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. You already are the protagonist and the narrator of your own story – nobody can give you that power, and nobody can take it away. But often we lose connection to our deep self-storying abilities, and self-care and narrative coaching can help us get back in touch with that knowledge.

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

Tiffany Sostar added a new photo.

It's Magpie Monday. It's also Trans Day of Remembrance.

TW on this post for discussion of trans death.

It is not enough to simply invite us to find salvagable moments that glitter in the gloom of this day. This day is brutal and personal, and not all of us will scavenge through this gutter. That is okay. Today, especially, when we remember those many people killed for living their lives outside of the cisgender norm, it is okay to take Magpie Monday in a different direction. (You can read the list of names of known trans lives lost, hundreds of them, and not including those trans lives lost but not reported, here - tdor.info/)

There *are* stories to be salvaged from the wreckage, if that resonates for you. Lost lives to be honoured. And, especially, the trans folks, especially trans folks of colour, who are still living - their lives (our lives) are worth cherishing and supporting. We glitter in this gloom. We are treasures. We persist. We resist. We continue. And we are worth holding on to - for ourselves and for each other.

But there's more than just the usual scavenging today. There's more.

One rallying cry for today is "don't be sad, be angry" - fight for trans inclusion in every sphere. Fight actively. Fight intentionally. Fight with determination.

In Australia, "magpie swooping season" is A Thing. Crows and ravens, in the same family of birds, are also known for their fiesty willingness to fight. There is space for anger and for fighting in Magpie Monday. Especially today.

I think there's also space for grief. Magpies are among the animals known to grieve their lost, and to spend time with that process. (You can read about grieving magpies and other emotional animals here - www.yesmagazine.org/issues/can-animals-save-us/we-second-that-emotion)

So, today, search the gloom and gutters for what can be salvaged if that feels right for you. Fight with every sharp edge of beak and claw if that feels right for you. And grieve as much as you need to.

We live in hostile environments. We need more than one strategy to get through.

#magpiemonday #transdayofremembrance

Image description: A magpie in profile, standing against a rocky outcropping and partially obscured by grasses. To me, the magpie looks sad. Beak closed, wings down. Image credit, Richelle Schindler
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Its Magpie Monday. Its also Trans Day of Remembrance.

TW on this post for discussion of trans death.

It is not enough to simply invite us to find salvagable moments that glitter in the gloom of this day. This day is brutal and personal, and not all of us will scavenge through this gutter. That is okay. Today, especially, when we remember those many people killed for living their lives outside of the cisgender norm, it is okay to take Magpie Monday in a different direction. (You can read the list of names of known trans lives lost, hundreds of them, and not including those trans lives lost but not reported, here - https://tdor.info/)

There *are* stories to be salvaged from the wreckage, if that resonates for you. Lost lives to be honoured. And, especially, the trans folks, especially trans folks of colour, who are still living - their lives (our lives) are worth cherishing and supporting. We glitter in this gloom. We are treasures. We persist. We resist. We continue. And we are worth holding on to - for ourselves and for each other.

But theres more than just the usual scavenging today. Theres more. 

One rallying cry for today is dont be sad, be angry - fight for trans inclusion in every sphere. Fight actively. Fight intentionally. Fight with determination.

In Australia, magpie swooping season is A Thing. Crows and ravens, in the same family of birds, are also known for their fiesty willingness to fight. There is space for anger and for fighting in Magpie Monday. Especially today.

I think theres also space for grief. Magpies are among the animals known to grieve their lost, and to spend time with that process. (You can read about grieving magpies and other emotional animals here - http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/can-animals-save-us/we-second-that-emotion)

So, today, search the gloom and gutters for what can be salvaged if that feels right for you. Fight with every sharp edge of beak and claw if that feels right for you. And grieve as much as you need to.

We live in hostile environments. We need more than one strategy to get through.

#magpiemonday #transdayofremembrance 

Image description: A magpie in profile, standing against a rocky outcropping and partially obscured by grasses. To me, the magpie looks sad. Beak closed, wings down. Image credit, Richelle Schindler

Tiffany Sostar added a new photo.

Today's #stickfiguresunday is all about the complexity of self-care and the many factors that have to be considered. Self-care is so much more than any one action, or set of actions.

Self-care includes long-term, short-term, and emergency actions. It includes individual, communal, and structural action. It is soft and easy, *and* hard and demanding.

Self-care is always dependent on our available resources - social, emotional, financial, physical. Self-care also depends on our histories and our particular intersections of trauma, oppression, and privilege.

