What is the Sister Wound?

This may be a new term to you, but I’m sure you will recognise the symptoms of the Sister Wound:

  • mistrusting other women
  • feelings of separation
  • fear of rejection
  • fears of being seen or heard
  • playing small
  • unable to feel at peace and grounded in yourself
  • unable to fully love yourself
  • difficulty in setting healthy boundaries
  • patterns of victimhood
  • inability to stand up for ourselves
  • fear of stepping up
  • fear of authority

What has been the impact on your life?

What will be the impact on your future?

What difference would the right solution mean?

This is something my heart calls me to do. I sense that many women also feel called to heal these deep ancestral wounds.

Why do we need to heal the Sister Wound?

There are two reasons:

  1. for ourselves individually
  2. to help heal our world through reconnection

Our ancestors may be dead, but they are with us in our beliefs and behaviours. The scar we have inherited comes from The Burning Times.

At this point in our history we became separated from the earth. Nature was seen as evil and so it was possible to see it as a commodity. The was the start of our colonial con-questing mindset. Up to this point we had lived in harmony with nature.

Trusting ourselves and other women

We are now at a transformational point in our lives and for the human-race. We need to heal the wounds. As women we need to be able to trust ourselves and other women. We need to reconnect to the earth and revere nature, so we can live in harmony with it rather than exploiting it with no regard for future generations. We are aware the human-race could become extinct if we don’t change our beliefs and behaviours.

Becoming more conscious

We operate in autopilot, doing things we have always done it. Following the tradition, we have grown up in and copied. Now it’s time to consider what you do and why you do it. What if the cultural norm isn’t supporting women to flourish? How can women support each other to create a better world?

Healing the Sister Wound

How many of the symptoms above did you recognise in yourself? One, two, five or all of them? No judgement, just notice how it is. Are you happy living with these symptoms? How do they impact on your life?

How does it affect you when you can’t stand up for yourself?

What are the long-term affects in your life of always playing it small?

What will be the impact of you sorting it out?

Would you like to know how I can help you?

Now is the time to step side by side with your sisters to create a better future. Register on Healing the Sister Wound and share it with your friends. Let’s work together in these workshops to release the wounds of the past. The fear of other women, betrayal, guilt, keeping each other small and following the social norms. It’s time to dream of a better future and work with other amazing women to create it.

Let’s heal the Sister Wound.

What were the Burning Times?

This is a little known aspect of European history has had a huge effect on us culturally and it continues to ripple into our lives. In this blog, I will explain why the Witch Hunts started and their effect on our culture. You will learn how you can be part of healing the wounds and commemorating the thousands of women who were killed in the UK.  It’s time to heal the Sister Wound and empower women.

Why was nature linked to the Devil?

The ecological crisis that we find ourselves in began when humans separated themselves from nature around 500 years ago. At that time the climate changed dramatically approximately from 1460 -1540 when there were heavy storms, long winters and cool summers. It is referred to as the Little Age. Rivers and canals froze, and crops failed which left people starving, sick and malnourished – epidemics spread like wildfire. In search of a culprit for the tension and starvation, nature was framed as the Devil by the Church. Many women were seen as more in tune with nature, plant remedies, medicines, cycles and insights.

What were the Witch Hunts?

In 1485, Pope Innocent VIII ordered an official ‘Witch Hunt’ which lasted nearly 300 years. To cleanse society, women who worshiped the ways of nature were executed. During the witch trials millions of women were tortured and interrogated. Hundreds of thousands were burned and killed in front of children, neighbours and friends to send a clear message that working with nature was no different to working with the Devil. This created a new embedded cultural norm: God and Man were viewed as separate from Nature and Woman.

Remembering the women who were persecuted

If you want to go deeper, in 2020 you can be part of The Medicine Spoon Memorial. In its simplest form this is a creative and collaborative art memorial curated by Caren Thompson. It intends to acknowledge women who were persecuted as witches during the witch hunts in the United Kingdom. A medicine woman or a medicine man is a traditional healer for a community. The symbol of the medicine spoon is used to remember the medicine women.

