writing to every ex that I had unconsciously hurt or pushed away. This process was so therapeutic on both sides. I received beautiful messages of love and compassion, from most of these men who had become strangers to me. That’s when I realized that love never goes away, it simply transforms. 

 

I love each and every one of these men deeply. With a love that wishes them happiness and the companionship they deserve. By apologizing, it actually made it easier for me to forgive. To forgive them, myself and all of the other men who have done me wrong. If we don’t understand ourselves, how can we convey our needs to others and hold space to understand our partners as well? 

I could have only written about my own scars and tried forgiving the men in my life as I have tried to do multiple times by focusing on myself, but the real healing came from healing both sides, the masculine and the feminine. Our energies both dance together; we both fall and get back up as best we can.  

 

If like me, you have been hurt and still carry some underlying anger towards the opposite sex, I urge you to try this exercise. Write down your anger, then find what your mirrors are, where you’ve also played a part in the pain game. Apologize and let it go, whether you get a positive response or not. There is nothing more liberating than to acknowledge that we have control over our lives. We play both the victim and the bully at different times, whether we realize it or not. We attract the same lessons until we understand them and heal. 

Men cannot fully heal without our healing as well. Yes, we are different, but all both of us really want is to be fully loved and accepted as we are. Heal and go love yourself my friend! 

 

 

 

 

With much compassion and love, 

Karine xx 

 

 

 

 

P.S Don’t get me wrong, if you have suffered abuse, I am not encouraging you to go and apologize to your abuser! At ALL! I’m talking about the every-day basic relationship, the small drama. I’m talking about trying to understand the scars on the other side. Abusers definitely have deeply-rooted issues that have nothing to do you with. It is NOT up to you to help or save them, you can simply encourage them into therapy and self-work. You must choose YOU and leave. Find a safe space, talk to friends and family, resource groups or even the police if the relationship is dangerous and build up the courage to LEAVE. Hopefully they can do their inner work someday and come and apologize to you. If they don’t, let it go. Work on you, love yourself, stay safe and happy!

How I Found True Love in Guatemala  

Guatemala City, April 7th, 2021 

 

 

After over 3 months, my time is San Marcos La Laguna has come to an end. For those of you who don’t know this, San Marcos is a very small Mayan village where many “gringos” come to heal, surrounded by the beauty of Lago Atitlan and its majestic volcanoes. Throughout the years, it has become home to many hippies and certain unconventional and lovely characters who felt they needed to start anew somewhere peaceful. Although there have been many unpeaceful events during my stay in this remote community (also known for its machete-armed robberies if we’re being honest), I have come to understand why many outsiders return over and over again. 

When I first got to San Marcos, I did not think I needed to heal. I had already done much work on myself through reading, therapy, sound healing, meditation and Buddhism discussion groups. I had only two things in mind: Complete the training I had already paid for pre-covid at The Yoga Forest, and escape a bit of the Canadian winter and pandemic depression. 

What I found there was much deeper.  

I won’t go through the narration of my entire journey, but I’d like to focus on the most important part, which is: 

How I wound up finding true love. 

With the exception of one or two short ship flings (working aboard cruise ships), I have been single for the past 4 years.  

I wanted to be single at first, knowing that I needed to heal my heart from a very painful breakup. Eventually I just became more and more difficult about who I wanted to let into my world and then I kind of really enjoyed my alone time… In the past year, I’ve come to realize that I was somewhat subconsciously making the choice to be single because I felt like I was a caterpillar transitioning into a butterfly and didn’t want to meet someone while I still had part of my wings stuck in the cocoon, makes sense? 

And so no one of interest for my desires came along. 

Then, on my 36th birthday, in the middle of San Marcos, something incredible happened. I fell in love.  

I fell deeply in love, you know, that unconditional and pure love, the type you don’t meet often. I fell in love…. With myself. 

About. Damn. Time!!!! 

I climbed to the top of a mountain, borrowed a beautiful sacred Mayan altar and made myself a ceremony to start off my new year in gratitude. On my own, I spent an hour chanting, praying, giving thanks and journaling to set my intention for this new year to come. The power of ceremony is something I would have laughed at over a year ago, but something about being introduced to it on this special land has made me open my heart to the teachings and embrace these ancient practices. And so as I sat there in the sun, I realized that for the first time in my life, I truly, deeply loved myself. It was the best gift I could offer myself. That life-altering decision of becoming my own best friend, of becoming my cheerleader and of taking time for me, whenever I feel like it. I had worked on it for years, but the ceremony helped me realize that I was there. In love. With me. 

During my time in Lake Atitlan, I learned to set boundaries. I learned to say no. I learned that I do not have to buy into other people’s projections and that I do not have to care about what they think of me. I learned that I can hold compassion and still say no. I discovered absolute freedom.  

