Thursday, 18 October 2018

My #MeToo

The following is taken straight from my Facebook post of 10th October 2018 a full year almost to the day after my original #MeToo blog post. I took that long to process my own inner voice around all that was rising on the world stage. A year of listening, debating, raising awareness and internally breaking. A year to add my personal voice. It was that hard. I honour deeply and truly every women who has shared their story to raise awareness. I honour truly and compassionately every woman who has not shared theirs because it is just too fucking hard to go there again. 

Here goes ... 

Content Warning. It took a lot to write. It took even more to post. Make it count. Please share. Please 

#MeToo #TimesUp #RapeCultureIsWhen #WomensReality #YesAllWomen #ShameOnYou #WaitingForYouToSayIToo

I was small and something odd happened. I think it was you. I don’t know. No one does.

I was about seven and you told me I was a blonde bombshell in front of my family. My parents laughed.

I was about eight and at school and your hand went up my skirt. The children laughed.

I was about nine and you told my parents in front of me that I had Bette Davis eyes. You laughed. My parents smiled.

I was about ten and you forced a full kiss and grope on me. The adults said boys will be boys.

I was about eleven and you flashed yourself whilst talking to me. I was silent. You were smiling. The other adult said nothing. So I said nothing.

I was about eleven and you looked at me too long. I noted that you noticed me.

I was about twelve and you looked even longer. I knew that you noticed me.

I was about thirteen and you stared hard and got harder. I knew that you thought about me.

I was about fourteen and you groomed me for months. I was kind of flattered.

I was fifteen and you whistled, beeped and shouted at me in the street. I felt validated.

I was fifteen and you flirted with me. You were my teacher. You had a sports car. I was your favourite.

I was sixteen and you approached me and asked to take my photograph. A model you said. I felt beautiful. Topless you said. I was scared. You kept asking. I said no.

I was sixteen and you showed me you had a knife and that you could pick me up and throw me like a doll.

I was seventeen and you followed me into a toilet and cornered me and told me you could do anything to me and there was nothing I could do about it. I felt powerless. You felt powerful.

I was eighteen and cracking up. You ogled and hooted. You laughed with your mates.

I was nineteen and breaking apart. You jeered and leered. Your mates laughed with you.

I was nineteen and asking for a job. You took me into the back room and interviewed me. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t want it by then anyway.

I was twenty and I yearned to be loved and adored. You just notched my cherry up and bragged.

I was twenty and I just met you with friends and I woke up in the middle of the night with you in my mouth. I gagged.

I was twenty and you stopped me and asked to take my photograph. A model you said. You had connections. Nude you said. Or maybe a video. I was scared. You kept phoning. I said no.

I was twenty and I didn’t ask for it. You didn’t ask me either. I thought it was my fault for being so drunk. It wasn’t.

I was twenty one and you broke into my room and stole my clothes and left me a photo of you masturbating. I was weirded out and scared.

I was twenty one and you stood outside my door in the middle of the night and whispered strange things. I was scared and weirded out.

I was twenty one and I thumbed a lift lost in a thunderstorm. Your hands went between my thighs and stroked my knickers. I was polite and trapped.

I was twenty two and still didn’t ask for it. I couldn’t say no. I had passed out you see. I was fair game. It didn’t feel like a game.

I was twenty two and you walked me home to keep me safe but you wouldn’t leave when I repeatedly asked and you tried to undress me. I was angry and terrified.

I was twenty two and you gave me twenty seven bruises and I had to run away clutching my clothes in the dark and the rain. I was horrified and ashamed.

I was twenty three and you tried to get into bed with me. Your best friend my boyfriend had passed out on the sofa. I was confused and kept it secret.

I was twenty three and you demanded that one of us should give you a birthday present in front of all your friends. For a moment you all looked at the two of us like it was a good idea and almost half got up out of your seats. That moment went on too long until someone came to their senses. That moment when you all considered gang rape still haunts me like an ice cold relief it didn’t happen. That was a fun party.

