Process, Uncategorized

The Birthing Process

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The blossom on the tree is not the end product yet it is the most beautiful part of the process. It seems to tell us a story about beauty that it is the blossoming. That real value can be hidden from us that the red flesh of the cherry tree might warn of danger yet if you are brave enough to bite through the dangerous flesh you will find delcious fruit

Right up until this week the primary focus of my work as The Life Doula has aways been Emotional Labour. Louiza Doran very kindly reminded me of.  Emotional Labour is largely the work or women and is the internal unpaid work we have to do in order for The System to function effectively. In addition to this Emotional Labour is our way to embody our collective wisdom, it also the way in which we navigate our own trauma; release and mitigate it on behalf of the collective. I was first introduced to Emotional Labour via a friend Natalie Swan, who had been reading Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown (which I still haven’t read yet due to the clusterburach that was 2019). Part of that Emotional Labour has been the slow-moving realisation that there just hasn’t been the language or terminology to explain what I do. Which left me somewhat forlorn and frustrated in my slow diligent movement forward through life. I’ve been delighted to discover that the language that I am looking for is that of decolonisation. And beyond this I discovered a knew word this week epistemic – relating to knowledge or the degree of it’s validation.

Mental & Emotional health have been colonised by the limited insight of science that is bound up in matter. The only way I have been able to explain The Life Doula being “that you wouldn’t leave someone in labour. Why would you leave someone in emotional pain?”

In the process of becoming The Life Doula I have had to unlearn and challenge much of what I have been told is true. That one-hour sessions are optimum so that clients don’t learn dependency. That offering too much value undermines the financial stability of your business. The thing is I’m interested in healing. In ways that only The Great Pause could highlight. Our world is fucked because we failed to pay proper attention or take due care. That all of my work and the approach that I take is painstakingly considered through the teaching of my own healing journey. Now the science is catching up with my own theory and I find that I have allies in the shared work of trauma healing. To my disbelief, I stand on the precipice of being an educator nor just a dessentor.

You see the informal healing culture of the west is covert, as it has needed to be to survive. “You’ll be needing a cup of tea” is short form code for you’ll be needing a long chat and some ritual connection. We have always known how to heal each other. It’s that our wisdom has been removed from us in favour of the linear precision of the surgeon’s knife. We would rather have things cut out of us than gently resolve our inner wars through presence of mind.

Our healing challenges are now systemic. That we have outsourced our intuition, sovereignty and our ability to heal; to people that have no connection to us. Our being, our lives, our place. That somehow the human spirit and body is one miraculous generic creation that can be ‘fixed’. I think not. This is why I am a doula, not a coach. I’m not interested in your productivity, functionality or civilisation. I’m interested in the jagged edges of your soul and how they cut you to ribbons at night, silently in the dark where your screams consume you. Maybe this can be best described as your Emotional Labour. Now we long for something else beyond the pain of oppression, repression and survival. We long to be heard honoured and cared for. These radical ideas of worth are the decolonisation of a species. The decolonisation of a planet. Where the forced extraction economies of Mother Gaia may be coming to an end, it’s all very symbolic.

One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned this year is that you can’t have true love without respect. Which seem very pertinent as I start my Birth Doula training. You can’t extract a baby and the creation of one under force isn’t recommended. All creativity stems from vulnerability both sex and birth are representative of this act. The truth is you can’t achieve human life through human individuation, nor can you achieve optimum human status without the support of community. It is our human connections that make us capable of bearing human life, as well as bearing the wait of pregnancy. Like everything birth and birthing are a process. Where it is once again hard to know where is begins and ends. Where thresholds are crossed both literally and metaphysically, a baby is born, just as the mother is birthed. Birthing is painful, life is painful. It is also exquisite, miraculous, beautiful and extraordinary as The Great Pause is amplifying that stillness, waiting and gestation all hold purpose. Nothing is conceived fully formed. Where would the fun be in that anyway? We have to honour what emerges.

I started out this year following a theme of rebirth returning to Scotland after several years abroad. What occurs to me now is that I am deep in a birthing process; is that I am only now creating a life, a practice and knowing that I conceived years ago. That I was not ready to bear. The deep truth that I was not ready to bear being me and all the very real things that I would have to lose in order to find respect aka love. That the birthing process is one of love, protection and care that cannot be commodified and doesn’t belong in a system that wishes to do so. That my real work is birthing the sacred in all of us where birth, death and trauma are inextricably linked.  Where the light meets the dark and the shadows create the sparkles.

