What age were you when you realised the planet was fucked? About 11. What age were you when you realised the planet was fucked and your parents weren’t going to do anything about it? About 12. What age were you when you realised that the government didn’t care about the environment? About 13. What age were you when you realised that all of the adults round you were complicit in holding up the system of environmental destruction? About 14. All of this was my first experience of societal gaslighting. The T.V. said one thing about the ozone layer, wildlife conservation and your immediate connections said another. it was then I felt the weight of environmental activism. The crippling weight of both action and inaction and the risk of being completely ostracised from my community. Didn’t seem very fair or sustainable to a teenager. As well as having to bear the crippling anxiety of indecision that would hound me for large swathes of my adult life. luckily that time is over now.
So you see that was my first introduction to Systemic trauma and it has plagued me my whole life. That I could have saved something and my fear stopped me. The societal gaslighting stopped me. Now we have a name for it Eco-Anxiety. Knowing that the largest challenge we face as a species is deeply interconnected with our natural environment and the relationship we have with it. That our relationship with planetary healing is all bound up in the community, the collective, the ancestral, the generational and our innerscape. It’s a fucking mess. A big bad beautiful mess.
Today I was meditating on the idea of resolution. About all the things that are missing from our community spaces. When the hierarchical structures makes decision without the due care of the emotional trauma of the community or individual that that decision impacts.
Due Process and what might be the way forward to integrate this kind of practice into everyday processes. What would happen if we took due emotional care of the people and the places at the centre of our processes? Things would move a lot slower.
I was invited into a political fray within a spiritual group that I was invited into. Where the need to get spiritual work done overlooked the emotional needs and indeed the healing needs of the members of the group. Thinking that the autocratic decision-making process was appropriate as way to seed sovereignty within the group. Needless to say there has been a schism. That has involved all sorts of rhetoric, including referencing dark forces and the silencing and externalising of core healing issues. Why is it more important to follow a pre-determined singular agenda than exploring and healing what has emerged in the energetic field? You see The System is everywhere and we embody it. Our need to go plant 1 million trees, or indeed go vegan and even anchor the light is driven by a fear of what was, what is to come, rather than facing what is. What if greenwashing isn’t ok? What if nature destruction of any kind isn’t ok? What if the idea of planetary crisis isn’t so much about the planet as it is about us?
You see the planet is going to be ok. Maybe it will evolve change, evict and even extinguish us. Isn’t it great that it has the power to do so? Our Mother Gaia as it screams shut up and listen to me. Shut up and listen to us. Listen to us Earthlings. It’s not ok. What you do as part of your day to day practices are affecting me, it’s killing Earthly life, it’s killing you. I don’t need your grand gestures. I don’t need your narcissistically driven environmental militancy. I need you to resolve to change. In order to do that you need to listen. You need to see me. You need to hear me. You need to witness my distress. I can look at this writing now and see clearly that is could be construed as projection. It’s once again where the personal meet the systemic and thus the planetary.
it occurs to me that maybe as a result of our trauma we are using nature and the consumption of it, either through ‘wild experiences’ and or our extraction economies as an endless source of narcissistic supply. Make me feel better. What are you giving in return? How are you truly honouring the Earth in these times of extreme social deprivation?
It’s ok my brain can’t taken either. All the stuff that I am supposed to be responsible for. All the things that I am responsible for healing. I get exhausted just listening to all the way in which we could, can and should ‘fix’ things. We stop eating meat and as a result create massive mono-crops. We head off to save The Amazon and burn more than our fair share of jet fuel. We stand in support of Black Lives Matter and find our input unwanted. We get pushed and pulled in the local throws of planning politics and find our selves exhausted. First of all where the fuck do you start? Second of all does it end? I sense that you might already know the answers to that question.
Once again sovereignty is on my mind. What are we free to do? The answer to that is most things and as we stand on the precipice of action we have to ask ourselves do we have to do everything. The short answer to this is yes. We have to do everything for ourselves. Yet how is that possible.
