Journey Within: Transforming an imperfect life

Journey Within: Transforming an imperfect life

by Darice Cairns


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Journey Within: Transforming an imperfect life by Darice Cairns

Journey Within is a testimony to the joy of self-discovery. The author shares with us personal insights into her own, often turbulent road to finding truth. From immigrating to Canada as a young child to struggling with a lack of connection to family and herself, she left Canada in hopes of burying the past and moving on. She gradually built a successful life and career in South East Asia, where she travelled extensively. While life played out, a growing need for love and connection brought her back to Canada, where she came to terms with her inner self and the past.

Journey Within is a thought provoking and candid account of a life that is far from perfect and how joy can be ultimately found when we find self against many odds.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504325424
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 01/29/2015
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.82(d)

Read an Excerpt

Journey Within

Transforming an Imperfect Life

By Darice Cairns

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2015 Darice Cairns
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5043-2542-4


Coming into Being

Before time, form and consciousness, the vast energy that extended far and beyond through nothingness released its built-up tension in a split instance of colossal expansion. It sighed, and from this all things were born. Through and beyond the universe there stretched an infinite ether, a deep, rich substance of pure enlightened energy that was and still is the powerful knowing. Centuries of philosophers, religious leaders and spiritual gurus have toiled to define this energy that knows no boundaries, has no definable shell and yet remains as consistent and powerful today as ever. Those that are aware of this great power know that it defies all labels and explanations. It is so fully and completely present in its silent and invisible realm, offering to us the knowledge that science has defied, that great things are born from seemingly nothing.

We can feel its presence if we go deep and beyond all the layers we have built up around our core and around our true essence. Deep, formless and knowing is this awesomely powerful energy that is within all of us. Its presence and gift to us is offered so completely and fully, yet our acceptance of this gift depends entirely on whether or not we believe in it. How damaging or enlightening one belief can be! Its power is far reaching and spreads out like a massive, infinite web; what is felt in one part of the energy field is felt in all parts. No matter how far or seemingly distant the parts within it are, all is felt, all is known and all of it flows seamlessly together over massive, mind-boggling expanses of space. It is here, in this vast space of swelling energy, that everything has a place and is acknowledged as an impression within the energy mass. All that it creates has an order, a pattern, a purpose, a rhythm that flows and swells and is pure and abundant. Yet in its greatness it is unmistakably invisible to some perceptions.

Like an eternal celebration, this vast energy exploded and birthed uncountable and amazing forms of the most unique configurations, colour hues, and entities, both vast and minute. There is no end to its creations, and everything it creates is exquisitely beautiful and intricate, glowing, unique and profound. Darkness became pierced by beaming streams of glowing light that continue to propel forward and extend far and beyond imagination for all eternity.

This vast, flowing source of energy is everywhere, and it flows through everything far and near. It feels and reflects back upon itself, and it magnifies the love it creates as it grows and evolves. Positive particles resonate throughout the universe through twinkling stardust that illuminates even the darkest corners of space. We are all a part of this massive birthing of energy. Woven into all of us is a speck of stardust that is infinitely spectacular and amazing. When we join together and connect through this energy, we are powerful beyond measure.

We have in us everything the universe has in it. We are programmed to evolve, grow and thrive; that is the natural state of all things, and we may choose to express ourselves however we like. We are blessed with the power to think and change the flow of energy within us. We are blessed with the power to forget, even momentarily, the greatness from where we all came. Many souls who sleep will wake up as more and more of us evolve. It is our destiny to grow brighter and lighter, eventually transcending our heaviness and form. We are spiritually whole, encased in (but not bound by) form. We are destined to evolve, grow and join as one to reach beyond our earthly boundaries. We are stardust manifested as sparkling images of God. We are stardust, created from the great energy that created everything.