If you want to find out more about my work with the The Red Tent Doulas please do get in touch. In the meantime please enjoy the below meditation from The Soul Matrix

Process, Uncategorized

Empathy & Mixed Up Emotions

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Duvet Days

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.

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#thelifedoula

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Me in my new spot Portobello moonstruck with sea fever.

Ok change of plan –

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.

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The Life Doula: Creating Connection

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It’s an interesting thing to sit at the core of what you do and understand that it is about something as basic as creating connection. Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that therapy is only needed as a result of the conversations that we are unable to have with a secure attachment. A secure attachment is someone we trust, that cares about us, that believes in us and wants nothing more than for us to be both healthy and happy. The sad truth that secure attachments have become rare.

More than this I have known for quite some time the power of deep conversation, that isn’t so much therapeutic as it is real. You see we all grasp for depth especially when life has challenged us. Secure attachments are the number one thing that guarantees our success in life as well as minimises the impacts of trauma. Do you know who your secure attachments are? Do you have a good friend? A relative or even a work colleague who is there for you?

Most of us are so caught up in the superficial we barely make time for the real stuff. We barely make time for eye contact or the space to feel exactly where we or someone is at. We are so controlled by time and external commitments we are unable to see or experience the things that are right in front of us. The things that are just as magical as all the others, if we took the time to appreciate them. You see life isn’t one long to-do list. Even if it was we have to ask exactly what it is that we are ‘doing’ it for? We cannot take the material with us. It’s just a sideshow to the main event. I wonder sometimes if life is not laid out something like The Crystal Maze. Where these fantasy worlds are created only to distract us and let’s face it it’s easy to get distracted by all the beautiful shiny things. After all, they were all created too. In the meantime, we are walking around in flesh suit ignoring one another even though we know that we are the most finite thing on the planet. Only existing once. So what is it that drives us away from one another? What drives us to disconnect us from the uniquely exquisite human connections that we face every day?

This year has been a breakthrough year for me. Most of my breakthroughs delivered to me by way of my own clients. That most of our sources of pain are systemic rather than personal. That our childhood wounds are not necessarily the results of bad parenting, rather the results of the inhumane conditions in which parents are expected to parent. We can’t hold our parents accountable for the circumstances and systems that they too were/are struggling to survive in. That we can only take responsibility for our own healing, that everyone’s healing is unique and that I heal to be taught as much as I am to teach. I have learned that trauma is about spectrum and range and that we simply can’t help people if we do not understand the depth of their feeling. That you can never walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes, you can only share the road. That is what connection is all about. Taking the time to experience one another.

Process, Uncategorized

Innerscapes

IMG-5738Yup, it’s a new word. Innerscapes. Not sure if I made it up or appropriated it, either way, it was out there in the either and I grabbed it. Several years ago during a conversation with a friend when we were having one of those deep down and dangerous shares about how we really felt. When we cast aside the sunshine and rainbows and where we found our hearts and souls alone in a room. That’s the innerscape. It’s the canvas of emotions on which we build our lives. Let me tell you there are some beautiful interpretations of the human mood board on show for all of us to explore.

What I can say and let me use my own innerscape as en example here is that over the years is that my innerscape has transformed like the outerscape has looking out a train window. That depending on where or how you are sitting, and who you are sharing the journey with can radically alter your experieince. My own innerscape used to be painted with terror, despair, helplessness, sorrow and on better day mild melancholia. Only ten years on I frequently swim in elated, dance with happiness and delight in delightful. You see the words we say emit the feeling and now my innerscape seems to be underplayed by neutrality and curiosity rather than anything slightly more sinister. Of course, hurts rear their head from time to time and the pain and suffering are real. I no longer live there, those feeling are an interesting side trip on my life odyssey that added a little more adventure.

Innerscape to me can be experienced over time. Over a day, a week, a month, a year, decades of even life times. Small units of time are the building block of the innerscape. I know it’s epic. So how you feel on a day to day basis is going to underpin the landscape of your lifetime story.

From tired in the morning to invigorated in the afternoon. If we can write it down maybe we can begin to figure out the arc of the story. What’s draging us down or raising us up? What can be witnessed and changed? Loved into form or even nurtured into beauty. How we respond to the way that we feel tells us all we need to know about our relationship with ourselves. That if we can speak kindly, extend a compassionate outlook then maybe we can learn to accept what is. Extend the concept of gratitude and see where our emotions are guiding us. That sometimes our emotions are guiding us into the darkness and that is ok too.