Last week I found myself once again in the fray of where the political meets the personal. Where internal struggle meets the outward path and I was left wanting. I was left wanting in two ways. Wanting to be something different than what I am. Wanting the world to be different in the way it was. Of course, it was all caught up in the guise of the interpersonal relationship. The very essence of co-creation here on Planet Earth.
You see we are comfortable where we are. We are comfortable that our produce is made in China under an oppressive communist system, that denies human rights and forces people into ‘slave labour’. We are comfortable that the digital platforms are fraught with issues of governance. We are accepting of the corrupt way in which our governments operate. We accept the short-sightedness of the capitalist agenda. We are happy to consume the human experience through biased media. We are comfortable ignoring systemic racism. We are ok with dissenting voices being silenced. We buy into ideas of living our best lives on the backs of other peoples emotional labour. It’s fucked up.
I did a meditation on Saturday night to examine my issues about being unheard. How my micro informs the macro and it turns out that I might have a persecution complex. I’m literally dying to be heard. Is this level of commitment to my truth really necessary? It probably left me with more question than it did answers about my relationship to the anti-human system. It made me think about Jimmy Saville a prolific paedophile that had used his position at the BBC to gain access to vulnerable children. The thing is if you meet someone who worked at the BBC in later half of the 20th Century it was well known what Jimmy Saville was up to. Yet who spoke out? Everybody fucking knew. Yet it was too uncomfortable for anybody to draw any serious attention to it. They might lose their job, credentials or good standing and so the abuse continued.
Of course taking on every single injustice or issue is exhausting so we must be discerning about both out of our interest and our capacity. We need to make our lives sustainable on an immediate level. What makes us uncomfortable? For most of us it is a long list of things that we refuse to give up or even give into.
It came to me that slavery was a result of the Seven Deadly Sins the things we fail to take responsibility for projected onto another human body. That we might be able to own a human soul. We all have a calling it is our soul purpose to find it. We dance round the fire trying not to burn knowing that the flames only impulse is to hurt us.
If you are interested to find out more about this subject you can check out more articles below.
Last year I wrote The Story of the Broken Goddess. As like most of my blogs it was largely about me. My process, my journey. Over the last year I have been exploring deeply how the micro informs the macro, right down to discovering the term Systemic Trauma. The term Systemic Trauma has liberated me from a lifetime of confusion and gaslighting. Where it is obvious that almost everything in the human world is not as it should be.
That the spiritual belief systems that we are sold as children of peace and love are totally out of odds with the current forces that drive our human world. That greed and acquisition in no way lead to human harmony or even better quality of life. Instead, they leave us on a never-ending trail of consumption of first things and then experience in the hope of hitting the high notes of the emotional human experiences as illustrated in The Story of Stuff. Currently, most human life can be predicted by one succinct dopamine hit after another. We have become nothing more than hedonistic thrill seekers, where even a death to-do list has not escaped our quest of human experience. We always have to be somewhere else to be comfortable. Whatever happened to be here now and honouring our lifestyle choices, that this is indeed good enough? That a sense of worth and the value of human connection around us might be all we need. Right now that is exactly where we are. I live with the deepest hope this is something the human world is now beginning to fully appreciate as part of The Great Pause.
The human world is in crisis and not the planetary system that has supported human life for aeons. It is the human life choices that have come deeply into question in the passing weeks and not the value of our Earthly environment. In fact, being locked in our personally designed human environments must have brought much of human existence into the stark realisation of what there chosen life, that has been successfully enforced by the propaganda of a greedy system.
For years now I have been doing my best to understand what it would take to heal humans of their instinctual blindness and indeed what might be the attitudinal cause of the laissez-faire attitudes, as the thousands of miles of concrete consume our mother Gaia. That fairer humans have been endlessly trying to outrun like The Lost Shamans of Scotland.
