From Mental Health Pharmacist to suicidal, to Zen Philosopher…Tim #Emerges Proud with his story

Tim Anderson from Norwich was once a ‘successful’ Sports Person, Pharmacist with a life that looked perfect…on the outside. It took falling apart to find his true calling. Here he bravely tells us his journey so far:

Tim

The Australian bush, where I was born,  is a most unlikely place to become interested in Japanese Martial Arts.  My first interest in Japanese culture was when I was 11 or so. I also became interested in Sports Psychology at about 18 or 19 years of age. There was no history or culture of it nearby. The only influence from that level was that we were lefties. Not Corbynistas, but lefties nevertheless.

Looking back, as I got older, got a degree in Pharmacy, Captained Tasmania at Rugby, travelled through Europe and the Middle East, worked, changed jobs, studied kendo, represented the UK at kendo, worked in Mental Health in Pharmacy, did an IT project, won a National award, got married, bought two dogs, had three kids, a common thread has underpinned it all.

That it all came back to Zen, self improvement and workplace dynamics. I had a fascination.

Not just any old Zen,  Rinzai Zen. Koan study. Not just sitting, the method of study of the Soto Zen tradition. For some reason that did not appeal. It was really difficult and not a little boring.  Little did I know.

But there was a constant call from spiritual matters. A pull if you like. I was seeking but didn’t realise.

Also, I didn’t seem to fit anywhere. I didn’t understand how the world worked. Still don’t to be honest. But I couldn’t work out what was wrong with me, but Zen and self-help offered some solace and guidance. The leftie stuff was also becoming more prominent. People mattered. Dignity at work. Treated as people, not numbers. The misuse of power was something that I truly reacted to. The underdog.

And when I drank, it all went out the window. And dodgy birds- or not so dodgy, some were nice, became the point of interest. Disaster awaited.

I tried stuff for a bit, usually meditation or somesuch. I usually gave up or stopped because I felt self-conscious or thought people would think I was weird. There is an issue in our family regarding religion. Was I weird? Using the opinion of others as a barometer of whether I was doing ok or not was all i knew how to check.

Not a good idea.

Last year, the disaster struck.  I was asked for a divorce. It hit me like a brick. A really big brick. But, despite the devastating effect of all that, I decided to follow my inner drive, follow the spiritual call I’d been putting off. What I’d been denying.

So I started meditating and doing some buddhist practice. Mainly to help with the storm.On top of that, I realised I had ADHD. And ADHD devastates lives. It is not funny. Not even a bit.

The diagnosis of ADHD wasn’t a shock. I’d studied it. Presented educational stuff on it.  But now I knew what was wrong. And why my life was a mess. And why my wife wanted to leave me. And why I couldn’t stop messing up. And why I couldn’t figure it out over all these years. I didn’t know what I was up against before. I thought it was bipolar- I get SAD- or anxiety. I’d spent my life wondering why. And failing. And I was stuck with it. There is no ‘fix’.

So, I have a genetic difference to the rest of the non-ADHD population. My executive function is compromised. All this info about why i was like i was, caused a massive depression. Plus the divorce and losing daily contact with the kids. That was like a death, plus other stresses and the tablets for ADHD which give you the drive to achieve your goals. The goal this time however was being to kill yourself, really did a number on me. I was massively vulnerable. And ill.

Strange thing was, I knew that the drugs did that stuff. Make you think thoughts you normally wouldn’t. And all that stuff. Let me tell you. It doesn’t work being your own Dr!

Two days after Xmas, 2017, I had a serious go at killing myself. I’d lost all hope. I was convinced everyone on the planet was better off without me. I really was as worthless as I was constantly being told.  I got found before I died. Luckily. It was pretty close.

Was it the spiritual merits I’d been building up that got me saved? Was it luck?

Who knows. But I do know that I was in an absolute spiritual crisis.

Since then I’ve meditated every day.  Zazen and other variants. I’ve gotten better. I discovered a Rinzai Zen school in London. Zen has helped me heal. No doubt. Not a lot of people know that. About Zen.

And since, I’ve vowed to follow my inner call. My intuition.

The first step is to bring my history together,  and start to move forward with that. To  live from the gut. The Hara.

Not straightforward. When you ask ‘ What is the sound of one-hand clapping?, it’s the Hara that does the work.

