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The Human Connection

‘You are born alone and you die alone’ It’s not true is it? And yet it is banded around as some kind of cure all explannation for the struggles of the human life. No doubt thought up by some highly evolved critic with a high victim consciouness. If only we could take a snap shot of the inside of their brain. If you are alive, someone cared enough to nurture you. Maybe not in the way that you wanted. Maybe not by a person that you would have chosen and yet as an infant they chose to keep you alive. Of course it’s really easy to see that someone may have kept you alive for there own selfish interests. Even if your care was an entirely selfish act you held enough value for that care to be continued. Lets face it children are expensive.

It probably sounds crude and uncaring to explain the human connection in this way. After all most of are searching for a place to call home. A place to fully express ourselves and just be. Yet we carry so much baggage, so much hurt, so much seperation consciousness. It’s hard to connect, especially when we feel abandoned by our closest family members.

If I am brutally honest I think given the world that we live in that knowing that we were cared for should be good enough. Just because you were born into this world it is not a god given right that you should be afforded the opportuntiy to survive into adulthood. It sounds pretty brutal doesn’t it? Given that I am writing this from a rural part of South Africa I can assure you that this is true. To be an adult human is a luxury. I know we should be aiming for higher and yet there it is the brutal reality. Also if you are living in South Africa it’s good to know that the average age of death is forty-nine. Yup so that’s me. I’ve got nive years left to live. Of course white privilge might tell me a different story about that. Yes colour is a factor…

Those of us living at the center of whiteness conveniently don’t have to think about that too much.

In farely recent history humans were breeding other humans like farm animals for means of trade and slavery. What must it feel like to be the product of a forced breeding programme? What must it feel like to be produced rather than created? How does that effect the psyche and epigentics? How all of this impacts systemic trauma levels in the human brain and body. Having been produced for profit how does that change the human story?

Of course in changes everything. It changes how we understand humans and humanity. It changes how we understand ourselves, where we come from and who our ancestors were on both sides of the fence. The enslaved vs the enslavours if you’re all baout claiming your European ancestry you are all about slavery if you are all about African ancestors worship you are all about slavery. The things torterous things that we do to one another, these are the ties that bind. Many of us spend a life time tryin to break family bonds while some of spend a lifetime trying to strengtne them. Often we have to seek connection outside family to move forward with our lives. Sometimes our best connections are those of friendship.

So you see here we are alive. Alive becasue of the pro-creation of other people. Alive because of human nurturance (even if it is just our own) alive because we were able to connect to the ever flowing and infinte abundance of the universe. The true connections that we have to create is the one with ourselves. The true connection is to that of our perfect place in the cosmos and the ability to manifest anything from where we stand. It’s true. You better believe it. You just have to learn to trust it. It is time to connect. It is time to fall so deeply in love with yourself that the universe brings you everything that you desire… its time to connect with the deepest desires of your soul and to know that this is exaclty what you were born to create.

This article was wirtten to accompany the Trauma Wise Circle, by a dyslexic with a punk attitude.

Process, Uncategorized

How To Be Human?

I first came up with the idea that we have to learn to be human about five years ago. The world wasn’t ready for that idea then and although human consciounsess seems to have moved on a bit (at least going by my insatgram feed) the world is still struggling. It doesn’t take much to apprecaite that humaness is not a given. That as a species we are not automatically kind or even fare. In fact that much of the time the odds are stacked against us by a system that prioritses profits and whiteness. That white people don’t even know what whiteness is. It’s a beautiful combination of systemic trauma and non-white prejudice. You can say it’s clourism or even racism and still it’s so much more than that. Whiteness is the exclusion of anybody that refuses to accept the standardised forms and systems of institutions, organisations, corporations and governments. Yes you can absolutely decolonise something.

