navigating your story

self-care, self-discovery, self-expression

Mug, books, and journal

Your stories, your self.

What is the story you tell yourself when you look in the mirror?

When you reflect on the day?

When you think about your past, your present, your future?

Those stories shape how you see yourself and the world around you, and how you respond to situations and stressors. Some of these stories are positive, hopeful, wholehearted. But others are full of fear, shame, and internalized stereotypes and negative stories.

Self-care coaching can help you thrive by helping you develop sustainable and effective habits and strategies, regardless of the ongoing challenges in your life.

Narrative coaching can help you see clearly what stories you’ve internalized, and then intentionally keep the helpful ones and transform¬†the helpful into something more whole, more true, more you.

And these two focuses work together holistically to give you immediately applicable coping strategies and support as you examine and transform your inner narratives.

I can also help you write a new story through my “Transformative Year” package.

Coaching

Coaching

We can work together one-on-one, or with a group. My coaching style is collaborative and holistic – we will co-create a plan that will help you navigate, understand, and transform your life story in a way that feels sustainable, stable, and wholehearted.

Self-Care Resources

Are you looking for immediate and accessible help? You’ll find resources here. This category will be growing over the next year as I complete projects. These free resources are made possible by my patrons on Patreon and I appreciate it so much.

Writing in the Margins Workshops

From writing intensives, retreats, and groups to the monthly Smutty Story Circle, Writing in the Margins has offered accessible, sex-positive, queer- and trans-friendly, intersectional feminist writing spaces for the last seven years. We focus on creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.

Editing

Have you written something amazing? I can edit your fiction, creative non-fiction, academic paper, dissertation, or book. I bring a gentle and insightful editing voice, and a keen eye for detail. I read for grammar and style, of course, but what I’m best at is reading for intersectionality, accessibility, and queer and feminist politics.

Sostar Self Care on Facebook

Sostar Self Care on Facebook

Are you participating in the #100loveletters challenge?

Are you thinking about it, but worried?

Are you struggling with self-hate and not sure how you would manage to write 100 love letters to yourself?

Legit!!!

If you're worried about how to participate even while dealing with self-doubt and self-hate, you're not alone. That's the most common question I've received over the last week, and it's a big one - "how can I write myself a love letter when I hate myself?"

The short answer is that you can act with love even when you don't feel love, and you can do the smallest gesture possible as a way to get started. A post-it note. An ambiguously-meaningful heart around a stick figure. (Is there anything more bland and more poignant than a heart?) An "I am trying to love you" if you can't manage an "I love you."

The long answer is coming later. And I'd like your help with it.

So many of us within this community have struggled with self-doubt, self-hate, shame, and that particular category of trauma that distances you from yourself.

There is deep wisdom in this community. Hard-won wisdom. Tips and tricks and tools and strategies carved out of the unforgiving rock of our own personal rock bottoms. Ideas that we haven't yet been able to benefit from ourselves, but we know could help someone else. Insights that we used to leverage ourselves one more inch out of the pit. Experiences and knowledges that we can share.

If you'd like to share your wisdom, let me know! Comment or message me here, send me an email at sostarselfcare@gmail.com, or tag me in a post. I'll be collecting stories all week, and then compiling them into a blog post.
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I have been thinking about apologies lately.

Apologies that I wish would be offered to me.

Apologies that I have had to offer.

Apologies that I still need to offer.

Some apologies are for small unintentional harms. Others are for knowingly causing harm that we didn't realize would be quite so harmful (many lies fall under this category). Others are for patterns of behaviour, or big harms, or intentional harms.

There are a lot of barriers to apologizing, even after getting to the point of realizing that you need to apologize (which is, itself, a challenge). Shame and fear, especially, get in the way.

