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

You will inevitably overextend yourself - physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, socially. You'll run yourself into overdraft, and then you'll have to figure out how to manage it.

Often, when we overextend ourselves, one of the first responses is shame and anger.

If it's shame, we lash inwards - Why didn't we see this coming? Why didn't we budget - our time, our energy, our resources - better? How could we be so foolish? Haven't we learned any of the lessons? We were in the exact same position last month, last year, two years ago.

If it's anger, we lash outwards - Why did they ask so much from us? Why don't they understand our limitations? Why is the world so awful? Why isn't there enough to go around, why are we always being asked to give more than we have? More time, more emotional labour, more educational or domestic labour, more money, more energy.

Shame hurts and isolates. It's a valid emotion - it's one we all experience at some point - but it can get us stuck in a loop of self-doubt and self-hate that makes it hard to compassionately assess the situation and find a way forward.

Anger is also valid, especially when we are constantly overextended because we are constantly operating under scarcity and within exploitative systems, but it can also get us stuck and make it hard to assess the situation.

When you find yourself overextended (and if you're a social justice warrior/cleric/bard/rogue/tank/elf/wizard/etc, chances are, you're going to, soon, and often) take a breath.

Turn a gentle eye inward. Assess the situation. It can help to do this with a notebook beside you. When the shame bubbles up, write it down and let the thought go for a moment. When the anger rushes in, do the same thing - write it down, and let it go for the moment. You can come back to those thoughts later - to ease yourself through the shame, to give voice to your anger - but first, assess.

Do you need help? Physically, emotionally, financially - do you need help? Answer honestly, even if help isn't available. Honour where you're at.

If the answer is yes - Do you know who to ask, or where to turn, for help?

If you don't know, can you reach out to someone to help you figure out where to get the help you need? Assess the costs of the help - if you need money, for example, and your family relationships are fraught, be honest with yourself about the emotional cost of the financial help. If you need physical help, assess the financial cost of hiring someone, or the emotional cost of asking friends or family.

Looking at the situation clearly will help you make an informed choice.

Can you change the situation so that you don't continue to go further into emotional/financial/social/mental/physical 'debt'? Can you move things around, change the parameters of your role in various relationships (at work, at home, with friends, with family), or shift your routine to lower the costs?

Do you know how to re-up whatever aspect of yourself is overextending? Do you need a nap? Can you pick up another job, or call a friend to vent? Do you need to go for a run, or paint something, or cook something, or eat something? Would jumping jacks help?

When you find yourself overextended, offer yourself some compassion, some self-awareness, and some intentional self-care.

Let yourself see what has happened, recognize the complex intersecting pressures that have led to the overextension (the answer is almost never "I'm just bad with [X resource]"), and give yourself a long moment to think, and feel, and grieve, and flail, before finding your way forward.

And know that often it *is* a case of finding a way forward, rather than finding a way out. Many of us live with chronic overextension, chronic scarcity of various resources. That is not a result of our lack of gumption, smarts, or resolve. That is simply a result of living in the dumpster fire of late capitalism and the suffocating web of racist, sexist, ableist, anti-Semitic, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, cissexist, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, transmisogynist, fatphobic, whorephobic, colonial, classist systems and beliefs that we're just all swimming in.

Sometimes there is a way out.

But sometimes there isn't, and when there isn't, the best we can do is to just find the way forward.
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David John Dupre, Beatrice Aucoin and 2 others like this

David John DupreSally forth!

7 hours ago   ·  1
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In moments when you feel like a failure, or a fraud, or a fake, here are a few things that can help:

- name your feelings, and if you can also identify where they're coming from (what internalized invalidating narratives are sharpening themselves against your tender identities), name those origins. Knowing why isn't necessary but it can help.

- reach out to your community, if you can. There are people who see you, and being seen is a powerful antidote.

- you don't have to believe in yourself to get through this. That belief can come later. Trust that it can come later.

(This post brought to you by my own deeply internalized biphobia and femmephobia and anxiety about attending queer events, and the amazing support of my community. I still feel awkward but I feel less alone, and that's worth a lot.)
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Know your stories, know yourself.

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