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.
I got my blog posts mixed round. Last week I was on about empathy and wrote a post about death care. This week I haven’t even picked my word so I’m out of sync again? Or maybe I am really in flow. I’m trying to get ahead of my writing, channelling what is flowing through me now that may not be relevant by the time I post this. I try to live in the real-time as much as possible. Right now I feel caught in the backlog of emotional work that I seem to be trying to capitalise on. So on that note please check out my Ko-fi page above. I need to get clean in these weeks ahead I mean mentally clean. Spiritually clean. Is this even a thing?
So right now I’m reviewing this as I am about to post it and I already posted my Instagram word for the week. Backpaddling (there is a good chance that this isn’t even a word) Reading from above I’m actually in flow. You see healing is non-linear.
People talk about clearing space. Even getting it right the first time. It’s all very admirable. Is it realistic? Sometimes we have to clear up other peoples messes not just our own. It can be infuriating, humiliating and ever rage filling. (I’m using rage a lot these days) That’s exactly where I am right now. I’m cleaning up other peoples mess every single day and barely getting to my own. There is never a clean slate when we dive into the deep work of being. Even during this time of the deep pause. I hope you life looks exactly how it should right now. I hope you have everything you need right now. I hope you are safe happy and well. For most people, that’s not a reality and I do my best to offer my realness to anybody that think’s there drowning in the expectation of the perfect life. Guess what no matter what happens. Life happens anyway…
When I think about it right now. Here at the center of The Great Pause. I would be amazed to find someone who wasn’t backpaddling right now. As in writing this I seems to have full circled back to an blog I wrote about a year ago called The Story of the Broken Goddess. That was a deep reflection on my own process surrounding the divine feminine. This last year has brought me on a journey of polaraties and contrast and how the micro and informs the macro and a lot of science to go with it. Our collective understanding is becoming very advanced now. You see we have been willingly destroying ourselves for a while now and commodified self-care is not the answer. The question that has been driving most of my purchasing power over the last decade, if not longer is “Do you really need it?” Then beyond this “What is the true cost of this?” I imagine is these are the real questions that our ancestors grappled with when interfacing with our 3D reality. Is the non-engagement with these basic questions that has lead us down this dark path to one of my upcoming blog posts Gaia The Broken Goddess.
Right now I feel like I’m very far into the work of transmuting energy. I’ve moved beyond empath into a discerning empath. It’s a bit like being Yoda if you really want to understand. I feel a rupture in the force. I said it last week. When actually it isn’t that it’s more like the start of the clone wars. When something has been a miss this whole time and it’s been hidden from us. In fact, it more like The Matrix, knock-knock Neo.
In case you hadn’t noticed right now the United Kingdom hasn’t got a functioning Prime Minister. The pressure is building and all I can do is meditate and do my best to mediate the mess. Not just of my own emotional landscape but the paradigm of systemic trauma to what has become termed as ‘The Great Pause’ the sanest place I’ve ever known. Where the carnage is real and denial is a trigger for me.
People often get caught up in the idea of the Empath of people who feel everything. To the point that they think it’s an excuse for codependency. That their identity has to be lost in the needs of another. Isn’t that what we have all been doing the last aeon or so. All so caught up in the system that our own private thoughts and feelings don’t matter? Right now there is so much to transmute. Some people are genuinely scared, while other a genuinely traumatised, meanwhile I’m genuinely relieved that we have finally come to this point.
Aye that. It’s an illness that’s trending (well was). I can tell you that. Guess what they found a name for being proper fucked up beyond Gulf War Syndrome. Yup and a lot of us have it and we don’t even know it. If you have it you are a human superstar. It means you have lived life at the extreme more than once. Either actively or passively and you still survived. Good job!
I started writing this before the time of Covid 19 and now as I progress through my work for the next few my pre-scheduled topics for the next few weeks it’s going to be interesting how these topics pan out. You see before I was writing about all of this stuff in the time of normal. In the time of being outdoors, talking to people in person and having an attainable mission in life. Now all of that has changed. It seems it”s the perfect time to be bathing in our trauma. Why? Because we finally have time to do so. This time is time for healing. It’s a time for retreat. It’s a time to heal the soul and bring everything back into harmony.
Trauma is something I’ve been managing for years, even in the time of Covid when all is calm on the home front dissociation can be rife Scatteredness can lose me as my brain tries to connect to itself.
