Process, Uncategorized

Punk Attitude

Years ago someone once asked me if I was “a hippy or a punk?”. The way that someone might ask you if you prefer cheese or chocolate? I pondered it over sensing that there was something much deeper underlying the question than I fully understood at the time. You see I had fantasies of being a hippy but my lived reality was very far from sunflowers and flares. What was even more terrifying was that as History of Modern Art graduate was that I wasn’t to sure exactly what was meant by the question and realised I might have missed something big in my understanding of the two movements.

You see I’d never given the punk movement much attention. It wasn’t pretty it didn’t make me feel good and although I love the Sex Pistols and everything they stood for I wasn’t ready to own that level of explosive dissent. All that rage was ugly. Why can’t it all be the higher ideals of love, peace and non-violence? I’m a libra. I answered the question. “I’m a hippy.” I was met with “Kimberley you are so a punk.” and just like that the reality of my own self-perception was thrown out the window and turned upside down by a rather impressive activist who had been collaborating with Platform for a while. Maybe this could be pinpointed as where my shadow work began. Then it was explained to me that in essence I was willing to take imperfect action and I wasn’t into spiritual bypassing (before that was a thing). To be clear at that point the cultural movement that I belonged to didn’t have a name yet. We were the generation that wished that we “were punk rockers with flowers in our hair, we were born too late to a world that doesn’t care.” We were proto hipsters searching for authenticity, meaning and belonging in a very fake world (‘they’ even monetised that). Apathy was the word of the decade after the invasion of Afghanistan and the Iraq War where 100,000 people marched for a cause and a call that has never been answered. Tony Blair and George W. Bush are war criminals in case you didn’t get the memo. There’s no justice for the powerful (take note). President Trump at least was only intent on radicalising his own country. Trump and Boris are the just desserts of any person not engaged in the political capital of there own community. So there it is.

I was and am somebody willing to take imperfect action, get pissed off and get involved. It was always clear to me that there was no other path other than social responsibility. You see ever since I can remember we’ve (that’s society) have been fucking up people, families, communities and the environment at a staggering rate. It was and is shocking. Yet nobody cared. That was the way of it. That was progress. Our parents were more concerned about fitting in with a society that was destroying itself than taking action for the natural world we clearly belonged in. The parables were endless and yet still progress pushed on. For those of us who chose to sit on the sidelines, disengaged from the destruction it was agonising, exhausting often excruciating to witness. The self-destruction that emerged through political engagement was tangible. To be an activist was to be poor, disenfranchised, marked out and criminalised. The ongoing critique of our approaches was endless. With more people questioning why you would choose your own personal annihilation over doing the right thing…?

There were so many causes to fight for, so much to say. There wasn’t enough time. We just had to do the best we could with the resources we had and the odds stacked endlessly against us. There’s a reason why Greta Thunberg became the activist of this generation. A child all alone. All we could do is what we could, and what we can without the slick resources of the greenwashing and societal gaslighting that we still didn’t have a word for yet. Anxiety paralysis came to rule as we balanced self-care with what is now termed eco-anxiety. In the end, for me it became a choice between the subtle art of inaction and the ability to authentically produce. If I waited until it was perfect, if I waited until it was ready to be accepted by the establishment, it would never be ready and neither would I. I had to be willing to take my rage to the world if a little sanitised. I needed somewhere to take my unresolvable feelings blog writing became that place. It became my safe place to figure out me and the world simultaneously. I’m on year thirteen of this journey. Still very few are reading cause I’m not presenting it in a way that’s easy to digest that doesn’t fit into a highly curated mould for easy consumption. It’s deliberate. It’s here to highlight your prejudices. It’s here to make you think about what’s acceptable behaviour. It’s here to get you to think differently.

I’ve had too many conversations about. If you just tweaked this. Or if you just did that. Meanwhile, I am actually trained in curation. You see it goes beyond slick marketing and getting the message out, these blog posts are an artistic creation. I’m questioning the system not answering to it. I’m anti-aesthetic for a reason. These are messy for a reason. What I have to say is of value no matter how it is presented, like the homeless person, the black women, the guy with the speech impediment, the dyslexic writer. Fuck you and your judgement. Fuck the system. Do you know why? All previous perceptions are leading to our extinction. Time to get down with your shadow self people. Remember the only people who are upholding the system are the ones who benefit from it.