It’s easy to say that the world is broken. It’s easy to say that we have offended and brutalised mother earth and that she is fighting back. It’s also easy to believe that everything will go back to normal and that human life will resume unaltered. Where we will be able to travel again. Where we will get right back to poisoning the planet as usual. The harder part is saying the human world is broken and that I was a human have played a role, by disengaging in my own emotional journey, ignoring my family or disengaging in community success. Of course, there are always greater forces outside of us to overcome, the business agenda of greed, the power of corporations and the ineptitude of government and even our internal will to change.
In case you didn’t know already we are paddling ever further into the new age of Aquarius which places humanity at its centre. The times truly are a-changing. The divine feminine continues to be on the rise with Gaia’s resurgence that seems to come hand in hand with the Kali the destroyer; specifically in this case of men. These times seem to be a time of prophecy where myth, legend and even the biblical seem to be more applicable and indeed useful than the fodder and spin of the daily media.
Things are very clearly changing and I have been using this time to continue and deepen my spiritual quest, looking into the mythological histories of Scotland, learning about the Cailleach Bheur. A hag creator goddess who seems to personify winter and fight spring. The more I read about the Cailleach. The more this creator goddess seem to ring true with the singing of my soul in the 3D realm. That Gaia herself maybe a Cailleach and in fact be Kali herself with another name? The creator stories seem to be guiding us all now as we search for the deeper meaning in all of this as we are all collectively figuring out what we are actually doing here in human form on planet Earth at this time?
So very few of us are living the old ways connected to our histories and our lineages. It’s all become tartan and bagpipes and a wee nod to what once was. All this as I personally push through the weight of my own ancestral healing decolonising what is known with what has been lost. It all seems to be making perfect sense now just as the whole world seems to have gone bonkers. Or is it that Karma takes time to take its toll. You see if you’ve done the work this period isn’t a challenge. We shouldn’t have to consume our lives to be well. We have everything we need and we need to wake up each morning and be grateful for that.
You see one of the core elements of trauma is that if we don’t heal it we transfer it onto other people. Through relationships, intergenerationally and even ancestrally, where we often don’t know what is our trauma and what is somebody elses? We as a species have taken our trauma to a whole new level and displaced onto a planet. It’s easy to both imagine and personify a planet, that it might have feelings, opinions and even responses to our parasitical behaviour. When our parasitical behaviour simultaneously extracts and pollutes using some of the Earth’s greatest gift against her. There is literally only so long that you can gaslight a planet (literally). What kind of toxic system are we in that the source of our nurturance is both, exploited, objectified and commodified. Isn’t this the story of woman herself? Birthing creation only to have it abandon and destroy her. It’s no way to live and so here we are. Watching the domestic abuse cases rise globally as the lockdown takes its toll. Bringing into stark contrast what can and can’t be tolerated in confinement. That we have finally got to sort our shit out. On the micro and the macro and that is why suddenly we are all being homeschooled, only to discover that we aren’t sure what the lessons mean. There is so much now that is suddenly superfluous. Lives of excess are traumatic. Lives of disconnection are traumatic. Lives of isolation are traumatic. Lives indoors are traumatic. Which begs the question not just what are we doing here but what have we been doing here. When it is obvious that our only asset is life itself? Even Louis Vuitton realised that hand sanitiser was more important than handbags early on in the game. Yet most of us are trailing behind this realisation and lamenting our chipped nails.
Whether the Covid 19 started in a lab, mutated from a pangolin or is indeed caused by 5G. I consider sentient forces all using the phrase “I let go of that which no longer serves me” As we all seem to be surrendering to the universal breath of this collective shadow work. That may be our collective summoning of what is best for us has led us exactly here? That is our heightened sense of separation we understand what actually has the ability to fall away. Maybe it’s a whole species, even entire behaviours and possibilities? I baulk at the idea that we might mourn entire industries. Somewhere in the swathes of information, I’ve been deciphering, I heard that we don’t fully let go of and old branch until a new one has appeared. Right now it’s so exciting just to consider us all dangling like wild monkeys trying to figure out what is the best next move as our instinctual responses get the better of us. Maybe we aren’t waiting for a branch? We are waiting for an eagle to take us far above what we have known before.