Remembering Medicine Women with Medicine Spoons

I have decorated a Medicine Spoon for a woman called Issobell Didos from Edinburgh who was killed in 1661. The internet can connect you to details about the trial, facts about the tragic human story. It was a very moving experience; I felt many emotions for this poor woman who had been persecuted. How had she felt? Did she feel betrayed? Deceived? Terrified? This individual act of memorial was my way of honouring her life as it was not honoured in her lifetime.

The Medicine Spoon Memorial aims to individually remember women whose names lay forgotten in trial records. You are invited to join me and many others in this creative project of remembrance.  Opening the project up to others allows the healing of this feminine wound to spread and ripple out into the world.

How can you be part of the Medicine Spoon Memorial?

What do you need to do? Use the link above and place an order. You will receive the symbol of a spoon printed on to pieces of fabric with a wise woman’s (witch) name. You create your memorial by decorating the fabric and adding the name in whatever style or medium you choose.  When you have finished post it back to Ceren Thompson. These small memorials will be sewn together to create larger artworks.

There is such power in large scale memorials such as Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Each of the ceramic red poppies represents a life lost in WWI. Art can allow us to access feelings in a deeper way. I hope art venues are found to show the Medicine Spoon Memorial art and connect this these memorial artworks to thousands of visitors. More people need to understand our cultural history. The first step to changing something is awareness.

​”We are born to love; we learn to hate. It’s up to us what we reach for.” Dr. Edith Eva Egar

This inherited trauma continues to affect us centuries later as we continue to play out these wounds. If you want to understand more about how these times have shaped us as women, register on Healing the Sister Wound. Bring your Medicine Spoon and decorate it. It is more powerful when we sit with other women to remember and heal.

What does your heart say?

You know when it’s your time

Is it time to heal your wounds and step into your truth?

These four one hour workshops are a journey to heal  The Sister Wound and reconnect to our feminine essence, to feel safe in our bodies and within the sisterhood.​

Where did we lose our connection to Nature?

Watching Attenborough’s “Extinction: The Facts” at the weekend, I was heartbroken by the images. The horrifying intensive cattle production, the tragedy of the last two white rhinos and ecosystems being destroyed to grow soya, a cash crop, that would be shipped to another part of the world as animal feed. My heart was broken open. How could be have become so removed from nature as to not care? Why do we not value ecosystems? Why do we feel separate from nature? What happened in our history?

The Burning Times was a period of about three centuries in Europe. Mainly women were killed because they were said to be witches. This was the separation of human from nature; man from woman.

Why did it occur?

There was dramatic climate change around 1460- 1540, it’s referred to as the Little Ice Age. You may have seen paintings in galleries of people skating on the frozen rivers. The growing season shortened, crops failed, 80 years of heavy storms and longer harsher winters. Lakes and rivers froze. Rivers and canals were main trade routes. This resulted in malnutrition and famine which leads to disease and epidemics. People were suffering and this caused social tension.

During the Middle Ages there was a pervasive dogma of Christianity portraying God as separate from nature. God was father sky and nature was mother earth. In searching for a culprit for the starvation the Church began to frame nature as the workings of the Devil.

Rural communities had lived in harmony with nature, working with natural cycles. In 1485 Pope Innocent VII ordered an official “witch hunt” which lasted nearly 300 years (Hutchin & Storm 2019). In communities medicine women held the wisdom of plant medicines and healing. In this new religious patriarchal system, it was dangerous to be a wise and/or independent woman.

What’s the relevance today?

There was a severing of connection to Mother Earth. The dynamics changed from protecting the earth to a conquest of it. When you don’t feel a deep connection to the earth and other sentient beings you don’t value them, they are a commodity to exploit.

We know we are at a critical time, Attenborough made that plainly clear in Extinction: the Facts. In the last 500 years we as a species have ruined our home on planet earth. If we don’t change our behaviour there won’t be a future for our children or grandchildren.