The first step on my new path is my business, Respectful Development. It’s about personal, team and organisational, even planetary, healthy growth. People Matter.

Will it succeed? Who knows.  Is it the right thing? For now, definitely. Ultimately I’m not sure yet.

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But it brings my skills and better motivations to the world.

 And that’s a good thing. That’s what we are all here for.

Respectful Development is all about that. People Matter. Inside every person is the ability to change the world.

 To find out more about Tim’s work, go to:  www.respectfuldevelopment.co.uk

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It’s finally here; the 2018 International #Emerging Proud day Report!

12th May 2018 International Report 

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Global locations that held events this year:

Norwich, UK                                             Helsinki, Finland

London, UK                                               New Jersey, USA

St Albans, UK                                            Minnesota, USA

Reykjavik, Iceland                                    Vancouver, Canada

Rotterdam, Netherlands                          Sao Paolo, Brazil

Copenhagen, Denmark                            Brisbane, Australia

Budapest, Hungary                                  Online virtual event (with Attendees from Norway, Romania, Bulgaria, South Africa and the UK)

This year the focus was on the impact of personal story- sharing, and we collaborated with The Outsiders who invented ‘SoMe’; a mechanism for facilitating 1-1 conversations about specific social, community or environmental issues. The concept uses the things that work well in online social media to bring people together in face-to-face discussion.

At an event there are three SoMe spaces: The Wall, The Chat Room and The Message Board. The ‘trending topic’ of the day was;

‘Reframing mental distress as a possible transformation process’

Volunteers who resonate with having experienced their own crisis as a catalyst for a meaningful life transformation engaged in conversations with interested strangers with the aim to change perceptions that being diagnosed with a mental illness can actually lead to the start of a new, more positive and authentic life…

Volunteers #Emerged Proud and shared their personal stories across 14 countries

Over 600 people attended the global events 

Here is the moving feedback received from the event Organisers and Attendees all over the world at the end of the day…

NORWICH, UK

Story- sharing Volunteers
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The Message Board

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Reflections from the Norwich Message Board from Attendees who listened to stories:

