Make a donation, get a thoughtwork mindset coaching session.
There is an old buddhist teaching that if one lights a candle for others, one also will brighten one's own way.
How much is a human life worth? When crisis hits, everyone has a price tag.
I have worked in crisis zones. There is one certainty I can tell you: That was the world recoils in horror, a group of predators are running into the aftermath to profit and exploit.
In the immediate aftermath of the. 2015 earthquake in Nepal, NGOs estimated around 4000-6000 women and children were attempted to be trafficked over the border. Though this was rapidly clamped down on. In the preceding months, estimated figures are that the number of people trafficked out of the crisis and into a different nightmare remained 15% higher than the previous year. Nepal's Human Rights Commission most recent report conservatively estimates that 35,000 people a year are currently stolen and sold from Nepal, making it one of the busiest trafficking routes in the world.
When I see disasters: Natural and man-made, I know who is coming. It is the men who sell humans.
I spent years before the pandemic working in anti-trafficking work. As soon as Russia invaded Ukraine, I knew who was coming. I have seen it before. I have been reading reports this week about how gangs are waiting at the borders posing as aid workers. They choose to seize this time of horror as a money making exercise.
We have all been hit by so much these last few years. It is hard not to feel weighed down by how much suffering there is going on and feel like our efforts are futile to help. The layers and layers of injustices which with which people are treated can weigh us down with compassion fatigue.
So I knew I had to step back and gather. I knew these last few weeks of rolling horror exacerbated the inhumanity which the refugee crisis of the global majority has been met with for years. I knew that I wanted my response to come from a heart centred place and not a reactive fear reflex.
Finally, this week I had an idea. How can I use my skills to support people on the frontline?
I used lockdown and long covid as a time to pause, reflect and retrain (as well as the time to be really ill, but that's another story). I have been training as counsellor, back in the Old World, as I wanted to have the skills I needed to deal with the outpouring of histories which come up in my work as a photographer in DV's and SV Support services.
I developed and grew an organisation. Which provides free workshop for survivors of gendered abuse (www.TrueYou.today). It provides creative outlets for people to connect their physical health to their emotional and mental wellbeing. Last year we staged 528 workshops which are free for survivors and support staff to be able to reconnect with themselves and build bonds of friendship and community. As well as many classes which link back to my circus roots, aerial trapeze and dance, I also provide self-esteem photo shoots for people. And continuing on the work the path I had started as a counsellor, I realised that coaching was where I had made, my most fundamental life shifts. So I began to train with my teacher’s teacher.
Fast forward to the finale: I have now set up www.selfcareschool.co.uk, which supports people to find their own answers through Thoughtwork, mindset and group coaching, which does not ignore the systemic oppressions which got us here in the first place.
I like to think of it as a spam filter for your brain.
Imagine what your life could look like if you were not constantly undermining yourself and self-sabotaging. This is the work I teach: a concrete methodology to undo some of that programming. And it is life changing stuff. I'm more than believe it. I live it. Anyone who has been around these parts for a while can probably testify that even in the face of adversity, I'm not easily ruffled. I know this stuff works and I want to share it with people.
Which is why I have decided that for the month of April, I'm going to be offering coaching sessions in exchange for a donation to Ella's, an anti-trafficking charity which I have worked with.
The process is simple: You make a donation and in exchange you get a coaching session.
It would be wonderful if you were willing to donate what you would be happy to pay for a session, but anyone can apply. Your donation can be big or small, whatever you're able to spare. I'm not here to open this opportunity only to folk with huge disposable income - this is for anyone who feels like they want to make a difference in their lives and other people’s lives. It could be £2 or it could be £200 to stop me going on about how important thoughtwork is. Everyone is welcome.
You get tools for a lifetime, as well as making a real life difference to other people.
I would be so grateful if you could help me spread the word about this.
The more people who know about it, the more people can learn these tools to stop being their own worst enemy and live the life of their dreams whilst in the process helping other people to live their lives freely.
Ella’s works with women who have survived trafficking and sexual exploitation. They offer safe house accommodation for women when they are most vulnerable, care to help them recover and long-term community-based support to help them build safe, independent lives.
"On my first day at Ella’s, it felt like being welcomed home. I slept that night for the first time in two weeks," says Sharon, who lives in one of Ella's safe houses. Every single act of support helps make this work possible.
Thank you for helping to unlock freedom.