That which is distinct from, different from, or opposite to something or oneself.
View or treat (a person or group of people) as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself.
There are many ways we can find ourselves as ‘the other’ - perhaps we embody an intersection of ‘othernesses’. Being childless or childfree – for whatever reason - is one of the ways we can find ourselves being less visible compared to those who are parents. Not only that, many of us who are childless and childfree can still be subjected to worn out stereotypes and responses; we’re selfish, cold and uncaring if we’re not a parent (particularly a Mum?) by choice and we illicit pity if we’re not a parent by choice, circumstance, happenstance or loss, whilst often being left to our own devices in an intense grieving process.
Other than mother: choosing childlessness with life in mind was published by Earth Books in 2012. In this book Emma (then known as Kamalamani) explores otherness. She challenges the stereotypes, explores the decision to remain childfree, encourages the childfree to create new networks, rites of passages and practices, as well as looking at the effect upon other-than-human and more-than-human life of our runaway consuming habits, including that of procreation (so-called ‘nature’ is truly ‘other’ in 21st century consensus reality).
This one-day event will be a chance to explore otherhood, otherness and othering. Whilst it will have a particular focus on otherness in terms of the non-parenthood/parenthood decision-making process, other othernesses (abledness, colour, class, culture, faith, gender, neurodiversity, other-than-human, religion, sexuality, amongst others…) will be warmly welcomed! It’ll be a chance to explore, in good company, how the childless/childfree are seen as ‘other’ from the outside in, as well as exploring how we’ve imbibed less helpful stories of our otherness, our alien-ness, giving us a chance to sift through the gold and reclaim ‘other’ as something which is potent rather than invisibilised and disempowered. We’ll be guided by what group participants bring, most likely working in a combination of pairs, small group, whole circle, finding creative ways of bringing otherness to life.
'I’ve been practising as a therapist since 2003 and these days find that I’m most drawn to work at the interface of body psychotherapy and ecopsychology, otherhood, and contemplative practice. Previously a steering group member of Psychotherapist and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR), and editor of its Transformations journal, I’m also a regular writer for Somatic Psychotherapy Today in the US. I have authored three books: Meditating with Character, Other than Mother: choosing childhood with life in mind, and Bodywise, and my current foray is into fiction inspired by ancestral events. I’ve worked as a facilitator for 22 years, from teaching postgraduate international development studies at Bristol University, with NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa, offering Wild therapy, and leading retreats. I’ve been practising Buddhism since 1995.'
Cost £65 / £60 (For Aashna Residents & Students)
All Aashna events include a vegan/vegetarian lunch.