There are probably a gizillion posts on wellness and water and breathing and yoga and and and and…..etc. I wonder how many of them are actually rooted in justice? I have another website you know called Kimberley K. Stone. Super easy it’s my legal name and yet even that is complicated. Now that is definitely content for at least one book. I promise you I’ve got an interesting story. One day when I finally sit down to write it you will be absolutely fascintated. Today and right now and for the forseeable future is not that day. Today I’m just doing me best like everybody else to keeping my head above water, my nostrils out of the mud, remembering to breath and being grateful for having a moment of gratitude for any of it.
Once again if you have known me for a while you probably also know, that I am constantly reassessing my alignment, my progress and my intent. For the last few years my work has quite distinctly been focused on the The Life Doula. Even though my first career was in curatorship and community activism I rarely talk about it or rarely take and interest in it. Please don’t talk to me about art, these days I find it utterly dull and have done for a very long time, sad but true.
An Honours in Post-Colonial Theory in Scottish Art put me firmly on a decolonising approach to art curatorship. Which largely means embodying de-centering white voices or for the advance practicioner non-indiginous voices. So yes, my decolonising curatorial practices basically ended my career. You are welcome.
This practice of post-colonial and decolonised curatorial practice can now easily be defined for me as Radical Curatorship. Which I am now having to both reexamine and revisist. What I realise is that in my curatorial practice I went silent without ever explaining why this was part of a process many years ago that didn’t have social media at it’s center. Now after my experience at the COP15 which I talk about in my previous post ‘Getting Back on the Band Wagon’ I have decided to take up the reigns on the decolonisation process again as what I might identify as a Liberation Educator. Quite simply because few of the things that I advocate for in my silence are actually being heard at all. That I need to be more expliity in what I know and what I stand for. I do this knowing that white centering is a thing. However in a systemically traumatised system I have to affirm that very few of the pale males in power are listening to marginalised voices of any hue. It was both heartening and distrubing to realise how white women still sat at the center of the dissemination of power of a global institution that was both Eurocentric and majority white. I don’t think I even have the capacity to begin to unravel how these are the best terms that I can use in this moment to describe what I witnessed. These terms are so very far from adequite in my quest to unravel the role of language in the creation of systemic trauma.
So for these reason’s I have now decide that it is entirely appropriate for The Life Doula as a brand to center the issues that are critical for ecojustice at this time. Centering ecojustice is the easiest way to get white people to listen. The lowest common denominator and right now that will just have to do. Of course ecojustice can’t happen if we don’t take into account all the other factors like women’s rights, decolonisation, indigenous rights, anti-racism and a wellbeing economy. So that is where we or in this particular instance I begin.
The other thing that I would like to add is that when I returned to the UK in 2019 I was somewhat emboldened by Extinction Rebellion of which I am a member if loseley. Their sign off on all their letters and communications is love and rage. It started to get me thinking about a powerful message that I could use as a sign of on my communications, especailly when working under my own name, Kimberley K. Stone, that unperpinned the ideas of Radical Curatorship. It became very clear very fast. My sign off is Beauty & Justice. I hope that we will find some here, in this life time for everybody.
A Wellbeing Economy sounds like the perfect solution to the anti-human system that I keep going on about. The only thing is though how much would we have to decolonise ourselves in order to make it work. Only the other day I was involved in a discussion that looked at the impacts of the free food market and how it might impact food producers in the long run. As availability of free food might impact the need for food consumption. For some reason it made me think of the French’s appetite for very freshly baked bread and how that particular corner of the market may never be undermined by late free food. Maybe there in lies the answer or at least part of it. The desire for fresh produce. After all, fish does tend to go off. I’m still worried about all those cold climate Vegans though. Who am I to judge? I’m not a permaculture specialist. I just wonder where all the soya and chickpeas come from. I’m sure somebody somewhere is going to give me a super intelligible answer.
I was listening to a really interesting radio show (How retro!) yesterday that was and examination of the Scottish Highland Clearances. It was a rather nuanced exploration tha looked at forced displacement and emigration as a result of the changing economic needs of society. When actually it was rather about the greed of the land owners within a feudal society. It was rather fascinating as it suggested that the uprising of the highlander or lack thereof came out of a deepening confusion of clan fealty. For me as an aforementioned splitter it’s hard to imagine that people would put such trust to a man of power, even your own kin. It’s a bit mental isn’t it. That basically you were made destitute and homeless by your own kin.
Anyways I wonder how all of that might work now. It’s had to imagine a world without hierarchical structures. Or even a world that agrees to a slow down of the economy for planetary welfare. Well I say that, that’s what we thought and knew only a few months ago. Yet here we are at the edge of The Great Pause, sitting a very different possibility of human and planetary existence. Who exactly is going back to work and why? Why have the government chosen to bail so many of us out? How are people surviving within the greatest known economic depression. Who is going to be the new Hitler and is there going to be a global war. Will it be based on a conspiracy theory or something that actually happened? Will the unmasked menace of white privilege finally wipe itself out with it’s own self-interested approach to life.
Five months ago I might have been writing about the possibility of a four day week and more localised work solutions and even mused on my own work practices (which allow time for emotional integration) .
