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I am delighted to welcome the Lord Holmes Review today.

Why? I believe in inclusivity. I believe we are stronger together. I believe that diverse views and experience matter.

Because it is helping to ask the question, what does talent look like, really?

If I asked you to imagine a doctor…what comes to mind? For many people it’s the image of a non-disabled, white, cis man. But that’s not what all doctors look like. It used to be, perhaps, when prejudice excluded everyone else from training and applying. But more and more doctors can look like the people they treat – like everyone. There is still a great way to go but progress is being made.

We need to update our internal picture of what talent looks like and where it can be found.

Because otherwise, the expertise, insight, skills and talents of talent in its broadest most brilliant form, not just that of a tiny elite. How can we as a country not seek to enable and empower all of our talent, not least that held by disabled people across the nation, talent that is all too often sadly wasted. – Lord Holmes [1]

I need to do this too, due to internalised oppression, when I think of what a board member looks like, I tend to think of an older white man in a good suit. And while there are such members and they can be great board members, it’s not fair for them to be all the board members. It’s not representative or effective for the work of the board.

[W]e need to reimagine that talent, what it looks like, sounds like, where it is located, we need such diverse talent across our public appointments to enable those boards to make the best decisions to benefit Britain. – Lord Holmes [2]

As well as working as a psychotherapeutic counsellor in advance training, running Trailblazing Wellness (Un)Ltd and Healing Boxes CIC, I also do governance work. I sit on the national board for social care, Social Care Wales and I am delighted to feature in the Lord Holmes Review which is published today. The Lord Holmes Review is looking into disabled people in public appointments, such as board positions for public bodies like Social Care Wales.

I became involved in public body work after a Kitchener moment and responded
to a job advert asking ‘Are you a woman, disabled, under 30, LGBT, BAME?’. I thought, ‘I am many of those things, can I contribute my systemic, inclusive and lived experience to good use here?

In my board work, I find seeing the concepts come into action most rewarding. It’s the moment where policy meets people.

My work has always been about people: their narratives, needs, restoration, resources and potential for change. I’m continuing that work at Social Care Wales where I hope to contribute my unique lived, governance and professional experience.

Check out the Review here

Have you thought about applying for a public appointment? If so, how can I support you?

Photo by Hugo Sousa on Unsplash
[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-lord-holmes-review  pp.3
[2] http://chrisholmes.co.uk/diversity-inclusion/public-appointments-disability-review-call-evidence-launched/
Trail Blazing Times and How To Turn Trail Blazer E-Book
Trailblazer Interview - Michelle, Systems & Self-Care for Freelancer & Entrepreneurs text over photograph of Michelle on bench wearing a black tank top and smiling
Michelle has been writing basically ever since holding a pencil was physically possible, and now has a career as a freelance business writer. In whatever free time is left over from that, they work on their many side projects, including Unplaced, Serendipity City, the Worldslip series, and short stories/essays.

And launched an amazing Kickstarter The Freelancer Planner: Track your income, client projects, tasks, & everything else in one planner, while learning better business habits. Earn more, stress less. Back it now on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1LxcDfm

Productivity how-tos & classes for freelancers and biz owners: www.bombchelle.com

In this podcast, we talk about: 

  • Healthy entrepreneurship
  • What are systems? Why are they important in freelancing/entrepreneurship/business?
  • Freelancing and mental health
  • Navigating the dark side bootstrapping and escaping the ‘cured’ narrative.




Transcript: to follow, in process.

Show notes:
Podcast summaries:
Unplaced is a short-form audio drama about a woman who wakes up one day to find that no one can see or hear her, and everyone she knows is slowly forgetting about her.
Serendipity City is an actual-play RPG podcast, set in a sprawling, alt-1920s metropolis, with a magical underworld (literally and figuratively). Anarchists fight corrupt companies, shapeshifters fight for turf, dwarves work in the caves underneath the city, and through it all, our intrepid group of questionable heroes just wants to do the job they were hired for.
You can support Michelle’s awesome work and get access to her amazing offerings at her Patreon here:  https://www.patreon.com/chelleshockstudios   
How do you keep healthy in entrepreneurship or freelancing, if that’s what you do? Let us know in the comments.
Trail Blazing Times and How To Turn Trail Blazer E-Book

Story seeking sessions: therapeutic writing as a gift to your body-soul

N.B: Personal Mythmaking is currently in session and not open for enrollment. But if you are still interested in working with me for a Story Session just email grace AT gracequantock.com and we can speak further about your needs and how to get them met. 

