Dani’s journey begins!!!

It’s been a long time since I wrote biggie girl problems.  I went back to read that story just the other day, and the urgency of the matter has been increased by ten-fold as big school for my girl looms ominously closer.  If you didn’t read it, then here it is here. This post is a jump off from that, a to-be-continued, I guess you could say.  I have finally got my shit together after piss-arsing around for almost a year, and have kicked my babies journey towards better health into first gear.

It’s been hard, pushing her into physical activity.  But we have no-one to blame but ourselves for the fact that she is not only as slow as a snail, but also hates exercise or any physical activity with a passion.  In the future, I’m going to have to use my imagination, because there’s going to come a time where running around a field with mum and dad is going to get boring as hell.  But this is how it has to be, at least for these first couple of weeks as I attempt to get her out of her rut, and out of the house more often.  My girls problem is not food, as she doesn’t eat much to begin with.  Her problem is lack of activity, and a penchant for video games and sitting in front of the TV for hours on end.  This is not her fault.  It is both mine and her dad’s, for we have allowed this to go on for far too long, and her health, and weight, has raged out of control because of it.

I owned up to that.  Her father, not so much.  His mum, whom I love to bits, is one of those types who believe that, if a child is happy doing something, just leave her there.  That’s how her dad is with her.  If she’s happy, leave her alone, that’s his motto. Even if she’s been sitting on the game ALL DAY LONG, she’s happy, so what harm does it do?  I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of TV, computers and video games being used as sole entertainment for kids.  We only had one way to entertain ourselves as children, and that was by playing outside.  Why we haven’t attempted to bring our girl up this way is beyond me.  And now, I’m beginning to wish I had forced this issue sooner rather than later.  Especially when I look at my girl and realize just how big she has become in the last year of so.

I am not blaming Dad.  But I do wish he could see things from my perspective, and made more of an effort with me to keep her health on track.  Two days out of the week Dad had her, while Mum was at work from eight in the morning to four-thirty in the afternoon.  More often than not, I would come home, and find her sitting on that bloody game.  What’s more, I could tell by her paleness, or by the way her eyes strained in the light when we stepped outside, that she’d been on it all day.  A majority of the other time, it was the fact she was still in her Pyjama’s and her hair was all disarray that would give it away.  Her dad was normally jamming it out on the xbox with her, too, which made me even wilder.

Nearly two years, I have watched this unfold.  And just about every weekend.  No amount of discussion or moaning or nagging on my behalf has helped the situation.  I do all I can to give her chubby legs a run around on the week, but that seems to come undone when she stays home with her father.  And now, that has well and truly got to STOP.

I guess I’m feeling a bit frustrated.  The breaking point was coming, and it finally has.  I made two choices so that I could basically step in and concentrate fully on getting my babies weight under control before she heads off to big school.  One, I gave in my notice at work and am now officially unemployed.  And two, I spent a majority of my last pay on an array of things that are meant to spur us back into physical activity,  Roller skates.  Scooters.  Balls and bats.  Cricket sets.  Boxing pads.  All of which we are going to be doing down at the field, a hop, skip and jump away.

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My biggie girl.  2015.

I don’t think Dark was happy that I gave up my job. I wasn’t exactly ecstatic about it.  But I need, need, need to get her health in order.  I need to stop talking and do.  This is the number one priority of the year for me, as the last thing I want is for her to have a bad start in school because of her weight.  Her happiness is paramount.  And if it means sacrificing a payslip to help her until she happily settles in, then that’s what I’m more than willing to do.

Dark doesn’t have my fears and qualms about being a big girl in an environment where kids can sometimes be cruel.  He doesn’t know just how much it can affect a child’s mentality, even though you would think that living with someone as complicated as me, he would have had some idea by now.  Sometimes, while we are having this debate, I ask him, “Mubs, think about it.  Do you want our baby to turn out like how I was?”

Him:  “What do you mean, like how you were?  There’s nothing wrong with you.”

Me: “Maybe not now.  But do you remember what I was like when I first met you?”

Him: (Silent.)

Me: “Exactly.  Our babies got a good foundation with me and you.  But it can change when she gets to school.  And if we don’t do something about her weight, its gonna change, alright!  And not for the better!!”

Darks: “We’ll just get her into boxing or teach her to knock kids out.  That’ll teach them.”

Me: “So we are going to teach her that violence solves shit?  Wow.  That’s just awesome.”

Him: (Glaring at me.)

It’s a never-ending cycle, our arguments.  Always about the same old shit, and never about a viable solution.

This time, I have found one.  I gave up my job and, while that may have seemed a tad drastic, to me, it was absolutely necessary.  I have put an end to her all-day-long game escapades, and at times, she absolutely hates me for it.  Too bad.  It’s been two weeks so far, and every single day I am pushing my girl (and myself) out the door, complaints and all, rain, hail and snow. That’s us, my little family of three, down at that field in the cooler hours of the evening with keen fitness enthusiasts and neighborhood kids who are also out and about, running around after balls, frisbees or each other.

And my girl, she loves it, man.  It’s a mission, getting her out at first, but once she’s out, she joins in the fun willingly, and is normally on a high when we get home.  When dinner and showers are over, her chubby little face comes alive and I can tell, by the way she jumps around the house, that she is feeling good about herself.  Its awesome.  In my mind, I am coming up with a thousand ways to improve my girls fitness levels without making it seem as if I am a Personal Trainer, forcing her to lose weight.  Shes only a child.  But I know, better than anyone, just how impressionable those first years at school can be, how they can mold you, and even how they can set you up for either future success – or failure.

A couple of times, my girl has thrown herself on the floor, and refused to budge when I sing out that it’s ‘field time.’  You should hear me as I order her up.  Dad doesn’t like the way I sound, and even I don’t like the way I sound, but I harden my heart and keep at her until she reluctantly moves.  She glares those big eyes at me now and then because I’ll admit, I tend to get pushy, demanding and even overbearing at times.  She gravitates towards her father more because, let’s face it, he lets her get away with murder, basically.  But in the end, I know she’ll see that all I do, is always done with her in mind.  One day, she might even turn around and thank me for it.  And not just for helping her lose weight, but for always managing to see the bigger picture, and putting her and her needs first.  That’s how it should be.  That’s how it is, and that’s how its always going to be.

New year, and new Dani girl!  Lets do this, my darling!

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My biggie girl, four years old

 

 

 

 

 

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Hold On Pain Ends

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I was eleven the very first time I tried to take myself out of this world.  It was winter, and the year was 1991.  Opposite our home was a vast rugby field, our childhood playground, where me and my cousins, in younger days, would often frolic and run a muck, playing rugby and tiggy, but mostly bull rush.   Splayed beyond this field were lush green hills that rolled on endlessly.  Over these hills was a river which had these magnificently huge willow trees jutting over the water.  One day, I found myself down there, sitting under one of those willow trees, hugging my knees as I looked out at the water, and wanting nothing more than end it all.  I held a long rope in my hand that I’d found in our shed, and I remember, so clearly, that feeling of utter hopelessness – like a tonne of lead weighing down heavily on my mind, my heart and my soul.

I was only eleven at the time, but had the mind and maturity of an adult.  Life, circumstances and events had made me that way.  You may think that, being only eleven years old, there was possibly no reason for me to want to knock myself off.  After all, I was at an age where life hadn’t even begun to mess with me yet, right?  Maybe so, maybe not.  There’s no way I can pinpoint exactly why it was that I no longer wanted to exist, except, perhaps to say that I had always had a very strong, heightened sense of awareness, which opened my eyes to seeing things that no child should ever have to see until they have matured enough to handle it.  The other thing would have been having this in-built sense of sadness, even from a young age.  A melancholy, which was seemingly as much a part of me as my arms and legs.  Later on, I came to realize this melancholy was, in fact depression.  And it has visited me often throughout my life, like a faithful dog that always comes back, and never really forgets its Master.

