Process, Uncategorized

Death Care

 

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I took this photo on a walk to my last in-person Extinction Rebellion meeting. This was when the idea of hospicing humanity was merely an abstraction. I create my reality.

 

Well, now there’s a thing. When life ramps up to full volume and you wonder where your key priorities might be. In my journey as a life doula, I always believed that it was important to train as both a birth and death doula. Now it would appear that these skills are needed now more than ever. Especially surrounding Death Care with more and more reports coming in from Italy that the death system, like the medical system, is close to collapse. People are dying at home, unattended and alone, in one of the best medically equipped countries in the world. They are dying alone with their bodies being left ex

So it now poses all sorts of question about death care and highlights all the reasons why I have chosen my particular path as a life doula and the training that I am now undertaking. That we can’t outsource the human experiences and that the two most profound experiences of  birth and death are things that should stay wherever possible in community. Now more then ever this seems very clear to me. The situation here in the UK right now seems to be under control and contagion rates in Scotland seem to be happening much slower than in England.

The Dentist has just called and cancelled my appointment so they can be used as locum doctors. It’s another little tick as the on the upscaling of this crisis as preparations take a much deeper grip.

My thoughts are also with South Africa right now. It’s a privilege to be living in a first-world country where free health care is accepted as a norm rather than a given. There’s a lot of concern about when COVID 19 hits the townships and what is going to happen there. AIDS, HIV and TB are all going to take there toll on the survival rates. When I think of the measures that the UK government is taking with a fully fledge health care system my heart breaks for South Africa. There are dark days ahead for us all. While many of us are grappling with the impacts of marshall law on our civil liberties. I baulk at the potential death toll and the things people will have lived through at the end of this experience. Many accept that in a country that still struggles immensely with economic and cultural inequality COVID 19 is going to be a massive social leveller. It’s a situation that is going to affect everyone, globally. Few of us are able to buy ourselves out if this one and even if we could? At what cost? As martial law begins to get rolled out on a planetary scale it’s intense. The conspiracy theorist, the sceptics, the cynics and the gullible all take their view. All that we can rely on is our own subjective reality.

For obvious reasons, my phone has been ringing. I’m distracted, grounded and weirdly focused on the conversations that matter, as I do my best to stay present. Emotions are high and I feel the writhing of collective consciousness flowing through my nervous system. It doesn’t feel surreal to me. It feels normal like the world is only just catching up to what life is like for the poor, disabled and the elderly on a daily or even yearly basis. Millions of people live like this locked in their homes and in their neighbourhoods all completely socially isolated all the time. Many of us are going to be lucky enough to die like this, in our gilded cages. Figuring out that all that really matters is life. All of it.

This is a situation that you can’t buy your way out of.

Process, Uncategorized

Self Healer

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There’s has been a lot of rainbow weather lately. I’m going to miss this as follow through on my commitment as a Self Healer. Remember lots of people live lives of isolation and desolation daily.

Yes that is me. I’m fucked up too. I’m traumatised too. No I don’t have all the answers and even if I did I wouldn’t tell them to you anyway. Yup it’s fucked up being fucked up.

All those marketers say to tell your story, make yourself vulnerable and as a Systemic Trauma Specialist I say bollocks to that. You know why? Because I’m trauma-informed. We tell our stories in the hope of being heard. That people will both consider and validate our experiences, views or opinions and the truth is they don’t always. The internet is not a safe place. It’s not safe for women. Yet here we are asked to bare all in the hope of attracting, a following, a tribe, a crowd, a mob. All this when we actually have a word for trolling.

We have to be brave to tell our stories to be unheard, ignored, overlooked, criticised, mocked, ridiculed and even humiliated then carry on telling them anyway. You see we need to be partway to healed with a minuscule droplet of self-belief in order to survive the process. This is what it really means to be a Self Healer. It’s having to go against the mob when you are at your most vulnerable. You have to take on those arrows of misfortune and pull them out your back one by one. While everybody is shouting die.

Of course I believe in the best of humanity and that is because I have learned from the worst. I’ve learned from the property developers, the business leaders, the corporate managers, educators, and even the well-meaning exactly how cruel the world can be. People with power prescribe how they are going to help people, largely by deciding who is the most deserving, because they have the power to do so. Abuse of power is rife and most of us have given up our divine sovereignty for a monthly paycheck. We are employed doing things that go against our values or even common sense inflicting undue pain on our immediate and planetary communities.

This is what it really means to be a self healer it’s to pick up your pain and stop inflicting it on anybody else. It’s all about mitigating your trauma and recognising that trauma is largely systemic. When I fully understood this, that I couldn’t consume my way out of it, my only choice was to take what measures I could to detox from a toxic system. That I had to change everything that I believed conscious and subconscious. That I had to dig through all the ways that I had been programmed for somebody else’s benefit. That I had to claim my own humanity for my own sanity. That I had to be kind to myself, supportive of myself because love is the revolution.

