Where We Belong 

Rawdon, Easter April 2019

 

I've felt like an outsider as long as I can remember. I've felt like I didn't belong within my own family, at school, with many of the friends I've made along the way, in relationships, in my own province, town, towns to be honest, cities, even with some of my own music. There have been these short moments where I've been lucky enough to get a glimpse of what it feels like to be in the right place at the right time, but I can count these moments on one hand.

I've come to understand that many artists feel like outsiders. I often get overwhelmed by all the emotions that flood over me as an empath. on top of it all, I was born with a strong environmental conscience and a vivid desire for justice. Everything to make life easy right? ;) Recognize yourself?

So what does one do when one feels like an outsider? Here's my advice to all you passionate big hearted loners like me.

It took me many years to understand how I was feeling and why. Let me save you a bit of time, you are different, and that is okay. You may be prone to depression because the world has always weighed heavy on your shoulders, and that's alright. You want to save everything and everyone, all the seals and the dolphins and the trees, elephants, orphans and orangutangs and that's beautiful. But love, you gotta let all of that weight go. Saving the world starts with yourself. Now I know you've been making all of the necessary efforts and cautioning people about their actions and taking part of marches and donating to foundations and all and I do deeply love and respect you for it, even though you may be tired of fighting for what seems like a lost cause that no one cares about, but you do. You care and so do I.

But I also care about you. About your well being. It is imperative that you learn to keep your compassionate heart in quick repair mode. It will break every time you hear about another disaster, natural or man-made. You must learn to heal quickly in order to keep shining your light and continue spreading love into the world. We need you, but YOU need to be happy and free first. It's not up to you to change the world. But it's up to you to change yourself, to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be! Don't be one of the many who waste their lives, I beg of you, don't play the victim. Staying in a state of sadness and darkness will dim your light and will not do you or the world any good, so please gentle soul, learn to heal.

I've stayed in the darkness for years, until I realized it was enough and that yes, I was allowed to be happy in a shitty world full of hate and superficiality. My survival depended on it and so does yours.

How did I achieve such happiness you may ask? Well first, let's be clear, it's a journey I'm still on, fighting every single day. I've never been your typical happy person, but I've vowed to try. What helps? Prayer, meditation, devotion. It's all the same to me. Every time disaster strikes, I sob like a child for a few minutes thinking how terrible this world is and how I must have been a terrible angel to be sent down here as a punishment, and then, after my egotistical psychosis episode has passed, I close my eyes, I take a few deep breaths and I imagine a world of peace. I envision my life as I want it, I visualize the planet as I know it can be (possibly in a billion years if we've survived!). I immediately start feeling grateful. I suddenly remember I am loved, we are all loved and LOVE itself, and I take all of that love and spread it back out into the Universe. Meditation helps me remember we are one. The trees, the rivers, the stars, the sky, even the people who do horrible things, we are one and the same. Contemplation is another way to get there. If you don't live in cold Canada, you can sit by a river, in a garden, in tour backyard, by a tree, anywhere outdoors really, and feel the same connection to the Earth. Nature has the most incredible healing properties. Devotion doesn't necessarily mean spending your time praying to a certain God, but it can be devoting yourself to taking control of the things you can, like how you feed your body and your mind, what you do to help others. This will give you a sense of "control" and allow you to fuel up on energy to prepare for the road ahead.

Peace is accessible to every single one of us, if we cultivate it within ourselves. It is definitely a journey and not an overnight feeling, but try it and you will never want to go back to feeling sorry for yourself and others again. Do you want to come with me on that journey and help show the corrupted a**holes of the world that love will always win? (Just kidding I love everyone including the a**holes, they need love the most!) Keep in mind that a single ray of light can outshine any darkness.

And so my warrior activist, social ninja, god and /or goddess of healing and love and light, remember to take care of yourself. Don't wait 34 years to figure it out like myself. Remember we all do belong here on this Earth, with the people we are surrounded by who may not understand us. They don't have to, just keep setting a positive example, heal yourself and you'll slowly see this transformation impacting everyone around you.

Be love. Be light.

Special thoughts go out to the people of Sri Lanka tonight and all the victims of the bombings and their families. May you all find peace.

 

Karine xx

 

Reflexions about Strength, Dreams and Singing 

Rawdon, Québec

A photo popped up onto my Facebook page today. The first photo I was ever tagged in, exactly 12 years ago.

