Yes it’s me writing in bed, typing an coming to the conclusion that I don’t have any photos from this week I can use to illustrate this post. The picture looked good until I noticed all the dirt being reflected in the screen. Oh well. I suppose I’ll have to clean it tomorrow…….
Somewhere along the line, I decided that I didn’t believe in prescriptive advice . Now I’m not even sure what that means? As if I sit with my clients and dish out to do lists of the 10 best ways to improve your life? Personally, I find top tips tedious. Yes as a coach we are supposed to be action focused. That why I’m a doula instead. Yet so much of the time emotions get in the way. I’ve lived much of my life in my emotions and I’m very grateful for it. Most of us are all chasing those action based solutions in the hope that they will make us feel better. Rather than just opting to feel better. Action based solutions can be important. However, so many of us have climbed that mountain, cycled that hill, ticked that box and found ourselves disappointingly underwhelmed on the attainment of the goal, whatever it might be.
It is at this point that I personally realise that my process in writing this blog has changed somewhat. That this blog has become far more about cathartic storytelling that you might realate to rather, than a how-to, can do, information guide.
The thing is I can’t tell you what to do. I can’t tell you the things that I think you might benefit from. Ultimately I’m not you. I’m more inclined to give you homework rather than say hey this will fix everything. I’m more likely to ask how did you do it? Tell me your technique? So that I might garner yet more pearls of wisdom to cast them on as some kind of sustainable wisdom basket to be dispensed at leisure. You see is that advice or is everything open source? If you believe in collective consciousness it certainly is.
Of course, there are core tenants to nurturance like drinking water, getting good quality sleep. Though even for the most intelligent human soul these things can seem near impossible. I know I’ve been one. Even now my body, my soul and my ego have arguments and procrastination about water. They can range from don’t buy it, it’s in plastic, Ewwww it’s going to be cold, I can taste the chlorine to Nah I don’t want to. Queue the draining of all power about 2 days later. At times I even drink coca-cola (from a recyclable container) In the hope that the caffeine and sugar infused concoction will provide my body, brain and soul with the synthetic poison it needs to power on numbed to it’s own sense of its self. This week I’ve actually managed to drink two litres of water consecutively more than one day this week. Which for this year is quite remarkable and yes it is the end of March. Thank you for your restraint. This week too I’ve managed to start exercising again if only for the dopamine hit that I get when I start to beat myself up and then realise I have exercised already. Saving me a lot of time. You see why handing out advice isn’t too snappy? The thing is the wellness map or what I’m now coining emotional environments are malleable. They change with time and with seasons, you are human, you’re not going to feel the same the year your mother dies as you did the year before. Rites of passage are real and as we go through them, we change. Certainty, comfort and routine are often blasted away and replaced with very different realities.
As I move through this process of writing for what is supposed to be an ‘audience’ I’m grateful to ever deepen the connection that I have with myself through writing and I hope that it brings something to you.
I fucking swear this post is hard to write. When this external landscape becomes an emotional environment. Maybe because I’m about to break through the eco-warrior sound barrier like a fucking boss (who doesn’t actually want any power). For fuck sake, how is exactly you go about proclaiming your non-whiteness when you are in fact white? Whatever the fuck that might that look like? Having thought about that for a bit……The horrific truth of that, is, being Scottish who was surrounded by people growing up that wanted to be tanned. It looks a lot like Trump. That’s given me a chuckle.
Sitting here in the Rainbow Nation that I’m actually trying to figure out if your skin colour should preclude you from contributing to conversations regarding equality? It’s a discussion that has nothing to do with my South African experience of course. It is one that has been presented to me online. Where my main theme over the last few days has been that words matter. Everyone is valuable. Which is deeply embedded in my own personal work.
I’d also really appreciate it if someone could just send me all the quotes about the overriding power of love to be found in The Bible, The Quaran, The Tora or any other religious or spiritual text. So that I no longer have to scramble for the words that unite us.
Social Media algorithms shelter me from the far right, a lot of Muslims and probably even more Christians, as well as a lot of people of colour. Controversially, I choose my friends because I like them, share interests with them, and enjoy their online content. Yup being alive is awkward uncomfortable and at times painful. Should politically correctness dictate how I live my private life? Should I curate my social group on the basis of being representative. I invited you to the Braii because I really needed someone of your ethnicity to make up the group. Braaing in and of itself is a controversial act with regard to our collective futures, should you want to bring food politics to the party. I’m personally having a hard time navigating it all. Internally and externally I am doing my best to figure it out. Step in Marie Forleo where everything is figureoutable.
