I have a huge pit in my stomach writing this, but it needs to be said and you need to hear it. Where to begin, I think I’d first like to say to the family, friends and colleagues who I haven’t spoken openly to, about this, it is in no way personal. I am an empath, so I feel everyone else’s emotions as strongly as my own, I sometimes struggle to separate them out. Sometimes, when talking about my experiences with you, I end up feeling worse, I end up feeling responsible for your emotional reaction, when I am still trying to deal with my own. It’s not your fault, we haven’t been taught about holding space or witnessing someone’s story. This has to change and it starts here and now.
The #MeToo campaign and the response to it, has shaken the world. So it should. The magnitude, the enormity of how prolific sexual harassment and sexual abuse is, is being unearthed. It has been buried deep. So here I am, grabbing my spade and digging this one up. That deep box, on the high shelf. It’s being unpacked.
In a recent conversation, I mentioned I was prepared to write about this on my personal social media pages but not on my professional page. However, I cannot see any tangible reason why I shouldn’t.
It has happened far more times than my memory has the capacity to recall or my emotional and physical body is equipped to remember. It is not necessary for me to go into detail in this piece of writing.
I wish the last time it happened will be
The Last Time
But sadly, I don’t know this or indeed, what is to come. What I do know is that the last time it happened to me, will be the last time I am silent about it.
I have a Voice and I will Use it.
There is of course, the other side of the #MeToo campaign which has been written far better than I ever could, by John Pavlovitz and there are people saying #IDidThat and #IWillDoBetter. Hopefully this will change the way harassment, assault and rape is reported as Jackson Katz speaks out about in this TED Talk.
Recently I have met, been in the presence of and held space with some truly amazing people, mostly women but men too. To the men rising up, speaking out, supporting us and who are also saying #MeToo. I see you, my brothers, you are here by our side creating a better world.
Every time I make a connection with someone, I feel a golden thread has appeared. We are all here, craving these types of connections, to know we are not alone in the world. This allows for global healing to occur. Yes, it can be painful for some of us, it may be bringing up all sorts of buried emotion. Have Heart…..
“Like the lotus flower that is born out of mud, we must honor the darkest parts of ourselves and the most painful of our life’s experiences, because they are what allow us to birth our most beautiful self.” ~Debbie Ford~
“Look, boo. Healing is fucking messy. It’s alienation. It’s detachment. It’s bat shit crazy. It’s jet black inky darkness. It makes you ache for the void and mundane. You want to quit everything, but you can’t. You won’t. Not now. No baby, not ever. Because even though it aches the mother of all aches, you’ve changed. Underneath that bullshit, there you are. Brand new. Born again. An angel of earth who’s woken up to their cosmic mission. And you ain’t ever going back. And there’s more like you out there. We’re waking up right next to you in the dark, wild one. So don’t worry about fixing any part of you and let your wicked shambles raise the goddam roof on this whole thing.” ~ Tanya Markul
Recently, at NIMH Conference 2017, whilst surrounded by fellow herbalists. I was in a seminar by Hananja Brice-Ytsma and she showed us a video of the late Christopher Hedley speaking about one of my favourite plants. We were sat with a little pot of it, sipping, smiling at his insights and suddenly I became overwhelmed with grief. The loss of him. I felt the grief of the whole community. I have never met Christopher Hedley and maybe part of my emotional response was at the idea I will never meet him and see, see the wonders he imparts on others. I would like to share with you this plant, as he did with me, it has been by my side whilst writing this, alongside a few others I will also share with you.
May we keep this conversation forever open, so we also allow it to change form. If you have at all been affected by #MeToo, whether from personal experience or because you too feel the weight of the world, do be in touch, I am here, I am present.
Alchemilla vulgaris – Lady’s Mantle
Much of my understanding of this plant comes from the teachings of Elisabeth Brooke in her book “A Woman’s Book of Herbs”. She writes:
“It is strengthening and helps women prepare for acts of courage, for the way of the warrior…..On a deeper level, there is a connection with the rage and despair that is woman, to the primal scream of fury and anguish at the cruelty, pain and suffering in the world. The herb is for any woman who has suffered at the hands of patriarchy.”
Rosa damascena – Damask Rose
For Self- love, Self-Care, Self-Worth and Self-Esteem.
Angelica archangelica spagyric – Angelica
The Archangel, to protect the aura. Whilst stepping out, it’s always good to cloak yourself in a layer of soft, but strong protection.
With Love, Light and Healing Space and Time