Even those of us who are committed to being good, do harm. Often the harms that are hardest to see and hardest to apologize for are the harms facilitated by our privilege. ("Good" white people do racist things, act in ways that harm Black, Indigenous, and PoC friends, family, colleagues, and strangers. "Good" men do sexist things, act in ways that harm women and femmes. "Good" straight people, "good" cisgender people, "good" neurotypical or normatively abled people - we all do things that cause harm, sometimes that cause significant harm!, and apologizing for those actions can feel like apologizing for our identities. We get tangled up in the shame of it, the fear, the anger. We worry that we can't be good people if we've done harmful things. If we apologize, and admit our guilt and our complicity in systems that are violent and unjust, does that make us "bad"? These fears get in the way of our empathy, our awareness, our compassion. They're worth interrogating and shifting.)

Everyday Feminism has a good article about how to self-care through the process of recognizing you've messed up, apologizing, and dealing with the fall-out. I highly recommend it - everydayfeminism.com/2017/01/self-care-when-youve-messed-up/.

Apologizing is a difficult and complicated process.

There are times when an apology is inappropriate and even selfish - when reaching out to someone we've harmed in order to apologize is more for our own benefit than for theirs. When we've behaved abusively (as more of us do than we like to admit - it's not only monsters and "bad people" who can be abusive in relationships, and who can act in ways that are actively and significantly harmful). Performative apologies, and apologies that retraumatize a victim or a marginalized individual can be particularly counter-productive (this article about how white liberals perpetuate racism goes into some of these issues - www.huffingtonpost.com/george-sachs-psyd/10-ways-white-liberals-pe_b_8068136.html)

There are also (lots of) times when *not* apologizing perpetuates the harm and makes it ongoing, because the person or people we've hurt have not had that hurt validated, acknowledged, and seen. An apology can be an act of witnessing - knowing that we've caused harm, and being open to hearing and seeing what has happened as a result of our actions.

And there are lots of times when there is no right answer - we've hurt someone, and our apology will hurt them again, and our lack of apology will hurt them again, and there is no way to move forward and "get past" the hurt smoothly or easily. In those moments, we just have to accept that the hurt is ongoing and be willing to sit in the discomfort.

So, aside from that first link about self-care through the process of apologizing, what does this have to do with self-care? Apologies are generally about our relationships with others, right?

Yes.

But relationship-care is a critical part of self-care (the winter online course will be all about social self-care, so there's that to look forward to!).

And I've also started to realize that apologies to the self can be an important thing.

Apologies are going to be an important part of my own engagement with the #100loveletters project (I'll be writing more about this in this week's email, if you want to join the challenge - eepurl.com/cS_lmn). There are things I have done that I owe myself an apology for. That act of recognition and compassionate holding to account can be a powerful act of self-love. And the same shame and fear that holds me back in apologizing to other people, also holds me back in recognizing the ways in which I've been cruel, insensitive, and unkind to myself.

This is a heavy topic, and could probably be an entire theme week (or at least a blog post), so keep an eye out for more content on this topic, and let me know if there's something you'd particularly like to see covered.
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Lindsay Scott Storm, Sheila Bjerreskov and 4 others like this

Heather WrigleyTiffany, one of the things I admire about you is that you are not afraid to talk about Big Scary Things. This is one of them.

4 days ago   ·  2

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It's a Friday self-care check-in!

What are five choices you made this week that honoured your needs?

Maybe you had a good meal, went for a walk, reached out to a friend, made yourself a really great mug of tea, or flopped out with some media-of-choice at the end of a day. Maybe you're participating in the #100loveletters challenge, or undertaking some other self-care or self-help project.

What are two actions you could take this weekend that would honour your needs?

Maybe you could set aside half an hour to write, go for a walk, or do something creative or calming.

Checking in with yourself, recognizing choice points, and celebrating your successes can be a valuable tool in bringing awareness, intention and compassion to your self-care practice.

Our perceptions of ourselves are rarely accurate - we tend not to see our own flaws or our own strengths. It's worth looking clearly and compassionately at both.
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Know your stories, know yourself.

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