I lose my cool and if I was feeling safer maybe I’d share some of my worst moments and why, or even the very long journey to the conclusion that only love is the answer. I struggle with that too. I struggle with Englishness, the class divide, inequality, The Union Jack, The Union Jack as my flag, austerity, (I’ve managed to get over the Tories and Margaret Thatcher, except when someone is totally ignorant to their motives, that’s something to add) ignorance, my whiteness, bloodline trauma, other people’s trauma, my own divisiveness, my own outbursts. While waiting for Brexit outcomes. All this when I’m doing all the work I can to be tolerant, inclusive, sensitive, aware, responsive (I’m not necessarily a believer in the idea of calm). All emotions are valid, everything can be rationalised. The deeper truths live in the ever-increasing work of getting to understand ourselves better. Loving ourselves better. Getting deep down in the awkwardness of our own being. You are the cause of your own discomfort. The occasional emotional health novice that thought hurting/killing you would help them feel slightly less terrified. If that doesn’t do it there is always a Cyclone to put things into perspective. Acts of God, Climate Change and all that. If you believe in them.
Our Bacon Tree is actually a Spekboom (Which is Afrikaans for Bacon/Pork Tree) that were given as a token reminder of our wedding. At the moment it lives on our balcony and has had a pretty epic year on its own. Having survived two moves, re-potting and being devoured by caterpillars. (Yes your right that is very symbolic, our wedding token was devoured by the Earth’s universally accepted animal change agent.) It has also given up a limb to spawn a fully independent mini-me.
The good news is that is has survived the process. Like most living things it has a variety of moods that I now use it as a relationship weather vain. Which has forced me to create a new relationship in my life and I find a place to focus the nurturing qualities of marriage. I talk to it. I encourage it and I tell it how beautiful it is. That it belongs in with us and that I am very grateful to have it in my life. That I love the work it does and how much it is doing for the planet. I make sure it’s loved, though I’m not sure it believes it after the caterpillar incident. I wonder at what lengths people go through to keep a plant healthy and happy. Especially in the times, we live now. I know it is a miracle in my life and it represents hope for the future. Especially as it loves munching carbon. Over a decade ago someone once told me “If you think you are ready for a relationship to get yourself a plant and if it lives a year, you are ready for a pet”. In recent weeks it has also been highlighted to me that a husband is a sort of pet. (I know it’s terrible) As we shouldn’t have such high expectations of people. After all most pets behave and do as they like and we love them anyway regardless of how inconvenient that might be.
The marriage process has made me confront things that I literally never thought possible. Miya Angelo said, “When people tell you who they believe them”. All of a sudden I do. There are many things that we choose to overlook when we get into relationships. For all the right reasons. We want to love through it. We believe that anything is possible. That we can love far beyond our own truths and live somebody else’s. Then we begin to understand just how wild that is. What a massive adventure is laid out before us and that in undertaking this path we are reconstructing the world in which we have chosen to live. That our world is no longer controlled by our personal truths and that shared realities are complex. That living with another person is like living with another reality that we might never fully discover. That we can’t colonise another person’s mind with ideas that aren’t true for them, any idea, and that somehow we might be able to navigate that together. That these are the decisions we’ve made and that we resist them at our own peril. Alternate truths are real. Yet somehow we are surprised by this. As if politics alone wasn’t enough to play that out for all to see.
The thing is though we don’t have to convince anybody. We don’t need to change anybody’s mind. We don’t need to make them understand how we see it and we certainly don’t have to expose facts in order to be heard. All we can ever do is turn up and be ourselves and live our lives as fully as we always intended, love ourselves enough that there is space for another perspective. Live our truths and through the process and know that we are enough and the world’s madness doesn’t change that.
They say that there are lessons in everything and that what we see is our mirror. What we don’t fully understand is how deep that reflection goes. Of course, what I’ve just said is a paradox. As there is no depth in a mirror. All we have is a flat perspective that can move and change giving us all the information that we need in it. Reflecting back all the details of our backstory and simultaneously our present. It soooo fucking magical. It’s totally understandable that we would be highly confused by it. Relationships take personal understanding deeper, as we unpick everything. We find that our internal traits, have external matches. Cause meets effect, openness meets rigidity, reflective meets reactive, embracing meets denial, truth meets reason. There’s also no telling where each of us may take that ground in the ever-shifting sands of life.
We all like to believe that we know the best way forward and that we can talk through everything. Then honestly what if you can’t? What if after nearly eight years of being together you finally realise that actually, you have totally different belief systems that literally took seven years to show up. That the veils have well and truly fallen and love can still dwell in the places where we can’t meet.
