30 Sec's on....



I'm sitting on my deck this morning, with my laptop and a cuppa, the horses are grazing by the fence and weatherwise, it is an absolutely gorgeous day.

So I want to talk with you about the Ta Moko that I got this week.

Now, wait a minute, don't you go freaking out on me, it's not on my chin.  It's on my right arm where it should be but before I tell you more about this, we need to have a little chat about semantics.

First off, a Ta Moko is tradtionally a Maori tattoo on your face (although now days it also encompasses arm, shoulder, back and/or leg) which speaks of your heritage, your ancestors, your Spiritual journey, children, grandchildren, successes and achievements.  

All goods.

However, I am not Maori.  

I am Pakeha.  And my belief system is the Journey of 10,000 miles.  The journey that starts when you are born and finishes when you die and talks of your heritage, your ancestors, your Spiritual journey, children, grandchildren, success and achievements.

This journey is inked on your right arm, starting at your shoulder and finishing eventually at your wrist.  It cannot be done all at once because it is a living journal of your life.  

There is no word for this journey apart from the word Ta Moko.

I originally started my Ta Moko when I was 40, with an armband and I didn't use a tradional Maori design.  Part of it is there, but not all.  I started at 40 because sometimes you can't see where you started from, you can only see where you are, so that's where I started.  Over the last few years though I decided that I wanted to enlarge my Ta Moko but the timing was never quite right.  It was always slightly off, if you know what i mean.

But over the last year I heard my Ta Moko calling.

I heard my ancestors speaking, my Spirit people whispering about my journey and my achievements, and then my son completed his next level in his highest education.  

And it was time.

But it took me ages to find the right person because who tattoos you is as important as what is done.  There are consultations, talks, drawings, more talks then the Ta Moko.

And even then as you are doing it, it is still changing.  

It is a really intimate experience with laughter and the sharing of stories, and as this happens, the Ta Moko takes on a life of it's own.  We decided to start with the before 40 part first.  It took just under 5 hours and every single part that is now inked, speaks of a part of my life.  I have to heal before I can add the exciting bits of my son and after 40 life, but already that journey is invisibly inked.  That part is already written.

It's interesting though because it feels different.

As if by physically acknowledging my journey, it's made it real.  Like my Grandfather is physically walking with me, giving me added strength and power.  And to visually have these reminders of Spirit and my son and the abundance of love I have in my life, well, it's made me walk taller. I don't know how to explain it any better than that.  

My son was super excited though, he saw a pic within minutes and was then chatting away about it.  I said it wasn't finished, explained why and what was still to come and he's there on the phone nodding, talking, listening.  

I'm extremely happy with how my Ta Moko is talking and I cannot wait until the next chapter is written, which will take anything up to six weeks while we change, tweak and add, soften it in some respects, harden it in others.

Wearing a Ta Moko is a mark of honour and respect, grace and dignity and I am truly grateful that I've had the courage to walk this journey.

Netana Whakaari said in 1921:

You can lose your most valuable property through misfortune in various ways

you may be robbed of all your prized possessions

but of your moko you cannot be deprived

It will be your ornament and your companion 

until your last day

so don't use that word tattoo.

Wishing you much love and abundance and a truly courageous heart.

T and Spirit