Monday, November 14, 2016




PHOENIX: "We need to talk."

DRAGON: "I hate when you say this …"

PHOENIX: "How would you prefer I say it?"

DRAGON: "Just say what you have to say!"

PHOENIX: "I would like to talk to you about death."

DRAGON: "Oh, wait! WHAT? Lets not talk about death. No, wait, go back. I don't wanna talk."
"No way José!"

PHOENIX: "Yet you are not mindful with your life and the one of others, and you delight in watching violence. You seem fascinated with death and terrified of it at the same time?"

DRAGON: "Why do you have to be so blunt? Do you HAVE to be so direct about everything? 

PHOENIX: "It has to be done."

DRAGON: "Freaks me right out."

PHOENIX: "Death is inevitable."


 "Would you rather WAIT until death comes knocking at your door?"

DRAGON: "I live in a cave; There is no door ..."

PHOENIX: *smiling 

"My teacher used to tell me: 'A smart ass will get you a sore one.' He was right."

DRAGON: "Funny… Who was your teacher?"


PHOENIX: "He was a very very wise Dragon." 

Friday, July 8, 2016

LIFE MATTERS, is that true?

When I think of this quote, this is what comes to mind: "Yes, of course life matters!"

And what of death, what of black and white and right and wrong, and purple? I don't like purple. In fact I avoid it like mad, and now my son LOVES IT!

PINK matters, and I hate pink. Pink never did anything to me personally however, but I hate it because my mother, denied me the right to hate pink…

One day, when I realized that there were more shades of pink than the one I really disliked, I LOVED IT! So is it about pink, or is it about the fact tat I was closed minded? Or maybe, I was just ignorant. I don't know, it's a whole retrospective journey to look at it, and all I ask now is not WHY, but how can I be at peace with the world, it's human beings and everything else in it? Ahhhhhhh…

That's what I really want.

My life is a constant confrontation with the world it seems sometimes, and it begins in the morning when I open my eyes…

Is it the world, or my mind then? Because the world itself hasn't even shown itself fully yet. It is simply waking up with me. It is awake in some continents and provinces already, and ready to fill my brain with ideas of what to care about and what to do about it. WOW! I just fucking woke up and I have to care about PINK!? How about I realize that I'm not even sure which colour I AM right now??

So thank you for reminding me in so many ways that life matters, and that most of us are absolutely alive if we bother talking about it…

Unless You are not, ALIVE that is.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


It's fascinating to observe people when you do security…

And by fascinating, I mean ARRRRGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

A lot of accidents and injuries could be prevented from simply paying attention to our environment.  The unfortunate thing is that our common sense seems to go right out the window with those bloody things in our possession. It takes a lot of willpower to use electronics intelligently and moderately.

What I would like to address, is the use of cellphones in liquor establishments. Please please PLEASE! Can you look where you are walking? It's not only for your safety. If you haven't noticed, there are people walking around with hot food and beverages all over the place, and they are working very diligently to remain patient and professional in the face of much ignorance. We're a little luckier in security since we don't carry trays filled with beverages and food, but we are attempting to keep order while many of you are obliviously glued to your screen and completely oblivious to what's going on around you, including conflict!

I saw a little boy with his family the other day, no more than 4 years of age, he walked out of my pub ahead of his parents after they had a late dinner, not looking AT ALL where he was going. I stood in front of him until he bumped into me and we had a chat… He obviously had no idea that at any moment, he could have been stampeded by grownups who are unaware of little people at this time of the day. Lets not focus on parenting here, but hey, that's a good place to start, right?

A phone is a tool, not a limb, so please understand that it can be a real nuisance for people who are working and attempting to serve YOU, if you appear to not be present. Yes, many employees are guilty of that as well, but not where I work. Besides, pointing fingers at others who are joining you in the unawareness club is not going to help the fact that you, yes YOU, need to WAKE UP!

Thank you kindly,

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


I met THOR in the military. THOR is not his real name of course. I remember him saying that he didn't like trimming his eyebrows as it might affect his strength, I laughed. THOR was as handsome as they get in my books. He was strong and muscular, he had a beautiful tan and soft blonde hair. I always said he was a mix between Robert Redford and Hulk Hogan. He sat across from me at the table where we ate lunch that day, feet on a chair and chewing gum. We were all waiting to be released from the forces for one reason or another. He and I were both navy. He had served for quite a while, I was just shy of twelve agonizing months in. I was much younger than him. In retrospective, from his tone, his demeanour and his reputation, I should have known better than to fall for him.

I was smitten, instantly…

THOR uttered a highly sarcastic remark asking why I was getting out of the military, implying that I had gotten pregnant by an innocent sailor and had alterior motives. I later found out where the bitterness came from on that topic.  He was awaiting knee surgery and getting out from what he considered hell. He was angry, rebellious and pushing the boundaries of the Canadian Forces simply by having longer hair and being high all day. I on the other hand, was pretty obedient at the time. It's only much later that I started being more assertive, but I still don't rebel against authority for the sake of it. I was getting out because I had been raped by a guy in my platoon, and because I could no longer deal the lack of integrity of most people in charge. I found a loophole in order to break my three year contract, left and never looked back.

I left a tribe of assholes and ran away with their king...

THOR told stories from a very different point of view. I can see how I contributed to the problem by moving in with him, and staying. As much as I comprehend that many women are also violent  in such relationships, I think it often comes into play when we are unwilling to leave, shit might escalate from time to time. He would tell you now that I did nothing to deserve the words he shouted, the physical violence and the unjust treatment. I agree, and there are days where I defended myself, and that meant I reacted in self defence and sometimes frustration. Somedays I spoke back, argued. I once grabbed his testicles to get out of a choke hold, and mostly I cried A LOT. I did my best not to anger him, and he got angry REALLY easily, and often. It had nothing to do with me.

Nonetheless, he was much stronger than I, and I'm the one who got hurt. He used steroids and many other drugs on a daily basis, I didn't. Her now takes responsibility and admits being a violent man at the time. Apparently he seriously questioned his behaviour for years after I left. Somehow, he came to see me as an innocent victim of his rage and was hoping to make amends. It was amazingly refreshing to hear him speak. Before that, I always questioned his sanity and perception. I felt quite sorry for him and thought it was my divine mission to love him into kindness. (I just realized that my son said the same thing about a boy in elementary school, who bullied him and others.)

After listening to THOR's sad stories of previous relationships, I made a promise to never abandon him, ever. I even agreed to get a tattoo that said "property of ..." on my wrist. You probably see how naive I was, and possibly even think I was stupid. It's nothing compared to what I thought of myself when I finally left him!