We may be very familiar and safe with our own demons and the process it might take to coax them into a ferral state of benign co-living. When all of a sudden you find yourself discovering somebody else’s lurking in the previously unexplored recesses of their mind. We don’t know where they start and end or even their true form. Like the film, Alien we don’t fully understand what we are seeing. It takes a while for the nature and intentions of the wee fucker to fully come to light.
We can liken personal relationships to revelations in history. Where the nature of the universe even now is under debate. That the best ways forward are often argued about. Great breakthroughs are often dismissed and even ignored until we find ourselves in a new reality depending on who has the fortitude to push through. The lesson will be repeated until it is learned. Love always, especially when it is hard, confusing and frustrating. Yup.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been walking round saying that I’m just going to spend 2019 getting over 2018. If that is all I managed then that is enough. It’s more about keeping an even keel than it is about making progress. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. How do we overcome ourselves when everything is a mess. Or we are moving backwards and forwards at the same time. When it feels like Karma is deeply influencing your Dharma. When that Dharma is endless in this lifetime. Sitting down to check on yourself and make sure you are all right, is as much as anybody can do on any given day to keep things on a straight timeline. What can we do for ourselves when life is chaotic?
This weekend I’ve been checking out youtube figuring out trauma and trying to get my head round the things that I am still trying to drag into future, keep in my present and file in my past. They say that staying present in this very moment is all we ever need. Yet how do we get to all those accumulated past projects when staying in your present is literally taking up sooo much time. It’s a crazy idea. And what is it that you just need to let go of. Fuuuuuuuck that might be the longest list in the world if you really wanted to sit down and keep it going. All those things that are left unresolved.
I used to believe that life was just a to-do list and the quicker you could do it the quicker that you could relax. Now I wonder if that is true? If keeping busy is a distraction from the deeper work. My ideas for the future, always seem to be caught up in the past. How long have I been thinking about this? This is a dream, a long time in the making. Will this ever happen? Do I dream too big? Am I kidding myself, when personal circumstances just seem to swamp you? What is this swamp all about? I certainly can’t seem to find Yoda. There are some great sign posts that seem to be leading into the either. I wonder how all those unresolved things that we let slide affect your Karma. Is that what Karma is? All that stuff that you send out into the either that never gets done. Fuck me that’s a mental idea that if you can stay permanently in the present that you might be able to resolve everything right then and there, as it turns up. Is this possible? Is this something I’ve thought or written before?
Maybe I have enough. That being right here in this year is all that is required of me. That getting from one moment, one task, one day to the next is all that is required. That we must slow down and embrace what is. That it is good enough. It is all we know that there truly is. That we embrace the breath, the sweetness of time and the wonder of it all.
You may have guessed I’m trying to up my game, be deeply authentic, pretend that I know what the fuck I’m doing with my life in order to be able to guide you in yours. Yes really. So I’ve been reading some pretty awesome blogs of late where funny women with high standards and a heavy dose of reality are literally recording their daily fails to serve as an inspiration to us all. Me, Baby & The Beard.
My life which is very comfortable revolves round dysfunction that I’m still figuring out. In the last week or so I’ve been having flashbacks to my 24-year-old self who seemed very together and super capable of fitting into the capitalist dream. I was even using my anti-wrinkle cream a year early. I was soooo together and then whoops that millennial life crisis or should I say xennial life crisis hit. Since then it’s been a whole load of figuring out who you’re brushing your hair for? If Mrs Flemming isn’t going to scream at you? Equally well who are you brushing your hair for if everyone isn’t going to fawn over you? Do you really have to pretend to look this good to get a job? To be noticed? To be valued? Is the amount of care I put into my appearance really representative of how much I love of value myself? Or am I really just buying into a value system that has been imposed on me rather than ascertained for myself? Or am I forcing myself to question something that should just be universally accepted? Would this idea then be dogma? Praise and blame they’re all the same. So that question [Who am I brushing my hair for?] alone has lead me down some long winding passages and thought trains, that have ultimately lead me back to the idea of nurturance. That we have to be able to invest in ourselves enough in order to create our own growth. It’s a step beyond caring. It’s practical love. At first, I thought of it as self-parenting. Lately, I was introduced to the idea that nurturance might be the process of learning how to mother. I think in many ways that nurturance is more radical than mothering. It’s a step beyond, as it releases the obligation of a perceived role that we may never have experienced. Why should we be mothering ourselves if we never had a mother? Why should we be re-mothering ourselves if the lead female in our lives didn’t meet up to the perceived norms of “mothering”. Or that we should know how to parent when the truth of the matter is that anybody with an ounce of self-reflection will admit that parenting is nothing more than terrifying, experiment with no clear outcomes. Self-parenting leaves us with nothing more than unpacking a parental programme that we have most likely survived rather than thrived through (that is certainly true for me, I’m open to the idea that I am projecting). Nurturance gives us an opportunity to ask a question of ourselves. What do I need right now? If I wanted to grow what would I provide for myself? If thriving looked a certain way, what would it look like? How would I feel? All these questions help us figure out what is true for us and find deeper alignment with ourselves. Making our lives easier in the long run.
