I'm Karine. I'm a woman and a mother.
I represent the link between two generations.
I'm fully aware of how powerful that position can be.
Because I'm also the link in the chain that is finally response-able for breaking and recreating the legacy that binds them.
For myself and for my children. Proudly.
I didn't have a clue for most of my life that this one experience - becoming a mother - would draw upon all of my previous experience to become the work of my life. Not only was I becoming a mother, but I was determined to become another kind of mother. I was determined to become the kind of mother that I had longed to have. I didn't know that, in becoming her, I first had to make sense of my own story, and give birth to and become that mother to myself. I've only since come to realize that this relates to a much bigger experience as women in this particular place (the western, modern world) and time. And the work I do now starts with mothers and ends with women - the catalyst is my (our) children, and the beneficiary is future generations.
If I'm completely honest with you, becoming a mother terrified me to the core, and I was a pretty reluctant mom before I became one, while simultaneously sensing a deep part of me that longed to embrace it. I could feel the weight of my past bearing down so hard on those early moments of being a mom. I felt tormented by old, unearthed emotions and I remember rhetorically asking someone, "couldn't someone just please knock me over the head so I could just forget my past?". I longed for a kind of spiritual amnesia to wipe the slate clean so I could have an entirely new experience of myself going into this new life experience. What I see now is that reluctance was a fear I had of unconsciously passing on to my children the beliefs and behaviors I’d learned and internalized. That reluctance was an awareness of that possibility.
Becoming a mother was far and away the most powerful catalyst for the work that I do now. It was the experience that opened my eyes to the fact that the past I experienced had a profound impact on how I was able to show up and experience myself as a mother, and as a woman. The buttons they seemed pressed, the limitations they highlighted, the mirror they held up, the limited capacity in my own system that they made apparent to me in those early days, and the hope, desire and joy they unintentionally stirred up within me created a momentum that has culminated in the work I do today. Helping mothers and women give birth to themselves (in more ways than one).
This desire to be the link in the chain of generations that breaks with old patterns developed in my past, and those patterns inherited from my mother, and her from her mother, and her from hers, etc. led me to this path of being a life-long student of wisdom from wherever I could find it; well before I even became a mom myself. I simply new I wanted to determine my own life experience.
I was hungry for any knowledge and resources that could empower me to be this weak link in the chain that would make way for something new. The most effective and the most empowering work was the work that brought me into closer relationship with the lived experience of my human body, which helped me learn to trust myself as I'd never done before. And it's this curated combination of all the thousands of hours of study, contemplation and reflection that comes to bear now on the work I do with mothers wanting to break that link as well.
It's also a big middle finger (and, ultimately, a "thank you") to those disempowering aspects of our experience as women - because there are many. I want this for me, I want this for my son and for my daughter and the world they'll inhabit, for their children, and I want it for YOU.
The work I do now is influenced and shaped by the learning I’ve done over the years in anthropology (of gender, religion and medicine), history (ancient near eastern studies), mysticism and mythology, and contemplative studies and body-based awareness practices. I incorporate practices and techniques from my training in meditation, mindfulness, body-based awareness practices, and SOMATIC EXPERIENCING®. I’m profoundly grateful for the work of: Peter Levin, Kathy Kain, Seth & Irene Lyon, Gabor Mate, Reggie Ray, Pema Chodron, Bessel van der Kolk, Bruce Lipton, Stephen & Martine Batchelor, and so many more…
And, yes, I am focused on mothers, which doesn't take away from the importance of fathers, but my focus is on women and their experience and their power.
This work is dedicated to my mother, Jean, who lived with the burden of trauma her entire life. Traumas which took her away from her own vitality and power, and profoundly impacted the lives of her children. Her own suffering inspired me to seek to understand the nature of human suffering and how we can all heal and learn to have another experience of life.
It's also dedicated to my children - J and O - and especially my daughter, who terrified me by being a little girl. "I don't know how to raise a girl" was the resounding fear. Their presence forced me to take action and walk the difficult road back to my life.