Let’s Get Cozy Together This Holiday Season!

Intentional Holidays in the Kin Keepers' Haven

Janine Bertolo and Trevia Woods on a holiday background with text "Intentional Holidays in the Kin Keepers' Haven

$30 monthy membership you can cancel ANYTIME!

Winter is a time for slowing down, enjoying the fruits of the sunny seasons, resting and reflection.
It’s a time for sinking deep into our crafts and sharing in front of our fires. It’s a time to feel, play, sleep and reflect.
It’s a time for small rituals and meaning making. 
It’s a time to grieve and enjoy our blessings. 

Busyness and Chaos Simply Don't Serve Us

Modern holidays in late stage capitalism demand impossible social media standards, and glorify spending in a time when the cost of living has risen.

It keeps busy and distracted, with all the baking, planning, shopping, spending.

It’s an intentional recipe for failure that pulls us into an endless loop that serves capitalism and really doesn’t serve us at all.

There’s  no time to reflect and rest in the capitalist holiday calendar; no time to build resilience to remain grounded when the people around us might not feel that way , set boundaries, or find contentment in the slow season of darkness.

We end up tired, depleted, and often broke.

Not exactly that Norman Rockwell scenario we strive to recreate.

Here is your invitation to step out of the cycle together this season

Give yourself the gift of time to remember what really calls to YOU at this time, and allow space to create it over the next month. 

We have created a space in the Kin Keepers’ Haven for you to set intentions, come back to your body, honor grief, and find belonging over the holidays; a space to share ideas about how we can celebrate and honor this sacred time of the year with joy; a space to create and practice small rituals, co-regulation and connection; a space to support the way you want to feel through all the season. 

Introducing the Kin Keeper's Haven

Meet your Hosts:

Trevia (TREE-va) Woods (she/her)
I live and work on the traditional land of the Eno, Tutelo, Saponi, Occaneechi, Shakori, and the Tuscarora past and present, colonially renamed Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA.

I am a mixed-race woman with two decades of experience in bodywork, education and community-building. I support people in building community, unpacking cultural appropriation, and assisting people with unpacking cultural appropriation. I also help Culture Makers share their magic with the world, sustainably, so they can thrive along with their clients.

I love plants and books, and I’m a mom to a blended family of 5 boys & 1 VERY cute dog.

Janine’s caring, insight, and crone energy brings me life! Janine brings fun and vulnerability to our friendship and partnership each time we meet. I know she’s in my corner and shows up to support me however she can. We love merging our strengths together as a collective, and exploring ways to break out of the cycles of late stage capitalism.

 About Trevia Many Trees Lifeway Instagram     LinkedIn

Janine Bertolo (she/her)
I live and work on the unceded territory of
the Algonquin Anishanaabe People,
colonially renamed Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.

I’m an anti-capitalist crone, certified post trauma growth coach, and political junkie who helps humans to identify and unlearn the voices of systemic oppression that are planted in our brains from an early age. I long for a world where all living beings have equal access to the necessities of life, including laughter, rest, creativity, and joy. 

I love to read, paint, watch birds, and prowl the countryside with my partner and our rescue pup (who’s also pretty darn cute!)

Trevia introduced me to the concept of a slow yes and I will be forever grateful to her for that. She holds space for me to be me, unfiltered and vulnerable, silly and joyful, angry and determined, grieving and celebrating, all of it.⁣ I’m excited to be partnering with her to host the Kin Keepers’ Haven and continuing to follow our slow yes together in this cauldron.

Janine’s Website Instagram Facebook LinkedIn

What's Included (the dets)

Over the month of December we have planned gatherings to:

  • set intentions
  • honor grief, and let it move through us
  • share experiences
  • body double to craft and cook
  • share our holiday traditions with one another in our online container. (Trevia will be sharing her Yule traditions) 
  • and close the season with reflection and intention setting for the New Year

With full permission to participate and opt out of any and all activities to honor your capacity.

Weekly calls on Wednesdays at 12pm & 7pm EST. First call is Dec 6th. Last call for New Year intention setting is on Jan 3rd; calls will be recorded and available for viewing throughout the month.

At least two body doubling sessions most likely on Saturdays to craft and cook something we want to bring into our season. 

You will have access to the Kin Keepers’ Haven to share and learn together in our online container hosted by Mighty Networks. 

With a founding member’s investment of $30 monthly in your country’s currency (priced with joy and justice to honor your cost of living)

You can cancel anytime

We look forward to seeing you in the Kin Keepers’ Haven for Intentional Holidays!

We are creating a co-creating a space that centers healing from misogyny and working towards a future where we can have spaces that can include all people without harm.

This is multigenerational transformation. This is a brave space for those who have been most harmed by misogyny to do the work of reclaiming our authenticity and dismantling all forms of oppression.