For me, the main cure is sleep (if you can) and some better friends. There are some great online Facebook groups (Drop a link) If you’ve been involved with a or even some narcissists you might want to check out Tonia Evans. (put in link). She got some great stuff on this. If you are experiencing flashback get on the EMDR it really works. TRE is also a great way to work with your body I have never done any extensive work with it what I can tell you though is that I used to suffer from disassociative fits. That means you are totally stressed to fuck and TRE gave me the ability to understand my boy in new ways. If you want to find out more about somatic experiencing then you can also check Iren Lyon. I also thoroughly recommend looking into the work of Mastin Kipp he’s the first person that I came across that truly gets it. If you are too traumatised to deal with him I’d say your next stop in me. Yes me. If of course, you live in the Edinburgh area. (I’m in the process of updating all my stuff after a big move) If you are in another are globally I mean then get in touch and I’ll do my best to let you know who I think is well informed and good in your area. I’ll put the shout out.
When it comes to healing trauma the number one thing is connection. (Please don’t throw your phone across the room) I understand how enraging that can feel when you are totally isolated. I know it’s shit, and it sucks. You can go eat the ice cream or lie on the floor if that’s what’s going to make you feel better. If this is where you are. All you need to focus on is feeling better. What makes you feel better. Do that until you get bored. When you get bored you are ready to feel different and that’s great. Anyways if you’re not there. It’s all about connection if not with other people with yourself. How do you feel? What makes you happy. What is happiness anyway? Do I like my clothes? It’s ok to hate yourself it’s not ok to pack up and live there. Look for colours and objects and things that make you feel safe. If you have a friend call them. If they are good friend keep calling them if they make you feel shit, don’t.
Well, now there’s a thing. When life ramps up to full volume and you wonder where your key priorities might be. In my journey as a life doula, I always believed that it was important to train as both a birth and death doula. Now it would appear that these skills are needed now more than ever. Especially surrounding Death Care with more and more reports coming in from Italy that the death system, like the medical system, is close to collapse. People are dying at home, unattended and alone, in one of the best medically equipped countries in the world. They are dying alone with their bodies being left ex
So it now poses all sorts of question about death care and highlights all the reasons why I have chosen my particular path as a life doula and the training that I am now undertaking. That we can’t outsource the human experiences and that the two most profound experiences of birth and death are things that should stay wherever possible in community. Now more then ever this seems very clear to me. The situation here in the UK right now seems to be under control and contagion rates in Scotland seem to be happening much slower than in England.
The Dentist has just called and cancelled my appointment so they can be used as locum doctors. It’s another little tick as the on the upscaling of this crisis as preparations take a much deeper grip.
My thoughts are also with South Africa right now. It’s a privilege to be living in a first-world country where free health care is accepted as a norm rather than a given. There’s a lot of concern about when COVID 19 hits the townships and what is going to happen there. AIDS, HIV and TB are all going to take there toll on the survival rates. When I think of the measures that the UK government is taking with a fully fledge health care system my heart breaks for South Africa. There are dark days ahead for us all. While many of us are grappling with the impacts of marshall law on our civil liberties. I baulk at the potential death toll and the things people will have lived through at the end of this experience. Many accept that in a country that still struggles immensely with economic and cultural inequality COVID 19 is going to be a massive social leveller. It’s a situation that is going to affect everyone, globally. Few of us are able to buy ourselves out if this one and even if we could? At what cost? As martial law begins to get rolled out on a planetary scale it’s intense. The conspiracy theorist, the sceptics, the cynics and the gullible all take their view. All that we can rely on is our own subjective reality.
For obvious reasons, my phone has been ringing. I’m distracted, grounded and weirdly focused on the conversations that matter, as I do my best to stay present. Emotions are high and I feel the writhing of collective consciousness flowing through my nervous system. It doesn’t feel surreal to me. It feels normal like the world is only just catching up to what life is like for the poor, disabled and the elderly on a daily or even yearly basis. Millions of people live like this locked in their homes and in their neighbourhoods all completely socially isolated all the time. Many of us are going to be lucky enough to die like this, in our gilded cages. Figuring out that all that really matters is life. All of it.
This is a situation that you can’t buy your way out of.
I heard the news this week that a good friend of mine had finally secured some land for growing willows where they could live out the end of there days as a basket weaver. It’s a delightful story I’m sure you’ll agree. I congratulated them on their commitment to the revolution, that includes many key elements like slow the fuck down, stay local, grow your own food and do you know your neighbours? Forcing us to aks the much bigger question like do you like where you are?