The day came when that promise became impossible to keep. It was either staying or dying. I never really grasped how to establish boundaries with him, but when it came to my loved ones, I was clear and unwilling to listen to his unfounded negative criticism and insults. Actually, I left on the day he called my best friend a whore.

That day was his birthday.

I knew it would hurt.

I no longer cared.

The following days, weeks, months, years were possibly the hardest times of my life. Looking back, I'm surprised I made it. Before that, I simply fell blindly from one bad thing to another, but after THOR, I had to get help. Anger was my best friend, and I felt justified. Of course it got me in trouble, but somehow I managed to stay out of jail. My mental health was in serious jeopardy, and very few people seemed alarmed by my behaviour. They should have!

I did my best to keep a job, to sleep at night and to survive. I barely ate. I had a restraining order against THOR, little good that really served me. He was determined to make my life miserable. Nothing like a stalker to realize you need self defence training, and yet it never was offered and it never crossed my mind to save my ass! It took a lot before I finally put my foot down and said something sarcastic that got him off my back permanently. He had called my work once too many times making threats, and I'd gotten fired because my boss was done seeing me get upset. I was terminated without warning.

Twenty years later, I bumped into THOR at a martial arts tournament. It was nothing less then absolutely shocking to be standing in front of him again. I had no warning, no premonitions, no friend saying: "I just saw your ex, he's in the house!". I stood in front of him, not knowing who he was at first, until it was too late for me to walk away. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was almost a black belt in Kenpo, that my sensei, husband and a thousand of my kickass friends were around, I don't know, but I had a huge epiphany. I was not afraid of being struck or killed in that moment. As I listened to his words, I realized how much I had changed, and grown.

I was way beyond wanting revenge.

Some time past, and we kept in touch. I welcomed Facebook communication. It proved to be very healing in fact. We communicated in writing for a while, and I eventually offered to meet in person. He made it clear that he needed to share some difficult things with me, and that he felt guilty and was suffering. I thought he was ill and dying it sounded so bad! I knew my intuition was reliable, and the thought of being alone with him in person did not scare me. That in itself was a huge testament to my training I thought. I felt clam, strong and filled with LOVE.

The meeting took place by the ocean on Dallas road, and it was nothing short of a miracle in my experience. I told him I was dedicating my black belt test to him, and that without him I would not be as effective as a teacher. I knew first hand about violence in relationships, and I knew how I had gotten out of it alive and whole. I knew how difficult it was to love a man who is in pain and cannot help but being violent. I knew how difficult it is to leave and trust that whatever happened next, was out of my hands. I knew what it was like to be afraid for my life and to love at the same time. I also knew that he probably did not find it easy to believe he had been the bad guy in this story, but that I was grateful he had the humility and courage to ask for forgiveness for his own sake. I also told him he had been forgiven a long time ago and that it was not my place to judge him. Saying that I held no resentment towards him or our time together was a bit much for him to take in. It was a powerful reunion for both of us. He cried A LOT, and I felt nothing, just emptiness, the good kind of nothing.

Space, or openness might be better words than NOTHING. I just remember smiling and breathing, like a mother listening to a child in pain. I knew this experience was special and unique. I knew I was the lucky one. In that instant, I realized how priviledged we were to have a resolution in the same lifetime. Balance was restored, sweet justice had been served, not from him suffering, but from him having a true shot at being happy and finally accepting love to enter his heart/mind. All the work I had done alone, the scarifies, the numerous nights talking to my mentor and crying from a sense of separation and despair. All that became perfect in that instant. What became obvious is that all my life was perfect and that from now on, I could just trust the process. Interestingly enough, I have many other stories like this one. All it took was having faith. I'm not asking you to be a believer, but it certainly has made my own life more pleasant and manageable. I have renewed trust in the concept that ALL IS AS IT SHOULD BE…

Friday, February 19, 2016


What you need to know to protect yourself

I'm not going to provide you with a list here. I'm not going to tell you what the basics are in my books. There are too many lists out there already. Who knows what the perfect list is?

Working security, I often have women come to me showing their muscles and say they could easily do my job because they're really tough.  Interestingly enough, more women challenge me than men. Most guys respect that if I'm security, I might know a thing or two on how to deal with violence. 

Self defence is very much like that. We all have a personal viewpoint, and we all have unique experiences that form our perception of violence and what it takes to deal with it. Being alive is a sure sign that I have survived this planet and what it throws at me, but is it what YOU need to survive?

How do we know what it takes, when, how and where to use it?
First of all, I think it requires ACCEPTANCE.

As an educator, I have come to believe that all I can share with you really, is my experience. I am a mother, a friend, a daughter, a wife, a human being with observations and skills that I have acquired through experiencing LIFE. I can speak to you as an expert, telling you what is best for you, or I can simply share what's in my toolkit and hope it might one day serve you.

Does that make sense?

I don't think one person is naturally better at self protection than another, I simply realized that some people are more interested in the topic than others and are AWAKE to REALITY. I look at results. Everyone for better or worse, is a teacher. That's how I see you, as my teacher. Criminals are my teacher too. If you are closed minded about what I have to teach, I am not a good teacher for you. Does it matter how "good" or effective I am? Does it matter if I am a male or a female? The most effective people in my opinion, are the people who don't take shit for granted and are aware of the fact that we are never safe on this amazing planet called Earth. 

You might want to check out my article on what it takes to be my instructor nowadays...

I was just chatting with my friend Dave in the U.S.; he's a veteran, he's one of the toughest sons of bitches I know. With enough combat experience to put me to shame, he makes me sound like a princess. Dave is at war with himself and his country. Dave is not in a great space, he's fighting the biggest fight of his life, Dave has P.T.S.D. and is suicidal. He has fought for his country, he is intelligent and resourceful, he has learned more about violence than most people will ever know. Dave reminds me on a daily basis that being tough is important, but it may not be enough to live and be happy on this planet! At best, he merely EXISTS.

You can walk around with keys between your fingers all day and survive, but that may not be why you are still alive. 

So what does it take? What is the right and perfect tool kit? What is THE perfect self defence training?
What helps for you to FEEL strong, safe and confident may not be what you NEED when shit hits the fan, many martial artists can attest to that. Professionals in the industry are often very good at convincing people of what they need to know, but you need to ask yourself how it can be that a man or woman who knows nothing about you, can know what is best for you… How can a male or a teacher male OR female half your age, who has never seen violence as you may one day, know how to prepare you for some of the horrors of this planet...