Do you identify as a cisgendered man? Please email us at kinkeepershaven@gmail.com with other options to work with us one on one.

Self-Centred Newsletter – introducing the Kin Keepers’ Haven

November 24 2023

Before the Kin Keepers’ Haven, an update:

Hello friends,

I have some exciting news to share about the Kin Keepers’ Haven, but before that, I’d like to give you an update and talk about the times we’re living in.

There has been a lot of movement in my life since my last newsletter that feels energizing and exhausting all at the same time. 

It’s an especially difficult time to be human on this planet, with war and genocide and colonization reaching epic and catastrophic levels. I am finding it difficult to remain engaged without falling into deep despair. 

I want you to know that if your feeling that too, you are not alone.

I see you and I love you and I am here for you as my capacity allows.

Reach out for the resources that can support and nurture you in these troubled times. It’s more important than ever.

It’s what will keep us moving towards the better world we know is possible.

The world needs your magic, and you deserve care.

“The times are urgent; let us slow down. Slowing down is losing our way—not a human capacity or human capability. It is about the tensions, the invitations that are now in the world-at-large, inviting us to listen deeply, to be keen, to be fresh, to be quick with our heels, to follow the sights and sounds and smells of the world.”
Dr. Bayo Akomolafe

When I was in my 30’s I often described my workplace as the last bastion of good old boys supremacy in the western world.

And that just tells you I hadn’t seen much of the world by my 30’s.

Here’s a newsflash for younger me: we can’t escape capitalism. At least not while we occupy this body. The time may come, but not in this lifetime.

So, the question becomes “How do I live true to the values of social justice and collective care for each other and the planet, when my life is governed by systems of oppression?”

Without burning out, without self-extraction, without self-imploding?

It has literally taken a lifetime for me to realize that many of the voices and edicts governing my life and behaviour were not mine. And to realize that tilting at windmills without the support of regenerative community and sustainability only led to burnout and exhaustion.

I dream of a return to the Commons and a world where all living beings have equal access to the necessities of life, including laughter, rest, creativity, and joy.

Even though I didn’t always have the words, this dream has been the undercurrent of all my pursuits from an early age. This dream reflects my true embodied nature.

I occupy a large body, with chronic pain and mobility loss because of severe osteo-arthritis of the knees.

I have been refused surgical care twice because the medical system follows the colonial and capitalist BMI instead of science as its guide for success.

I am on an ongoing journey of learning to love and leverage my body in its current state, understanding its needs and preferences, and striving for greater ease and joy in my everyday life.

I find myself in my third act of life embracing the mantle of anti-capitalist crone, learning to trust my body and its needs, striving daily to identify and unlearn the voices of white heteronormative patriarchy that are insidiously planted in our brains from an early age – voices that, without critical inquiry, we often confuse as our own.

I have grappled with the duality of having to play the capitalist game to survive, and recognizing that there are small, doable ways of disrupting the system by playing the game – at the same time fully acknowledging intersections of privilege that allow me to access safety and comfort that are inaccessible to too many.

Adopting a designer dog rescue pup who was slated for destruction by a designer dog breeder who couldn’t capitalize on his life quickly enough to make a profit (and letting you know this is what’s happening in the pet industry – it’s horrifying) is a small way of disrupting the system, with joy and with justice.

Embracing diet culture to bring my body to the place where I can access medical care.

Taking advantage of a hot real estate market to sell high and buy low can realize profits to flow back into progressive causes and organizations working for liberation, peace, and decolonization.

Striving for community, compassion, connection all disrupt capitalism in small, doable, and regenerative ways. Learning to ask for help, sharing the load disrupts capitalism.

Even though the world upholds individualism, boot-strapping, and dream of the “self-made man” none of us is able to make it on our own. None of us.

And in case you’re wondering, understanding something somatically in your core doesn’t mean it comes easily or without self-scrutiny. Our brains are strong protectors with a lifetime of experience keeping us safe.

To paraphrase Jessica Lanyadoo (and if you are not following her on Instagram or listening to her Ghost of a Podcast, you’re really missing out – just saying):  “Being embodied isn’t necessarily comfortable.”

I can attest to the truth of this statement. But I would add that becoming truly embodied allows us to increase our capacity to hold discomfort, and this is the first step towards true healing.

This is the framework of my life and my work, often executed with a messy and imperfect slow yes.

Introducing the Kin Keepers’ Haven

Speaking of slow yesses, I would like to tell you about an exciting new venture that has resulted from a messy, imperfect process of slow yes that began a few months ago with the amazing and incomparable Trevia Woods.

