Process, Uncategorized

Re-Parenting

IMG-4176Re-parenting has been a theme that has been coming up again and again over the last few weeks. When I very first started out on what we might call the coaching journey; which is an entirely different thing to the healing journey  I thought I might advertise myself as a Self-Parenting Coach. Only now do I realise, one how ironic that is in terms of my own personal journey since then, and two how ahead of the game I was. Even now The Life Doula as a concept seems so way out there that only one of my clients so far has actually got it. (Hey ho) without me having to explain it. Re-birthing yes that too is a thing. Re-birthing as you can well imagine goes hand in hand with Re-Parenting or Self-Parenting as I have termed it.

So here we are talking about terms. What I really want you to know, is that although I might think up terms regularly,  I do try to think about the terms that I use at great length. Especially what they might mean to people or make them feel. So, for example, the term Re-Parenting, though very valid, automatically brings up the for me a bubbling kind of resentment and shame. Filled in with exclamation points!!!! Like “For fuck sake, like being parented wasn’t horrific enough as it was without having to take on the actual role of my parents as well in order to gain insight into how truly fucked up they were.” After all, assaulting a four-year-old wasn’t bad enough as it was without having to relive through both parties. Yup, it’s full-on inside my head. Then I get to Self-Parenting and it lets me give out this resigned sigh of “Well I suppose somebody’s got to do it” as I look round the room for an imaginary adult that might be willing to take on the task. After all, wasn’t that what you were always looking for another adult that might help and then, of course, didn’t….. Yup, it’s a bit fucked up no two ways about it. The abandonment buttons are very real in this process. As well as that it also leaves a certain element of blame on the parents part, like they should have done better, known better behaved better. When in fact they are fucked up, still fucked up and very committed to the process of avoiding that reality. Oh well and to leave yourself with the role of re-parenting or self-parenting leaves bigger questions about the need for the do-over or the very real neglect and abandonment, that may never be answered or might indeed leave us more traumatised. It’s not our job to re-parent ourselves it never was and it’s a mild form of victim-blaming to suggest that we should have to take on that role for ourselves.  So both terms linger within me with a mild toxicity. That seems to be corrosive over time.

So after all that and all that feeling and how I felt and how I thought other people in the same situation as me might feel I came up with the idea of Self-Nurturance, and I love it. Self-Nurturance seems light and fluffy and cuddly. It’s all the things you might want and need from a responsible adult. It’s all the things that you might want and need for your responsible adult, that makes me love it even more. It’s not as lofty unavailable as Self-Love nor does it seem as socially weighty and thus drudgingly boring as Self-Care it’s somewhere snuggly in-between. More than this it also signifies that its role is poised to create growth. That if we nurture ourselves we can have whole vibrant lives. That we are getting fully prepared for new adventures. Where lemon water is exciting and yoga can feel nourishing. Where we step away from what we are supposed to do, into what we want to do and that those things though separate in our head are exactly the same thing. It’s just no one ever told us. Do you know why? Because no one ever told them.

Process, Uncategorized

Merging Files

IMG-4081Exponential personal growth has been a massive feature in my life over the last 2 years. Over the last few weeks I have been witnessing my programming change. That for the last few years I am becoming increasingly savvy at figuring out what is my stuff and what is other people stuff. Creating clear boundaries and operating from a space of compassion without enabling. Which is can be very easy with clients. Yet increasingly  difficult within the personal relationships and friendships that I’ve been growing within over the last few years. All of a sudden I’ve been finding glitches in the system and I have felt for the last few days that I have been merging old and new files of myself within relationships. Who I am and who I was, who I can be and how everyone benefits. That the programmes of the past no longer serve me in my future.

It many ways it might appear that I am becoming what would classically be described as more selfish. That word alone makes me begin to understand how quickly and how early we are trained out of fulfilling our own needs. That somehow me buying myself flowers could be a whole host of things from uppity to attention-seeking or even doing it to make someone else feel bad. Not today, not in this home but you can feel where this is coming from, can’t you? That if nobody loves you enough to buy your flowers then why should you buy yourself flowers? Creating a cycle of depreciating personal value in your life.

