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Last chance saloon: these times are CALLING us to understand who we are and how we belong

4 August, 2020

These times are CALLING us to understand who we are and how we belong. When I say “spirituality” this is what I’m talking about: our connectedness to the big picture. So many folks have been cut off from this either through unhealthy religious institutions or modern beliefs that matters of the heart are irrational and unimportant.

But this urge to be connected is so strong that people tend to either a) normalise feeling rudderless or b) steal from the few cultures that have been able to keep their deep spiritual practices alive.

It doesn’t have to be like this, my friends.

Imagine having a daily inner practice that provides solace in chaos?
Imagine having tools just for you that bring you into the present moment?
Imagine being able to articulate your beliefs so you can find others you resonate with?
Imagine having rituals that allow you to celebrate and commiserate without appropriating?

Through my course Dwell I’ve supported women to tune into the sacred seam running through each day, to develop practices that have bought them peace and to find the confidence in their spiritual path.

The course was like a breath of fresh air for me- crammed full of interesting ideas, knowledge and wisdom about spirituality and life in general. The guided visualisations were deep and grounding. And Lucy makes a BIG topic fun, accessible and practical. I’m left feeling more tuned in and awake to the beauty and aliveness that surrounds me everyday and more committed to my own spiritual journey.” Charlotte – DWELL participant

It really is the last chance saloon for Dwell – an online course launching this weekend but available when you need it (say you are away for August or something) and it’s the last one for a whole year. Send me a message for payment plans or if you have any questions. Head here for all the info and to register. 

Time to Disco…

And while I am here…. DISCO also closes this week, the final DISCO for 2020. Almost 200 people have participated in this unschooling course since I launched earlier this year.

  • This is for you if you feel an urge to unschool but feel nervous about leaping in.
  • This is for the parent that knows there is a an education available that will bring out the very best in their child and wants to embark on that journey feeling fully equipped.
  • This for you if you’ve been unschooling a while but need re-invigorating, more support and more passion.
  • This is for you if you are finding it hard to let go of fears and really trust your children
  • This is for you if you want to accelerate your own deschooling and deconditioning around education.
  • This is for you if you want the time and space to face your fears and befriend them!

    Find out all about Disco right here.

So much love to you, dear readers. I hope to see you online soon either through Dwell or Disco! x

 

writing

You really don’t want to miss this, honest to goodness!

10 June, 2020

Readers, this is about as influencery as I get! But, what can i say, I BELIEVE in this stuff!

Once a year or so I join with a bunch of other authors to bundle our books up and offer little libraries around certain topics. I love being part of these bundles because they are a HUGE win win. As readers you get access to a whole bunch of great resources for a vast, vast discount and us authors get to put our work in front of other people. Writing as a job can feel a bit  of a grind, (the writing bit is awesome but the selling books bit not so!) so I am so grateful for this opportunity.

HENCE! This week is like “the week of the library bundles!” These offers are only available until FRIDAY! Yikeserooney. Once you download these you have access to them either through your phone, computer or ipad til the End of Days.

Self Care Mini Bundle
My own book “Soulful cycle: a creative menstrual cycle journal” is in this bundle. There are loads and loads of brilliant things in here from mindfulness to resilience to anxiety resources. The years worth of affirmations are brill and I use them everyday (I am a massive manta fan! It’s true!) There’s an ecourse in the neuroscience of accessing your dream life (I am living for the gold nuggets in here) and also lots on taking self care beyond the bath tub, creating a life that aligns with your values.
(Please forgive the weight loss stuff, I would not include those if I was the boss here.)
It’s all available for a tiny fraction of the price of the whole lot. Have a look at the bundle here.

Work from Home Bundle
Jeez louise, pals, this resource is EPIC.  I get asked alot about how I make my work work. Honestly? It’s been a six year long learning curve. Only last year did I begin to really embrace my worth, and put into place good business practice that mean things are sustainable now.
This Work From Home Mini Bundle has *so* many things that would have accelerated my path hugely. From how to gain confidence in front of the camera, to time management, to building confidence as a writer, to strategies for creating an authentic online presence to actually finding jobs that you can do from home. (Gamechanging for unschool parents.) Highly highly recommend if you are either thinking about transitioning to working from home or some way along your solo entrepreneur path and need a boost.  Take a look here.