Okay I also learned that I speak before I think in situations where I feel uncomfortable or guilty and that I take way too much time before setting boundaries, but instead of beating myself up for my shortcomings, I accepted the consequences of my actions, forgave myself, learned the lesson and moved on, with an intact degree of self-love. 

My friend, self-love is amazing. Whatever is holding you back from it, I urge you to find out in order to attain it faster. All the love and joy that you think a partner can bring you is actually multiplied within yourself. No one can make you happy, you must make yourself happy first. You are no one elses’s responsibility but your own. This is YOUR life, so take that power and create it the way you want to live it. I am telling you, you are the love you have been waiting for.  

Who wants to be someone’s other half anyway? I want to be complete on my own. I want to find a partner who is also complete on his own when the time is right. I want a love that is worthy of my time and energy, and believe me, it’s coming, cause once you open your heart valves, they will overflow to find and submerge that special person who is willing and ready to take it all in. Be that someone first. 

Love yourself. 

Karine xx

 

The Year Of Inner Work 

You don't need me to tell you that 2020 has been a difficult year, most of you have felt that already, in various forms. For some, it's been the worst year of their lives, and for a few, it's been a well needed break. For me, it's been a year to catapult my inner growth and blossom into a butterfly. Hold up now, I've still got one wing inside the cocoon, but I can see the light!

How has this year treated you? Have you taken advantage to evaluate your life, your behaviours, the people around you and how you spend your precious time on this polarized planet? If not, that's okay, you still have time. Maybe your life is perfect and nothing needs to be changed. If so, I'm happy for you! But this is for those of us for whom some, maybe even most days of the past nine months have been a struggle.

I personally went through various lockdown phases. I've had the disciplined and accepting first three months. Then I went a littles depressed and nuts for another two, then hopeful cause they lifted the lockdown for two months and I was able to start a new business in Sound Healing and Meditation, and then they took that away and I stopped believing things would get better before 2022.

Which leads me here. 

Whatever you did or did not do this year, it's alright. 

Sure, it's awesome to keep self-motivated, in the zone and to challenge yourself, but I've also found that it was in my darkest hours that I flourished, Having these "crappy" days allows you to dig deep into the root of your hidden problems, the ones you even managed to hide from yourself. If there were no darkness, when would we ever appreciate the light?

I'm proud of you. If you're here, reading this, you've survived! You've survived yourself! You've survived your worse demons! You've survived literally having all your freedoms taken away. You did it! 

Now claim your power back, take a deep breath, go and get a pen and paper and write down what it is that you truly want to manifest in your future. You've had almost a year to think about what truly matters to you, now go and get it!

 

Sending love and wishing you happy holidays!

 

Karine xx

Break The Cage - Quarantine reflections about priorities, raising consciousness and breaking free from fear 

Rawdon, Quebec, May 29, 2020

 

 

After 75 days of lockdown/quarantine, I’ve come to realize something. I am like a bird (cue Nelly Furtado song), I’ll only fly away... After feeling like I had let myself be caged for years, I took control of my life about 5 years ago and started traveling, exploring and experiencing life fully. And now, here we are caged again, this time, with no way to escape. Do you know what a bird does when you lock it into a cage? For one, it shits all over the place and makes a huge mess and secondly, if you leave it there for too long, it gets comfortable in its misery and fears what the outside world has to bring. I’m trying very hard to fight these instincts, but then maybe I do need to make a mess to initiate change. Maybe things need to be shaken up. So here we go. 

Now I’ve spent most of my time in quarantine reading spirituality and psychology books, exercising, meditating, cooking healthy meals, practicing my newfound passion for crystal singing bowls and studying mindfulness, coaching, wellness psychology and a whole bunch of things online. I’ve made good use of this time and I’ve actually even felt blessed to have this opportunity for deep introspection. It’s been great, mostly. 

But you know what else it has been? It’s been frustrating. It’s given me time to see the brokenness of the world even closer, to realize that over 90% of people live in fear (totally invented statistic by the way), that people prioritize the wrong things and that I am not even slightly happy or content with the way the world is. Actually, I’m disgusted would be a better term. I just want to break the cage, go out there and start a revolution and I am certain that I am not alone. 

In a way, we’ve all been living in cages, being fed what the media and corrupted systems give us, and living in fear of what would happen if we escaped. Now I’m not going to start with any conspiracy theories but I need to express my views because it is too important to keep inside, it’s time to make that mess and dump all over that cage. It feels so hypocritical to me for governments to allow people to poison themselves with cigarettes, alcohol, fast food, and polluted air for example, all proven to lead to cancer and other diseases, but then for these same governments to forbid us from leaving our counties/cities/homes because a virus has so far killed approximately 1% of the reported cases. But of course, they make money by selling us medication and health care, letting us kill ourselves slowly, which in the end is profitable for them. These same flawed governments allow huge corporations to destroy entire forests, killing every living being in these forests including animals going extinct, to pollute our oceans with excessive dumping of plastic, toxic waste, ridiculously gigantic ships, etc, allow them to knowingly pollute the air we breathe, dig deep into the earth and deplete it of its minerals and let over 9 million people worldwide starve to death every year, while we have more food than we could possibly ever need in North America. The police kills black men without reason, countries are plagued with racism and judgment, kids shoot kids in schools multiple times a year, terrorist attacks have been growing in popularity in the last few years, people commit suicide through depression, we torture animals growing in unthinkably awful conditions to eat them without remorse, we close our eyes upon every fucked up thing going on in the world yet we shut down every border and service because of a virus that could kill wealthier people in wealthier countries. That’s what it looks like to me. 