You may think that someone intent, and on the verge of knocking themselves off, to be an intense, overwhelming experience.  Where maybe thoughts are racing through your head like cars on an expressway, the heart is beating away madly, like a bongo drum in your chest, and your convulsing and on the verge of an epileptic fit or something.  That was definitely not the case with me.  When I stood up and forced myself out onto one of those thick branches, intending to tie a rope around the branch, then around my neck, all was just black, and quiet, and oh so very still.  Like the world was on pause, waiting, with breathless anticipation, for me to make the move.  I lowered myself carefully so I could saddle the branch, then set to work tying a knot as tightly as I possibly could.  Dark, dark thoughts in my head.  Tears falling freely down my face.  Wrapped in a blanket of hopelessness so tight, that death seemed a relief from it all.  Ironically, you don’t even think about pain of the rope squeezing the life out of you, because the pain within simply just overpowers it all.

The universe decided to intervene that day.  As it has intervened many times since.  Being as overweight as I was, the branch suddenly snapped before I even had the chance to get the noose around my neck, and I went tumbling into the water with an almighty splash.  I remember trying to let myself drift under, spreading my arms and legs like a starfish, eyes upward to the grey sky, teeth chattering as I begged the river to claim me as its own, surrendering myself, even as my body was going all spastic from the freezing cold.  But it isn’t as simple to drown yourself as it is to hang yourself.  I’m sure I wouldn’t be here today if that were the case.

I remember reading this article not so long ago.  It outlined the statistics of suicide in my homeland, New Zealand, and it’s been popping up randomly in my mind ever since.   It hurts whenever I think about it.  It hurts because I know exactly what it’s like to be in that mind frame.  And it hurts because there are far, far too many people out there, going through the motions, wanting to die, wanting to give up on a life that can be so beautiful, if you just hang on to it.

Perceptions and attitudes towards those contemplating suicide are disturbing.  Although I understand how difficult it must be for family members to deal with someone who can’t see the point in anything anymore, some of the judgements out there are quite outrageous and even angers me.  It is attention-seeking.  It is a coward way out.  Those who succeed are selfish, and never think of the pain and discord they leave in their wake.  In a way, this is all true, to an extent.  But you can never hope to understand, let alone prevent the inevitable from happening, if you don’t open your mind to the struggle that goes on inside the head of a loved one contemplating suicide.  It is all inner conflict.  Wanting to cease existing, is like being in a sort of state.  Like how one gets into a state of ecstasy when making love, or a state of equilibrium when meditating, so wanting to kill yourself off I will describe as being in a state of despair.  You cannot see a way out.  You cannot feel anything but the deep-seated pain that is causing you to want to shut your own lights out.  You feel worthless, and feel your loved ones will be better off without you anyway.  It hurts to smile, and it hurts to pretend.  It hurts more than you will ever know.  Most times, this state takes you to a place where you are so far gone that nobody can reach you.

Nobody wants to kill themselves.  I honestly believe that, with one hundred percent certainty.  They just want whatever is causing the inner pain to stop.

If you are struggling to bring someone you love out of their state of despair, I really don’t know how you’re supposed to do that.  I myself have dealt with a few teens who have come to me, crying that they just don’t want to live anymore.  And even as a fellow suicidal sufferer myself, with the shoe on the other foot, I had no advice to give because, as I have mentioned before in some of my other posts, saying the wrong thing seems to be my forte, and when dealing with a suicidal loved one, that’s the worst thing you can do.  So I just sat there – and listened.  Because words, no matter how good the intentions, can be quite useless and have zero effect whatsoever.  When I swallowed a whole bottle of pills at age fourteen, and ended up in hospital because of it, my mum spoke with me about it for the first time, I suppose, and asked me why I done it.  And I couldn’t tell her.  Even though she cried and said she loved me, and wanted more than anything for me to just be happy, and even did her best thereafter to help me, her words basically rebounded off me and disappeared somewhere into the air.  That’s how out of reach people get.  Yes, it is selfish.  But more than anything, it is a nightmare, and one where you really just want to wake up and start living, but just don’t know how to.

To those with a loved one who is contemplating suicide, all I ask is that you please, be kind. Open your mind to their struggle, without judgement, without prejudice, and maybe they will open their mouths and spill their guts about what is wrong.  Because it is always something.  It is never just nothing.  Most often, it is deep-seated pain and even mental illnesses that take people to that dark place of not wanting to exist anymore, and this is what I feel needs to be addressed.  A majority of people, they don’t like to go there, you know, because that is where all the ugliness and the heavy issues dwell, and facing them can be too much for some to handle.  Sometimes, I feel that, if only someone had come to me while I was down there, and they had stayed, and talked, and wrestled with me about what was causing the pain, I would have come out of that suicidal buzz sooner, rather than later.  If you’re loved ones are dwelling in these realms, then maybe that’s where you need to go, too?   Actually, now that I am thinking along those lines, I am absolutely certain, that that is where your best shot at saving them lies.

Struggling with suicide is a heavy business, and one that’s going to be a long, arduous journey, for those suffering from it as well as for those who are trying to help a friend or loved one through it.  There are days I feel so proud, you know, because I have survived so many attempts, and yet have finally emerged out the other side, stronger, with a heart and eyes that now see the best in life rather than the worst.   I always try not to judge people by their surface actions, you know, because going through so much inner conflict has allowed me to be keyed, almost automatically, into other people’s pain, pain that I can see as clear as day, even if it’s not so obvious to others.

So to my fellow friends and readers, wherever you are in the world, if you are reading this, and it hits some kind of nerve, I just want to say this.  You are worth it.  You are.  You, reading this, are worthy of life.  Of living.  Of enjoyment, laughter and mostly of giving and receiving love.  You are a bad-ass survivor.  A fighter.  And somebody who is going to, one day, be able to see that this gift of life that you have been given is so worth holding onto.   Next time life tells you that you ain’t worth shit, turn around and give it a big, fat karate chop, and say ‘YES I AM.’  And say it like you mean it, because you are.  And when you truly, truly start believing that, I promise you, everything will fall into place.

There’s going to come a day where you’re going to rise up.  You will find your feet, and you will find your niche, and when the storm is over, and you have evolved and grown, just as I have, you will look back on that part of your life and laugh, just as I laugh now when I think about the day I went tumbling into the freezing cold water during my first suicide attempt.

Hold onto HOPE.  Hope will get you through it, and eventually, it will set you free.  It will.  You know what HOPE stands for?  It stands for Hold On, Pain Ends.  And it will.  Maybe not tomorrow, or next week, but one day.

 

HOPE

 

 

I am Maori. What does this even mean?

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I am Maori.  What that even means, I’m not entirely sure.  And I think it’s only because I was whangai (adopted) why I have never really been certain about what being a Maori is all about.

It is a common Maori practice for children to be brought up by various members of the family besides mum and dad.  The policy was it takes a community to raise a child, and this is evident in a lot of Maori families, even today.  I personally know of quite few people who were brought up with their grandparents. Otherwise aunties, uncles and even sisters bore the responsibility of raising ilk too.  Me.  I was put through the system, and this is how I ended up with my whangai family.  An unfortunate incident saw me placed into welfare after I ended up in hospital.  My whangai mum and dad cycled a fair bit of us out of the system, and living with kids from all walks of life was the norm for me.

I guess this is why I don’t feel as in touch with who I am as I should.  Being adopted does this to anybody, I think.  Each circumstances are different, and all I can confirm is that the way I was brought up didn’t really stand me in good stead for when it came to mixing and mingling with my own people.   Which is odd, because from childhood, right up to when my mother got the boot from her Ringatu faith (I would have been 13 or fourteen at the time) my mother was hardcore into the Maori culture and fully immersed in the traditions of her iwi (tribe).  I was always there with her, and so was immersed in it too.

She was brought up in the true Maori world, 0f the 1930’s – 40’s, where Maori and Pakeha were still learning to co-exist with each other.  During my young days, I remember spending more time at the Marae (a meeting house) being surrounded by kuia (eldery women) in black than I did anywhere else.  My mother spoke the Maori language fluently.  The elders could speak to us in our basic native tongue, and we could understand what they were saying.  During worship, us kids were taught to memorize Maori Karakia (prayers), and then stand up and recite them in front of everybody in the Marae.  Tapu (sacred practices) were something we were always and forever reminded of.  Take your shoes off when you go into someone’s house.  If you’ve got your monthly, no going into the cemetery.   No walking upon the graves of the deceased, and no sitting on the table.  Basic things like that.