 

If you want to discover more about your own Innerscape you can buy and download the Innerscapes Worksheet below. It’s $3.



Process, Uncategorized

The Global Village

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Globalisation and colonialism are permanent fixtures in my life. Living in Observatory, Cape Town I live in one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Quite literally the birthplace of the village and where hunter-gathers walked out of the bush to settle down. No agriculture, just a whole load of land to forage and some cattle to tend too. Fast forward a few thousand years and the culture and history has been all but obliterated by development, all as a result of the expansion of empire, first the Portuguese, then The Dutch and lastly the Britsh. The Khoi San seems to be a tribe lost in time to the trauma of colonialism and development. Even now what are protected Khoi San sites are under threat of development for the ever-present threat of the land developer. You see the land isn’t automatically protected and communities are not automatically awarded a say in how their place should be developed or not. Even when that land is the site of the oldest village in the world. It’s crazy, isn’t it? Add the strain of apartheid and the pressure to create ’employment’ and the unresolved trauma of the capitalist system that has been largely enforced on the world. It’s a global challenge and here I am as The life Doula sitting right at the centre of it. We all are.

As an immigrant to South Africa, I have been reluctant to take my place at the council table. There are so many more voices that need to be heard than mine. There is so much more healing that has to happen in front of mine and there is so much more growth that has to happen in front of mine. I take a back seat wherever I can and I think very carefully about what I have to offer. Where I offer it. Why I offer it and if indeed it is appropriate at all, given that I am in essence a colonialist. Only here as the result of privilege and the legacy of empire and of course love. I am a love migrant after all chasing the dream of a happily ever after.

Yet the Amazon is on fire and it feels like your rolling the dice on who you want to share the apocalypse with rather than the rest of your life. It’s not just the Amazon it’s everywhere. From Scottish Land Reform, Standing Rock, Botswana, Aboriginal tribes of Australia or protecting Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The challenge is global and there is nowhere left to run. We have gone full circle and land management, rewilding and human connection all lie at the centre of the solution.

Greta Thurnberg is crossing the ocean in a racing yacht to spread the message of being Earthbound. Yet here in Observatory tens of people arrive everyday soaring in with lofty ideas of ascensions and personal expansion, transplanting their own trauma on a place that has enough of its own. No matter where you are the human journey at this point in time appears to be the same. What we can’t fix we run from. That strategy isn’t working anymore and I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. About how my ‘business’ fits into this. That increasingly I seem to be moving backwards and forwards through my own timeline as much as anybody else. That I am deeply excited for the next 15 years of human evolution and yet so much of the progress lies in unlocking human trauma and healing humans. While recreating sacred cycles and circles. Moving backwards and forwards through time, recalibrating the past, changing the future. Getting to grips with systematic trauma. It’s real.  We are the challenge. We are the cause. We are most certainly the cure. We can be human again. And although it’s a  bit of a pun in the mindfulness game. Our challenge is to be here now.

This is the work of The Life Doula upskilling humaness witnessing the circles and the cycles and most importantly making the circle bigger while standing in its centre.

 

Process, Uncategorized

Imagination, Flow and Trauma.

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Dancing alone in the dark at an aquarium filled with poisonous, even killer jelly fish. It could be magical? It could be a nightmare? It all depends on how you look at it. It all depends on where the imagination takes you. Imagine if you felt safe. You see for many people safety is not a given.

I have lists of good ideas, half drafted, that never landed. When I sat down to write about the idea I became stuck. The words never came. The idea never flowed and imagination never took me on the adventure I was hoping for. Since the New Moon in Leo at the beginning of August magic is manifesting. Ascension journeys have been both palpable and tangible within my friend group and clients. While the trauma trap plays havoc with others. Heart Chakras have literally been popping. Thinking has been made redundant, as we feel our way into the next paradigm. Manifesting everything we can touch with our hearts. Has this been happening for you?

The Aquarian full moon invites us to gain an overview. For me, my crown chakra has blasted open in ways I’ve never experienced before. My sleep cycles seem to be filled with dreams and revelation of other worlds. Imagination seems to be key in focusing on new pathways of being. That we need to go beyond ourselves and somehow we can’t think our way there. Only feel it. We have to imagine it, touch it with our hearts and breath in the colours as frequency.  Bright, crystal clear, tangible. That what ever we can conceive we can achieve. We need a compelling future, to strive towards.