May we all remember from where we came and find our true purpose in this life. This life is offered to us as a beautiful, spectacular gift. It is our destiny to connect to our deepest purpose and passions, where life flows seamlessly and effortlessly. May we all find peace and love from within ourselves. Everything you experience in this life is like a thread showing you your greatness and the greatness in all of us. How you weave those threads of life together reflects the deepest soulful parts of you. Go forward and find your deepest truth, as well as your soulful purpose in this life. When you have arrived, you will know that you are one with the power that created you; then your brightness will shine beyond form, changing everything you touch, see and create.

Our greatest challenge in this life is to understand how to live our spiritual essence through our bodily forms. We are all bound to this earth for a short time in order to live, love, breathe, see, be and behold all that life has to offer us, and to share all that we have to offer in return. What will you do with all the possibilities available to you? Is life an endless hardship, a beautiful experience or a bit of both? Because we are human beings in form, we will feel the duality of what life is. All the light and darkness, hope and despair, love and fear is there for us to choose. It is the most profound experience of all, to be grounded and bound in your life of form, yet amazingly to also know that actually you are and always will be spiritually free.

What will you choose to believe in this fraction of time called your life? Why would you not choose to live the most empowering version of you possible? Your greatest gift to life is to do and be who you really are. Your journey will send ripples through the universe and touch all living things in profound ways. So what do you choose? Do you choose love or fear?

It is never too late to understand your life journey and see how all of our lives collectively connect on deeper spiritual levels, which ultimately connect back to God. Life is all about choices. Who would not choose to live his or her life through love rather than fear? Yet many of us actually do live our lives more through fear. This is true for so many of us, where we know what the most empowering beliefs are for us, yet when it comes to actually living our life, we forget and get caught up in the emotions, the dramas and the charades of life events. Let your life journey speak to you about your truth, about where you are going and what you are being. Learn to connect within, listen and learn from what your life speaks back to you. Be yourself, love yourself and live the life you are meant to live.

Welcome to the most amazing journey of all–the journey within.

"You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober." Thessalonians 5:5-6


Illusions in Life

This life journey started in Stotfold, England, in 1962. It was the same year that Marilyn Monroe died and the same year the Beatles landed in the United States and created a sensation the world had never before seen. I happened to be born on one of the coldest days in Britain that year. It was so cold that the water pipes had frozen. My father had to melt snow on the stove in order to get hot water. I came into this world in January, in a simple home in rural Britain.

My father and mother came from humble roots. They were just young children during the blitz of World War II. When my father was a young boy, he was shuffled off to Scotland in a countrywide effort to protect all children from the bombings of London. His temporary adoptive family was unwelcoming and was controlled by a less than pleasant woman who had several of her own children to look after. My father's arrival was viewed as an irritating obligation that brought in some much-needed extra cash. Times were tough. My father remembers how he once ate a thrown-away apple, savouring the sweetness left on the core. Embarrassment wasn't an option; it was hard times. He had to take what he could get, however meagre.

My mother stayed in Surrey with her family and survived the bombings of her neighbour's homes. She remembers walking out amongst the rubble after the sirens had quieted down; an eerie silence would fall in stark contrast to the recent roaring crash of bombs falling all around just a few minutes prior. A new playground of rock and rubble was the terrain to explore. She and her brothers would scan the rubble, investigating anything new or interesting with which to play. A broken doll here, a bombing shell there, and underneath, her neighbour's home, with everyone in it lost forever.

Both of my parents were brought up in lower-class families in England. Both had endured, and later bore the scars of, living with fathers who unknowingly created emotional wounds within their families caused by their regular drunkenness. These humiliating sessions affected my mum most severely. She found it almost impossible to have any sort of fulfilled life until she was well into her 50s. My father hid his scars very deeply and created for himself a protective shell of hard brick and mortar. They each had much to escape from; they found each other, and they no doubt saw in the other what they found so difficult to see in themselves: that unsettling feeling that life can be hard and can hurt. Together, my mother and father planned their great escape, and they took with them me and all their fears and hurts.