I suppose when I look back on it, you could say I was brought up within the true Maori world, too.  To an extent, that is.  Yet, none of this has clarified anything for me in terms of where I stand, in terms of being Maori.  Over the years, I slowly lost what basic language I knew when I was a kid, and I lost sight of all that my mother had taught me when growing up with the Ringatu faith.  Mum and dad divorced.  Then the Ringatu church turned their backs on my mother when she started experimenting with some spiritual path that the Indians in the Himalayan’s practiced.  That was the last faith she religiously practiced, right up to the day she died.

Things are not like how they use to be.  Maybe we’ve been urbanized.  Maybe we’ve crossed over into the white man’s land and have learnt to accept it.  Our culture has one basic core principle that stands today, as it did many, many years ago, when the Maori first set foot in Aotearoa (NZ).  It is all about ‘tangata whenua’ which is basically saying that it’s all about the people of the land.  Now this, I truly believe. And not just in our culture, but for any culture.  People should come first above anything else, yet the reality is, people come last – after money, power and greed, that is.

I know a lot of our people who announce, loudly and with all the staunchness that can somewhat be our trademark, that they are proud to be Maori.  Ta Moko (traditional maori tattoo) are rampant, especially here in Australia, where Maori are more likely to represent their culture in the form of tattoos than they are in their principles and their behaviors.  And that’s all good and well.  But sometimes I believe this pride can be a bit overboard, because half the time, it is pride without any justifiable means to back it up.  I am not pointing at every single person in our culture, but it seems to be becoming more evident and more forthright as time goes by.  Ego and pride are fast becoming dominant traits in our culture.  Scroll any Maori page on Facebook, read any article written by a Maori, and you’ll see that ego flying proudly like the NZ flag in the wind.  Ego and pride.  It’s not the one.  Its not what we are about, is it?  Not only is it a gross misrepresentation of our people, but it also makes us look like a bunch of savages.  Maybe that Maori blood is more feisty than I thought it was, aye?

This is why I find it hard to relate to my people sometimes.  Ego and pride. In general,  I cannot STAND these two ‘traits’.  In anything, and in anybody, even in myself.  They are the shadows that dwell in any culture, and its whats keeping NZ in the state it is in now, what with John Key wanting to change the flag and selling off our assets like nobody’s business.  Which is an entirely different story for somebody else to rant about.

While there are so many out there who represent us and our culture in a beautiful way, the majority that feel the need to do the exact opposite is quite staggering to be honest.  I, for one, have found myself distancing myself from the chaos because, from where I’m standing, our people are getting lost somewhere in the fracas, and they are not even realizing this.   The more I pull back and look at things, the more I realize that times have changed.  Dramatically.  And I’d even go so far as to say not in a great way.

Maybe it’s all in my head, but when I mix with my own people, whanau (family) and friends, I always get the feeling that I’m not as ‘Maori’ as I should be.  I don’t indulge in the slang, I don’t have that ‘staunchness, and the ways of our Maori people as they are TODAY seem lost on me.   I think it’s got more to do with my own disconnection, though.  From my ancestors, and from not knowing where I’m from.

I am Maori.  So what does this mean?  Well, after this rant which I’m not even sure makes sense, I still don’t know.  But I’m on it.  I have alot to learn, and alot to research.  Thirty five years old, and finally a thirst to find out more about my genealogy and blood lines.  Maybe if I go back, and look deep into my heritage – the heritage of my biological parents – I might be able to go forward, head high, and truly be able to state just what it means to be Maori.

 

Waking up

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If so, this might be the last thing you want to hear, but congratulations!  Whats happening is you may possibly be going through an Awakening.  You have now entered treacherous terrain, and this experience is possibly going to lift you higher than you could ever imagine.  But first, it’s going to break you.

An awakening, to me, is a blessing in disguise.  You may not be feeling particularly joyous at this ‘awakening’ that is meant to be exhilarating, yet is causing you so much discord. You have reached a point in your life where something is happening to you, and you don’t know what it is.  You just know something is wrong, and you know it is something that needs dealing to. You may be in great emotional pain.  Torment, even.  Never-ending questions are flooding your mind.  Your world and existence, as you’ve always known it, has been flipped upside down and landed, bang-smack, right on its head.

It might not seem like it, but please trust me when I say this.  This ‘awakening’ could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

It was a deep and profound connection with another person that shook the living daylights out of me.  The awakening was so powerful, it felt as if I had been roused out of a deep, long, thirty-five year sleep.  Like Snow White, minus the handsome prince. Even to this day, I still can’t find the words to describe it.  One day, I met somebody who was so similar to me on every level, it was like looking into a mirror and seeing myself as I truly was.  I did not like the person staring back at me.  This awakening began three years ago although, at the time, I had no idea that’s what it was.

It was fate that we were meant to meet.  And it was also fate that we were meant to part.

This connection brought me to my knees like nothing else ever did.  It was confronting, it was deeply troubling, and it changed something in me forever.  It is something which I have attempted to describe to others, only to be met with scoffs and scornful comments of “what are you even on about?”  I, myself, have attempted to deny it, because the whole idea that someone has shifted something deep in your psyche, without even doing anything extraordinary, sounds insane.  But the heart knows better.  Despite the opposition, despite the self-denials, the heart knows that, whatever it was, it was real.  It was something deep and profound.

Contrary to what others may believe, and judging from my own experience, I believe that a real spiritual awakening is something not to be taken lightly.  It’s not all about finding a magical world filled with rainbows, nor is it something where you just wake up one day and suddenly think ‘oh, I want to be more in touch with my inner-self.’   No. There is more to it, so much more. Actually, it is probably one of the most beautiful, as well as one of the most hideous experiences you will ever have to encounter in your life.  When you are waking up from this deep sleep, you are waking up to, and facing yourself and who you are at your core.  You see things about yourself that you would just rather not.  Your demons, the emotional hurts of your past, the negative energies that keep you stuck in a rut, the false beliefs and attitudes that prevent you from rising up – all of it comes rushing to the surface, forcing you to confront it, head-on.

I have been undergoing this deep, intense awakening for the last three years.  And anybody that has been through it can tell you that it’s not easy.  The only reason I know it’s an awakening is because 1) I was literally on my knees, praying to God to help me understand what was happening to me.  And 2) every single one of my belief systems that I had carefully created to keep my world just as I wanted it were crumbling down around me.  The blinkers were being lifted from my eyes, and I was seeing a reality so far removed from what I had always seen.  Not just about myself, but also the world around me.

It’s no wonder so many people would rather stay asleep all their lives, rather than wake up and smell the cappuccino and see the world for what it really is.  And, from what I have discovered, it is the world we live in that is false.  Love is the only truth, and everything else – hate, fear, racism, war, ego, pride, etc etc – is the illusion.  But…this is mankind today, as created by mankind.  We are fully immersed in these illusions, living them out like nobody’s business, because it is easier living the lie than it is facing our truth.

Call me crazy, but that’s how I see it.  This is what I have learnt, and am still learning to this day.

Going through an awakening is some heavy shit.  It’s not a light, breezy journey filled with butterflies and rainbows.  I like to think of it as a spring-clean – kind of like how you would spring-clean and de-clutter your home.  Except your spring-cleaning your mind, body and soul by removing and releasing all that is toxic, and keeping you stuck in limbo.

I am still trying to spring-clean myself out.  It’s been an amazing three years.  The journey one of pain, anguish, joy, exhilaration and even adrenaline all rolled into one! With each day that goes by, I’m coming more and more into my own, and discovering the true power of what it means to be me, and what it means to be alive.  Below are just some of the things I believe are signs that you are going through an awakening of your own.  How we get to this point differs from person to person.  It could be anything that brings us to our knees and makes us seek a more purposeful meaning in life.  Death.  Love.  An extraordinary event.

How you cope with it, though, is what really matters.  The outcome of the journey is entirely up to you.

