I am actually a little shocked that I haven’t written about this before. I might even have it teed up as title for this year’s article titles. I do hope that the blogging is fimly back on my weekly to do list. I’ve missed it. Things seem to be settling down again and I am very pleased for that. It gives me and increased sense of emotional safety. I keep saying it like I can’t quite get over it myself it’s been a wild few years. I feel like I have a lot to fill you in on, like I didn’t have enough to do already. Here I am charging through my final thing on the to do list for today before loadshedding hits. I just checked to see if I had written a post about loadshedding too and it also seems not. So loadshedding is now added to the list of article titles for another time too. I am supposed to be writing about emotional safety and I supposed for me writing about emotional safety is where my journey starts with emotional safety.
You see I have a very active mind where the thoughts pile up like a car crash most days. Especially when I haven’t been able to write for ages or power through my to do list. I have to do my upmost to not let the ideas that I have run away with my life and indeed take over my thought processes completely. Writing is a wellness strategy for me. Mainly because there just isn’t enough space in anybody elses life to help me process my thoughts effectively. So I write and because I am then able to process how I feel without having to bother anybody to much. Writing it gives me and increased sense of emotional safety as well as a sense of emotional control. Don’t worry i do have friend I can always reasch out to and a long term therapist too. It’s just writing is my way of managing overload, writing give me clarity.
Emotional safety occurs when we feel safe to express ourselves fully. Which would seem obvious and yet it is not. Too many of us have grown up oppressed and denied our emotional processes leaving us repressed, neglected, isolated and self gaslighting; believing that we are too much, too difficult or complicated. When we are reduced to having to give convenent, emotionally contained one word answers to the very nature of our being it’s difficult to feel heard or even seen. Which can lead to a lot of anxiety, distress and emotional discomfort. Not feeling heard or seen can leave us feeling emotionally unsafe and scared about what we can and can’t say. Growing up and working in spaces where we aren’t able to fully be ourselves affects our ability to relate both safely and authentically and it’s common.
A lot of my work with emotionally safety has specifically grown out of working with women and specifically women of colour in past-apartheid south africa. Women of all colours have been and continue to silence as part of the legacy of apartheid. However men too also feel can feel societaly impacted by this kind of silencing, having to maintain gender sterotypes that are embued with toxic masculinity that only account for one emotion anger. If you are trying to understand emotional saftey and how it impacts you I would suggest that you take the time to explore your own emotional landscape. How many emotions do you feel capable of feeling, sharing and expressing, especailly in the company of others. Do feel able to tell people that you are feeling sad, angry or depressed? Or do you think that showing emotion is a sign of weakness and emotionality a source or personal shame? Once again it’s common to feel this way and it’s isn’t something you choudl feel alone with.
The way to creating emotional safety is to quite simply allow yourself to feel your feelings, you’re entitled to your feelings and whatismore it is good for your health. What can’t be expressed gets repressed and held in the body and can eventually make you physically sick if not properly addressed. The way through difficult emotions is to find friends and form relationships with people who do make you feel safe. That allow you speak and not only speak; speak all the way to the end. It really is that simple and it’s one of the reason that talk therapies can be so successful. Often we just don’t have the right people to talk to. To share our lives and our problems with. If you don’t feel that you have anybody that you can talk to whoo might share your world view of work through your stuff with it is almost certainly time to get a new friends group. Creating emotional safety is really easy once you find the right people who are willing to listen. More than this you will develop healthier relationships where you to can become a reliable person to hear someone out. At first it can feel really challenging to reach out and it might feel painful if you don’t make the right connection straight away. it might be hard but it absolutely worth. After all humans are both social and emotional creatures and we need healthy interdependent relationship to both survive and thrive in this world.
If you are interested in exlporing your emotionas further you can vist my ko-fi shop for some inspiration.
Wow, I totally missed this… How that is, is a bit beyond me. My non-linear mind has just cracked open to the idea that I can write retrospectively. Why on Earth Have I not written about this before? After all Emotional Health and Emotional Landscape have been at the very center of my work for a very long time and yet I have never wrtiten a blog post about them. Isn’t that strange? Maybe not. I’m continually saying that I find it hard to keep up with the thoughts that I generate in my head. I’m sure we have all had moments when we couldn’t see the woods for the trees. My moment just seemed to last for five years or more. Finally this seems to be changing as my emotional wellness seems to be on the rise.