I’m not sure exactly how I framed the idea of how to be human a few years ago. There was alot about connection. A lot about the miracle of life and guess what ? Earth the human paradise. It often still disturbs me how detached we are from our true purpose here in our human bodies living an Earthly life. Of course no one persons purpose or calling is the same. We are all entitiled to have and live a many varied life. There is no one size fits all answer to humaness. Would you want there to be. Diversity is everything. Expression is everything. Creation is everything. As I sit here on the very expansive edge of consiousness. You see Abraham Hicks has got a lot to say about the human experience and it would seems so do I. You see I look around and I think human life in very deep ways. I look at the facts and then I look at my feelings and consider what is true for me as I step into my own belief system. It’s clear that we we look at the vastness of space or the habitability of our nearest planets, that Earth is a very special place. That to have entered into consciousness here is an entirely unique and incalculable opportunity. That it would be a shame to waste it. I know that life isn’t easys. I know that truama can make the world a scary hostile place. I know that many of us are not born with access to the resousrces that would have been an innate human right not that long ago. It makes me wonder how did we get here? How did we come to be at this place? I look at the other options like jetting off to Mars for example and I know that is not my journey at least not in this lifetime and then I wonder… this is it I have incarnated here. There is nowhere else that I would love to be and that on Earth no matter how challenging it might be I have to opportunity to have to most amazing life. From where I chose to live from what I chose to do. There are countilless ways that I could be spending my life here on earth and that I do not have to settle for anything less than what I want. That the only person in charge of that is me. That I have to take full resonsibiltiy for myself. That although the environments and the family systems that I was born into can be tough there are ways to expand thoguh that pain into a better life and in fact that is part of the challenge. Part of the human challenge is connecting to ourselves and discovering exactly where we want and need to be.

Of course this article is written from the perspective of privilige. When I think about access to opportunity I know I have and unfair advantage. Even as I wrote this and I wondered about the idea of showing up as a way to break into opportunity I had to consider is that true? Is that possible? The truth is that even showing up can be an extraordinary challenge when we don’t have the resources. How can someone attend varisity when there isn’t the money to do so. How can someone attend classes when they haven’t got moenty to eat. How can the afford to stay in college when there are no jobs to help pay the way. Yes the world is unjust and unfair and although it may be true. I never want to spend any of my time accepting tha truth is acceptable.

This article was written to accompany the Trauma Wise Circle by a dyslexic with a punk attitude.

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Humans

Now this is a big subject. No two ways about it. Where exactly do I start with this one? Did you know that the oldest know humanoid is on display in Huntarian Museum in Glasgow? That they were named her Lucy after The Beatles son ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’. A lot has happened since the supposed discovery of the ‘missing link’, not least the connection between psychodelic plants and the emergence of human consciouness. Of course that all depends on who’s version of history you believe and if you have watched that banned Ted Talk.

I suppose as a human myself it’s hard for me to write about the subject of humans with any real sense of perspective. All we have to go on is the stories that we are told and that we tell. Which draws me back to a museum installation and exhibiton at Freedom Park in Tswhane. What are our orgin stories? It’s clearly no coincidence that I am wrting this directly after The Emotional Journey where I asked reader to explore their own origin stories. That’s the thing though isn’t it? That we all belong. More importantly than that, that we all belong together. And if you really want to dive in we all belong to one another. That it is the way that we relate that makes us human. That we don’t have a story to tell if it isn’t in relation to another person. That even if it wasn’t another person we are able to transcirbe the experience of human interconnectivty on to other things like the moon, or a teddy bear. It’s pretty obvious, we are here to connect. Yet at this juncture in history it is clear that the connections are broken.

Our broken connections start with the interpersonal and end with planetary destruction. We have lost the profound value of interconnection of everything and between everything and that all things hold equal weight in the sacred cosmology that we live every single day.

This article was inspired by three things the concept of Healing Humans, The Free Buffet and a Trauma Wise Circle. You can click through to find out more indepthly what these three concepts mean to me. However the main thing that I want you to take away from the above ideas is that Healing Humans is at the very center of the survival of our species and with that the only thing that we have full control over is our own healing journey. Something that I like to term as Personal Activism. You can come join some fellow healing humans over at my Healing Humans Facebook Group

This article was written to accompany the Trauma Wise Circle by a dyslexic with a punk attitude.

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Water & Sleep

I’m sure I must have written about these two things before. Yet these days a rarely mention them in conversation. Not least because my water drinking practices have become precarious, as in I have fallen out of the habit.