 

SIGNS YOU MAY BE EXPERIENCING AN AWAKENING

 

You are questioning everything that you’ve ever believed in

I have been a lone soldier all my life.  And my way has always been to shut people out because I believed they prevented me from attaining the things I wanted – power, money and status.  This was something I believed in with rigid stubbornness, and I was proud to be this way.  I had an over-inflated ego to accompany this pride, and was arrogant about it to boot.  I can say, now, that I am ashamed of the things I have done to get to where I am today. Because these things I wanted, they were just illusions.  They have brought temporary satisfaction, but if I were to be honest, they have never brought me true happiness.

Material things mean nothing to you anymore

Material things and possessions held utmost importance to me.  Flash cars, big screen TV’S, money ka-chinging in the bank, the whole she-bang.  I wanted it all, and sought these things with an over-zealous drive, as if I had to have it or die.  Nowadays, I feel eternally grateful for what I have, and am learning to feel content rather than always wanting the next big thing.  I no longer yearn for material things.  The yearning I have now is for rich life experiences that I know will enhance my quality of living rather than my bank account.  Because as long as me and my family have a roof over our heads, food in the cupboards, and aroha (love) in our home, we will always be rich regardless.

You feel out of place, and feel like you no longer fit with people you were once very close too

This may very well be one of the hardest things to come to grips with when the blinkers have been well and truly lifted from your eyes.  Especially if your family, your loved ones, and your friends are deeply immersed in the ways of the world.  You find yourself stepping away from everybody, because you know, deep down, that you have discovered a reality that is so very different from the one the people around you are living.  I personally believe that there is nothing wrong with distancing yourself from the chaos, as long as you let them know that you still love them.  If family truly cared for you, they will understand and respect your wishes for space.

You start praying more to God

This is the pain in you speaking.  Whatever it is you are confronting is hurting you so badly, that you find yourself on your knees, praying and crying out to God for answers, because you don’t know what else to do.  Keep talking to him.  In your heart, you will know when He answers you.

You start looking for the good in people

Ask anybody who knows me.  I had the highest walls, and a suspicion for people as large as the Pacific Ocean.  I have always been able to see the dark side in people, and this ability has prevented me from truly connecting with others.  I did this because I have a ridiculously large fear of being hurt.  The walls are coming down, slowly, but surely.  The load on my shoulders is lifting, and at times I feel like I’m even floating.  Crazy, right?  The truth is – it is just plain tiring,  a colossal effort, and a waste of energy, always trying to keep people at bay, just because you’re scared.

I’m trying to teach myself a different way of thinking now.  That it is OK to let people in.  We are all human, and we all hurt somebody at some stage.  It’s life.  My paranoia (yes, I admit, that’s all it was) is fading out of my psyche, and being replaced with empathy and understanding of human nature, as a whole.  Everyone has good in them.  And if you find yourself seeing the good points in people, rather than focusing on the bad, chances are, you are definitely on your way to reconnecting with your higher, spiritual self!

You feel an overwhelming need to serve and help those in need

I think this is the true, ultimate purpose of the awakening.  I think that this what it all boils down too.  If you find yourself feeling a deep sense of sadness about all the ugliness in the world, and wanting to do your bit to make it a better place, then you have found your true calling in life.  Whether it’s helping the homeless, inspiring someone to do better, donating to charity, or just being there for someone in their hour of need – giving – no matter how big or small, is bound to add a quality to your life that is immeasurable.  It fills you with purpose like nothing else can.  Seeing true suffering, and opening your heart to doing something about it helps you put things into perspective. Practicing small, random acts of kindness is not only filling me with a strong sense of purpose, it is also helping me feel utmost gratitude – for my family, my health – for my life, and all that I have been blessed with.

***

So there it is.  My personal experience.  To those of you who are in the same waka (boat) as I am, I wish you all the best on your own journey towards self-discovery and fulfilment.  It’s going to be a roller coaster ride, but one that I totally believe is going to be worth it in the end.  Persevere and stick it out and remind yourself that it’s going to get easier. Once your soul awakens, the search begins, and you can never truly go back.  And when you start seeing the true rewards that lie within your reach, just as I’m seeing them now, you’ll never want to go back, anyway…

SOURCES:

IMAGE: binggallery.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Pink Dress…

Sadie stared, in horror, at the dress her mum held up proudly before her.  She scrunched her nose up, grimaced, and slowly, painfully shook her head from side to side.

“Mum“ she said. “If you think I’m wearing that to the formal…woman…your outta your mind!”

Her mother winced, but held her smile.  “Babe.  Come on,” she cajoled.  “You know how adorable you would look in this.  It’s a dress fit for a princess!”

Sadie turned from her mum and opened the fridge, pretending to look for something before the words that were on the tip of her tongue burst forth.  “Come on, mum.  This is the millennium, not 1990.  I ain’t wearing that.  All my mates will laugh at me.”

In her head, Sadie had already predicted the name she would be given if she walked into the assembly hall with that hideous thing on. She imagined the entire student body falling silent as they turned towards her, mouths agape.  The laughter that would follow she could already hear ringing in her ears.  It was a princess dress, alright.  It looked exactly like the blue dress Cinderella wore in the animated version of the movie, except it was pink.  Upon the shoulders were clouds of puff balls.  The bodice was fitted with fake rubies, and the dress flared out endlessly.  It was horrible.  An ugly mess.  The worst dress Sadie had ever seen.

Her mates would name her candy floss.  She could see it now.  The name would haunt her for life.

“I thought you said it was a Fairytale theme?” her mum queries, carefully placing the dress back in its bag.

Sadie didn’t trust herself to speak.  She just rolled her eyes, bit into an apple and shrugged.  Her mum didn’t know anything.

“It is mum,” she finally answered.  Then trying to turn the topic around, she continued.  “You know, there’s a store down Epsom Gate, Ally.  They have a special on at the moment, 25% off all dresses!”  Her voice rose enthusiastically.  “Can we take this back, and get one from there mum!  Pleeeease?”

She watched her mother’s face as it darkened.  “Isn’t that a lingerie store?”

Sadie couldn’t help it.  She rolled her eyes again.  “Oh come on, mum.” she said, somewhat impatiently.  “Get with the times.  They have dresses, too.  They mint dresses, all my mates are getting them from Ally.  Can I get mine from there, aye?  Please mum.  Its only, like, twenty dollars for this long black one I saw in there yesterday!”

“Babe,” her mum said, choosing her words carefully.  “Remember last year, that day you told me that you wanted a dress exactly like this?  You lay in my arms, talking about wanting to be a princess and being the belle of the ball.  Do you remember that?”

Sadie nodded, non-committally.  She did remember.  She’d been twelve then.  A year makes a big difference, and times had changed.  “I’m still not wearing it,” she declared, stubbornly.

She watched her mother’s face drop.  “Well, maybe we can take this back.  I don’t know, I might not be able to get a refund   You might have to wear this I cant really afford another one.”  She looked Sadie squarely in the eye.  “Your father was hoping to get a picture with you in this.  He misses you, Sadie.”

At the mention of her father’s name, Sadie felt her blood begin to stir.  Her dad?  What the hell did he have to do with anything?  He sent a birthday card once a year.  Called her once a month, and only ever blabbed about his new girlfriend, and how Sadie would love getting to know her.  He didn’t even know Sadie, hadn’t seen her for five months!  What the hell did he want a photo of her in a ball dress for?  But more importantly, why did her mother even think she would wear that – just to please a man who made her feel like she was just a thing on the fringes of his life.

She couldn’t hold her words back.  Her mother should have known.

She spat, with as much venom as she could muster, “That cunt can go to hell, as far as I’m concerned!”

“Sadie!”

“What!”  she whined.  “Why the fuck would I do anything for him hes done nothing for me!”

“You better watch your mouth, Sadie,” her mum snapped.  “Your dad loves you.  I don’t want to hear you bad mouthing him, you hear me!”

Sadies anger rose up, high as a mountain.  “Nah, I don’t hear you,” she snapped back.  She felt her face flush as she yelled.  “And no I don’t want to wear that ugly dress!  Its hideous!  My friends are all going to laugh at me!  And you don’t even give a shit!  I’d rather not go at all than be seen in that!”