I was nearly three years old when my father and mother decided to move away from everything familiar to them in the UK. I know that they wanted to break away from the emotional turbulences that was part of their past. Back then people didn't talk about their feelings. Expressing your feelings was viewed as an embarrassing act of cheesy, overly self-indulgence. People didn't explore their inner selves; instead, they simply got on with life and buried feelings as deeply as they could. They survived and endured and conquered. That was the sign of "strength"' during the sixties.

The decision to leave the UK was easier to make than deciding on where to move. My father wanted to immigrate to Australia. In the sixties they were offering all sorts of incentives for young, skilled workers to come and work in Australia and Canada. My mother refused to move to Australia, saying that it was far too wild, and so they chose Canada because it was seen as a bit more civilized. After they chose Canada as their destination to start fresh, they broke away, just the two of them with me.

Eventually my family moved into a big, red brick house at the end of a small residential neighbourhood. An entire side of our property shared a border with a large park. It was paradise to grow up in that neighbourhood and to live so close to a massive park. I would often go and play in the park, and it felt like an extension of our own yard. I remember sunny days under one impressive and massive oak tree that cast long shadows along the flecks of green grass. I once carved my initials in the trunk of that old tree and watched as the slow growth of the bark stretched my initials out, long and thin. I sat for hours with friends under that tree and dreamed a million dreams there. I could see the grand oak from my bedroom window; it was as stable to me as life itself, strong, secure and rooted.

It is incredible how a single belief can hold such power over us. For good or bad, beliefs can colour our lives in awesomely powerful ways or in truly negative, disempowering ways. If we truly believe something, it will become our reality. Children are the most impressionable, and they will believe the beliefs that their parents impose on them. When I was a young child, my father and I were very close. Slowly, as I got older, it felt like he was pushing me away because he had high expectations and judgment of himself and his family. I often felt that I had disappointed him in so many ways. From an early age I remember being grounded for doing things like talking to strangers or simply being my imperfect self. I felt that the punishment was often unfair, cold and harsh. Love was withheld. It taught me to cover up my feelings and to hide my true self. As a result I developed an ingrained insecurity deep within.

Children need to know that their parents love them unconditionally, even if they have done something bad or wrong. Holding back love when you punish your children sends a clear message: "I will not love you when you are bad. My love for you is conditional." Conditional love is not love at all. In this situation a child will try everything to be good, to gain that love back, but it never works because there is never pleasing someone who doesn't love himself or herself.

I grew up with the experience of learning how difficult it was to be accepted and loved. No matter what I did as a child I never got the love and acceptance I really needed to feel completely whole and safe. As a result I twisted and contorted myself to be something else to try and win over my father and anyone else I was trying to connect with. I got use to working very hard for the things I needed most, and because I was so insecure within, I became a people pleaser and searched for love in all the wrong places. Deep down, I believed that I was not worthy of love. This negative belief sat deep inside of me and ended up becoming a recurring grain of self-doubt that played out throughout my life. It meant that I made decisions and choices based on what other people wanted from me rather than on what I myself needed or wanted for myself. The feeling of being unworthy of love unfortunately became my compass through much of my life. That negative belief led to more insecurity and further separation from my truth.

If there are areas in your life that you feel need to be healed, look at what your beliefs are about yourself. Go inward and write them down as they come to you. They could be beliefs about what you think you should be doing for a career, or how you should look or act. Think about from where those beliefs came. Beliefs often come from other people; we internalize them and unknowingly let them control who we are. Beliefs are not written in stone, are not always true and can certainly be changed. It is important to identify what your beliefs are about yourself. We accept beliefs without question, but when they disempower us, it is really important to be aware of what they are, and then we can change belief and the hold it has upon us. If we can't do anything about them, or if we don't know what they are, they take our power away, and we end up living a less than satisfactory life. Negative beliefs about ourselves are the ones we need to address, change, release and heal.