What is more, other words than selfish are creeping into my insight of the shadow. I witnessed more and more how poorly the words manipulative and complaining are being banded around in response to emotion. If woman or children cry for example it is often classed and manipulative, in order for them to get her way. Or even when someone says how they feel “I don’t feel you are listening to me” “Stop complaining”. These words as defence weapons largely by people that have no connection with there own emotional landscape. It’s kind of like watching someone who’s been jagged by a thorn lashing out a thorn tree without removing the thorn. Painful very very painful to watch. As we see so many online videos of how to negotiate emotions with children it becomes clearer to me that who is doing this for the adults out there running the world and in need of so much more support than a paid therapist or councillor. Even who is looking after me? As I look round more and more I begin to understand it has to be me. That I have to learn to nurture myself deeply, on levels I have of yet to fully understand. That I need to get to my three-year-old self before anybody else can and ask her questions. A simple question like why are you standing outside a locked door waiting for someone who clearly hasn’t and isn’t showing up for you?  My heart breaks for her and then all of a sudden I adult myself, who are you waiting for and why? How long have you been waiting? Then all of a sudden I realise I’ve been waiting for me and it’s my job to show up and care for myself in ways I never was. Love myself in ways only I know-how and trust the adult in my life, me.

Process, Uncategorized

Confused You Will Be

IMG-4020Confusion is not normally something that I have a problem with. Yet today some new informatio is playing havoc with my usual compartmentalisation process. Your probably wondering what it is? It’s something I like to call “Red Herring Syndrom” where you were certain somebody was something other than what it actually was and your trying to figure out exactly how it is you got taken in by an incredibly complex charade. Has this ever happened to you?

What does that mean? It means usually when I have got things to do, places to be or even things to process, everything has an alotted time and place. Like Self-Care is for Sundays, Dinner is between 6pm and 8pm, Lunch is 12pm – 1pm. 8pm – 10 pm is Personal Growth time, learning new things, that kind of stuff. Socialising is for Saturdays. Tuesday Mornings are when I make myself available to people for free Mondays are for doing back office admin. Friday’s are for backing up my computer. Any time after 5pm is for friends and family. Any time before 9am is for me and my personal stuff. That’s all pretty simple, right? I’m sure most of operate or basic daily and weekly schedules in this way. Right?

Then somedays we just can’t get things off our mind. Even if we journal about it. Even if we meditate on it. Even if we set an intention and schedule it. Unexpected things creep into our minds and hearts and disturb the equilibrium. The daily program and even when we are super organised we can\t really understand why. These are the things I describe as perturbing and we are going full adult if we are able to cast them off to one side to maintain focus. Sometimes that isn’t always possible.

It’s all part of being human of course, that we can automate everything. That the universe is sending us new information. Many of us might identify the arrival of new thought or situations as part of the ascension process. To find a new way of thinking or integrating ideas. That not everything is as it appears or even is as it should be. That there is a rupture in the force. Something beyond our understanding that even the most organising and well-meaning of people can’t automatically find the solution it takes time. Although inconvenient this is processing at it’s best. Where we simply have to put our hand up and say “I need some more time to think about that”. As we get older (for me at least) new challenges seem to present themselves less and less. We’ve seen so much of all this stuff before and then suddenly we are flummoxed.

The great thing about confusion is that it almost definitely means that we are going to learn something. It means that the quandry we are facing is a new one that we haven’t faced a situation before. It’s a new lesson being presented. It’s time for us to up-level. Which is very exciting. We never have it all figured out and there is always something new to learn.

So that me today, searching for the solution and being mildly excited about where that solution might take me in my future decision-making processes.