“That’s enough.”  her mother demanded.  Sadie glared at her, fuming.  An entire minute went past before her mother spoke again.  “We’ll go to Ally’s and get you something, ok?  I’ll have to take this back, see if I can get a refund.”  She grabbed her keys off the fridge and turned to her daughter.  “Do you wanna stop in and see your dad on the way back?”

“Whatever, I’m not coming,” Sadie grumbled, not pacified one bit.  She tried to storm towards her room, but her mother blocked her way.

“Don’t you want to…”

“No I don’t fucking want to!”  Sadie shouted at the top of her lungs.  She clenched her fists, trying, but failing, to control the built up anger that had been accumulating within for the past year.  Ever since the divorce that had tipped her entire existence upside down.  “Wouldn’t care if I never spoke to him again!  Or you!  You can both go and get fucked!”

And with that, she forcefully shoved her mother out of the way, stomped into her room, and slammed the door shut with an almighty bang.

***

“Are you ok, Sadie?”

The familiar voice seemed to be coming from far away.  Yet when Sadie managed to lift her head, her father’s face loomed just in front of her.  She blinked up at him, trying to bring her blurry vision back into focus.  In a trance.  She was in a trance.  It felt like she was drifting through a nightmarish dream, and fervently prayed that she would soon wake up.

But then her dad laid his hand upon her shoulder, and she knew.  She would never wake up from this one.

Her mother was dead.  And all she could think about was the last words she spoke to her.

“You can both go and get fucked.”

It was a hot day.  The sun blazed down upon the small handful of people that stood, milling around Epsom church, engaged in somber talk.  Madison Stevens had been a lovely woman, even if she had been as quiet as a mouse, and even a little eccentric.  To her co-workers, she was pleasant and polite, but had been a woman of few words.  She kept her head down and just did her job.  To her few friends, she had been a good listener, often opening her arms and home without hesitation to those who she deemed worthy of her friendship, offering tea, talks, and a sympathetic ear.  To her one and only sibling, her sister, she had been the world.  Nobody knew her like her sister did.  They both grew up within the confines of a strict catholic upbringing. An upbringing Madison fled when she was fifteen – for her ex-husband   As a result, she had been disowned.  Besides her sister, not a single member of her immediately family had attended Madison Steven’s funeral.

Sadie couldn’t think straight as she sat on the church steps, two of her best friends sitting on either side of her, trying to cheer her up.  They sat there, cracking jokes and whispering, pointing and making fun of the people that stood around them.  Sadie wished they would just go away.

Her heart was in a blender.  Guilt shredding it into little pieces as she recalled their last conversation in her head.  Playing it over like a song on repeat.  To Sadie, Madison Stevens had been her mum.  Her everything.  Her one and only.  And now she was dead.

“You can both go and get fucked.”

She had been on her way home from her ex-husbands when a green Hilux, attempting to evade the cops, came gunning down the highway at 140 km’s per hour, and hit her.  The lights had just turned green, and Madison Stevens was moving when the truck came hurtling, full throttle from the right, smashing into her little Astra with such devastating force that the car was airborne for two seconds flat before landing in a crushed heap on its head.  Madison Steven’s was pronounced dead as soon as paramedics arrived on the scene.  Instant death.

“…wouldn’t care if I ever spoke to you again…wouldn’t care if I ever spoke to you again…wouldn’t care…”

Words she’d never be able to take back.  Sadie felt the tears pricking at her eyelids, and knives poking at her conscience.

She stood suddenly, mumbled something to her friends about needing to do something, and high-tailed it to her dad’s car, parked out the back of the church.  She threw herself in the passengers and pulled the door shut.  Closing her eyes, and resting her forehead on the dashboard, she attempted to shake the last conversation she had with her mother out of her head.  But it popped up, again and again and again, weighing on her mind mercilessly, and threatening to drown her.  She turned slowly and reached out for the bag that lay on the back seat.  She pressed the bag to her face and closed her eyes again.  Embracing the bag tightly, as if it were her mother.

The hideous pink dress.

She bowed her head into the bag, and sobbed.

***

The service for Madison Stevens was about to begin.  The church was silent and the minister was just stepping up onto the pew when Sadie entered the church.  The man in the robbed-cloth stared ahead for so long, that all heads turned to see what was holding his fascination.  So by the time Sadie was halfway down the altar, all eyes were glued on her.

But all Sadie could see was the polished coffin ahead of her, the one that held her mother.  She walked slowly, tears falling freely down her face.  When she reached the coffin, she realized for the first time, that the casket was closed.  Whispers and murmurs broke out in the crowd, but Sadie was oblivious to it all.

She placed both hands on the coffin, caressing it gently.  She rested her cheek upon the lid, her heart shattering into a million pieces as the tears continued to fall.

“Look mum,” she whispered, her voice shaking.  “I’m wearing the pink dress.”

She would have stayed like that forever, if her father hadn’t gently eased her off, and guided her to her seat.  Sadie sat next to her father, standing out amongst the sea of black in her pink ball dress with the fake rubies.  Her friends can call her candy floss.  They could all laugh at her.  She didn’t care.

She would wear this dress to school any day, if only her mum would come back to her…

 

 

Astrology, and why I think there’s something to it…

On my right breast is a tattoo of my star sign symbol, Scorpio.  When I tell people what the tattoo means, they immediately assume that I am crazy deep into astrology, when in actual fact, I am not.  Or at least, I wasn’t at the time, and I’d hardly call myself a number one fan of it otherwise.  I was 19 the day I got my first tatt, and this was the day I found out that I was a Scorpio.  It was the magazines in the ink store that told me this.  And the tatt I chose to have imprinted on my tit for life was something I chose at random, out of a book of designs.

My interest in astrology at this young phase of my life was sporadic, and reading about what the week held in store for me in the horoscope section of magazines is really as far as it went.  Until I got a tarot reading done by our next door neighbor in my hometown, Opotiki.  This woman was a good friend of ours.  Often, my brother and I would go over there, get stoned with her and indulge in some of the wackiest conversations that I have ever had in my life.  I miss her, and sometimes wonder what shes up to these days.

Now…she was crazy deep into the occult.  And when I say occult, I mean she believed in the whole she-bang – metaphysics, the psychic world, astrology, natal charts and even tarot reading.  One day, she did a tarot reading for me.  And not only did she tell me that I held a lot of guilt about not being there when my mother died,  and that I had to learn to let it go.  But she also told me I was going to meet someone very soon, and this person was going to be a very important part of my life.  The oddest thing was I never did tell her about my mother dying.  A few weeks after that, I hooked up with Dez and thirteen years later, he is still by my side.

I’m not sure when exactly it was that I started looking deeply into astrology and my star sign, but I know there was a point in my life where I was badly struggling to understand why I was the way that I was.  So I sought answers in astrology. I began reading up on the Scorpio sun sign, and found the descriptions to be astonishingly accurate.  The basic characteristics and traits of the Scorp fit me to a tee.  Intensity is my strength – and my biggest weakness.  Emotional may as well have been my middle name, along with secretive and complicated.  It was a relief and a huge comfort to me, knowing that I wasn’t the only one like this.  I even joined a group on Facebook called Scorpio Resurrected in an effort to be closer to those more or less similar to myself.

After that, I began reading up on the star signs of the people around me, and found them to be alarmingly true, too.  My man is a Capricorn to the bone.  Detached, aloof and distant.  At times this drives me absolutely nuts.  On the other hand he has been a solid influence on my life.  Dependable and reliable.  One of the most hard-working dudes around.  Frugal.  No-nonsense.  All the things that are true-blue Cappy traits.

There are some who have a hard time swallowing the concept of astrology.  And, you know, that’s OK.  When you think about it, believing that people are a certain way because of the way the stars were aligned when they were born sounds fucking insane, right?  Maybe so.  Maybe not.  But have a look.  Read up on your sign.  Not just what I have presented here for you today, as I am hardly a professional when it comes to this shit, but google around.  You might be surprised by what you find.

Below are  basic descriptions and traits of each sign.  I have referenced the sources.  I just hope the dude doesn’t mind that I used his AWESOME images, as it was the stunning visuals that motivated me to write this up.  I have also tweaked and edited it somewhat in an effort to make it a bit more understandable.  Hope he doesn’t mind that either!

