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A powerful, fun book to help you find your true Soul Expression


By Kute Blackson
North Star Way
An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Hardcover, 237 pages
$26.00 US/$35.00 Canada
ISBN: 978-1-5011-2724-4

Reviewed by Glenda Rueger Payne
Glenda Rueger Payne is an author, EFT and Core Shamanism practitioner specializing in caregiver and patient support for chronic and terminal illness.

When I review a book, I am not shy about marking the book to death. I highlight important passages and make notes to myself in the margins regarding whatever the author said in that line that I found really inspiring.
I had pen and highlighter ready as I turned to page one of this boldly honest, dare you to drop all pretense and really begin living life from your core, instruction adventure written by Author Kute Blackson. He tells his story through reflections upon his personal experiences as well as sharing his client’s experiences as they follow him on what he calls, “Liberation Experience” adventures in India or Bali.
Within the first few chapters, a strange thing began to happen. At first, the page margins were covered in black ink and nearly more words were highlighted than were not. If you pick up my copy, you will notice that toward the latter chapters there are nearly no highlights and the margins remain pristinely clear.
Is this because there were no more gems of wisdom and inspiration to be discovered? Au contraire, it is because if I continued on in my usual manner, there would be no words remaining clean of yellow ink and no more room in any of the margins. Instead, there are full pages marked with, “Wow!”
How far are you willing to go to drop all of the false personas keeping your true soul expression hidden? Would you travel to India or Bali to receive Kute’s life lessons? His gift is studying the moment to see what wisdom it offers. Life itself become the teacher. As you wind your way to unknown destinations through poverty-stricken areas, you have no choice but to confront all of the ways you keep yourself small and hidden.
Communing with the beauty of Bali, your heart softly opens. Transformation happens. Kute leaves no opportunity for avoidance. Trusting his well-honed intuition, he helps help you melt into your authentic self.
Would you stand with Carlos and Kute on the banks of the Ganges learning how to master your own thoughts by watching the local children? Or dive from a 40′ cliff with Jennifer into the river below shedding limiting beliefs on the way down? These clients took the risk. They learned how to break through the barriers of their old thought patterns. Their reward was to come face to face with the reality of their own souls and all it wishes to express in this world.
Kute delivers wisdom gems on nearly every page with the kind of creative inventiveness I most love in writers. He breaks the rules of grammar with such deliberate intent that the power of the message has no choice but to bore its way straight into your heart.
Kute’s clients are very successful business men and women who supposedly have everything we’ve been taught to believe will make us happy. Yet, they come to him because they feel empty inside. Can you find yourself in that statement? If so, Kute will be your very strong guide through the unknown territory of your own soul. Kute says, “You simply being your authentic self fully is the greatest gift you can give the world.”
Whether you embark upon an adventure with Kute via physical airplane to exotic destinations or simply by the turning the first page in this powerful, boldly honest work, you will find yourself looking into the mirror of your own soul. Ask yourself, “Am I living all that I can live?” Am I loving all that I can love?” If you are ready to find out, I dare you to turn the page and start finding the true adventure that is the real you!

The Age of Aquarious is Alive and Well. . .

age of aquarius 1A throwback to the sixties title – I know! But I have to tell you something amazing I discovered in my personal healing work over this past week. You may have noticed my last blog post was a bit darker than usual. Since that post, I have been participating in Dawson Church’s Peak Performance Course. Dawson Church, PhD is a mover and shaker in the field of Epigenetic Medicine. His book, “The Genie in Your Genes” is full of ground breaking research in how our core beliefs and changes in our environment can actually turn our genes on and off. It’s way too much information to dispel in this short blog post, but check out this link if you’re intrigued:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

So what’s this got to do with The Age of Aquarius? Well, I learned in my personal healing studies years ago that our core beliefs actually determine how we view the world and how we allow ourselves to show up in it; and they color how we show up in our relationships as well. I’ve used the photography analogy before, but it’s the best model for my point. In photography, using certain filters dramatically changes how you see what you see through the viewfinder.

Our core beliefs are the filters on the lens of our mind.  Change the filter and everything you experience changes, too. Uncovering, shifting and healing core beliefs is actually one of the most thrilling experiences in life for me. What I discovered in the early nineties is that when I changed a core belief from, “no I can’t!” to, “yes I can!” my whole countenance changed. I brightened up, spoke up more and was more willing to express myself in the world with greater confidence than prior to uncovering the negative belief and shifting it to the positive one.

