Process, Uncategorized

Emotional Labour, Community Activism, Boundaries and The Rise of the Divine Feminine

IMG-4499This year it feels like I’ve taken a crash course in all of the above. I’m also feeling pretty proud of myself in the process.  For the first time in the history of my own community activism, I have refused to take on other peoples shit. True Story.

Emotional Labour is the work of me, The Life Doula. I create space, I hold space and I offer up time as if it is an infinite resource and utilising a lost healing magic that seems to have been long forgotten in the realms of 21st-century healing. You can’t hack everything. It is at the very moment we can become grateful for the ageing process, proud of the whispy grey hairs and that wisdom usually has to be earned.

The truth is that Emotional Labour is, for the most part, the work of women. The absorbing, the explaining, the understanding, the coaxing and sustaining of families and communities. It’s the care of the dying, the nurturing of children, the comforting of the ill and distressed and the perpetual maintenance of the household. It’s also the commitment to healing, healing ourselves to be of better service. Healing our selves to create better homes, stronger families and resilient communities and yet so little of this work are appreciated and honoured even though it is the very stuff of life.

These days as healers and let’s be honest here as women we now have to resolve to set boundaries for ourselves. We have to decide to take care of ourselves first, heal our selves first before we ever hope to have a deeper impact on the world at large, even though there is so much to heal. Too often now I have had the call to action. “Kimberley we need your help” and too often now I have learned that the help I have to offer is mistaken for something else. That somehow I can do the work for you. That by me showing up and listening to the problem at hand is a cure and that due to my caring nature I might be willing to solve the problem by taking on the role of community enabler. That I will be project manager, researcher, facilitator,  admin assistant,  fundraiser and counsellor. All for free of course.

The answer is I can and I won’t. The truth is my house isn’t in order. I expect too much from hurt people. The best remedy I have for this is, of course, is getting back to the drawing board and straight back into dharma. Chopping water and fetching wood, figuring out where the mix up happened and re-committing to healing myself first, loving myself best and serving reason from a cup that radiates joy.

The age of Aquarius is here. The divine feminine is on the rise and emotional mastery is calling to us. Nurturance is key and taking on the emotional labour of others is over. Nothing is disposable. The energy we put out into the world is the energy we get back. After all, it’s the circle of life.

Process, Uncategorized

The Story of The Broken Goddess

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Maybe it’s the whole point this picture so isn’t me. Black dress red high heels and yet it has on occasion been who I have projected. The Femme Fatale (not really) The toxic masculine idea of the divine feminine, maybe.

It started with the idea of keeping a blog called The Engaged Life, that was supposed to document, chart and consolidate the process of getting married. To use it as a learning tool and create a narrative that teaches. The only challenge was that the narrative quickly sped out of control and I was spinning.

Being a Bride is fucked up, not least because it’s a modern falsehood built on the idea of purity. It caused me problems. As I think on it now it makes me think of the painting of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche. Lady Jane Gray was a young English noble who was married off in an alliance that would make her the shortest reigning English monarch. S Lady Jane Grey was Queen for 9 days and was removed from the throne was later beheaded for treason along with her young husband. The painting depicts her in a white dress being helped to the executioners block blindfolded and most importantly in a white dress. 1077px-PAUL_DELAROCHE_-_Ejecución_de_Lady_Jane_Grey_(National_Gallery_de_Londres,_1834)

It’s a rough analogy I know; for being a Bride. I’m sad to say it’s how I felt and in moments even worse. For many of us, our wedding is some how meant to encapsulate all we are as women. It’s based on the idea that someone else should adore us enough to offer that validation, which all of us know on a spiritual path know is absolutely fucked. How do we get someone to love us that much if we don’t align with the idea of purity not only that how do we honour this idea when it’s all about somebody else feelings for you?

I’ve struggled with this, all of this, and much much more and i”m still wondering at it all. About what society think and why we are hell-bent on creating such unrealistic expectations of ourselves? To be young, to be beautiful and most of all that these are the qualities on which we as women are supposed to be honoured. When most of the women that I know have radically transformed themselves beyond the ideas of the maiden by the time they get married these days. That we are no longer sacrificial virgins, we’re just supposed to look like one. I’m glad to believe that ideas of the divine feminine are rapidly changing. That there are now hopefully a whole generation of young girls and young women that no longer seek to define themselves by these rules. Yet is it changing rapidly enough?

If Instagram is anything to go by not really and yet at the same time maybe? Ideas of perfection are crippling and self-harm rates among young women are on the rise as Instagram is suspected to be part of the cause. The perfect photo, the perfect body and the strange face smoothing filters that are just creepy. Yet, on the other hand, Instagram gives us a voice and the opportunity to honour ourselves, see our own value and write stories that represent us in all our messyness, rather than the picture perfect lives that we are supposed to be living. That our feeling matter and the idea of the female muse are quickly fading as the community Boyfriends of Insta suggests.  That men too are supposed to glorify women for nothing more than their looks in beautiful locations presenting fantastical ideas of self-love; when in fact the photos are endlessly supported by someone other than ourselves. That somehow we need to be endorsed. I can’t figure out if it’s radical subversion of the concept of the gaze or a perversion of it? That women are still buying into the masculine control of the gaze. absorbing and adopting it as part of a toxic masculine framework. That they too believe that beauty is their only value. The self-harm epidemic certainly seems to suggest so.

Where does that leave us? Much like my idea of a blog called The Engaged Life, very confused, especially as women who straddle the new and old paradigms.

What alarms me personally most is…..that I did not grow up with body image issues. admittedly I’ve largely been quite slim and fairly attractive so why would I? Maybe this is the quandary of the older Bride and all that means. You think being an older Bride would offer you more confidence and control. Where in fact I found the opposite trying to live up to value and beliefs that had outgrown me, that my twenty-something self would have relished. It makes me believe that the worshipping of the maiden has to take on a different form. Develop its own ritual and Brides should be left to focus on the important things, marriage and the transitioning of families. The story has to change. Brides are not sacrificial offerings. They are Queens creating their own Queendoms.