I realize that I am raising more questions than I am answering them at this point, and that is EXACTLY what I want! As an educator, I share my experience like a mother would to her own children. I am not better than other self defence instructors, I just have a unique point of view and consequently a very unique set of skills. 

I'm not sure WHEN protection, first aid and survival became an option in our educational system, but I sure am questioning WHY. It's obvious to me that I cannot depend on the government to prepare my kid for life. This is my job as a matriarch. And I'm not just talking about my biological kids. I am talking about my community.

Dave reminds me of this fact. People like Dave are the reason why I came to be the parent I am. I got really clear on what I have to do in order to make sure my son gets the best chances at surviving on this planet, I take personal responsibility for it. My child matters, and it's THE MOST important job I will ever have. I also make sure he is not a danger to others.

What people WANT to learn and what they NEED may not match, one needs to ask themselves some hard questions about LIFE, conflict, violence and how to deal with it before claiming to know it all. This is why I love Rory Miller so much, he's done his homework. The sheer existence of his book Meditations on violence has given me enough faith in him to want to learn more from him. 

Coming back to what I need in order to do security, well, I thought I knew what I needed to be a doorwoman when I first started.
 I was wrong. 

How do I know? 

It's like giving birth, you don't KNOW until you go through it, and you still don't know it all once you've gone through it…

Let go of your assumptions, question your beliefs, ESPECIALLY if you are a teacher.


J Kaikan Boyd

Friday, June 5, 2015

My Interview with CRGI...

I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Erik Kondo from the Conflict Research Group, Intl.

How cool is THAT?
(Just hover over the picture to se the link to the interview)

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Breach of contracts, official or not, either emotional, personal or business related is a very challenging issue to say the least. It is found in all relationships, in the family of origin, at play, at work and yes, in the dojo. In my observation, it lies within the mind.

Byron Katie speaks about living by a code of ethics and explains that it may sound like a good idea, but that ultimately it is a set of rules put in place in an attempt to establish control. We aim to live harmoniously by setting boundaries/limits, and bringing forth certain concepts we hope others will respect so we can feel SAFE.

In my experience, when we take the time to question our thoughts, we gain a lot of clarity. Acting from that place is living with integrity, loving perfection. That being said, not everyone might be on the same page. Our actions can seem to cause much confusion in others if they are not clear. This is where response-ability comes into place. It's one thing to acknowledge the presence of strong feelings, but it's quite another to know what to do with them!

Reality is that not everyone live up to our ideals. We bow to each other, we recite tenants, but we rarely sit and meditate on what it means to be a conscious leader in our community. Spiritual practice has been stripped from martial arts, and yet we have retained the lingo and we are still preaching! We speak on the concept of EGO, and yet, most of us don't even know what EGO actually is, let alone have a good hand on it...

We enter relationships and commitments with the best of intentions, until shit hits the fan. With experience, we make attempts to protect ourselves and prevent loss by creating contracts that clearly state our expectations. We do our best to get everyone on board, but in the end, life will take it's course and sometimes it is not according to our plan.

Brian Myers, a martial artist, anger management educator and verbal judo instructor wrote a beautiful article on the subject of loyalty. He speaks of it as a path of mutual support, based on integrity and gratitude. He continues to explain that in his experience, true loyalty leads a student to follow an instructor who shows honest care for their well being. He hopes that a good martial arts instructor demonstrates integrity and deep gratitude for the opportunity to teach someone what they know, while the student strives to demonstrate the ability to apply that knowledge in their lives and gratitude for the time and care their instructor pours into them. What I personally relate to in his article, is the idea that loyalty reveals our love for one another and our trust in each other, it creates deeper and more meaningful relationships that can positively impact our lives. The creation of a support system  can see us through the toughest times. From this stance, it sounds more like a consequence than a guarantied outcome.

That takes TIME and FAITH. Some people are much better at communicating effectively and honestly than others. Most often we get stuck in mush. My husband and I have had to work on this. Running a couple of schools together has required us to have many conversations in order to be at peace, sometimes involving others. It has been highly difficult at times, but I love the results. I am clear, and we know where we stand. However in the end, some changes needed to be made. What has been the foundation for our success, I think, is our strong commitment to the truth and to each other as compassionate human beings.

I have had conflicts, some pretty major in my life. Through adversity, I have concluded that I am loyal to myself. It might sound selfish, but demanding loyalty from others, in my opinion, is unreasonable and selfish. It's a romantic idea. Expecting it from a person like me is pointless. I am a loving being and I do what I believe is in everyone's highest good. I have learned that some people have absolutely no idea of the conditions they place on the loyalty they demand from their entourage. True loyalty for me comes with freedom, not a binding contract.

We may be filled with romantic fantasies about pledging alliance to a person, a cause, a group or a country, but what I have come to learn is that space and time are important for compassion to take place, and virtues such as loyalty, humility, respect etc, are not always understood the same way by all people, let alone realized! It would be wise, in my opinion, to be still and reflect on our own BEING-NESS before entering battle, to be MINDFUL, to connect with our source and see what lies there.

The simple practice of compassion itself is challenging. It is often mistaken for sympathy or enabling. We are all interacting with our own projections of the world, of each other. Being compassionate is not being a doormat. It is not a passive activity! Compassion is a life long practice; We're not even kind to ourselves most of the time, and yet we expect others to be. I'm suggesting we chillax a bit and consider what the human experience is all about. Accountability comes with understanding and clarity.

I say we put our weapons down, start there, BREATHE, and breathe again.

J Kaikan Boyd
State of Mind dojo

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Yogi Warrior

I've been walking with gratitude for the ability to learn SELF DEFENCE and YOGA lately. 

As much as I have benefited from it in the past, I think I have a renewed appreciation for what it is teaching me. Taking deep breaths has been a real gift. I think the key, is that I have stopped being governed by others and decided to carve my own path…

 I am not a FIGHTER, but I can be a real shit disturber.

 I have never laid hands on anyone outside the ring, unless it was in self defence or required for my job; Even then, it wasn't intended. At work I use specific controlling techniques shown in tactical training, and I am mindful of the consequences of my actions. 

 I spent most of my life withholding anger and making attempts to be at peace with my family and love ones, until it reaches a limit. Having healthy boundaries has been a life long journey that led me to take a lot of training. I could barely hold it together, and it cost me my mental health and several relationships, so I began searching... 

I thought I had found the perfect outlet to let go of this anger by training martial arts, but I recently concluded that some combative training seems to only serve to move it around, not really addressing the root of it. 