It’s been a question many of us have been asking as we chose to travel the world looking for better places to be all without taking on the full consequences of our actions. That includes me. Honestly, I was well into my twenties before I realise the impact or air travel on our environment or even seriously started to consider where my food came from. Back then it was all about food miles and now it’s all about community resilience. Here we are at the end of capitalism and many of us are still living in a bubble where we have very deliberately chosen not to engage with collective responsibility. As we jet set from one global conference to another, barely conscious of the communities we live in and how they might function in a period of systemic collapse.
Systems collapse is here and for me it’s exciting. It’s the real stuff of life. The imagined structures of the world are exactly that, imagined. There are no effective borders for air born illness. We live in a planetary system. We know we can’t eat money. It certainly can’t cure Covid 19 and yet we worship this imaginary substance, that is nothing more than a digital commodity, that has no other purpose than control what people can or can’t do. Imagine if everything was free. Imagine if living was free. What would we be doing then? Most of us would be resting. Most of us would be in deep recovery after centuries of abuse. If our worth wasn’t caught up in money or the idea of productivity. A very different world is now emerging where community resilience is key. More than that where human connection is at the forefront of how we interact. How are many of us going to live if we actually have to stop? What is going to come up for us? That we are isolated? That we are alone? That it’s uncomfortable? That we need to make changes to our lives that doesn’t involve chasing down a mystical cash cow. What if you just did what you love? What if just if you believed that rest was resistance and it’s powerful? What if we just change how we thought about everything even ourselves. what if we didn’t have to call it fancy things like systemic change or human-centred design? What if we deeply took on board how interconnected and interdependent things are. So that when we have global emergencies governments didn’t have the power to make decisions that might condemn us all to death with on decision. It’s too much power for any one person to have. These are decisions that need to be taken collectively and we must all play our part.
So in my process of processing the term, Ego Death comes up. First of all, I do not in any way shape or form claim to be egoless. What I can say is that I’m stepping into me every deeper and exploring the inner landscape of shame in ways I’ve never been able to before. Maybe its because I’m turning 40 this year. Maybe it’s because I’m changing my approach.
Two things have happened to me recently one is getting a message from my Mother (who I’m currently estranged from) the other is having to get in touch with my old art college about course transcripts. Both have been triggering. Both have made me investigate my emotional landscape a little deeper. Even as I start to write about about it my anxiety rises and my self-harm ideation emerges and I very literally have to right now go deep into some somatic experiencing. I can feel the tingling of my skin the tightening of my chest and the emergence of ego as it’s rage and anger filled rant starts to emerge in my mind and I’m already getting up to the cup of tea and Instagram scrolling distraction therapy to not go there to deep. So I can stay here with you. You see I don’t think I talk about this part much. The fight. The fight to be here, to stay present, to keep going. T function while feeling and why the idea of ‘normal’ screams systemic abuse at me and makes me feel incredibly unsafe. You see for some of us and I’d like to think the growing part of the population that is becoming truer. The trauma levels are too high. The greenwashing, gaslighting bullshit is too toxic and I have to train hard to be able to deal with any of it. I know I am not alone.
Yet when I am out there posting my at-home selfies that don’t cater for outward appearances I feel like a failure. Like OMG seriously Kimberley again? You haven’t brushed your hair. How is anybody going to relate to this really? This must be so off-putting and then I realise that that is how most women feel all day, every night. That the pressure of appearance is crushing them, even when they have it all done. The hair, the make-up. The panic of office wear that has long left my life was a major liberation. I know for a lot of people that kind of freedom isn’t even on their radar. That I literally live a life of privilege every single day at home in a warm house with and internet connection in my pyjamas. You see and that’s when I think about it. That even the idea of self-care can be crushing. I mean I do brush my hair and teeth and I do do my four-step skincare most days. It’s just that because I work from home I don’t have to do those things immediately when I get up. Then some fab idea comes up and now I just hop online. Then even though I may be feeling good on the inside confident about what I’m saying my appearance doesn’t match my words. It poses big questions that although self-care might be for us what is it about ‘presentability’ that might be toxic. That people can’t see us as ourselves, at home in our pyjamas and does that work differently for men? So on that now I’m off to wash my face and grab some tea. To think about this a bit more.
