We Are UnBecoming
It's time to reimagine personal transformation work as a radical practice in service of collective liberation.
Where I Locate My Work
I am a Radical Transitions Writer + Consultant + Coach and my people are visionaries—entrepreneurs, leaders, coaches, writers, creatives—who are divesting from oppressive systems and creating livelihoods in full alignment with our audacious desire to thrive.
This is our UnBecoming.
These inside out radical transitions are always personal, relational, and collective.
Psssst, that means they transcend the false separation of “professional” and “personal” life. It’s all life.
I am here to reimagine personal transformation as a radical practice. A practice where we fearlessly tend to the intersections of our individual and collective liberation work.
Some of us roll our eyes at personal transformation work for understandable reasons. We’re gonna get to that in a moment.
I am here to divest from white dominant culture that leverages hyper-individualism, spiritual bypassing, toxic positivity, and extractive capitalist definitions of success so that our personal transformation work can be an art in service of our collective liberation.
Attention economy stalwarts would tell me to feed you short pithy marketing speak because that is the only thing that you will pay attention to.
I am a writer and you are a reader (and maybe a writer too). My guess is that if you are here reading this sentence you are not about that bullshit and are seeking slower reflection and deeper connection.
So shall we slow down and dive in?
I Do This Work…
Because our individual transformation is a profound nexus in our journey that is all too often pathologized as an isolated breakdown or crisis.
Because we are becoming more conscious of the ways in which our individual transformation is inextricably linked to systemic transformation, and vice versa.
Because we are becoming aware that what we are moving toward individually and collectively is a liberation praxis.
Praxis = the ways in which theory or lesson or skill is embodied and realized.
Because praxis is not simply the practice of theory but the place in which we embody and enact our reality in full critical consciousness.
Because liberation praxis is a journey.
Conventional coaching, leadership development, and personal transformation modalities are not rooted in collective liberation praxis.
These modalities often perpetuates hyper-individualism, spiritual bypassing, the myth of linear progress, and white supremacy culture.
I am here to dismantle, not replicate this.
We need frameworks that tend to the intersection of individual and systemic transformation.
My work is grounded in a model of transformation that invites us to:
Excavate the places where we remain tied up in the invisible knots of oppression.
Potentiate our vision by releasing what no longer serves us so we can create anew.
Originate into liberatory praxis in our leadership, relationships, and livelihood.
This is Our UnBecoming.
The Roots of UnBecoming
My lens of UnBecoming emerges from my learning in LIFT’s Next Economy MBA about the Two Loops Model of Systems Change developed by Margaret Wheatly and Deborah Frieze at the Berkana Institute; and from abolitionist praxis grounded in the work of Patrisse Cullors and her lineage of abolitionist comrades including Angela Y. Davis and Mariame Kaba.
The Two Loops is a model of change focused on the ways that emergent systems come forth as dominant systems are dying. The model is based on the understanding that most of our big systems — healthcare, education, capitalist corporate structures, government, prison industrial complex — are failing and it is not possible to fix them. Our work is to hospice the dying systems and create anew.
Abolitionist praxis is centered on abolishing a system, practice, or institution. Abolition is grounded in dismantling prisons, jails, police, current judicial structure, and surveillance. AND:
Abolitionist practice is also about establishing a system that is rooted in dignity and care for all people. A system that does not rely on punishment as accountability...If there is any part of your life where you are trying to get free, it connects to abolitionist practice." - Patrisse Cullors, An Abolitionist's Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World
Abolitionist praxis is not only reserved for those who are on the frontline of social justice movement work. On the contrary, it calls for each of us to do the work to illuminate how carceral logic, punishment, transactional thinking, and scarcity shapes our everyday relationships in work, in partnership, in family.
It is this Everyday Abolition practice that is the locus of this work.
My work is grounded in locating the individual as a connected living “system” itself. In doing so our work toward individual transformation and systemic change invites us to locate ourselves as individuals who are moving within the dominant systems that are in fact dying – the delusion of white supremacy, cis heteronormative patriarchy, and extractive capitalism.
This UnBecoming framework allows us to excavate what is going on internally, somatically, and in relationship as we unravel from systems of oppression that operate in our most intimate spaces of relating and connecting. So that we can create liberatory practices across our livelihood.
My work is located in the place and space we often ignore and bypass. The transition. The "gap” between what is dying and what is emerging.
The place of releasing and letting go so that we can vision, create, and radically redesign.
We are not just located in systems, we are systems. Our individual embodied “self” is an interwoven system undergoing this transformation of death and birth. We are releasing ourselves and creating anew. In connection.
It is not linear. While we may be fully awakened and committed to dismantling systems of oppression in all aspects of our lives, we will continue to spiral back to the deep places where we remain tied up in knots.
This requires tender excavation and unraveling so that we can live into our vision fully.
This is where I am called to work with you.
As a death doula that supports you to cultivate intentional practices to hospice out what is no longer serving you…
And as a midwife who works with the fire of your powerful desire to create a livelihood where you thrive. So that we all thrive.