Check out one of the links at the end of this post if you are curious to know more.  This is the link to the the website of  world-renowned astrologist, Linda Goodman.

When you’re done, please tell me what you think.  Did the descriptions fit you?

I would love to know your thoughts.

BASIC TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF ZODIAC SUN SIGNS

Aquarius

JANUARY 20TH – FEBRUARY 18TH

Your sign is regarded as the zodiac’s leader. You are the trendsetter for the future, and a highly philanthropic sign.  Aquarians are ‘mind oriented’ individuals, whose thoughts never stop tick-tocking over.

Because of their high focus on intellectual exploration, many inventors, eccentrics and highly original trailblazers are born under this sign. Their intense ability to live on many mental levels holds both pain and pleasure for Aquarians.  In general, most Aquarians are extremely humanitarian and are often involved in social programs that assist others. They can also be objective in judgement, for they never let their emotions get in the way. Outgoing and amiable, Aquarians attract friends wherever they go and those whom Aquarians befriend have their unswerving loyalty.

Aquarians are the zodiac’s unique ones – no two are anything alike. Those born under this sign – ruled by innovative and non-conformist Uranus – march to the beat of their own drum. They see life in a different way. Others quite frequently think their habits and ideas are eccentric or crazy in some way, but it is this uniqueness that makes them so special. The Aquarian mind is extremely quick and they never seem to stop thinking (it is interesting to note that many born under this sign suffer from insomnia.)

Aquarians usually have strong political, environmental or social beliefs. But whether it is a relationship, career or cause – Aquarians are happiest when they have “something” to believe in and nurture.

Pisces

FEB 19TH – MARCH 20TH

Mysterious and alluring individuals, most Pisces are extremely talented, but even though they are gifted in many ways, they still manage to spend most of their lives battling with their inner selves. Pisces is the sign symbolised by the image of two fish. Their symbol depicts one fish heading upward, the other pulling downward. This mirrors how Pisceans are frequently torn between two pathways in life, or actually do live two very different existences at the same time.

The number 2, is a very powerful number for them. This zodiac sign is acknowledged as being the Saint and the Sinner rolled into one; the trendsetter of fashion or art, the lost soul, the philosopher and the psychotic and the visionary. As a credit to them, considering their many vulnerable characteristics; Pisceans are incredibly adaptable and resilient.

The Piscean’s inner quest to explore their “ivory tower” syndrome can lead them into some most unusual and unlikely living conditions. Of all the signs of the zodiac, Pisces are the ones who end up in the most muddles over the years of their lives. They fantasize about situations, people and particularly romance – and because they spend so much time in their own form of ‘fantasy land’ this can catch them short in other more worldly areas. Because of this inner world of fantasy, Pisces people seldom perceive whatever is going on around them in its true light. They see life instead as they want to see it, coloring their view of the world in hues and tones far removed from its true reflection. No wonder this is the sign of both miracles and disillusionment. If you are a Pisces, be warned your emotions are a weak spot.

One thing that plays havoc with your life is romance. When things romantically are going well for you, you are on cloud nine. When romance turns sour you land in a heap. Pisces often need to take lots of holidays (or time off) to recover from life’s many diverse pressures. You are the zodiac’s most sensitive sign, so you need to take extra special care of yourself. Nobody can beat you up, as much as you can beat yourself up within your own mind. In your purest form you are psychic, visionary and a guiding light to all who know you. But, in your “out of tune” state, you become depressed, obsessive and confused

 

aries

MARCH 21ST – APRIL 19TH

You are a fire signs and those born under this element are regarded in astrology as adventurous, active and outgoing. It won’t matter where you go or how remote or unusual it is – from the Outback to the Antarctic – you can be sure that an Aries has been there before you (or at the very least you will meet one along the way!)

Aries are uniquely naive. Although they are independent, outgoing and assertive they are also surprisingly trusting, often innocently walking into the lion’s den at times. No matter what upheaval, challenge or triumph they confront – an Aries has a wonderful ability to bounce back. Their faith in life and the future remains untouched by hardship. Their gift is that they are always children at heart and the world is always a magical place for them.

Aries is regarded as the most physical sign and because of its Mars rulership; it is also one of the most highly charged masculine energy signs in astrology. No wonder women born under Aries are forceful, dynamic and aggressive, and as a result these Aries women frequently find themselves with dilemmas surrounding their romantic relationships. For them, a man has to be a ‘real man’ to deal with an Aries woman, otherwise she intimidates him. And conversely for the Aries male, a woman has to be a real woman to deal with him, because he is looking for many balancing component traits (his true feminine side) in his partner.

Therefore, Aries can be a confusing sign because there is a complex combination of very strong masculine and feminine expressions all combined together. Because of the male energy surrounding it, when a woman is born under Aries, it creates some of the most interesting women in the world, women who are adventurous, independent and have competitive natures. It also tends to make them very forthright.

But whether male or female, Aries people are ‘doers’ rather than ‘talkers’. They are the impulsive, act first, ask questions or have doubts later, sign of the zodiac. That’s why their lives are often filled with many dramas and sometimes even accidents! Their ability to live life close to the edge provides them with a wealth of ‘real experience’ to call upon. When an Aries person talks about something or somewhere they’ve usually done it or been there, rather than simply read about it in a book.

Aries cannot adapt to any kind of restriction, particularly possessive relationships. They often travel to escape any feelings of being stuck or possessed. Aries people love challenges. In fact, if everything is running smoothly, they are quite capable of going out and doing something (sometimes quite foolish) to rock the boat.
Taurus

APRIL 20TH – MAY 20TH

Taurus’s symbol is the bull because this sign’s characteristic is to be peaceful and methodical. This sign is often very deliberate in their actions, relaxed, and enjoys all of the sensual pleasures that abound in this dimension. Food, drink, sex, luxury, are all sought after by the typical taurean. Because this sign loves luxury they are willing to work hard to obtain it. They are slow to anger, but once disturbed it can be volatile. Taurus signs look for stability in their lives and in their partners and co-workers. Taurus people are not in a hurry, typically, and it can take them many years to decide what it is that they would like to do for a living, or where they’d like to go on vacation. Many of this sign prefer to live in the country as they are drawn to the earth and the natural world. Earth signs tend to have solid, reputable natures, which coincides with the Earth.

Additionally, this sign takes a long time to fully commit to a relationship, but once they do they are in it for the long haul. Most Taurus males marry for life and are dedicated companions, parents, and lovers. Female Taurus are like male Taurus in that once they commit themselves to a relationship they are stubborn and slow to leave it. However, if Taurus women feel put upon, taken for granted, or unappreciated for long enough, they will leave.

Taurus people almost always finish what they start. They are deliberate thinkers and when making decisions usually make the right one. Taurus are generally adaptable, adjusting easily to new circumstances especially if there is the reward of luxury, comfort, or sensual reward. This sign loves to laugh and spend time with family.

Taurus can be stubborn and ‘bullish’ about ideas that they’ve adopted, which can also make them difficult to get along with when attempting to cooperate on a shared project. Taurus needs to be the leader and to be held in high esteem. If they are not, they refuse to work, often finding small ways to sabotage projects, relationships, or undermine authority that they deem unworthy of leadership.

Gemini

MAY 21st – JUNE 20th

In ancient Greek mythology, Gemini’s ruler – Mercury, was the light-footed messenger of the gods who darted back and forth across the heavens delivering news – which might explain why those born under the sign of the ‘Twins’ are always on the move; thirsty for knowledge and new experiences. Terminally curious and sometimes even mischievous, Geminis are multi-faceted souls who enjoy knowing a little bit of everything but generally not too much about one particular subject. It’s just that variety is the spice of their lives!

