Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, some one very dear to me called me a Princess. I was a very expressive little girl who connected with various Disney princesses from my youth. It was the biggest compliment I could have ever received. That person failed me in so many ways however I loved them because, despite their flaws, I saw a strong person who was approaching the world in an unorthodox manner. Their struggle was how the dealt with their ego and expressed who they truly were despite everything they were ever told. That man was my father and while it’s true he made so many mistakes, I love him. The first lesson he ever taught me was “Even parents, like God, make mistakes.”
It wasn’t until years later when some one else dear to me called me a Princess that I took offense to that and got extremely upset. It was the moment when I truly faced my abyss. From that moment on, I had to prove only to myself whether I was a princess or not and what the definition of that meant to me. So, I went back to a time when it did. Let me take you on a journey of my life through a Disney cartoon named Moana.
Once, I was an innocent warrior. The natural world spoke to me. Long ago, I had a very clear vision of the Gods and Goddesses and spirituality. I saw everything in nature and loved it so much. I was a Pagan from my birth, and more than that, I was a spiritualist. The ocean which surrounded Long Island, the place of my birth was much like Moana’s village of Mata Nui.
Then came the relationship with my father. He was a mathematician, a talented business man, an engineer and a leader. He taught me everything he knew to help me become a leader. He did that very well. He always encouraged me to make my own decisions. There were many things he did wrong. One of them was substituted true love and compassion for food. It was his undoing and eventually lead to him dying of complications of diabetes.
After he passed away, I was so angry and sad. I spent my entire life telling my dad that eating sugar and junk food would kill him and watched the entire process unfold. My father died in my arms. I always felt I could have done more. Even CPR and pounding on his chest, screaming to the God to bring him back to me wasn’t enough. I kept that guilt inside of me my entire life. It festered and grew like a cancer. There was an antidote, however.
I found Paganism. Something to believe in that I could challenge my moral compass against to test myself. Prove myself as a warrior. I pursued Paganism much the way Moana did in the movie. I went to a place called Siesta Key Drum Circle and it challenged my entire belief system. I learned how to dance there as if no one was watching – however, some one was watching and it was a Goddess. Her name was Kali Ma. And thus began the dance against my ego. I stood on the beach, looking into the Florida sunset and asked, “How Far I’ll Go?” Mabon 1999 I dedicated myself to Paganism. I told the Goddess I wanted the strongest connection possible with Her. I started having dreams about trees for some strange reason.
“We Know the Way” A beautiful day in November showed me a new vision of Paganism in the form of a romantic relationship with some one. Much like Grandmother leading Moana into the cave to discover the origins of Her people, I had a guide who pulled me into the forest to discover what I had lost during my adolescence and death of my father.
A vision of what was, what is and what could be filled me every time I walked through a stream, down a rock road, picking crystals and laughing in the sunlight and slogging through the muddiest places to find the biggest bullfrog and name him the King of the Frog tribe.
The experience not only profoundly changed me on the inside, it was also my altar that changed and thus my connection to the Gods and the spiritual plane.This guide was powerful and the path with her lead me to another beautiful place. It’s when I met my spiritual teacher, Wade Mueller of Deeply Rooted, that my mind and connection to deity began to radically and fundamentally change on every level.
“You’re Welcome” was when I first met Wade Mueller. My first words to him were how I was a student of the Goddess Kali. He accepted that challenge and became my teacher because I was listening to the lesson. A teacher who showed me my ego by challenging everything I said. I fought him every step of the way until I realized what he was saying was true. I recognized it, accepted it whoever I had no way of expressing it. I taught myself based on a working model of truth because I had no working model of this from childhood. I continued to study. I had many teachers on this path. I may not have always understood the lessons however the truth is that they were there. It was my ego that showed me a distorted image. I responded to that distorted image.
One day, everything began to crumble. The earth shook and quaked and the teachers I had were suddenly gone. I isolated myself and went to the spiritual plane to look for answers. Like Moana, I went to the realm of Tamatoa with Maui, the lessons of my spiritual teachers and faced a mirror image of myself. It caused me to reevaluate my entire life. At the core level, my connections to this world and the spiritual plane began to reform like roots from a tree. In fact, I even had a Grandmother to guide me.
“I am Moana” When I had recovered the hook (Maui’s hook – a weapon made by the Gods) I had lost from the mirror of my ego, now I had to figure out a way to use it to save my village, Deeply Rooted. I doubted if I was able to do it at first. Then, Grandmother came. She was an old lady, a true soul in the form of a timeless Apple tree. A tree that stood for love – the one thing I had been substituting my entire life with so many other things. She taught me that love, emotions, in general, are tools to use, not weapons to destroy us as long as we made the conscious choice to use them for the right reasons. I felt like giving up, and then when I turned to Grandmother for advice on how to help everyone else, She said very clearly, “Work on yourself. You are Kim. Be Kim.”
So I expressed Kim the only way I know how and found much more ways I did not know I could express myself. I went back to the limitless childhood of my past and found that the rainbows, glitter, sparkles, unicorns, and nature were all right there. I had the right ideas from birth and conditioning had prevented me from seeing that truth. So I shared with everyone else a way for them to connect with Gods to see something in themselves. The positive, the negative, all of it reflects our connection and view of the Gods and the divinity that exists within ourselves. Once we acknowledge that, we truly become students of the Gods we serve and that serve us. Now I had a way to unite my Tribe.
“Know Who You Are” takes me back to the original battle with ego. Some one called me a princess and it hurt my feelings. They did not do that to hurt me personally. They called me out and saw that I was a princess and I got upset by something that once brought me great joy and pride. That was the real issue, my outlook on princess made me take a statement and turn it into an attack.
I serve a Goddess who is portrayed in the western world as a MONSTER. She is not a monster. She fights monsters and that leaves a mark on a person. If I am true to Kali, should I not be true to another Sister in that same battle? The issue began with me so it ends with me. It does not define me if I chose it not to define it. My heart was stolen and the only monster I was facing was myself. Once I learned that I walked right up to the people I once saw as monsters, in memory or in life, and I confronted them and acknowledged their divine connection.
Suddenly they weren’t monsters anymore, they were teachers who taught me powerfully, transformative lessons. Just like people dismiss cartoons as fantasy, they can choose to acknowledge the lessons wherein and apply them to their own lives. I made the choice and I know I can convince more people. I just need to sit, reflect on these lessons and the answer will be clear. I return to my Tribe with a message and the tools to help anyone who asks for it. I have my answer now. The Gods are everywhere…and I know the way.
Most people usually think that Disney movies have a good message but they sometimes lack the understanding of why those tales have the profound impact that they do. What we allow our children to watch without context to can speak volumes of our character. If we watch something with our children, even if we don’t agree, we can take them aside for a moment and explain to our children the context. Children do not have context so to them, everything is true or false. If something makes some one happy or is a substitute for happiness, then it becomes true or good. If something makes us sad or is a substitute for expressing our sadness, it becomes truth. Substituting one emotion for another is one of the personality traits of some one with mental illness. As a person who has never allowed herself to be defined as mentally ill, this is my journey through the path of Moana – a girl, a princess I could finally relate with and use as a working model to cure myself of my illness. Now that I am fully aware of my pain and not ignoring it by substituting other things, I am cured because now the only path is forward. I am a Princess and a Priestess and I am proud to be both.
At the time of my writing this, I am currently watching Moana with my own children. Teaching them that the biggest battle you have to fight is with yourself. Blessed Be, Tribe. Share this how you see fit, comment with your battle and be at peace with your decisions. Namaste, <3