If you’re anything like me you’ve always wanted to write your memoir. It feels like a calling, a joyful and terrifying challenge you can’t avoid, yet keep avoiding.

In fact, it often feels too daunting to approach your life story and start writing it down. There’s so much going on. And, you wonder if your story is interesting.

Or if you’ll be opening too many cans of worms to manage. Or if you might hurt someone or many someones in the process of examining your own life.

And you don’t want to cause more pain, to yourself or others.

Plus it’s overwhelming. And you wonder if you’re deluding yourself. If you’ll be a terrible writer.

So you just keep putting it off.

Because of this, you’re starting to feel frustrated. Pent-up. Because when you’re called to something, you can’t set it aside.

But, if you’re anything like me, the calling keeps tapping you on the shoulder, pestering you in subtle and not so subtle ways until you heed the call.

Until you turn and face your own stories. Your own lineages. Your own legacy. And start writing it down. Start exploring. Start healing.

So how do we look at our vast, storied and varied lives and get started with writing it down?

Continue Reading Soul Stories & Inky Fingers – connecting to our lineage, our history, our life stories

Trail Blazing Times and How To Turn Trail Blazer E-Book

hands holding sparklers against a cloudy, low light urban landscape

The best of the wellness internet. Lovingly curated trailblazing healing resources for fun and wellness fabulousness to fuel your healing fire.

Dear heart, it’s the end of term and summer hols, finally. What a journey this school year has been! I have been quiet here; spending my energy in my client work, processing all my learning and caring. I’ve curated my favourite trailblazing healing resources, inspirations, proclamation and motivation this month – dive in…

Yes, I want to attend the Rebel Heroine Retreat! Do you want to take action, but in a way that actually makes something happen? By which I mean, in a way that is effective but sustainable? So often we see activism and self-care placed at opposite ends of the spectrum, but what if activism IS self-care? Want to know more? Read more here and don’t wait to head over to the Rebel Heroine Retreat.

I love working with dreams, in my journals, in my body, in the world. But Dyana Valentine goes even deeper, working with the unedited scene of sleep, dreams and symbols…she knows what we really, truly need to hear cannot be gleaned by the waking, editing mind. I have been blessed to experience a Woke Up Knowing with Dyana and it still resonates and guides me 7 years later. Check out Dyana’s Patreon and let your dreams live.

I am looking forward to reading The Collected Schizophrenias and think you may too, check it out and pre-order here.

Continue Reading August Trailblazing Resources: Fuel for Your Healing Fire

Trail Blazing Times and How To Turn Trail Blazer E-Book

beyond the boundaries behind the scenes

Why I wrote Beyond the Boundaries

I have been bed bound and house bound, through illness and pain. I tried to fight against the limits, to circumnavigate them, to ignore them, to expand them. Then I arrived here, at living with well within my own four walls.

I realised that I could be empowered, fabulous and joyful – right now. Not when I’d finally cured myself against all the doctor’s prognoses or when I’d finally ‘got better’, because what is getting better? When does one reach it? How does one realise? Is it when you can do what you did before – before you became ill, before you had caring responsibilities or before the difficult thing(s) happened?

But we are different now, we’ve gone through something extraordinary, and in our survival, we’ve grown extraordinary ourselves.

You can’t find a way back to ‘before’, but you can find a way onwards to live well. So can I.

I still live with pain and symptoms and yes, I’m still living with and managing the effects of the conditions every day. But I am happier (and in many ways healthier) than when I got ill. So in that way, I have got better. There has been true healing.

Healing is different from curing. We may not be cured, we may never go back to the life we had before we were sick, we may never live a life 100% free of the conditions we are managing, but we can all be healed, even those dying can be healed.

“Sometimes healing is not about getting better as much as about letting go of everything that isn’t you. All of the expectations, all the beliefs and becoming who you are.”

– Rachel Naomi Remen

Healing can be of the moment, noticing some part of your body of your body which feels good or something in your life that you are pleased about. That despite all the pain, fear, exhaustion, problems, that there is still, some part of your life that brings you some ease for a second and a smile.

This is what we will be looking towards here. In this work some find physical healing, some people recover, some don’t, but that’s not the point here, it’s more of a side effect…

We are looking for healing and living well and we can all achieve that.

Continue Reading Beyond the Boundaries: Behind the Scenes

Trail Blazing Times and How To Turn Trail Blazer E-Book