In Astrology, Geminis have also gained the reputation of being the incessant talkers of the zodiac. Those Twins that don’t have the ‘gift of the gab’ are usually talented writers or have a special interest in foreign languages. In love, they look for a partner who can keep up with them mentally and physically! And, to quote Oscar Wilde, “there’s one thing worse than people talking about you, that’s people not talking about you.” Whether Geminis like it or not, people are usually “talking about them”. Together with Scorpio and Virgos, they are a sign that is often discussed, dissected and sometimes even put down by the other signs of the zodiac. Sometimes this is a subtle form of jealousy by others, because Geminis do lead very unique and unusual lives. The Gemini personality can appear mysterious or detached to others and therefore they are often misunderstood and unappreciated for the talents they offer to the world at large.

Another reason Geminis evoke so much interest is many born under this sign are multi-dimensionally talented. In money matters, some Geminis are very adept and quick at making it…and spending it too. Many Geminis are involved in international financial wheeling and dealing. They love the adventure and game playing involved in out-thinking other people. Gemini’s can be very haphazard about their financial affairs too, with many of them ending up in divorce courts mainly because their partners have become tired of living on the edge of a financial precipice.

Cancer

JUNE 21ST – JULY22nd

The crab symbolizes this sign for good reason. Just as the crab carries its own shell on its back, so too, does the typical cancerian…so to speak. The typical cancer person is all about home and family and is very dedicated and loyal to friends and family. Crabs often move sideways instead of moving in a straight line, and so will the person of this sign. Often, if it will avoid a fight, or achieve the goal, then moving in alternative directions to arrive at the destination is typical. They tend to grasp and hold tightly those things that make them happy, and never let go. The key characteristic of this sign is that Cancer people need to be needed. They need to know that they matter to someone and that they are secure in that love. Brave, courageous, protective, all describe the best possible traits of this sign. Shy, reserved, brooding, and moody, do not serve the cancer person well, but may surface if their needs are not being met

Cancer is a water sign which means that they have a deep, mysterious side to them that very few people can see.  They are the enigma’s of the zodiac, and trying to understand one could take a lifetime, if not years.

Cancer have an offbeat sense of humor, often finding something humorous that others don’t. They are extremely good listeners and have a heart for the problems of others. In fact, many gravitate toward this sign because they intuitively know that a Cancer will understand. When a Cancer becomes your friend you can be sure that they are truly your friend and will not consider using someone to their own benefit. Cancer tend to be dependable and reliable. They will tell you anything you want to know about them without blinking an eye as they are drawn to honesty in others as well as themselves.

This sign can be moody, clingy, and often become incredibly insecure if they feel that they are about to lose the friendship or love of someone close to them. If the situation calls for it, they will lie and become aggressive, but often this dishonesty and volatility stems from deep-seated insecurities and an overwhelming need to be loved.

Leo

JULY 23RD – AUGUST 22nd

The lion is the symbol for this sign because the lion embodies the best characteristics of the leo; proud, regal, relaxed, and in charge. Leo people know they are in charge, even when it may seem outwardly that they are not.

Leo signs tend to like relaxation, preferably someplace warm and comfortable. Leo likes the big picture, not the small details and fine print. Things that are too complicated, involved, or boring, they have no patience for. They are natural leaders and don’t often do well in situations where they have to take orders from others.

Love is king to a leo. To love and be loved is a driving motivation for this sign. Leos, not unlike the lion of a pride, need to be adored. If they are ignored or go unrecognized for some contribution they will feel hurt. All leos like to know that they have been seen and appreciated.

Fire signs, like Leo, are warm, bright individuals that use that energy and warmth to draw people to them. When the right balance is struck with a leo, those around this sign will feel as loved and appreciated as the leo in their midst.

Leo tend to be honest and decent people, opting to do the right thing regardless of the situation. They love organization so that they can find their ‘things’. Leos love material goods and luxury and want those that they love to experience this wealth as well. Leo are generally accepting of everyone initially and make decent, lasting relationships.

Leo have a great sense of self-worth which can cross the line into arrogance. Leo can tend toward extravagance if they are not satisfied with what they have. Because they like to be in charge, they can often become smothering to their mates and friends, which may leave them alone (which Leo hates). Divorce and loss are devastating to this sign as they are all about the community and family.

Virgo

AUGUST 23RD – SEPTEMBER 22ND

Virgos are often put down badly by many astrologers and written up as being fussy and narrow-minded. But when a Virgo shines, there is practically no sign to match their inner light. An in-tune Virgo is a treat to meet. When a Virgo is confident within themselves they are the most successful, structured and creative of all the signs.

Many Virgos can be found working in the “service to others” industries, ranging from welfare work, doctors, school-teachers through to practising natural forms of healing like massage, herbal remedies etc. One of the most magical characteristics of the Virgo is no matter how many times life or romance turns sour on them, they still manage to maintain faith in others, refusing to become cynical. There is ingenuity around this sign, a kind-heartedness, which unfortunately is sometimes played upon by others for their advantage. Virgos can often become victims of relationship power-games, where they are mistreated.

Creative and sensitive, Virgos are delicate people who, like rare and special orchids, require individual treatment to fully blossom into their true unique beauty. Shy, they are happy to allow others to take centre-stage and often generate their time and energy into making those they love happy or successful.

Virgos are givers and when the chips are down and you need a friend, the one available during those testing times when you need advice or companionship the most, is likely to be a Virgo. Virgos understand human frailties better than most, because they are so deep and reflective themselves. With a Virgo in your life you have someone who understands and cares and any romance or friendship based upon these qualities is certain to be mutually rewarding.

Libra

SEPTEMBER 23RD – OCTOBER 22

Every adolescent Libran’s fantasy is to find the Prince or Princess of their dreams. As their lives unfold, the experiences, false starts, dramas, broken hearts and disillusionment they encounter seeking this personal Holy Grail, often shapes their futures in the most extra-ordinary manner. Love and love-lost makes a big difference to the Libran although their often happy-go-lucky appearance against all kinds of odds may not reveal this as fact.

Librans can switch off from the world around them and during these periods much more occurs on the deep innermost levels of the Libran’s psyche, than their closest companions imagine. Many Librans after establishing a lifestyle that somehow falls short of their childhood dreams, manage to conjure up a most independent life and keep up an image of being dedicated to a “close relationship”. They can escape into obscure role playing – and often this makes them extremely successful business people. When it comes to romance and love, Librans can be difficult to fathom yet in business many Librans discover they can not only be creative, but it provides an opportunity to express the more diverse sides to their personalities. Their charm can win jobs and provides powerful friends. But in both work and play, looking for peace and harmony, Librans often say “yes” when they should be saying “no”.

It is a sad fact about many a Libran’s personal or business lives to say – many would have fared far better had they remained alone! But for those Librans who do find their secret dream and meet up with their Prince or Princess, that’s another story! You’ll find them living in some exotic, distant beautiful place, probably running the local bar or restaurant, designing the beach or ski gear, looking wonderful, sipping cocktails and finding life to be the total paradise they knew it could be. What Librans always have to remember when looking to fulfil their dreams is they should never undermine their own integrity and hold out until their dreams do come true – not simply take whatever is offered.

Scorpio

OCTOBER 23RD – NOVEMBER 21st

Reputed to be the “most powerful” sign of the zodiac, Scorpios lead fate filled lives and have intense and dramatic personal relationships. Even as children Scorpios are often found to be wise beyond their years. Many astrologers call this the sign of the “oldest souls”. Old and wise beyond the average, Scorpios often know all the answers, except sometimes; they too often have difficulty finding what they need to develop their own happiness.

Passion, desire and power go hand in hand for Scorpios. Their biggest challenge and test in life is choosing between the power of love and the love of power. Coming to grips with their extraordinary emotional depths and sensitivity isn’t easy for those around them. They are different from all other zodiac signs and this difference has them walking, working and loving to a different beat. Others can often live with a Scorpio partner for years, but not really know them. Much to do with a Scorpio remains ever secret. Their eyes often blaze with feelings that words never express, and beware on the days or nights they hide their feelings behind dark glasses, there is likely to be a storm of some kind brewing. When you deal with a Scorpio you have to always deal with them on a psychic intuitive level. They often wear a mask. Too often they say “no” when they really mean “yes”. They have contrary natures and do not trust easily.  If they let you into their inner world, you will never find anyone as loyal as a Scorpio. Once they find true love they can be the most faithful dedicated of all partners, but fall out badly with a Scorpio and you are likely to find they will never forget or forgive.

