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.
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.
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.