Uncategorized

Collapse

IMG-3938This week I am at a loss of what to write about from manifesting, relationship breakthroughs, to overextending yourself, how to deal with addiction trauma and where do boundaries begin and end without actually having to go out there and get a PhD on all of it. I’ve also been thinking about mindfulness versus mindlessness surrender, the gremlins that run round out head and how to sit in an endless groundhog day that makes life both expansive, minimalist and navigable. It’s all very confusing. It’s a lot of information running round my head as well as not telling you all the deeply personal stuff while still being in and creating supportive relationships and communities. It’s fucking crazy shit load of stuff to get through. On the upside, it is all worth it.

This morning I even spent some time listening to Brene Brown and Russell Brand talk about a whole host of things from politics to choice theory and it was very refreshing. To fairly real humans having a sincere and valuable exchange. From about personal perspective on compassion to parenting and the terrible twos. There is so much to learn and the topic on everyone’s lips seems to be about polarisation, particularly in politics and the relationship between genocide and dehumanisation. There it all is swimming ground my head meanwhile last night a read two articles one about trauma in monkeys and the other about the relationship between coercion and domestic abuse and how they are almost exactly the same thing and the felt scary. That people don’t always know that.

We are in an era of information overload and I wonder where I am in this myself. Since Instagram, my social media consumption seem to have exploded. Is it healthy? I don’t know. Would I prefer anything else? Probably.  My winter screen time seems to increase exponentially?   Maybe its time to bring back the book. What a commitment that is, or even writing.

My own consciousness is continually flitting around. To care about Brexit or Trump or wider global political situations. Then, of course, there is very little I can do about it. Trump is a mad man, Brexit seems to be tied up in long outdated colonialist ideas. I am at the centre of global politics right here where I am in a small suburb in Cape Town. The only thing that I can do is focus on me. Make sure that the planet has one less lose cannon rolling about causing carnage where ever it goes. I can be kind, polite considerate. I can make time in my life for the people that need me and find a way for those small actions to ripple out into the wider world. The people in my life, my neighbours my community, of course, I will make mistakes, even have glaring failures and that ok. Right now I’m doing my best and that is good enough.

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JOMO: Joy of Missing Out

IMG-3804It’s another morning in beautiful Cape Town and I’m once again getting my priorities straight.  Do I write the blog first, go for coffee or muse a bit more o what my thought process is for the day? The kettle has just boiled and I’ve managed to slurp some water before what has become my daily caffeine intake. It’s winter here and yet it’s hard to believe that from my Scottish self’s projection. Sunshine pours in the window and the chairs that I painted with gloss yesterday are drying on the balcony. In fact, they are still dry no misty morning dew dripping off of them. It’s been a productive weekend and I’m glad to have the extra public holiday of Youth Day to get even more of my personal inventory done. I feel like I want to push a bit more on the business side of things and then I remember that no one is expecting me to be working, and no one is going to be inconvenienced by not receiving an email or an invoice today. Then I think how nice it will be to have the chairs finished and complete the small dreams that make up a life. That getting too small things done opens up the space for new adventures, even if they’re just in my mind.

The coffee is here and it occurs to me suddenly it must be a public holiday as I have already received a flurry of messages from friends. Which is not normal for a Monday. One to tell me that they are having an especially fun time walking along the Seapoint promenade with the dog they are looking after. The other to remind me that there is a holistic fayre going on in my hood (That I probably should have booked stall at). Some just to say howzit, it seems to be a reminder, that all the spare days that we have are an extra opportunity to connect with the ones that we love.

Personally, I feel still and it reminds me that these days I’m far more into the idea of JOMO than FOMO and what an incredible inner journey I’ve been on. That the peace and stillness of my own home are a sanctuary to me. That writing alone in my bedroom is as much as I need to feel satisfied with life and a day alone is a luxury that few get to delve into the way I often do. Sometimes I wonder if I should be out there doing more and then I remember that each place is powerful if we really take time to breathe in the air and witness the magic that surrounds us. There used to be times in my life when I would wonder what it might be like to live in an apartment in Paris, or taking a commute across London, or sitting on the beach in Rio and even hiking some trail in New Zealand? Then no matter where you are there you are. Witnessing your own magic. Your own unique imprint on the world. In this moment, this space, this time and you know how utterly perfect it all is.