The Burning Times created our disconnection from nature. It is now time to reconnect, to honour the earth, the plants, animals, insects and to live in harmony. Indigenous people have done this for thousands of years, we can also do this. It starts with changing our beliefs and value system. This is individual internal work. Communities are made up of individuals, it starts with our own personal choices.

What are your choices?

Consumerism is driving a lot of the destruction. We can choose to do something different. Let’s not go back to “normal”, it was an unsustainable route. Let’s find a new path, a route to longevity and joy. We don’t need lots of stuff to be happy, we just accumulate useless junk. Everyone knows of people with lots of money that are unhappy. It’s time to stop and think, create a better way of being. Let’s not ruin the planet.

If you want to spend your money invest in your most valuable thing – yourself. You need to be part of the solution.

Heal your life. If you are committed to doing work on yourself join my free workshops. I believe we need to heal our wounds and reconnect to create a better future.

How will you make changes in your lifestyle?

If you don’t what will be the consequences?

If you do how will you feel?

Making a decision

How do you decide?

How did you used to decide?

Have you changed your decision-making process? If you have how has it changed. What made you adopt a new strategy?

We find ourselves in the grey area between lockdown and not yet in the new reality without physical restrictions. Businesses need to adapt and change through this ebb and flow of changing guidance. As individuals we are faced with moral decisions that weren’t part of our everyday previous experience. Do be aware that this continuous need to make decisions can result in decision fatigue.

During Lockdown, many people enjoyed the simplicity of their life.  Being told to stay home, stripped out many decisions – how to travel, where to eat and what to choose to eat from a menu of options. It was simple, lunch would be something from the kitchen.

This gave bandwidth for some of the bigger issues. What do you want to do with your life? Am I happy? Am I doing what I want to be doing for the next 5 years? How is my lifestyle affecting the planet? How can I make changes in my life to create a more sustainable future?

Decisions are an opportunity for us to say something about who we are and what our values are. We become the authors of our own lives.

As philosopher Ruth Chang explains in her excellent TED talk on how to make hard choices:

Far from being sources of agony and dread, hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrect sometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are.

How do you make a good decision?  Think long-term: who am I to be? If you know what you want in the future, you have a direction for your life. This is your vision for you and the world you want to live in. When you decide, how does it enable this reality to come in to being for you, your community and the planet?

If you are unsure of the destination for the next part of your life, get in touch with me. A complementary 20 minute call and I can help you to clarify your next steps.

It’s impossible to know whether the choice you’re making is 100% correct. We can only decide with the information we have at that moment in time.  Instead of feeling powerless, remember that your gut can be just as powerful a reason to make a choice as all the information and opinions you’ve already gathered.

I don’t just use reason to make a decision. To weave the life I want, I my values are the warp threads and I’ve learnt to listening to my gut wisdom. How will you make decisions in the future?

Glastonbury Feeds my Soul

About now I would be returning home from an amazing week at Glastonbury Festival. I spend a week volunteering. My job is in the Lockups. They are a safe place for people to check-in their valuables, so they don’t have to leave them in a tent or worry about misplacing them.

Glastonbury is like nothing else I have experienced. It is it’s own little world for the week. Some of the usual culturally accepted ways of doing things on the outside don’t apply.

People are friendly.

Anyone will help anyone at Glastonbury. There is a real sense of community and kindness. If you are a bit lost, just ask. If you want a recommendation, just strike up a conversation with a stranger.

It is liberating

You can wander where you want to see what you want. My soul relishes the creativity and freedom. If you like something you can stay, if you don’t you can head off to find something else. This makes the Glastonbury crowd very discerning. If they don’t like it, they will just leave. There are too many other good things to see and do.

You are a life-long learner

There is so much to visit and learn. Information is interesting and challenging. It is presented through many different forms of art – theatre, spoken word, talks, clever graffiti art in huge installations, exhibitions, VR, music and more. You can learn so much trying out new experiences about yourself. Your views of the world and how it “should be” are challenged.