Which takes me back to the thing I found triggering and why they interest me. One I’m deep diving more and more into trauma recovery and the causes of systemic trauma which means a lot of deep diving for me personally. You see for me the personal informs the professional. I recently read somewhere (which I can’t remember) that they were thinking about naming CPTSD as a systemic disease. I’m not sure exactly what that means, except for me personally. So many things can be triggers if we are even slightly aware of the interconnectivity of everything how you connect with yourself is directly driven by how you were brought up and the family system you were or were not born into, will inform how you interact with the world.
Recently I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I am not ready to expose all yet. What I can say is that despite my trauma I do know that my family system made me into a change maker. You know why? Because I am playing out a polarity and using it to resolve my own trauma, for which I am very grateful. It’s also allowing me to individuate in ways that I never imagined or managed. I’m learning so much about myself and my somatic experiencing about my family I’m quite simply shocked at the bodily feelings that come up for me. Like a few paragraphs before tears just started flowing down my face. It was purely a bodily response, a release.
The whole art school thing…well that. What I realise that through that horrific (Yes I do mean that) educational experience I would never have learned our understood exactly what it is to be complicit. How Systemic Abuse can be branded to look safe and how if we aren’t directly affected by Systemic Abuse we will still use corporate power to propel us personally and professionally even if we are well-meaning hippies.
So Ego Death…. what is it? Right now for me, it’s ending the idea of who you think you are or what you present to the world. I’m a lady that works in her pyjamas and old jumpers that don’t brush her hair until or wash her face until she is leaving the house. The weight of that truly feels enormous. Ego death isn’t anything to be afraid of. Most of us have already embraced it in some form or another when we donned our first uniform.
Fuck. You can probably gather from my last few posts that I have been having a challenging time getting my trauma responses under control. I love it when people reach out to me to check that I am ‘OK’ because I’m posting about real life. About the true emotional landscape where I’m not just throwing around #blessed and showing off a #getawayfund. Fuck it, when I think of those things most of the time I just feel incredibly grateful that I have a life I can live with; even with anxiety, trauma and the odd sleepless night. Yes, these things are all normal, to be expected and in fact for the average human life mandatory. I know I’m not into the boom and bust gaslighting effect of your every day coaching tactics. Fuck that.
Given that I’ve been going through rebirth and reinvention. I think it was a little crazy for me to try and follow through with a marketing plan that I pulled together at the end of last year when I lived in another continent. In fact, it was a wee bit crazy fo me to think about marketing at all. Cause lets face it’s not something I believe in. Though all the marketing gurus in the world will tell you it’s something you should be. I understand why they want to sell you something meanwhile little old me I’m trying to give you something; as simple as a realistic perspective laced with magic.
Of course yes I am a Life Doula ( A profession I have in essence invented) I do have services for sale and please do feel free to contact me should you want something from me. I think the big BUY NOW button should be flashing somewhere below (NOT). Does that work for you? Just wondering? I personally find it mildly traumatising. That my only value to the people who might want to emotionally help me is monetary. For all the love-bombing out there I think we’ve got to get real about the nature of true attachment, it is for the most part value-based. That loving unconditionally is premised at the very least on personal safety. Given that here in the ‘west’ we’ve been worshipping martyrs for the last 2000 years, we are all a bit fucked up about this.
Martyrdom is brutal and might explain why most of our boundaries are a bit messed up most of the time. It may play a role in why Europeans have become land grabbing, bloodthirsty maniacs that we are. Living out the polarities of give and take in extreme and destructive ways. If you can imagine that someone in the third world is probably selling clean water the way the European diaspora is currently selling emotional safety, you might begin to understand the scope of the challenge. Contemplate this further and you might begin to clarify exactly how messy the human psyche can be. In the last few years, we have been commodifying the nurturance of family and tribe. It’s what I do reticently I’m really not in it for the money. Though I really do like eating. You look after me I’ll look after you. Mutual respect and fair exchange is all I’m asking. Good Samaritan or not. The truth is we all have to be strong enough to support one another and part of that is making sure you have something for yourself.
Which brings me swiftly to my point I write for me. Writing is one of my ongoing ‘high functioning coping strategies’, these days I am daring to move beyond this and saying it’s one of my not so repressed gifts. When I write I get clarity and I get back to the core of who I am. So if I don’t do it makes me anxious, irritable and restless. It’s a key part of my own personal nurturance programme. Its something I need to tend to be well. More than this blogging has become a way to manage journaling as a result of a nomadic lifestyle. I have neither the physical strength nor the mental capacity to carry the weight of my thoughts in physical form and thus blogging has liberated me. I do, I write for myself and every so often I get lost in the idea that I’m writing for someone. Maybe I am I’m writing for someone like me. Someone who has found life traumatising. Who has been confused and baffled by a system that promotes planetary and human destruction even when they mean well? Trauma interrupts thoughts, experiences and ways to understand the self in relation to a fucked system.