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Capacity

0AA78F70-5547-45AD-94A4-8F5505013F35Capacity is something that I often think about when I think about what I call the human robot disorder where our self worth is tied up with productivity. That we are only valued as a person based on what we do or provide, rather than who we are or our very being. All life is valuable. I myself am guilty too of believing that I could have done more. That there is always more to do and that I’m never really fulfiling my potential or getting the most out of life. It’s difficult for many of us not to fall in this trap or constantly be living in the future, hoping that one day we might get it all done. That the to-do list will be void or even the list of things we are trying to achieve will actually stop.

In the last few months, I’ve initiated what I have called Self-Care Sundays, where I literally prioritise personal care. I mean the real nuts and bots here. Cutting my toenails, washing my hair, exfoliating, the washing, getting ready for the week. Strangely even though it wasn’t called Self-Care Sundays I grew up in a family where Sundays were home days. Where we put on Sunday afternoon television and my mother used to spend the afternoon ironing for the whole family (remember those days). Ironing has never been part of my Self-Care routine I’m an iron on kind of girl, only making the exception for big days out. Before the implimentation of a Sunday dedicated to me, everything was on an adhoc basis. Everything got done when it got done or more importantly when I noticed it needed doing. Much of the necessities were never really a slog, more like an inconvenience, that got in the way of a larger kind of life.

As I have gradually implemented this Sunday routine it’s becoming clearer to me how important making space for yourself can be. Prioritising the simple things and making them happen can bring the greatest sense of peace to your life. I know it’s the simple things right? It may sound crazy that I’m putting this here, as it boils down to basic common sense. Then on the other hand for me, it’s becoming more and more of a life saver, and here is why. I’m always pushing. Whether it’s to be a better friend, partner or professional. I wouldn’t say I’m a people pleaser but I’m always willing to go that extra mile to help someone out or more importantly cram more in. The challenge is that up until now I haven’t fully taken on board the extent of that. That it isn’t so much about extracting my significance from other people. It’s more that I have underestimated the contributions of having small things in place in my own life contribute to my sense of peace and well being. That actually the small things are incredibly important in order to have the greatest amount of capacity. So the things that I’m often sacrificing for personal gains are actually the things I should always be investing in for myself.

Even this weekend I was acting in service of myself in order to finish a project that I wanted and needed to get done. It meant taking a drive on Sunday and then spending some time connecting with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. I was very pleased to have got something finally finished and to connect with a friend after several months. I got home and collapsed into bed, after all, I was a reflective person and a lot had happened in both our lives and I then needed time to process and integrate. The washing was done (I didn’t put it away). The living room was a looking like a bomb from my creative project the weekend before that still hadn’t settled and it only now this morning I was wondering what happened? Capacity happened. That when we really start putting ourselves at the centre of our lives we begin to see how important a deep commitment to self-care is in order to have full capacity. That it really is about compartmentalising life to make sure that you actually have your own back. So you are never the one paying the price even if it is with regards to pushing yourself further.  Now it gets even better, each week I’m looking forward to that Sunday feeling.

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Synchronicity

7B9DF81C-CC61-473B-9D3C-45A9273222CA.jpgGetting all spiritual and shit. Ok, so this is a step away from the usual pragmatic exploration of my own inner world and taking a look at what is manifesting in reality.  Largely it’s numbers, numbers, numbers everywhere the most common of which is 2222. Then there are 111, 333, 555, 444, 777, 888 and not so many 6’s. You’re probably ready to shout fooey or oh here we go. Is this what you are really into? Well not really. Yet for the last few days and especially during these recent solar storms I am frequently waking up in the middle of the night. One night I even woke up at 333, 444, 555 I shit you not. I’m not going to give you a download of what all the individual number mean. I am going to tell you to look out for them. Cause if you’re seeing them well your right on track.

