How Did Shit Get So Fucked Up:


Most of us go to sleep in boxes. We wake up in boxes, flip on fluorescent lighting, and feed ourselves from boxes. Then we drive in boxes to work in other boxes and stare at small silver boxes that bring us apocalyptic information from all over the globe. For fun, we thumb through other boxes that present us with hollow, synthetic looking creatures, some of them ridiculous and some of them straight-up toxic.

It makes us sick to look at in a way, but we compare ourselves to what we see, and we think that if we have what they have, we’ll finally feel ok. So we constantly consume and then throw away the wreckage, and we sort of know about this but if we really let it into our consciousness it’s too much, so we numb ourselves with another fruity happy hour cocktail.

I know it’s grim, but it’s true.

Picture this:

We are meant to go to sleep under the stars. Wake with the sun. Gather with community to harvest fresh foods for breakfast, and give gratitude in songs. Connect with the Earth to meet our every need, and in turn, steward the Earth, because it sustains us. Exist in a web of mutual aid. Live according to the stars and the seasons – no matter where you hail from on this planet, your ancestors did that.

Would you like to know what went wrong?

It is my delight to invite you to…


Featuring: CALIBAN AND THE WITCH by Silvia Federici

I have had the pleasure of reading many mind-blowing books in my time. This is the ONLY book I’ve ever read where I walked away thinking:

“NOW I get it. Now it all finally makes sense.”

This book holds the secrets of how the upper class of Europe imposed capitalism on the indigenous European people, and changed the landscape (literal and metaphorical) of indigenous life all over the world as a result. This process lasted for centuries, and involved hundreds of revolts and possibly millions (yes, millions) of deaths. Would you like to know where misogyny, homophobia and anti-queer sentiment, racism, the patriarchy, the concept of manifest destiny, the persecution of holistic health practitioners, and disconnection from the body, the Earth, and magic itself, originated? Look no further. It’s all here!

This is an academic text written from a Marxist feminist perspective. In other words, it’s hard to read. I’m pretty smart and I was only able to read it because I deliberately brought it on a plane flight with nothing else to do. I’m sure you’re smart too, but if you go out and buy that book today, you probably won’t finish it on your own.

I think EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS, so in spring of 2023, I decided to curate a community space where we could come together, chew on CALIBAN over a period of months as a group of like-minded souls, and explore what it awakened in us. I sent the idea out to my newsletter. ONE newsletter. And in the 48 hours following that newsletter, I had nearly filled the group.

So I sent out one more email called “Well, that escalated quickly”,
where I put out the call for our final group member…

And I filled a second group.And had a waiting list.

I guess it’s an idea whose time has come.

Reading the book got participants so fired up and inspired that the short-term CALIBAN group led to requests to meet for longer, so a number of the participants moved on to our extended program (which I will do again, and will be open to CALIBAN graduates).


“Stephanie’s group is an outlet for  compassionate, like-minded individuals to meet and connect, heal and grow. It is a feminist activist group, literature class, history class, and therapy group all in one. We delved into the way history and oppressive systems have shaped and influenced our views of ourselves, of women and the Earth and nature. We also were encouraged to use the energy and emotion stirred up from the readings to take action steps in a direction that felt meaningful to each of us. I can honestly say I have had some big shifts and awakenings in my life as a result. This is a book we all need to read to remember who we truly are.”

Group Participant

Who am I and why am I so passionate about gently radicalizing my network?

Hey, I know some of this sounds dark. Sometimes the truth is dark. But I’m also fired up for our collective liberation. And how can we get free if we don’t know where the shackles came from, or how they work?

The Details

Six Monday evenings, 6 pm – 7.30 pm

Monday, September 9 – Introductions and Brave Space Agreements

Monday, September 23 – Chapter 1 – All the World Needs a Jolt: Social Movements and the Political Crisis in Medieval Europe

Monday, October 7  – Chapter 2 – The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women: Constructing “Difference” in the Transition to Capitalism

Monday, October 21 – Chapter 3 – The Great Caliban: The Struggle Against the Rebel Body

Monday, November 4 – Chapter 4 – The Great Witch Hunt In Europe

Monday, November 18 – Chapter 5 – Colonization and Christianization: Caliban and Witches in the New World

Via Zoom (sit outside under a tree if you can. I’d really rather do this in person and serve you herbal teas and paleo treats)

Contribution: $120/month ($60/group)

All are welcome! You don’t need to be assigned female at birth to
join us.

I am intentionally keeping the price low so as to offer access to our virtual commons. If it’s still out of reach, scholarships are available. Please email me at if you’re tantalized by this offering but money is funny at the moment.

**Please note that in this group we will not be debating whether oppression exists. We will be seeking to understand oppression in order to dismantle it, and build something new.**

About Your Instructor

Stephanie Small

Stephanie Small is a licensed clinical social worker and functional nutritionist. She received her BA from Yale University, her MSW from Smith College for Social Work, and certifications in Holistic Nutrition Education and Mental Health Nutrition from Bauman College and the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition.

Stephanie maintains a private practice online and in Boulder, CO. She also writes for national and local publications, and provides online classes, workshops, and groups. She is the creator of and instructor for the online course Supplements and Nutrition for Mental Health, and founder of Las Lobas del Corazón, a holistic psychotherapy and health clinic. She is delighted to introduce the How Did Shit Get So Fucked Up series.

Please note that refunds are not available.