Now when I think about the Wellbeing Economy it’s almost impossible to ignore that we might be collapsing into it. That I collapsed into it many moons ago after refusing to opt in to burn out culture. Things should take as long as they take. That’s the healer in me. Maybe even the creative. That the creative and the healer and instriabley link. Maybe that should be the basis of the Wellbeing Economy how creative and healers can work together to tell all the accountant to fuck off.
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It is a bit of a Buddhist troupe isn’t it and yet far more powerful than you might think. In the ‘spiritual’ realms in which I have been drifting of late there has been a lot of discussion about ideas of “The Highest Good For All”. Being flat structure kind of girl I’m sure you might instantly see that I might have beef with that much like “Some are more equal than others” Fuck that shit. You see I’ve been figuring out the idea of flat structured systems for a while and in fact there is nothing that I like to discuss more than a bit of circle work, common grounds, flat structures or indeed in the case of this week this ideas of a Wellbeing Economy and even more recently in my consciousness Sacred Economies. (No I am not an economist, nor do I intend to be).
In fact my latest community schism has really highlighted to me the very dire need for slow coaching (which is one of the names I first thought of for my business many moons ago). That called upon the ideas of In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore (look at the clue in that name). That for real unity consciousness to emerge we have to be willing to go at the pace of societies slowest member. Fuck I wish I’d known that years ago. This ideas came up for me a few articles ago using both and African proverb and a wolf pack as good examples. It really falls into the idea of what are we willing to sacrifice in order to get ahead. It also made me question my firmly held belief that principles might get in the way of progress. That being alive is a very complicated dance. That systemic trauma both upholds, neglects and enforces as a way of controlling. That I am part of that. Also that being part of something you disagree with doesn’t necessarily give it power over you unless you surrender your sovereignty. Yes there’s a lot in here. If you are keeping up, you are doing great.
Which leads us back to May All Being Be Well. As species we can no longer afford to work at another living beings expense, whether it be human, river dolphin or the mighty Amazon. All life has it’s palace and deserves it respect. Though we have a long way to go to regain that knowledge. That it become more than just a Buddhist troupe. That we must accept the unconscious harm that we do by dismissing the intangible. As other previous posts point out clearly we are all woven together in way that way beyond what our neural pathways can store. That that weaving is never ending as we travel through time and space in both the micro and tha maco. Even if we stay indoors for all eternity and order everything we need from amazon. Even if we stay indoors for the rest of our lives and everything we need it brought to us by a well meaning stranger. There are so many was in which our existence can manifest and be supported way beyond what we are able to personally take responsibility for no matter our circumstances. There are also so many ways in which we can corrupt ourselves by believe that our need is greater than somebody elses or indeed that we have the right ot control influences and even report on other behaviour. It’s a big lesson for me especially as I watch and follow multiple relational Instagram accounts about what we need to expect from our partners and relationships. I’m still figuring that out. Where does a schism form the greater good and where does it simply abandon people in need. It’s not simple thing for one person to figure out. Whether we all move together in a slow and destructive pace or whether we leave the collective in order to get ahead. “I fucking hate splitters” yet I most definitely am one. If there has to be something as brilliant as a divine union there has to be something as brilliant as a divine split. Am I just kidding myself I wonder… Did I ever mention that I am a Libra?
The dance of union, separation and wellbeing seem irreversibly linked to each other it’s hard to think of this idea as anything other than a huge relational pondering.
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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. To 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.
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.
The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates
Many of us believe that the world and it’s current systems are in the process of undergoing critical collapse. Of course the world, media is largely lying to us about this while openly telling the truth. Yet many of us are in despair. Even last night I was talking to a new collaborator about his imagined terror of a world with no order and how the current human population might cope without the existing structures. Me on the other hand I’m feeling quite chipper and excited about the whole prospect. The idea of Earthly liberty are what my Earthly dreams are made of.
You see I’ve been working hard at this human thing. I’ve also been working hard on what might be the right thing to do at any given moment with regards to the planetary situatuion. That does not mean to say that I always get it right either. Fare from it. What experience has taught me is that fighting what is is both exhaustive and pointless. That we are far better capable and efficient at building new lives, new pathways and new communities than anything else.
You might ask: What’s the point? and spin yourself into a sate of anxiety paralysis and indeed you may be totally correct in your assumptions. Then on the other hand do you want to spend your life staring at the bedroom ceiling. Or indeed looking our wistfully from the living room window in hope of a better world? There is now way round it. The world is changing as it always has. Now faster than ever. Tech is changing everything and before you know it we are all going to be half cyborg is smart phones haven’t made that abundantly clear already. Here we are humans the cutting edge of life force as we currently know it, trying to figure out how best to use our time. Did I mention that time is imaginary…
We are literally getting ready to enter a new paradigm where thw world becomes a far fairer, happier and interconnected. In case you didn’t know it always has been it’s just that the dark forces that be have been busy convincing us other wise. Creating the new is largely about believing that another way is possible that threats, dominance and coercive control ware all rapidly becoming things of the past as we learn how to connect with ourselves again. That new sacred councils are coming forward in families, communities and nations. That in order for us to get through what is coming next we have to view the world very differently and that wellbeing economies have got to be at their core.