Doesn’t this all seem messed up to you? Doesn’t it seem wrong? Hypocritical? Absolutely frustrating? Would you please enlighten me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we simply putting more stress on people and doing more harm than good? Why aren’t we teaching people how to boost their immune systems and control their minds to create healing into their bodies? These techniques have been proven to work, so why are we keeping people in fear of each other, hence creating even more separation when we should UNITE and care for each other? Why aren’t we given the right to exercise our free will? Why aren’t we protecting the elderly or weaker populations and letting the others live their lives and make their own choices?  Why aren’t we fixing pressing matters while the world is stopped, like protecting our environment? Don’t we know that without natural resources, humanity will die? Why aren’t we treating the most threatening of viruses, which are human intolerance, hatred, lack of empathy, lack of compassion, lack of education? Why aren’t we teaching kids to love, to meditate, to keep the amazing self-esteem they were born with and that we’ve taken away from them? Why aren’t we focusing on building a better world where everyone can win? 

The good news is that by seeing the way most governments have quickly handled the COVID-19 situation, we know that if they choose to, they can react magnificently and efficiently towards protecting the environment and our long-term health. I know world leaders do their best, but this “best” needs to step up to the next level. 

I’m aware that this post will frustrate a lot of people. I know some of you will think I should stick to singing, but my job as an artist is to bring awareness and to change the world for the better. Why else would I sing? I would be doing my role a great disservice by keeping these pressing matters silent. I’ve kept silent for too long by fear of not being loved or being judged and this fear has cost me too much pain. I now need to be set free of my own censorship and express my deepest opinions because I cannot wait for things to change on their own. We all need a little push. I know my words and intentions will be misunderstood. I care for people, I truly do. But I care about the planet even more, because without taking care of our beautiful giving planet, there is no way for the human race to survive. So while we’re sitting in our cages waiting on the world to change and listening to John Mayer, wouldn’t it be a good idea to start by changing ourselves, by changing our ways and our thoughts? SO WHAT if you don’t agree with me, or with your neighbor? Can’t you just agree to disagree without holding a grudge? Can’t you just move on without judging? Can’t we just all choose to be kind and loving? THAT is our true nature. LOVE is what we are born into, yet we let society, religion and every broken person convince us of their twisted views and we adopt their fears because if we can’t trust what these sources say, then who can we trust? Here’s the answer; trust your intuition. That little voice inside that tells you what you truly believe and know to be true. You don’t have to agree with me, but if deep down my words resonate, make the shift now by changing for the better, starting with the love you bring to yourself. 

We all do bad things without being conscious of it. Not many of us intend on hurting people, we all think we’re right, doing things for the greater good. But I’m going to ask you this one thing. Just one thing. 

Can you vow to open your eyes, heart and mind and start being conscious of the way you live? Can you realize that by consuming products that have palm oil, you’re contributing to deforestation and the extinction of species such as orang-utans, that by buying extra electronic gadgets you don’t need, you’re encouraging mining into the ground often by kids and teenagers paid pennies in third world countries, depleting the soil of its precious and necessary resources? Can you realize that by buying anything that uses plastic, it will wind up in the ocean, choking turtles and marine life and eventually end up in the fish you and the next generations will consume making you sick? Can you take responsibility while you’re home, safely sitting on your couch possibly judging me for not “caring” about a virus? 

Now I’m saying this with kindness, a bit of tough love, and I’m saying it to myself, when I have a candy bar craving and must remind myself that it’s toxic for my body and that it contains palm oil and encourages big corporations to get richer by making us sicker and that the plastic will wind up choking an animal somewhere. Intense, right? Intense, but URGENT. 

Such is the truth. And we have a choice. We can stay in our cages with our eyes closed and pretend that we’re doing a lot of saving lives while not doing anything at all, or we can break free and change the world by changing our ways, one day at a time, being conscious of everything we do and its impact on the planet. I don’t want to be the bird who gets comfortable. I don’t want to fear what the outside world has to bring. This comfort isn’t right. We must start this revolution. I want to trust in myself and trust in you, fellow human to create a better and brighter world, where we put our planet’s needs first and exercise kindness towards all beings, yes, all of us from the plants to aliens in the universe. We are all one. We come from the same source, no matter what our beliefs are. Let’s be kinder to each other. 

