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

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​​​​​​​​ 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.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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, or send me message​​​​​​​​

Dreaming of Blue Bears


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.

Self-Centred: Solstice Edition

My self-centred journey from politics to trauma informed healing. Because the world absolutely needs changing.

Solstice season is a time for shedding the detritus of the past, and clearing space for new beginnings. What better time to be self-centred?

How wonderful that we live connected to the Earth and its seasons of renewal and decay that follow each other in our journey around the sun.

The past three years have been transformational for me, and I recognize that many of you who have known me for a while might not be familiar with this new me. 

Allow me to introduce myself.

The following is an excerpt from a ReBloom Advance Coach Certification training assignment, my ‘healing journey essay.”

It speaks to my values, desires, hopes, dreams and aspirations – for my self, my family, my relationships, my community, my business, my planet.

If you feel called to join the conversation by hitting reply, I would love to know what resonates for you.

All the assignments have been submitted, graded and returned. Our graduation ceremony is complete, with all the bitter sweetness of endings and beginnings.

I am so excited and proud to be a ReBloom Certified Coach. I’m excited for the magic that this community of world-changing witches has to offer.

Hi, I’m Janine…. let me tell you a story:

* many of the terms I use come from the lineage of trauma-informed theory and practice. You can learn more about them here and here

“Slow is sexy. Less is more. Start where it’s easy, dip into difficulty, go back to easy. Body is beloved. Everyone always gets to say no. Resourcing is radical.”

These words have been posted on my bulletin board since early March in 2020 when I attended a women’s circle offered in person (remember that?) by Jo Tucker. The before time.

I did not realize at the time the potency of that action, like a spell cast into the future when, ten months later in January 2021, in the opening workshop of the ReBloom advance coach training, they appeared again in our workbook, with the potent additions of “connection over commodity, coherence is queen” and “center the most marginalized identities and everyone gets free”

With every moment that unfolded during that workshop and in the 14 months following, I knew I was in the right place. I celebrate giving myself the gift of this learning and healing journey.

Over the last 15 months, in the supportive container of the ReBloom coach training garden, I have moved from feeling like an outsider, like I didn’t belong, not sure I could trust it to hold and nurture my seed, to feeling like a sapling growing out of an old dead and decaying tree-stump, connected to the earth, connected to the mycelial network, connected to my ancestors and all of the resources of nature, drawing from the rich compost to nourish and sustain me.

I have come to realize that my deepest wounds and trauma are the result of internalizing messages that I do not belong – in my family of origin, in my community, in my church, in the world as a female, and later as a senior in a large body with chronic pain and mobility issues.

Those wounds were reinforced and repeated on several levels, and in layers that can be easily recognized in the ReBloom archetypes – all of them really – from Soul Seed to Sacred Gardener.*

I internalized messages reinforced and entrenched by systems of harm – colonialism, capitalism, the patriarchy – messages that told me I had to go it alone, that I could trust no one but myself to ensure my care and safety; beliefs that created deep grief and fiery anger in me. 

These are the imprints.*

At the same time, throughout my life, there has been the undeniable force and power of blueprint* sovereignty, spirituality, connection to something bigger than me, bigger than we, bigger than systems of harm, that forced its way in through the cracks to float me through the most difficult times and carry me to better places.

There was the seed of something held deep in my body, something that no trauma could extinguish – somatic, earth-connected, ancestral blueprint.

But it always felt like a struggle and it always felt like something I was not worthy to receive.For most of my life, I felt as if I was on the outside of belonging, looking in and craving a place in the garden, craving community and fearing it at the same time.

My go-to trauma* responses range from  hyperindividualism, hypervigilance, fight, anger, resentment, collapse into freeze and feelings of powerlessness or depression (I use the present tense because they are not gone. The trauma spell has diminished in its influence over me, and I can appreciate and honour that these responses are natural, that they rose up to protect me and keep me safe. We live together now in a sort of familial harmony)

By the time I was 58, a life of tilting at windmills (as an advocate, a labour activist, a social worker, and political aide) had extracted everything from me that I had to give. There was nothing left in my reserves to fight the good fight of creating a world founded in social justice, let alone diffusing the trauma spells accumulated along the way.

I knew in a deeper somatic* place (my blueprint self) that I needed to retreat, refocus, turn inwards, rest and heal, without really knowing what it was I was healing from or where the process would take me.

Simply put, I felt like I had no choice, and was gifted with the privilege of resources that allowed the bills to be paid and my basic needs to be more than met.

I explored all of the healing modalities and returned to those I had dabbled with in the past.

I engaged a ReBloom coach to walk with me on that journey. I will always be grateful to Jo Tucker for her presence and influence in my life.

And I had the loving support of a partner who loves me as I am and as I am becoming.