That said,  it seemed that every time I started to reach any goals that would widen my sphere of influence in the world, I found a way to shut it down. I’d get sick, my “energy disease” as I call it, would rear its ugly head. I’d have to cancel one of my Reiki or Shamanic healing groups and ended up locked away in my room under the covers. I was “too tired” to be creative and write my book or start a new course or class focused on assisting others with their emotional healing journeys.

Keep reading. You’ll get the sixties connection in a bit. Through this work in Dawson Church’s Peak Performance course, I uncovered a most debilitating core belief. It was, “if I show up 100% in the world using my gifts and talents, me and the people I love will die!” Wow – how’s that for a, “sock it to me” core belief. It says, “showing up in the world is far too dangerous so don’t even try.” Pretty much a no-win for someone like me who feels driven to be a force for positive change in the world.

Now we get to it – why the sixties references? During my session with Dawson, I realized that a deep-seated core belief was born the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As I grew up, I watched every hero I had come to believe in who was striving to promote radical, positive change was subsequently killed. Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and John Lennon were all my personal heroes.  From watching these heroes that I so loved die, I had formed the belief that showing up in the world with radically different ideas and ways of expressing yourself is not safe. My subconscious mind decided that it’s far better to just get sick, instead. Of course, it follows that I developed a debilitating degenerative muscle disease to keep me and my loved ones safe. WHAT! No, thank you: I don’t want that one anymore! I worked with Dawson using EFT (emotional freedom technique) otherwise known as tapping. (link for more information on Tapping provided below)

This technique helped me uncover and release that debilitating core belief. At the end of our session, I couldn’t even make that statement anymore without laughing! Fears and tears just melted away. Only time will tell what will come of it, but here I am posting a blog about what many consider to be a radical new form of medicine, one that could absolutely shake up our current medical paradigm. I highly recommend checking out the works of Dawson, Joe Dispenza ( and other leaders in this exciting new field.

I am already noticing that I feel much more positive, hopeful and energetic than I have for a very long time. So pardon me for shaking the dust off of my old, Age of Aquarius LPs, my bell bottoms and fringed vests. It’s the first time since those days of my youth that my outlook on life is not overshadowed by a dark cloud of doom – the idea that being a spokesperson for positive change will kill me. NOT! Yet, even in the worst case scenarios they may have killed the men, but they never killed the ideas they birthed into the world. Positive change happened anyway!

The sun is out and the Age of Aquarius is alive and well for me!


age of aquarius  2

Follow this link for more information on tapping: 

Note: I used a belief management system I was introduced to in the early nineties to change, “No I can’t!” to “Yes, I can!” here’s a link to more information on this program:

No more longhand? Yikes! And what does that have to do with Powder?

Please write by hand with pencils and pen rather than use a keyboard, because the hand and the body, and particularly the heart, is linked through handwriting in a way that is virtually impossible to preserve through writing with a keyboard.

I’ve heard rumors that our schools are no longer teaching longhand because texting and computer keyboards have made writing via pen and paper archaic. I say “rumors” because I have no school-aged children who would tell me firsthand.

In any case, I am wondering what losing the art of writing in longhand may eventually cost us? As the above quote from Richard Harvey, Your Essential Self1  indicates, writing in longhand keeps us more deeply connected with our deepest, truest self, our heart centers.

Why is that important? Our heart center is where connection happens. Feeling connected, in my opinion, is how we conquer war, greed, hunger and poverty. A news story covering any one of those sad topics is just a news story unless you are personally connected to the people whom the story features. And often, the personal connection to the tragedy leads to wonderful acts of heroism. How can you cause harm to someone or something you care about? Caring inspires healing. This is why honoring connection is my passion.

An awesome moment of connection

An awesome moment of connection

Ever heard the phrase, “living a heart-centered life?” In my experience the feelings of joy, love, compassion, and forgiveness all come from our feeling connected in our hearts, not our minds. These feelings are the very best of us as human beings and what living a heart-centered life is all about.

Have you ever seen the 1995 American fantasy film called Powder? It is about Jeremy “Powder” Reed, who has an incredible intellect, as well as unusual powers given to him when his mother was electrocuted while he was still in the womb. The electrical shock caused him to be born with powder white hair and skin – hence, the nickname, “Powder.”  As stated on Wikipedia, “The film questions the limits of the human mind and body while also displaying society’s capacity for cruelty, and raises hope that humanity will advance to a state of better understanding.