I intitially started writing this article from the view point of hydration. I’ve writteen about the benefits of drinking water for years now even though my own water drinking habits have fallen by the wayside recently. I still think that drinking water is important and we are all entitled to have a slump in our self care. Especially when feeling means healing. Especially when we have to give ourselve time to process what is going on and not just push through… that’s really important too not maintaining a routine that is destroying you emotionally. For many of us that dopmine hit is just a little to tempting…

I didn’t start drinking water regularly until I was well into my twenties, up until then water was just tastelss stuff that came out of the tap. I’d been raised on coca-cola and cordial. My teeth are proabaly still paying the price forty years on. Clearly sugar addiction was a formative part of my youth which could tell you a lot about almost anybodies health journey over the latter half of the twentith century. Even now I’m engaged in a period of sugar dependency. I guess a global pandemic and a bit of personal trauma will do that.

Water on the greater persepective is 85% of who we are. It is what we are made of. It is the primary composite part of the planet that we live on. It’s fuels the majority of life. Our relationship with water defines who we are, as it is what we are made of. It is our life force energy. We can’t survive without it. So when I write about water now it moves beyond how we consume water. It’s about how we relate to it. How we honour it. The moon moves the ocean as it moves us and yet these days this relationship is often treated and mythical rather than factual. We have become seperate from ourselves.

Sleep is caught up in survival, rest and trhiving. If you can’t sleep there is not way you can survive. My brain at least really can’t deal with the pressure. Sometime I wish it was different and then I think about the delerium, mania and dread that covers my days if I don’t get enoguh sleep. Being rested is far more important than being fed in my dreams of wellness. Where would I be with our sleep . Where have I been without sleep half mad, unregulated, strained and cracking.

General conversations about sleep these days too seems to be informeed by its scientific function rather than it’s ritual purpose. To rest, to sleep to dream. These day you are far more likely to read an article on the benefits of good sleep for productivity rather than for soul growth. Even in the bible dreams are highly referenced as both insightful and prophetic. That sleep is a powerful place in which to connect to our truth. To swim in our subconscious and find the answers to all that plagues us.

Sleep for me will always be one of the most direct routes to healing. I love to sleep, it feeds me in ways that I have only very recently come to fully undersand. Since I graduated as a Sangoma sleep has taught me the most about my spirtual journey and how the expectations of society have drawn me away from my calling as a dreamwalker. The we can move beyond and outwith this world through our dreams and find answers to our deepest questionings.

The article was written to accompany the trauma wise circle by a dyslexic with a punk attitude.

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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.

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The System

I get asked all the time what do you mean by ‘The System’? If I was a full-blown academic maybe I would have found a succinct way to conceptually replicate exactly what the system is? Maybe I’d be able to neatly package the systemic? In the most accessible version, it’s all the false realities that we are ‘forced’ to live with. It’s that thing we might collectively call bullshit. It’s all the things that we were born into that we didn’t consent to. All the things that we appear to have inherited as a result of human attachment to time and form. It’s all the systems that have been slowly fucking us collectively since the industrial revolution that are being caught out by the all-encompassing reality of climate change. These are the broad strokes of understanding the system.

It’s the nationalism you ascribe to cause you were taught it in the country you were born into. It’s the linear thinking that you embody because it both functional, productive and conducive to the capitalist system you were expected to exist in. It’s both the price and cost of religion, that believes that redemption is monetary. It’s money and the faulty economics of exchange that capitalism is based on. It’s the sickness system that you are paying to die into due to the industrialisation of food production. It’s the nutrient-poor land that we’ve been poisoning to eat. It the claustrophobic apartment you call home with no outdoor space. It’s the air you dare to breathe and the fresh clean live water that you cannot source to drink. That is The System.

You see it is often said that the only thing that survives us is love as and as an Art Historian what I know for sure is that objects and structures both the physical and the imagined can survive us too, usually with a far deeper sense of everyday meaning. Ideas can survive us. Yet for some reason we get all caught up on this love business. That is not to say that love doesn’t survive us. However what is that you really remember of your great great grandparents? You see more and more it becomes ever clearer in my reality that there is a great rouse going on. That somehow despite all the evidence. (That at this point might include the evidence submitted for Trump’s impeachment) We seem to believe that the society in which we live is built on higher ideals; that of truth, love, justice and honesty. It simply isn’t true. The age-old narrative of good vs evil is still alive and well with us today and we would be fools to believe that it isn’t an ever-present reality. Yet we do. Even though it tells us in all the great stories old and new that the corruption of power is central to the human narrative.