It was a picture taken on the set of "Popstars 3: The One", a reality TV show I had taken part of at age 17. Seventeen years ago exactly. Looking at that photo, a mixture of sadness and pride arose within me. When I was 17, half way through the life I have now, I had no strength. I had no wisdom. I hadn't been through much, therefor, had nothing to say. But there is something I did have that I seem to have lost along the way : ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE IN MY FUTURE.

I was even somewhat arrogant to be honest. It's ironic because I was a very timid child, scared of her own shadow but somehow singing made me believe in myself and it pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a world of being social, having friends and a newfound confidence in myself and my life mission. I was going to change the world with my voice!

Looking at that Popstars photo, there is no doubt in my mind that the only reason that little 17 year old french Canadian with an average voice made it to the Top 12 out of 5000 people  is that she believed in her dream more than anything in the world. The 17 year old me believed the world was her oyster, that she could have it all, no matter where she was from. If it was one in a million, she was going to be the one. Hell at 17, I used to work 2 jobs on top of school to pay for my dream. All the singing lessons, interpretation, the old car that would get me places... I was fierce!

 

So what happened?

Life will try and bring you down. Some lessons will humble you, while other moments will teach you inner freedom.You'll take the good and the bad and all of these moments will help you grow. Nothing is ever done in vain, no time is lost when it carries a lesson. But yes, life will try to knock you down many times. The bigger your dream, the brighter your vision; the stronger the blow, the harder the fall. Just get back up. Get up, and up, and up again, every time you fall, because you will.

I've been knocked down at least hundreds of times.I've been tricked by fear and ego, I've been let down by practically every human being I have loved or cared about, I've been cheated by the ones I trusted and been disappointed so many times that I started losing sight of my dream and stopped believing good things could happen to me. Don't lose sight of your dream. It's the only difference between succeeding and failing.

So why is it that some succeed faster than others?

Maybe the ones who succeed never lost track of their dream. Maybe they got lucky. Maybe they worked harder. Or maybe it's part of their life plan and ours is simply meant to be more difficult. Maybe we come from a negative environment and we must constantly work on fighting that negative energy! I can't say I know why it's taking so long, but what I will say is that every time I think I can't get back up and that I need to pick a new dream, something happens to remind me not to quit. A hand suddenly appears and helps me get back on my feet. I always get back up, and so can you.

People sometimes tell me I'm lucky! And then I laugh to myself because every single good thing that has happened to me has been the result of sweat, tears and so much work and let downs! Nothing happens on its own. No one will hand you your dream, it's your responsibility to go out there and get it! Make it happen! You want to sing, sing! Organize those shows, sell those tickets, do the work! The days of a super manager discovering you in a karaoke bar are over. And that's a fact we must accept. The work load is 100x heavier than it was 20 years ago and it can be frustrating and unfair at times, yes, but if you've got a voice and you know you were born to sing, SING!

Sing because it makes you happy! Sing because it brings you peace! Sing because it makes you feel alive and because you want to transmit all of those wonderful feelings to the people listening to you. Sing to share your heart.

The world may never know me, but I will know the world. Maybe the past 17 years have been filled with empty promises and unsuccessful record deals but they have also led me to the person I am today. A woman who now knows why she sings. A woman who is now 17 years wiser and knows that in order to change the world, she must first change herself! Change starts through healing So go out there and sing my warrior gods and goddesses! The world needs your voice!

 

Namaste

 

Karine xx

 

The Day I Decided To Love Myself More Than Him 

Nashville, TN

 

It took me a long time to get over him. It took me longer than the length of the relationship itself. He was the man I thought I would marry. I wanted for us to build a family, me, the independent career-driven environmental activist who had never wanted kids. I wanted to have his baby. He was the one, but really, was he?

 

The relationship ended in a dramatic and quite frankly traumatic way. It felt like a surreal scene from a movie in which I was watching things unfold without having any authority in the direction of the script, The end was sudden and cruelly harsh.

I went through every possible emotion that night. From compassion to confusion, betrayal and anger, I tried everything to make him change his mind and give us a fair chance. We had never even had a fight, how could it end so abruptly? But it did.

As I sat on the 3 connecting flights to return to my country, depleted and violently drained emotionally, I cried what was left to cry. I cried and sobbed in bed for over 10 days. It wasn't my shattered ego that was hurt, I loved that man profoundly. I loved the person I thought he was. The image he had projected of himself upon me. I loved him enough to forgive the unforgivable. I loved him with all of his imperfections. Have you ever loved that way?