Until well into my 40s, it never occurred to me to simply be myself and believe in myself. How simple yet how profound. My compass was securely set on a path that was relentless in trying to get me to wake up from an unfulfilling path. When we are guided by negative core beliefs, the journey we embark on will be interesting at its very best, and potentially destructive at its worst. Yet pain and chaos are signposts that will lead us to our truth. The more we resist it, the more the drama evolves. By not understanding our negative core beliefs, we build up layer upon layer of protection around ourselves in an attempt to shelter our wounded core.

In my own life, I became separated from my truth and allowed my drama to pull me outside of myself. I became an actor playing a part in my own life, which was being guided by fears that I didn't even know I was allowing to control me. It would be a very long time before I would wake up from the drama I created. Without proper guidance, many people get completely hypnotized by the dramas in their lives, which is not their truth. The dramas we create are so compelling and hypnotizing that we end up believing them and connecting with them, and so the plot of the play gets thicker and heavier, like a runaway train headed for disaster. In an attempt to understand our wounded selves, we recreate ourselves into people whom we think will be accepted and will be loved by others. Sadly, we end up basing our search for happiness on outside influences. It isn't until we go within and heal ourselves on the deepest level that we are able to disengage from the drama, stop feeding it and eventually trust and find peace within.

My father is a very proud and sensitive man, yet he could also be very critical and confrontational. He always strove for perfection from his children, and he was critical to the point of being mean. He once cut my long blonde hair when I was very young as a punishment, because I had cut the hair on my favourite doll. He knew what I valued most and would sabotage things important to me as an effective form of punishment. As I grew up, he kept me from my friends, grounding me for a week at a time and not allowing me to receive calls. He would isolate me. No matter how I twisted and changed myself to get his approval, it was never enough. Later in life, whenever my father and I attempted to get closer, the control issues come out again, and like a sensitive reactor switch, I would instantly back away as far away as I could get from him. People close to me have told me to just let it go, that I am better than that, that I can overcome those old hurts. Letting go of core negative beliefs isn't that easy though. My personality and character developed and blended around those core beliefs, even though they were not my truth.


Excerpted from Journey Within by Darice Cairns. Copyright © 2015 Darice Cairns. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction, xi,
Part 1: Lost,
Chapter 1 Coming into Being, 3,
Chapter 2 Illusions in Life, 8,
Chapter 3 Family, 18,
Chapter 4 Misty Shadows, 24,
Chapter 5 Embracing Change, 28,
Chapter 6 Relationships, 35,
Chapter 7 Bella, 44,
Chapter 8 Finding Your Truth, 48,
Part 2: Searching,
Chapter 9 South Korea, 61,
Chapter 10 Teaching in Pusan, 76,
Chapter 11 China and Thailand, 85,
Chapter 12 Spirit of Cambodia, 100,
Chapter 13 Malaysia and Singapore, 115,
Chapter 14 Canada and Teachers College, 125,
Chapter 15 Heaviness Looms, 137,
Chapter 16 Escape to Singapore, 145,
Chapter 17 Peaceful Brunei, 160,
Chapter 18 Finding Stability, 168,
Chapter 19 School in Brunei, 183,
Chapter 20 Abode of Peace, 193,
Chapter 21 Navigating Life, 202,
Chapter 22 Daisy and the Bean, 215,
Chapter 23 A New Vision, 225,
Chapter 24 Time to Move On, 236,
Chapter 25 Breaking it Down, 243,
Chapter 26 Last Year in Brunei, 259,
Chapter 27 Carrie Returns, 278,
Chapter 28 Sabotaging the Truth Again, 286,
Chapter 29 Last Mornings, 293,
Chapter 30 Good-bye, Brunei, 297,
Part 3: Breaking New Ground,
Chapter 31 Vancouver, 305,
Chapter 32 Dog Days Over, 313,
Chapter 33 Learning New Things, 317,
Chapter 34 Meltdown, 323,
Chapter 35 Reflections and Family, 337,
Chapter 36 Moving into the Mist, 343,
Chapter 37 Connecting to Truth, 355,
Chapter 38 Beyond the Mist, 362,
Chapter 39 Surrender, 368,

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