Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Interview with Kathryn Eriksen, author of 'Heart Dancing'


          Hello! I am Dhivya Balaji from Readers Muse, and I would like to begin by thanking you for agreeing to answer the questions I have for you.
          I recently finished reading ‘Heart Dancing’ and based on what I read, my curiosity was piqued and naturally, I have a few questions for you. Please answer those that you are comfortable with in as many words as you would like to.
1.   What made you come up with the concept for the book ‘Heart Dancing’?
I love to teach people how to live better lives by becoming deliberate creators. The best way to teach those principles is through stories. Weaving common conflicts within stories of fictional characters gives me the freedom to explore their responses, desires and motivation, while teaching life lessons to my readers.

Writing is such a powerful creation tool that I feel almost as if I have a magic wand that I wave in my imagination over the heads and in the hearts of my readers. Sometimes it sprinkles negativity, fear or doubt, but my wand (and words) always show the way home.

Heart Dancing is a story about the choices we have in every moment. My hope is that readers will see the different choices made by the characters in the story, and reflect on their own lives, the choices they have made and what they might do differently. My goal in writing the book is to show a way to accept the invitation to dance with life.

2.   Was there any motivation that made you actually put your concepts into fictitious events and weave a story around them? 
Humans are wired to learn through stories. When told well, stories captivate, motivate and demonstrate life as it should be…or could be when different choices are made.

Heart Dancing contains many of the concepts and truths I learned during my own journey of self-discovery and connection to God. I lived and suffered too many years as a victim. When I discovered how to change my thinking and listen to the music of my heart, my entire life changed. It was as if I had discovered a secret map to happiness! The dramatic effect on my own life was a strong motivation to share the “map” with others. The most effective way for me to share these concepts and techniques was through writing a story about them.

3.    Was the fictional story added as a means to send the message across? (I feel that the book would have a different impact when written in a much more direct manner without the piece of fiction interwoven).
I have read numerous self-help books, only to discover that the concepts being taught could be condensed into a few chapters (instead of ten or twelve). I also noticed a pattern – I would identify the kernel of information that made the book stand out, then set the book aside because the rest was just fluff. While non-fiction, self-help books have their place and provide great information, I wanted to approach this market from a different  and more unique angle.

I wrote Heart Dancing to inspire people to look at their lives, what they have created and see where they might make changes. The fictional story holds the reader’s attention as they absorb the same lessons as the characters. The story was not added to the message. The story in Heart Dancing is the message.

4.   Savanna’s reaction to Avery and her revelations (meaning her fast acceptance) are a tad too hard to digest, especially considering that she is a teenager going through a rough patch. Or is it easier to actually mould the younger teenage brain to understand things quicker?
Anyone with an open heart can accept these messages instantly. Most teenagers have not formed all of their opinions about life’s puzzles, simply because they have not lived long enough to experience loss, devastation, fear, dying, etc. It is through testing and searching that they discover the answers that work for them.

In Savanna’s case, she happened to have a spiritual teacher in her life, which made the transition occur more seamlessly. While many people may not have a relationship with someone like Avery, my hope is that they will be encouraged to seek out someone who can help them with the “big” questions.

5.   The idea of ‘Miracle Tokens’ making a change – what do you consider the most important element to ensure its reach – the advent of internet (helping in reaching a wider audience) or people’s firm belief to pass on the joy they receive,( in effect that even if a few people do it with conviction it will spread)?
Miracle Tokens are designed to be used in one of two ways – online through social media or offline, in person. The flexibility of the Tokens encourages people to share them in the way they feel most comfortable. So the answer to your question is that both elements are important – the digital age and sharing goodness with others.
6.   Are there any life changing moments that have altered your perspective? Were these before or after you became aware of the message? (I could guess that there would be more than one. Please share one with our readers. Thank you!)
Nothing extraordinary, just a series of “moments” that increased my awareness of something bigger than myself. When I rest in that “something” (God, the Universe, the Source) and allow its energy to come through me, my life is suddenly extraordinary. I wanted to share this connection and how to find it. That is the primary reason why I wrote Heart Dancing. To show, through story, that you too may find your own connection with God.