So I took a break and meditated on it.

What I see, is the possibility that martial arts, in many schools that is, are deprived of mindfulness and wisdom. I don't think it's so much the art, but possibly the instructors that make the largest difference in the outcome. For instance I think that some people may seem calm and fairly peaceful individuals, but can justify violence and often pass this on to students who struggle with control and have a more aggressive nature, like myself. That, is rarely a peaceful combination. So even though an instructor may be well intended and with several years of practice on the mat, there is value in looking further in the the mind of a master. 

I can't say I identify easily with most female role models or the gentle archetypes.

I've been attracted to learn from men most of my life and being competitive is pretty natural to me.  I'm often perceived as an alpha expected to stand up for others, and challenge leadership. I'm not keen on joining groups, but I am willing to challenge myself. I would rather go through discomfort and build community, learning to be interdependent and hold my own than be scared to walk this Earth alone and be co-dependant.

 I enjoy a good battle, I usually commit fully to what I do in each moment. 

TRAINING can be difficult when you would much rather prepare beautiful meals, have a bath, practice YOGA, read, have tea with a friend, play with clothes and makeup, and do dishes, etc.
Reality is that my mind is often filled with confusion and fear. We attempt to control our environment in order to minimize danger, but in the end, I would rather learn martial arts than waiting passively for world peace to manifest. 
I need physical outlets or I create havoc in my life. I come across as an angry boar, destroying practically everything in the way with my words. 

Being careful is not enough. 


 MARTIAL ARTS and YOGA are activities that effectively deal with that energy. 

I think many of us shy away from training in self defence because we hope to stay away from violence and perpetuating it. We can't imagine ourselves fighting, even less participating in a group where that seems to be the focus. We have SHIT to do!

 Some of us walk into a club and get a taste of blood, and want more, Somehow we unleash the beast! We become obsessed with this new found "power" and look forward to exercise the right to express it, which can become an imbalance in itself in my observation.

 I have found that training martial arts has brought new people in my life who process life in a very different way than others. Being an active participant in the holistic creation of my reality, I have found that most martial artist are at least committed to growing and living with excellence. The pamphlets may be right about the values training offers, but after my own experience, not all schools teach practical skills for walking on this earth safely and harmoniously. Not everyone embraces the spiritual traditions that martial arts offer either. FEAR of DEATH must be addressed beyond survival techniques. Freedom is found beyond form. Training the mind is sometimes more complex than punching pads and doing a thousand repetitions. 


Most people who stick with practice must at some point or another learn to live mindfully in a group, and accept leadership. Either that or they will be asked to leave. That right there, is an effective survival skill beyond knowing how to defend a body or kick the shit out of another human being.
Many of us allow conflict to interrupt our training at some point or another, justifying the need to quit. 

It is entirely possible that a style, teacher or the club may not be compatible, and if that's the case, we should give ourselves permission to seek something that is a better fit for us.
I believe that all experiences are beneficial..

 INTEGRITY, HONESTY and HUMILITY are very important values to me. I have learned to appreciate compassion, accept generosity, and let go of my expectations that all teachers should be perfect and egoless! 

Find a FAIR, PROFESSIONAL and CARING educator/mentor.

I would like to thank all my teacher past and present for being willing to share their experience, and for the peace I have found. I am deeply grateful.



Sunday, August 10, 2014



I just watched the movie MAN OF TAI CHI last night, and even though some critics are very hard on Keanu Reeves as a director, I thought it was brilliant. It is actually my favourite martial arts movie so far. What I appreciate about it, is that women are not portrayed as victims to be rescued by a male hero, and the message is consistent with what traditional martial arts is about! 

I'm fascinated by how violence and sex are the primary focus in many films like with Steven Segal's work for instance. Many other actors I highly respect for their skills, also seem to promote aggression and machismo onscreen. Isn't it suppose to be about Peace and Harmony as opposed to revenge and chaos? It often turns women off self defence for that reason. And guys wonder why we don't want to sit through that shit…

I can only watch so much tits and ass, rape and powerless women on a big screen before I want to scream and hit something! 

I know Bruce Lee was very keen on becoming an actor and promoting martial arts, but I don't know that it truly serves people like myself. Violence itself is something I accept, but I also know that movies do not accurately represent my own training practice. I invite all men to look at how these movies are supposed to inspire us, and to rethink their strategy on getting our asses on the matts. It is a worthy discussion to have!

There is a gap between our experience and ability to communicate our convictions. An excellent movie to watch about this topic is DON JON, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson.

Unfortunately, action is what many of us want to see in a movie and what keeps us engaged. That reality transfers into the dojo, where students value movement over introspection, and kicking ass over mindfulness and prevention. Since business owners make more money when serving patrons what they want, many fail to reflect on their legacy and give their students what they need. 

 The guidance of an emotionally mature and responsible teacher is like mentorship for many, so I think it's crucial to be self aware and honest about what we teach. Focusing on techniques and fitness alone will not serve our world as well as a more wholistic program would. In rebelling against traditional martial arts, some of us have left being some basic educational values, like compassion, respect, courtesy and patience. We have an opportunity to set an example for many who do not get those virtues at home or at school, We have an important role and should be more mindful of the seeds we plant by all our actions.  

Money and survival being such a focus, I see sacrifices everywhere in our choices for creating a happy and balanced existence. We are consumed by fear, consequently getting us to move in directions that may not support our wellbeing and the one of others. That being said, I am a firm believer that everything serves, so I am not alarmed. I promote zazen and inquiry as practices to guide our choices.

Byron Katie says: "A healthy mind makes healthy choices, no decisions involved." So if that's true, and I trust her experience, how do we know if our mind is healthy or not? I guess that is a question for all of us to ask ourselves.


Share your deepest truth instead of being a slave to ego.
There is a saying I HATE: "Leave your ego off the mats."My thoughts on that is that if we could leave our ego at the door, why on Earth would we want to pick it back up! We need to explore what ego is, and how to train our mind accordingly.Aggression is better expressed in a dojo among peers who learn about control and express that energy in a positive way, with the guidance experienced teachers who are responsible ON AND OFF THE MATTS. 

Training is a path of self discovery. Many people who would benefit from this practice, shy away from dojos due to misconceptions promoted at large. To make matters worse, many schools advertise the benefits of martial arts, only to serve us and our children a generous spoonful of ego driven goals as opposed to effective safety skills!

What is the solution? 