Conspiracy theories are abounding constantly asking us to question our truth. Yet so many of us don’t want to look at what is right in front of us. From the clothes, we wear to the food we buy and the media we consume. What is true for us? What is acceptable for us? Right now we live in a world of deep polarisation. Yet it has always been this way. The haves and the have nots. Have you noticed that we have one month of the year allotted (By fucking who?) to black history? That means black history only matters one 12th of the time. If you don’t understand whiteness then there is your queue. How is it the black history only matters one 12th of the time? It’s not that you are necessarily being lied to. It is that your narrative is being controlled. You are being told who you are and what to believe to serve an agenda. An agenda that is highly vested in maintaining the status quo and controlling power.

The narrative is off. It isn’t about them out there. It is about us in here. What is going on in your soul? What do you want to see for yourself and your family? Your life span? How is that rolling out in your life? And if not why not? Also, how is your agenda impacting others? Where are you holding onto control? It is often said that we live in an abundant world and that love is the most important thing, or indeed the highest value. If that’s true why are you scared? What are you scared of? If love is running the world why hasn’t everybody got enough to eat, clean drink water and a safe place to eat? For me when it comes to these big question we simply have to look to the system. If we were free to live then why would any of this be an issue? You see understanding, recognising the system is all about acknowledging all the ways that you aren’t free. That on day to day basis we come up against barriers that prevent us from living the lives we are capable of as a result of somebody else’s need for control. Who gave them the control and why? It asks us to question ourselves our way of life.

You can’t buy your way out of the system. You can give your way out of it. If you sitting in a shit whole or even better a shit stom you’ve been planted and like a tree you alone get to decide how you are going to weather the storm .

This article accompanies the Trauma Wise Circle.

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

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Emotional Health

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

This article was written to accompany Feral Systemic Healing Circle.

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The Matrix

Our reality is constructed and the great news is that you are a co-creator in our collective reality. Now a lot of people think that the above statement is indeed bullshit. You are entirely welcome to continue to believe whatever it is that you want to believe. 

What I’m here to ask is is that belief system making you happy? 

To be clear I have no idea what you believe, why you believe it or indeed why that might be important to you? There are lots of reasons as to why we come to certain conclusions in our lives. That are broad, varied and nuanced. They can be everything to do with collective consciousness, impressing your parents, proving you worth or indeed what it is that you need to feel well. If you grew up in a hostile environment, as many of us did, it’s easy to accept that anxiety is normal or self-protective actions are primary. That being financially secure is the primary source of your emotional wellness. All of these beliefs absolutely serve a purpose and if what you believe is working for you, then you are absolutely right and taking the right course of action for you. 

Right now just because you are still reading this is I am asking you to step beyond what you already know, once again. 

I fell out of The Matrix the minute I bought that boat (the one that I was living on in My Lostness) I didn’t know it at the time. I thought it may be the source of a summer adventure not a complete and radical alteration of my understanding of life itself. I had been asleep most of my life and hadn’t fully noticed. I had and an inkling that my dissatisfaction with life itched at. I didn’t see the point of school, often time even books, I wanted to experience life. I had had those moments on holiday, stoned at a festival, post-coitus oxytocin hits. Where the world had been sublime and it felt like I was living life chasing those hits. Like the girl in the red dress. 

Life on a boat for a year change that entirely every day was like being in a blissed-out connective state. The boat moved with the tide. The tide moved with the ocean and the ocean moves with the moon, The moon moved with the seasons and the seasons change with the  orbit of the sun. We all know this. It’s all standard geography 101. Few of us have experienced it. Even though we live on planet Earth. These are the deep underpinnings of earthly existence long before humans ever turned up. The cycles seem to be to focus on our earliest worship beyond our daily water gathering rituals. So much of what we are deeply connected to has been forgotten. Overlooked as we starred at progress and lost sight of the real balance and wisdom that are Earthly presence has to offer. 

