Introducing: Nik


Nik was born in a Syrian refugee camp in Greece in 2016, her family (mother, father, older brother, and an uncle) then part of a Christian minority, ostracised not only by their unwilling European hosts, but also among their own people. In 2020, the family somehow made it back to the Middle East, Nik’s parents not trusting the promises of the Knitting Circle and only wishing to get back home. They moved around for the next year, mostly on foot, carrying all their possessions on their backs. Nik witnessed her baby sister starving to death during this time when her mother’s milk dried up; tree bark, insects and mushrooms proving insufficient to sustain a mother and baby.

In mid-2021 they banded together with other families and established an existence on abandoned farmlands on the banks of the river Euphrates, south-east of Aleppo. Their farm became an important source of food and inspiration for others during and after the transition.

Nik was eight years old when she began to turn on herself in self-harm to process the vivid, traumatic memories of her young years. She grew into a troubled teenager, always challenging her elders and getting into mischief, running away or becoming depressed, closed-off, and suicidal.

This is when Takao Suzuki crossed Nik’s path, becoming her teacher, counsellor, and friend. In 2030, Nik was 13, Takao was deployed to work with traumatised youth in Aleppo, Syria. The climate was stabilising, New Society was sprouting, people were rebuilding the region into the paradise it had been.

One day, after Nik had once again cut her arms in hieroglyphic patterns to still the pain tormenting her spirit, Takao stepped into her life. He saw her, understood her, and could transmit to her some life-giving tools. And amazingly, she saw and understood him in return, and became his student, learning the art of transmutation, of turning pain and suffering into creative energy and joy, of helping, serving, and healing others to help and heal oneself.

Over the years, it was a most interesting journey that they will hopefully remember to write down one day, she became his companion – not in a sexual way, Takao had long moved beyond the gender question and instead focused on his craft, embracing celibacy and the androgynous, embodied the neutralising force, the merging of the two poles of dualistic worldly existence.

No, she became rather like an apprentice, an assistant, a niece or even daughter, and they travelled the world together like so many people did back then, sometimes even in groups of up to 30 people of all ages and backgrounds. They were rebuilding and forging connections in the emerging New Society, learning from and working with shamans and healers around the world, and supporting others, until they both settled in Brisbane in 2039, eleven years ago now.

Since then, Nik has made a name for herself as a counsellor, teacher, life coach, developer and facilitator of a mindfulness college course that had become popular enough over the last five years to be in demand by people of all ages from all across the world.

The course taught a range of basic life skills like meditation, lucid dreaming, non-violent communication, all kinds of self care, and basic bodywork. Students like Leyla, who discovered talents and developed more specific interests, could go on to more in-depth studies in their chosen fields.

Nik turns heads and makes friends wherever she goes, she is slim and tall, has a natural olive tan and long blond hair that is thick and shiny; her genuine nature, hazel brown cat eyes, and full-lipped smile raise the spirits of those around her like genuine medicine, like a ray of sunlight in a dark cave. Everybody loves her for her warmth and wit.

After Leyla’s mother Soleil passed away, Nik became Leyla’s counsellor and life coach, and has become part of the family, while she yearns for a family of her own.

The Shift