This seems like I’m going to head right back to a blog post from a few months ago called The Self & The System, that highlights exactly how complicated dismantling the system actually is. What the article points out is that it’s complicated because as humans we ourselves inherit both genetics, DNA and even mutations as a result of both our family and environmental systems. So the fact that you have a symmetrical and thus attractive face is a result of an inherited system that allows you to function better in society. To be beautiful is to be pleasing and that is very much trained into our collective consciousness and not easy to undo in a 15-minute power talk.
What you may be beginning to gather about much of both my writing and indeed my thought is that dismantling the system is very much caught up in deconstructing ourselves. Our beliefs, our values systems, our understanding of aesthetics and what we believe is socially and even politically acceptable. We must learn to understand all the ways in which we are complicit in a toxic system. Worse than that all the ways in which we embody the system and there are many.
You will see many activists old and new dive headlong into rectifying activities and behaviours that aren’t necessarily grounded in a full understanding of how our behaviour impacts others. In fact you may even find that many activists are militant in their beliefs. What you will find over time and particularly if you keep ‘following’ me is that these are mere trauma responses. That they occur as a result of an over-activated primitive brain and the stimulation of the right hemispheres of the brain. That these neurological activations are navigable, changeable and as I have come to understand are the singular most powerful way to activate societal and planetary healing. That if we can step into the idea that we are in fact safe, that we are resource-abundant and able to allow people there choices at no cost to ourselves. If we are fully able to embrace these ideas much of what we might learn from the community might stimulate long-held deeper understandings of the idea of strength in diversity. How diversity of approach and attitude might indeed strengthen our resilience rather than undermine it. That indeed each approach and offering should be wholeheartedly embraced and considered as part of a healthy functional society.
It is now becoming very clear that many of our problems are a result of the education system, where we have become entrained into route learning as part of a linear system designed to produce factory workers. The world is not linear nor is the functional brain of any human, though it may be highly capable of finding linear pathways. Linear as a concept has become outdated as it is not a true reflection of the Earthly system. The is no endless line that does not curve round on its self and to build a world that acts counter to all earthly intuition is by it’s very nature counter-intuitive. That is where we need to start. At what point in your own life did you lose you intuition in the very real meaning on in-tuition. Your inwards teaching? If we find that point in your story it is the very start of the long tangled mess that has the ability to unravel the world as we understand it today. Dismantling the system is puling on that long messy string that shows us all the ways that we have betrayed ourselves and in doing so betrayed others.
It really is the motherload of understanding all the ways in which we are gaslit into believing that our society is relatively functional as we hurtle towards human extinction. Systemic Trauma bounced into my consciousness a little over a year ago. Now I finally understand who I am and what I do. Although systemic trauma it might be a toxic heap of shit it is actually relatively easy to unravel if we work on it from the perspective of the personal.
I’m sure you don’t believe me. Yet at the same time what much else do we have to work with? Right now this article feels like it’s going to draw on the much deeper understanding of Systemic Healing. Rather than the actual trauma that I seem to have been covered quite extensively. The key message is; the anti-human system that expects you to work until you die while living in an ever-increasing toxic environment, as a result of the willful neglect of our environment and us people by both government and business. It’s not rocket science, as post-truth gaslighting carves the way for an emerging new consciousness.
You see we have to be able to work collectively in order to be able to survive. We have to be able to survive locally in order for life to be sustainable. We need to be able to live in balance with our immediate surroundings in order to collective action to work effectively and limit detrimental impacts further afield.