Meditate on it yourself, make choices with a healthy mind.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014


The following video is a powerful story in the life of one couple, and the people who interact with them. 
 My intention in sharing with you, is first and foremost to create awareness, but also to share my own experience as a participant in such a relationship, as a witness to others who have been in one, and as a counsellor. I encourage you to watch and listen, to suspend your opinion about everything and everyone in this story. 
Then lets go from here…

In my counselling training, we were encouraged to watch videos like the one above, and discuss how we would approach each individual if they were to come through our door. We also role played being the therapist with our co-students, taking turns being clients and being counsellor. We got evaluated by the instructors and received feedback. Everyone else in the room watching gave feedback if they wanted. We were encouraged to be vulnerable, but not pushed beyond our boundaries. We were not even obliged to tell a true story, but I just dove in, like I usually do with everything. A consequence of such vulnerability is often to cause some stress, but in the end, I thought it was quite worth it for many reasons…

What I learned during my training with The Counsellor Training Institute was powerful in many ways, it went miles beyond traditional training and book theory. It was the most efficient practice to get beyond being a victims of abuse for me at the time, and it opened me up to other human beings in a way I never had before. As I embodied each role in the story during our training, I spent time getting in touch with that reality in my own mind. I was personally invested in doing a good job as an actor, so it wasn't difficult to tap into my own experience and deliver a good show. I can be pretty convincing! Little did I know, it was going to be the beginning of a huge transformation in my body, mind and heart. Each time I made an intention to clear conflict in my own life, it seemed to set in motion a whole bunch of opportunities to open up to experiences that would consequently support that intention.

Looking back, I realize that our story about any given event is a strong component in what guides our actions, inaction or non-action. Marie and Fred's story is no exception. As bystanders, we may have strong reactions and opinions about the video. I invite you to question everything. Their story could have many endings, and you will find one of those conclusions posted on YouTube. When I saw the proposed ending, I felt sick to my stomach.

It may not be for the reason you think. 

Many people have a limited view of what abuse is like, and are quick to make judgments about how other people should behave at any given time. What I'm interested in these days, is to investigate what is necessary for people to heal and be happy. What support do they need, and how I may be of service. I am open to explore all avenues and interact with anyone who wish to gain more freedom in their lives, regardless of their experience and history. In the end, everyone is unique and yet holds very common feelings. Whatever role we are playing in the story is not all that important to me now, and surely does not influence my willingness to support your journey to personal freedom.

Speaking of which, we rarely hear the stories of men as victims of abuse, I know many. I am aware that not addressing it has specific consequences, and I do my part in finding balance in everything. It is my hope that men who need support find their voice, and have the courage to trust the process of being vulnerable. Too often, we are stopped in our tracks by judgment, ours or other's, and we use that as an excuse for our behaviour. My experience, is that we can hold a story to justify pretty much anything, and once we have reached a place of extreme struggle and suffering, something will give.

I hope it isn't your life…

I have seen how challenging it is for us to accept reality from every angle. I have been on many sides of this experience. What I would like to shed light on, is that in my own mind, I believe that the answers to healing are within, and that with faith and support, anything is possible. What is hard is when we loose faith and we are confused, when we do not believe we have what it takes to bring about change.

 And what is faith exactly?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


As a martial arts instructor, one thing I hear often is: "I need to get in shape before attending your class."

A statement like this, I think is an indication that something else may be going on.  It often is much more about appearances than fitness. Being in a group may be part of the problem since it can raise some issues of comparison. Regardless of our experience, we are all different. The truth of the matter is, we can benefit from learning self defence, regardless of our physical shape and cardio ability, and martial arts training is an excellent practice for people in general, athletic or not. One solution is to begin with private instruction, but that too can be a challenging experience.

We've all heard the statement NO PAIN NO GAIN!

That in itself can scare away many students. It is a philosophy I have heard most often with younger men, but it is everywhere. Even though I value that many instructors hold the belief that self defence is similar to getting ready for war, and that cardio training is a vital part of survival, I also believe that it is possible to train effectively without pushing ourselves to injury and burnout. Pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone is an entirely different issue. Some martial arts schools or dojos do not focus on cardiovascular and muscle development workout (skipping, pushups, jumping jacks, sprinting, etc.) Such exercises are usually done in order to support the foundational aspects or martial arts since some concepts can be difficult to execute and require muscle strength, flexibility and speed. However the intensity of the technical training through repetition and good form benefits the body, mind and spirit equally as well. We can also supplement on our time by participating in sports or yoga, participate in extra curricular activities that focus on fitness with other members, or ask our sensei for more input on that topic.

I am known for being a hard ass teacher, and some of my classes are very difficult. I have a military background and I have always been pretty YANG in training. The average martial artist actually thrives under challenging conditions. But it has become clear to me after struggling with joint pain for the past couple years, that I had to rethink my training and therefore my teaching. Of course, I know some practitioners and instructors who wish for me to push through the pain, but I know myself. I think it's important to listen to our body and to be honest with ourselves. I'm also quite resistant to buying a million health product for proper management, and I am want to remain drug and surgery free if possible. I have already had a few significant injuries through training, one of which could have been prevented by utilizing discernment and being wiser. I was too busy trying to impress my instructor!

I will not give you a lesson on EGO, however, I will caution you about not giving into its games. It's unfortunate that something as useful as first aid and martial arts are optional and not considered for public school curriculum.  I can attest to the fact that it is highly beneficial for many reasons, one of which is clarity of mind. From that place of balance, I can make decisions for myself and my practice  feels solid. I am a very open minded person, but I am also very strong and spirited, so it can be tough to convince me if I can't see the value in your philosophy, however skilled you may be in debate. One tool I use to make decisions is meditation, and I have incorporated it in my classes for adults and children.

So what of physical conditioning?

I would like to believe that it is self evident that being healthy is something we should value highly, and that common sense points to the fact that being fit makes defending ourselves that much easier. So what exactly do YOU need to get in the dojo? Some would say discipline. I'm actually not a big fan of that word, or concept. I would like to think that inspiration is a more reliable source of motivation. I practice that with my son as a matter of fact. Apparently, people think I am a highly disciplined person. I would disagree. I can see how that could be perceived as such, but I'm very easily bored with routine. I simply have a very strong operating system because I have experienced what the consequences are if I don't do what is best for me. It's much more a matter of cause and effect than process. I allow my body to move according to what makes it happy. My mind on the other hand, doesn't always agree. That is where meditation comes into play. Practicing inquiry has been a very big part of my practice this past year, and it has served in being at peace with those places where my body and mind seem to be at war.