Getting creative

You can learn new skills in Green Crafts area. There is an opportunity to have a go at making a stone or wood carving, stain-glass, willow weaving, blacksmiths, sewing, leather workshops and many many more. I made a bone ring inspired by Viking archaeological finds. By doing the workshop, I was stepping closer to the experiences of my ancestors and their lives.

The earth is revered

The festival raises money for charities that stand up for the rights of the earth. There are no single use plastic bottles, no plastic cutlery or plates. All the food waste is collected, sorted and composted. The wasted is sorted to make sure all the recycling is taken out. Beautifully painted colourful bins all around the site are labelled so people can take responsibility and sort their waste.

There’s lots of information about the state of the planet and what people can do to make a difference. We can always make a difference by our individual actions. With information we can hold decision-makers to account and be clear that we want change. We want to look after our home, our planet for us and future generations.

Diversity is celebrated

No one will have the same experience at the festival. You just can’t get round the whole site in a weekend. The site has a rich diversity of food, music and experiences. The international cuisine is incredible. I miss my dinner to the best fresh falafels I will eat all year. The huge diversity of music all over the festival. There are huge stages and little intimate gigs, all with something different.

The circus and theater areas are filled with entertaining street artists walking around. Block 9 is the gay scene, and everyone is welcome. The Unfair Ground is the shadow-side of the festival. Shangri La is a huge art installation, it’s like walking round a film set. Every year it has a thought-provoking message – such as Corporate-Hell. I love the challenge, the wake up. We do just become complacent, not challenging the ideas our society is built on. This work brings those challenging perspectives to many thousands.

Community

We are all there to enjoy the experiences of the festival. Music, dancing, creativity, learning, making new friends and may be going for a healing session in the healing area. People dress colourfully, you will see some great fancy dress costumes. One year I saw a Top gun squadron out for the night in their cardboard fighter jets – genius! We are all there to connect and enjoy.

You will see all ages from little babies to the elders. There is no age limit on enjoying yourself!

Being in nature

For a whole week we eat, wash and sleep in nature. Camping, noticing the weather and adjusting to the situation day to day. We camp near an old oak tree that often has a kestrel nesting in it. We hear the blackbirds dawn chorus. Walking for miles across the site every day and dancing. Our bodies are happy.

Every week can be Glastonbury!

Listen to your heart and do what makes you feel good and free. Don’t waste your life, thinking I’ll do it tomorrow. Do it or do something better. Live your life!

I weave these elements in my life because it makes me happy. I try to be helpful and will give a lost looking tourist a bit of help. Kindness makes a better world. We are part of one race – the human race. Let’s build our community and support each other to build a better world. Let’s celebrate our rich diversity, it what makes us unique, it is not a threat.

Being in nature is good for us. There are plenty of scientific studies to show this. I love being out in nature and I am distressed that I am picking up so much litter after my fellow humans. We need to look after our planet and act responsible. This isn’t just about our hedonistic life, this planet needs to support future generations. We will need to modify our lives if we want humanity to continue. There are lots of things we can do and learning is the first step. Become aware of how your actions affect the earth and others through what you consume and choose to do.

We all make a difference. Each one of us is a logo piece. We can come together and create a beautiful giant structure or we can choose to isolate ourselves. At home we can volunteer in our communities, bringing our skills, passion and expertise to create a better world. Covid has shown us he creativity and resourcefulness of people. We need to continue to be creative and resourceful as we build a better world so we don’t slip in to old toxic ways. I believe we have been reminded of our own agency to be kind and build a better world. I believe we can do this if we want to.

Have you been to Glastonbury?

What are your take-a-ways?

Is your brain too busy? You need nature

This only takes a few moments but finding stillness in your busy brain will allow you access the creative side of your brain. You will be able to ponder on a question and find answers from a new perspective. Innovative solutions to problems will come to you as you go for a walk in nature.

I like to be outdoors, in wild places connecting with nature. Nature grounds us, it brings our brain waves back into a natural rhythm. When we are in this natural rhythm our minds aren’t so busy and our bodies physically relax a little. It doesn’t matter what the weather – rain, sun or wind.

