about nicole

(a long version!)

I arrived on Earth when the sun was in Taurus, as Libra was rising.  True to esoteric astrology, my Libra soul is concerned with justice, truth and equality.  My Taurean body is devoted and grounded to the Earth.  My other celestial influences speak to a deep and intelligent interest in partnership:  the collaboration and co-creation of paired souls as we learn, build and love, becoming all we are.


My life long appreciation, interest and fondness for men in particular 😉 , along with my life story of suffering by proxy to and with men, is clearly related to my eagerness to serve, to empower men (by not disempowering), to provide men with tools and space to be and remember who they are, how it can be, and information to help them thrive.


But as I have grown and learned, I see more clearly that I can help women, too, with co-creating partnership, developing their masculine energy, healing from their unresolved encounters, those with men and in all of life.


It is clear to me that there is a lack of help for men, specifically, and I sense that the time has come to aim a deep and direct focus into the lives of men who wish to become more awake and alive, to be in powerful equal partnerships with self-aware women, and co-create a new Earth, by employing new ways, new technologies and new knowledge.


Here is my story:


I was born to parents who did not follow typical gender roles; my father was nurturing, my mother ambitious and highly educated.  Both cooked, cleaned and left me to my devices.  They hailed from South Africa, and, as young adult whites, recognized the injustices occurring in their world, and worked to right them.  Both teachers, they had taught black and coloured people in secret, against the laws of apartheid.  Things got hot and they left SA in a hurry, and determined they would not go back; they would raise children outside of such a culture.


To Canada they came, the land of freedom and promise.  I was first born, inheriting a *family curse* from my mother’s side of mother/firstborn daughter conflict.  The traumas of my childhood were many and deep, though not of the nature that some sustain.


With busy parents who didn’t provide the intimacy I needed, I turned at a young age to boys, for attention, companionship and adventure.  Perhaps because of the rift with my mother, I found relationships with boys more comfortable, safer; with boys I was more free to be myself.  I was not so much a tomboy, but a muse from a young age.


My very sensitive nature and unhideable personality, my mystic leanings, and open mind and heart made me interested in the diversity in the world.


I explored and participated in athletics (track and field, gymnastics, volleyball, soccer, downhill and cross country skiing), dance (highland, ballet, modern, jazz), theater (drama and musical at high school and community levels), religion (my family practiced Anglican Protestantism, I read Buddhist, Judaic, Hindu, mystic and other texts), literature (I was an enthusiastic regular at the local library, in every section), travel (Europe and the Holy Land/Egypt, Southern Africa, much of N America). My musical interests were wide and varied, from classical to punk, Celtic to Industrial.  My curious, resourceful nature saw me in all neighbourhoods, eating the foods of many ethnic groups, and undertaking many DIY projects from studying survival skills to designing and sewing, writing songs and poetry, novels and how-to articles.


But I was always drawn to be with my contemporaries of the opposite gender.


They were my confidantes, my protectors, my companions in adventure and, from a rather young age, in the bedroom.


I could always be distracted by an intriguing man, and I was always looking for them.


I did not find as many as I might have liked.


I found many boys and men who lacked depth and character, or who were, to my perspective, arrogant and shallow.  Many were closed, critical or focused on one thing: power in the form of sexual conquest, money or status.  Some sought to win at my expense, and at the expense of others.


But every now and then, I found an extraordinary man.  One with language and dreams, quirks and wit, an openness and curiosity that met mine.  I dove deep in these relationships, some romantic, others platonic.


I suppose it is not surprising that I became a mother young.


At 20, my first of four unplanned (by me) conceptions occurred and changed my life forever.  My awe and rapture at becoming a mother was intense.  So intense was also society’s and my family’s fear-based response (understandable to me now, not so much then).  Thus was my fall from grace…into deeper, but dark, GRACE.


From here my relationships were marked with emotional turmoil, as I struggled to maintain the way of mothering that fit me; I wished to raise my children my self, not put them into the care of others.  I looked to nature to inform me, and birthed at home, extended breast feeding, and learned with my children.  My lack of university degree and impressive work experience made working outside the home even less appealing, as day care costs would eat meager earnings.


Within the first two years of my first son’s life, the diagnosis of my beloved father with cancer, his death, and the breakup with my son’s dad, worked tointensely break down my conditioning; they brought such vulnerable, raw experiences.  I became pregnant again, with another man who proved not to be a *fit*, and in total had 8 years of single motherhood with my two sons, in poverty.  My connection with spirit was my life line.


My awareness of my need for support and healing brought me to several spiritual communities through the years, from organized religion (far left), new age practices, writings and healers, native teachings, including the sweat lodge ceremony, in which I participated weekly for a year.  Finally I found a teaching I settled into for 12 years, a yogic tradition with ancient roots.  I was initiated into Kriya Yoga, and trained in meditation, healing, counseling and the running of a spiritual centre.  Many miracles occurred during this time.  Many revelations, initiations and yet I found myself, still, at home, unpartnered and living under the poverty line.


Then I married a man from my spiritual community, and the next eleven years of my life were a downward spiral into depression and almost suicide.