It’s quite straight forward and I think most of us that are on any form of quest to “Save Ourselves” has probably noted most of these key components while booking flights abroad and eating a lot of chickpeas (I’m still waiting for the bio impact of chickpeas consumption to emerge and eagerly awaiting the news of the human catastrophe it has caused). You see it’s all well and good to be an activist or even trauma-informed. It’s another thing to constantly and continually have to consider the repercussions of our actions. I wonder if more of us were able to do this with a deep commitment to the personal, how our world might radically alter. Even for me as a “Systemic Trauma Specialist” I have to tell you my trauma management is a full-time job. With an ever-deeper exploration of what I need to both learn to allow and contain. Where my flow between rigid boundaries and clear consent and allowing can be refined for everybody’s benefit. The last few months have been a deep act of aligning as well as witnessing the way in which I betray myself and in the process let other people defile me and my work as I allow them to bleed their trauma into my life. You see we have a sacred responsibility to the communities in which we live to the do the work of healing ourselves. That by picking up carrying and caring for our own burdens we give other people ways to do the same with their own. Healing hurts and we cannot heal all at once. Though we can take a very good crack at it from time to time miracle do and can happen. The thing is identifying the things that cause you pain, the things that trigger and traumatise you. We need to move away from them at speed the moment that the overspill becomes real. There is no need to intoxicate others with things that cannot be contained. Yet at the same time we either all go together or none of us does. Somewhere in this strange life, we have free choice and free will. However, in my experience how much of it is dictated to by laziness or worse resignation? It’s always been that way and I can’t be bothered. That’s fine? Then why should I be bothered with you?
What the fuck are they? I hear you cry. If you’ve made it to this blog and I am very pleased you have, you are probably wondering what exactly do I mean bu support systems? Is that it I have a really good mechanic? Sometimes the hairdresser lets me cry and doesn’t ask any questions..? If I could go to bed every night cuddling a bottle of red wine and gave it a name would that make me actually mad? If you dedication to ‘medicinal substances’ are the deepest and sincerest relationships I know. Then this is probably a blog post for you.
You are supposed to have real humans in your life, as both a source of reassurance and comfort. You are supposed to have humans in your life that nurture you. Now, this is where being human in 2020 gets scary, I know very well from my own personal experience that this is more often than not, not the case. Though I do remain ever hopeful and as I continue on my journey through life I see ever-increasing examples of functional family units out there. I know who would have thunk it? However, being me and having my own history I fully understand and appreciate the toxic and dysfunctional nature of many family units. Where most members are fighting to get their needs met at best. At worst family life can be a toxic shit storm of violence, verbal abuse and emotional castration. Love feels like gaslighting, confusion reigns and functionality can feel like a distant fantasy reserved for the strange bastion of children’s stories.
I kid you not I met Cinderella once and she worked in a boxing club. What does that tell you? That the handsome prince didn’t save her? Her feminist friends hadn’t found her? One day I do hope that, that particular fairytale has a happy ending. The last I heard she had stolen cash from the reception and never been seen again. You see we are all only ever one bad move away from destitution. That only a good friend or reliable family member might prevent us from slipping there. Yet so many of us are forced to put our mental health and emotional wellbeing at risk when we either have to visit, live with or even ask for help from our families.
Personally, it has taken me years to understand the full impact that my family have on my emotional wellbeing. As well as the deepest understanding of both theire dysfunction and toxicity. Also the deeper physiological impacts of growing up in an unpredictable and chaotic environment where adrenaline addictions and trauma bonded formed relationship status quo and home environment. Is it any wonder your on edge, anxious and triggered?
So I’m going to give it to you straight. The way that you know if you have a good support system is that they consistently make you feel good. They say nice things about you. They value your input, are supportive of your dreams and do their best to encourage you most of the time. No one person is perfect or can fulfill all of your needs. You need a team of people who are able to share the laid of your wellbeing and maintenance and this should be reciprocal. That means that you should be concerned about other peoples well being. Be able to consistently say nice things. You are not going to get it right every single time you will make mistakes as will you friends. You get to decide how much you value your relationship and the work that you are willing to put in to maintain a support system. To build trust you need to six good, positive, trust-building experiences to one trust-breaking experience. It really is that simple. There is a science to everything. It’s called a secure attachment.