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle
This is probably my favourite of all the bundles because it’s so far reaching. It has stacks of inspiring recipe books from good wholesome food to natural beauty recipes. There’s tonnes of books and ecourses that just totally demystify topics that can be incredibly complicated. But most of all, the resources that are my faves are the homesteading, sustainability guides – from keeping chickens, to fermenting, to starting gardens to raising seeds. I got my Healthy Living bundle three years go and still refer to it today.
Check it out here.

So, yeah, if you are not in the mood for all this, I understand. I really, really do.

If, however, you are feeling like you want a little injection of inspo or motivation these bundles have your name ALL OVER THEM.

Lots and lots of love,

Lucy x

writing

The School Wound

11 May, 2020

This is dedicated to Mrs Bromley, the teacher at my high school who always did her very best for her students and kept her faith in me despite the odds. And to all the beautiful, loving teachers like Mrs Bromley.

Some of us get sweaty palms and short of breath when that musty smell of the school corridor hits our nostrils. Some of us become a quivering mess when talking with our child’s Head Teacher, despite our high powered jobs. Others of us are just quietly dealing with a low level sense of failure or need to keep busy, lest we get caught out resting.

Meet your School Wound.

My first day at school

How does the School Wound show up?

A few of these might be true for you. Or a whole bunch:

You feel guilty when you rest or play

You fill your days with busy-ness, shying away from intentional pleasure

You feel pissed off when it seems someone is trying to tell you what to do

You find it hard to hear criticism, it feels overwhelmingly frightening

You are hungry for praise

You are hungry for praise AND ashamed that you are so needy so never celebrate your wins or strengths

You accept things people say against your better judgement – people’s opinion of you, their bad ideas – you say “yes” to them all

You are scared of rejection, you assume new people won’t like you, it’s hard for you to put yourself out there to make friends

You are locked out of your own creativity

You have big ideas but never say them out loud or action them

You want something different for your life but are terrified to step out of the norm

You are constantly trying to squeeze yourself into someone else’s idea of who you should be or how you should spend your time

You are haunted by a sense of underachieving

You find it hard to establish and assert boundaries

You have a general sense that you aren’t good enough

Hey. Everybody. It is not natural to feel this way.

It is normal, in that many of us feel these things, but are they normal human feelings?

Are we born with them? We are not.

These feelings are the School Wound at work.

The School Wound is the pain of being raised in an institution that did not have your best interests at heart. It’s the shame from specific incidences that happened at the hand of the teachers or students who were cogs in a toxic system. It’s the oppression of your character and choices because of the long term and systematic messaging from your school days – an oppression that you are still living under today.

The feelings above are easily, directly linked to the many years you spent in a system that was never intended to bring the best out of individuals, but one that was only ever designed to create more effective workers for the industrial age.

Let’s take a look:

You feel guilty when you rest or play because you spent eleven to twenty of your formative years “working” – doing stuff you weren’t really interested in but were told was useful.

You fill your days with busy-ness, shying away from intentional pleasure because every minute of your day was scheduled apart from a half hour lunchbreak and there was a general sense that you couldn’t be trusted to use your time well.

You feel pissed off when it seems someone is trying to tell you what to do because it triggers in you the feeling of your worst teachers telling you what to do with your body and mind and punishing you when you didn’t do it.

You find it hard to hear criticism, it feels overwhelmingly frightening because in our school days we were never simply told how to change something for the better: making a mistake almost always came with punishment.

You are hungry for praise because you were raised with it as a currency, you only knew your work was good if it got good marks.

You are hungry for praise AND ashamed that you are so needy so never celebrate your wins or strengths because praise was just a part of the system and asking for what you needed or wanted wasn’t part of that system.

You accept things people say against your better judgement – people’s opinion of you, their bad ideas – you say “yes” to them all because it wasn’t an option to say no – it would have landed you in huge amounts of trouble.

You are scared of rejection, you assume new people won’t like you, it’s hard for you to put yourself out there to make friends because your idea of friendship was created in a wholly unnatural setting of people exactly your age freely interacting for only hyper-energised short stints of time in a pressure cooker of institutionalised competition.

You are locked out of your own creativity because you didn’t fit the particular artistic mode popular at that time in your school’s art department or because you were shamed specifically around creativity/ art (you are one of the 50% of the population who experienced art shame so severely that it impacted the rest of your life.)

You have big ideas but never say them out loud or action them because school wasn’t a place for big ideas, but for thoughts that fit exactly into the curriculum item being taught in that moment.

You have good questions but never ask them because at school there isn’t time for any questions or you didn’t want to be the annoying one asking questions all the time.

