What My 2 New Tattoos Mean To Me

In Inspiration by Grace Van Berkum2 Comments

So guess what? I got 2 new tatoos when I was in India in October. I am a little late with announcing this because I have been travelling so much. I realize the more I make my life an open book on social media, the more I subject myself to criticisms. I know that some people will not approve of the fact that I tatooed my body, but they are both very special to me and I am so happy to rock them on my body. For me they are reminders to persevere through challenges and honestly, I need all the reminders I can get to stay positive. Positivity, optimism, happiness takes work and diligent effort every single moment of the day and my new tatooes are small, beautiful reminders to stay dedicated to my path of authentic living and self-discovery.

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Tatoo #1
is a beautiful double peacock (look closely below…you will see 1 peacock behind another.)  I found this design 2 years ago and I love it so much. I have been waiting for the right moment, the right tatoo artist, and the right country to do it in. I have come close several times but for various reasons did not end up doing it. When I got to India I had this strong desire to get a tatoo there. But realized that it probably wasn’t the right time or even country to do it. But it was on my mind. So I decided to partake in henna tattoos as you can see all over my arms (and feet) which is very traditional in India. And then after being there already for a few weeks I realized that India’s National bird is THE PEACOCK!! I couldn’t believe it. The tattoo I had been wanting for 2 years was India’s National Bird! But where was I going to find a good tattoo artist?? And then 2 days before I left (I was there nearly 1 month) I was in a tiny little alley in Jaipur and I saw a tiny, inconspicuous tattoo shop. Waiting for me. I looked at the guys work and I loved it! (This doesn’t always happen). I quizzed him and questioned him. He was cool. I approved. (This is important to me, too….I have to vibe with my tattoo artist). And after 2 years of waiting, I did the tattoo on my arm! Soham Soni from Vampire Tatooz in Jaipur, India is so amazing that it didn’t even hurt! Like seriously. It was a piece of (vegan) cake! 😉 He is talented, meticulous, and and very nice. If you are ever in Jaipur, I definitely recommend him!

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As many of you know, my mom died just prior to my trip to India. What many of you don’t know is that my mom and I had a very tumultuous relationship. I came out of the “abuse closet” last year when I wrote a very difficult blog post at that time “It’s Official. 40 Years On This Planet” about growing up with abuse as a child (and adult). Most people assume that my abuser was a male. Well what I haven’t told many people is that my abuser was my mother. It has taken me most of my life to find forgiveness towards her for causing me so much pain. I choose to see the gifts in the painful situations and lessons I have endured. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having gone through this. I wouldn’t be able to help people with their challenges without the suffering I have gone through. This gives me motivation and strength to keep working on healing myself. My healing helps others to heal. We are all connected. I have spent most of my life hating my mother for treating me the way she did. As a child, teenager, and even adult I have wished for another life. With a lot of work and healing over these last 10 years especially, and continued daily dedication to forgiveness of her and myself, I can honestly say I am grateful for the pain because it has been the catalyst for me to find meaning in my life by helping others. It has been a hard, painful, but continually rewarding  journey,  and I now choose to let my pain and suffering elevate me. If I don’t, it will slowly kill me. I make the choice to see the gifts in pain. I make the choice to learn and let go. I make the choice to evolve. Yesterday’s pain is today’s strength. I can not change my past but I can change how it lives in my body.

You have the power to make all these choices in your own life too. Every situation, every moment, is an opportunity for you to move forward and expand into something greater. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not always easy. But it’s always worth it. Because you begin to realize that you control your happiness. YOU CONTROL YOUR OWN HAPPINESS. No one else does. 

If you look closely at the peacock tattoo, you can see that the 1st peacock looks angry and dark. To me, this symbolizes my mother. She is the motivating, driving force behind the 2nd peacock (me). The challenges and suffering I continue to face as an adult based on the past programming I received as a child, reminds me to always choose love over fear. It reminds me that I always have a choice. It reminds me that I can transcend darkness and choose to expand my feathers and fly. My mothers existence in my life has been a gift. She is helping me on my path and always will. And now I am continually reminded of this, and of her, every time I look down at my arm. This double peacock of lightness and darkness is me on my journey, and I choose to be grateful for all the lessons I need to endure to evolve. There is no other way for me to truly live, than to truly be greatful. I love you Mom. I know that when I am able to love you, I am able to love myself. I know now as an angel you are the mom I always wished for. I know that the pain you inflicted on me was because you were suffering. I know you’re not suffering anymore and this makes me so happy. I know that you are always with me to remind me to follow and trust my light.
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2nd special tattoo: If you look closely, the design is actually the OM symbol. If you look closely again, you can see that we incorporated an elephant into the design…look at the left corner and you can see  his trunk. I call this tattoo a sneaky OM and sneaky elephant because you have to look hard to see it. 😉 For those that follow me regularly on social media, you know that a special Indian elephant was instrumental in part of my healing & grieving process in India after my mom’s passing. She unexpectedly opened my heart and  we shared a very special week together. I will forever be grateful for the experience I had with Sittara that week. Check out photos HERE.  Also, in the yoga world, Ganesha the elephant, is a deity that represents the remover of obstacles. Elephants symbolize wisdom and effortlessness.  Elephants don’t walk around obstacles, neither are they stopped by them. They just remove them and walk ahead – signifying effortlessness.

Up close with my beautifully sneaky OM and beautifully sneaky elephant. 😉 Reminding me that we are all connected. Reminding you that we are all connected.
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My 2nd last day in Jaipur, INDIA! Adventures to say the least! Hear my recap from a rooftop in Jaipur, filmed by my rickshaw/tuktuk driver who has never used a video camera before. Sorry in advance. Lol.

*Watch another video I did in India on SUPERFOODS that I travel with for optimal digestion & energy. Click HERE.
I am dedicated to my healing. And I am dedicated to yours. Namaste.

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Comments

  1. Grace, what a beautiful post. I was fascinated by your processing of the symbolic peacock tattoo. I am so blessed to be connected to you.

    1. Author

      Thank you for taking the time to write me Peggie. The light in me honours the light in you. Namaste. 🙂 xoxo

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