So if you want to know why these blog posts are messy, unedited it’s because I made a choice to get started with a punk attitude and hippy ideals.

Today I was offered a breakthrough moment of how to create context by Thrive With Me who wanted to collaborate rather than control… and inspired this whole blog post by asking me to provide a little context. I hope you enjoyed this unexpected sidenote.

If you want to find out more about what I do and get to grips with systemic trauma you can learn more by signing up for Feral Systemic Healing Circle.

* This article was written by a dyslexic with a punk attitude.


Planetary Healing

What age were you when you realised the planet was fucked? About 11. What age were you when you realised the planet was fucked and your parents weren’t going to do anything about it? About 12. What age were you when you realised that the government didn’t care about the environment? About 13. What age were you when you realised that all of the adults round you were complicit in holding up the system of environmental destruction? About 14. All of this was my first experience of societal gaslighting. The T.V. said one thing about the ozone layer, wildlife conservation and your immediate connections said another. it was then I felt the weight of environmental activism. The crippling weight of both action and inaction and the risk of being completely ostracised from my community. Didn’t seem very fair or sustainable to a teenager. As well as having to bear the crippling anxiety of indecision that would hound me for large swathes of my adult life. luckily that time is over now.

So you see that was my first introduction to Systemic trauma and it has plagued me my whole life. That I could have saved something and my fear stopped me. The societal gaslighting stopped me. Now we have a name for it Eco-Anxiety. Knowing that the largest challenge we face as a species is deeply interconnected with our natural environment and the relationship we have with it. That our relationship with planetary healing is all bound up in the community,  the collective,  the ancestral, the generational and our innerscape. It’s a fucking mess. A big bad beautiful mess.

Today I was meditating on the idea of resolution. About all the things that are missing from our community spaces. When the hierarchical structures makes decision without the due care of the emotional trauma of the community or individual that that decision impacts.

Due Process and what might be the way forward to integrate this kind of practice into everyday processes. What would happen if we took due emotional care of the people and the places at the centre of our processes? Things would move a lot slower.

It makes me wonder if The Great Pause  has ignited this understanding in us. As I stated in my last post The Personal Is The Planetary

I was invited into a political fray within a spiritual group that I was invited into. Where the need to get spiritual work done overlooked the emotional needs and indeed the healing needs of the members of the group. Thinking that the autocratic decision-making process was appropriate as way to seed sovereignty within the group. Needless to say there has been a schism. That has involved all sorts of rhetoric, including referencing dark forces and the silencing and externalising of core healing issues. Why is it more important to follow a pre-determined singular agenda than exploring and healing what has emerged in the energetic field?  You see The System is everywhere and we embody it. Our need to go plant 1 million trees, or indeed go vegan and even anchor the light is driven by a fear of what was, what is to come, rather than facing what is. What if greenwashing isn’t ok? What if nature destruction of any kind isn’t ok? What if the idea of planetary crisis isn’t so much about the planet as it is about us?

You see the planet is going to be ok. Maybe it will evolve change, evict and even extinguish us.  Isn’t it great that it has the power to do so? Our Mother Gaia as it screams shut up and listen to me. Shut up and listen to us. Listen to us Earthlings. It’s not ok. What you do as part of your day to day practices are affecting me, it’s killing Earthly life, it’s killing you. I don’t need your grand gestures. I don’t need your narcissistically driven environmental militancy. I need you to resolve to change. In order to do that you need to listen. You need to see me. You need to hear me. You need to witness my distress. I can look at this writing now and see clearly that is could be construed as projection. It’s once again where the personal meet the systemic and thus the planetary.

it occurs to me that maybe as a result of our trauma we are using nature and the consumption of it, either through ‘wild experiences’ and or our extraction economies as an endless source of narcissistic supply. Make me feel better. What are you giving in return? How are you truly honouring the Earth in these times of extreme social deprivation?