Nurturance has been a word floating around in my emotional body for a while. It always felt a little strange that it was so underused by wellness practitioners. Nurture it’s a big word and I wonder sometimes what it really means? For me, it means creating behaviours and environments that promote growth. Physical and emotional growth. These days as a fully fledged adult nurturance normally has a more interesting flavour it seems prime picked in order to support healing as I speak about in Self-Nurturance, you see we have grown, some would say that we have mistakenly flourished in toxic environments meant for house plants and not wild roses.
It’s interesting that I should write that now as I see the nurturance lies at the very centre of a new circle that I am presenting over the next few months. Called Feral: A wild adventure in an uncivilised world. Where we learn essentially about all the ways the system is fucking us. All the ways we embody the system. The programming we carry. Our toxic beliefs based on productivity, as well as both of systemic abuse, capitalism and ultimately the anti-human approaches that are destroying lives, family and societies, quite deliberately.
Over the last year, it has made me laugh hard the volume of people that have been telling me about the fear-based propaganda of COVID 19. Those who have desperately sought to educate me as to all the ways we are being controlled while I have blithely listened. I’ve yet to get to space of recommending my this blog as a form of countenance.
Fear frequency is so old school and given that I have spent most of my life terrified of other peoples blyth ignorance, it now makes me laugh that people think that I am one of those people. I’ve been fighting and brutalised by the broken system for your benefit most of my adult life and have come to a radical understanding of its anti-humans nature. That nurturance is the antithesis of the anti-human. That personal care, self-love and nurturance are the real tools of the resistance. In fact, this is something that I consider to be personal activism that the journey inward offers the greatest stability for us all. I know many of you might consider this spiritual bypassing. If you’ve read my previous blog post Minimalism, Essentialism & Necessity you might consider otherwise. The life of an activist is a far from easy one. I have spent a lot of my life displacing my own trauma finding cause to fight for when in fact the I’m really fighting for my self my own survival my own stability my own growth. My own right to life, a safe space to live and be unhindered to peruse my dreams. The pursuit of dreams is a luxury to those not bound up in the toxicity of end-stage capitalism and enduring the ever-increasing oppression of both propaganda-driven and fascist states. The only way that anybody can effectively organise it through the lense personal activism, community activism and collective healing all of course while unpacking our own systemic trauma.
So how is it that you nurture yourself? Only you know. Is it a long bath and pomegranate juice? A long chat with a close friend? A flask of tea on the beach? A pedicure? A wild swim? Some Netflix and pyjamas? A glass of wine at the end of the day? A music gig? Some sparkly nail varnish or a political discussion? All of these things are valid forms of nurturance cause what nurturance is for you is not the same as everybody else. You are unique wild and lovable and you deserved to flourish.
The Basics, it seems like a growing list of essential self-care tips rather than an immediate list of essentials. If I was going to get right down to the bare bones, which indeed the home page of my website once used to. I once talked a lot about air and water. Those are the real full-blown basics of human life. Beyond that maybe even the potential of land on which to find nurturance. In 2020 even air has become toxic and it seems to be a continuing theme of my writing, as I go. That even the most basic of human necessities seems to be under threat as part of our unrelenting anti-human system.
People these days talk about essentials like they really are disposable facial cleansing wipes or indeed scented bathtime candles. I wish I agreed and I think the revelation that someone packed scented candles as essential travel must, was probably around the time I stopped reading any kind of lifestyle magazine, along with all women’s magazines. I often wonder why these magazines don’t come with free loose-packed razor blades or a craft knife? As all most people seem to get from them is as an opportunity to entirely berates their life or claw together a vision board. Fuck I’m cheery today.
The real thing when it comes to the basics is what is necessary, what are the absolute essentials? The thing is that when you are living on the edge of survival a candle can feel like a luxury. I’m not talking about a luxury candle. I’m talking about a sock standard household candle. That people in the first world rarely have to consider as an essential item. After several years in South Africa candles are no longer quaint. They became necessary along with the cute little enamelware candle holder. After several years of load-shedding (that’s where the government turn the electricity of whole cities off) electricity was no longer a given, nor even running water due to a drought and a climate disaster.
