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Asking for a bursary is a practise in receiving

Updated: May 16

Trying to create an ethical business in the face of capitalism is an interesting path to navigate.

I used lockdown and a healthy chunk of time in the care of the NHS too retrain and pool the knowledge I have gained from hundreds of photoshoots with people who felt they were not worthy of taking up space with my training as a counsellor to the more future focused strategy and planning of coaching. I am sharing and teaching the skills which have been life-changing for me and have enabled me to lose the life and body I used to know without too much grumping and whilst still keeping a flare of excitement for life. I’m living this stuff and I am evidence of how practical the tools are in gaining agency of your thoughts and life.

And pretty unsurprisingly, for those who have been around here for a while: I want to share this stuff. I want to share it because I know it works, and because I see so many people suffering when they get lost on finger pointing and blaming and other people’s drama and Instagram pop psychology memes that list all of the things you should aspire to but forget to lay hand out any maps how to get there.

My philosophy is that when one of us wins, all of us are winning, and that if any of us are left behind, none of us are progressing. Which is why I set up Self Care School to have an If-You-Can If-You-Can’t and Free-If-You-Need it model. This means anyone who needs access to support can get it if they ask.

But the problem I am facing at the moment is that people are not asking. People are not claiming the bursaries I am offering, and I have a suspicion I know why. Is it because no one has a problem with setting boundaries, everyone is completely satisfied with the stories they are telling themselves and the narrative going on in their brains at 200 miles an hour every day? I suspect not.

I believe that a toxic mix of capitalism, patriarchy and ablism mean than people have been convinced that taking up their space denies a space to someone else. People tell themselves that other people have it worse (completely ignoring that many people also have it better). People are frightened of taking the help as they think they may need it more in the future, and then they will have already used up their lifelines. There is a scarcity and pessimism to all of these which overrides on the plate in front of you with a big flashing sign saying, “Take me if you’d like to”.

Capitalism teaches us nothing comes for free, and we must earn it. But you haven’t earnt enough yet so just carry on working and you can have the good stuff later. Just over that next hill. Patriarchy teaches us that we should be meek and grateful with our lot and not make a fuss and not be a bother or an inconvenience and for goodness’ sake can you not make yourself a bit smaller please? And ablism has us judging our bodies as the enemies and equating their output with their value (see also capitalism). All of these things teach us not yet, the good stuff has not been earnt. You must work harder to be allowed rewards. You have not proved yourself worthy yet.

And I have to ask – is that really something you want to be supporting? Is that really the messages you want to be strengthening by telling yourself?

The slipperiness of scarcity mindset is that you are constantly thinking: what if this does not work? And I am inviting you to explore the possibility: what if it does work?

I’m not going to change a lifetime of ingrained socialisation, but maybe some of these tools could teach you how to chip away at some of these internalised messages which are not serving you. offers bursary spaces for folk who need them.

A woman with curly hair dancing through an apple orchard at sunset


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