Here's the deal. I hadn't. I had never loved enough to step over my principles and forgive infidelity. I had never loved enough to try and know more about why people do what they do, enough to dig into their past and help them heal. For him, I did everything. He was changing. He was working on his demons as I was working on setting my ego aside and being a more forgiving person. But here's the truth ladies...

YOU CAN'T CHANGE ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. NO ONE CAN CHANGE YOU.

Change is a choice. You may think your love can save him, that he can do and be better, but in most cases, he can't. Until he really wants to change and does it for himself on a deep and spiritual level, he will not change. You will see improvement, and then BAM!! You get dumped in the middle of nowhere in front of all of his friends and sent on the next flight home!

I blame movies like "Beauty and the Beast" for this. I blame our dearest mothers and grandmothers and the women on TV. The women who are so afraid of being alone that they stick it out hoping that one day, he will change and that they'll be happy. I'm not judging these women. They lived in difficult times where religion controlled everything and where their voices had been shut so many times that they could not find a way to speak up. But we have that chance. We can speak up with love and compassion. We can speak our truth. This doesn't mean accepting all the crap guys put us through, but it means having so much love for OURSELVES that we can find someone who will love us just the same. These men exist. I promise you.

After the break up, we decided to try staying friends for over a year, which only made things harder. It seemed easier at first for me to be his friend than to hate and resent him. Until he unwillingly broke my heart again and again. That's when I decided to love myself more than I loved him. That's when I decided that I had learned what I had to from this relationship and that letting go of the past didn't make me resentful, it only made me stronger and free. To "unfriend" someone, as childish as it may seem may be the best decision you'll make. Let him know you forgive him. Wish him well. Move on.

So here's what I wish for you ladies, go and fall in love with yourselves. Be the person you want in your life. Accept your flaws, embrace your strengths and work on your weaknesses if it makes you happy, observe the feelings you experience without judging them, the sensations going through your body, your moods, evaluate your life, set your goals and map them out! This is YOUR life! Learn to be happy on your own and only then will you be able to be truly happy in the presence of someone else.No one is going to save you. It's your job to save yourself. It's your job to make your dreams happen. In this day and age, nothing is handed to us, but if we open up our eyes and our hearts and face the world with enthusiasm and kindness every day, miracles will happen!

Now go and thrive you beautiful goddesses and take back the power that is yours!!!

 

Karine xx

 

 

Looking Back 

Buenos Aires, January 2016.

I knew my life was about to change forever. You know how you can feel it inside yourself when you're on the verge of something important? This was my moment. I was happy for the first time in a long time. My life was taking meaning. I was about to travel the world, sing, perform, meet incredible people, condense 10 years of life lessons all into one and get paid for it, good money. I wasn't scared anymore. I felt strong, I felt like a mountain standing tall and ready to take on any storm willing to attack it. Bring it, I thought.

This inner strength and sense of calmness were new to me. See, I had always been the weak girl who struggled to be heard. I got teased a lot and bullied within the first years of my existence, I just wanted to go unnoticed. Until I sang. Music was my refuge. Music was my way to freedom. As a child, I would sit in the back yard swing set all day and sing anything that came to mind. I did this for years. My mother eventually pushed me to sing in front of people. She had always been shy and didn't want me to suffer as she had, so she pushed me to sing in front of anyone and just about everyone who came to the house. Eventually, I enjoyed the recognition. But it was never a big enough reason for me to sing. I sang because I had to. It was an urge. It was all that made me happy. Music was my connection to the Universe, whatever God may be.

As I was standing on a sidewalk in Buenos Aires, I closed my eyes and thought about that little girl. The shy, awkward and cooperative 5 year old Karine. The one who never said no to anyone, the one who preferred to suffer instead of letting anyone down or standing up for herself. Music had made me change. Music had forced me to get out of my comfort zone, to face many fears one by one, because I was afraid of everything. My love of singing was the one thing that was stronger than my fears, and so I let it take me anywhere it wanted to. Music had turned me into a rebel. Music had transformed me into a fighter. Music had healed me. Music had made me a winner. There I was, 30 years old, ready to take on the most amazing journey of my life.

 

I looked towards the ship that would become my home for 6 months to come, I took a deep breath, and embarked on

 

THE GRAND VOYAGE