This year it’s air, like some kind of elemental warfare is taking place. You see in extreme times we can find the deepest appreciation for the simplest things. Air, water, light, a candle. Nail scissors, a hairbrush, a shower. For me beyond access to our most basic elemental nurturance is the idea of safety. In an anti-human system that pushes people into survivalism, safety can seem forever out of reach. The endless quest for security (due to poor land access) can push us into extreme acts of self-deprecation. It’s ok it seems to be what the capitalist system requires. Anyways what you really need to know right now in the era of post-truth and divergent narrative (that always existed) is the fear-driven perspectives are fueling the breakdown of society. Love is an added bonus in a world that values human productivity over soul contribution. I know, it’s brutal out there and remember the only ones worth holding onto are the ones that are holding on to you.
This came to me at the beginning of the year after packing up my home and all my possessions again. This time I’d leveled up bringing all the stuff that I had back in a 35 kg rather than the standard 25kg. I had also lost my nail scissors to airport security and agonised over buying a new pair because well I hate having to buy new things even though my nails and my heart felt as ragged as an old rusty saw. I’ve moved somewhere in the proximity of over 30 times since I was 18. Living out of a bag seems to be what I do. I don’t buy things unless I absolutely have too or unless I accidentally splurge. There’s a clarity to having very little and a depth of character that comes with it. I often don’t present myself in the way that I would like because that would take a hair dryer, a mirror and well a much deeper commitment to a personal aesthetic than circumstances might allow. Yet objects and aesthetics enthrall me. Which leads me to the ever pervasive question; Are you lead by your spirit or your wound?
You see you’d be amazed by how little you can get by without. At its most extreme even fresh water, having lived on a boat and survived a three year water shortage in Cape Town. Even the most essential items can be reduced greatly when we live in extreme times. Messy buns are an accepted fashion necessity of these times that have become hallmark. How many of you can happily go two weeks without washing your hair? You know what the most important thing to master about such situations is attitude. I honestly believe that complaining is one of the most useless things in the world. Yet I do hold on to the right to have a monster trauma response. Especially given that my essential right to life was infringed upon this week by two particularly unconscious characters.
Beyond this the idea of minimalism, essentialism and necessity were presented to me last year by Lifestyle Business owner as ideologies for living. To be honest as far as I am concerned minimalism is nothing more than an aesthetic expression of clarity. What ever you don’t need is surplus to requirements. Essentialism, it’s a bizarre idea. What is it that you actually need? Which changes endlessly in response to almost any given situation. Do you have the ability to manifest as you go? I can tell you I have lost, gathered, manifested, gifted and distributed so many essential items on the road less travelled by, that it may well be the reason that I have seriously begun to consider magic as a path of the faithful. Only yesterday I was digitally gifted some bluebells from South Africa, which could only be magic right? Necessity they say is the mother of all invention. I have to say that I agree. Some of my most favoured things have often been macgyvered. I’m far more attached to the human heart that fashioned something for my benefit and everybody else’s, rather than for the higher aspiration of aesthetic values.
You see this is really a question of your procurement policy? Have you thought about the stuff you buy how it impacts you and others? Do you believe that there is enough? Do you hold onto things longer than you have to? As much as these questions are about how we live and survive in the 3D physical world and where our focus should be on the products we buy, it is also asking for higher understanding of how we manifest our lives. Recently I’ve been learning in Sangomic traditions that when something is broken it means that all the bad luck is done. That they don’t mourn the loss of objects they celebrate them. That their purpose has been fulfilled like a christmas tree wish. It’s an interesting way to look at things, even human life.
