"Plantation Burial" by John Antrobus, 1860

"Plantation Burial" by John Antrobus, 1860

SOCIAL JUSTICE

My philosophy as a professional caregiver, practitioner, and guide, is simple: healing and justice work are one and the same. At least, that's how it should be. I try my hardest to embody this approach, and I'm always growing in this aim. I am proud of the healing work I do and I consider it one of the innumerable forms of social activism that are necessary in our world.

If my care work is not provided with a foundation of anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-audist, aware, accessible, justice-centric practices, then I don't think it would be very caring at all. I aim for practices in my work that pay attention not only to the individual struggles of my clients, but also the structural systems in which oppression occurs--the personal is the political, after all--and it doesn't get much more personal than our bodies and our deaths. For me, this means actively increasing my capacity to be in solidarity with my clients and colleagues. I use mindfulness, body-awareness, and therapy as tools to open myself up; to mitigate my own fears and defenses and conditioning and to take in truths and others' experiences. In accompaniment with deepening my spiritual capacity, I'm committed to doing the fierce intellectual and emotional work of self-education, using research, workshops, reading, community & activist events, and listening to friends, clients, and teachers of different backgrounds and perspectives. By simultaneously employing self-awareness of my own identities and reactivity and learned historical and political knowledge, I hope to be able to hold the safest space I can for clients.

Doing justice-centric doula, guide, and massage therapist work also means being overtly political about the work I do. My activism is usually "micro" level, because of the small, one-on-one nature of my work, but I also fight for the structural changes we need to make this work possible and accessible. I must fight against the specific systems, legalities, and social forces within the healthcare, bodywork, funeral, and deathcare worlds that both actively harm and/or neglect certain communities.

I'm particularly interested in fostering a business model in which my services can be as accessible as possible for folks who are interested--financially, physically, culturally, and otherwise.

There are practitioners in both deathcare (caregiving, and home funerals) and bodywork who have been paving the path for justice-minded practitioners for decades and even centuries. To these leaders, those I've met and those I haven't--thank you. We will continue it.

Furthermore, with gratitude and humility, I thank my clients, each and every one--because my understanding of that vast intersection of social justice and healing work has grown and changed and blossomed in my listening to each individual. I can't wait to continue learning more.

I'm always interested in joining in conversation with folks who are interested in justice-healing work. Maybe we can learn from each other. Please contact me if you'd like to explore this together!