Sofa Sessions: Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour Movie

The last few weeks (there’s been a lot going on) has been powered by Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter album (listened to, IN ORDER, maybe a hundred times, helping me do everything from cycling to cooking, cleaning to walking). Read on for several ways in which Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour movie has helped me heal and given me hope…

Inner young teen work

I’m not the first woman in my late 40s to have realised that Taylor’s music and life are doing phenomenal things in terms of supporting humans of all ages in giving voice to those vulnerable, needy, dramatic younger parts.

I’ve been working with my inner child for decades but even though I’ve been an intersectional feminist since my early 20s, Taylor Swift’s evolution from singing song writing child with an admirably strong work ethic and ambition to feminist icon (while continuing to embrace her feminine aesthetic) has helped me confront some of my own internalised misogyny.

At several points watching The Eras Tour Movie, I thought, ‘Wow, this young woman may well smash the patriarchy while wearing a glittery gown!’

I grew up in the time of Grunge. Ladettes. I hated the term then as now but I much preferred drinking pints to halves. And straight whisky was my favourite. Even after I stopped drinking (sober since 2001), I didn’t think Taylor’s music had anything for me beyond enjoying the odd song like Shake It Off

Taylor’s not only used her songwriting and singing talent to write songs in the first place. She’s going back in time to do her own evolved versions as part of her Taylor’s Version musical industry revolution has encouraged me to dig out a pic of Very Young Teenage Me (before the whisky) and amp up my own inner child work.

When I look back, her vulnerability in some of her early songs scared me. I checked out of my own young girl, young teen body by drinking too much and passing out as that felt safer than attempting to navigate a world I didn’t understand and didn’t feel safe in.

The fairytale love type songs the first time round made me think, ‘Good for her’ in terms of her expressing herself but I couldn’t relate. Watching her OWN that as a full grown powerful force of nature woman is incredibly healing.

I’ve known for decades that rape and other forms of sexual violence are tools that keep ALL women and girls terrorised. When I imagine Young Taylor, singing her songs and other country classics in bars as a young teen, she HAD to be tough but she didn’t let that kill her softness.

Watching The Eras Tour Movie, I let myself imagine having given the vulnerable, creative, dramatic, caring, FURIOUS 12 year old me the space to express things in a healthier way.

Taylor Swift is helping gazillions of kids growing up now as well as already grown humans make more space for the girly parts in all of us.

Her gift for shadow work has me beaming from my liver to my face even writing this

In psychosynthesis (my core counselling model), we work a lot with subpersonalities – we ALL have parts within the whole and the more we own ALL the parts, the less likely we are to act out, self-sabotage etc etc.

In psychosynthesis terms, we identify (eg work with that anxious subpersonality or vulnerable subpersonality or rage filled subpersonality) with each subpersonality, listening to what they need and understanding what’s behind the less healthy behaviours and how to meet those needs in much healthier ways.

By identifying with ALL these parts, we can then disidentify as we integrate them and synthesise into a more whole complete self and Self.

Taylor owns ALL her parts and creates other characters to explore different ways of being in the world. Just a few of the subpersonalities I identified in her whirlwind time travel set include her caring, angry, vengeful, romantic, successful, vulnerable, fun, cat loving, jealous and powerful parts.

‘It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me’

With songs like Anti Hero, Taylor owns all aspects of herself, and reclaims her whole powerful self and Self.

When you think of yourself and the parts (or subpersonalities) you find it easier or more challenging to identify and then disidentify with (after all, we want to work with them all without getting stuck in ANY of them, even the seemingly positive ones) which spring to mind?

Taylor shakes them all off as swiftly (sorry) as she does her incredible costume changes. There’s so much more to her than ALL of them.

How might you step into your full power more by owning even the most vulnerable and / or angry parts of yourself? You might even imagine what kind of sets and costumes you might create for different ones. Let them express themselves safely so they don’t leak into your everyday life in less healthy ways.

Dreaming bigger than you may have ever thought possible

I used to love watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show when I sorted email and other admin in the early (several) years of being self employed. It was through Ellen that I saw Taylor Swift – a regular guest – grow up. I always felt bad for her when Ellen scared her (I felt bad for all of Ellen’s guests being scared – I have a very strong startle reflex myself) and was impressed at the way she handled herself (even when picking herself off the floor when so startled on one occasion) with poise. Much as I loved Ellen, I felt very protective of Taylor and other guests when people would leap out from behind doors and from out of parts of the set to scare them.

I often wonder if young Taylor knew then what an impact she’d be having globally just by being her full self?

By giving voice to so many of her parts.

By honouring her experiences and using her talent to heal herself (by processing pain through her writing) as well as so many of the people who listen?

By NOT being silenced by all the grown adults who dismissed her?

You can read more about an interview she did with Seth Meyers HERE

Accepting and EMBODYING the love you’ve received and your achievements so far

Several times during The Eras Tour Movie, Taylor Swift pauses and lets herself revel in the joy, the love, the celebration, the awe, the magic – all of it. She seems to drink it all in with every fibre of her being. She seems to know she is completely and utterly worthy.

Standing tall and strong. Singing her heart out. Knowing her open heart is safe even when so many detractors attempt to take her down.

One of my favourite mind body practices comes from somatic coaching. It’s in the book (along with subpersonalities, inner child work and so much more), 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing and I’ve taught it to countless clients as well as in selected yoga classes and other groups

It’s called the Dragon’s Tail (and there’s a video below if you want to try it) and it involves getting grounded and centred and then calling on all the love you’ve ever received, honouring your achievements and embodying them so you walk into every room knowing you have all that love and goodness within you, ready to help you with the interview / presentation / date / whatever it might be.

Taylor Swift completely owns and embodies and accepts all the love and it’s delightful to watch.

And then, if my Taylor Swift appreciation couldn’t grow more (I thought), I saw a clip of her a-mews-ing her audience as tech issues were dealt with by telling a cat joke which you can WATCH HERE

In case you can’t view it: A cat walks into a library and says, ‘I’ll have some tuna fish, please.’

The librarian says, ‘Sir, this is a library.’

The cat says, ‘Oh, I’m sorry.’ Then whispers, ‘I’ll have some tuna fish, please.’

I mean… comedy GOLD.

I can’t be the only one hoping for a Beyoncé Taylor collaboration?

with love,

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