Last year I thought I’d cracked it with a course in Dharma (My own personal course) which involved largely getting water in my mouth first thing in the morning. Resolving situations as they arrive and then realising that largely I was doing a very good job of doing an all singing all dancing performance of sweep it under the carpet. Humans -they don’t do what they say they will even the one you actually control.
Getting married will do that. Then, of course, the minor shit storm becomes a major one and oh well. Back to Dharma, Carry Water, Chopping Wood. Pay Attention to your feelings. They are fucking wild and take you on the craziest adventures without even leaving the room. The stories that we tell ourselves.
Do you every get to a point where you think I might never nail this? I think that’s where I am today. I’ve got unfinished projects, new progressions and self-nurturance projectories that I just can’t keep up with. Then I fall back let go, look around and realise my head is driving me crazy. My life is great. I have enough insight to know that my life is on a gentle upward trend. I have a secure homes, running water (Which this time last year might have seemed an impossibility. Find out more here) money in the bank. More importantly I like myself and for someone who often feels like that there personality seems to be bouncy castle embedded with hidden razor blades I love myself plenty. I just have no idea what that looks like to the outer world. For the most part I don’t really care much about that, excpet of course I’m always doing my best to serve and love other people. Cause after all who wants to end up with a personality that’s a bouncey castle with hidden razors blades. quite frankly that’s a lot of what I deal with – Yes my personality me. Sometimes I wonder how it is that I make it into the future and other times I wonder how I used to managed that so well way back in the day.
Working for yourself is such a different ball game when it’s almost entirely customer facing and perfectionism isn’t the end goal. That you need to keep it real that you need to say. You know life? It’s fucking hectic and messy. There are so many things that act and do exactly what they want and they are wonderful. Sometimes I just want to follow my intuition down rabbit holes or do what’s easiest in stead of what’s hardest. That sometimes placating a situation is far easier than drawing lines in the sand. Every day feels like a negotiations tournament of priorities of me, my clients, my husband and then the things you own that own you. And of course then there are such things as the greater good. The collective will. Collective futures and better ideas of how life is. Then you stop and take it all in for a minute. I’m here for you. I really am. If you reach out to me I’ll pick up the phone, I’ll answer the mail and I’ll get to you where every you are if it your fucking falling apart and it bits and their is nobody else to call.
So from here on in – with my consistantly inconsistant self I’m letting me off the hook. Cause I live a real life where Mondays aren’t predictable. I don’t know most days what time my husband comes home from work (cause he does shifts) and well feelings are important to me. That my feelings almost always come first because thye dictate everything that I am and am able to do in the best possible way. That if I can manage my emotions. It might take coffee, it might take sleep or even some kind of meditation. If I can make that time for myself then fuck I’m doing the best you can and showing you what that looks like. That it’s part of a greater goal of what a wellbeing economy really looks like.
So this is an experimental post. Which is slightly different for a temperamental post. (Yes really it is) Sooooo you may have noticed last week that a wrote a whole story about my life what I do, Why I do it. It was supposed to inspire, uplift and possibly intrigue you enough to urge you into action. Yes really it was. That story brought me to the end of the Purple Chilli Accelerator 21 day programme that was intended to bring me closer to my real story than ever before. So that I can slowly bring together all the key elements of my “brand” in order to market to the right people more effectively. Are you rolling your eyes? Swiped left or pulled my classic which is scrolled to the bottom of the page to see how much more you might have to endure this befor clicking out? Anyways If your a member of my Healing Humans Group you will have learned from an article by James Clear that it’s all abut imporving systems, instead of setting goals. Deue to being flawesome I’m leaving this here my course work for the #purplechilliaccelerator as part of the process of re-reading and defining my story. If indeed interests you at all leave a loveheart (and I’ll explain more about that in the future). Yes fuck it’s long. I hope you’re life is too.