This blog started out as a simple pragmatic way to pull people into there own sense of fulfilment as me, myself and I am continually working towards my own growth. Laying to rest some demons and finding practical ways to ground myself in my now reality. As I go through this process I seem to be slipping further and further into the esoteric, from angel numbers, incredible synchronicities, finding flow. I seem to be falling ever deeper in love with magic where it comes from what makes it and if it is something that we can manifest in our daily lives. Magic you say? Yes, magic. What does that mean in this modern reality? Everything that I just spoke about. How you might find yourself speaking to exactly who you need to in the most unexpected place. That song that comes on the radio and gets the right vibe going. You get the phone call from the person you were just thinking about. Or things literally start showing up, hairdressers, shoes and if you really want to go there crystals. Everything starts aligning. It’s like playing patience and watching all the cards fall right into place where you wanted them. It can be confusing, work out contrary to how you might think and send you running in all sorts of directions yet at the same time delivering the exact outcomes you want quicker than you expected. It’s letting go of linear thought and going with gut feeling. What do I want to do, rather than what should I do and all of a sudden the day just starts to magically align.

So how do you do it? It’s not false positivity I can tell you that. It’s something else. It’s getting deep down and dirty with your good self and making sure you are exactly where you are supposed to be at any given moment. “A wizard is never late or nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means too”.

Process, Uncategorized

Alarm, Articulate, Assertive

IMG-3350These have been three words floating in and out of my thoughts for the last few days. Alarm came to me when I realised that most people woke up to one each morning. Articulate I considered when I realise that so many of us can’t say how we really feel and assertive I was pondering when I thought I was being a lower vibrational bitch. You know cause we all have these thoughts sometimes.

Alarm, like really? How many of you are waking up with this each morning? I’m hoping that my days of waking alarm are now long behind me. I sleep when I need to and have the luxury of waking up gently most mornings. I forget regularly what a privilege that is and how it’s improved my mood over the years. Lack of sleep and waking up with alarm are literally two things that have the ability to push so far over the edge of mental hell that a good sleep routine has been a priority in my life for years. It’s all about knowing your limits. 4 am starts and 12 hour days are not for me. As a result of this, I have been slowly implementing and changing my work schedule over several years to make sure that I am at an optimum and that I even have time for a nap in the afternoon. It’s just as effective as meditating in order to clear your mind (you should try it sometime).

Articulate it’s a word that has often been used to describe unless of course, I’m getting up at 4 am. I have often wondered what that has meant to the people around me. Now I think I know what it is. I’m always searching for the right words. The right string of thoughts in order to express where I am in any given moment. That expressing a genuine reflection of the world, my life, my mind, my heart, my soul all at the same time.  As always there is a lot to consider. My honest personal enquiry has always engaged people and now more than ever I am beginning to understand why. That even though my emotional environments changes and my ideas about life are shifting as I grew that I am able to share who I am and how I feel.

Assertive, sum how this about expressing how we feel to people even when it’s uncomfortable. This is something that I have been working on for years. As not expressing ourselves honestly can lead to pent up emotions. For me, assertiveness can cut out a huge amount of confusion in interpersonal relationships when we let the small things become big things. I see it so often with people and how they cope with life if they had just said something the moment it started it may have prevented an outburst or explosion late down the line. We always have the right to say how we feel. We are not responsible for how people receive the information that is given. It also opens the doorways of communication to help us gain insight into other peoples experiences. Sometimes as a woman I think that assertiveness is often what is mistaken or interpreted as being a bitch when actually we all have the right to live in our truth and be heard.

Process, Uncategorized

The Morning After The Week Before

IMG-3339

 

It’s officially winter here, now, in the Southern Hemisphere and in the last two days I have awoken to thick mist on the slopes of our beloved Mother City’s Table Mountain. It’s quite a change after a week in the desert, where only the wispy clouds of the upper hemisphere were visible.