Anyways what’s more important that the acknowldegement of Emotional Health? Not much I reckon given that it is where everything positive starts. However there is probabaly a little more to this than might meet the eye. Why wouldn’t I write about emotional health for so long? It’s everything to do with my emotional landscape. It didn’t feel safe to do so and I’ll tell you why. In recent months and even weeks I’ve been beginning to understand all the ways that I have short changed myself by not being brave enough to speak my mind. You see I am what many might term as a dessentor. There are alot of things that I don’t agree with. And although you might find me in a pub near you having a very long rant about many or my beliefs and even insights, sometimes I find it difficult to put my money where my motuh is. Not because I don’t believe in what I am saying but like most people I recognise that what we put on the internet can have a life of it’s own. We never know when the thoughts that we post might sprout legs, get taken out of context or terrifyingly go viral.
So me saying things like I don’t agree with the term mental health open me up to all sorts of critism that my poor white priviliged fragile self may not be able to cope with and thus derail about a decade of healing. At the same time I have to be brave.
The thing is I don’t always agree with term mental health. It implies that everything that is wrong with us is in our minds, that our brains have gone a little wonky and all we need to do is change our thoughts, or our brain chemistry and we can change out lifes. Clearly for many cases this absolutley true and I would never peronally question any one person’s mental health history, mental health story or even journey. If your on medication and that is working for you then you are absolutely doing the right thing.
However it’s not always true especially when you look at mental health from a trauma informed perspective. That is my story and that is why I am sharing it here. For a long time I was written off work with Anxiety & Depression back in the day it was a cover all low impact diagnosis, that allowed you to be wildly off you head without having to deal with any, long term tricksy permenant diagnosis.
Now what I know is the Anxiety & Depression are symptoms of trauma and that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) are resposive illness rather than disorders. In other words there is every thing right with you. More than this there is increasing evidence that CPTSD is a systemic illness rather than a personal one. In short there is evidence to suggest that the systems within whihc we live can make us very sick in some very extreme ways. What I have come to discover is that it is all about feeling our emotions and recognising the states of my emotional health was key to that. What if we were to understand fully what makes us anxious or depressed? I know in my life that much of what I feel has either been supressed or repressed. Hence this very late article. All the things that I couldn’t say because it was not safe to do so. The more I deepen into this work the more I become fully aware that this is common. Most of us have not been allowed access to the full depth and breadth of our emotions and then we wonder why we are sick? If we aren’t experiencing our emotions fully then who are we really? So many of us are pretending, mainly pretending that the system in which we live works for us. That the parameters that we are given within which to live our lives is totally accepatable. That we must all enjoy our souless jobs, that we must all be grateful for our enslaved lives working to maintain the power of the elite. Obvioulsy it’s not as simple as that and your emotional health might be tied up in very different unmet needs like being able to eat. Ultimately though our collective emotional landscape as a species is really far out of wack and our emotional health holds all the keys to fixing that. What if we were to deal with our emotions first? What if feeling what is worng in out lives was the first step to healing the system? If we aren’t willing to look at what feels wrong in our own lives then how are we supposed to address what feels wrong in society. Emotional health has everything to offer us a a way to understand ourselves its also the key to embodying a more humane way of living
I wish I had better news for you. That you could heal your self and your trauma without feeling anything, It’s just not possible unless of course, you are talking about the physical pain and even that is a little tricky. I have believed that emotional healing is at the centre of all physical healing. That our bodies react and even responds to how we feel. That our bodies are constantly and continually responding to emotional information.
We need to pay attention to how we feel or can’t ignore it or it won’t be long until we are in the myre. Like seriously. I know that there is a lot of talk about plant medicines these days and alternative therapies. Really all they are is guiding you on a journey back to yourself to visit your core wounds see where the hurt lies and get you to sit with yourself for a minute. It’s a lot of what I do too. When all you have to do is sit down and talk to me. Imagine that. What you will discover is that you are actually making time to have a conversation with yourself. When was the last time you did that?
You don’t have to believe in some secret kind of woo that somebody just discovered from some archaic branch of ancient knowledge. All you have to do it sit down and speak. Speak the language of your soul and realise whatever has been vexing or stealing you out into the world. It’s wild huh? This is the world that I know. Holding space talking, tea, chat and conversation or in Scotland we call a wee blether. A wee blether and even a long blether offers us the opportunity to fix just about everything. To get it all out in the open in a safe space. Where it’s all about you. Where there is no reciprocity required and you can just be heard, find space to feel and even cry. Sometimes rage. I don’t mind the raging and in fact, it’s important that we are able to feel into those spaces of anguish and desire. That we don’t drink run or dance them away. That we own them and then realise we can bear them like new life that we can carry their weigh, love and care and find ourselves there. I know it all sounds very hippie and trite and maybe even a little bit shite, yet it is true. What more could we want from this world other than to be witnessed and heard and at the very least by ourselves? Have you learned to lick your wounds and love yourself in the dark spaces beyond what you have already known? Have you swam in the abyss? I know, I have lived there for years of my life. If I could find a comfy sofa I’d probably sit down. You see we enter the inner scape and make it real with our own metaphors. that is how we tell our stories, that is how we heal, for Churchill it was the black dog for me it’s the abyss and for others, it’s the dark side of the moon. It’s the pushing beyond and just like that… self-realisation happens.
