Uncategorized

#thelifedoula

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Me in my new spot Portobello moonstruck with sea fever.

Ok change of plan –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Process, Uncategorized

Vulnerability

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It’s a cliche, “You should talk to someone about that”. “About what? About how fucked up my life is? That it’s always been fucked up? My family could open a step by step guide of how to be dysfunctional if they’d only stop fighting.”

It isn’t what happens to us that necessarily matters to the people that surround us. It’s the way that we respond to the circumstances that surround us. So if we pretend that everything is ok and nobody ever gets a whiff of the problem, then it might be easy to imagine that that problem doesn’t exist. Especially when it comes to work turn up perform and nobody cares. Meantime you’re drinking yourself into oblivion. Setting fire to your anger with each cigarette. Rising above it all with each  joint. You could even be so obsessed with your perceived rate of productivity as a human machine, that you might be denying yourself a much better quality of life.

Much of what we do masks our vulnerability, right down to the way we look. Few people enjoy being vulnerable. From women desperately dying there hair to conceal their aging  to hiding tears about the death of a relative. Open emotion can be shaming for many of us. The visible demonstration of emotions are viewed as weakness, a character flaw, an inability to cope. Emotions highlight our vulnerabilities. Not all of us are ready to face them. That we love. That we care. That our humaness can often be uncomfortable and at times even painful.

In recent years and with the advent of Social Media more and more we are witnessing a change in dialogue about emotions, that seem to centre around mental health. More than this in my daily life I have discussions with people and sometimes clients who declare that they are getting depressed, or that they are suffering from anxiety.  The truth is that maybe we went from summer to winter and there more likely having some seasonal blues…or maybe they had a fight with a friend that is getting them down. Or they are anxious due to a big project they are working on. These are normal human responses to everyday human situations. Yet we seem to believe that if we aren’t firmly grounded in the perceived “positive” human emotions spectrum, that it almost directly translated to a mental health issue. That all of a sudden we need to suit up, get medicated and fight a diagnosis. We’d rather fight our vulnerabilities rather than embrace them. We will do anything to protect ourselves from feeling.

The real answer is that we have to be open to our vulnerabilities and that our emotions have the ability to teach us as much as our physical sensations. When something feels wrong it often is. If we engage in our emotions they can teach us far more about the human experience than we ever imagined. That without a rich tapestry of all the emotions it’s hard to understand, our deepest purpose and where we belong. Sharing our vulnerabilities is one of truest ways we can show up in our lives and inspire others. By being ourselves and being honest about our personal challenges we give other people permission to admit and work through the same stuff.  We find out flawsome.

 

 

 

Process, Uncategorized

Silver Linings

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So I fucked up! The great thing about having ICF certification is that we are trained to find silver linings. Drop the judgement and figure out exactly how everything that we do as humans serves ourselves, even when it doesn’t feel so. I may have said this before one of the greatest pieces of information I have been given is that “You learn far more from a bad day than you ever will from a good.” Now whenever I’ve had a particularly challenging day or event I think of what a great gift it is for my own growth.

As we smooth out the edges of our humaness, to became the stellar being that we actually are, vibrating in unison with our home planet and greater universe, some how the bad days seem to get worse……What?

Yup in my personal experience on the path to, lets say enlightenment, and lets put it out there transmutation, what I find is that my average day scores high on the satisfaction scale and then I have day when it basically all goes to shit. I get very confused, cause you know I thought I was hitting the kerb, in total flow, that the universe was aligning. That everything that I’m manifesting is being delivered promptly by the awareness super highway. Then the train derails and wonder what the fuck happened.

The shock hits you, you try to stay in flow and then your humaness comes to the fore. You have emotions you can’t manage, expectations that you didn’t realise, over invested and there at the heart of it we find our flawsomeness. That we cared to much, or to little, that what we wanted the project to deliver had not been truly discovered of exposed, there was some part of ourselves that we didn’t account for. Bam it exploded in your face. We get to grips with the thing as it truly is. The vanity project….The emotional triggers. Then the real work truly begins. We have found treasure. We have found an attic room in our soul and a trap door in our mind filled with junk, that even we have managed to keep secret from ourselves. That hold values, beliefs, dogma, doctrines and ideologies that we didn’t even recognise, that we might deny openly to friends or family, that might know us better. We then precariously have to unpack those dusty boxes, get our hands dirty and find out exactly what it is that is going on there. It might start with quiet contemplation of what we might find. How it makes us feel or what it represents about who we were, who we are and who we hope to become. Then a conversation with a friend. Followed by a long letter to no one or someone in particular.

We give ourselves the time to uncover ourselves. The freedom to explore our own histories and wonder what it is that we must drop, what chink in the human armor must we soften or remove. We think about all those people sending us painfully exquisite lessons that we must learn for growth. Then we see the intricate detail and subtlety of the story, that we will forget by next the next Tuesday as the human mystery continues to unfold.

Once again it is back to process. As we spiral up through our learning at an intersection of growth that we are sure we have witnessed before.