I was twenty four and I began to tear my clothes and hack my hair and pierce my face and wear a scowl. You still beeped and propositioned me for money. I wanted to bury myself.

I was twenty four and you didn’t notice I was crying when you fucked me. When you did you didn’t care. I cared.

I was twenty four and I stopped eating occasionally. I hoped I would become invisible. I wasn’t.

I was twenty five and you followed me home and stood by my front door. I sat in the dark and prayed to something.

I was twenty five and you stood over me whilst I slept. You touched yourself and groaned. I woke up. You stroked yourself. I shouted. You shuffled off. I did not sleep.

I was twenty six and successfully burying myself and you offered me money to watch you. You begged and followed me in the street. I wanted to vomit as I told you to leave me alone. I was glad it was pedestrian rush hour in broad daylight.

I was twenty six and stopped eating at all. I hoped I would disappear. I didn’t.

I was twenty seven and I buried myself. I died a few times in a grave so deep. You would have fucked my corpse.

I was twenty eight and you rubbed yourself against me on the tube and on the bus and in a lift. I began to dig up my grave.

I was twenty nine and you were in my nightmares. I breathed life back into me.

I was thirty and so many times me too. I had the strength to stand.

I was thirty one and you took my head and smashed my face into a tree. You picked me up and threw me. I left. I had the strength to walk.

I was thirty seven and heavily pregnant and you said what about me and told me I was being selfish not to. You left. I had the strength to make you walk.

I am forty-nine now and it’s forever me too. I am strong. I am broken. I am angry. I am rebuilt. I am raging. I’d like to say I am coming for you but you took so much already I’m not sure I have the energy.

I am forty-nine now and this is my truth. It is the fact of you. I’d like to say I’m coming for you. You don’t get to take any more. Coming for you all. This is it. This shame. Tick tock. It's yours not mine. Time's up

And there it is. My Me Too

Heidi x

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Dance of Life and Death in the Buddhafield

Once again I feel a deep honour and much gratitude for having been able to share our Red Tent at this lovely festival. I am blessed to have some truly awesome women on my team, and we supported each other in our work and in practical ways.  This meant we were able to offer a juicy program of workshops, circles and care for many many women during the five day event.  We laughed and giggled a plenty, and cried and healed together at times too.

Buddhafield Festival holds this amazing capacity for personal growth, community connection and a softening into love and compassion. It also brings up a lot of challenges, and for many reveals the personal and collective shadow as we play and explore, in what is essentially a pop-up village of wonder, wise and wyrd.  From beginning to end there is a transformation process that happens, and this year the theme was Dance of Life and Death, so dance the dance we did.

For our first circle in the Red Tent we the women set our intentions for opening, receiving, discovering and entering fully into all the festival and its tribe had to offer.  We released (Death), a little of what we didn't need in order to make space for calling in the new (Life). We discussed boundaries and the holding of personal space, whilst going with the flow and the joy.

Then the issue of boundaries came up time and again during the festival, not only for me personally, but also for us as space holders within the women's area. So much of the work we have to do on ourselves and as womankind in general is within the realms of finding where our yeses are and where are our nos. Then being able to articulate them powerfully yet gently, and be heard in our truth takes another stepping up of sorts.  Several situations called us into listening and communication with full compassion.  Some of those complex situations we navigated really well for others, some took a few days and some we are learning from.  Lots of things can happen in small amount of time in the space of a few hundred tents.  An intense snap shot of life really, but what is incredible is the willingness to open and engage that people have and call each other into.  It is a delight to be a part of, this cracking open, the Being and the Becoming.

