Embodying & Transforming Shame
Saturday 11th November 2023
10am - 5pm
Transformation and enjoyment aren't mutually exclusive!
"Act tough and confident and don’t talk about your doubts. If you never deal with them, you may never get rid of them, but no matter. Fake everyone out. Even yourself. I couldn’t fake myself out. I didn’t talk much about my doubts. I wasn’t fishing for hasty reassurances. But I did a lot of thinking—the same things over and over. Who was I anyway? Why should anyone pay attention to what I had to say? Did I have anything to say?"
- Octavia. E Butler, 1989.
We all carry shame.
Sometimes we know exactly what shape it is and can even pinpoint the exact moment we started to add that boulder to our metaphorical backpack. Sometimes, we don't even realise that we've picked up hundreds of boulders because we've become so used to the weight we don't even feel it there any more.
We are made up of both brutality and beauty but most the time we just try to let all the beautiful (acceptable) parts of us show, and O H My G O D D E S S what detriment that causes us mentally, emotionally and physically. We hide the brutal, the ugly.
But not here. Not at this event.
What if we allowed all that was shameful into even temporary existence. How would that part of you look? What character would they play? What would they wear? How would they move? How would they talk?
Jung has a theory about this called the Transcendant Function:
"The transcendent function enables a transition from one psychological attitude to another through a dialectical process of integrating the psyche's conscious and unconscious contents into a third position, which constitutes a new step in the evolution of personality. The function is called ‘transcendent’ because it facilitates the transition from one psychic condition to another by means of the mutual confrontation of opposites."
It's the swing of the pendulum from one end to the other. The acknowledgement that both ends exist and then finding where your true balance is.
What stories are living us? What are we neglecting? Did you know that the way things are, aren't the only way things have to be?
We're going to be writing our own speculative fiction - that is 'a story that departs from reality'.
Those moments of 'I wish I didn't say that...' / 'Why did I do that?' / 'I can't do that because [list A N Y fictional excuse that limits us]' are going to be allowed to live out in their fullest. They're going to be transformed.
We're going to look at myth, archetypes and the stories of powerful women who were 'shameful'.
We're going to be silly. We're going to play games. We're going to share our stories. We're going to draw them, act them, sing them, speak them, move them, dance them, love them into existence and T R A N S F O R M them into power.
You DON'T need any prior experience with any of these modalities.
I am asking you to step to the edges of your comfort zone, perhaps just beyond them, but you will not be forced to do anything you don't want to. There'll be the opportunity for you to get to know the people in circle with you to allow you to sink into that vulnerability. Vulnerability is where the m a g i c happens.
I promise you it's going to be fun.
It sounds intense - it likely will be depending on how much you put into it, but it shouldn't feel heavy. In fact, we're unpacking those boulders from that backpack...it's going to get lighter, you're going to feel free, it's actually going to be a bit silly and lots of fun.
This event is inspired by the wonderful author, Octavia E. Butler, who never once gave up on herself.
As a black woman growing up in the 1940's, 50's, 60's (and beyond) her aspirations were high and she had a lot to contend with, but her inner strength was unwavering.
Nothing was too ambitious and she transformed everything society told her was shameful about herself... into power. She fully lived her truth throughout all the difficulties in the most admirable way. She wrote all versions of herself into existence.
We all need the opportunity to let our weird and ugly live out their lives. They're parts of us that we're denying an existence. Don't deny your own existence.
"We need myths through which we can be seen who we are and what we might become."
-Christine Downing, The Goddess.
Prepare, wear & bring
Comfortable clothes and/or clothes that make you feel empowered & confident
Something to share for lunch
Journal & pen
Your favourite art material (if you have one, ie. paint, crayon, charcoal etc) - this is not a necessity
You may want to think about a time you have felt shame incredibly strongly so you can work with transforming that narrative during the event - this isn't necessary and you're welcome to see what comes up for you on the day too, but thinking about these 'shame stories' we all have can be useful.
Think about who your ultimate power woman is and why. This can be fictional, mythical, historical, modern, someone you know/ don't know. Bring something that reminds you of her - a photo/print, an oracle card, a smell, a taste...
Bring a photo of your younger self that you're happy for the rest of the group to see.
Where, when, who, how much?
Held in a trauma aware space in a private location near Ludlow, surrounded by a valley of gorgeous, quiet land!
Saturday 9th September 10am - 5pm (roughly - we may end up going over by up to an hour, please prepare for this just in case. You'll be free to arrive from 9:45am
This event is for self identifying women only.
£80 and will include tea, snacks, materials & resources. Payment plans available to spread the cost if needed - please email me before booking so I can set this up for you.