I think I might be beginning to feel it now. In fact I might be coming to a very different understanding of what this might mean entirely. Even in this moment I want you to know I am hiding. I am not telling you all I am, what I believe or indeed how I manifest my dreams, or even what those dreams might be. What I experience now is that I have my very own kind of magic that falls in and away from the everyday transaction of something for material gain. As a recent compulsive purchase has just taught me The History of Magic by Chris Gosden is that ‘magic emphasizes human connections with the universe and the universe is responsive to us’. So maybe it isn’t so much about the the power of aligned action is it is to do with magic. You see we’ve been trained not to be true to ourselves and although I may have ironed in a good emotional frequency into my mind my body definitely experiences the world as a dangerous place. Most women will tell you this that somewhere deep in their bodies is a place where vulnerability meets threat, where threat means violence. When I’m writing that is a lot of where I live. When I take action that is a lot of what I am sorting out. You see in the language of A2B Transformation I am E-Loced by time. I am E-loced by both my own history and the impact that my action, belief, insight and even writing may have over time. That it might incur me to experience criticism of inform and impact the world in ways that I had not anticipated or even planned for. That I might upset people and even become a source from which to polarise arguments. That my ideas, process and arguments might be triggering and indeed harmful and as a result inadvertently cause me harm. So being invisible is easy. Being all love and light and violet flame is an extraordinary practice. However it doesn’t leave a lot for the traumatised to work with, nor do most religious spectres on forgiveness. I’ve been pondering a lot about the origins of the for-give and for-get and even for-grieve without actually having done much research on their entomology. What I feel though is that they hold answers within their breaking down. For-give to forward give. For-get to forward get and For-grieve to forward grieve. That the words in their very essence have a magical essence to what they manifest that within forgiving there is a forward gift, that within forgetting there is a forward getting, that in forgrieving there is a letting and just like that forbid popped into the fold. Forward-bidding?
What has all this got to do with The Power of Aligned Action, we have to know who we are not to know who we are and that is a process, a very demanding one when done in public. It’s also very much about how that might go about being ‘marketed’ to the masses as a concept of radical transformation, of how to be a true authentic self. It sure as hell isn’t a one size fits all. It’s a fucking fuck up. You don’t learn it in school and very few people are interested in the perpetuating systemic trauma that might prevent you from manifesting your dreams. Especially when being invisible has kept you safe. When not being yourself has allowed you to survive. That’s been my story in very strange ways. How could I possibly say that? How could I possibly say that or indeed write that publicly and put a rubber stamp on it? You see my writing is by its very nature disruptive. Not just in terms of what I write but also in terms of how I write. First of all I’m dyslexic, second of all I hold a certain amount of language trauma as a result of being a Scot speaking and writing in English, who’s nuanced understanding of language has never developed well enough to have an actual grammatical understanding of English. You see there simply comes a point and I do hope that it arrives for all of you that you have to “Chuck it in the fuck it bucket” and beyond having to accept things as they are you have to accept yourself as you are.
I’m dreamer, a optimist, a humanist and egalitarian that gives a shit about both the planet and the Earthlings that live here and that is actually in real life terms deeply uncool. Because your too sensitive, over dramatic, rebellious, disruptive, passionate, abused, aggressive, militant, triggered as well as I so fervently tell you traumatised cause societal gaslighting is here. Your too much, not enough and failing spectacularly all the time. Every day there is a new fight, everyday another storm, a new recruit, a new wave of both supporters and incoming information to disseminate. It’s fucking endless and most people don’t really give a fuck about the rape victims I work with for free that will never see justice. Few people really give a fuck about the neglected emotionally abused child in all of us that has never been held. Few people really give a fuck abiutther the devistating impact of scoicital gaslighting and it’s accompanying systemic racism and trauma. Few people really give a fuck about economic collapse the real impacts of a global pandemic. Few people really give a fuck that large swaths are Soutern Atlantic have been found to ‘dead’ ie. nothing live there and well. No one really care that humanity is literally falling apart, one person, one home, one family, one community, one river, one forest and one planet at a time.