I also feel profoundly moved by the women that spent time in the Red Tent with their rawness and vulnerability, their story sharing and their processing, their wisdom and truth. The internalised misogyny workshop I felt drawn to create and offer just two days before packing to go to the festival allowed us to really examine some of the shadows within sisterhood. Owning and voicing some of it, meant it could, in a sense, die and be released, the sorries could be said and equally received at our core giving us new life. Sometimes old ways of doing and surviving have to go in order for us to access the being and thriving. It takes courage to do this, and a grieving of lost selves and opportunities, and I honour each woman that came to that workshop and offered it up as prayer and healing for all women. I am also glad that more and more women are finding their way to these spaces to give to themselves during all phases of their cyclical nature and life stages, connecting to the repeating life and death spiral within the physical or energetic form.  I am bearing witness too to the integrity and gentle holding of some of the sisters for us all by the fire and in the camp.


Overall the blazing sunshine added to the intensity, liberation and brilliance. Everyone shined, radiant in smiles, laughter and colourful clothing, (or none at all as the case may be). Although we were offering lots in the Red Tent we managed a fair bit of playtime too. My personal highlights were the retelling of one of my favorite tales, that of Inanna's Descent in the Death Awareness Space; the wonderful Vaudeville of the Vulva at Word Up; Sexual Healing talk in the Women's Space; and Yoni Shakti exploration in the Yoga Dome. Add into that a puja, some gentle yoga, sacred sensuality work, dancing, rather good raw cacao, and my gigglesome sisters and you get a sense of my juicy time in the "field".  And the Crew Cafe what can I say ... thank you for the love and joy that you served along with our food.  I've come back feeling held and honoured and nurtured in my Dance of Life and Death, and a feeling of blessedness to be part of the giving. See you there next year.

Heidi x

Monday, 8 January 2018

Plough Monday

Today is Plough Monday. Traditionally the return to work, the start of the agricultural year, is the first Monday after the Twelfth Day.

Not only did the plough return to the field this day, but sometimes ploughboys took a bedecked plough from house to house, hauling it through the streets. It was a time of celebration, and sometimes the giving of monies, food or drink to those, like the ploughboys whose work was limited at certain times of the year. Some areas had their own extra customs such a sword dances, mummer type plays or other dances.

A day to set intentions for the year. A day to call in blessings upon your endeavours. A day to set mind, body and heart to task. I will be calling in my word for the year later today. Past ones such as ROAR and EMBODY have served me well.

Perhaps you too could create a vision board for the year and emblazon across it your word for the year

So as I return to work, I set out my stall. Working for myself is not easy. I have carved out an unusual niche out in this world. There are huge dry spells and bills are at times hard to cover, but I celebrate the life I lead and live. I am setting the intention though, to shine this year, and I call in the abundance I deserve.

I serve I deserve

The work I do with passion and heart builds communities and changes lives. We live currently in a paradigm where those who heal, teach, serve, inspire and save are not honoured or paid their worth. I look at the failure of governments to pay our teachers, doctors, nurses, police and firefighters to name a few what they truly are worth. I see local shops and family businesses failing because of the all consuming power of multinationals and big corporations.  I see creatives desperate to pay their way in the world doing what they love.  I pray this changes, that the world wakes up and sees the foundations of our societies, those who look after mind, body and soul, as having intrinsic value.  I hope that more and more people see the value of honest hard work, the passion of men and women, shining brightly against the backdrop of the money machine that supersizes, yet cheapens, it all.  See us with our ploughs in the fields.

With that in mind, I realise I am going to have shout loudly this year to keep going.  I am going to have to be more truthful about my value and worth to the wider world.  I have to remove any remaining bushels hiding my proverbial light.  So please check out my aforementioned stall that is set out via my website. Currently I have two juicy courses on offer - "Keepers of the Flame" and "Wise Women and the Spiral of Stone". There are many opportunities to connect with me either one to one, at a workshop or in a Red Tent.  I look forward greatly to these being part of my sowing the seeds of creativity, hope and truth in many hearts and minds this year. I look forward to seeing the blossom and fruits of these offerings. I am inspired to keep ploughing, seeding, and nurturing my craft this year, and to reaping the rewards.

May all our hard work be blessed and rewarded in 2018.  To the plough, my friends.  Let us celebrate all that we do.

Heidi x