  • Thanks to everyone today who were so generous with their time and telling me their stories; it seems that the world is the ‘veil of soul- making’ as Reals said…Yep, I reckon so!
  • A beautiful conversation that connected with ideas for how society could benefit from more openness about spiritual matters and finding out about each other’s experiences. Truth and honesty.
  • So privileged and moved to hear wonderful personal stories and share coping strategies.
  • I had a wonderful, inspirational conversation with x, she is a lovely creative lady, very open and honest and I enjoyed talking to her. I felt very moved by her experience and how she has used that to help others J
  • I feel inspired and hopeful for a more connected future
  • So great to speak to people who have had such similar experiences and sharing philosophy and coping strategies
  • Amazing to see the strength, power and growth when a person is open and willing to share and explore various ways of healing themselves.
  • Today is just what I needed! Affirming and validating. Thank you Universe, Katie, the Emerging Kind and all the beautiful souls. Let’s change the world; one kind act or thought at a time! J
  • What an inspirational conversation I had with x, I didn’t want it to end, such a great opportunity to meet such interesting people at this event. Enjoyed listening and talking to someone who is so positive about their experience and so open and honest; thank you J
  • I found another soul sister in x, came away with a full heart and happy tears in my eyes; what courage!
  • Wow! I am so grateful for the opportunity to listen to such a fascinating story of someone’s life. I feel totally inspired. Thank you so much for sharing.
  • Thank you, so many wise words and kindness.
  • Spending time listening, having a deep but light- hearted conversation, making a human connection. Interesting and uplifting.
  • The energy and enthusiasm bursting out of x is electrifying and infectious. A minute in her company is like being supercharged with positivity!
  • It’s not surprising how emotional we feel when hearing what has been endured. So inspired by the courage to let go and keep going…
  • So magical to meet, talk and connect with inspiring and like – minded people.
  • Inspired to hear about coming off medication for bi- polar and self- healing through self- caring. Coming into the Self and full acceptance of all experiences and relationships – discovered we went to the same school!
  • I found out about how a singer / musician helped x through some difficult times through her music. X is now reaching out to help others in the same way she was helped; inspiring!
  • I learned about the need to: connect, reflect and serve. An amazing conversation!
  • A space to be in that felt free and expansive, caring. It is not an everyday experience and imagine, to imagine!
  • Very inspiring people and so brave of them to tell their stories.
  • Totally uplifted and inspired by sharing of personal stories of adversity and the bigger wisdom that emerges….eventually!
  • Totally inspired by how our paths are so similar; different lives but so much in common; really lovely and connecting via the heart.
  • It’s amazing to be around such inspiring people with such brave stories #EmergingProud
  • We are all strong; love self = love others
  • We discussed identity as fluid versus static representation (e.g. Diagnosis); how destabilizing and dysfunctional patterns can be helped using art which helps with unlimited expressivity – as a vehicle for production.
  • X is an inspiration. She has an insight into herself that few people her age are yet find and I’m so excited about the good she is achieving for herself and others by following her soul and her life purpose.
  • So may insights, heart-bursting compassion coming from hearing this journey of healing and expanded consciousness. From repressing emotions and addiction to awareness of the multiple facets of what heals and grounds; ‘being the change’. Feeling inspired, connected and heart- warmed.
  • Sat with x and have come away with such a full heart. I’m inspired by her personal process which reflects a courageous honouring of the divine feminine breaking through, following a rupture in her life that could have simply generated pain. For x though, she harnessed this god- given power and insight and is changing the world one chat at a time; amazing!
  • It was so inspiring and validating to hear the story. I will get involved more in helping people understand the connections between difficult times and spiritual experience.
  • Having time to talk with another person who appreciates the depths – to explore ideas that are seldom addressed in society, was very refreshing and enlivening.
  • Just when you question everything the right event comes along with the right people J
  • Opening the wider conversation with lots of people, with unique journeys but similar struggles, goes to show how with making connections we can all feel more validated and not alone.
  • Spirituality is important! Not just bio / psycho / social, but even crystals and spirits can help with healing.
  • A great day of deep and meaningful conversations, exploring what really matters!
  • X, driven forwards by his connection to spirit and with lived experience of bringing it back down the mountain is no doubt a wonderful catalyst for healing everyone he is with.
  • It’s been really enlightening speaking with x and the stories we shared really were helpful to hear and comforting to feel acceptance from a shared perspective. I think the concept of the day is really wonderful and helpful in destigmatising and alleviating worry, connected to the transformational process J
  • Thank You for today, it really picked me up. I was struggling a bit and I found it so reassuring to listen to the stories of others who have been going through this a lot longer than I have and have turned it into something really positive. The similarities with my experiences and some of the volunteers was uncanny and them sharing their coping strategies with me will help me in the future I’m sure. We definitely need more events like this in the future.

BRAZIL

Feedback from discussions:

Admiration & Gratitude Information
1. An inspiration

2. Congratulations.

3. Much admiration

4. I was proud of the person who spoke and of the other people who spoke about the challenges and insights they experienced.

5. The openness to share your own experiences, processes and show your vulnerability is admirable.

6. Example of overcoming.

7. How beautiful.

8. Lots of light.

9. I loved it.

10. Much love involved.

11. Gratitude.

12. I am grateful for the light and the words.

13. I am grateful for the conversation.

14. Gratitude for the respect, awareness, prudence.

15. Open and very sincere talk.

16. Inspiring.

17. Assertive.

18. Sensitivity.

19. Sincerity.

20. Peace.

21. I want more!

1. I cleared my doubts and was able to better inform myself about a previously unknown condition.

2. Sharing of knowledge

3. A great moment of reflection.

4. Clarifications

5. Knowledge

6. If you want, you can do it.

7. Breaking paradigms.

8. Importance of getting rid of the taboo of mental disorder, both for the diagnosed individual and for society as a whole.

9. Transformation by reframing experiences

10. Experience and sharing

11. Continuous integration process

12. Being smart and emotive is not easy.

13. Guilt and criticism do not help growth.

Warmly embraced Responsibility
1. I felt welcomed.