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Systemic Collapse, it’s here.

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The view from the bedroom window as we begin the process of social distancing.

I heard the news this week that a good friend of mine had finally secured some land for growing willows where they could live out the end of there days as a basket weaver. It’s a delightful story  I’m sure you’ll agree. I congratulated them on their commitment to the revolution, that includes many key elements like slow the fuck down, stay local, grow your own food and do you know your neighbours? Forcing us to aks the much bigger question like do you like where you are?

It’s been a question many of us have been asking as we chose to travel the world looking for better places to be all without taking on the full consequences of our actions. That includes me. Honestly, I was well into my twenties before I realise the impact or air travel on our environment or even seriously started to consider where my food came from. Back then it was all about food miles and now it’s all about community resilience.  Here we are at the end of capitalism and many of us are still living in a bubble where we have very deliberately chosen not to engage with collective responsibility. As we jet set from one global conference to another, barely conscious of the communities we live in and how they might function in a period of systemic collapse.

Systems collapse is here and for me it’s exciting. It’s the real stuff of life. The imagined structures of the world are exactly that, imagined. There are no effective borders for air born illness. We live in a planetary system. We know we can’t eat money. It certainly can’t cure Covid 19 and yet we worship this imaginary substance, that is nothing more than a digital commodity, that has no other purpose than control what people can or can’t do. Imagine if everything was free. Imagine if living was free. What would we be doing then? Most of us would be resting. Most of us would be in deep recovery after centuries of abuse. If our worth wasn’t caught up in money or the idea of productivity. A very different world is now emerging where community resilience is key. More than that where human connection is at the forefront of how we interact. How are many of us going to live if we actually have to stop? What is going to come up for us? That we are isolated? That we are alone? That it’s uncomfortable? That we need to make changes to our lives that doesn’t involve chasing down a mystical cash cow. What if you just did what you love? What if just if you believed that rest was resistance and it’s powerful? What if we just change how we thought about everything even ourselves. what if we didn’t have to call it fancy things like systemic change or human-centred design? What if we deeply took on board how interconnected and interdependent things are. So that when we have global emergencies governments didn’t have the power to make decisions that might condemn us all to death with on decision. It’s too much power for any one person to have. These are decisions that need to be taken collectively and we must all play our part.

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Life Doula

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I came back to Scotland, joined extinction rebellion and got sent a beautiful letter that was signed off, with Love & Rage. It gave me all the feels.

 

There is more than one life doula out there. I might not be able to say exactly what they do or how they do it but it’s certainly a thing. More recently I came towards the idea that the best way to really describe a Life Doula is as a Trauma Doula. Life can be very traumatic you know? The number one cure for trauma a secure attachment and that is the core of my work. I will literally sit with you in the dark, you can cry on me, snot up my favourite clothes and I will be very happy to be of service. Yes, I do appropriate hugging and holding. It’s all part of the healing process.

Not only that this year, yes  2020 I’ve finally been able to reach out to both Birth and Death Doula’s who get it. That makes me happy because have felt tribeless as I push towards the kind of care I know the traumatised deserve.  I’ve been claimed and that makes me feel like I have a tribe. It’s better than that though, I have found The Red Tent Doulas and am going to be training with them this year as both a birth doula and a death doula. Which makes me very very excited. What makes me most excited is the Alexandra Wilson who is also of Sacred Circles described “Doula work is like a trojan horse” that the work of the doula does much to bring into question current systemic approaches to life as we currently understand it. Doula work asks us to step away from the idea that we are human robots and take us back to both our origin stories and end stories. That we all belong and that in the process of being born, living and dying we are all far more deeply connected than we might like to acknowledge.

Healing both our lives and for me at least acknowledging our life-cycles is a very important part of our innate sovereignty as humans. You see the work that I do has hashtags for days. All of is important because all of us are important. We are living lives in defiance of our very nature. It’s why we are sicker, unhappier and yet at the same time healthier than ever. A return to some form of understanding of our sacredness can do us every kind of good as long as it is not informed by dogma. There is no right or wrong way to do things. No right or wrong way to be. Even no choice, is a choice but to be careering along with no connection to your greater being is something other. We were not intended to live like this. Being a Doula is taking ourselves to a very basic understanding of the deep value of life. That as human bodies we are witness to something, profound and unique. That we only have one of. That only we know. That only we get to live. Doula’s honour that process. We honour life. We want to use our lives to honour you in your deepest vulnerability. We are here in service, for the love of humanity.

Process, Uncategorized

Ego Death & The Crushing System

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I’ve been tramping round Edinburgh to get to places cause money is a bit tight. The funny thing is that people feel sorry for me. After 7 years of being unable to walk around in the evening or at night, It feels like a total privilege to be able to enjoy what has come to be known to me as zombie time. Oh, twilight it’s nice to know you again.