We are launching a virtual collaboration called the Kin Keepers’ Haven, a space to gather and support each other, to unlearn and celebrate, to heal and reconnect.

A monthly subscription gives you access to all our courses and offerings, as well as the shared space to connect and collaborate with other culture makers, care givers, and world changing witches. A space to unlearn systems of harm where we don’t have to diminish ourselves to find acceptance.

The Kin Keepers’ Haven will be open for membership December 1. Founding members pay $30 monthly and can cancel at any time.

Trevia and I would be so happy to welcome you there.

Introducing the Kin Keeper's Haven

the Caucus of Crones is moving to the Kin Keepers’ Haven

AND…I am moving the Caucus of Crones from Kelly Diels‘ Gathering Space to the Kin Keepers’ Haven included with your monthly subscription.

The Caucus of Crones welcomes members of Kin Keepers Haven aged 50 and older to join Crones from the Kelly Diels space to cackle, collaborate, conspire, and cultivate leadership in a world where older woman are made invisible 

It’s a space for stepping into our power and agency as elders, to resist ageism in all its destructive iterations, to reclaim our ancestral legacy, to celebrate and support each other.

I’m so excited about offering this space to a wider community of Crones.

If you would like to receive an invitation to join the Kin Keepers’ Haven December 1, you can request one by emailing kinkeepershaven@gmail.com.

I remain available for 1:1 coaching sessions.

The Caucus of Crones is moving to the Kin Keepers' Haven

As we move into the season of darkness, I wish you warmth, comfort, and ease. May you find alternate forms of light, within and without, until the sun returns, and dormant nature is one again reborn in spring.

Thank you for being here!

I appreciate you and would love to hear your feedback; just hit reply.

Feel free to forward this email to anyone who might appreciate it.

If you’ve received this email as a blog post and would like to subscribe, you can do that here

Until next time,

Janine Bertolo (she/her)
Trauma-informed somatic coach & space holder
Anti-capitalist crone & Culture Maker

Isometric Life

Self-Centred Newsletter* – August 30, 2023

I’m learning a lot these days, living an isometric life.
Allow me to share a glossary of terms:

neu·ro·plas·tic·i·ty (no͝orōplaˈstisədē)
the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury.

i·so·met·ric (īsōˈmetrik,ˌīzəˈmetrik)
1. of or having equal dimensions.
2. PHYSIOLOGY relating to or denoting muscular action in which tension is developed without contraction of the muscle.

Prehabilitation: the process of improving the functional capability of a patient prior to a surgical procedure so the patient can withstand any postoperative inactivity and associated decline. In other words, to get you to a better place physically before an operation. (American College of Physicians and Surgeons)

Isometric Life:

I’m waiting for knee replacements that may take up to a year and a half to happen, two years before rehab hopefully allows me to move freely in the world under my own steam. If it works…

Digesting and integrating that possibility has been, well, it’s been a lot.


My default brain* thinks things such as “I can’t wait two years to have my life back” “my body is broken” “my life is over because I can’t move the way I used to”

Bringing curious inquiry into those thoughts has been vital for my mental health.

Is this thought really true?

There’s a lot of internalized ableism embedded in that kind of thinking that could use some unpacking.

What are the ways of easing into kinder, gentler thoughts about my body, where it is, right here and now?

Where do I find life, right here, right now, in this body?

How can I bring myself to a better place?

Healing happens in community.

I believe this with all my heart, even if my head resists it.

It is so valuable to have someone to share my thoughts with, vulnerably and unedited. I am grateful for a partner who can be that someone for me, as well as beloved friends and practitioners. It takes a village.

Speaking my default thoughts into existence allows them to be transformed.

On the day that I got the news about the long wait for surgery, I sat on the treatment table with my physiotherapist and had a big snotty cry. 

(Also want to speak to the value of big, snotty, public crying, whether it’s out of joy, or grief, hope, hopelessness, or because of a beautiful piece of music…. yes, I am a crier. Please pass the tissues.)


The big snotty cry in question started when I voiced the idea of waiting two years for my life to begin.

(It’s interesting to watch people respond to big, snotty, public cries – the physio intern asked me if I needed to be alone, to which I replied, no, but if my big, snotty, cry makes you feel uncomfortable, feel free to move somewhere that feels more comfortable for you. He stuck around.)  

My physiotherapist and the sweet intern helped me to begin unpacking that default thinking that surely does nothing to serve me, to look at the ways of living in my body, right here, right now.

And they introduced me to the concept of ‘prehab’

It’s a word I hadn’t heard before, and it’s so much more hopeful than the fatalistic ‘my life is over before it’s begun’ default voice in my head.

Living, stretching, strengthening, expanding, in the body I have now is prehab.

It’s paving the way to what comes next, whatever that may be. It makes what comes next easier to integrate.