So if you KNOW that self defence is a pretty good idea, and that a class is calling you but your mind is coming up with excuses not to attend, however valid those excuses may be, you owe it to yourself to at least question your thoughts and get to the bottom of this issue.

After all, the only thing that comes from a split mind, is guilt.

So if you would like to explore this with someone, go right ahead and contact me. I'll be happy to guide you in the best direction for YOU!

It's my specialty after all…

J Kaikan Boyd

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Here is Wikepedia's definition of feminism: "A collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment."

Now, if you don't know what a feminist really looks and sounds like, and you think that because a woman speaks up she is a feminist, think again. She may be a woman, but she is not necessarily awake. The fact that you speak ill of her, or men who sympathize with her, only shows that the real problem is within you.

I am speaking to the recent conversations on the internet following Miss Nevada's suggestion that women take up self defence training. What she said has been interpreted in many ways, but mostly points to the crowd of women who believe men should simply be educated not to rape in the first place. I am specifically addressing the fact that many people, mostly men say things like: "I hate when feminists say…" "Feminists are annoying." and "Typical feminist remark!" The fact is that we are often at war with one another, and feminism is not the issue here!                                                  

I would like to point out, that a person claiming to be part a movement, or presenting themselves in speech as if they may be part of this said movement and know what the hell they are talking about, does not necessarily mean they participate in its foundational practices, not do they accurately represent and speak for all others, let alone the leaders. This is true for instance with martial artists. We all know people who can talk smack, and we all know we pass judgements on each other. So maybe the mature thing to so here, is to smile and keep walking. It is absolutely fascinating to me to hear grown ups, some of them highly intelligent, blame one another and participate in huge debates online. I have to admit that one skill I have yet to see being genuinely practiced among adults, let alone by many martial artist, is true humility.

Any person who sounds naive, ignorant and/or stupid when it comes to the reality of our existence, is not a feminist. The fact that we bother listening to confused people, give power to their arguments, engage and reply may simply indicate that we are possibly INSANE… It is a complete waste of our time and energy, demonstrating our willingness to be at war with one another. Better put our attention to people who GET IT and lead by example.

Lets take personal responsibility for our own life shall we? Lets mind our own business and really get to know the difference! We can be of better service by creating a healthy community, exercising our right of freedom and critical thinking, educating ourselves and others on the ways of peaceful living instead of pointing out the ignorance of humanity by pointing fingers. We can be leaders in this movement by reflecting on how WE contribute to separation in our own mind instead of being mindful. I don't always agree with what other people say, but arguing with you and being angry won't solve anything either. I listen, I think, I ask questions, I respond, I reflect, I process and I grow.

I am very clear with others, children and adults, about my experience. I hope it can be of help if needed, and I am not attached to how you lead your life. I am responsible for my own. Most importantly, I have a specific spiritual practice, one of respect and forgiveness. I accept reality as it is, and I do everything in my power to remain peaceful and awake so I don't freak out on people I think are stupid. Because I know that as long as I see them, it's because I am being stupid too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


In training for self defence, we need to be willing to make contact eventually, and learn how to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, take a hit, feel joint manipulations and learn how to fall properly among many things. Too often, I have seen women having a highly elevated sense of power from either taking a seminar, or training fitness kickboxing. To make things worse, many men do not voice the fact that some women can abuse of their new power when training martial arts. Instead, they just "play along",  and complain that we seem to always "have to" go full on power. It's actually not necessarily the case! The finesse of control is not that easy…

So if you are a man, please know that most of us value communication, and that it's not about appearing "weak" but educating us along the way. We have no idea how we can really hurt you quite honestly. Maybe part of that is your constant "bravado". We have spent most our lives in fear of YOU! Of course I cannot generalize. Some women, for one reason or another, love to inflict pain on men and know they can. In those cases, I think it's a safe bet to question their state of mind. I would advise the same as I do women, just stay away! You can only tell a person to lighten their power so often. After a few times, you have choices to face. As a student, we can tell the lead instructor. As teachers, it is our responsibility to educate and keep a good and respectful environment in the dojo. That is accomplished by having clear guidelines, listening, watching, and being honest with ourselves and others.

I think there is great value in not striking hard and scaring our students, male and female. There is truly very little learning happening under fear/stress. And that is true about sparring as well.  On the other hand, there is great value in stress training. It may give you some insights into the reality of an attack, and where to focus your time and energy for practice. Stress training can take many forms. It can be voluntary from your instructor in the dojo or outdoors with specific drills and simulations, or it can be experienced in tournaments and organized fights. I have mixed feelings about this subject, and I will speak about it in the future. I do think that it makes sense for us to get a reality check and experience reasonably strong contact and stress, especially since many people, mostly younger men in my experience, really love sparring and hard contact! So we need to keep that in mind when being faced by an attacker. Sometimes the decision to adjust our training comes after the fact, but a good teacher is capable of making that clear before hand…

So what is the solution when our primary goal in life is often to relax in a bath filled with bubbles and to receive a relaxing massage? How can we choose to put our body through voluntary pain? It is in our nature to avoid it after all! In my opinion, if we are willing to suffer school and hours of homework for our so called successful future, it only makes sense to look at what is necessary to do in order to maximize our chances in surviving an attack. The sting and effects of a strike can be quite startling if we've never experienced it. Actually, each sensation varies quite a bit from one another. A hook to the jaw feels quite different from a choke, an ankle lock, or an armbar… Learning to deal and escape from each of those techniques, can bring confidence and wisdom from personal experience you would otherwise never acquire from a video or simply witnessing it in a class.

That being said, I am not suggesting that you get broken! There is nothing enticing in that, even for the toughest people out there, well, unless you want to prove something. In fact, numerous male students are not keen on being passive when hit, all it results in usually is an escalation of power on the mats.

There is a name for a student who receives techniques passively for a teacher, he is called the UKE, and if you've ever seen videos with Larry Tatum, you will know that it's a pretty challenging job, although usually an honour and very rewarding! Stress and contact training methods vary from one class to another. Sometimes they are quite extreme. In our school, we tend to encourage repetition of basics with no stress and eventually start increasing contact. From time to time, we practice specific drills, or we distract and create stress with our behaviour.  It of great value to be aware of triggers and injuries when training. That alone are some of the common reasons why many women are not attracted to martial arts, and won't stick with it.

So know the difference, and think on being willing to experience it all.