You can’t help comparing yourself with people all the time because the way the school system operates is through testing and ranking and how you succeed in school depends on how everyone else is doing.

You want something different for your life but are terrified to step out of the norm because to step out of the norm back at school would have led to you taking on a label with your peers and teachers, and possibly to social shaming or punishment.

You are constantly trying to squeeze yourself into someone else’s idea of who you should be or how you should spend your time because there were fixed ideas of who you could be at school, and you had to think carefully about your actions and how they would be interpreted socially.

You are haunted by a sense of underachieving because when you were young you were moulded to believe that “you are what you do” and you were trained to strive for good marks and high production rather than being able to simply be.

You find it hard to establish and assert boundaries because these are not seen as important within the school system, your say around what workload is manageable, or who you should spend time with, was constantly shut down.

You have a general sense that you aren’t good enough because impossible standards were placed on you when you were a child and you were asked to betray your wishes and interests and sometimes you refused to, giving you a label of naughty or bad that’s hard to shake, even though you are a grown up with responsibilities and a big heart.

~

Do you see how spending such a vast amount of our young years in an institution impacts who we are and what we believe about ourselves and the world?

As adults we spend so much time acting competitively and feeling rejected and being far too busy and remaining small like life is school even though none of these things reflect the real world.

Actually, flag that – perhaps some of these things DO reflect the real world. Because so many of us are carrying around a School Wound there can be shaming and punishment when people live different lives or choose joy or pleasure or refuse to be small and cooperative.

But they don’t reflect the part of the real world that we all love and aspire to, do they?

In our favourite parts of the real world we LOVE creativity and boldness and question-asking and risk-taking and diversity and new friendships and pleasure and rest!

It’s hard to access that way of being because we aren’t tending to our School Wounds.

Can I urge you to pay attention to your School Wound? To take some time looking at the pain and shame you are carrying?  If you don’t, I fear that you’ll just keep wandering around keeping whole parts of your magnificent self under wraps, feeling guilty and burdened.

And this School Wound will continue its intergenerational festering. Because not only are we bearing the weight of our own burden, but the weight of our parent’s wound and our grandparent’s wound.

Fear of rejection and unquestioning obedience and a sense we can’t be trusted have become embedded in the human psyche and seen as simply normalised human experience, rather than the result of an inherently toxic education system.

Why won’t we tend to our School Wounds?

Perhaps we don’t talk about shame from the education system because we need to believe that the adults around us were all trying their best, or because it’s such an intrinsic part of our experience that we fear illuminating the pain it caused would be like digging explosives under the walls of our own home.

One of the things that happens with negative experiences as children is that we internalise them, or rationalise them. We say the struggle had to be worth it because education is SO important, I just need to move on, not probe this pain.

And then it’s time for our kids to go to school and we’ve adjusted so well to life with our School Wound that despite perhaps a small niggle we send our kids in to much the same environment.

It’s scary to admit that we are carrying a personal and a collective School Wound because perhaps this’d lead to questioning one of the most fundamental institutions we have. This is terrifying as institutions have been giving us a sense of safety for centuries. (Somewhere along the line we forgot that the education system was a social experiment and really, really not above reproach.

The time is now

The time to address pain and shame is always as soon as possible. One of the ways we can do this is to tell our stories. Brené Brown says: “As a shame researcher, I know that the very best thing to do in the midst of a shame attack is totally counterintuitive: Practice courage and reach out!” She also says “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

For some of you the intensity of the bullying or shaming will be so much that you will want to talk to a pro. I highly recommend this if it’s something you can access. But talking helps, full stop.

Call a good friend and tell her about your School Wound, or write down all of your experiences of receiving this School Wound. Find a place you can receive empathy and be heard.

The time is now

The time is now.  Again. Everything has changed. Millions of people have been living life without ANY school. Millions of others have been living life with school but minus punishment and shame and testing.

We do not have to go back to the grand social experiment that requires competition and testing and forced learning. We don’t have to return to business as usual.

Please hear that. You do not have to go back. There are other ways.

We have a window right now to re-imagine what we want childhood to before our children.

You can refuse to keep passing down The School Wound.

I hear parents telling each other, school isn’t so bad. It’s better than it was in my day.

My friends. School was bad then, is it worse now or better? All I know is a survey of young people published earlier this year by Barnados, identified school as being their most cited cause of stress: “for 65% of 12 year olds stress at school .By the age of 16, stress at school was a worry for 83% of children.”

65% of 12 years olds are stressed because of school.

65%.

Of 12 year olds.