So in my process of processing the term, Ego Death comes up. First of all, I do not in any way shape or form claim to be egoless. What I can say is that I’m stepping into me every deeper and exploring the inner landscape of shame in ways I’ve never been able to before. Maybe its because I’m turning 40 this year. Maybe it’s because I’m changing my approach.

Two things have happened to me recently one is getting a message from my Mother (who I’m currently estranged from) the other is having to get in touch with my old art college about course transcripts. Both have been triggering. Both have made me investigate my emotional landscape a little deeper. Even as I start to write about about it my anxiety rises and my self-harm ideation emerges and I very literally have to right now go deep into some somatic experiencing. I can feel the tingling of my skin the tightening of my chest and the emergence of ego as it’s rage and anger filled rant starts to emerge in my mind and I’m already getting up to the cup of tea and Instagram scrolling distraction therapy to not go there to deep. So I can stay here with you. You see I don’t think I talk about this part much. The fight. The fight to be here, to stay present, to keep going. T function while feeling and why the idea of ‘normal’ screams systemic abuse at me and makes me feel incredibly unsafe. You see for some of us and I’d like to think the growing part of the population that is becoming truer. The trauma levels are too high. The greenwashing, gaslighting bullshit is too toxic and I have to train hard to be able to deal with any of it. I know I am not alone.

Yet when I am out there posting my at-home selfies that don’t cater for outward appearances I feel like a failure. Like OMG seriously Kimberley again? You haven’t brushed your hair. How is anybody going to relate to this really? This must be so off-putting and then I realise that that is how most women feel all day, every night. That the pressure of appearance is crushing them, even when they have it all done. The hair, the make-up. The panic of office wear that has long left my life was a major liberation. I know for a lot of people that kind of freedom isn’t even on their radar. That I literally live a life of privilege every single day at home in a warm house with and internet connection in my pyjamas. You see and that’s when I think about it. That even the idea of self-care can be crushing. I mean I do brush my hair and teeth and I do do my four-step skincare most days. It’s just that because I work from home I don’t have to do those things immediately when I get up. Then some fab idea comes up and now I just hop online. Then even though I may be feeling good on the inside confident about what I’m saying my appearance doesn’t match my words. It poses big questions that although self-care might be for us what is it about ‘presentability’ that might be toxic. That people can’t see us as ourselves, at home in our pyjamas and does that work differently for men? So on that now I’m off to wash my face and grab some tea. To think about this a bit more.

I’m back.

Which takes me back to the thing I found triggering and why they interest me.  One I’m deep diving more and more into trauma recovery and the causes of systemic trauma which means a lot of deep diving for me personally. You see for me the personal informs the professional. I recently read somewhere (which I can’t remember) that they were thinking about naming CPTSD as a systemic disease. I’m not sure exactly what that means, except for me personally. So many things can be triggers if we are even slightly aware of the interconnectivity of everything how you connect with yourself is directly driven by how you were brought up and the family system you were or were not born into, will inform how you interact with the world.

Recently I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I am not ready to expose all yet. What I can say is that despite my trauma I do know that my family system made me into a change maker. You know why? Because I am playing out a polarity and using it to resolve my own trauma,  for which I am very grateful. It’s also allowing me to individuate in ways that I never imagined or managed. I’m learning so much about myself and my somatic experiencing about my family I’m quite simply shocked at the bodily feelings that come up for me. Like a few paragraphs before tears just started flowing down my face. It was purely a bodily response, a release.

The whole art school thing…well that. What I realise that through that horrific (Yes I do mean that) educational experience I would never have learned our understood exactly what it is to be complicit. How Systemic Abuse can be branded to look safe and how if we aren’t directly affected by Systemic Abuse we will still use corporate power to propel us personally and professionally even if we are well-meaning hippies.

So Ego Death…. what is it? Right now for me, it’s ending the idea of who you think you are or what you present to the world. I’m a lady that works in her pyjamas and old jumpers that don’t brush her hair until or wash her face until she is leaving the house. The weight of that truly feels enormous. Ego death isn’t anything to be afraid of. Most of us have already embraced it in some form or another when we donned our first uniform.

Process, Uncategorized

The Total Rethink

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The is The Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters. it caught me off guard in a good way a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to find the nearest bank. If systemic trauma could speak I wonder what it might say about this building. Privately own publicly funded? It almost certainly one of the great spectacles of late capitalism. Righ up until the arrival of Covid 19.

Fuck. You can probably gather from my last few posts that I have been having a challenging time getting my trauma responses under control. I love it when people reach out to me to check that I am ‘OK’ because I’m posting about real life. About the true emotional landscape where I’m not just throwing around #blessed and showing off a #getawayfund. Fuck it, when I think of those things most of the time I just feel incredibly grateful that I have a life I can live with; even with anxiety, trauma and the odd sleepless night. Yes, these things are all normal, to be expected and in fact for the average human life mandatory. I know I’m not into the boom and bust gaslighting effect of your every day coaching tactics. Fuck that.

