I am an Abolitionist Life Coach, Consultant, and Creator. 

In settings of 1-on-1 sessions and peer processing circles, I help visionaries liberate themselves from systemic binaries so they can flourish in their purpose.

As an Abolitionist Life Coach, I help clients identify and deconstruct oppressive beliefs that harm systemically and somatically, and I guide you as together we build new systems of collective care that usher you into liberation so you can do the work that changes lives and gives you joy!

Blackout Poetry & Line Drawing by Jennifer Alumbaugh
“Somewhere beyond surviving is purpose”

So what is an Abolitionist Life Coach anyway?!

I’d like to provide a bit more context by way of some key definitions. I am a word nerd after all and language can so often feel like a game of telephone gone off the rails at times we must go back to the dictionary, back to the basics of defining terms. I have used the dictionary as well as the words of some of my cherished teachers and elders to help flesh out my work but more importantly, they why of my work.

Abolitionist:

“Abolitionist praxis is rooted in our collective healing.  It is rooted in a deep and profound trust for all beings and our ability to love each other.  While we sit in this moment during this global pandemic, we get to reimagine an abolitionist world…The world we currently live in is based on an economy of punishment rather than an economy of care…When we center the abolitionist imagination we are actively opposing the current economy of punishment and dreaming up an economy of care that is grounded in love and compassion for a true imagining of public safety.” –Patrisse Cullors

Key Principles of Abolitionism:

  1. Collective healing
  2. Trust
  3. Love
  4. Imaging what is Possible
  5. Dream
  6. Care
  7. Compassion
  8. Liberation

Deconstruct:

To take apart, unbuild, unlearn, examine critically

“The analytic examination of something (such as a system or theory) often in order to reveal its inadequacy” (Merriam-Webster)

Patriarchy, controling religion, toxic masculinity, white body supremacy, perfectionism, capitalism, are all belief systems that teach us untrue things about ourselves, our value, our worthiness, and our abilities. It is not that we ourselves are broken by any means, but that the beliefs we are made to accept as true limit and incapacitate us.

Imagine what is possible when you see yourself through a lens of wholeness, casting off identities and limitations imposed by others!

Oppressive:

A system, idea, behavior that is “unreasonably burdensome or severe; tyrannical power over others; overwhelming and depressive to the spirit or senses.” (Merriam-Webster)

Examples of oppressive beliefs:

  • Impostor syndrome
  • “I’m not worthy of charging this fee for my services…”
  • “My art isn’t good enough to charge this amount…”
  • “My ideas aren’t really that new/helpful/inspired…”
  • “I’m not good enough to launch this business…”
  • “I’m too messy to ever get organized…”
  • “Because my body doesn’t work how it’s “supposed” to, no one will listen to me as a lived-expert on this subject…”
  • “I will lose credibility in my profession if people find out I’m Autistic…”
  • “I’ve been wounded by trauma so how could I possibly help anyone else…”
  • “I’m afraid of success…”

To be honest, I have had all of these thoughts myself at one point or another. It took the work of community, therapists, and coaches to hold up true mirrors so that I could seem myself as I really am, and learn to honor and respect all that my self has to offer. That is what I do for each and every one of my coaching clients–we identify these blocking beliefs and work to knock them down and out of the way so we clients can get on with being their whole, amazing, selves.

Liberation:

“Without community, there is no liberation…but community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.” ― Audre Lorde

“It is necessary to remember, as we think critically about domination, that we all have the capacity to act in ways that oppress, dominate, wound (whether or not that power is institutionalized). It is necessary to remember that it is first the potential oppressor within that we must resist – the potential victim within that we must rescue – otherwise we cannot hope for an end to domination, for liberation.” –bell hooks

To me, liberation encompasses things like complete bodily autonomy; spaces and places that are accessible to all people–designed with the most disabled in mind; freedom for people of all genders and sexualities to be who they are wholly without fear of discrimination, retaliation, or systemic exclusion; the capacity for folks of all faiths to be free to practice in their own way in their own spaces safely and free from persecution without one faith dictating laws and imposing their ideas of “morality” onto others; balance between work and life with sustainable thriving wages for all workers; food, housing, education, and healthcare that are accessible and sustainable for all; the decriminalization of so many things like sex work, marijuana, substance abuse. These are the necessities of existing that then open the door to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Blackout Poetry & Watercolor by Jennifer Alumbaugh
“The purest joy: liberation”

Collective Healing/Care:

“It is crucial for the future of the Black liberation struggle that we remain ever mindful that ours is a shared struggle, that we are each other’s fate.” –bell hooks

“At its best, activism is a form of healing. It is about what we do and how we show up in the world. It is about learning and expressing regard, compassion and love.” — Resmaa Menakem

I believe there is no such thing as a “self made” anything, especially not a self made millionaire. I cannot identify a single person I have ever learned about who built a thriving life in complete and utter isolation. And while sometimes I may fantasize hermiting myself off in the woods away from all other humans, I know, deep down, it is my connection with others and our relationships that are my most cherished asset.

We are wired for connection. We long to belong. Many of us are wounded by different kinds of relationships and yet, it only is within healthy relationship that those wounds can heal. When we gather together with others with similar identity intersections, or shared interests, or overlapping goals, we have the opportunity to help each other go farther and deeper into what is good and lovely in life. Part of transforming ourselves, and thereby transforming culture, is moving from independence to interdependence and building communities of care and mutual aid. It’s like that children’s book I loved so much when I was young, Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown, about a village that was in poverty and starving. One day someone brought out a huge cooking pot and added water and a stone and invited each villager to put in one item they had…1 potato, 1 carrot, 1 onion, and so on until everyone had added something and lo and behold together they created a hearty meal that no single person could have done alone.

Life is not designed to be lived and thrived alone and is so much more delicious when co-created and shared with others.

Somatics:

“There’s a way out of this mess, and it requires each of us to begin with our own body. You and your body are important parts of the solution. You will not just read this book; you will experience it in your body. Your body—all of our bodies—are where changing the status quo must begin.” ― Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

Somatics are a knowing we feel in our bodies. Sometimes that is pain, tension, or discomfort; sometimes that is energy, warmth, and ease. Reconnecting with our bodies is as necessary for systemic change as reconnecting with the people around us. Capitalism, white body supremacy, and the patriarchy all teach us to disconnect from our bodies, to press on even when where tired and in pain and cant go anymore, we are pressured to keep on that “hustle and grind” or we will not survive. Abolitionist Coaching invites you to return to your body, to rebuild trust with your gut, to reconnect with your intuition healing those channels of yourself that provide knowing so that you may be liberated into your fullest, truest self.



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