The important thing is to be observant in nature. See the bigger picture around you, if there is a view, drink in the magnificence of the view. If your view is more restricted, such as a small garden or the park, do your best and look at the leaves at the top of the trees. Take in the expansiveness of nature. It helps us to switch off from our busy minds and human concerns.

By focusing your bodily senses, you will really start to nice the enormity and detail in nature. The thousands of leaves shimmering in the wind. The complex song of a blackbird. The wind and sun on your skin. What can you smell?

Taking ourselves out of our brains and focusing on the bodily sensations allows our brain to quieten. If you find somewhere to sit or stand, just be still and notice. Now you focus on the detail of one thing such as a leaf or a flower. Really notice it, find new ways to look at it and explore it. This focusing of the mind stops any remaining chatter in the brain. Reconnect with your child-like wonder. See the world through a child’s eyes – be amazed at the things you find and see, hear, smell, touch and feel.

I recommend stopping and going outside for a bit. Just noticing, being still and allowing your brain to quieten. You don’t have to push hard to find the answer. The easy way is to be still and allow the answer to percolate into you.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

Change can be profound

Change can be profound

Profound change requires a dismantling of the old. The belief system under the behaviours needs to change.

As I watch the current civil unrest in America, I am proud that people of all skin tones are stepping forward and saying this racist belief system needs to stop now.  It isn’t just a dilemma for people of colour it is a problem for us all. This is fundamentally about how we treat each other.

We have been asked to think of each other during the pandemic, to restrict our liberty for the greater good of all. Choosing to isolate from other people to stop the spread of the virus, so we reduce the mortality rate. Our sense of community has been renewed through this challenging experience.

No longer complicit

When the #Me Too movement started to gain traction, I was grateful. I wondered what was enabling this change? There were perpetrators, there were victims, there were accomplices and those that chose to look the other way. Sexual abuse has been going on for thousands of years, it was accepted in society. I wondered what had changed? Women in power, those in Hollywood were now sticking up for each other instead of saying “shhh, don’t make a fuss” or “that’s how men are”. They were no longer going to be quiet and complicit. They spoke out and said this is not acceptable. It was time to change how we treat each other. This was a fundamental change in our belief system, women’s bodies were their own, they were not the property others.

What is acceptable in our society?

The fact that police officers think it is acceptable to publicly kneel on George Floyd’s neck, shows us that racism lies in our society’s hard wiring. This is a societal belief system that needs weeding out. Society is made of individuals. That means we are all accountable. We each need to look at our values and beliefs and act accordingly.

In the UK, a man of colour is more likely to be pulled over for no reason than a white man. A friend told me he had a dash camera in the car so he could record the conversation if the police stopped him. I am a white woman and I have never been stopped by the police while driving “for a chat”. He had been pulled over before by the police. This is not America’s problem. This is a cultural problem created by our colonial ancestry.

Challenging racism

Collectively we are challenging racism again. Can we do it properly this time? Can make the profound changes that move us to a better world? Do you see humans as equal value or are some more important than others? We each need to understand our own software programmes/ beliefs. These are created by the place you live, institutions, the community and your family. These beliefs are the systems that run in the background and they create our thoughts and actions. Take time and understand what you believe.

Neuroplasticity shows us that we can change our brains, which means we can change our belief systems. You are able to change the way you think and act. You just need to start the new way of being and correct yourself if you fall back into the old habit. The new habit will take root and flourish as the old habit withers. This is how we change ourselves and society.

We are the force of change

It’s time to stand together and clearly say that racism is not acceptable. When we stand together, we are showing that we want a new societal norm. It is time for change. That means each of us needs to call out racism where we see it at work, in social settings, any racist comments etc and say it’s not acceptable. We are the force of change. Wherever you live you and your actions can make a difference.

Endings and Beginnings

It is the end of the old racist world. We are standing together to destroy racism. It needs to be weeded out of our minds, institutions and society. This an established belief and it will need a force of will to change it from the bottom to the top of our current structures. We have supported each other through our actions during the Pandemic. We have shown we value our fellow humans. This is the next challenge. Do you choose to stand side by side with others to defeat racism?