#purplechiliAcellerator#day2#thelifedoula I’m a Life Doula, I use coaching skills to help people navigate difficult times in their life. I offer ongoing free sessions every week to anybody who wants them and specialise in 3 hour coaching sessions. I like to get to the root of the cause of your distress quickly and longer sessions let me do that. What I really love about my business is that I literally get to live my best life doing what I enjoy most. Talking to people. I love talking to people learning about their lives and what makes them tick. Then finding the small solutions that make a big difference. What motivates me is knowing that I am changing the world one person at a time and that through my own personal commitment to love I am learning and growing every single day. My clients inspire me they are some of the most awesome people I have ever known who share in my commitment to healing themselves and the planet.
#purplechilliAccelerator#day3#thelifedoula My company helps my clients transform their emotional environments. You may think my company does coaching. What you might not know about us is that provide ongoing free support to anybody in need of emotional help. If you get into the heart of what I really do and why, you will find you’re dealing with a deeply authentic person who genuinely wants to make the world a better place for everyone.
#purplechilliAccelerator#day5#thelifedoula I am inspired by the beauty of life and the creativity of people. What I believe about my work is that above all it has the ability to improve every bodies quality of life. I am passionate about helping people discover who they really are.
#purplechilliaccelerator#day6#thelifedoula My why is bringing meaning to my own life journey by sharing my knowledge and experience with others. I started The Life Doula because I was inspired to create connection with everyday people and mitigate my one pain.
#purplechilliAccelerator#day7#thelifedoula I want all earthlings to have a vibrant and rich life. I do that by creating meaningful connections for humans. I offer free weekly coaching sessions and donation based coaching to humans that are ready to feel optimistic about themselves and our eco-logical future.
#purplechilliAccelerator#day8#thelifedoula I have always loved finding beauty. The reason that I get out of bed in the morning is the to embrace the slow gentle process of my own changing life and share it’s richness with others. I do what I do every day because deeper connection with the people and environment around us brings wisdom and a happier, healthier earth life experience.
#purplechilliAccelerator#day9#thelifedoula I believe we can change the world one person at a time and that that journey begins with me. Why is this important? Because the world needs radical transformation now. The old systems are in melt down and as humans we need to find our gifts and share them to that we can turn this shit around. I want everybody to experience good quality of life. I’m not really a Life Coach, I’m a Life Doula. I help people navigate difficult times in their lives using free ongoing support and donation based 3 hour coaching sessions. Working this way helps me break down systems that keep us chained and returning to a natural flow and ebb of the healing process. I free minds and I offer people the freedom to make their own choices informed by their own guidance.
#purplechilliAccelerator#day10#thelifedoula Radical Curator committed to evolution. Honest, Generous & Funny I want to find out what makes you tick. You can have a better life. Be the change you want to see in the world. I believe that life can be beautiful for everyone. Make time for change.
My Ideal Client Avatar (ICA) is not defined by Gender, is 13 – 70, it’s Complicated (because it nearly always is) is focused on the focused in The Human Legacy Project. Dreams of living Off-Grid as part of a integrated community. Hippie and Deliberate Co-Creator. The are interested in Sustainable Living, Yoga, Meditation, Community Activism, The Hemp Revolution, The Natural Environment, Cycling, Social Media, Creative Interests. The spend there spare time building connections that support The Human Project. The are most likely Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest users. The follow Barefoot Five, Afrikaburn, Greenpeace. The Human Project #Collective Futures. During there day there will be food the adheres to principles of #conciousconsumption reducing the #carbonfootprint#communityfocused Excercise, Spirituality, #nature#connection The goal is that one project that is going to change everything. The need help maintaining balance, changing the system. They love pictures of #ecoarchitecture and #changemaker quotes and #bulletjournals. They love people, nature, creative endeavours, local solutions on a global scale. There wear their own clothes that they picked for themselves and like all the time. They’d be on my team because without them we are all fucked. #opensource gets them excited, eating good food and sharing good content. I really want to work with #observatoryresident#actlocal They want to keep the dream of #sustainableliving alive. Marrying work life with the #authenticself#emotionalhealth#capacitybuilding#findingflow. I can connect with them in person through #wordofmouth and #socialmedia I help them build the sustainable life they dream of. I used word of mouth #freesessions and run a #donationbased business. Whoooooaaaahhhh got there.
