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Living a New Life

Beginning the Next Chapter

For My 70th Birthday


Hear this read aloud below






I wrote this poem without realizing that it was a love letter to myself for my birthday, a time in my life of great transition. My journey to loving myself has spanned lifetimes, during which I have questioned whether I would ever feel as I do now. But my intention and the guidance I’ve received, have brought me to a fork in the road. I knew that it would happen in my 60’s and here I am days from my 70th birthday and down to the wire. Without my conscious control, I have shifted to living my truth and strengthened my commitment to myself. It happened in a flurry of chaos that has been my life, a barrage of medical issues, surgeries, treatments, debilitation. It happened when I wasn’t trying, when I was trying, when I thought all was lost. It has been happening all along whether it appeared that way or not and here I am - at that fork in the road I have been searching for all my life.



At the place where my choices will lead me to the life I have longed for.


No, this isn’t paradise in the usual sense of the word. It’s not all roses and sunshine. My idea of paradise is living my truth, speaking my truth, coming out of hiding my truth and being who I am in all aspects of my life. It is about loving myself so much that I refuse anything less.


The poem I share is “The Gates.” It speaks of owning my own "kingdom", my life as it was intended to be. Of claiming what is mine and, in reality, has been all along. And it speaks of the one thing that has kept me from myself - fear. As 2022 was coming to a close images were pouring out of me. I couldn’t stop. They all said something similar to me, that I was at a crossroads, ready to burst out of my cocoon and expand beyond anywhere I had ever been. I have included a few of them here as a preview. You will be able to see more of them on my website. As always, my images showed me what was happening within and what was soon to become my external reality. Things I had imagined, envisioned, for decades, suddenly began appearing at my doorstep. I had stopped trying to be what I was and was simply BEING it. My paradise might look different than most, but after lifetimes of living in hiding, afraid to be who I am in the world "out there," the freedom to take a breath and speak my truth, is heaven to me. This year I am coming out from behind the curtain.


My birthday gift to myself, Self love and commitment, Full breaths, The Freedom to be.




My lifelong quest has led me here

To the gates of my own kingdom

Where my love lies in wait

Where my heart can rest

And I can fly free


Yet I run from this place

From the journey within

The only place that truly exists

I run when the illusion of fear

Catches up with me


There is nowhere to go

No place to escape

When truth reveals itself to me

A pledge from the past

Holds fast to my ankles each time I turn away


The gates to my kingdom stand before my eyes

Lavishly adorned and inviting

I yearn for the bounty that lies inside

Though my mind is filled with the illusion

Of treacherous demons at the door


The demon is fear

It always has been

Instilled long ago to keep me hidden away

Ruling my kingdom in my absence

Keeping me from my home


A home that is dark

A home filled with light

A home where my heart

Can beat freely to its own rhythm

And my breath flows with ease


I say I am courageous and true

That I live in both worlds

And though that is true

The other is too

I run to and from when the illusion rules my mind


I have lived long enough

On this side of paradise

Dancing in circles

Holding my breath

With fear as my partner


The years are passing quickly now

I know too much

To feign blindness

My quest has led me to my own doorstep

Once again


With nowhere to turn

I take one simple step

To open the latch and enter the darkness within

Where all that I seek

Lies waiting for my claim


And I see that the gates

Beautiful as they are

Are also an illusion

There is nothing and never has been

Anything separating me from my kingdom except me

DK Hillard 2022



It has taken me years of deep inner work to be where I am, to claim my life and own it fully. Now I want to help others do the same. Your essence, your true soul's essence, needs to guide your life, not fear. If you would like to talk about having a "Soul Portrait" created for you, I would be honored to do so. The process is a collaborative one in which you will gain greater access to the truth of your soul and come away with a painting or a fabric creation as a symbol of your essence. It is not a portrait in the traditional sense, rather an expression of who you are on a soul level. This is about bringing the unseen "you" into material form, a way to gain access to yourself and your truth in a unique way.

Read more about "Soul Portraits" here.








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