Because of what? Because we collectively refuse to tend our own School Wound. Because we can’t face what it might lead to. Because it’s too painful to consider what we might have been if we weren’t turned over to an institution at such a young age.

Perhaps because we are still clinging to this lie that school is fundamental to childhood, to success, to whatever.

Refuse to pass down the School Wound

You could home educate –  that’s what we choose to do and it’s, hands down,  one of the best decision’s we’ve ever made. And now we are in this world we see how people from all walks of life make it work. We have chosen to unschool because we see it as the primary way for my children to keep their true nature in tact.

*If you are considering continuing life without school and need more information, inspiration, hand holding and confidence come and find out more about my online course DISCO kicking off in a couple of weeks. *


“It’s easy to find the definition of unschooling on the internet, but it’s not so easy putting it into practice. Lucy’s DISCO course explains how to unschool. She has practical tips and so much experience and she shares it without judgement.” Nicole. Cape Town”

But if you chose to continue within the school system:

  • Advocate hard for your children and their rights within school – don’t let your School Wound prevent you from getting involved when a teacher is acting badly or when the work is too much or when you child’s rights are quashed.
  • Advocate for all children within the system – join campaigns against testing, start campaigns against shame and punishment and homework. Find your allies in the teachers at your school – you can bet there will be some who yearn for a non-wounding education for your children.
  • If you have the means, support the many expressions of progressive education. There are lots of alternatives to mainstream school once you begin investigating.
  • And, give your children clear messages that counter the toxic messaging they might be receiving at school. Remind them through your words and deeds that they can be trusted, that they are good, worthy and loveable.

~

Finally, my message to you.

If you’ve read this far I’m assuming your School Wound is throbbing hard.

And I want to say to you that the school system that did this to you was wrong and toxic. An institution caused you this wound and it should never have happened. You did not deserve to be shamed or bullied. You did not deserve to have your wild spirit or your creativity or your contentedness shut down.

Reader, you are worthy as you are.

You have nothing to prove.

You were born good and you have limitless gifts to offer the world simply by being you.

You can be trusted to make good decisions.

Your urges for rest and play and pleasure and meaningful work are worthy and important.

Questioning and disobeying authority is sometimes necessary and doesn’t make your naughty, but responsible.

Setting boundaries and saying no is healthy and is your right and sometimes the ticket to even more compassion, better relationships and work.

You don’t have to fit in.

People want to love you if you will let them.

writing

Just launched an online course for those thinking about unschooling!

7 January, 2020

Now here’s something I’ve been dreaming of doing for a little while! (2020 is going to be the year of bravery, I reckon.) I have just launched an online course for those keen on life learning but wanting to go into it inspired, energised and confident.

DISCO – Embarking on a self-directed learning journey filled with joy and freedom.
A 4 week course throughout February. 

Are you drawn to the unschooling life but feel overwhelmed by the prospect? Enter this safe space to go deeply into your motivations, address your fears and resistance and become excited about the possibility of a life with your kids at home, learning in a self-directed and curriculum-free way. 

This is for the parent that knows there is a an education available that will bring out the very best in their child and wants to embark on that journey feeling fully equipped. You have imagined a different childhood for your kids, one where they feel able to grow into exactly who they are rather than squeezed into a box, one where their energy and creativity has full expression, where their rights and dignity are upheld, but you have just a few questions and concerns to work through before saying a full YES to that childhood!

This pop up community of fellow travellers will give you chance to ask the questions and imagine a different future for your family. This course is for parents considering Self Directed Learning at home – otherwise known as life learning or unschooling.

You can see all of the DISCO course details right here.

PS- this year I am hosting an array of online courses, real-life workshops and retreats. See what’s coming up by clicking this link.


(This photo is from the massive off grid unschooling camp we held on our farm last week! Such an incredibly magical time.)

writing

All the changes! (And your invitation to kinship)

4 November, 2019

My dear friends and blog readers!

Some of you will have seen that I recently finished my Lulastic Youtube channel. In the month since that intense decision I have:

Finished one course (which was an overwhelmingly mutually fufilling thing. Gosh. I just loved facilitating this and people got an enormous amount out of it) AND launched my next course. This one is called NEST and is about nurturing an earth-centred spirituality. It’s for all types of people, faiths, upbringings. Anyone who has the sense that their full aliveness rests in the arms of nature (it does!) and is wondering how to go about activating this kinship. Together we uncover a great wealth of treasure in a super practical and creative way. There are a few more days to register (you can join in from ANY time zone) in time for our launch on Sunday. Click here for more on that.