Trauma steals all of the above from us, as we rerun the past so that it becomes concurrent with our future. Trauma is tricksy like that. The nightmare is the dream. The dream becomes the reality. How do we forget when we live it daily. How do we breathe in something new when the past takes up all the space in our heads? How do feel something different when the expansion of love impels us with the swords of pain? Yes as the Three of Swords would suggest in the Tarot. The new paradigm calls. What if we can’t feel our ways there? It feels like the separation of heaven and hell.  A thin line we dance and create ourselves.

I’ve been fortunate enough to suffer from severe depression in my own life. A regular Eyore, defeatest, lost, hopeless and even hapless. Where existential crisis of the human experience was tangibly pointless, heavy, a dead end. Now I seem to live in the polarity of that. The connectedness of it all. Then I considered triggers. Where synchronicity is now magical through the lense of trauma thier bombshells and an explosion into hell. The human experience is complex. Signs and symbols are gateways of meaning that we use to tell stories. Deeply personal ones. It may be a news flash to some that we are in charge of those meanings. We get to decide. The water in the tap can be something to be grateful for or it can be mass poison used for mind control. Our feelings dictates how we integrate the information that has been given to us. Trauma is a human hell that we can’t think our way out of. Where we flow and synchronise our pain back to us. Yup life can be that cruel. In these situations, we humans with the abilty to use connection for good need to learn the ebb of love. That there are some places that it can’t reach even if it can be felt. That’s why when we truly love we have to learn how to sit with people in the dark because the only thing they’ve ever loved are monsters.

Process, Uncategorized

Community Building

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New office. Yes, I am still going on about this. Thank you for all the well wishes and visits it’s been amazing to get all the love and support. As well as be assured of the value I offer. Community building is a very real part of what I do and I’m really pleased to be able to rent my office from an organisation that share the same values as me. Wellbeing Economy all the way.

The world is a mess. I stopped paying attention to the news a very long time ago. The point of my official disengagement was when Trump got elected. Though every so often Brexit gets the better of me and climate change alarms me. Then I remember how much of it is true anyway? What do ‘they’ want us to believe now? This has been something I’ve been playing with for a while. As a radical curator, I used to often think about news and global events in terms of a real-time existence. What is actually affecting me, in my now? What is real to me at this moment? This physicality, this moment, this day, this environment. It’s something that I have done my best to adopt over the last ten years. That the things that are upsetting us are constructs. When the things that we can impact with our attention are real and immediate. That’s how I got really into community building. That community building is the best panacea that I know, along with conversation and a good nights sleep. That in isolation most humans live within the reach of terror, with anxiety and depression as intimate friends. May we could only pick up the phone and call anxiety and depression? What do you think they would say? The things we have to reach into and delve in to face our own challenges.

For the largest part of my life, I felt isolated, removed from the collective. The more isolated I felt, the more isolated I became. That my inner landscape was reflected in the world outside of me or was it the other way round. I didn’t fit. Why is that? I don’t tolerate hypocrosy well.

That common sense dictated that our approach to our local environments were deeply flawed. That what we were taught in school and what we were expected to aspire to was contradictory. That although I was expected to have moral value I was to be squashed questioning the value systems of authority. That no big company I have ever worked for has been able to hold to its values. That NGO’s swim in emotional toxicity of the unresolved trauma of the people that run them. All along the watchtower people will sacrifice everything for financial security and a stable home. Imagine that. That those are the two pillars that keep people chained to dying broken system. That nobody wants to swim the moat if it means giving up emotional safety.

There it is humans are hard-wired for safety. Yet empirical structures have managed to isolate us completely in our search for that. That seperated they can control us through isolation and distance. It’s the basic principle of divide and rule. What if you realised we are all bordering on terrified? As dogma attached to exponential economic growth can increasingly be identified as a concern for human society and our only home planet Earth. One has to wonder when will we stop eating the poisoned fruit. Where do we realise our financial security is important and our emotional safety is a valuable resource. That self-healing can only fully be achieved in conjunction with a supportive community of people on the same mission.