Share the light. Be the light. Raise your voice. 

Xx

 

Photo taken in Bergen, Norway, 2017

Let It Pour  

Rawdon, Québec, April 24th 2020

 

If one thing is certain, it’s that these past few weeks living confined in our homes will have changed us forever. I will be changed forever. I’ve never seen so many divisions caused by opinions and fear, so much that I’ve been in and out of social media because I either had to refrain myself from commenting on controversial topics or I’ve had to subtly “unfollow” accounts that I felt were completely disconnected from my reality and beliefs. What I wanna talk about here is a change in consciousness and energy. 

Challenging times like these can either bring us closer together or they can tear us apart. Now here’s what I’ve decided to embrace from the start: go with the flow, accept change and don’t hold on to whatever is being let go. Relationships will crumble. Careers will be modified. You won’t realize it quite yet, but you will transform to become a different person at the end of all this... And that’s okay. It’s all okay. The biggest mistake we can do right now is to try and cling to what we know for fear of the unknown. What we know, who we were, how we lived was never aligned with who we are meant to be as human beings. We’ve become human “doings” and that amount of pressure is not sustainable for any soul or environment for that matter. That’s not how we can flourish. 

So let it all fall apart my friend. Let it rain, let it pour. Gracefully let go of the people, things, situations that are being taken away from you. If you see it through the eyes of faith, acknowledging a higher power (God, Source, Universe, whatever), this transition will be easier for you. Everything in this Universe is energy, we are energy. By not giving into fear, you are raising your frequencies and by raising your frequencies, you are becoming a new “you”. It’s just natural then that everything that doesn’t match your new energy will fall apart in order to create space for some new and better things that correspond to your new joyful, lighter frequencies. So if you’re one of these people who believe in something higher than this human body and you’re going through all the storms right now and losing friends and starting to notice that what used to make you happy doesn’t anymore, know that it’s only because you are making room for this new life of yours. Your true self and that the one you’re supposed to be is ready to come out. Like any transformation, this won’t be easy, but the more you learn to accept it and just go with the flow instead of resisting and fighting to avoid change, the easier it will become. 

Don’t try and convince people that you’re right and that they’re wrong. Let them be, move on. Don’t try and save relationships that no longer work for you. Bless these people, send them light and go on your way. Remember that the seed needs some water in order to grow. It’s been “raining” for a while, so who knows, if you let it pour, you might even become an entire forest! 

I love you, good luck on your journey, warrior of light!

Image taken somewhere on the road from Reno to Vegas, 2016

The Bitch With A Heart Of Gold - The Truth About My Spiritual Growth 

Rawdon, Québec

March 16th, 2020

 

I've always been a good person. As a child, I used to care so much about other children not eating or about war elsewhere in the world that I would often cry myself to sleep. Compassion was a part of me, even towards my bullies. Yet, since I've chosen to embark on a spiritual journey towards my true self a few years ago, I've come to realize that the person I became as an adult is caught half-way between the biggest heart you'll meet and a total bitch.

Time and again, I try to choose peace, understanding and love. But then, something or someone really strikes a chord and I retaliate with judgment and anger. I don't actually say mean things, but I picture myself saying them in a scenario I replay a few times in my head and I feel the poison setting in my veins... The more spiritual work I seem to do, the more I seem to get annoyed by a lot of people and to get closer to only a smaller group who's going through what I'm dealing with. This makes me feel conflicted and like I've become a bad person.

But then, I snap out of it and remind myself that we are all on different journeys and that love must always prevail. I forgive the other person for being such an "idiot" and I forgive myself for judging such "moron". Truth is I'm not perfect, no one is. Believe me, I tried to be perfect for years. Maybe the secret to growing spiritually is to accept all these parts about myself that I wish I could change. Truth is, if I'm being "judgy", it means I'm not in a good place, cause when you're absolutely happy, nothing really bothers you.

I guess a lot of it is learning to let go. Our ego is very strong and wants to keep us in fear, cause that's where it's comfortable. Every time we try to grow, it pushes us to self-sabotage our progress. But if we can understand that it's doing this to try and protect us, to keep us in what feels familiar and safe, we can just thank it and go on with our progress. I know I'm a good person, I see it every time I travel, shedding light and love upon everyone I meet. My vibrations get so high that I keep attracting kind and generous people who give me gifts and discounts and smiles and love. I feel light and happy and one with the world. I can give to the homeless and connect on meaningful subjects with Uber drivers and donate to charities and clean up the beach and all, yet when I come back home, I quickly become a bitch again despite my best efforts of not letting anything affect me (like those damn roads and high taxes)!