Advancing to a state of better understanding happens when we feel connected. My favorite movie moment from that film illustrates my point perfectly. In it, Powder’s paranormal abilities help a hunter to feel what the deer he shot feels as it’s dying. He created a powerful connection that forever changed the hunter’s life. He could no longer harm what he felt connected to.

The key, in my mind, to living harmoniously with each other and the earth is to feel deeply connected. That connection starts from within; from knowing who you are in the deepest core of yourself – your true self, your authentic self. I agree with Richard that writing by hand helps us to feel this connection more deeply. For me, note-taking in college helped me connect to the material and retain it far better than just reading from textbook alone. So if writing by long hand connects us more deeply to our inner realms and to who/what we are writing about, what exactly are we losing as keyboards replace pen and paper?

I encourage you not to let the art of handwriting die. Write in your journals, write a note to a loved one. Send a thank you note to someone – and take notice. If you felt a warm, fuzzy feeling as you wrote it, you created connection. Let’s keep it alive!

1Richard Harvey,  (2013-07-01). Your Essential Self: The Inner Journey to Authenticity & Spiritual Enlightenment (Kindle Locations 473-474). Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.. Kindle Edition.

Do you hand out chocolates or cod liver oil?

I think we often go through life too caught up in our self-bubbles to recognize our own impact. Yet, we are very much aware of the impact other people have on us. Have you ever spent a piece of time lost in thought about what someone said to you – either for good or ill? We always notice how others make us feel – but it’s more difficult to notice how we impact others.

I remember when I had the “aha” moment of first recognizing my impact. I once had a friend who was a Unity minister. I allowed him to read through my journal, which was mostly about my struggles and inspirations in my own spiritual growth. There was something I had written that impacted him deeply.

He facilitated a weekly study group. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at group one evening to find my own words written upon the black board. The really shocking thing in that moment was to see the impact of that quote upon the others in our group; to realize it became an inspiration for them as well. Until that moment, I never knew that who I am touches other people.

In my daily transactions, even with the grocery check out person or my bank teller, I  choose to communicate that I value and appreciate them. I am not always successful and have to pull myself up short when I realize my own angst and frustrations are being dumped on others. What can I say, it happens!

And it can also be argued that if you are strong in yourself, you won’t feel the impact of another’s words or actions. But does that thought come from your heart or is it a defense mechanism? If you feel tension in your body as you ponder that concept, it is more likely to be a defense mechanism worth investigating. To me, creating deeper connections starts by inviting others to feel valued and appreciated in my presence as long as it is authentic vs manipulative.

How do I measure authenticity vs. manipulation? If I am attempting to influence how they feel about me with my words, it is manipulation. If I am genuinely interested in giving to them just for its own sake, it’s authentic.

It is hard to pause enough in the “bus-i-ness” of our lives to recognize that our words and actions always have impact on those we come in contact with every single moment. Yikes – that can be overwhelming! It is also a huge responsibility to recognize that you can touch another so completely with your words and actions. And the choice is always yours to decide what kind of impact you wish to have.

It can be an interesting tool in greater self-awareness to recognize your impact. Start by taking a moment at the end of each day to review your interactions with others. This is a great exercise if you are stuck in rush hour traffic. View your conversations from the perspective of the  person you had them with. Is there someone at work or home you are struggling with? Try to imagine how your words make them feel rather than focusing on your own feelings. If you realize there are words you wish you could take back or change, don’t waste time on self-punishment or regret. Just find a way in your next transaction to communicate what you value about that person. When you get really good at this, you can even recognize you are probably exhibiting the same behavior you chastise them for. That recognition is a moment of true power and freedom.

And be aware that there are those with personality disorders who simply cannot recognize the damage they do to you with their words. They have no ability to empathize. As always, it is important to set your own boundaries and move on to greener pastures when necessary.

However, in usual circumstances, when you begin to communicate from a place of appreciation rather than resentment, deeper connections happen. You may be amazed at how much joy you feel when you see how much joy you give to others with a simple smile and honest validation of who they are to you in your life.

It’s like chocolate – even though another’s path in life is not your responsibility, you still have the power to sweeten their moments. Even helping them recognize a harsh truth can be done gently and lovingly. What would you rather be giving – chocolate or cod liver oil? What would you rather receive? Just be assured of one thing – we are not islands to ourselves and our words definitely have impact.

Wishing you many moments of chocolate transactions!



Is there a secret?