Given that I’ve been going through rebirth and reinvention. I think it was a little crazy for me to try and follow through with a marketing plan that I pulled together at the end of last year when I lived in another continent. In fact, it was a wee bit crazy fo me to think about marketing at all. Cause lets face it’s not something I believe in. Though all the marketing gurus in the world will tell you it’s something you should be. I understand why they want to sell you something meanwhile little old me I’m trying to give you something; as simple as a realistic perspective laced with magic.

Of course yes I am a Life Doula ( A profession I have in essence invented) I do have services for sale and please do feel free to contact me should you want something from me.  I think the big BUY NOW button should be flashing somewhere below (NOT). Does that work for you? Just wondering? I personally find it mildly traumatising. That my only value to the people who might want to emotionally help me is monetary. For all the love-bombing out there I think we’ve got to get real about the nature of true attachment, it is for the most part value-based. That loving unconditionally is premised at the very least on personal safety. Given that here in the ‘west’ we’ve been worshipping martyrs for the last 2000 years, we are all a bit fucked up about this.

Martyrdom is brutal and might explain why most of our boundaries are a bit messed up most of the time. It may play a role in why Europeans have become land grabbing, bloodthirsty maniacs that we are. Living out the polarities of give and take in extreme and destructive ways. If you can imagine that someone in the third world is probably selling clean water the way the European diaspora is currently selling emotional safety, you might begin to understand the scope of the challenge. Contemplate this further and you might begin to clarify exactly how messy the human psyche can be. In the last few years, we have been commodifying the nurturance of family and tribe. It’s what I do reticently I’m really not in it for the money. Though I really do like eating. You look after me I’ll look after you. Mutual respect and fair exchange is all I’m asking. Good Samaritan or not. The truth is we all have to be strong enough to support one another and part of that is making sure you have something for yourself.

Which brings me swiftly to my point I write for me. Writing is one of my ongoing ‘high functioning coping strategies’, these days I am daring to move beyond this and saying it’s one of my not so repressed gifts. When I write I get clarity and I get back to the core of who I am. So if I don’t do it makes me anxious, irritable and restless. It’s a key part of my own personal nurturance programme.  Its something I need to tend to be well. More than this blogging has become a way to manage journaling as a result of a nomadic lifestyle. I have neither the physical strength nor the mental capacity to carry the weight of my thoughts in physical form and thus blogging has liberated me. I do, I write for myself and every so often I get lost in the idea that I’m writing for someone. Maybe I am I’m writing for someone like me. Someone who has found life traumatising. Who has been confused and baffled by a system that promotes planetary and human destruction even when they mean well? Trauma interrupts thoughts,  experiences and ways to understand the self in relation to a fucked system.

I don’t want to write some jingoistic idea of what you might be interested in. That’s a load of bullshit because really if you are reading this you should be interested in me and more succinctly what I have to say. What’s really exciting in this now moment is that I am finding a place where the curatorial meets the coach. The trauma intersects with the system and that doulaing seems to be the platform that can bring it all together in an appropriate way.

Last night I looked at my website. It’s was better than I thought (though I am still working on it). My message is clearer than I expected. I’ve been using the last few months to hone down what I do even further. You see until I had discovered the systemic trauma thing; what I was working on felt very nebulous because it is. Systemic trauma has many many sources. From the way, we are taught to write in school to how systemic trauma can be passed down intergenerationally. From land misuse, ecocide to forced displacement. It’s not one thing. It’s everything and it’s all connected. It’s literally taken me 20 years to find the language. Systemic Trauma. It’s not one thing. It’s everything. It’s not just the professional it’s the personal.

Here at the centre of several global emergencies, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, highly emotional and reactive. Many of us have been forced to the street or retreat into binge-watching fantasy. While some of us swing wildly between both. Few of us are comfortable taking a selfie crying and yet society seems to be screaming toxic vulnerability. It’s a very specialised skill palpable emotional distress.  Yes, that and for those of us in the trenches highly functional coaches can be re-traumatising. Even though you are going to kill yourself I will only give you the solution if you give me… It’s pretty fucked up given that access to care should be a primary human right if it isn’t already.

So in that, I  realise that social media is my vehicle for connection. Because I actually do have my dream job. Wandering around in my pyjamas and not brushing my hair is good for me.  This is why I enjoy Instagram because I am taking the time to connect with myself. That’s a privilege. It’s a privilege to have gained this much emotional safety and to have a support system that can hold me emotionally to do this. I swim in thoughts and feelings trying to find some idea of true north. These days what I am grateful for is that more and more I find myself reading things I agree with like my tribe are emerging from a very long hibernation. That I am not fighting this fight on my own.