Maybe part of me doesn't want to be here, maybe because of bad memories or because I've never really felt loved or seen as I thought I deserved to be. I was never "lucky" here. I've been overlooked so many times and disappointed and abandoned that I guess it all added up to build myself a hard shell which cannot be cracked. But I'm cracking it, for the good of all.

If I grow, you grow, the world grows. If I love, you love, the world loves. It's the beauty of reaching our true self, the highest version of ourselves that we can all become, the one who loves all beings unconditionally. I've got to learn to love even the ones who have hurt me. I've got to learn to love all humans just as I love this Earth, because we and the Earth are one and the same.

 

And so I'm going to keep growing and striving for world peace. By facing my own demons and issues, one more chain will be broken and freedom will eventually be restored upon this planet. I still want to believe I've got the same heart of gold that once was in me as a child, you just gotta do a lot more digging to find it now.

 

It's beautiful when you think about it, don't you think?

 

Keep growing my warriors of light! The sun sets every day allowing us to reflect upon the darkness. As it rises again to shed it's light upon us all, we too can rise to shine together. Xx

 

 

Picture taken in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb 2020

Reflecting Upon The Mirror 

Cape Town, South Africa, February 13th 2020 

 

 

About 10-15 years ago, my mother got lured into healing seminars and stuff that I considered to be a bunch of spiritual-guru non-sense like the end of the world in 2012 and beings in another dimension looking after us, etc. In her quest for inner peace, she decided to extend that knowledge onto me, but in a way that I interpreted as more patronizing than helpful, being a young adult who constantly felt criticized. 

It was the first time I’d hear that other people are reflections of ourselves. What we don’t like in others is a reflection of what we don’t like in us. For example, if I thought someone was snooty, my mom would call me out and tell me I was snooty myself, which would make me resent her for being critical, which I couldn’t actually see that I was as well. So, in my young adult rebellion, I decided that the mirror concept was stupid. 

Flash forward to 2012. I attended a weekend workshop discussing “A Course In Miracles” because although I didn’t want to believe in any of that “universe, higher power” stuff, I was depressed and at the end of my rope. The mirror theory was explained to me again. But I wasn’t ready and decided that this seminar was a waste of my time and money and that I was turning into my mother. 

I stayed away from the subject for a bit. 

Once in a while, when people annoyed me, I would try the mirror exercise and try and see why a certain personality trait bothered me and if I could detect it in myself. But being a perfectionist who also hated being wrong, I couldn’t clearly see any of the annoying traits in myself and would find explanations like: “this person’s selfishness bothers me because I wish I were more selfish”, instead of actually looking into the areas of my life where I was selfish and needing to change, transform, or heal. So I wasn’t quite there yet… 

Yesterday I sat on the beach and read Jen Sincero’s book, “You Are A Badass” for the fourth time this year. I got to the chapter about mirrors, stating the exact same thing I had learned all these years ago. If something in someone really bothers you, it might be a reflection of yourself or something you need to heal. Basically, there is energy around it and you’ve attracted this person in your life in order for you to learn your lesson and grow. In her words, it really made sense and I was finally ready to listen. 

As I was reading the chapter, the only fly I’ve seen in Cape Town so far started flying around me, constantly sticking to my arms or legs, moving and flying back and basically annoying the shit out of me. And then a second fly appeared. As they were having their little fly party all over my annoyed body, I decided to test the mirror theory. I took a deep breath and asked myself why the presence of these 2 flies was aggravating me so much when all I wanted was to read in peace facing Table Mountain… And then it hit me. I often feel like everyone wants something from me, like I can never be in peace. Even receiving text messages has started freaking me out in the past years, so much that my cell phone is always on “Night” mode when I’m at home. And when I work onboard cruise ships, I feel like I always have to be social and friendly and bubbly nonstop with both guests and crew 24/7, which is part of my nature, but not every single day for 9 months at a time – that’s a lot. Also, my mind is constantly racing and thinking about the future. I feel harassed. 

Upon realizing this, the flies went away. What? Yes. They both left and I continued reading happily. It was probably a coincidence, but it was quite awesome in the moment. 

Later that night, I went out with friends and found myself suffocating under a lot of smoke of all sorts from the cool kids I was hanging out with. After a few hours, I couldn’t breathe properly, my lungs felt scratchy and suddenly, instead of feeling my regular level of annoyance towards the smokers (it’s the one thing I absolutely cannot stand, sorry smokers!), I felt angry and impatient, ordered an Uber and was gone in less than a two minutes, literally. Basically, I was quite rude and really no fun at all.

When I got home, I decided to test the exercise again. Why had it aggravated me so much? Are there ways in which I suffocate others? Do I suffocate myself? 