I don’t want to write some jingoistic idea of what you might be interested in. That’s a load of bullshit because really if you are reading this you should be interested in me and more succinctly what I have to say. What’s really exciting in this now moment is that I am finding a place where the curatorial meets the coach. The trauma intersects with the system and that doulaing seems to be the platform that can bring it all together in an appropriate way.
Last night I looked at my website. It’s was better than I thought (though I am still working on it). My message is clearer than I expected. I’ve been using the last few months to hone down what I do even further. You see until I had discovered the systemic trauma thing; what I was working on felt very nebulous because it is. Systemic trauma has many many sources. From the way, we are taught to write in school to how systemic trauma can be passed down intergenerationally. From land misuse, ecocide to forced displacement. It’s not one thing. It’s everything and it’s all connected. It’s literally taken me 20 years to find the language. Systemic Trauma. It’s not one thing. It’s everything. It’s not just the professional it’s the personal.
Here at the centre of several global emergencies, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, highly emotional and reactive. Many of us have been forced to the street or retreat into binge-watching fantasy. While some of us swing wildly between both. Few of us are comfortable taking a selfie crying and yet society seems to be screaming toxic vulnerability. It’s a very specialised skill palpable emotional distress. Yes, that and for those of us in the trenches highly functional coaches can be re-traumatising. Even though you are going to kill yourself I will only give you the solution if you give me… It’s pretty fucked up given that access to care should be a primary human right if it isn’t already.
So in that, I realise that social media is my vehicle for connection. Because I actually do have my dream job. Wandering around in my pyjamas and not brushing my hair is good for me. This is why I enjoy Instagram because I am taking the time to connect with myself. That’s a privilege. It’s a privilege to have gained this much emotional safety and to have a support system that can hold me emotionally to do this. I swim in thoughts and feelings trying to find some idea of true north. These days what I am grateful for is that more and more I find myself reading things I agree with like my tribe are emerging from a very long hibernation. That I am not fighting this fight on my own.
You see being yourself is difficult. Don’t let people tell you otherwise it’s bullshit. Finding the strength to really embraced yourself is a tough task. The thing is no one can help you find you. You have to do it all on your own. What that means is that you have to be able to love the things you love. Find joy in the things that bring you joy. You have make yourself distinguishable. In a world that wants cardboard cutouts and easy consumables, it’s hard. Believe me I know. I’m there all the time with the complex thoughts and the big questions, that make people uncomfortable. That’s my job. I’m a provocateur. I’ve spent my life challenging the system.
You have to be able to stand up for yourself. Claim what is rightly yours. Then figure out how much it’s going to cost you emotionally to get to your destination (without becoming an addict. (I might be one of those.) ) When I have enough money, respect, self-care, love. You know how it is. I have to consider this more deeply as part of The Total Re-Think. Yes I’m writing, thinking, considering and very aware that it’s a messy, unorganised process reconfiguring. I’m an unfinished artwork awkwardly collaging mediums and genres. All the more work for wanting to make it perfect trying to get it right hoping to be representative, document and find myself all at once.
In my last blog post, I wrote all about hashtags and I’m feeling a little bit sorry for you as I am probably going to have to write about that all over again. I mean for fuck sake. I basically posted a new Instagram post that made me realised my cracking or let’s say wack plan for writing in 2020 was now totally out of sync with where I was going and what I am doing. Now as seen above I have a very specialised niche. Which covers the below values. The other hashtags are still very relevant and an important part of my work
Although it isn’t always easy to own I like the way I align with my values. I don’t want to have a pre-plan what I write about and why. Do you know why? It’s important to stay connected to your emotions to process them to think them? Although personal marketing is meant to be liberating its hard not to fall into a formulaic or systemic trap.
So I’ve decided to continue with the approach I’m taking. Emotions are important. How the fuck they are fully connected with my webpage and blog writing is a little bit beyond me at this point. I do have some ideas. Kind of like grabbing my The and rewriting a whole post. It’s really interesting to be able to grab the roll of the crazy boss. Have you ever been there? Whey you are working on a project of a theme or a roll-out, sometimes for days sometimes for weeks, even months than all of a sudden the boss walks in and say “OK everyone we are changing everything”. Yup that.
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.