• Elle

Chatting with Kiah Butschi

Wow... I have found Kiah so interesting, compassionate and beautiful ever since meeting her a few years ago. Yesterday when I read her response, I was speechless. Normally there is a week or two between receiving and posting... But I just felt the need to share instantly. I'm really in awe of Kiah. What an amazing human and how lucky am I to know her and be able to share this.

You are a compassionate, selfless, human, what made you the way you are?

Growing up wasnt too easy, watching my mum raise me as a single parent is something I’ve deeply admired - she worked, loved, cooked and somehow managed to be both a mother and father to me in some of our toughest years.

Living in Switzerland and having a go at life can be hard when you start at the bottom. I spent most afternoons at my best friends house till dark when mum would come past and pick me up on her bicycle, (we didn’t own a car they were too expensive to run) and a couple of weekends a month at my Opas. I always remember mum wanting to give so much to ensure I had an incredible life, with ten fold in love.

Switzerland is a country that is ultra dynamic, rich in culture and incredibly beautiful, forward thinking and multicultural. I thank my childhood in Switzerland for being such an open minded person these days. Another huge factor would be the people I grew up with;

In the apartment block I grew up in I made friends with a family who had fled Albania because of the war that was happening there. I still remember their names to this day, we spent every day together, their Mother could speak broken Swiss and their Father none at all. They came with nothing but were just happy to be alive and safe. The mother was always cooking delicious food and the kids always had a smile on their face. To come with nothing and be happy to be alive and with our loved ones, that’s what we should all strive for

How did these experiences impact your life?

All of this had a big impact on how I interacted, thought, felt and now live out my days. Being so young and growing up without a father, without grasping and realising what had happened to my mum and I, I was always left thinking till the early hours in the morning and the waking moment “why don’t I have a dad, why didn’t he love us”. I mean it’s so hard to comprehend at such a young age that there are unkind and dark people who would intentionally hurt you. I remember mum telling me only 10 or so years ago, Mum couldn’t even afford to buy herself new clothes, she would go to the second hand shop and buy herself something once a year - but she would always provide food for me. We would always do arts and craft together, cook together, read, learn to ride bikes, ski. She’s such a selfless human and I can really appreciate what she has done for me now that I’m older. Although we didn’t have much, She still smiled and was an amazing mum, we had an amazing life. As I said selfless beyond belief. Moving from Switzerland to Australia at 10 years of age was a pivotal moment in my life. I could barely speak English, I was moving to “an island” (country) where there was plentiful koalas and kangaroos and thousands of beaches… from a small town in Switzerland with temperatures hitting -15 on the daily. My uncle gave me a surfboard and taught me how to surf and not be afraid of waves the minute I moved here. But being able to speak English too well, I’d occasionally get bullied, nothing got me down but I just remember being scared because they were so much bigger and older than me. Eventually I just wanted them to cut the crap and told them to beat it, to stop harassing and bullying the younger and different kids, it somehow worked.

Nature vs Nurture?

My connection to nature - There’s nothing as electric as seeing the sun rise, the sparkle in the water as the sun reflects on the ocean, blue sky, rushing streams, magnificent trees, beautiful mountains, flora and fauna - how wholesome it all is, it gives back to you. Switching off and getting out of your house; out of your head. Nature is the most giving place of all. I love to give and care for people. Before studying to be a massage therapist I landed a job working with incredible people seeking asylum and refuge from their countries. This really opened up my heart, it made it hurt and grow more intensely. It made me more passionate to fight for people who were born into a situation they didn’t choose to be in. It was almost as if I was rewinding back a tape to when I was young giving my barbies and clothes to my Albanian friends who had fled their war torn country. Working where I did, I’ve never felt so much, been so passionate, determined, hurt and confused working in a place life this. I felt my voice wasn’t heard, nor understood by the big company I was working for. I so badly wanted to make a change for these people but Ilthe company I was working with had different ethics, ideas and didn’t align with my principles. We were told not to grow emotional connections with the families - that just isn’t possible. I just wanted to give.. I’ve always had a fascination with Hands, every since I was young. It’s the first thing i look at when I see a person. Hands tell a story. I really wanted to use and work with hands, that touch/human connection is unlike anything you can explain. Massage came on the radar, I would be using my hands to work alongside people to help them heal themselves, my hands just guide. I massage, a mix of remedial, deep tissue and relaxation - but it’s mostly intuitive. Every session is different, it’s beautiful! I’ve met incredible people. Human touch and connection is incredible. I create the space for you to do the work on the table if you wish to do the work, internally, completely supported. For some, like with any therapist, it works and for others it doesn’t - my suggestion find what works best for your mind, body and soul. Massage is such a gentle and nurturing way to allow someone to rest their body and mind. It’s also a huge compliment to have someone show up Completely trusting me and being vulnerable. This is the give and take in its own beautiful sense. Allowing me to give, by entrusting me is such an honour.

Your go to activities, things, rituals for mental health or to give back to yourself?

My go to activities to nurture my soul and mind, number one is exercise whether it’s walking with my dog, surfing, going to the gym, boxing- exercising is a huge release for me. It gives me so much mental clarity and drive. I absolutely love challenging and pushing myself with physical exertion. Waking up with the sun, there is nothing more beautiful than nature in the morning, when it’s still and the world is still waking up.

Meditation at night before bed.

Listening to my favourite songs and dancing or driving.

Staying in tune with my body - feeling and listening to it - I get regular acupuncture, Chinese medicine, massage, chiropractic care, seeing a psychologists- I call upon all of these incredible therapies to help balance my mind.

And more recently in the last two years, speaking out out to my partner, friends and family if I’m not doing ok. It’s been a massive shift for myself and my friends/family to understand why I can act to distant or with heightened emotions. Dealing with social anxiety and depression sporadically - especially after summer - there’s something that triggers my emotions deeply - I’ve seen myself act out of fear and distress, hiding or just disappearing without saying goodbye but mostly not leaving my room. It would happen every month and nothing made sense, brain fog and