Do you know why we know this no one wants to talk about it over dinner, no one wants to walk instead of ride and no one is wiling to leave the plastic packaging that is destroying large swathes of our environment in the fucking supermarket (I know). More than this few of us are checking on their neighbour and in fact huge swathes of us find it increasingly difficult to speak kindly to one another (having never been taught). Cause actually being kind is disruptive, in fact in an anti-human society it tends to destroy people. So the next time you want to call someone militant or aggressive why not say abused, neglected ignored, triggered, traumatised because nobody else is doing the work that they have the heart to.
Right now all the people that have been living on the edge forced out of society due to their deep care and compassion now stand on the edge of the biggest human initiation on the planet. What do we do when the world falls apart? We turn up with tea and say “There dear” it’s okay I won’t destroy you.
So yes perfect aligned action is finding yourself in the turmoil and terror and saying I have to do it anyway. It’s a commitment to the calling. It’s a commitment to you and the world’s magic.
Several months ago I was standing on my balcony in Cape Town looking at an avocado seed sprouting the beginnings of new life, witnessing how perfect it was. That it had taken generations of avocado life cycles to produce such a well-formed seed. I occurred to me that this seed was demonstrative of collective evolution and that it must retain some form of collective consciousness to have developed in such a way. It was astounding to me that this seed was capable of transferring information through the invisible.
It feels much the same way right now with human consciousness. We are plugged into the power of collective consciousness in such an interesting time of planetary evolution. That we are all connected to everything, that we can’t separate ourselves from one another. That our feelings are all mixed together and that none of our feelings are either isolated or anomalous. They all belong here in this time.
So many cycles and patterns are folding in on themselves. The pattern of our anti-human behaviour, whether it be how we relate to race, gender, culture and nature as a whole. Whether we are experiencing the waxing and waning of the moon or being balled over by these supercharged eclipses. There is an acknowledging going on as much as there is an awakening.
That right now more than ever our collective trauma inherited and lived are all mixed up and mixed in with one another. We seem to be continually asking ourselves is it just me? As we breakdown and breakthrough. I’ve just been asked as part of a workshop by Robin Lim and exceptional Birthkeeper to write a letter about this time to read in 9 months. Yes we are rebirthing individually and as a collective. It’s incredible to live in such a historical time. To wonder where we might be in a year or five or even fifty as a result of this shift? As I think back to other pivotal moments in history. That seems to be being presented again and again, as we seem to be dancing with fascism all over. Yet still we live our lives day by day only able to deeply connect to the immediacy of the people and causes around us. Yes I was there. Yes, I am here witnessing writing, living breathing. Wondering what the next 9 months might bring as I untangle my collective karma. The unperformed rituals, the missed rights of the lost placenta and the unmarked graves of the long-dead and the abandoned long living. So much to remember to forget, record, release and even heal. That can only be done with speaking unspoken truths and collective revelations.
What I do know form that avocado is that we are driven by a benevolent force that is committed to our betterment.
Is Generational Healing confusing you? Why exactly are people out marching for equality 150 or so years after slavery? Trauma is inter-generational. The inequalities and injustice of slavery have never been fully healed. Why did slave owners get compensation? Yet the newly freed slaves didn’t? And why has this never been addressed? Ah I think you’ll find it’s something called systemic racism. Just because you ignore something it doesn’t mean it goes away. So here we are witnessing a nation demanding the generational healing it should have received 150 years ago.
I work with systemic trauma. Maybe this is a good opportunity to explain exactly what that means. I believe that overall we live in an anti-human system. If your looking for references why not ask your nearest essential worker about their day to day lives? You can ask a woman what it is like to feel silenced? You can ask a person of colour what it is like to live in their body? (Ask for consent for the conversation first and remember enthusiastic consent is the only form of consent that is acceptable) You can ask an immigrant what it is like to be treated as ‘foreign’. Speak to a disabled person what it is like to be discarded or for the old to be abandoned. These individual stories are important, relevant and pivotal at this time. And Yes Black Live Matter.