Mother Gaia and a cohort of beings and indeed beingness have been waiting for us to listen and listen we must with no question and no answer.
What the fuck is that? It’s can only be best described as a nuanced version of self-care. Something beyond #nurturance and slightly less demanding than radical self-love. Yeah I know us radical disrupters are on it. Some of us are doing our best to not capitalise on your and indeed our misfortunes. The world’s is fuck. We have a global movement rebelling against our own extinction that makes Greenpeace look incredibly PC. This is what it has come to the 6th Mass Extinction and yes we are here. I’m not denying it. In fact the creation The Life Doula centres at the very heart of Eco-Anxiety, as it has now been coined. I’ve spent thousands of hours of my life staring at the ceiling not just thinking what am I going to do with my life? but How the fuck do we fix this shit show? As well as trying to figure out what my specific role in this particular clusterburach might be?
I’ve dreamed up and imagined it all from free driving lessons for high school students (So mid-nineties I know) to the idea of planting a billion trees. My deepest regret may well be what I could have been doing it in the meantime.
Yet as I look back over thing the power of observation and my relentless quest for knowledge seems to be finally paying off.
Yet I’ve been watching closely and experiencing deeply the human process. As a species, we often seem to come up with grand solutions – like flavour of the time veganism. For multiple reason veganism (could be) deeply beneficial. Yet, on the other hand, what are huge swathes of mono-cultures doing for biodiversity and indeed food miles really doing for the planet and it’s people? I come from Scotland and if we know that locally sourced food is often the best choice I wonder how fond I truly am of turnip. I know it’s not as simple as that. I have absolutely no doubt that there is a militant Scottish Vegan out there living their best life on only locally sourced food, hand foraged from within a 4-mile radius (please contact me I’d love to speak to you).
My main source of interest, however, has been human life at its very essence. Who we are, what we do, what we believe, how we live and a result. Family dynamics, family systems and community dynamics and how this all interplays with land ownership, development and the institutions and corporations that we interact with to control manage and even coordinate these things. Even all those well-meaning grassroots organisations started by hippies. Most things in our world are spectacularly out of balance (I’m a Libra I should definitely know) That even the best-intentioned of us make long term decision that are detrimental for the collective in favour of our own personal gain and even survival (things like getting in your car). Where doing the right thing is at a small very irrational war with our personal ego and even trauma.
I wrote most of this little over 3 weeks ago and how times have literally changed…the journey inward is finally in vogue along with our very clear and apparently systemic trauma (would anybody like to go back to working in an office?).
So I’ve thought about activism a lot and I’m confident in my decision. For me it’s all about personal activism. Which in all honesty can look like a lot of things? Largely though it’s taking the decision to no longer engage in The Toxic System,. Yes, it’s difficult, complicated and even messy but guess what that is exactly where we have ended up here in The Great Pause. In, fact I’m not asking you to do anything. In fact, doing nothing might be the best thing you can do as The Nap Ministry so beautifully demonstrate.
Even before The Great Pause, this whole article was written in deep praise and awe of all the anxious and depressed bedridden people out there, who have been forced to live lives of isolation. In some way, it is farse turned tragedy that all of a sudden the economically unproductive have become to focus on our collective care, now that we have time on our hands. For want of a better term, the decolonising of time has been at the core of my work for years. Yes, it’s complex, messy and difficult. Yet unless we value time and the power that it gives us to connect and all the riches it holds here in this 3D reality what do any of us really know about life anyway?
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.
Yes that is me. I’m fucked up too. I’m traumatised too. No I don’t have all the answers and even if I did I wouldn’t tell them to you anyway. Yup it’s fucked up being fucked up.