Body Prehab

Then I thought “hey, maybe I’m in prehab for my brain too” but my physiotherapist explained that when referring to a chronic condition, the correct term to use is rehabilitation.

So, rewiring my brain is in fact rehab because it’s addressing an existing chronic condition. Ouch, and okay. I can live with that.

Thankfully, there’s neuroplasticity.

Easing into the thoughts and ideas around living, stretching, learning, expanding in the body I have now.

Brain Rehab.

Stocking my pantry:

I was introduced to the concept of a movement pantry by Hannah Husband, body liberation coach (I cannot recommend Hannah’s Seedling Strength program more)

The idea is to create an individual movement pantry with a wide variety of options, allowing you to plan movement meals and create spontaneous movement snacks during the day, choosing from bespoke variety of movements that work for your body after checking in

(that’s the liberation part – traditional strength training relies a lot on metrics and averages, rules that apply in general, but don’t really work for individual bodies, especially when that body is senior, fat, femme, disabled and experiencing chronic pain)

I love this concept.

I mean, really. Food and cooking are definitely two of my love languages, so this metaphor totally works.

(I bought a rainbow recipe box to create a personal little movement library but haven’t actually gotten to doing that yet. Hello perfectionist procrastinator. I love you.)

Hannah has the unique gift of describing strength training concepts in a relatable, non-jock (that’s me) kind of way. She combines nervous system science, strength training, and body liberation in a way that makes movement accessible for me, in this body, here and now.

(and p.s. – REST is a movement pantry staple as well. Thanks Hannah!)

Speaking of accessible:

Being able to recognize my needs, to ask for those needs to be met, to admit I don’t know something and ask for help (aka trauma healing) has allowed me to feel hope in what otherwise might feel like a hopeless situation, to add practices and movements and mobility aids into my life right here and now that allow for expansion in small (really the tiniest) but significant steps towards healing, in my mind, body, and soul, and regardless of where my body is now or where it will end up.

I now have a walker. I’m learning to make friends with it.

It’s kind of mortifying to be honest, because it makes my disability visible.

But also kind of cool, partially because I am a nerd and I love gadgets, but mostly because it meets my body where it’s at.

I can sit and rest after an embarrassingly small number of steps, that is actually three times the number of steps I can do without it, so win.

And I have been able to walk out of my driveway under my own steam for the first time since moving to this house four months ago. Liberation titrated.

I have a mini pedal exerciser that sits on the floor to use while sitting.

One of my favorite means of transport before the arthritis and pain prevented it was bicycling.

I currently do not have the range of flexion/extension in my knees to allow a full rotation of bike pedals, nor do I have the balance to stay upright on a bike.

I was horrified to discover that I can’t sit a full-size exercise bike with both feet on the pedals, I just don’t have the flexibility to do that anymore.

But I CAN put both feet in the stirrups of the little floor pedaler and move less than a quarter of the way round, forward and back.

It’s really hard to get my body in position to do that, but I’ve noticed that this less than a quarter round the pedal movement feels GOOD when I’m done, because it’s working the muscles without loading my knees.

The old and rigid ‘ride or die’ thinking is still strong in me, but most of the time I am able to look at this little machine as a friend and it definitely helps to think of the small movements as prehab rather than failure.

Isometrics have also become a staple in my movement pantry.

Strengthening by way of “tension developed without contraction of the muscle.”

Isometrics. It’s a metaphor for life in this body, here and now, just as it is.

It may look like not much is going on from the outside, but there’s a lot of movement happening. In my body, mind, and soul.

Thanks for allowing me to share what’s real and vulnerable and active in my life right now.

I hope that you are able to find ways of moving from a stuck place – whether that’s physical, emotional, or intellectual – to a place of spaciousness, more hope, and more joy in your life, right here and now.

And if there’s anything I can do to assist you with that, hit me up.


* the language of the “default brain” comes to me via the transformative and healing work of Sarah Peyton, neuroscience educator, constellations facilitator, certified Nonviolent Communication trainer and author who invites audiences into a compassionate understanding of the effects of relational trauma on the brain, and teaches about how to use resonance to change and heal.


Hi, I’m Janine, Anti-Capitalist Crone, Post-Trauma Growth Coach & Consensual Copywriter​​​​​​​​

I believe it’s possible to heal and transform, in our bodies and in our communities, in small, doable, but significant steps.​​​​​​​​

Interested in working with me?​​​​​​​​

Check out my offerings here on my website, or send me message​​​​​​​​

* If you’d like to be among the first to read my Self-Centred newsletter, you can have it delivered directly to your email inbox by subscribing here.