Progress as The Great Pause is teaching us has enforced our disconnection which goes against human programming. We are wired for connection beyond the digital. 

This article has been written to accompany the Trauma Wise Circle

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The Abyss

My journey into the abyss started long before I actually realised I was in it. In fact I think most of us born into this 3D reality might feel like we were born into varying shades of grey never mind darkness. Even the deepest black can have tones and shade.

I remember where I was when I heard the term The Abyss without is actually applying to some deep-sea adventure or that 80’s film. I was standing on the balcony of The Boathouse a pub that is no more. In fact, it seems like quite a good place for a story about The Abyss to begin. I do believe it is the only pub that I have regularly drank in where I never made and actual friend.

Which might make it the loneliest bar in Falmouth (no wonder it closed).  I did instead though get the thread to the very beginning of this story. 

I was having a hard time. One of those times in your life where you are doing everything you can and nothing is working, when you begin to start to feel yourself slipping. You see it’s a subtle feeling to begin with at first. When you begin to break into proper adulting. Get a job, pay your bills, start to make a life, mix it with some adventure and hey presto. Then you realise that degree you worked so hard for wasn’t the solution to everything. That the jobs you are doing are still shit. The office politics is more toxic than the social dynamic of the bar you used to work in and well adulthood is not everything that is cracked up to be. The things you’ve been running from and too seem to be collapsing in on themselves and no amount of sunshine and beer seems to be able to stop it. The dragging was beginning to feel like drowning and relaxing beers were becoming relentless. You wanted to slow down but if you stopped it felt like your life might run you over with the car your were driving; that you would be a mile down the road before anyone had noticed you had been hit by a moving vehicle. Things were out of control and there was no way of stopping the hamster wheel of hell that you had become trapped on. It was no longer the case you had to keep up, it had become an extreme sport of holding on, as one by one each limb broke it was rapidly replaced with a new one. Life was moving at a terrifying pace which was both unfulfilling and fractus as you tried to hold together some kind of idea of what life could or indeed should be like. 

It was here in the beginning of this realisation that I met Steve Martin and old school music producer who had moved to the sticks in need of some respite. As he spoke to me and I disturbed the somewhat fragile peace of a beautiful summers evening in a Cornish pub. He leaned into me to listen more intently. ‘Oh’ he says as glimmering of insight settled into his synapsis. “You are in The Abyss, it’s only The Abyss and the only thing you can do when you are in The Abyss is to keep on swimming. You just have to keep on swimming” it seemed so off-hand so impenetrably deep and simultaneously mediocre that I wasn’t sure if I should have bothered speaking at all. Of course curiousness got the better of me. “We’ve all been there” he says as he turns to another punter mate next to him. “The Abyss Pete you been there” and they both rolled off their own version of the infinite darkness that they had occupied in there life for somewhere up to the 10-year mark when the booze, the drugs and the darkness were just a bit too out of hand. That usually ended in some kind of spectacular radical mindset change. “All you got to do is change your mind”  Some likely local chipped in and it was there that I felt the depth of The Abyss for the first time. That this was not the end of my painful journey, that in fact it might just be the beginning of the dull ache fo belonging that might never go away, judging by the characters that surrounded me. That maybe this was just a capacity test, to measure your pain threshold, commitment to resilience in this life. That we all ached and even burned with the desire for something better, something different to the crushing system in which we were forced  to operate, live breath and play. I didn’t get it then. It would take me a good while longer for it to finally settle in, for now I was in The Abyss and so was everyone round me and we were all in it swimming, insight and out of reach, waiting for a brand new dawn in the murky sinister darkness that enveloped us all. That dominated the innerscape that screamed for the T.V and exploded in the Friday night drunk. All the beautiful ingenious radical people chained to the wheel that was breaking them. If you were awake, the pain was a privilege, the awareness a gift. A happy alternative to the anodyne numbness to the blindly complicit and the toxic destruction that fueled most if not all commerce. It was sickness, nauseating and crippling and yet here we were, standing up sitting down and eating the shit we were selling all for the price of our souls, begging to be broken. 