I closed my eyes and meditated on the question just a few seconds before an answer came. I suffocate myself by intoxicating my body with junk food, regularly. The more I want to eat healthy, the more pressure I feel and the more crap I eat. It’s been like this for years. Just that day, I had felt guilty about having too many fries and a burger and some candy oh and a few cookies as well, all that after eating a very healthy breakfast. So yeah, I poison myself. To top if off, I’ve started drinking on the ships to be more fun, cause everyone thinks I’m too rigid and don’t party enough. So instead of respecting my body and my values by doing the things I really want to do (yoga, meditation, gym, reading), I’ve been spending a lot of my free time hanging out in the bar talking about nothing and having a few drinks just so others don’t think I either don’t like them and judge their way of life or that I am boring. 

All this for what? To entertain circumstantial friendships for the most part? Let’s get this clear, for you and for me. The people who really like you and want to be your friends will allow you to be yourself. If you find yourself changing who you are for others, they are not your tribe and it’s okay to keep in good terms but to move on and do your thing. I put that pressure on myself, all by myself. If I had stuck to my guns and kept my word about being healthy, I’m sure my new friends would have respected me because I would have respected myself. If I respected my body and fed it the nutritious food it needs instead of the crap I was raised with, my body would reward me and oh, I probably wouldn’t attract situations in which I feel poisoned by others. Makes sense. 

Basically, people are mirrors. These mirrors are there to reflect upon your truth and show you what you need to fix, or transform if you prefer. In just 12 hours, I found 2 big ones. 1- I must find ways to better distribute my energy in order to not feel harassed by others and myself 2-I must stop poisoning my body if I want others around me to stop “poisoning” the air we breathe. 

Simple, right? The more you work on becoming who you are truly meant to be, the more you’ll attract the right people for you, your like-minded tribe. It’s a lonely road my friends but growth is priceless. 

Wishing you a journey filled with growth, love and peace! 

I salute you, warriors of light, keep shining!

Patience 

October 17th (18th, insomnia writing), Sailing towards Cabo San Lucas 

 

Let’s say I want to order some food; bam! Done and delivered in under 30 minutes. If I want to see my friend who lives on the other side of the world; boom! Doable within seconds by video calling through my phone. Maybe I want to find a date; I can just swipe left or right. Quick sex? Even that isn’t a problem in today’s world. I want to learn a skill? There are hundreds of online programs without even having to wait for a new session to start. Everything has become accessible. Everything is fast. The extraordinary has become ordinary. Life is now so easy that it has actually become more difficult emotionally. 

We don’t know patience. As a friend mentioned to me earlier this week, we are raising children in a world where everything is immediate, stealing away their chance to learn the art of waiting. Despite all of this technology, there is one thing in particular that I have found could not be greatly accelerated; our personal growth. 

As spiritual beings, we are constantly growing and transforming into the people we are supposed to become. There isn’t a book or a website in the world that will ever give you life experience. You’ve got to go through the process on your own. Programs, books, coaches might give you knowledge, but what is knowledge without wisdom? You’ve got to do the work, possibly fall flat on your face and start again, maybe even hundreds of times. I know I have… 

If like I, you are at a crossroad in your life and struggling to figure out your next step, I encourage you to do this: 

 Wait. 

I’m not talking about passively waiting for life to pass you by while you sit on the couch eating potato chips (I’m not judging, believe me, I’ve been there)… The kind of waiting that I’m referring to is the active one. The one where you understand and acknowledge that maybe things aren’t happening for you right now because it simply isn’t the right time. Maybe things aren’t happening because you are not done preparing for them and you must work harder. Maybe you’ve not planted enough seeds to reap the rewards or maybe what you think you want isn’t what the universe wants for you. Maybe you don’t really know what you want after all. Whatever the reason is, if things aren’t happening, don’t panic. Breathe in. Breathe out. And wait… Wait with the conviction that everything happens in due time and that if you have faith, things will eventually work out the way they are supposed to. In the meantime, go on with your tasks and do everything with love and gratitude, even if you're not exactly where you want to be.

Working on ships for the past few years has taught me to accept that patience is necessary in order to live a happy life. Every time I’ve been on a ship, I’ve been impatient to finish the long contract and go home meanwhile every time I’ve been home, I’ve been looking forward to getting back on a ship and feel busy (needed, useful). I’ve wasted so much time being miserable because things weren’t going my way but how could I have known any better when I’ve always been surrounded by a world of NOW? Instant gratification is not our friend. Patience is. 

To help me deal with everything that has happened to me in the past years (none of which I had planned or hoped for), I started meditating and journaling, like, a lot! In moments of anxiety about the future, connecting with my soul calms me down wonderfully. By meditating in a natural context such as by the sea, in the woods or simply outside in the grass or the sand, I remember who I truly am and why I’m here. 

I’m not here to change the world. I’m here to change myself. 

I'm simply here to exist and that should be enough. Does the tree pursue any goals and worry about the future or is he simply happy to be a tree? Does the river feel small compared to the ocean or does the river know that he is as important and as beautiful? Nature simply is. We are the only beings who question ourselves, who feel unworthy, who create new desires every minute and who don’t let life run its course. What if we simply stopped for a moment and embraced the beauty of simply existing? We are as beautiful and worthy and important as the tree and the river. We are here, we are enough. 