Future Planning – Accessible August, pay what you can

Future Planning Accessible August Pay what you can
Future Planning Accessible August

Hi, I’m Janine,

​​​​​​​​I believe that healing should be accessible, and so for the month of August, I am offering Future Planning Sessions on a pay what you can sliding scale – minimum $25, full price $200. (Prices in USD; If ​​​​​​​you are able to pay more it helps me to support those who aren’t ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​)

Give yourself the gift of a Future Planning session.

Book a Future Planning Session Now

Book before the end of August, for any available time to the end of September, to take advantage of this offer.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​About me:

I am a post-trauma growth coach, certified under the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and in the ReBloom archetypal method of trauma-informed & somatic coaching​​​​​​​​​I work with humans who want to transform individual and collective trauma that disconnects us from the wisdom of our bodies, and keeps us from living joyful, connected lives​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I am an anti-capitalist crone (read big Nonna love energy) who can help disentangle internalized voices of capitalism, patriarchy (all those systems of oppression) to remember who you were born to be and come home to your self​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

How do you want to feel in the next few months?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

are a great way to feel into the experience of somatic and trauma-informed coaching.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Sessions are an hour long and offer all of the value of a 1:1 coaching session. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​I offer support in a safe and consensual space, somatic practices, and suggestions.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Sink into summer by giving yourself some love and support from the comfort of your own space by zoom. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Or buy one as a gift for a friend.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Book at www.janinebertolo.ca​​​​​​​​ or send me a message.

Subscribe to the Self-Centred Newsletter

Sign up here for semi-regular musings, practices, and offerings. I will never spam you or sell your email address.

Wishing you an accessible August filled with ease and flow.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Capitalism bothers me

What bothers you and why?

The world is on fire, refugees to this country are living on the streets because of a shortage of affordable housing; the bodies of Indigenous women are tossed into landfills and the powers that be refuse to search for and recover them; minimum wage workers need to make on average $27/hour to be able to pay rent; interest rates are rising and crippling mortgage holders; the cost of groceries has skyrocketed while corporations report record profits; wildfires that ravage the planet and the air we breathe are the result of unfettered greed, destruction and deforestation over centuries.

And that’s just today’s headlines.

People suffer. Communities suffer. The earth and nature and wildlife suffer, all because hoarding wealth takes precedence over LIFE.

And the consistent message I’m hearing that it’s the fault of those suffering for not having played the capitalist game well enough.

The state of the world isn’t accidental. It’s happened by nefarious design and it’s criminal, all in order for an elite few to sit idly on their piles of gold.

No one is getting out of here alive. How can they not see they’re burning too?

That’s what fucking bothers me.

Disrupting capitalism, one heart at a time.

It took to my crone years before I was able to begin the ongoing work of detangling the voices in my head that weren’t mine.

Instead, they were the voices of a white-supremicist cis-heteronormative patriarchal, capitalist colonial machine, planted in my head to keep the machine chugging along.

Even my innate inclinations towards social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, truth and reconciliation – inclinations that led me to labour and political activism – were informed by corrupted messages of grind culture (credit Rest as Resistance by Nap Ministry founder Tricia Hersey)

Working for social justice to create caring society in extractive and unsustainable work environments (using the tools of the master to dismantle the master’s home, to paraphrase Audre Lorde) led to a burnout from which it has taken years to recover.

I suspect I am not alone.

The interrelated systems of colonial capitalist fuckery employ a diverse set of tools to keep us separated from ourselves and our true nature.

They separate us from our hearts and souls, our bodies, the Earth, and each other by design.

The result us individual, collective, and environmental trauma.

Shame and binary thinking are two of its mainstay tools.

Shame is a liar, meant to keep us small and quiet and asleep, to prevent us from disrupting and challenging dysfunctional systems that harm. To prevent us from the thriving that is our birthright.

I believe the antidote is a return to the body, to interdependence, to rest, and reconnection with nature.

The antidote is individual and collective trauma healing.

This is what I am passionate about – to remember my wholeness, beginning in ecosystem of my own body, and rippling out from a place of sustainable thriving into my community, my work, and my world.



What are you passionate about?


Showing up messy is … resistance

Acknowledging my colonial settler privilege in living and working
on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe People,
in progress of learning right relationship with the land and its First People.


As I type this the tears are drying on my cheeks from a big snotty cry because my grrl is leaving me again.

My stepdaughter, my soul mate, my shero, came into my life when I met and fell in love with her dad 14 years ago. I was 49 years old and had lived single up until then.

Not the life I’d imagined for myself as a young woman. I always thought there would be a family ‘of my own’ by about 33, without really examining the origins of that expectation too much. There was, at the same time, a deeper knowing that I was not willing to settle or compromise myself with any partner just to tick off the box of having a family.