#purplechilliaccelerator#day15#thelifedoula I was 18 and living in a high-rise flat in Glasgow when it first occurred to me that I could by myself out of the system. At 26 I realised that urban sprawl seemed to have no end game. That the planning process failed to account for environmental impact or engage communities effectively. That is was a global issue. This forced me on a journey of self-discovery and healing that resulted in me creating The Life Doula as it was Time For Change. I love work with people and communities. If you want to find out more why not check out my group Healing Humans https://www.facebook.com/groups/165008280785091
I was 18 and living in a high-rise flat in Glasgow when it first occurred to me that I could buy myself out of the system. At 26 I realised that growing urban sprawl seemed to have a very bad end game. That exponential growth on a planet with finite resources was at best impractical. That the current human system wasn’t humane and operated at the detriment of most people, families, communities and our natural environment. That these challenges were global. That we needed to find local solutions to global problems and that creating good infrastructure started with conscious communities. We had so many solutions yet were confused and divided at where to start our sustainable dream. Yet everything always seemed to be sorted out with a long chat and a cup of tea. We had to start with ourselves our own, hearts, minds and consciousness. We needed to find our own truths in order to know where we fitted in with anybody else’s. And that if we stayed true to that? We made friends, bonded together in community, we became collectively happier and as a result stronger. Far better equipped to take up the challenge. So if you want to find your starting point for global change why not come see me for a wee chat. https://www.facebook.com/events/797458117283349
In the morning I wake to spectacular life
I occupy time, live beyond myself and for myself.
I love witnessing people’s emotional environments and how they map communities and define cultures.
I love finding out what makes you tick, watching you smile and sharing the laughter.
I love finding the light in the darkness, the joy in the struggle, the beauty in the pain.
The Story of the Broken Goddess aka The Life Doula
Time To Change
Are you a Healing Human? Join my free Facebook group now https://www.facebook.com/groups/165008280785091/?ref=br_rs
It all started with a road trip down the longest dirt road in South Africa, a car crash and a desert retreat and it ended up right here telling this story to you. I first met Karyn when I drove into into the Tankwa Padstal on the way to a small festival in the middle of the Tankwa Karoo. I drove in alone after a 4-hour drive to be immediately approached by a guy asking if I was alone? Of course, I was a little perturbed by this as I had essentially arrived on what seemed like post-apocalyptic film. I was completely vulnerable. This guy had been in a car crash and inside the bar, I found his new girlfriend and her mother, Karyn. Who were all heading the same place as me. It would have been anti-human to refuse them a lift and that is how my relationship with Karyn of Purple Chilli started. We spent the weekend talking about unicorns, universal energies, past-lives, her role in Afrikaburn and her plans than to set up a new burner festival called Sentella, never mind her role as a Consultant for the South Africa FIFA Football World Cup. She was an is an impressive lady.
Fast forward a couple of years and Karyn found her self reaching out over Social Media over a personal crisis she was going through. I can easily class myself as a crisis specialist, having recently self-diagnosed my self with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and being a Master Life Coach. Due to my own life experiences I am always happy to reach into the unknown, wade into the dark, then swim in the abyss for a while to witness someone’s pain. It’s one of my superpowers and I’m very good at it. It’s also an intrinsic part of what I do and even who I am. In the process of engaging in what was Karyn’s radical transformation, I discovered that she was changing career. That she was setting up a digital marketer. I have been building a business for nearly a year I was very interested in this. As I had been trying to push up engagement on Social Media in order to get some clients. In exchange for some coaching work, I got a full marketing review with some great feedback on how to build on what I’ve got and invited to join the Purple Chilli 21 Day Accelerator course when it was up and running.
I have to say I was excited to sit down to the challenge when it came but I had no idea how hard it would make me push myself in the process. It feels like it has cracked open my soul and made me meet my source purpose and this is even after being a qualified Master Life Coach for quite a few years. This process has made me step more deeply into my own healing journey. I won’t bull shit you at moments it’s been terrifying.
I started Karyn Reynolds Purples Chilli’s Accelerator 21 Day course with the intention to build confidence & strategy for digital marketing (I have achieved so much more than that). My intentions for The Life Doula was to create radical community focused business grounded in my local area that works on a donation basis that creates emotional health and promotes a wellbeing economy.
All very straight forward until you get into the why story…..the thing is it’s complicated and within that it was complicated and scary because explaining my “why” meant I had to delve deep into the origins of my business and thus into the origins of me…… which was something that will become obvious from this developing story.
My why is because I wanted a better world and in order to have a better world I need to to be a better person. I’m a good person with a challenging history. I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family where physical, verbal and emotional violence is accepted as a norm to this day. What even more shocking is that my family comprise of well read highly educated and professional people. Some of them even in the healing professions. Yup it’s fucking mental. In essence, I was terrorised as a child and for most of my life, I’ve been riding a roller coaster of emotions. Intense emotions have always been very difficult for me to self regulate which have to lead to issues with self-harm and co-dependency. As well as attracting some very unhealthy associations. The truth of the matter was that from a very young age all I’ve wanted to do was run away from it all and express myself freely. I wanted to be a gypsy. However for many years the trauma from my childhood has prevented me from engaging in almost anything creative. As being myself was essentially continually scorned or violently punished. After years of attempting to appease people to no avail, I fell prey to an incredibly abusive person. I had a complete nervous breakdown at the age of 26. Where I was signed off on the Uk welfare system for five years fully paid because I was a risk to myself and others. It was like being given a golden ticket you could never cash because you were too unwell to go anywhere. What it did get me was a stable home and a place to call my own, with the greatest luxury of all time.