If you preference the book of an academic or a well respected figured over the personal stories of your locally marginalised ask yourself why? Why do we trust the published, the legitimised over our neighbours and friends? Published and legitimised by who? and what? Why do we value the opinion of a Oxford Don over a Cape Flats Builder? Where does your reasoning come from? In what way have you been prejudiced in your thinking and why?
You’re carrying the weight of institutions and ideas that you have never actively consented to be part of.
Even if something can be reasoned does it mean it’s justified?
Ideas of race are non-scientific invented by the powers that be in order to keep us separate. Our institutions and governments are built on a race based fantasy. You inherited these systems and you have been forced to accept them as your own. Paradoxically even though the system is based on unconscious bias the impacts of non-scientific belief systems are very real and have measurable impacts on the demographics affected. Systemic racism demands that you believe that people of colour are inherently disadvantaged as result of ‘race’ rather than by systemic racisim. The system is of course narcissistic in it’s characteristic gaslighting of it’s participants with lies and propaganda. It is the most extreme tool of oppression. The idea that any human is superior or lessor based on any physical attributes, belief, creed or ability is of course anti-human.
That is why systems of governance are very much about keeping you stuck, as we wage war within ourselves and against each other. Information overload is designed to bamboozle you. To stop you from taking any concerted action about most things.
All my personal questioning has led me to the understanding of collective systemic trauma that affects everyone in the system. Yet negatively impacts the quality of life of those marginalised by the system. The privileged have a responsibility go on a decolonisation journey to understand how our choices impact everyone in society.
We can’t reason with the unreasonable. So for me the far deeper question is what do you feel about it instead? Is whats happening out there on the street inhumane? Is what happening to you and your family unjust? Are you finding it hard to survive in anti-human society? Are you bamboozled by the cognitive dissonance of what is presented and what is actually happening? Have you found a way to reconcile that?
In my work all I ever do is listen to stories, powerful deeply unique stories. There is no one size fits all solution to systemic trauma because it is all so deeply personal. How I was treated in school is very different to how you were and so we draw different conclusions.
I wonder what would happen if we listened to each others stories. Personally I feel that the systemic racism that occurs across the western world is abhorrent and that the best solution that I have is to continue to discuss and explore systemic trauma in response to that. I care about people of colour or whatever politically correct term, we are using this this month to identify people, people who are actually more than capable of identifying themselves.
You see experience has endlessly taught me that I don’t get to pick someones descriptive, pronoun or identity. When it comes to the classification of people we are only every following guidelines and ultimately how someone chooses to identify is down to them. If you really want to talk about race, you can ask someone how they self-identify. You might find that they don’t even identify with colour. Lets face it I’m a white person that wouldn’t use white a my first descriptive, that’s white privilege at work in case you didn’t get the memo. You see white identity is normalised inside the white system this = whiteness.
In the last few weeks I have been on the most extraordinary journey with The Red Tent Doulas. All based in birthing and story. I never knew that birth stories could be quite so powerful if shared with intention. What is more generationally healing than a story about birth? Your own birth. The birth of a movement or a nation? What are our origin stories? That tell us who we are and the ways in which we were brought into this world? What’s your birth story? You might be very surprised at what you find here. It’s not sugarplum fairies and the stork. Did you know that in the UK a black women is 5 times more likely to die in childbirth that a white woman? That’s 3 times higher than the US’s known statistics on the matter.
Isn’t it interesting this is a uprising starts with death and a grown man’s cries for his mama. What would it take to heal this injustice for one family? What would it take for this injustice to be healed for all families dealt the same brutal state orchestrated execution. What would it take for us to heal all the people involved in those stories? What would it take for the trauma not to be catching? Could we heal a community? Could we heal a nation? What would it take to heal three continents that the story triangulates round? Only to find that we’d excluded all the places in the world where slavery and colonialism have co-existed for millennia. This affects everybody and we can only heal together. We can only heal in community. Where it is safe. Where we feel safe, heard and loved. The answer is in listening to stories.
