November 24 2023
Before the Kin Keepers’ Haven, an update:
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.
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 email@example.com.
I remain available for 1:1 coaching sessions.
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.
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Until next time,
Janine Bertolo (she/her)
Trauma-informed somatic coach & space holder
Anti-capitalist crone & Culture Maker