You see being yourself is difficult. Don’t let people tell you otherwise it’s bullshit. Finding the strength to really embraced yourself is a tough task. The thing is no one can help you find you. You have to do it all on your own. What that means is that you have to be able to love the things you love. Find joy in the things that bring you joy. You have make yourself distinguishable. In a world that wants cardboard cutouts and easy consumables, it’s hard. Believe me I know. I’m there all the time with the complex thoughts and the big questions, that make people uncomfortable. That’s my job. I’m a provocateur. I’ve spent my life challenging the system.

You have to be able to stand up for yourself. Claim what is rightly yours. Then figure out how much it’s going to cost you emotionally to get to your destination (without becoming an addict. (I might be one of those.) ) When I have enough money, respect, self-care, love. You know how it is. I have to consider this more deeply as part of The Total Re-Think. Yes I’m writing, thinking, considering and very aware that it’s a messy, unorganised process reconfiguring. I’m an unfinished artwork awkwardly collaging mediums and genres. All the more work for wanting to make it perfect trying to get it right hoping to be representative, document and find myself all at once.

In my last blog post, I wrote all about hashtags and I’m feeling a little bit sorry for you as I am probably going to have to write about that all over again. I mean for fuck sake. I basically posted a new Instagram post that made me realised my cracking or let’s say wack plan for writing in 2020 was now totally out of sync with where I was going and what I am doing. Now as seen above I have a very specialised niche. Which covers the below values. The other hashtags are still very relevant and an important part of my work

#systemictrauma #systemicchange #systemichealing #systemicabuse #systemicconstellations #familyconstellations #traumainformed #emotionalhealing #rebirth #europeandiaspora #humanitarians #environementalactivists #globalchangemakers #wellbeingecomony #planetaryhealing #itsallconnected #healinghumans #lifedoula #healyourselffirst #decolonising #diaspora #nurturance #thebasics

Although it isn’t always easy to own I like the way I align with my values. I don’t want to have a pre-plan what I write about and why. Do you know why? It’s important to stay connected to your emotions to process them to think them? Although personal marketing is meant to be liberating its hard not to fall into a formulaic or systemic trap.

So I’ve decided to continue with the approach I’m taking. Emotions are important. How the fuck they are fully connected with my webpage and blog writing is a little bit beyond me at this point. I do have some ideas. Kind of like grabbing my The and rewriting a whole post. It’s really interesting to be able to grab the roll of the crazy boss. Have you ever been there? Whey you are working on a project of a theme or a roll-out, sometimes for days sometimes for weeks, even months than all of a sudden the boss walks in and say “OK everyone we are changing everything”. Yup that.

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#thelifedoula

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Me in my new spot Portobello moonstruck with sea fever.

Ok change of plan –

I am a systemic trauma specialist. I help you identify toxic patterns and how to change them. I work with global changemakers, humanitarians and environmental activists of Europe and it’s diasporas.

This my friends is called niching. It’s the core principle of both marketing and coaching and holy fuck after four years of daily deep diving I have finally gotten here. Like seriously someone open the champagne.

I’m on the edge of something deeply tangible with this and I think you are going to like it. It feels like integration. I’ve often said that my work began when I lived in a small cottage in Cornwall when I had more time on my hands than I would have liked as a result of recovering from trauma. People need to be able to talk about stuff, in a safe warm environment and it pretty much became my specialisation. You know why because I had become experientially trauma-informed. How did I do that? I thought about the things that came out of my mouth and I wondered how much of what I said had everything to do with me or to do with the person I was speaking to and that’s when I became a good listener. Listening not only to the world that weer flowing out of other peoples mouths but of the feeling I was jostling within my soul. Where did they begin and where and I end. As much as I wanted to be helpful I also knew that I needed to have boundaries. Being able to offer people a safe space knowing that is was a community service rather than a calling allowed me to be able to say no. Allowed me to become my own person, with my own house and my own rules. Not just that the radical intervention of emotional self-care. Yes that. Even now I struggle with where that might begin and end, when you know danger as a safe space. It made me wonder hard, to dig deep and find new perspectives on everything. I had to consider myself what my needs were? Who I was? Most importantly what I needed to heal. Mainly long conversations and the occasional trip out of the house.