I had a circle of chosen family but kept them at a safe distance most of the time.

I used isolation and titanium strength immutable boundaries to keep myself safe, but they also served to wall me off from my world, my community, my belonging. I became a master of doing it on my own, unable to recognize my own needs for community, belonging, connection, interdependence, let alone opening myself up to receiving them.

Oh, and beating myself up because I wasn’t doing it better.

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” This line from Leonard Cohen is coming up for me repeatedly lately. It speaks to the both/and of shadows and light in our world, our lives, our relationships, and the persistence of the light to force its way into every single chink or crack in our armour.

When I created the conditions for David to come into my life, it felt as if the noise in my head stopped, that the ‘looking’ was over. (That was another illusion, a story for another time that I’m still integrating and digesting, but you will probably not be surprised to learn that I believe that the ideal of heterosexual couplehood is a trope created to keep us from overthrowing capitalism and all systems of fuckery, and that the queering of the family is the antidote to that.* I still love you David…)

*Do you know of Mia Birdsong? Read more here.

In any case, my soulmate did not come into my life alone. His two children have become mine. I love them both fiercely and am so grateful and amazed at the ease with which I was welcomed into this new family, warts and all.

I experienced moving from single, to coupled, to step-mom, to empty nester, in the span of 10 years. A large part of me is still healing and integrating and catching up developmentally, unlearning the hyperindividualism and binary perfectionism that tells me I am not worthy of receiving love or help from anyone, that I must go it alone.

I’m gradually integrating the knowledge that asking for help is not weakness, receiving help is medicine, and offering help from an empty cup serves no one.

David, Miriam, and Sean have been my greatest teachers.

I’m a regular big snotty crier to be honest – a beautiful piece of music, whether there’s a memory attached or not, can do it to me. Perhaps my body remembers something my head has stored away or composted.
But today, it’s because my Miriam has moved with her new husband and puppy to a job and their first home more than a thousand kilometers away. Never mind that in the four months since she’s moved away, we’ve seen her more than when she lived in the same city.

This weekend, she returned in a whirlwind to attend a friend’s celebration of life. And as she and her husband packed up the car to leave me (yes, it’s all about me) once again, I could not contain my sadness; it spilled out, messy and snotty, long before their car pulled out of the driveway, on display for all.

Miriam gave me a big hug, told me she loved me, and that we’d see each other soon (which is true; just give me my big snotty cry right now, okay?)

Part of me was horrified at myself, thinking that I would have cringed in her place, anxious to get out and on the road as quickly as possible, uncomfortable with the messiness, feeling resentful that something was being asked of me that I didn’t have to give.

And then I remember that Miriam is not me, and our relationship is not the same as the one I had with my mother, and that I played the teeniest part in creating this family, this love, this connection, healing, learning, growing.

Which gives me a new reason to cry…

Leonard Cohen’s Anthem does it for me. Every. Time.

Are you sensing a theme here?

Me too! And it’s not just that you should listen to Leonard Cohen or read his poetry either.

The subject of showing up messy, in all our vulnerability has been coming up for me like a persistent toddler asking “why, why, why?”

In the latest podcasts from Kat and Val; in listening to Natashia Mack; in watching this discussion panel on the dropping of covid where Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth tells it like it is; in the Institute for Radical Permission modules from Sonya Renee Taylor and adrienne marie brown…

And the message seems to be this:

Capitalism and systems of fuckery force perfectionism on us as a means of control, to keep us isolated and separated, to keep us from examining what bullshit that is, that it serves no one but them in power.

Is it possible that showing up messy destabilizes power?

Is it possible that showing up messy and vulnerable is a form of resistance that connects us, buoys us, and inspires us to challenge those systems, return to the wisdom our bodies and our nature, and maybe just maybe dismantle that shit once and for all?

I’m starting to think so.

And so here I am, dear humans, red-eyed and tear stained, nose dripping (and a little drippy egg on my shirt from breakfast if I have to be completely honest) reaching out to connect with you.

I usually plan to have my newsletter out for the full moon. My body had different plans for me this time around.

It’s probably no surprise, as I become more self-centred in navigating my relationships, my beliefs, and my healing, that my body is responding with a ‘fuck yes, me too – I have NEEDS’ kind of response that’s manifesting in flare ups of chronic pain and mobility issues, causing me to move out of the stuckness of isolation to ask for help
It’s not fun. But at the same time, there is a current of knowing that runs deeper than the pain, a knowing that says everything’s going to be okay. You’re on the right path. It’s not too late, and I love you. Trust your body. Ask for help. Keep going.

Maybe you need to hear that too right now?

You’re on the right path. It’s not too late. Trust your body. Ask for help. Keep going. I love you.