Most Scorpios are winners. The main thing they have to worry about is their attitudes, which make up their mind powers and can either make or break them. When they are negative about something or someone, or critical of themselves, they can tend to get in their own way.

Scorpios operate on three levels of soul evolvement; adding up to three distinctively different types of Scorpios. The first level is the Scorpion. This is the least evolved and most drawn toward using their powers the wrong way. The criminal element of Scorpio comes under this level. Then there is the eagle – the highflying, entrepreneurial, successful Scorpio, who seems able to rise above adversity and transform bad-times into good. Then the highest expression of this sign is the Phoenix Resurrected. These Scorpios are detached and extremely powerful. They are wise beyond their years and act as leaders and are an inspiration to others.

Sagittarius

NOVEMBER 22TH – DECEMBER 2oth

 Ruled by the benefic planet Jupiter, Sagittarians possess a natural exuberance, sense of adventure and love of life that makes them one of the most optimistic zodiac signs of all. Like their astrological symbol – the Archer – Sagittarians are renowned for aiming their sights towards whatever it is they find alluring – a love partner, dream job, vacation – and making it their own. They believe that anything is possible – and because of this belief system, Sagittarians are adept at seeking out their very own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

But sometimes trying to tie down these free-spirited individuals is frustrating for those around them. Sagittarians are happiest on the move – exploring new cultures and ideas and many are attracted to occupations related to travel, the media, outdoor work and philosophical pursuits. In love, their catch-cry is “don’t fence me in”. But once they find a partner who understands their need to retain their own sense of self and identity, Sagittarians can be the most big-hearted, generous and fun-loving companions of all.

Freedom loving, optimistic and honest, Sagittarians are ruled by Jupiter, the planet of abundance and higher learning. The wisdom of Jupiter imbibes Sagittarians with an inherent need to develop their own unique philosophy of life. The Centaur is their astrological symbol, and it gives many insights into the Sagittarian personality. The higher-evolved Sagittarian learns to integrate the two ends of the Centaur (half-human, half-beast) in order for their arrow (another Sagittarian symbol) of higher aspirations to be more on the mark. Although they are intellectually and spiritually advanced, Sagittarians are notorious for their lack of tact. In relationships they demand independence, but when in love, it can’ be denied that they are one of the most big-hearted signs of the zodiac

Capricorn

DECEMBER 21stND – JANUARY 19TH

The sign of the high roller, Capricorn is regarded as the zodiacs top-achievers.  Hard-working, no-nonsense and seriousness are the main traits of this sign.  But, there are two very different types of Capricorns.

The first is represented by the mountain goat, always climbing higher and higher; never content until reaching the top. The second is the garden goat, with little adventurous spirit or ambition-happy to remain within a small domain, refusing to budge unless it is pushed. Either type of Capricorn, however, is patient and persevering. They reach their goals because they know the longest journey commences with a single step and that the first step is always the most difficult.

The one thing a Capricorn must always try to do is balance work with play; otherwise they can become too one-sided and work can replace true personal emotional fulfilment. Continually climbing the eternal mountain of success, Capricornians rise to the occasion when faced with a new task or deadline. Even if something comes to a grinding halt, their ambition to reach the ultimate keeps them moving forever onwards and upwards (prompted by the strict influence of ruling planet Saturn). Although conservative and cautious, Goats are willing to try unusual approaches on their road to success in business or in love. Romantically, they desire a permanent relationship with someone who’ll give them the affection they crave (and often neglect to give themselves!)

The rulership of Saturn – the planet representing responsibility, structure and hard work – ensures that Capricorns in their truest of expression, are ambitious, practical and superb organizers. Although many Capricorns are borderline workaholics, this doesn’t necessarily make them dull or gloomy! They have an offbeat sense of humour, which seems to erupt at the most unexpected moments. Their motivating force in life is success, money, status, authority and – although many might not admit it – love. By nature Capricorns are cautious when entering a new love relationship.  They are detached, aloof and require a partner who is emotionally secure, as emotions to a Capricorn can sometimes be a bane around their necks.    But once they feel truly’safe’ with their partner, the cool exterior melts away to reveal a sensitive and loyal heart beneath. As a friend, Capricorns can be relied upon to provide the strongest and most sympathetic pair of shoulders in the zodiac.

WORLD RENOWNED ASTROLOGIST:

LINDA GOODMAN 

SOURCES:

www.horoscopedates.com

MATTEO GUIDECELLI

IMAGES BY:

DAMON HELLANBRAND

 

 

 

 

 

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From what I’ve seen in movies and read in books, it’s usually a powerful, moving, unforgettable or defining moment in your life, like a near-death experience, that motivates you to wake up and smell the coffee and make the most of your life before you cark it. So I’m not entirely sure a screaming match with my man (which could have ended in a boxing match) counts as a ‘defining moment, seeing this has only taken place like a zillion times.

Guy gets drunk, and suddenly the ‘feelings’ come out. Starts ranting about how much I don’t ‘respect’ him, and tells me, yet again, to fuck off. Girl reacts by throwing butter at his head, which conveniently misses its target and ends up splattered all over the wall. Guy picks up what’s left over of the butter and flings it back at girl, and what do you know, girl gets remaining butter splattered all over arm. Guy wakes up the next morning, apologetic, sorry, remorseful – and says the words that girl has heard about, oh, only a thousand times – ‘I didn’t mean it.’ Girl doesn’t talk to him, and three days later, guy is probably beginning to feel like Casper the ghost.

Edited PG version of the events, by the way. Girl still can’t believe that, after all these years, she is still putting up with this shit. She just can’t seem to leave this fella alone, even though it’s pretty obvious to kingdom come and beyond that the dude brings out the worst in her. And that it is never going to change.

This is typically us.  The other morning, still hurting from the nasty words that spill from the man’s mouth after he’s gotta few in him, I caught myself in the mirror as I was getting dressed for work, and automatically started singing the tin man’s song – ‘if I only had a braaaaain.’ Because for real life, where is my brain at?? Why do I believe after thirteen long years that this will ‘never happen again?’ Why do I get lulled back into a false sense of security, only to be let down yet again. Dez isn’t a bad guy. Let me just state that as fact. He’s an awesome dad and a good provider. But like every other tom dick and harry, and contrary to what others believe, he DOES have a bad side. And that bad side coaxes the evil out of me easily…too easily!

I don’t like the person I become when I’m angry. Not many people have seen it, and those that have want nothing more to do with me these days.  If there just so happened to be a spanner in my hand, rather than butter, I still would have thrown at his head.  Hard.  As for my mouth…oh boy.  Karma has probably got something in store for me in that regard. Words have always had the potential to hurt me worse than a punch to the dome. But even worse is my mouth because, when it gets going, it can be just as bad as a punch to the dome too. At times I think it’s a miracle that me and Dez are still together after all the nasty shit that we have said to each other. But I guess that’s just how relationships roll.

Following these bust ups, I become the ultimate evil personified.  I purposely become nit-picky, snarky, bitchy, and downright difficult because that has always been my way of punishing Dez after he goes off on a drunken rant.  But it was different this time.  Three days passed and even though you could have sworn it was just me and baby in the house, and Dez really was Casper the ghost, I just…well, simply put, I just didn’t care.  On the third day, I found I’d gone totally blank. I approached Dez when he got home from work the other day and was all ‘how was your day’ as if I didn’t throw butter at his head or treated him as if he didn’t exist for three whole days in a row. He responded with a ‘good, mubs, how was yours and babies day?’ and that was that. Over with. Life carried on as per usual. I was waiting for the ‘we should talk about this’ topic to come up…but it didn’t. Deep down in my heart of hearts, I already knew, and probably have known for a long time – that there was nothing to talk about. There was nothing that we would have said or discussed or compromised that we hadn’t of already said, discussed or compromised a thousand times before. It would have been like playing a scratched record. I felt so blank it was weird. Not entirely sure what’s up with that?

It’s like I’m not worried about fixing us anymore, and if that isn’t a defining moment, I dunno what it is.

Gone blank. Completely blank. Honest…there’s just….nothing…???