Fast forward 5 years and it’s clear I should train to be a life coach, even though I might be trauma-informed I am no good at sob stories. I can handle trauma like a boss. Yup, you’ve been in an accident. A near-death experience I can totally get you through it. An unexpected death? The afterbirth blues. Yuh-huh? I’m here but I’m not going to sit with you while your hair gets matted and the dishes go moldy. You got to get up off your ass and do something. Extreme life coach wading into trauma to help you. Here I am. yet at the same time how do you claim to be a Life Coach when you have got absolutely no interest in someone financial productivity? Like none. Unless of course, it comes down to a matter of survival… Unless your job is serving the planet I have absolutely no desire to work with you. So yes I wanted to train as A life coach thinking it would teach me things. Which it did, a lot. What I didn’t appreciate in signing up was exactly how much I might wanted to offer to the profession, so much so that I had to start a new one. I mean fuck talking for an hour. I mean things can be discovered in an hour but they can’t be resolved especially when you are really fucking stuck, traumatised, repressed or your own very special brand of fuck-upness (flawsome). That Mastin Kipp might describe as “High functioning coping mechanisms” – If you’re self-medicating like a boss with herbal tea and yoga, you are pretty much there. The good news is if you are doing anything at all you are doing a great job. You see being trauma-informed is easy it’s endless love and encouragement. Yup endless. That’s the hard part, get the ego in check. Cause you see we don’t leave people in labour. Why would you chose to put the most vulnerable in our society in situations they aren’t comfortable with? It seems bizarre.

Why would you ask someone to meditate on their relationship with their family, when in fact incest is common. Why are we gaslighting ourselves as a society? Even in healing circuits.

You see I’m always thinking, highly critical, forward thinking and running what I think I know and certainly what I’ve been told through the mincer. I mean I was on 14 when I figured our that low fat diets must be a crock of shit cause the body can store fat and that was in biology 101. Anyways wait until you get the physics – if every colour is a reflection of a light wave what colour is it really? You see that’s what it’s like to be paying attention. If it’s all about connection why am I actually paying you for your time? And do you really believe in the work you do. Yup that stuff.

So yes I am The Life Doula – I rebirth people and have grandiose ideas of rebirthing the planet through trauma.  We will get to all that later. I don’t do workshops either cause I have no need to re-traumatise you or the people around you. I’d rather not take the risk life happens to us anyway.

Also looking for collaborators that  are interested in working on the Glasgow UN COP 26 in November. Get in touch if you are keen.

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The Life Doula 2020

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Last year I started off the working year figuring our a marketing strategy and developing what hashtags I should use. A year on I can finally say that I cracked it and I’m very pleased with what I have figured out about both myself and my business. So here they are and that they also come in a specific order.

#thelifedoula #lifedoula #selfhealer #cptsd #personalactivism #healyourselffirst #flawsome #rebirth #selfhealing #traumahealing #emotionalhealing #relationalhealing #generationalhealing #ancestralhealing #landhealing #communtiyhealing #collectivehealing #systemichealing #planetaryhealing #itsallconnected #healinghumans #traumainformed #emotionalmapping #systemiccontellations #wellbeingeconomy #changemakers #activists #thebasics #nurturance

It’s been an absolute mission to get to all of these and also to figure out exactly what I do. How I do it and why. Who with and what for. Although many of those answers might have been easy the definitive has been very hard. Although my marketing and hashtags mission my not have got exactly where I need to be in business it has given me some amazingly valuable insight about where I want to be and life as well as where I need to be for business and even more importantly what I need to grow both personally and professionally.

In fact, Purple Chilli short free course brought me to some incredible insight into exactly what I do, that finally gave me some incredible insight into what I specialise in as The Life Doula.

I’m a trauma-informed Life Coach that specialises in systemic healing. I can help you identify toxic systems and how to change them. I work with changemakers of the Eur

What is more, I’m going to use my blog post throughout 2020 to explain my hashtags further. You see systemic trauma is that nebulous thing that you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s the system man. It’s capitalism, education, city planning, the tech we use, our family units and so much more. It’s why so many of us feel out of step and disconnected. That is the fact, everything is connected, the personal informs the professional and the professional impacts the planetary. Now more then ever we need to acknowledge that both inwardly and outwardly.

Over the last year, it’s has been an incredible journey of learning more deeply about how the micro informs the macro. The connection between neuroplasticity and planetary destruction and everything in between. The learning never ends at the same time it seems all my learning is beginning to make more and more sense become more integrated and give me far more confidence in what I do.

You see it can be really challenging to take on the entire system, while simultaneously developing a new profession that challenges the accepted processes of emotional wellbeing.

For me, the best place we can start to change the system is with ourselves. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing and why I’ve made some radical changes after some tough realisations that centre round Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and issues of Co-dependency. Aye, that.

Because we are all fucked up traumatised and looking at the big issues without taking control of the small ones. Without deeply committing to the Dharma (me included).  To say that the discovery of term systemic trauma has been revolutionary for me and also deeply liberating multiple ways. Because it’s not just me it’s the system. Even the way that I might write think or put together my business has been nausea (that the polyvagal nerve btw) inducing roller coaster.