Pass the tissues please…


University move-in day, 1980. Me and my mom. Click the image to read the Instagram post:

Hi, I’m Janine, Anti-Capitalist Crone, Post-Trauma Growth Coach & Consensual Copywriter​​​​​​​​
I believe it’s possible to heal and transform, in our bodies and in our communities, in small, doable, but significant steps.​​​​​​​​
Interested in working with me?​​​​​​​​
Check out www.janinebertolo.ca, or send me message​​​​​​​​

3 Questions for the Full Moon in August

low angle photography of full moon under silhouette of tall trees

Welcome to Leo season dear friends!

The full moon arrives on August 11 at 9:36 p.m. in the Eastern time zone.

I always look forward to Sarah Kemp’s Moonlight and Manifesting full moon guided practices (via Patreon.com – you can follow without subscribing to read public posts). If you’re interested, you can find all of Sara’s offerings here.

It’s also Perseid season…. have you seen streaks of light in the night sky? You’re not imagining things! The meteor shower will reach its peak in the early morning August 13, but if you have clear skies, the brightness of the full moon might make viewing difficult.

Either way, there’s magical light falling on us this week.

I have such fond memories of discovering quite accidentally that meteor showers are a thing, one hot summer night in 1987 while on community retreat. After most were in bed, a few friends gathered on the lake shore to wind down and enjoy the summer evening. We counted over 200 shooting stars that night and I was forever hooked.

I love to think about the cyclical timing of the universe that carries us on our annual trip around the sun, through belts of cosmic debris that burn up on hitting the Earth’s atmosphere.

Scientific and magical all at the same time.

This month’s newsletter follows the format set by the 3 Questions with Kat & Val podcast, a weekly delight that asks, “What’s bringing you joy?” “What’s moving around for you?” and “What are you learning?”

I look forward to Tuesdays when Kat and Val release new episodes.

What’s bringing me joy?
– Breakfast Bowls (lunch and dinner bowls – aka salads – too):
I love vegetables. I love fresh. I love the abundance of fresh local and delicious produce available to us during the summer. And I love being able to* toss a random combination of things into a bowl for a healthy, nutritious and delicious meal. This morning’s breakfast bowl consisted of tomatoes grown by my partner in our yard (you can taste the sunshine in them!), sprouts, arugula, lettuce, green onion, avocado, fried eggs and cooked ham. So.fucking.delicious.

*Okay, more accurately, my lovely partner does the tossing, the shopping, the cooking, and the bowl assembly, not me. And this too brings me joy.

Being able to listen to your body’s needs and honour them; to be able to ask someone to source the ingredients and prepare them, is a sign of a healthy nervous system. I haven’t always been there, and having regained the capacity for this also brings me joy.

– Ms. Marvel is delight. It brings me joy, and if it doesn’t bring you joy, I don’t want to hear about it.

– Learning and creating new things – I created a guided practice for orienting to your space and cultivating safety. Learning to use the audio conversion and mixing software, searching for background music and integrating it was… well it was fun!

You can listen and download the new thing I made here.

What’s moving around for me?
The non-binary nature of consent: and by this I mean recognizing that all-or-nothing perfectionist thinking has infiltrated my brain so that I deem any level of discomfort around something new as non-consensual.

This is simply not true and, more importantly, this internalized messaging keeps me in a state of freeze or stasis, unable to move or grow or expand, even when I desire it.

Without curious inquiry, this dynamic plays out in my life around chronic pain and mobility, around relationships, community-building and justice work. The discomfort of stretching into new places of learning and growing is not self-harm.

I am finding the work of Betty Martin and the Wheel of Consent very helpful in unpacking this. You can learn more about it here.

The concept of dirty pain versus clean pain described by Resmaa Menakem in this article also speaks to this idea, and is something that I am digesting and integrating:

“When people respond from their most wounded parts, become cruel or violent or run away, we experience dirty pain” (Menakem, R., 2017, pg. 20). When we avoid pain and discomfort, we also create more of it for ourselves and for others. To heal collectively, we must be willing to engage and feel clean pain.”

I have joined the Institute for Radical Permission facilitated by adrienne marie brown and Sonya Renee Taylor.

The most recent teachings explore self-worship as an act of radical permission, including developing decadence practices for ourselves.

There are some sticky bits around this for me.

In answer to a question about how to cultivate self-worship, adrienne marie brown suggested taking time to look at the moon the next time it’s full.

Notice that the surface of the moon is not smooth; it’s pockmarked by asteroids that have collided with it. The moon has a face because of those shadows; the moon has acne scars.

The moon never apologizes for its shadows because they are the story of its shaping, of its being.

The shadows tell the story of what’s shaped us, what we’ve overcome, what we have survived. Each of us is a miraculous being. The shadows shape us. They don’t have to be in charge.