Practical self defence training is a bit like immunization if you think of it. If you know how it might feel to get caught with a technique, you are more likely to stay the hell away from conflict, to keep your distance/hands up in guard, and to have good defence strategy while being assertive and effective as oppose to being overly aggressive when fighting. The same applies to training with weapons. When we start training with knives, we discover very soon that even plastic can be an unpleasant tool to manipulate. Our weapons expert Braun McAsh demonstrated how he could slash us seven to eight times, in only one second, by putting lipstick on the edges of the practice knife!

In conclusion, lets keep in mind that an experience teacher will use control, and know exactly when to stop. Many martial artists are very knowledgeable in anatomy and in healing arts. They have lots of experience with injuries and aches and pain, so they will guide you in your journey to avoid them, insure your safety and take care of you. You can expect tough love from many, but receiving a broken nose in your first week of training is a sure sign you might need to consider a different school.

Think about the discomfort and the pain of childbearing. My midwife's philosophy is: "Labour is pain with a purpose." I remember training for it in prenatal classes. In retrospective, the most relevant exercise for me was holding an ice cube in my hand for a few minutes while looking at the clock trying to keep a focus. I just think it was an uncomfortable and foreign sensation that triggered a similar feeling as childbirth; it's deeply unpleasant; nothing really prepares you for it. Letting go of the ice cube is easy, and dismissing the value of the exercise possibly a cope out. Actually fighting in the ring also reminded me of labour; the fear leading to it, the mind wanting to take over, and the exhaustion, GOD the exhaustion!

So remember this, I know I'm tough not because I can punch hard, but because I am resilient. And the reality is, being tough is not what I depend on for survival. Humility, common sense, preparation, prevention and awareness are only but a few principles I apply on a daily basis, in hope that I can avoid conflict. And if I ever face violence again, and I have, I hope my skills will help me stay alive and in one peace.

Be well, be safe!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Online Self Defence for Women...

  It's not flashy, it sounds basic and actually, it may not be all that interesting for many of us to watch! It's certainly not SIMPLE information.

This is the kind of stuff my husband loves to teach. Thankfully, he has a captivating way to explain things, and I am a big fan of his teaching method. My biggest criticism however is:


Being educated consumers is wise, but wisdom often comes with experience, which many online teachers claim to have PLENTY of…

Most of us won't commit to a lifetime practice. I personally think it should be about AVOIDING conflict. The scenarios may change, but what inspired me to seek instruction is pretty simple, I wanted to avoid getting hurt.

 Learning how to manage conflict and avoiding violence is a big topic, and one most women would rather do without pain.

So how do we know what is helpful?

 In browsing for education, we should keep an open mind and use critical thinking. You should be able to ask questions, safely put it in practice with someone EXPERIENCED, reliable and with INTEGRITY.
Follow your instinct.


WHAT I DO LIKE about the above video, is the demonstration that being fit and thin are not pre requisites in learning effective self defence. 

You can start learning today, no matter what your fitness level and age may be.

There is huge benefit in being fit in self defence, but we also need to be aware of the effects of fear. Knowing the fundamentals in self defence mechanics are wonderful, but that alone will not save your life! What many instructors fail to do, especially online, is to share crucial information on prevention, awareness and de-escalation.

 ❃ WHAT I DON'T LIKE about this video, is how unsafe it looks! 

I have seen many injuries resulting from this kind of training with inexperience folks. It takes VERY LITTLE to cause injury. We need to be mindful and care for everyone's welfare when training…

 It can take years to recover from injury due to negligence.

When it comes to training, you will find people with different philosophies in the self defence industry, and like with any other products and services, it can be challenging when it comes time to make a decision, especially if money is involved…


You may not be aware about it, but philosophy is often discussed AT LENGTH between experts and self defence instructors. It's a passion for us. If a person thinks they know it all, RUN!
Many people are quite focused on practical knowledge and spending time on the matts, but others are addressing the problem from a different angle and also creating awareness by speaking and writing.

 Conversations often deal with effectiveness, execution. and how to teach. Lately,  a lot is being discussed about how to tackle the VICTIM BLAMING argument. For many men who are committed in creating SAFETY on the planet, being attacked verbally and being bombarded with comments that seem irrational is quite alarming. Most people I know who teach self defence around the world, are amazingly caring and generous individuals.

 That is why I think it's a good idea to be SMART in shopping for Self Defence online.

We are offered to buy into a system we may or may know nothing about. Lets remember that salesmanship is also an art, and that many online classes are questionable and a way to hook you into getting to buy their products. It's a highly competitive industry.That being said, there is much to be said about honesty and having a common goal in creating a SAFER world.

 ❃ A great teacher will tell you to try it, and find out for yourself.

❃ A humble teacher will not claim his or her system is THE BEST and only way to survive.

❃ A responsible teacher will be clear about the SAFETY guidelines and the reality of violence for women PRIOR to jumping to techniques…

Why do we find so much online stuff that deal with physical attacks and not prevention?

THAT is an excellent question.

Here is my guess:

People are bored with prevention and avoidance. Most people want quick and effective methods to deal with an attack. Teachers would rather give you what you want than what you need. We get all excited about how to get out of a grab, but we have very little awareness on what it might look like and feel like when a person has intent to harm or kill, and even less about WHAT IT TAKES to defend against more than one attacker!

So if you want to a good idea on how to make a decision as a consumer of Self Defence for you and your loved ones, look at how much time a teacher spends on prevention. The rest is all damage control.

Once they can touch you, it's too late!

Please feel free to contact me
 with questions or comments.


J Kaikan Boyd

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When you find yourself in hell, KEEP WALKING.

I heard that statement from a man once, and it has changed my attitude about emotional struggle.  So often, women tend to live in the emotions. It is a common belief that men don't want to deal with emotions, theirs and ours. It may, or may not be true. They often would rather choose humour over tears, and fighting over being vulnerable. While I let go of my own fears and simply witnessed my brothers, I have laughed and loved more than ever in their presence.

My own personal experience is that we may be willing to talk about emotions, but dealing with the heart goes beyond talking…

I'm personally a very analytical and expressive person. It's only recently that I have noticed how I have lived in the mind, emotionally charging my story of the world and how I experience it. Everyone else is just a player in my story, and I'm not sure they ever existed beyond that.

Defeat brought me to a still point. It became clear that I needed to learn a new way to relate to others if I was to remain alive.

Being in the body and expressing energy is a god sent not to be taken for granted in my opinion. Yoga, dance, sex and other movement oriented activities have always been very attractive to me. However, it does not always express powerful energy in a way that serves me, let alone others.

It is my hope that all sisters can be open to what I have to say. You may agree, or not. That is not important to me. So before you reply, just sit with it…
All I am interested in is to present you with options on how to relate to men.