All those marketers say to tell your story, make yourself vulnerable and as a Systemic Trauma Specialist I say bollocks to that. You know why? Because I’m trauma-informed. We tell our stories in the hope of being heard. That people will both consider and validate our experiences, views or opinions and the truth is they don’t always. The internet is not a safe place. It’s not safe for women. Yet here we are asked to bare all in the hope of attracting, a following, a tribe, a crowd, a mob. All this when we actually have a word for trolling.
We have to be brave to tell our stories to be unheard, ignored, overlooked, criticised, mocked, ridiculed and even humiliated then carry on telling them anyway. You see we need to be partway to healed with a minuscule droplet of self-belief in order to survive the process. This is what it really means to be a Self Healer. It’s having to go against the mob when you are at your most vulnerable. You have to take on those arrows of misfortune and pull them out your back one by one. While everybody is shouting die.
Of course I believe in the best of humanity and that is because I have learned from the worst. I’ve learned from the property developers, the business leaders, the corporate managers, educators, and even the well-meaning exactly how cruel the world can be. People with power prescribe how they are going to help people, largely by deciding who is the most deserving, because they have the power to do so. Abuse of power is rife and most of us have given up our divine sovereignty for a monthly paycheck. We are employed doing things that go against our values or even common sense inflicting undue pain on our immediate and planetary communities.
This is what it really means to be a self healer it’s to pick up your pain and stop inflicting it on anybody else. It’s all about mitigating your trauma and recognising that trauma is largely systemic. When I fully understood this, that I couldn’t consume my way out of it, my only choice was to take what measures I could to detox from a toxic system. That I had to change everything that I believed conscious and subconscious. That I had to dig through all the ways that I had been programmed for somebody else’s benefit. That I had to claim my own humanity for my own sanity. That I had to be kind to myself, supportive of myself because love is the revolution.
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.
There is more than one life doula out there. I might not be able to say exactly what they do or how they do it but it’s certainly a thing. More recently I came towards the idea that the best way to really describe a Life Doula is as a Trauma Doula. Life can be very traumatic you know? The number one cure for trauma a secure attachment and that is the core of my work. I will literally sit with you in the dark, you can cry on me, snot up my favourite clothes and I will be very happy to be of service. Yes, I do appropriate hugging and holding. It’s all part of the healing process.
Not only that this year, yes 2020 I’ve finally been able to reach out to both Birth and Death Doula’s who get it. That makes me happy because have felt tribeless as I push towards the kind of care I know the traumatised deserve. I’ve been claimed and that makes me feel like I have a tribe. It’s better than that though, I have found The Red Tent Doulas and am going to be training with them this year as both a birth doula and a death doula. Which makes me very very excited. What makes me most excited is the Alexandra Wilson who is also of Sacred Circles described “Doula work is like a trojan horse” that the work of the doula does much to bring into question current systemic approaches to life as we currently understand it. Doula work asks us to step away from the idea that we are human robots and take us back to both our origin stories and end stories. That we all belong and that in the process of being born, living and dying we are all far more deeply connected than we might like to acknowledge.
Healing both our lives and for me at least acknowledging our life-cycles is a very important part of our innate sovereignty as humans. You see the work that I do has hashtags for days. All of is important because all of us are important. We are living lives in defiance of our very nature. It’s why we are sicker, unhappier and yet at the same time healthier than ever. A return to some form of understanding of our sacredness can do us every kind of good as long as it is not informed by dogma. There is no right or wrong way to do things. No right or wrong way to be. Even no choice, is a choice but to be careering along with no connection to your greater being is something other. We were not intended to live like this. Being a Doula is taking ourselves to a very basic understanding of the deep value of life. That as human bodies we are witness to something, profound and unique. That we only have one of. That only we know. That only we get to live. Doula’s honour that process. We honour life. We want to use our lives to honour you in your deepest vulnerability. We are here in service, for the love of humanity.
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.