Each of us is a luminous full moon, comprised of shadow and light, unique and precious and invaluable to the whole.

Taking this one to heart.

What am I learning?
See above; it’s all in there.

Offered with love,


I am a post-traumatic growth and somatic coach who helps people heal & find ease from trauma that gets stuck in the body so they can live more fulfilled & authentic lives.

I create a safe, consensual, nurturing space for exploring, excavating, and healing, allowing what’s been stuck to move through and out.

​​​​​I love to work with humans to transform individual and collective trauma that disconnects us from the wisdom of our bodies, and keeps us from living joyful, connected lives.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

You can find more about my offerings here.

Dreaming of Blue Bears

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23241619#file

From the Self-Centred Newsletter

Say what you will about social media – it’s a double-edged sword and, like most of us, I get caught up in doom scrolling for more time than I like – but I do love the ‘memories’ features that reminds me of where I was on this day last year, and the year before.

My social media memories reminded me of a dream I had a year ago. You can read the post here.

This memory, this dream, remind me of what it felt like to be moving to this place, with all its beauty and comfort and peace.

I’ve begun the journey of reconnection to ancestral wisdom waiting to be tapped – in the gifts of the earth, the nature that surround me, and the cells of my body.

I recognize that this is where I find peace, purpose, and joy.

And I recognize that it’s accessible by slowing down, pausing, quieting my mind, and listening with my body – by becoming self-centred.

This memory reminds me that happiness is elusive and that the patterns of thinking and behaviour governed by my very powerful mind are deeply ingrained, requiring regular and intentional rhythms of care to be soothed and quieted to allow the nature of the land and my body to speak.

It’s especially helpful when I get into the dark space of believing everything bad or undesirable in my life, the world, and everything has been there forever; when I spin out into the hopelessness that says nothing will ever, ever change.

I’m reminded, for instance, that not too long ago this body that is currently having difficulty moving was able to carry me on hikes through the woods, to ride a bike. I’m reminded that my mobility and pain have not been with me forever, that my body is resilient and has the capacity to heal.

I’m reminded that I have been surrounded by amazing humans, with whom I have shared deep love. Their words, their images, their love, comes back to me in those social media memories, even after they’ve rejoined the earth and become ancestors.

And my body remembers that grief is the result of having loved deeply, that it as natural and welcome in my body as the love that has not been lost, but rather transformed.

I’m reminded that as bleak as the state of the world may feel right now, that there were, are, and always will be places to find joy and hope.

And I’m reminded that those places are usually found in connection with my right people, many of whom I am able to connect with on the very social media platforms that can be so troublesome.

In the past few days, I have experienced the gift of being with my right people in person, without screens, sharing the same physical space, food, drink, laughter, and tears. My body had forgotten how grounding and soothing and uplifting that can be.

My body had also forgotten how activating that can be. I remember that change, even good change, can be activating.  

I am grateful that me a year later knows what to do with that activation to allow it to rise up and move out. Even when life has pulled me away from the rhythms of ritual and care that nourish me, that I have the capacity and agency to return to them.

I recognize by listening to its chatter that my brain is stuck in the habits of the past that were informed by systems of harm that deny the cyclical nature of the seasons of life, that embrace scarcity and leave no room for the possibilities that come in letting some things die and decay to create the rich compost from which all new life springs.

That voice has me holding on to physical objects as well as beliefs and behaviour patterns that no longer serve me. They might just come in handy again, right?

I find myself now in the place of needing to rest, digest, and integrate the gifts of these last few days.

As well as the need to discard the baggage that I’ve carried with me into the now, because my brain tells me I can’t let go of anything – whether it’s a physical object or a belief that no longer serves me. It might just come in handy some time.

I recognize that the burden of carrying all that baggage is exhausting, and keeps me from accessing the liberation, the joy, the agency, the community I seek.

Whether it’s by luck or coincidence or divine timing, today marks the full moon in Capricorn.

I plan to mark the occasion by journaling and drawing what needs to be released and burning it all in a ritual fire, on this sacred and beautiful shore that is my home, for now.

I love Sarah Kemp’s Moonlight and Manifesting reflections and journal prompts. You can download today’s here if you’d like to join me.

My soul seed, born in the 60’s would never have imagined social media, or that the Facebook memories feature would be part of my daily rhythms of care, but here we are.

Life goes on and I’m blessed to be living it.

Hi. I’m Janine,

I am a post-traumatic growth and somatic coach who helps people heal & find ease from trauma that gets stuck in the body so they can live more fulfilled & authentic lives.
I create a safe, consensual, nurturing space for exploring, excavating, and healing, allowing what’s been stuck to move through and out.

You can find more about my offerings here.