7.   According to you, are our spiritual selves a reflection of what we consider perfection? (Or at least the version we consider to have the least faults?)
I believe that every single person ever born or alive today has the same basic DNA. You came from the same source of infinite love that I did and we will both return to that same source. Because you came from infinite love, that means you are infinite love, even when you don’t recognize it. Your purpose on earth is to express that love in your own unique way.
8.   In your experience, what is the most inspiring Miracle Token story (as in people’s feedback) that you have heard?
I have just launched Miracle Tokens with the publication of Heart Dancing, so the stories have yet to be told. In my imagination, I can see a person who was feeling lost, alone and not seen receiving a MT that lets in a ray of light into her darkness.

9.   When you wrote that each person has his/her own story and sticks to it with justifications, isn’t it a bit like saying ‘Each story has three sides – our side, their side and the truth?’ (With truth being the series of events that actually happened without each human colouring it with their own lenses)
If the story you tell yourself about a past event limits you or makes you play small, then it may be time to change your story. The 4 step Story Alchemy Process provides a simple tool to change your stories from lead to gold. Of course, I do not advocate people lying to themselves; on the contrary, you should change your story when it is no longer true. The truth of the event is what it means to you. If that meaning no longer applies, why keep telling the same limiting story?  A thumbnail sketch of the Story Alchemy process is that it teaches you how to become the author of your stories, not the subject.
10.               I was drawn towards Avatar, and have always held that dogs have nearly human intelligence. But have you ever thought that our pets have superhuman awareness when it comes to spiritual concepts?
From my own relationship with dogs (and cats), I know that they have an unlimited supply of love. Unless a dog or cat is abused or mistreated, they always want to share their love. Whether that capacity to share love is “superhuman awareness,” I just can’t say. It does seem to be a different awareness than humans. To me, the difference lies in this: dogs and cats love as part of their value, instead of questioning their value for love (as humans do).

The second book in the Story Alchemy Adventure series is actually told from Avatar’s perspective. It will explore these issues and much more from a spiritual standpoint.  Avatar is a funny, quirky character who sees through the games people play and is constantly amazed how complicated people make life.
11.               DWTD?
DWTD is one of the keys to the book. If we see life as a dance and allow love to flow in our lives, it changes everything. (I don’t want to comment further – spoiler alert!)

12.               If you would want to effectively send the messages (the ones in Heart Dancing) across in as few words as possible, what would they be?
Love is who you are. No matter what has happened to you in your life or what choices you have made, at your most elemental level, you are love. You can never destroy that love or lessen it. You can only ignore it. Heart Dancing is a way of life that allows you to begin expressing that love, right here, right now.

13.                       Though I didn’t feel that the book was totally a Christian book, how far did your religious teaching help you frame your words?
Heart Dancing is not a Christian book. In fact, there are several instances where one of the characters struggles with the difference between his Christian upbringing and the spiritual messages being taught or demonstrated.

It is a book about God and our relationship with God. How our beliefs about God filter reality. When you begin to see your beliefs as filters, then you can change them to allow more of God into your awareness.

As I said in the introduction: “[The purpose is] to show you where to look in your own life to shift from victim to creator. To demonstrate how powerful you really are in the creation of your reality, your life and your dreams. To prove, once and for all, that the choice you face in each moment is between love or fear…and whatever you choose, that creates the next moment.”

14.                       All through your journey, what spiritual topic of discussion was your favourite? And was there any particular person / group of people who started the topic with you?   
The concept of deliberate creation captivates and empowers me. I have been both a victim and a creator – it is so much more gratifying to create my life instead of blaming others.

There are always two choices before me: love or fear. If I chose fear, I always receive the same result – more fear. It creates a spiral of never-ending, fearful thoughts. I have chosen fear many times, and it has never served me well.

On the other hand, when I choose love, I feel more alive. When I discover a thought pattern that is no longer true and I “alchemize” it, I feel as if a weight were lifted from my heart. As my heart expands, so does my capacity for more love. It is also an never-ending spiral...that produces more love.


The choice is before you in any given moment – love or fear. The question that is always before you is: “Why not choose love?” 

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