Each of them contributed to the creation of a safe container for healing and growth.Layer by layer, module by module, step by doable step in the wonderful and magical community container of the ReBloom garden, I felt the old me falling away and an even older me – soulseed* me, blueprint me – returning, with the capacity to hold more, feel more, process more, allowing trauma to move through my body, up and out, because I had created a safe embodied environment for healing and thriving.

What’s changed?

In small, titrated and doable increments, and in this community of care, I have cultivated safety in my body – learned to trust my body as authority, learned to quiet my brain long enough for my body to speak. I have gradually increased my capacity to hold a full spectrum of emotions, to allow the stuck trauma to move, rise up and out, in layers, gently and profoundly, without reliving the trauma.

Slow is sexy.
Less is more.
Centre the most marginalized bodies & everyone gets free.
Connection over commodity.
Coherence is queen.
Permission to opt out.
Start where it’s easy, dip into difficulty, go back to easy. Body is beloved.

I have recentred my authority so that my decisions and direction and energy move from the inside out rather than the outside in.

I am relearning and cultivating body agency, and dynamic boundaries that open, close, contract and expand to contain and protect myself while moving through the world. 

I have become deliciously and fruitfully self-centred.

I recognize that none of us was meant to do this alone, that my cup needs to be overflowing in order to serve others.

I have recognized the importance of daily practices and rituals of self-care, including community connection, as necessary for keeping my cup sustainably filled. 

I have learned to be more gentle with myself, and others by extension, to move more slowly and to offer myself rest more frequently.

I am still captive to perfectionism that says “you’re not healed yet”; but I recognize that this is the voice of systems of harm that none of us have escaped. It’s the soup we all swim in. It’s the messaging that created and formed and traumatized my parents and their parents before them, generations back so that it’s engraved in our ancestral DNA.I understand that the work of healing – myself, my loved ones, my community, my culture, my planet – is ongoing.

Sometimes that feels disheartening. Because the messages of those systems of fuckery tell me that there should be a perfect ending, a neat tying up of the package and a moving on to the next challenge.

This next phase of my healing journey, the ‘third act’ in this body, will be focused on being in the flow, soaking up every second of life that remains for me, and contributing in whatever ways I can to collective and personal healing.

Three years from taking my exit from the political world and the nine to five (I believe there was some prescience in doing that 5 months before the first pandemic lockdown in March 2020) I have to remind myself (with the help of my newly cultivated connections in the ReBloom community and others) that at 61, it’s not too late.

It’s never too late.

Thank you for being here!

I appreciate you and would love to hear your feedback.

If you would like to subscribe to have Self-Centred delivered directly to your email inbox, you can do that here

Until next time,

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

Thinking of working with me?

A Future Planning Session is a great way to discover how it feels.

Give yourself the gift of an hour, in safe supportive space, to land in your body and focus in on want you’d like to create for yourself.

I’ll offer that space, some grounding practices, insights and suggestions.

I know the power of setting intentions and getting out of my own way to allow them to manifest and would be honoured to hold that kind of space for you.

Sessions are delivered by Zoom, priced at the introductory rate of $250.

Book now or click here for more information.

Self-Centred: What If You Were Easier On Yourself?

Hey there,

It’s been way more than a minute since I’ve written. And we’re back in retrograde season. Fasten your seatbelts! Or maybe even better, slow down.

I’ve been doing some pretty deep humaning since writing to you last, and HUMANING IS HARD.

So, with your indulgence I’m going to time travel back to March to share something I began to write then. Something that still feels relevant and potent for me today.

And maybe you can relate…

(this one is longish – you may want to grab a cup of tea)

There is a voice in my head calling the shots – my manager. She isn’t who am anymore. But her voice is still loud and bossy and dominant.

It makes sense that she feels that way. She was running the show up until three years ago, and that means she ran the show for 58 years.

She did the very best she could.

But she drew some illogical conclusions from the data that resulted in some pretty unhealthy and unsupportive strategies for living that go like this:

  • I can’t trust anyone, so I must do everything myself or it won’t be as good, or it won’t get done
  • Doing everything by myself makes me really angry; it’s a lot of work and I wish there was someone who could help carry the load
  • Suck it up, get ‘er done, pain is weakness, needing others is weakness
  • Moving cyclically through hypervigilance (trying to control all the variables) to freeze (total non-functional depression, eat, sleep, work, walk the dog, binge eat, binge watch, fall asleep, repeat)
  • Knowing that dismantling racism, colonialism, the patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism is the work I want to contribute to
  • Thinking the way to do that is by going to war, politically and energetically, fighting our way to peace, fighting my body, my nature, my blueprint essence

As you can imagine, navigating life according to those rules is a lot of work and extremely extractive. Three years ago, I reached the point where I had nothing left to give – to my work, my family, my partner, my self, my dreams.

My cup was bottomed out. Empty.

My self-centred intention for 2022 is to focus on chronic pain and mobility issues, to find more ease and capacity in my body. To put myself first and to let everything else fall into place from that centred ground.