This article was written to accompany the Trauma Wise Circle

Process, Uncategorized

Emotional Landscape

Hmmm I would have thought that I had written this one already. It seems not. How it missed it off of the top 100 of The Life Doula usable phrases I have no idea. How it has failed to make into blog post noteriaty is beyond me, given that it is one of the core tenants of the work I do. Maybe it’s because it so close to emotional mapping I didn’t think it was necessary. This morning I have already been writing You Are Here, about where you stand on the map of your life and where that relates to Trauma Wise. What you need to know about what surrounds you in order to make more powerful better informed choices. Not sure if I explained the power of You Are Here as succinctly as I did here. Note to self. Anyway I referenced emotional landscape a lot in that post/article and I thought I better follow up on what it actually means. As I am sure references to emotional landscape in pop culture are at best rare. You see it’s been a journey this blog itself is called process because I don’t always know where I am or where my emotional journey might take me. How can I when I don’t know where I am? In fact writing gives me the greatest opportunity to discover where I am and that is why I do it. The process laid bare. How are we supposed to know where we are if we don’t think or talk about it? That’s my vibe.

You see as humans we are constantly and continualy dealing with the unseen. The unseen can be expressed, understood, suppressed, repressed, invisible, ignored, incommunicable and even preverbal. The unseen realms are all about feeling. What can’t be felt lives in the unconscious shadow. In recent years there has been an explosion in shadow workers and now more recently trauma practicioners (of which I am one). I didn’t start this journey knowing I was either. All I knew is that I wanted to help people feel and talk about emotional health rather than mental health. That emotions were the key to feeling and healing everything.

That to me, is what emotional landscape is. It’s the place where you reside within your soul. The landscape that no one else can see, that only you feel, that often acts as a barrier to conecting with others. You see our emotional landscapes often don’t look like the ones you see on T.V. (who watches T.V. anymore?) The emotional landscape can be dark, confusing, cloudy, messy and most of all unnamable. We dont know how to talk about our souls unless someone gives us language to do so. The language that we are taught quite often doesn’t match the langauge that we have. We think love is scary or family is safe. The beach is happy or that clowns are funny. Each of our emotional landscapes is highly unique to us and can often feel non-translateable. Until of course we find that painting, that song, that film that somehow expresses the unsayable for us. More confusingly every day, every moment is different as life is fluid. We can be on the edges of bliss one day and exploding with anger the next. We can be dancing with excitment and wrestling with peace at the same time. Our emotional landscape is caught up with oximorons that can make us feel insane. The world is supposed to be structured and finite, not random and fluid and yet it can be both sumoultaniusly. No wonder we get confused or feel lost, lonely isolated a lot of the time. You see we haven’t understood our invisible emotional landscape and until we do we are never going to find ourselves, where we are and head in the direction we want to be going.

It is so interesting, in writing and re reading this I feel a return. Although I do specialise in trauma this has taken me back to my an orgin story of sorts. When I first realised that healing was all about feeling. The world wasn’t ready for that message then and even now as we journey though our monumental collective shadow. I wonder how ready we are for that work now. With all the name blaming and shaming going on I’d say we are living the polarity like a very well oiled high jinx game. Where I’m wondering when we get to turn the board over? You see my journey through my own emotional landscape has led me to a far deeper understanding of the caves and swamps that lie within it, not just the personal ones but the collective ones too. This is where I began to appreciate that ther might be something such as Collective Trauma and that beyond Collective Trauma it’s root cause is Systemic Trauma. That our emotional landsacpes are filled with the narrative of systemic trauma. That there is no one to blame. That we have simply been living in the after math of orgnisational Trauma Bombs that can devastate lives, wipe out whole city blocks, rip apart families and destroy any sense of community or resillience that we have. The onslaught of the system on our emotional lanscapes in continual corrosive nand deadly unless of course you are willing to comply and well as we understad it it’s taken us to full scale environmental collapse. It’s easy to beleive that understanding you emotional landscape is a soft fluffy option for vegan friendly militiants trying to solve the chickpea problem. The truth is chickpeas probably aren’t going to help us either because you know biodiversity is important. The truth is we have to look at where the challenges begin, that’s with you and me and all that pressure we seem to be under.

This article is being writen to accompanying reading for Feral Systemic Healing Circle please click through if you would like more information.