We are always practicing self-care - people are *always* responding to their struggles and challenges, even when those responses are not socially acceptable or recognizable as self-care.

One definition of self-care, the one that I use, is that self-care is any action that honours our needs. This includes actions that may not be sustainable long-term and that may not be socially sanctioned - self-harm, addiction, dissociation, and others.

One definition of sustainable self-care, which I use, is that sustainable self-care happens when we bring awareness, compassion, and intention to these actions.

Many of the ways we talk about self-care are geared towards financially privileged cisgender white women, and these exclusions and erasures can be so hurtful. Our conversations need to expand, our definitions need to develop depth and nuance.

Community care is a critical part of self-care - so we need to keep asking, which communities are being left out of these discussions? How can we deepen and extend the conversations? How can we honour and acknowledge the self-care that is being practiced by poor, fat, neurodivergent, racialized, traumatized, and otherwise marginalized folks?

Image description: A stick figure stands. A thought bubble reads, in colourful text - social? emotional? physical? financial? mental? creative? trauma? spiritual? collaborative?
Below the thought bubble in various shades of green - What IS self-care? How can we practice self-care? How do we talk about self-care?
... See MoreSee Less

Todays #stickfiguresunday is all about the complexity of self-care and the many factors that have to be considered. Self-care is so much more than any one action, or set of actions.

Self-care includes long-term, short-term, and emergency actions. It includes individual, communal, and structural action. It is soft and easy, *and* hard and demanding.

Self-care is always dependent on our available resources - social, emotional, financial, physical. Self-care also depends on our histories and our particular intersections of trauma, oppression, and privilege. 

We are always practicing self-care - people are *always* responding to their struggles and challenges, even when those responses are not socially acceptable or recognizable as self-care. 

One definition of self-care, the one that I use, is that self-care is any action that honours our needs. This includes actions that may not be sustainable long-term and that may not be socially sanctioned - self-harm, addiction, dissociation, and others.

One definition of sustainable self-care, which I use, is that sustainable self-care happens when we bring awareness, compassion, and intention to these actions.

Many of the ways we talk about self-care are geared towards financially privileged cisgender white women, and these exclusions and erasures can be so hurtful. Our conversations need to expand, our definitions need to develop depth and nuance. 

Community care is a critical part of self-care - so we need to keep asking, which communities are being left out of these discussions? How can we deepen and extend the conversations? How can we honour and acknowledge the self-care that is being practiced by poor, fat, neurodivergent, racialized, traumatized, and otherwise marginalized folks?

Image description: A stick figure stands. A thought bubble reads, in colourful text - social? emotional? physical? financial? mental? creative? trauma? spiritual? collaborative?
Below the thought bubble in various shades of green - What IS self-care? How can we practice self-care? How do we talk about self-care?

Cynthia K., Shannon Michelle Davis and 1 other like this

Shannon Michelle DavisLook how round the head is!! So round.

1 day ago

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There are a lot of people struggling today - anger at the state of the world, grief over personal and collective losses, fear for the future. It is a hard time.

These feelings are huge. They can be overwhelming.

Sometimes it is possible to alchemize intense feelings into something that feels better. That's not always possible, and it's certainly not required. But sometimes it can be helpful.

If you feel like it might be helpful, here are some ideas to get you started.

If anger is crackling through you like electricity, is there a way you can ground it? Can you use that energy to fuel an action? Write a letter, set a boundary, get involved in a social action? (The answer may be no, and that's okay.)

If sadness is weighing you down like a mountain on your shoulders, is there a way you can shape it? Can you carve something out of that immovable mass? Write or sing or paint a tribute to what has been lost, maybe? (The answer may be no. That is okay.)

This has been my own journey with depression - Gloom Faerie is the magical self that I rescued out of the crushing boulder of depression. She is still sad, still melancholy, but I have found a new relationship with my sadness through her. (For those who don't know the story of Gloom Faerie - when I am at my lowest and gloomiest, I sometimes goth up as Gloom Faerie and deliver tea and sometimes food to other people who are struggling. She does a few other things, but that's her primary role. She has allowed me to alchemize sadness into action, and to use my experience of grief and melancholy to build connections with other people.)

What image do you associate with your intense feelings?

Can you imagine a way to transform or alchemize them into something that feels better?

(The reason I work with the idea of alchemy is because I often don't want to reject or remove my difficult feelings. I would rather find a new relationship with them. This isn't true for everyone. Other folks might find the idea of removal, rather than transformation, more helpful.)
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Know your stories, know yourself.

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