These years, I now realize, were rich in lessons for the future; but they were immensely painful.  My husband, though a practitioner of the same spiritual practices as I, had come to them differently that I had; he came to conclude that the community, in which he had been raised, was a cult.  I, having never experienced it as anything but helpful, had such a different point of view.  This was the basis of but one of the rifts between us.  He also did not share my natural living and stay-at-home-mother values; this especially created conflict, as we had a daughter within the first year of marriage, and another 5 years after; except for the first month of being married, I was either pregnant or with a pre-schooler the entire 11 years, and pressured always to use childcare and work outside home to earn, despite my low education and experience qualifications.  My formal spiritual training had all but stopped, and though I still knew I was to work in healing, my husband did not support this.  Nor did he have patience for any conversations I started in hope of finding a way that worked for us both.  Perhaps there wasn’t one. I compromised and found ways to work with children in tow…residential apartment manager, cleaning business, day home provider.


Looking back, I see how many parts of myself went numb or silent.  All my dysfunctional patterns were running.  Physical symptoms started to appear and affect me;  fatigue, debilitating neck and back pain.  I was diagnosed with anemia and a heart defect.  I started to have panic attacks in the peace of the night.  Finally, on a rare outing alone one day, a battle was fought in my tired and broken mind:  as a heavy semi truck approached, I determined I would pull in front of it.  “I was no good to anyone”, I thought, “I am destroying everything I touch”.  But a small voice reminded me that no child is better off with a mother who killed herself, and I had four.  I held off, and turned in to a medical clinic in stead.


Change evolved slowly but surely as all the energy I had put into efforts to prove my worth and value started to flow into rediscovering and being my real and true self. I started doing things the ways that felt deeply right me, rather than trying all the time to desperately please others.  Not long after, my marriage officially ended.


Within hours, I was giving a workshop on how to make radical life changes.  For during these 11 years of marriage, dark and painful as they were, I had also continued, learning, practicing, turning lights on for my self and having others do the same for me.


I had no income, only some equity in the house.  I had no resume, no clue as to how I would translate my skills into earnings.  But I had no other desire but to live my life on my own terms, in service to others.


First, I had to address every last nagging thought about the part I had played in this marital train wreck.


With the equity from the house providing a financial cushion, I invested in a heavy course of study and healing work about men and women; how they operate differently, and why, how they are each made.  My former love for men bubbled easily to the surface, despite almost 20 years of experience with men as emotionally unavailable, argumentative, condescending, unkind and unappreciative of me.  I started to see all men with new eyes, and I understood myself as a woman far better.


I started to remember my earlier experiences, and to regain my natural abilities to bring out the best in men, starting with my now-nearly-grown sons, and each man I encountered during the course of a day.


As I regained my feet, I started to dream of a new partnership: one infused with awareness and intention to grow together, learn together, share deeply the inner world; one where the strengths and gifts of each were offered to the other, not in dependency, but for mutual benefit, producing win-win outcomes in every facet of life together.  As my understanding, awareness and capacity increased, my hurts and patterns healed.


I drew more and more from my entire life’s experience: my love for dance rekindled, my delight in expression through attire; my wardrobe transformed and my network began to grow with like minded people.


I became rich in everyday experience, deeper and deeper work was being done, clearing into my family lineage, into the collective feminine, into the collective of those who have ever been disempowered.


I resumed my esoteric schooling, gained entrepreneurial experience.  And my love and appreciation for men grew.  As did my recognition that so many of them are quietly, almost invisibly suffering.  Deeply, painfully, silently, lonely.


I began to more and more clearly see what the men in my two decades of  “bad” man-experience were up against: a culture where women degrade and scorn men openly, set them up to lose, and are blind to their devotion, gifts and the fulfillment they find in providing.  Feminism has made many modern women fiercely independent, hard and competitive.  Many women have withdrawn their attention from men to put it into education, work and, to some degree, children, but they often do this without the softness, compassion, serenity and grace that men are hungry for.


I began to find my joy again in providing a soft place to land, a long-listening ear, and gently curious encouragement.  Providing a space where men could open to and grieve what has been missing, and start to illuminate ways of finding it.  I love to see men straighten and strengthen as they are heard, admired, appreciated and acknowledged for their gifts and strengths.  I love to see their faces go pensive, thoughtful and determined when they learn about what might be happening in the minds and hearts of the women they wonder at, confused and uncertain.  I love to see them activate change, as they bring their own self-nurturing, creative energies to the fore for them selves and their children, and eventually, into partnerships.


I love to see them find brothers with whom they can talk about life openly, honestly, I love to see them team up and form ranks as providers and protectors together, inspired to something higher than before.


I love to see them confident and smiling, looking fresh and strong, rocking their work, making changes that reflect the emerging clarity of who they are, what they want, and how they will bring that into being.


I love to see and hear about how their homes are changing, how their health is improving and how their work is gaining meaning and/or productivity.  I love to hear of the new kinds of conversations they are having with family, friends, even strangers.  I love to hear their growing certainty that they are becoming the men they always dreamed they might be.


I am humbled, honoured and so deeply grateful that I have landed this role to play.  Being in service to men helps me better know my power as a woman, and use it for the good of all; this brings deep satisfaction.  My hope for my own ability to play a significant part in the changing world, with such brothers by my side, and the women they support, my sisters, grows with every step I take.


I know beyond shadow of a doubt, that men and women, side by side, empowered to be precisely who they are, in shades of feminine and masculine, communicating clearly, strategizing together, implementing according to strength and skill, will find the ways that work, to co-create, for the benefit of all, Heaven on Earth.