Separately to that my own mental health and sense of wellness had been greatly diminished by the destruction of my village’s natural environment when I was a teen. The places that I had run away to to escape my family were removed from me. I was completely discouraged at all times from standing up for anything I believed in. All my joy was stolen and I ended up falling into a deep depression. The destruction of the environment had in essence spiritually crippled me.
As I progressed through my adult life the environmental theme kept coming up everywhere I went and there were no easy solutions to it. You couldn’t outrun the concrete, you couldn’t escape plastic pollution and the further you ran you destroyed a little bit more of that thing that your sought and hoped to protect.
It was an endless list of catch 22’s. Then luckily I got paid for 5 years to sit down and think. The pain of development and the capitalist system had crippled others too and that is why vast swathes of people were moving out of London and taking over villages in the hope that a beautiful spot in some quaint countryside may ease their suffering. Gentrification spurring on a new pain of displacement and community disintegration. The dislocation of tribe and creating new intergenerational trauma. People with no way to connect, no tradition to guide them, to places to gather. Town councils obsessed with money, developers obsessed with profit. The word was a sick place with no end game. Yes this had always been in the word, yet now it seemed somewhat critical. Clean air, land access and environmental security and personal wellness were rapidly being depleted all in the name of progress. We had to change the way we think, the way we consumed, what we valued. I had always wanted to buy a big house by the sea, plant some trees, grow some food and dance and paint on the lawn. That now seemed increasingly part of the problem?
My solution we had to deal with ourselves. We had to sit with our emotions however painful or destructive to stop them from having any power. Hurt led to hurt. Pain grew more pain. Unless we just found the strength to quietly sob into our pillow or even better found someone who had seen it all before and listen to our story without judgement. We were destined to run forever taking our pain with us where ever we go. Fuck it’s a mission. Fuck it’s relentless, brutal and exhausting. This was the work that needed to be done.
Then hope upon hope the world conspired to support me, I had a counsellor and a kinesiologist that worked with me for free. The held me together with masking tape and glue until eventually, I could hold myself again. Then I acquired a friend, a proper one. The kind that actually gives a shit, that turns up listens, helps.
With five years off (and all the therapy) I actually became a person that people wanted to be around, even if I was ill. Before you knew it I had a regular flow of people who would come to my door and overspill their challenges, despair and often dreams with me. I ended up with a caseload of informal client referrals that simply started with a cup of tea and a long chat. A morning, an afternoon and sometimes dependent on the unique dilemma a three-day intervention. Everyone left feeling better, even me. In exchange, I got just about anything I needed from anybody that asked because I had helped them sort there shit out and that is how The Life Doula was born.
Why did I do that – It eased my own personal suffering, made me feel useful and minimised the pain and curtailed anyone else from making the same soul-destroying life choices I had based entirely on fear. Yes, I was ruled by fear. However, I was able to offer love. Love in the shape of a sandwich, love in the shape of a bath, love in the shape of kindness and this was something I came to know as nurturance. Love was the answer, love was the question. It just needed one simple act of kindness that was intended for another person’s growth and that was enough. Nurturance offers an action based solution that created secure connections for people that had none. I started building communities in sustainable ways. Started to propagate the skills of nurturance. Taking back the human life cycle, so that grief is recognised, love is celebrated, mothers are supported, the elderly are respected, children are heard, babies are cherished, the dying is held. That we needed access to humaness. That life purpose is only a part-time pursuit in experiencing the joy and beauty that we already have. That is the work of The Life Doula to get everyone to create their global awakening. Time for a change.