Someone close to me once asked me what the secret is to my happy marriage. I had to really reflect on that.  It’s a question that is at once so mufti-faceted it’s too big for words and so simple I can’t believe we struggle so hard with it. Yet, I went through 3 heart-breaking divorces and a couple of pretty emotionally unsatisfying relationships before I found my answer to the secret.

I told my friend I can only share what is true for me. It is difficult to encapsulate in one small article the joy I feel each morning when we start the day together over a cup of coffee. It’s not the coffee, or even any special conversation we share that makes it such an important moment. It’ s more like it’s a sacred ritual of our togetherness, an affirmation of our “beingness.” A simple thing – yet, too big for words.

At the heart of it is a sense of complete acceptance for who we are as individuals – that’s what makes the synchronicity of us an incredible experience. So the most basic, simple truth of a successful relationship with another is having a successful relationship with yourself. Why? Your partner is your best mirror.

Think about it. Can you see what you look like if you don’t look in a mirror? No. Being in relationship with another, loving another, is really about getting to know yourself. And if you don’t like what is being reflected back to you, it’s typical to blame it on the mirror. Does that mean that all relationships should be endured because if we are unhappy, it’s our own fault? Good heavens, no!

It’s a two-way street and sometimes people are simply not ready, willing or prepared to be self-honest enough, and vulnerable enough to deeply love another – or let themselves be deeply loved. Most likely, it’s because they don’t like their own reflection. So the simple part of the equation is what is your relationship with yourself? If it’s good, you’ll have enough self-respect to know when a relationship is doing you more harm than good.

I hear so many say they want their life-partner to be, do, have – and then rattle off this lengthy list of their perfect partner’s characteristics and life status. But never do I hear anyone follow that up with, “and this is what I will offer someone like that.” Why would your perfect partner be attracted to you? What would they love about you? What will you bring to or contribute to your perfect relationship? And that includes whatever baggage or unhealed parts you would be bringing along with you. Can you honestly face your own darkness? If not, you won’t like it when your partner reflects it back to you.

Until you can answer those questions with enough self-honesty to acknowledge and accept your own “icky” parts and take responsibility for healing them yourself, your knight in shining armor will always end up falling off the horse. My husband and I joke that one of the keys to our success is that our inner, wounded children play well together. The reason for that is that we have good boundaries. We know what baggage is our own and don’t expect our partner to fix it for us. We accept each other for who we are in all of our unhealed glory – and we each take responsibility for doing our own work to heal – to become the individuals we want to be.

Does that mean we never have bad days? Not at all. We get grouchy, grumpy, gritchy, bitchy and impatient with each other all of the time. We are both extremely head-strong, stubborn people. The trick is that we know that about ourselves and can often begin to laugh at ourselves even in the midst of our grumbling. And if we can’t, we agree to shut up and walk away until we can play nicely together again. We each have or own demons and deal with them differently. He usually disappears to the nearest pub (maybe it’s an Irish thing, like his heritage).  It took time, but I came to realize he’s not leaving me when he does that. He’s hiding from his own pain and from the part of himself he is uncomfortable sharing with me. When I stopped taking that personally and quit resisting, he did it much less. It takes huge trust to be so vulnerable we can share our icky parts.

The other amazing thing is that we have survived some pretty low and desperate times when other couples might have caved. That’s where the commitment part comes in. It’s also recognizing that all things must pass – the good and the bad times come and go. So again, it’s back to having such a strong core within yourself – that place that is whole and complete within your own heart that anchors you so you can survive whatever the waves of life’s ocean toss your way.

The anchor can never be anything outside of yourself. If so, it will be torn away in a bad storm. So do you have to be healed, whole and perfect before you can experience happiness in love? Nope. If you wait for that, you’ll be waiting longer than a lifetime. It’s just being committed enough to yourself that you agree to “own” your own stuff and not expect your partner to make it all better for you. That’s not their job. Ultimately, loving you is your job and belongs to no one else. When you recognize that, you’ll be ready to accept that loving gift from another when it is offered. And the great news is that our partner also reflects our goodness. The better our self-relationship, the better we’ll be able to recognize and accept the good stuff, too.

For me, fulfilling relationship came when I realized I didn’t really need it and wasn’t looking for it. I don’t “need” my husband but I sure do cherish him. And everyday when we have our morning coffee I realize how very grateful I am that he’s there. And my prayer is that everyone who truly wants to will find that simple joy, too. 

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