Liberation is a practice, not a destination.
UnBecoming is how we consciously and intentionally tend to our individual transformation in service of collective liberation.
We EXCAVATE so that we can:
Extract the tools of oppression that we are unwittingly bringing into our dreams of liberatory relationship, leadership, and livelihood.
Reveal where we are out of alignment, where we are uprooted.
Unravel from the personal and systemic knots restricting us from relating and leading from our radically rooted, aligned, and embodied way of being.
We POTENTIATE so that we can:
Release our resistance and fear of letting go of default conditioning that we have been taught brings us security but in truth is destroying us.
Burn and compost what we need to release, and hold space for grief in the loss and uncertainty that occurs when we create a livelihood in fierce alignment with our desire and purpose.
Root and connect to our fully embodied self—the full spectrum of our grounded beliefs, values, intentions, desires, and practices that are in alignment with what we are called to create.
We ORIGINATE so that we can:
Emerge and root in “critical connections” to get out of isolation and into intentional community as part of a broader collective ecosystem of change.
Align and embody our voice in our unique radical leadership practice that is the root system from which we build relationship, work, and livelihood.
Radically Lead from a place of interconnected power—in family, in community, in work—grounded in clarity, connection, humility, and solidarity so that we create the world we want to live in.
Reimagining Coaching As a Radical Practice
The dominant paradigm in coaching typically evokes the image of a white cis sage-on-a-stage guru or #bossbabe with a roster of high-level influential people—or people who aspire to be high-level influential people—and a litany of promises of success, empowerment, and happiness. And many people rightfully recoil from this image.
Coaching as a profession has a varied history but has emerged from a modality centered on optimizing human potential and performance.
Largely drawn from humanistic and positive psychology, life and leadership coaching as a profession gained momentum on the heels of the Human Potential Movement in 1960’s which focused on unleashing our “untapped” individual potential in order to optimize performance and live in happiness, fulfillment, creativity, and success.
Even as coaching has diversified in scope, and in some areas is moving toward a more inclusive approach, conventional coaching still replicates practices of dominant culture because its foundation is rooted in a hyper-individualist locus of control that by it's very nature bypasses culture, social structures, and history.
Conventional coaching and leadership models have evolved from the tentacles of cisnormative heteronormative imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (h/t bell hooks and Laverne Cox). Period.
THAT is what we are recoiling at.
The understandable tension we are seeing today amidst coaching, leadership, and wellness circles is from those who are pulling off the veil to reveal the insidious and parasitic ways that white dominant culture infiltrates our paths into personal transformation work.
Here are a few examples of those who are pulling off the veil and unraveling from these tentacles:
Awareness of the unattributed appropriation of the indigenous wisdom of the Blackfoot people who likely inspired Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which continues to default to a dressed up version of “rugged individualism” that dominates personal transformation modalities.
The movement led by Dr. Jenn Mullen of Decolonizing Therapy which reveals the devastating impact colonialism has on mental health services and the commitment to “Emotional Decolonization” by practitioners, organizations, and communities committed to shift from individual-centered to individual and collective well-being and systemic change.
The emerging movement to explicitly build antiracism, anti-oppression, and decolonization practice into coaching led by BIPOC coach leaders such as Charmaine Roche and Coaching for Healing Justice and Liberation.
Our paths into personal transformation work are loudly inviting us to unravel from the knots of white dominant culture and create collective transformation praxis.
THIS is the work.
It is fierce but tender work. It invites us to slow down to excavate where we are still bound up in knots of oppressive conditioning. It invites us to gently unravel from the grip of dominator culture, one knot at a time. It invites us to notice where we might be in fear of letting these knots completely unravel because we haven’t yet built something new. It invites us to tend to this fear and uncertainty as we put into the fire what is no longer coming with us.
So that we can truly be free to create our livelihood in true alignment with our audacious desire to thrive.
What I Want For You…For All of Us
I want you to come away with a deep awareness of the liberatory praxis of personal transformation. I want you to understand that radical systemic change requires our radical individual transformation, and our radical individual transformation is our deeply connected root system that will bring forth radical systemic change.
I want you to see that deep personal transformation work is always systemic work. Tending to our individual transformation must always tend to where we are dismantling oppressive structures within relationships, within family constellations, within institutions, within collective systems.
I want you to know that I see the ways that conventional life and leadership coaching replicates oppressive norms of spiritual bypassing, toxic positivity, hyper-individualism, manufactured authority, and manipulative marketing tactics.
I want you to know that I am committed to personal transformation practice that tends to the true nature of our transformation and liberation. A practice that is antiracist, abolitionist, decolonizing, and actively dismantles systems of oppression by tending to the transformation that must occur in our bodies, in our intimate relationships, and in the way we show up in our collective community.
I want you to know that we get to harness our wildest imagination and creative force to birth the livelihood that is calling us.
So that we all get free.
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