We need to clear the ground form something new to take root and flourish.

Let’s create a world where we value each other equally, we celebrate the commonality of our human experience and our rich diversity.

How to make a future full of kindness

I’m a gardener and love to grow trees, flowers and vegetables. Whatever you grow, the principles are the same – to thrive they need sun, water and soil/nutrients. When I think about the future, I know a new world is going to be created. There’s no going back to how it was. We will co-create the future, our choices and actions will decide what sort of future it will be.

I don’t know exactly how things will look in the future, but I know what is needed to create a better future. Each and every one of us can create it using these three ingredients:

Kindness, Balance (doing what is right for the long-term) and Quality.

If these principles for each and every action are adopted as we build a new future, these foundations will look after us as individuals, communities and the wellbeing of the planet. If we individually and corporately look at every step we are taking, checking it against these three guiding principles, we will make better decision for the long-term and our health and future generation’s health will benefit. We need to be bold, break with tradition and carve a visionary future. It’s time to live by our values and create a better future for everyone and everything on the planet.

Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24 May) is encouraging us to share our ideas on how we could build a kinder society. What are the principles you would like to build the future on?

Rebuilding our society with kindness

What is the kindest thing that someone else has done for you during the past couple of months?

The pandemic has affected individuals and communities all over the world. Having been in this transition phase for a few months, our old way of life gone but the new way of life not yet formed. Many of us have been stopped dead in our tracks, not allowed to go out and be busy, we have been re-evaluating our priorities in life.

This has brought many people back to their communities. People have been creative and inventive. We have observed physical distancing, but we have found new ways to connect and support each other. The vulnerable are being supported. Doing what is right is obvious. Helping make more PPE, supporting neighbours mentally and physically through doing little chores, encouraging people to plans seeds and grow their own vegetables, there are too many examples to list. Volunteering for our community makes us feel good. We have a purpose which is creating a better world by our small actions.

We are planet made of up communities. Will people continue to give time to do the right thing after the pandemic? We are the masters of our own destiny. Will we support our neighbours and volunteer in our communities? Our actions can lay the foundation. Through Kindness, Balance and Quality we can build better stronger communities.

What is the kindest thing that someone else has done for you during the past couple of months?

How can you pay that kindness forward tenfold in the future?

Reclaiming kindness for ourselves

This is the first in a 3-part series on kindness. It is Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24 May) and I have been thinking about being kind: to ourselves, in our society and thirdly how do we want to build a future which is kinder? Let’s start with how we treat ourselves and address the other two questions in further articles.

How are you feeling?

How are you feeling at the moment? What is the kindest thing that you have done for yourself over the past couple of months? Is that an easy question to answer or is it difficult? Are you someone that gives yourself a tough time? Do you expect yourself to be achieve many things each day? Do you have lists, goals and more goals? Do you feel invigorated and focused by your goals or warn-down by them?

Finding balance

It is good to have goals, but we need balance in all areas of our lives. There can’t be continuous growth, it isn’t the way nature works and we don’t work that way either. There’s spring, summer, autumn and winter. Winter is the death, the dormant phase in this cycle. We also have natural cycles and we need time to rest and rejuvenate. These are times of being not doing. Being is especially important, it allows us to listen and get creative. We need this time to listen and get clear about our direction before we head off into doing and action. Without being, listening to your inner guidance you end up doing a lot of things that you realise weren’t in your best interest.

Be your own best friend

Our society is obsessed with busy. Looking busy, feeling important because they are being busy, its not about effective, it’s business. You can be much more effective if you spend time being. Then your doing is in alignment with you. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to be. Don’t hassle, push and prod yourself. You live with yourself 24/7. Who wants to live with a bully? Be your own best friend. Show compassion and allow yourself to rest when you need to rest. If you move with your natural energy cycles and be active when you have energy and feel creative. You will be far more productive. Rest when you need to and you will truely look after your own health. Be kind, be compassionate and just do your best. Being kind to yourself will change your life.