So, I gifted myself with a series of Rolfing sessions, to massage the muscles and fascia not only where the pain happens, but all over the body. The goal is to fix and retrain posture and structure so that your body can correct any lingering imbalances causing the pain.

It is common for this treatment to bring up emotions and experiences that have become stuck in the body (aka trauma), so I also gifted myself a series of sessions with coach/therapist/magician/world changing witch to accompany through the process.

The week in question, my coaching session “homework” was to find ways of lightening up on myself by 4%. Because 3% seemed like not enough and 5% felt like too much. 4% felt doable.

The week following the time change to Daylight Savings, I decided it would be a good idea to:

Eliminate coffee from my diet
AND dairy
AND begin a bean protocol to expunge toxins from my body
AND have a rolfing session
AND it was the two year anniversary of the pandemic lockdown AND AND AND…

Go big or go home, right? If DST was going to mess me up, might as well make it worth the ride, said my manager.

It didn’t take too long before my body started screaming at me. It sounded pretty much like many variations on “WTF?!”

One morning, when my partner was planning to make himself a half pot of coffee and an oat milk matcha green latte for me, I decided to ditch the oat milk latte and return to coffee, all dressed with coconut milk, cacao, a splash of maple syrup and a cinnamon stick. Black coffee messes with my gut. Coffee with all the things doesn’t. It was delicious, and I felt more human than I had all week.

I’m Italian. Pretty sure coffee is an ancestral food. Going with that.

Navigating stairs often hurts and is always slow for me and I am blessed with a partner who happily uses his movement breaks to deliver snacks and tea throughout my workday.

That afternoon while I was working in my downstairs office, preparing for a client session, my loving partner up and decided to do some resourcing of his own and took off in the car for a hike in the woods near a beautiful waterfall. He texted from the car to say he was on the way.

Without asking me if he could deliver tea or snacks beforehand. 

My manager kicked in:


This kind of inconsiderate behaviour just confirms everything I know to be true about people and how you can’t depend on them.”

I observed the feelings of abandonment that came up in the moment, and then I laughed.

The manager would have created a crisis, held on to the feelings of abandonment until they festered into bitterness, and armed herself for a big fight whenever the bastard decided to return. 

But me? Me now? She LAUGHED!

The truth was that there was plenty of time before my client session to wander upstairs to make a cup of tea. So that’s what I did.

And guess what? Nothing blew up and the world did not end.

That night I had a revision of a recurring childhood dream:

I’m in the back seat on a road trip with my parents sitting up front when they disappear but the car keeps driving out of control with no driver, so I must climb over the front seat, take the wheel and steer the car to safety.

(How obvious, right?)

The feelings in this recurring dream were consistent in childhood: fear and panic and terror.

This new dream was the same but different:

My partner and I were on a road trip, but somehow I was sitting in the back seat. He decided he had to take care of something important and left the vehicle. No drama on his part but the car was still running. So, I climbed over the front seat, took the wheel, parked the car and explored the streets of a new and unknown place to find him and let him know where the car was so we could resume our adventure when he was done with whatever it was he’d needed to do.

No fear, no panic, no terror. I felt calm and in control and resourced.

Could it be that my brain and nervous system were processing the niggle of abandonment I’d felt the day before? Letting the feelings move through my body instead of getting stuck?

I’m thinking yes.

The new me has been calling the shots for three short years, just 5% of the time I’ve been circling the sun in this body.

The new me is a virtual toddler.

Maybe it’s time to cut her some slack already. 4% is what feels doable for my nervous system.

Starting with a delicious cup of morning coffee that doesn’t mess with my gut.

And here’s the thing: starting to work with what feels doable, with 4%, seems to have opened so much more than 4% capacity for nervous system regulation and healing.

Those old voices, while not completely silent, don’t run the show anymore. I love and respect my manager for taking care of me for so long.

She has some wisdom. She’s part of the family. We talk, reminisce about the old days; I soothe her, and offer her some rest.

She seems to be good with that, and life feels so much more than 4% easier.

What are the ways that you might be easier on yourself?

By 1%, 2%, 3% or 4…. Whatever feels doable for you.

I encourage you to give it a try, and see what opens up.

I would love to hear about it if you’d like to share.

Wishing you self-centred peace and love,


Thinking of working with me?

A Future Planning Session is a great way to discover how it feels.

Give yourself the gift of an hour, in safe supportive space, to land in your body and focus in on want you’d like to create for yourself.

I’ll offer that space, some grounding practices, insights and suggestions.

I know the power of setting intentions and getting out of my own way to allow them to manifest and would be honoured to hold that kind of space for you.
Sessions are delivered by Zoom, priced at the introductory rate of $250.

Book now or click here for more information.
Thank you for being here!

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

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who might appreciate it.

If you would like to subscribe and have Self-Centred delivered to your email inbox, you can do that here

Until next time,

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