We are meant to go on a journey to change things, shift things and find a new connection. Increasingly, more and more as I get older I find myself even more earthbound. That no matter how big the adventure, no matter how far I go, that the physical journey barely changes me. The beauty I find is no more transformative than the cinematography of a good film. The things I find wow for a moment and then they’re gone. I am left with a photograph, a story, maybe a new friend and a slightly shifted future transmuted to help me discover another side story. These days I head off on adventures curious to find something new and instead I always end up anxious to get back. When before I would have longed to stay now I’m always ready to come home. Maybe that is because of something better waits for me here.

If there is one thing that I have learned in the last 12 months is that our life journey is more caught up in the emotional environments of our friends and relationships than they ever might be from escapist journeys of travel, about who we are in our day to day lives and the intricate weaving of the shared emotional journey we seem to embroider each other with. That relationships are the stitching that holds us together.

It seems for me now that mystery and adventure somehow seem to hold far less magic that the long drawn out conversation that occur between two people. That the pasts that the histories that people share are far more imbued with wisdom than the idea that we might learn something from leaving the lives we are in. People are valuable they are all round us with ideas, dreams and understanding that moved beyond our own life experiences, that no matter where we go we take ourselves with us. That we view the world from the paradigm in which we occupy and that magic only truly finds us when we are ready to upgrade our own frequency. That, that frequency only every changes on the basis of how much we are willing to give of ourselves. That sharing is, in essence, is caring and that holding space for people including ourselves is the best chance that we have at deepening the connection we have with the world around us.

Process, Uncategorized

Change

IMG-2579Well, I can assure you that change is something I’m pretty good at with 34 house moves under my belt, I might even say that I am a master craftswoman or something like that. It’s something that many businesses and corporation go on about a lot these days, change management. Let’s face it the world has been speeding up for a while. Technology is outdated before it’s even hits the shelves and everybody wants to be everywhere all at once. FOMO seems to permeate the millennial life and more than that there is already a whole new generation getting ready to emerge. Millennials are already old news and insta perfect lives seems to a get to be a less manageable delusion. We all make mistakes. We all have bad days. Most of us crave more than we already have. Something different, something new, even if it is just that new restaurant that opened up in town. While other stick to the daily grind stay in their rat runs of existence and do there best to protect themselves for unseeable forces or simply embrace making the best lives that they can (Gold stars for them) My mother once said to me a long time ago that “Life is change”. My life of all people’s is certainly demonstrative of that.

For me right now it’s not so much what is going on for me in my personal life than is the challenge. It is the world at large. We often hear people talking about this period in history, as if nothing like this has ever happened before. Like religious, political, racial and gender persecution hasn’t been a thing. It is hard to acknowledge that it always has when we have experienced 75 years of relative peace in the western world. It’s so easy to forget that that peace is built on conflict. That the privileges that we have right now were developed in response to deep crisis and that most of the world systems have developed through exposure to disaster, whether it be in health, education or governance. Like Game of Thrones and the White Walkers, the biggest threat that we have right now is the preservation of life itself. It goes beyond what little scrap of Earth we may be able to dig out and protect for ourselves. It goes beyond our individual materialist needs and individual survival. It’s about land, waterways, communities and respect and believes that we are now on the very brink of a major paradigm shift where the world as we know it is about to change. Every ten years or so there seems to be a massive emergence of what we might call the radical left. Last time it was the Occupy Movement this time its Extinction Rebellion. Fundamentally what you need to know that movements evolve that many of the people involved in the Extinction Rebellion were involved in Occupy. The goal posts have moved somewhat but what you need to know is that the requirements for a successful resolution to our global challenges have not. What we need is a wellbeing economy that put the needs of the planet first. As The Life Doula, this is at the core of my work as I believe that in order for that change to happen that we need in essence to heal humans of the sickness of greed and the disconnection that fuels so much of our insecurities. That we need secure attachments, strong communities and the ability to sustain ourselves, having all the resources that we need for survival within walking distance. It’s time to get back to where we belong, in loving families, intentional tribes safe from the disruptive forces of capitalism.