Filmed a documentary with a large film crew for a very popular show. It was an incredible, exhausting and intriguing week. We are curious, a bit nervous and excited to see how it turns out!

Been to Aotea (Great Barrier Island) for a huge adventure with our unschooling friends, where I also delivered a Parent Allies workshop with their Family Support Centre. I *love* delivering these workshops and hope to turn it into an online offering soon. We were stranded for a while, because the waves were so big we couldn’t boat home. But that gave us more time to befriend a wild pig (who became a pet that came back to the mainland with us) and have more campfires on the beach and even a very, very, very off-grid Halloween.

Shut down three climate criminals (momentarily) as part of the Extinction Rebellion Week of Action. We were in Wellington for five days for an incredibly life-affirming time with other earth lovers.

Began work on the family camps we are hosting here on our farm over summer. We have an unschooling one AND one for EVERYONE. It’s called Wild Kin and if you are here in Aotearoa, we would love to see you here! Click here for more on that.

I’ve been enjoying connecting with other people in the space of healing and women and stuff – including connecting in more with Red School and their offerings. They are still recruiting people for their Menopause course where they are guiding women through this intense Rite of Passage, lighting the way for menopause to be a time of power and wisdom, rather than the negative life transition it is usually seen as. Click here for more on that.

And I have been doing lots of dreaming about WHERE NEXT. It might be another Youtube channel, or a podcast… but whatever it is I want it to be a whole hearted expression.

I wanted to check in with you all as it’s been a while! And I think there is a little chance I might begin posting on this blog more often as I have SO MANY THOUGHTS AND IDEAS I WANT TO SHARE. Ha.

Love you all, love your support, love how we are together, in all these different pockets of the world, bringing more life and beauty to this place.

PS – I am always thrilled to bits to receive the financial support of people coming into my Patreon community. I continue to do livestreams and weekly updates for my Patreons. So if this is something you can do, I would be delighted! But of course, I know so many of you support me in other ways in which I am utterly grateful for too. Click here for my Patreon.

writing

Upcoming retreats, seven years without shampoo and saving a marriage!

14 February, 2019

Hello!

I am doing a special little post because I’ve had so many emails from you all recently saying “We never hear from you!”-  it’s delicious, thank you for those!

See you soon in real life I hope!

I am coming over! To the UK and to America! I am holding retreats; Dancing Forest Sisterhood retreats in the south (already sold out sadly) in the north (still places!) in Oregon (still places) and in New Zealand (one place left!)

I LOVE holding these retreats. They are such a treat for me. I get to meet my sisters from across the world in such a deep, held space. We share stories, dance (if we want to) sing, release into our intuition, creativity and wildness. You can find out about my retreats right here.

I’d love to see you there!

“Lucy holds the most sacred, real, nourishing and save space. She leads with love, honesty, humour, openness and deep integrity. Her retreat was opening – of self and of others, full of laughter, healing tears. empathy and silence. I felt able to be fully present to express my needs and give openly, when I could and wanted to. It was exactly what I needed and I left feeling so heard, loved and honoured.”
~ Laura Hamilton – Dancing Forest Sisterhood Retreat Participant

“Lucy is wonderful at creating and holding space for women, and this allowed our group to quickly feel connected and supported by her and each other. I felt safe to be vulnerable, and to release fear and shame that I had been holding on to. It was a liberating and freeing weekend, with amazing soul sisters, and one I would highly recommend.”
~ Elanor C – Dancing Forest Sisterhood Retreat Participant

(Included because I am trying to learn that I mustn’t shy away from endorsements! They are a gift, right?)

~
Shampoo Free For Seven Years!

I also have a brand new video out especially for those of you who first joined my journey through my hair experiments! This looks at my routine now, seven years after giving up shampoo:

To the radical mama who wants to save her marriage

Because it’s Valentines Day (I think? Hang on, lemme google that…) YES. It is. I thought I should include something about LOVE! So here we go- a post with some ideas for breathing life back into tired long term relationships. Love and solidarity to you.

Keep up with me!

The place that I am most active these days is over on Patreon. We have such a fun and radical little thing going on there. I tend to post at least weekly, with updates, thoughts, quotes, livestreams, poems and Patreon-only resources.  Increasingly there will be monthly conversations with exciting people.

If you have enjoyed my work and are in a position to be a part of my Patreon that would be wonderful!

You can check it out here.

Thank you and all my love!