If the ideas of self-nurturance, healing humans, communities, human geographies, wellbeing economy, global awakening and collective futures appeal to you? You can find out more here
Sooo if you want to grow balls big enough to write this story, that will help you explain your painful past and find out how that informs a powerful future. I’d get hold of Karyn immediately and gently coerce her to tell you her magical unicon secrets. It’s free for now. Purple Chilli
Really are we doing this? It’s kind of a must, to get a little bit of self-reflection into the programme. End cycles are such a crazy time for all of us. By the time we hit December we are already hitting 2019 hard and we are trying our best to get a clear idea of what worked and what didn’t. 2018 has been one of the hardest years that I can remember. I got married the planets went background and what was meant to be a clear trajectory to the finish line of life got all muddled up. Things were not what they were supposed to be and life long dreams coming true can mess with your head more than you can imagine. You don’t hear about this stuff much. That wedded bliss doesn’t last long or that a solution only presents a whole set of new challenges, it’s been a bit brutal. Add into the mix living on another continent from where your from, living in a dual language/culture family and well, these are a mix of challenges that a lot of people never have to deal with. For me I think 2018 has literally been the end of a 10 years cycle of wait and see. Yes 10 years of wait and see. What does that mean? It means if you are not sure what to do. Do nothing, it’s sitting back and letting it unfold knowing that the master plan may not be of your making. 2008 probably heralded my journey into personal healing after having ticked all the boxes and still not having resolved what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be in my life. Since I gave up the idea of an end game I can promise you I have over all been much happier and had a much more fulfilling life.
Saying that in that 10 year cycle I have moved continent, so I’ve done plenty. It might be better to say that life had other plans. Sometime we are dead certain on on thing and then whoops you fall in love with a man half a world away and you find yourself literally on safari. It’s been an incredible blessing.
On the other hand you adapt. You change you grow. You forget parts of yourself simply because they don’t get spoken about much being a #scotabroad experiencing #diaspora and all the complications that might bring. When even the person closest to you only occasionally see your true tartan colours a complex mix all woven together in a peculiar way that only a Scottish person might understand. Then on the other hand, doesn’t, cause after all how many Scots have lived in Cornwall and the South Africa, studied Art History and well married Boer. More people than I might imagine and then of course they aren’t here. All of the above can make for a very strange affair. Where we constantly have to negotiate our beingness to be. So very counter intuitive huh? The main news is I trust myself.
First of all even though I preach love, light, compassion and nurturance you’ve got to know that I am human. I’m espousing about the mastery of the potential human condition that I myself have am still working on. I get angry. I’m far more likely to jump to angry than to sadness any day of the week and I have a reputation for resolving conflict somewhat aggressively, even in what should be serene moments of bliss. I kid you not. What has that got to do with love? The fact that I am able to love myself in that process. I don’t reject the feelings. I don’t judge anger bad, I don’t judge aggression as bad and I also know that we all make mistakes. That although at times I can be a dick, it’s because I am not yet able to permanently tap into endless universal love. Yup that’s me. Imperfect. Fuck it’s wild huh? To find the solution is always love. In 2019 I have finally come back to myself and my way of thinking. Where my own personal mantra is “I trust myself”. Yes little old me. I trust me.
Trust isn’t exactly love though? Is it? No not exactly and yet most people would say that in any relationship that you can’t have love with without trust. So they kind of go hand in glove. The connection of love and trust is far harder to put a finger on when we think about love and trust when it come to our own interpersonal relationship with ourselves. Through my own journey I am becoming increasingly aware that self-trust is the key to any kind of love. That we have to trust ourselves, our preferences, our feedback, our story in order to experience love. That if it feels right it is right. That something feeling right is only a hop skip and a jump into personal happiness. Happiness is only a 1/2 a centimeter from love. Any kind of love, love of a person, love of a situation, a place or even a thing. If we can create love by trusting ourselves, we can change our world.
Sooooo I trust myself.
This year after many years of trying to figure out how to be a coach I’ve made the decision to go donation based. Sounds crazy right? or does it really? I trained as a Life Coach as I wanted to find great tools in order to be able to assist the people that I talk to on a daily basis. I knew that if I was able access conversational tools that allowed people to truly feed into their own potential, that there was totally new way of accessing how each of us engaged with the world. For a very long time I have always known that each of us has the ability to create positive change in the world. For some of us it’s a lot easier than others. There are a whole plethora of situations, family experiences and personal circumstances that can seriously impede our ability to thrive as adults in what can be a cruel world. Combine a few short term problems with that physical or mental health concerns and it can create a maelstrom of events that have the ability to rip lives apart. All to often the people who need the most help are totally unable to access any positive support systems. Where a small intervention for a little bit might constructively allow someone to simply make a few better choices.
This anomaly has been something that I have witnessed and experienced over and over again. That entirely capable people end up living hand to mouth as they do daily battle with painful negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. All fueled by spiraling anxiety based on a perspective of lack and scarcity. For people on the outside it can be mind boggling and frustrating to witness what they consider an intelligent person making the same mistakes over an over. So that’s what I’m doing putting and end to this bullshit for free. I’m here to help. All you have to do is turn up.