may I introduce you...
and a 5-star review
A writing retreat recently inspired me, and thanks to Firefly Creative, I found some of the best parts of myself. We were encouraged to put the actual words, the voice of our inner critic, on the page. As you may imagine, my word choices were colourful and distinct. Write down the bad shit I say to myself in secret? Then the next step offers the imaginary microphone to the voice in my head that belongs to one person, the words ingrained in an unstable, unfriendly character with an all-season pass of inner crap dialogue — blah, blah, blah, that part was boring and way too familiar. But then the questions evolved in a more positive direction. What if there was an opportunity to change the conversation as we have become different people in different situations?
Maybe we all tripping around the no longer true stories of one unwelcomed critic, forgetting the loving truth, and going whole-hog honest with another? My thoughts became words on a moving page and offered me a familiar feeling of my many parts. (Ya, I need to talk more about my Coaching work in Internal Family Systems (IFS).
The inner world of words turned into more loving conversations. Writing it all down, and sharing fears, allowed for the opportunity to open up to the parts needing compassion. Slowly, as I softened, my words and the inner rage relaxed. My words pulled me into another world populated by strange, wild critters I love and don't need to control.
Internal Family Systems tell us we all have multiplicity. We have different parts with different needs, feelings, experiences, and agendas. Sometimes we are unaware of them, and other times we are batted about by these alien feelings and behaviours. Some parts want to write the stories of my life to build a world free of burdens and pain. Pens alive, we moved on to describe our Inner Champion.
My Inner Champion is:
a 13-year-old girl who still wants to play with dolls
touches everything to be soothed by something soft
her favourite soft things are puppies, rose petals, pussy willows and her pink stuffed elephant she got when she was eight named Pinky
she acts cool, grew up too fast and thinks it was not fast enough
wishes her name was Amy
practices her signature Amy Milligan instead of learning much in school
May I introduce you to Amy?
She was born inside the wildest child in the west, a farmer's daughter, formerly known as Kathy. Amy wasn't born to believe she needed to escape her childhood or homeland. Instead, she helped Kathy hold on to her spirit, humour, and aliveness. Sometimes Amy showed up with a thirst for escape. Booze and cigarettes helped Kathy cope in the best ways they knew through abuse. Kathleen reclaimed her name and passion, but life remained unsteady for decades. Amy wanted recovery so badly that she began creatively blowing herself up from the inside. She found she loved listening to world music and curating playlists. Being responsible with psychedelics and safe drug use, united, they blasted through addiction into recovery. Rescuing the words left in the trash heap of her childhood bridging worlds, she began threading lost stories together. Despite the challenge of unwanted words becoming open conversations, the secrets just won't let go, enigmas ready to shine. Amy has helped Kathleen become the author of an endless stream of heartbreak through her stories. Together they carry reparation and reconciliation to future generations, fearlessly breaking chains.
Introducing you to Amy is a place where I am ready to share what I only recently learned.
I am a writer -writing is my craft.
We may think of ourselves as having an unchangeable character, the good, stable, productive, fun-loving kind. But to keep thinking of ourselves that way, we must forget, hide, or diminish aspects that yank us out of these experiences. Writing has shown me myself.
What will be your life story in the coming months?
What new influences would be helpful if headed your way?
What unique resources can you pull in?
How can you conspire with life to create your best craft?
I am all ears.
Thankfully, IFS(Internal Family Systems) works well with Integration Coaching and sustainable change. Working with IFS as a Coach and on my own has shown me and many others another way.
If I have a bad day and need to remind myself who I really am, I head to the multiple 5-star reviews on Airbnb.
Playlists are a part of my creative process. At the writing retreat, I was asked to reveal DJ K OH, a spontaneous request that filled the space with happy jams pulled together by ME! I have a robust list of followers on Spotify. If that’s you, Thank you!!
It's an excellent time to acknowledge my writing teachers: Sheree Greer, #igotout, Gerette Buglion, Sonia Simone, Katie Bannon at Grubstreet, Mary, Sophia and Asifa at Firefly Creative, Elephant Rock Writing Jeannine Ouellette. Starting next week, Reading Black & Indigenous Nature Lit as Writers with benje at Catapult. And most importantly, my fellow writer and best friend Tarzan Kay
Inner Champion piece now incoming! Thanks for sharing this Kathleen or should I say Amy? Or maybe Amyleen?! 😂 I feel like my IC is called Maeve (total Irish warrior queen vibes) she has a sword.
Oh my oh my oh my... Amy got the goods and it is an immeasurable delight to properly meet you! Heart bursting welcome, you writing maestro!