2. I feel calm.

3. I’m feeling great.

4. Embraced.

5. I felt good with everyone!

1. Responsibility and self-responsibility.

2. Self-responsibility and health as the center of life.

3. Responsibility

4. It’s my responsibility.

5. I know that I am in command.

 

Beautiful pictures from the day’s event in Brazil Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 11.18.41.png

Initiated following the success of the #EmergingProud event in Brazil in 2017, a group of 20 Volunteers have formed the group ‘Repensando a Loucura’ (Rethinking Madness) to continue their amazing work. Find out more HERE

ICELAND

The organizing team sent a report, or a story, of how the organizing and happening of the #Emerging Proud day 2018 in Iceland went;

Most of the organizing was performed by three members of the „Uppvakningar“ team in Iceland. „Uppvakningar“ (Wake Up-ers) is a small, slowly growing, Facebook-group formed after the first #Emerging Proud day in 2017. The members consist of people who have or are presently undergoing a spiritual crisis, plus a few allies, or friends interested in the phenomenon. The present number of members is 17.

The three organizers were Hrannar Jónsson, chairman of the Icelandic Mental Health Alliance (Geðhjálp), Katla Ísaksdóttir, activist and pensioner and Halldór Auðar Svansson, worker at the Reykjavik City council. All three have undergone a spiritual transformation in the past decade.

The organizers met for a brief meeting at Geðhjálp April 17th We agreed upon screening the film #Emerging Proud and holding a sharing circle afterwards. We talked about offering fruit and fresh and healthy drinks. We decided upon trying to reach the media with help of Anna Gunnhildur Ólafsdóttir, Director of Geðhjálp. We then met for an international meeting on Zoom on the 19th of April.

 In the end Hrannar was interviewed by a local newspaper and a member of the Uppvakningar group, Berglind Bang Óladóttir, took a beautiful picture of the crew sitting in a tree in Reykjavik…

Iceland 

 FINLAND

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 Reflections from the event Attendees:

  • Very interesting event!
  • Nice encounters! Thank you!
  • Great event, but a pity that the psychiatrist cancelled her lecture.
  • Experience is ALWAYS true. So simple, so complicated… I wish that everybody would have a right to their own truth. If only we could really hear each other and ourselves. I believe that only in this way “the good” can happen.
  • This has been an important and excellent event. More events like this!
  • The EmergingProud -film is important, as a whole. (I hope I can find it in the internet)
  • Good information and event. More good topics!
  • Important to make these definitions what spiritual means and does not mean. For me spirituality equals awareness equals oneness and they include the whole human being – physical, social, psychological. The moment when love overcomes fear.
  • The purpose of human beings is to protect and care, cherish and maintain life.
  • Can one “recover” or heal from spirituality? Is that a problem or a threat? What is the difference between those changes caused by spiritual awakening and the symptoms of psychosis? Is there a psychosis that can be classified as illness? What are the symptoms of that and how should it be treated? What kind of symptoms should be treated against ones’ own will in a first place??
  • In a way the world is more fragmented and also the sense of community is more differentiated than before.
  • So empowering, joyful for the heart, to hear alternative ideas and viewpoints about “madness”. I feel so inspired and empowered! The value should be returned to these experiences. THANK YOU, you wonderful pioneers! ❤ xxx

 Liisa and her team also said:

Our event was nearly full-booked, but a lot of people didn’t show up – we thought it might be because of the great weather after a long, cold period and because it was easy to cancel a free event. But the people who came were very motivated and eager to discuss things!

 The main focus in our event was the “launching” of SEN Finland and so we focused quite much on making the ISEN’s background-ideas known. We started with that; telling about spiritual emergence/-y and things related and sharing our own stories about that.

 The #EmergingProud film has been translated into Finnish and added to the Finnish SEN website!

We also had two very well-known psychologists as lecturers, with the topics of wholistic psychology and different explanation models of “madness” or spiritual crisis. Our third lecturer, a psychiatrist with her topic about shame and stigma cancelled her coming in a last minute.

 During and after the lunch break we showed the EP-film (two times) and at the same time participants were encouraged to talk face-to-face with our volunteers. That reached quite little success, but some very good conversations happened anyway, while main part of the people were watching the film. We promised to send everyone the link to the film, to be viewed afterwards anytime.

In the end we had a panel discussion with three panelists and with frequent questions and comments from the audience as well.

So, our Message Board comments relate mostly to the event as whole, not so much to those personal sharing discussions. But as you can see, this event sure was meaningful and important! Many people came to tell us how empowered and validated they felt when leaving the venue.