All is not right with the world. The media is gaslighting us along with most governments. The conspiracy theorist are going at it too, it’s all a hoax, to keep us compliant as the reptilian forces continue to clutch at control. I believe you. I’m convinced and it’s exhausting. In the past I fought everything, from NHS cuts to the bombing of Gaza all in the name of doing what is right. Holding back the storm of shit that is destroying humanity and the planet. I have exhausted myself trying to be right and do right. Expecting sane responses in an insane world. I’ve learned over the years that there is not much use in fighting things. I’m far more interested in building things.
That healing ourselves and the connections we have are the key to community and planetary recovery.
I’ve drilled right down into the centre of my need for equality, justice and found that there is everything right with this aspiration. That I as humans we should all be entitled to it. That we have to create it for ourselves. That healing ourselves and the connections we have are the keys to community and planetary recovery. That unless I create it for myself there is no way to share it. That if I wanted to create equality and justice in this world my emotional state has to be at the very centre of that balance. I need to be stable to create stability, to create safety. The micro informs the macro. Our healing is central to the maintenance of humanity.
We create what we focus on. I live my life differently to most people. I prioritise my emotional over just about everything else. My feelings matter because they are the compass of my soul. My soul doesn’t work on clockwork. At best it can be timed by the moon and it cycles and the flow of my womb and all worst of other magic that has been whole scaled denied for the convenience of control. That what makes us safe is not necessarily comfortable and there is always pain in growth. We have to push, lean, relax and even expand into pain to learn it’s lessons and this takes time, the kind of time that you can’t set your watch by. All my effort as a human has to be put into creating the new by clearing out the old. One emotional disturbance at a time that needs to be felt into.
That vision is ensuring that I am continually committed to doing the personal work and emotional labour to ensure that I am in alignment. So that I am always able to have the conversations that have been denied us. So that we can hold circle and protect the balance of our centres.
What the fuck is that? It’s can only be best described as a nuanced version of self-care. Something beyond #nurturance and slightly less demanding than radical self-love. Yeah I know us radical disrupters are on it. Some of us are doing our best to not capitalise on your and indeed our misfortunes. The world’s is fuck. We have a global movement rebelling against our own extinction that makes Greenpeace look incredibly PC. This is what it has come to the 6th Mass Extinction and yes we are here. I’m not denying it. In fact the creation The Life Doula centres at the very heart of Eco-Anxiety, as it has now been coined. I’ve spent thousands of hours of my life staring at the ceiling not just thinking what am I going to do with my life? but How the fuck do we fix this shit show? As well as trying to figure out what my specific role in this particular clusterburach might be?
I’ve dreamed up and imagined it all from free driving lessons for high school students (So mid-nineties I know) to the idea of planting a billion trees. My deepest regret may well be what I could have been doing it in the meantime.
Yet as I look back over thing the power of observation and my relentless quest for knowledge seems to be finally paying off.
Yet I’ve been watching closely and experiencing deeply the human process. As a species, we often seem to come up with grand solutions – like flavour of the time veganism. For multiple reason veganism (could be) deeply beneficial. Yet, on the other hand, what are huge swathes of mono-cultures doing for biodiversity and indeed food miles really doing for the planet and it’s people? I come from Scotland and if we know that locally sourced food is often the best choice I wonder how fond I truly am of turnip. I know it’s not as simple as that. I have absolutely no doubt that there is a militant Scottish Vegan out there living their best life on only locally sourced food, hand foraged from within a 4-mile radius (please contact me I’d love to speak to you).
My main source of interest, however, has been human life at its very essence. Who we are, what we do, what we believe, how we live and a result. Family dynamics, family systems and community dynamics and how this all interplays with land ownership, development and the institutions and corporations that we interact with to control manage and even coordinate these things. Even all those well-meaning grassroots organisations started by hippies. Most things in our world are spectacularly out of balance (I’m a Libra I should definitely know) That even the best-intentioned of us make long term decision that are detrimental for the collective in favour of our own personal gain and even survival (things like getting in your car). Where doing the right thing is at a small very irrational war with our personal ego and even trauma.