So many of us are angry, at the world, the weather, at men, our mothers, our elders, our children, at God, and at ourselves. We are not always mindful. Too often we lash out, taking advantage of the fact that our male counterparts are physically stronger and should therefore not feel threatened. Many of us even deny this! Some of us also suppress our anger and suffer from depression, or we do both. We can go on for a very long time coping in one way and another, but in order to find peace and long lasting happiness, something's gotta give, and changing the world may, or may not be the answer to all our woes.

I have learned that change is possible, that deep and honest communication is easiest when I am willing to listen, and sit with it for a while. That being said, I need to feel safe in order for THAT to happen.

I have always been very clear about wanting to work with men's energy, but also terrified. It wasn't always experienced positively however. Since I was very small, I have expressed my yang abundantly, and now looking back, I know that I am not all that different than what scares me. Being in male dominated environments has been an amazing journey of awakening. From being in the military to zen practice, becoming a bouncer and working as a security professional, and finally in the dojo, I have been invited to experience what so many of us women dream of:


What I have learned, is not that they essentially behave differently among their peers for the sake of playing games, but that when we are willing to listen without judgement, these amazing creatures only wish to give of themselves selflessly and to be of service. Their blunt honesty is often denied by us, rejected and twisted into something that it is not. A little understanding goes a long way, and for that to happen, it's important not to take what is expressed personally, and to be honest with ourselves!

Being among martial artists, in and out of the dojo, has been nothing but transformational. I finally found men I could not only relate to, but respect and learn consciously from.

Men martial artists have taught me a few things about being a powerful woman. Not by acting like a man, but by honouring my true Self; being solid while moving energy through martial arts and applying that to my life. They taught me about community, about vulnerability, and brotherhood. They taught me about true power, responsibility, how to focus the mind, and being quiet sometimes. They taught me discipline; forget about the discipline of doing a thousand pushups, try practicing patience, acceptance and resilience! They taught me about strength, about control, about respect and about compassion.

I have had the great privilege of sharing time and space with amazing men. Only with this attitude have they accepted me as one of their own. And with that honour, they have never asked me to be a man...

In return, I understand that to love men, is to accept and love who they are now, fiercely, and simply, without projections. The qualities expressed in brotherhood are often without words, yet when spoken, they pierce deeply and are heartfelt. Those words are not always audible, it is up to us to listen. It is not a different tongue, we just need to quiet our mind to hear it… In the process of finding our own voice and power, some of them shut down. I think it would be wise to remember their innocence and allow some space for them in a peaceful world.

Being among men, has inspired me to be a better woman, human being, a better mother and a respectful lover. It has brought me balance, the ability to attract joy and live peacefully.

I am a samurai among them; until I breathe my last breath, I will live and love fully without regrets. Bleeding or not, I will stand up after each fall. I will stand for what I know is worthy, and I will do so with my peers by my side. And if I find myself alone, I will always remember that their spirit lives within me.


Monday, March 10, 2014


I don't think a day goes by where I don't mention or post something about Byron Katie and the tools that she has created to free her mind. I have struggled heavily most of my life. I have looked in many different directions for relief. I have reached out to many, and I have lived as best and as fully as possible based on my beliefs and values. I see this reflected in my environment as well. We all do the best we can with what we've got. One thing I find fascinating right now, is the fact that even though there are tools that work in order to illiminate suffering, we often choose to bathe in our woes.


I discovered The Work on Bowen Island a few years ago after hitting rock bottom. My mentor brought me there for some time alone and healing. At first, The Work didn't have the impact it has now on my life. I didn't understand how to apply it properly, and I had some personal issues with the facilitator.

I was also presented to another tool at the same time. It was pretty phenomenal and unblocked some pretty huge stuff, but it was very pricey like many self development tools out there. Unfortunately, I stopped having access to it and that was that. Since then, I have listened to and read many of Byron Katie's published work, and it is what I consider to be the most powerful transformational tool out there for a person like me who made the choice NOT to become a zen monk after all. I also love how it is not attached to a religion, therefore it can be used by anyone with an open mind…

The gift in all of the different fascinating experiences I have had through the years, is that I now realize why I love The Work so much; IT'S FREE, it's easy to use, and it's readily available on her website!


I won't go in details to describe The Work here, I will let you do that for yourself. If you are curious, eager to help yourself and find joy where you never thought it was possible, check it out!


Sunday, January 5, 2014


We often read about

 "Why women do not leave abusive relationships" 

But many of us really want to

 The first step for me when I do not understand, is to exercise compassion. I have lived long enough for the Universe to show me a few things, I find that less and less, I choose to judge others. I may have an opinion over their choices and behaviour, but in the end, I do not know what is best for anyone else, and sometimes even for myself. I have been a woman in violent relationships with men. It goes back to childhood. I will not go in details about my story right now, but I will share what I have found helpful when leaving.

∙Compassionate and patient friends, willing to take a risk in helping me, and loving me unconditionally. That in itself does not mean enabling…

∙Seeing myself as WHOLE, not just a victim.

∙Learning martial arts and being part of a mindful community, including strong men who demonstrated what a healthy relationship looks like. 

∙An honest look at my own mind, and the space to do so. 

∙Learning new skills through counselling/training and programs such as Bridges for Women.

∙Enquiry with The Work of Byron Katie and Zen practice and other simple tools.

∙A healthy a balanced female mentor. 

∙A DREAM; something positive to live for and grow into. 

∙ACCEPTANCE that this moment is perfect, and that I did nothing wrong by loving violent men. However, understanding that I am worthy of love and respect. Knowing now that my faith pulled me through, and that even when I did not care about the concept of a higher power, I was not alone.

The path to freedom and happiness can be a difficult one, and each person is unique. I am grateful for my experience now; I have become a very strong woman am now married to a very powerful and gentle loving man, but I wasn't attracted to him when I first met him in 2000. I was still very much attracted to violent men who would not hesitate to kill. The most frightening part of it all, is to finally see my own tendencies to be aggressive, and loving myself through it.  I am and always have been very strong, but my parents did not raise me to be independent. I was raised in a highly chaotic environment. I did my best to navigate through life until I recognized I needed help.

When I became a mother, I knew I wanted to make better choices, but the awareness is only the beginning. I can see where I am vulnerable, and how easily it might be to not act responsibly towards others if our mind is not in check. I am lucky to not be an addict, I known how to manage, but it takes a lot of willpower and honesty to be on this path. Most women who feel trapped do not think they have what it takes or deserve better. It is with that awareness that I have given birth to STATE OF MIND.