My doula practice is not informed by what I’ve been told. It’s about what I have learned and moving way far beyond my own ego it’s about what is necessary for global change. Yes really. And yes really, I believe it. I believe that we can all heal. First of all, we have to understand what is wrong. It’s not us. It’s that nebulous thing, systemic trauma thing that expects us to fit into a system not designed for the human experience. The more healed I become the more deeply aware I am that systems need to change for us to be happier. I need to change, to change the system. As a result of this realisation, I have gone through my own revolution, making major life changes to be able to do what I do. I’ve come to a much deeper understanding of my own trauma and the things that I have to heal in my life to better nurture myself and able to serve my clients and the world more deeply.  That there are things that we need to heal for ourselves and that we can’t depend on anybody else to fix it for us, nor are we able to fix anyone else without their enthusiastic consent.

So here I come to my explanatory note about what’s happened and why I have decided to move continents.

The break down in my personal family relationships due to systemic trauma. Oh yes, that. I’m not immune and I’m entirely responsible. Seriously who could expect to fall in love with someone from one of the most traumatised countries in the world and think that there wouldn’t be some bumps in the road? Of course, there are and that’s ok. The main thing is that both of us are both physically and emotionally and the rest is down to the healing process.

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” – Cynthia Occelli

Even though I moved to South Africa as a Love Migrant the idea that I was in any way entitled to work there has always been deeply problematic for me on a systemic level. Profiteering from the fate of the African continent at the hands of the colonialist is par for the course of most ex-pats or NGO’s. Quite frankly I have found it sickening over the years. I’m still doing the internal work as to understand why it triggers me so much and hope to be coming up with some writing about it too. I have hope my experience can inform future practitioners and projects.  If you want to find out more about what I do in this scope you can check out my other website https://kimberleykstone.com/ where I’m starting to explore all these ideas more deeply.

The primary premise of the work that I do is built on relies on building secure attachments, as well as the physical presence of support.  With an emerging family crisis and an ongoing visa situation, it has become obvious that I need to be building from a strong foundation. I believe that what I am offering is deeply personal solutions to global problems. That healing humans is at the centre of the process of the currently planetary crisis we are facing. Trauma comes in a spectrum and that our responses have range that are largely informed by our physiology. It’s all limbic systems, adrenal overload and vagal nerve stuff. That i”m sure I’ll be writing a lot more about in the future.

I love South Africa. It’s country that I couldn’t speak more highly of if you paid me. The people, the landscapes, the culture, the wildlife,  and even the weather. It’s all been mindblowing in the best ways possible. Breaking down my own prejudices and perceptions. Whatever you might think about South Africa as a nation it is far more complex than you might ever imagine. I have done my best every day to fully understand this deeply diverse, complex and traumatised country. What I can tell you for sure. That there is no blame in the road to recovery.  It’s no one sub-group that is suffering it’s everybody. More than this with a shared collective vision it’s a country with the resilience and commitment to healing. The Rugby World Cup Win last year was evidence of that.

The process of coming to terms with this incredible geographic shift has come with plenty of personal challenges that have led to me having to come a deeper understanding of my own personal activism, where nurturance and the realms of love really begin. That beyond being kind and compassionate to one’s self there are personal and interpersonal behaviours that have been learnt through systemic dysfunction. That I am working hard to break out of. That we need to alter our behaviours to get out of a  system that no longer works for us.

Rebirth isn’t easy you see you have to be destroyed, you have to lose everything. Yet there is a twist you have to lose everything to gain everything. As many of you will know that I didn’t come to the process or idea of becoming The Life Doula because I read a few books and thought emotional healing and trauma were an unrecognised phenomenon of modern-day life. I actually lived through some shit. Some serious fucking shit that most people recoil from about sentence number two. Anyways it would be of no surprise that the people and that I choose to share my life with be it friends or family carry equal amounts of trauma. I know my well being can impact everybody around me. Over the last year, I’ve been watching Red Table Talk and been in awe of 3 generations of women talking openly about some awkward and necessary issues. From addiction to self-harm. At some point in those conversations there came the idea that some people are forged rather raised. That was something that really resonated with me. That’s how I feel now.

It would be easy to feel sorry for myself about the unfortunate events of 2018/2019. Yes, I’ve cried about it. Wailed about it. Given other people permission to wails too. Yet at the same time, I’ve rejoiced, felt incredibly grateful and possibly the most supported I’ve felt in my entire life. You see I have my own clan now Whanau the friends that are your family. More than that I feel both deeply loved and a deep sense of love, stronger than I have ever known.

 

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End Of An Era

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It really is. A decade at an end. The truth of the matter is, I have no idea where I might be when you read this. I writing this nearly three weeks ago, as I sit on a precipice of something entirely new and unclear. Most of this year I have eluded to the fact that things have not gone exactly to plan in my life and yet still I find myself unwilling to share my story. It’s actually all lined out for the first of next years blog posts, hopefully, that will keep you tuned in for some major revelations.