I wrote most of this little over 3 weeks ago and how times have literally changed…the journey inward is finally in vogue along with our very clear and apparently systemic trauma (would anybody like to go back to working in an office?).
So I’ve thought about activism a lot and I’m confident in my decision. For me it’s all about personal activism. Which in all honesty can look like a lot of things? Largely though it’s taking the decision to no longer engage in The Toxic System,. Yes, it’s difficult, complicated and even messy but guess what that is exactly where we have ended up here in The Great Pause. In, fact I’m not asking you to do anything. In fact, doing nothing might be the best thing you can do as The Nap Ministry so beautifully demonstrate.
Even before The Great Pause, this whole article was written in deep praise and awe of all the anxious and depressed bedridden people out there, who have been forced to live lives of isolation. In some way, it is farse turned tragedy that all of a sudden the economically unproductive have become to focus on our collective care, now that we have time on our hands. For want of a better term, the decolonising of time has been at the core of my work for years. Yes, it’s complex, messy and difficult. Yet unless we value time and the power that it gives us to connect and all the riches it holds here in this 3D reality what do any of us really know about life anyway?
I got my blog posts mixed round. Last week I was on about empathy and wrote a post about death care. This week I haven’t even picked my word so I’m out of sync again? Or maybe I am really in flow. I’m trying to get ahead of my writing, channelling what is flowing through me now that may not be relevant by the time I post this. I try to live in the real-time as much as possible. Right now I feel caught in the backlog of emotional work that I seem to be trying to capitalise on. So on that note please check out my Ko-fi page above. I need to get clean in these weeks ahead I mean mentally clean. Spiritually clean. Is this even a thing?
So right now I’m reviewing this as I am about to post it and I already posted my Instagram word for the week. Backpaddling (there is a good chance that this isn’t even a word) Reading from above I’m actually in flow. You see healing is non-linear.
People talk about clearing space. Even getting it right the first time. It’s all very admirable. Is it realistic? Sometimes we have to clear up other peoples messes not just our own. It can be infuriating, humiliating and ever rage filling. (I’m using rage a lot these days) That’s exactly where I am right now. I’m cleaning up other peoples mess every single day and barely getting to my own. There is never a clean slate when we dive into the deep work of being. Even during this time of the deep pause. I hope you life looks exactly how it should right now. I hope you have everything you need right now. I hope you are safe happy and well. For most people, that’s not a reality and I do my best to offer my realness to anybody that think’s there drowning in the expectation of the perfect life. Guess what no matter what happens. Life happens anyway…
When I think about it right now. Here at the center of The Great Pause. I would be amazed to find someone who wasn’t backpaddling right now. As in writing this I seems to have full circled back to an blog I wrote about a year ago called The Story of the Broken Goddess. That was a deep reflection on my own process surrounding the divine feminine. This last year has brought me on a journey of polaraties and contrast and how the micro and informs the macro and a lot of science to go with it. Our collective understanding is becoming very advanced now. You see we have been willingly destroying ourselves for a while now and commodified self-care is not the answer. The question that has been driving most of my purchasing power over the last decade, if not longer is “Do you really need it?” Then beyond this “What is the true cost of this?” I imagine is these are the real questions that our ancestors grappled with when interfacing with our 3D reality. Is the non-engagement with these basic questions that has lead us down this dark path to one of my upcoming blog posts Gaia The Broken Goddess.
Right now I feel like I’m very far into the work of transmuting energy. I’ve moved beyond empath into a discerning empath. It’s a bit like being Yoda if you really want to understand. I feel a rupture in the force. I said it last week. When actually it isn’t that it’s more like the start of the clone wars. When something has been a miss this whole time and it’s been hidden from us. In fact, it more like The Matrix, knock-knock Neo.
In case you hadn’t noticed right now the United Kingdom hasn’t got a functioning Prime Minister. The pressure is building and all I can do is meditate and do my best to mediate the mess. Not just of my own emotional landscape but the paradigm of systemic trauma to what has become termed as ‘The Great Pause’ the sanest place I’ve ever known. Where the carnage is real and denial is a trigger for me.
People often get caught up in the idea of the Empath of people who feel everything. To the point that they think it’s an excuse for codependency. That their identity has to be lost in the needs of another. Isn’t that what we have all been doing the last aeon or so. All so caught up in the system that our own private thoughts and feelings don’t matter? Right now there is so much to transmute. Some people are genuinely scared, while other a genuinely traumatised, meanwhile I’m genuinely relieved that we have finally come to this point.
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.
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.
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. To 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.
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.
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
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.