Process, Uncategorized

Systemic Trauma, Love, Nurturance and Succour

F9614607-8E5A-42AB-AE92-DF6FB8AF6284I keep going on about how the last 2 years have brought forth radical transformation in my life. Without telling you what is going on. Nor am I going to share here and there is a reason for this. Sharing isn’t always safe and it’s a privilege to hear my story, it’s going to be gritty and chewy and eyewatering when we get there, and still, I’m not there. I’m not ready to share and you know what that is totally ok.

In the meantime what I am truly finding out is how hard it is to actually share who you are and that people shouldn’t feel entitled to all of you. Yet they do. Like in my previous blog post when I talked about basically being utilised to do the admin work for community activism when it would have been far more beneficial to be put to work doing what I actually do.  Which is healing trauma.

I can’t even begin to tell you how long it’s taken me to get here to the whole trauma thing. It’s an origin story of note, that probably started ten years ago. That started with a friend of mine called Cait where we sadly concluded that more people were suffering from trauma than we might even be able to identify. That back then we had no idea how we might tackle the epidemic. That we didn’t know what all the answers were. All we knew really was that people were suffering, even ourselves. We knew that symptoms of trauma tended to isolate people and that most people had no clue what to do when their friends and family were in crisis. That we were more likely to ostracise them for their behaviour, rather than include them out of love. That diagnosis was woefully unable to define the true human story behind the tears, the tantrums, the self-medicating, and the withdrawal. That even Eeyore deserved to be invited to the party. Yet what if the symptoms were more pernicious? What if the behaviours were more troublesome and asked people to question everything that we knew and understood? That the school systems was fucked and equated to child abuse. The corporate working world was nothing more than wage slavery, that made us complicit in a planetary tragedy. That governance was built on nothing more the imaginary lines in the sand and maximised on the idea of human separateness. That modern medicine was looking to kill us. That communities were deliberately under threat from the sickness of greed. That it all felt vapid and soulless and no one had the depth of character or will to dive into another’s pain, because they were totally unable to face their own.

Yet here I am tens years on and I’ve garnered some answers, secure attachment, trust, nurturance, time, and the old fashioned idea of succour. Succour, we even have a word for it, long since forgotten. We know how to heal ourselves, it all boils down to human connection, inclusiveness and of course love.

Process, Uncategorized

Emotional Labour, Community Activism, Boundaries and The Rise of the Divine Feminine

IMG-4499This year it feels like I’ve taken a crash course in all of the above. I’m also feeling pretty proud of myself in the process.  For the first time in the history of my own community activism, I have refused to take on other peoples shit. True Story.

Emotional Labour is the work of me, The Life Doula. I create space, I hold space and I offer up time as if it is an infinite resource and utilising a lost healing magic that seems to have been long forgotten in the realms of 21st-century healing. You can’t hack everything. It is at the very moment we can become grateful for the ageing process, proud of the whispy grey hairs and that wisdom usually has to be earned.

The truth is that Emotional Labour is, for the most part, the work of women. The absorbing, the explaining, the understanding, the coaxing and sustaining of families and communities. It’s the care of the dying, the nurturing of children, the comforting of the ill and distressed and the perpetual maintenance of the household. It’s also the commitment to healing, healing ourselves to be of better service. Healing our selves to create better homes, stronger families and resilient communities and yet so little of this work are appreciated and honoured even though it is the very stuff of life.

These days as healers and let’s be honest here as women we now have to resolve to set boundaries for ourselves. We have to decide to take care of ourselves first, heal our selves first before we ever hope to have a deeper impact on the world at large, even though there is so much to heal. Too often now I have had the call to action. “Kimberley we need your help” and too often now I have learned that the help I have to offer is mistaken for something else. That somehow I can do the work for you. That by me showing up and listening to the problem at hand is a cure and that due to my caring nature I might be willing to solve the problem by taking on the role of community enabler. That I will be project manager, researcher, facilitator,  admin assistant,  fundraiser and counsellor. All for free of course.

The answer is I can and I won’t. The truth is my house isn’t in order. I expect too much from hurt people. The best remedy I have for this is, of course, is getting back to the drawing board and straight back into dharma. Chopping water and fetching wood, figuring out where the mix up happened and re-committing to healing myself first, loving myself best and serving reason from a cup that radiates joy.

The age of Aquarius is here. The divine feminine is on the rise and emotional mastery is calling to us. Nurturance is key and taking on the emotional labour of others is over. Nothing is disposable. The energy we put out into the world is the energy we get back. After all, it’s the circle of life.