So I’ve decided to be patient. I’ve decided to accept where I am and that as the tree, I am always growing. Who will I be tomorrow? Someone different than I am today for sure. This process will happen and I’ve got to be patient with myself and accept that I can’t have it all in an instant, compared to the popular belief that every other aspect of our modern lives throw at us. Healing takes time. Progress takes time. Transformation takes time. Take your time friend. 

Eventually, even the smallest snowflake can become part of a beautiful glacier that will have the power to transform an entire mountain. Patience.

Si toutes nos larmes pouvaient éteindre les feux en Amazonie…  

24 Août 2019, Wrangell, Alaska  

 

Le poumon de notre terre, qui produit 20% de notre oxygène, suffoque présentement sous la fumée et les flammes.  Je pense aux animaux, aux plantes, aux arbres, même aux insectes. Qu’ont-ils fait pour mériter cela? Mon cœur est en miettes. 

Il est facile de se blâmer les uns les autres pour chaque maladresse infligée à notre Terre Mère. Il est moins douloureux de fermer les yeux devant chaque conflit et horreur que de se relever les manches et venir en aide. « Parlons de quelque chose de plus positif, tout cela est lourd  Karine»… Il est beaucoup plus simple de rester fixé dans nos habitudes que de changer, mais mon ami, ce cri d’alarme, ce cri qui est parmi des milliers veut nous réveiller. Nous DEVONS changer et ce changement, il commence par soi, chacun d’entre nous, un par un. 

J’entends beaucoup de gens dire qu’il y aurait trop à faire, qu’une personne ne fera pas la différence, que la bataille est perdue d’avance, qu’on ne sait pas par où commencer. Voici ma réponse : Commençons par nous. Commençons là où nous pouvons car chaque geste, aussi minime qu’il puisse nous sembler, chaque geste compte. 

En « boycottant » l’huile de palme, on sauve des forêts et des orangs-outangs. En bannissant le plastique à usage simple de notre vie, on sauve tout plein de créatures marines, on réduit la pollution, en réduisant notre consommation de viande, non seulement on aide les animaux, mais on réduit la coupe d’arbres qui se produit pour l’élevage de bœuf. Il y en a quelques uns qui vont venir m’obstiner que le plastique a plusieurs bienfaits, par exemple en médecine, oui, ok, mais peut-on réduire le nombre de smoothies ou cafés glacés et pailles et trucs non nécessaires? Peut-on trimballer son plat réutilisable et sa tasse ou sa gourde d’eau? Hyper faisable, il suffit d’y penser jour après jour. Lorsqu’on oublie, on se pardonne et on reprend nos efforts la prochaine fois, mais on AVANCE. 

On a pas besoin de savoir exactement comment chaque chose a une influence sur une autre, tout ce qu’on doit faire, c’est avoir conscience que TOUT et absolument TOUT ce qu’on utilise et consomme en tant qu’humains a un impact sur notre environnement. L’électricité doit être produite, l’eau être chauffée, l’essence creusée du sol, le papier produit à partir d’arbres. Tout a un impact. 

« Je veux bien là, mais il faut aussi vivre sa vie ». Oui, vivre notre vie. Parfait argument. Cependant, si nous voulons avoir une vie à vivre et possiblement créer de la vie, ne serait-il pas préférable justement d’apprécier chaque ressource comme étant un véritable cadeau du ciel et de s’en servir qu’au besoin, comme si c’était quelque chose de précieux? Car, petite nouvelle, chaque ressource est précieuse et l’a toujours été. C’est notre devoir en tant qu’êtres humains de protéger la Terre sur laquelle nous vivons, cette terre qui nous donne si généreusement. Qu’est-ce qui pourrait être plus important que la source de toute vie? 

La bonne nouvelle dans tout ça, c’est que lorsqu’un esprit s’éveille, il lui est impossible de retourner en arrière. Lorsque le déclic environnemental se fait dans une conscience, on fini par voir « l’ennemi » partout. Dans la dernière année, j’ai consommé des produits contenant de l’huile de palme à 2 reprises. 2. Et je me suis sentie si terriblement coupable que je me souviens exactement de quels produits il s’agissait et quand… J’ai utilisé quelques tampons et serviettes hygiéniques en situations d’urgence où je n’avais pas ma superbe coupe en silicone tout près. La culpabilité me ronge encore un peu, mais la bonne nouvelle, c’est que j’ai entamé tous ces changements dans mon mode de vie et que je progresse, un pas à la fois. 