In the last post, I talked about the power of connection. That is what I specialise in. Holding space, creating space and making time for change. If there was ever a time for change it is now. My personal crisis bathes in minutia as we look at things on a planetary scale. We have a climate crisis, globally polarised politics and a whole new generation seeking to be heard as Millenials begin to take a backstage. Millennials for obvious reason have dominated the last decade, largely considered entitled, among other things that don’t come to mind as easily. Even the other day I was talking to someone who had been in Bali to discover a tribe of Global Nomads, as I talked about taking more of my work online.

Twenty years ago I fantasied about being a travel writer and then demonised myself for thinking that anybody else would be interested in what I have to say. Writing was for the confident, the well educated and somehow the endorsed.  That we needed people to believe in us to move forward in life. I was not wrong. My lack of secure attachment, runaway lifestyle, (rather than nomadic) hindered me from progression in ways that I was not yet fully able to recognise or understand. What I realise now twenty years later is that somehow, that probably made me, far more interesting than your stock standard public school alumni writer. Yet even as I developed as a writer I found Guardian articles blasé and lacking depth as a result of the endorsement that only middle-class living can buy. I didn’t know then that how I felt was symptomatic of a broken system that disenfranchised the different, demonised the disengaged and stopped us from connecting. It’s only in very recent weeks that I’m beginning to understand that how I feel have far more to do with neuroscience than it has to do with personality. That brain science and personal perception are the universes playing out in the micro what is happening in the macro. That we are all reflections of ourselves and that those with the most to say are very rarely heard due to the importance of all matters E- Loc. That as humans we are controlled by so many things external to ourselves. That the need for endorsement is a form of psychosis visited on us not just by our primitive and infant’s brain yet by society itself.

It’s the end of an era. I really do hope so. I want the system to fail, for human spirit thrive and end the robotic and enslaved existence of the human’s soul. I’ve been told it’s all happening in January 2020. I won’t be stockpiling food. I’ll be hoping for the best, diving into my soul and surrendering to flow and be here somewhere in the either for anybody that needs me. The thing is about the Global Nomad thing is that most of us are deeply disconnected sitting in cafes or air BnB’s narrating lives that don’t really exist. Where tea with your mother is destroying the planet and your digital devices are implicit in illegal wars and child labour. Our privilege keeps people enslaved. There is in this current system no way round that. Ten years on from a decade ago we really are only just beginning to understand how the greed induced tyranny of most of human existence needs to be broken down.

On a personal level, this decade has been a decade of love, deep unadulterated love. The kind that heals souls, brings a person home and brings a sense of belonging that stills the heart long enough to hear itself. If there is one thing that I could to take into the next ten years it is love and love alone. Right now we all have the ability to chose the paradigm in which we want to live. For me, that is about giving all my power to my own personal truth that love and joy must guide the way. That personal frequency is everything.

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The Life Doula: Creating Connection

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It’s an interesting thing to sit at the core of what you do and understand that it is about something as basic as creating connection. Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that therapy is only needed as a result of the conversations that we are unable to have with a secure attachment. A secure attachment is someone we trust, that cares about us, that believes in us and wants nothing more than for us to be both healthy and happy. The sad truth that secure attachments have become rare.

More than this I have known for quite some time the power of deep conversation, that isn’t so much therapeutic as it is real. You see we all grasp for depth especially when life has challenged us. Secure attachments are the number one thing that guarantees our success in life as well as minimises the impacts of trauma. Do you know who your secure attachments are? Do you have a good friend? A relative or even a work colleague who is there for you?

Most of us are so caught up in the superficial we barely make time for the real stuff. We barely make time for eye contact or the space to feel exactly where we or someone is at. We are so controlled by time and external commitments we are unable to see or experience the things that are right in front of us. The things that are just as magical as all the others, if we took the time to appreciate them. You see life isn’t one long to-do list. Even if it was we have to ask exactly what it is that we are ‘doing’ it for? We cannot take the material with us. It’s just a sideshow to the main event. I wonder sometimes if life is not laid out something like The Crystal Maze. Where these fantasy worlds are created only to distract us and let’s face it it’s easy to get distracted by all the beautiful shiny things. After all, they were all created too. In the meantime, we are walking around in flesh suit ignoring one another even though we know that we are the most finite thing on the planet. Only existing once. So what is it that drives us away from one another? What drives us to disconnect us from the uniquely exquisite human connections that we face every day?

This year has been a breakthrough year for me. Most of my breakthroughs delivered to me by way of my own clients. That most of our sources of pain are systemic rather than personal. That our childhood wounds are not necessarily the results of bad parenting, rather the results of the inhumane conditions in which parents are expected to parent. We can’t hold our parents accountable for the circumstances and systems that they too were/are struggling to survive in. That we can only take responsibility for our own healing, that everyone’s healing is unique and that I heal to be taught as much as I am to teach. I have learned that trauma is about spectrum and range and that we simply can’t help people if we do not understand the depth of their feeling. That you can never walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes, you can only share the road. That is what connection is all about. Taking the time to experience one another.