In the healing circuits we say continually that healing is non-linear. I believe the only reason for this is that we have not been allowed to heal. That our emotions have been disregarded as non-fact. That our humaness has been denied in order for us to fit into a system that values our profit making abilities more than our innate human gifts. We have to change everything about ourselves to undo this reality as it stands at this moment. I’m asking you step beyond individualised trauma here.
I’m asking you to build a bridge between the relational, the generational and systemic. That the way that we relate to people how we treat one another gets passed on. We are all equal we are all valuable and we are all worthy of each others love and respect. To step out of this we have to move beyond our own pain. As someone with privilege I need to use all the skills I have to minimise harm and utilise the resources I have to support those who are highly vulnerable at the hands of the oppressor. Which happens to be, me, someone who is complicit in an oppressive system. Yup don’t look away now. The problem is you. We are complicit in a system that is designed to traumatise.
Where was I? I was talking about sleeping. Yes, sleep. Before that, you might consider rest. Ask The Nap Ministry I love them. They are the badest and best anti-capitalists in town remember: Rest is resistance. Fuck the system. Yes, all of it.
I wrote this before The Great Pause and now we have been forced to rest. So much so that lethargy and timelessness is setting in and leaving us little lost. Many of us have been here for years. Living on the edge working through the choices that make our live and our world a better place. So much of what we have accepted as acceptable has been bullshit. We now literally have time for change and part of that is choosing to heal ourselves first.
You see climate emergency is not for sissies and you got to literally know some shit to do it well. It’s not going anywhere or indeed gone anywhere. It’s a very tangible metaphor for the internal war we humans go through most days. Even if its just the daily commute or navigating education for out children. We are at odds for with the world. We have been feeling so wrong for so wrong that we have internalised the failings of the system for the failings of the human soul. We have internalised the broken system for our brokeness and it’s time to claim back our humanity.
We need to be emotionally resourceful and resilient. What you going to do if they take away the self-care bubble bath. Yup, my friend you be fucked with your zen bliss vibes. Anyways because of the magnitude of the problem and the limited chances of survival I suggest you dive in deep into why your life is so important to you and why it might be that you are ready to burst on to the scene as a Enviro-mentalist and Humanitarian given that we the humans are clearly the problem. That running round fixing things like the sewerage problem may have stopped typhoid, however, it rapidly increased water consumption and meant human effluent ended up an oceanic issue. You see how fucked it actually is? We don’t solve problems we transfer them until of course a lone sailor come across The Garbage Patch. We were only trying to help. It seems to be the battle cry of most hapless causes.
It’s time to stabilise, it’s time to balance and if your life is looking like a string of boozy night out fueled by the pain of ecocide followed by an unrelenting anger at what the system always does (which is fuck us). How are you helping really? Time to take a long hard look at yourself. The good thing is that most of us agree climate change is real, fossil fuels are bad (Covid 19 is in similar states of collective acceptance and denial) . Stay at home for a bit, if you really need to get somewhere walk. If where you live is shit I suggest you start there. Tidy your room. Talk to your family. Speak to your neighbour cause when climate disaster strikes that’s who you’re going to be seeing in the end days with. Aye that. Heal yourself first. Things are fucked up for a reason. We the human are fucked up. Out of sync with our environments, doing everything we can to get out hands on our own little pieces of paradise. A scrap of land a stretch of water, discarding everything that doesn’t agree with us. Whole tracks of land. Swathes of society all in avoidance of our own pain. the pain of who? what and where we are. There is now running the only way out is through. (don’t worry you can swear while you’re doing it. Heal yourself first.
Honestly, I wrote this before The Great Pause. You see, in the end ultimately healing is the only option.