L’environnement, ça nous concerne tous. Point final. N’attendons pas que le gouvernement s’en mêle, la force d’un pays est son peuple! J’aimerais tant savoir que je peux compter sur vous, sur NOUS et que nos futures générations nous remercierons de nos efforts pour réparer les dégâts des générations précédentes. L’humanité est encore jeune, nous apprenons, chaque erreur doit être pardonnée et entourée d’amour. Alors rien ne cesse de grogner et de montrer les dents, soyons simplement l’exemple de ce que nous voulons voir dans ce monde. Soyons RESPECT, AMOUR, COMPASSION et avançons ensemble dans la bonne direction. En se guérissant de chacune de nos blessures, nous guérirons la Terre. 

Un être qui a su pardonner et se pardonner, qui a fait son cheminement intérieur et qui aime sincèrement la vie et la nature ne voudra pas participer à souiller sa planète. Sors de la ville mon ami, va faire un tour en forêt ou sur le bord de la mer, ce sera assez d’énergie et d’amour pour te convaincre de faire attention à cette terre. Alors voilà ce que je nous souhaite chère âme, je nous souhaite guérison et amour. Nos larmes ne parviendront pas à éteindre les feux dans la forêt amazonienne, mais peut-être que notre amour, lui, pourra. 

 

Shedding Your Skin - Mourning Self Identity 

August 2019, Somewhere in Alaska...

 

I’ve come to realize that if I learn something and don’t apply it, the lesson tends to repeat itself until it is fully understood. 

You see, years ago, I gave good advice to everyone. Any time a friend would feel stuck, I’d surprisingly find the right words, having either read them from a book with perfect timing or having words of wisdom flow out of my mouth almost magically. And now, all of a sudden, months and/or years later, these same words of wisdom I used to give to others are returned to me by different people. The lesson remains the same, only this time, I am no longer the teacher, but the student to the exact same lesson I thought was so obvious. Yet, the teacher in me is failing. 

It’s easy to tell someone to move on. It’s easy to dictate that letting go is always the answer, but what about the times when it isn’t? What happens when you are the one being told to move on? 

« You must shed your old skin in order to liberate your new and replenished one ». Okay… « Life is constantly changing and holding on to anything keeps you from progressing. If you hold on too tight, you suffocate your dreams »… Sure. I’ve read these sentences many times, in various forms, but the lesson remains the same : let go. Yes, all of this makes sense. But what about reaching for the stars? What about « life will test you and make sure you are committed to your dream » and what about « never give up »? These contradictory thoughts have caused me confusion and pain for years until I learned to differenciate them by their underlying emotion. Here’s where I’m getting at : 

If a relationship causes you more misery than happiness, of course, move on. If chasing your dreams is causing you anxiety and pain, let these dreams go. If you no longer feel that you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing in order to fulfill yourself and help others, but only by habit or for the paycheck, stop. 

But if you hold on to the dream because you feel deep down inside of you that it is your duty and your calling to accomplish such dream, that’s when you shouldn’t give up. Quite simple, right? Some dreams are put on our path to help us grow. When we’ve learned all we had to learn thanks to the lessons brought by such goals, accomplished or not, we can release them in peace. 

Identifying oneself to what we do is one of the biggest mistakes we can make. What happens to the rugby player after he is injured and can no longer play? The ballerina who turns 40 and who’s perfect body is slowly decieving her impeccable technique? The singer who never made the career she dreamed of? The doctor who realizes he only practiced medecine to gain his father’s love? 

Mourning. 

There is no greater pain than the one of mourning oneself. We build our lives around what we think we are. We give so much importance to our careers that we let them define us completely. And when we are forced to let go of these careers along with the labels we’ve given ourselves, we feel lost.   "I am a dancer », the ballerina will say for at least a year after she has hung up her points. » . Then after a while once she starts slowly accepting the fact she may never dance professionally again she might say « I used to be a ballerina ». « I had songs on the radio », « I used to be the best lawyer at my firm », « I was the top salesman of X company »… 

We put so much energy in defining ourselves by what we did. We want to show we made a difference. We want to prove to others and ourselves that we were usefull, that we mattered and therefor that we still do. 

But the truth is we’ve always mattered, no matter what we’ve done. « I am a spiritual being having a human experience and learning every day ». What could be more wonderful than that? What could be more useful to our planet than bringing joy and love to the world by simply being ourselves, in whatever way we choose to express who we are? 

We are many things ; parents, teachers, lovers, daughters, writers, employees, customers. None of it matters in the end. 

Are you happy? Are you growing? Are you expressing yourself fully? Are you a being of love and joy? Are you sharing any of this love with others? 

Be patient with yourself. Be what you want to be, but don’t let labels define you. When you step out into nature and take time to breathe it in, you come to the realization that we are one and the same. We are immensity. We are beauty. We are love. That’s all I’m striving to be now. No more pressure, no more deadlines, just the beautiful thing called life. It’s all I wish for you. Go out there into the world and be YOU, no matter what it is that you do! 

Shine your light my friend, I believe in you! xx