AUSTRALIA

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Reflections from event Attendees on the Message Board at the end of the day:

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  • Oneness amongst words
  • Compassion, beautiful, unconditional love, truth, equanimity, gentleness, caring, attention, wellbeing, acceptance, true nature, oneness, smiles, understanding, kindness, joy, good.
  • Intrigued, broadened my knowledge, better understanding, clarity, relaxed, welcome, good way to connect.
  • Let’s start calling ourselves contributors, participants, advocates, and co-creators in organising a different paradigm and treatment of people experiencing a spiritual emergence. It is not a mental illness it’s a spiritual awakening, a rebirth and a conscious evolution.
  • A positive word should be used as ‘our’ word somehow?!
  • The black and white force was spoken about.
  • The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful is a part of a spiritual awakening.
  • A person’s strength and character define all of us.
  • I weep, and I sow into a weave of a beautiful pattern we all make together.
  • All people’s mental illness gives us a bridge to crossover.
  • This to me is a wonderful reminder to stop running from the gift that I have been given, that I once found frightening and abnormal. I feel grateful that groups like this exist and are creating an environment for people who have been labelled crazy to reach out and have a voice.
  • It’s a journey through the twilight and underworld without maps. Over without defections without allies it is a nightmare and with it’s an Odyssey, adventurer maps, direction, allies to listen and to share our myths to live by – WHAT WE NEED.
  • I believe I can see the future. Some people told me I was broken. My society told me I was broken. I did not fit into their very narrow box of human experience. The truth is mental distress is part of life and I have known few who have claimed to never experience it. So, I changed the way I looked at it, I started to see myself as whole, not broken.
  • For the sake of labels, I am many things, yet somehow nothing seems to qualify me more than my own lived experience. I work in a system who does not seem to understand the breadth or depth of human existence. I am a catalyst for something different, I create spaces where people can be themselves, where people can see other possibilities, a way for all to have a space to touch their wholeness. This is my awakening and my souls work.
  • In the shadow lands I wondered, disenchanted by existence. Gradually, those memories faded into a fragmented splintered void, my psychological and philological patterns changed, and I was reborn. Birthed into the desert, the abyss of my own mind. I had discovered the apotheosis of the wounded healer, within the reflection of the oasis.
  • Recovery is life – and self-belief.
  • I believe that personal authenticity and the path of self-actualisation is what bring us closer together.

Brooke and her team also told us about these more specific exciting developments that have emerged as a result of inspiration from networking that happened on the day:

  • Reframing of language that is used in clinical settings.
  • Advocacy for those in extreme states.
  • Spaces for people to connect and to be part of an ongoing community.
  • Being pioneers and co-creators for change.
  • Normalising the human experience.
  • Different frameworks to accommodate for spiritual awakenings, personal emergence and extreme states.
  • Addressing fear and stigma around the above states.
  • Brisbane Australia has heard the call of our community and has set up the ‘Breakthrough Transform Network’ to continue the conversation and start addressing these issues at a grass roots level in our community. We also wish to link in with the wider community that can be allies of this project for referral and support services. We will be offering support groups, mentoring and coaching, think tanks and creative/spiritual skill building as tools for transformation and strategies to assist in emergence.

See the Brisbane #EmergingProud day Facebook page for some wonderful interviews from their Story- sharing Volunteers ❤

NEW JERSEY, USA
Reflections from Attendees on the artistic Message Board at the end of the day:

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“This day has changed me, to the core.  I feel a new purpose and path opening up, and a miracle emerging within all of us.”

“Thank you so much for hosting this event!”

 “Ok, when Ivy invited me to this event I really wasn’t sure what it would be about. I knew art would be involved and a short film & some presentation. I also knew Ivy & Eddie are always looking for ways to give something back, so I wanted to participate. I’m glad I did. Even though a storm cut the event short, it was enlightening.”

“This event was really inspiring.”

” I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with others who have shared similar experiences.  Knowing that we are not alone helps us to find our voice and break the stigma that still surrounds mental illness.” 

”…Emerging Proud event was beautiful.  The live music was the perfect touch to set the mood for the screening Emerging Proud.  The only setback was an unfortunate storm that rolled through as the screening was ending which cut the event short some.”

 “This event has represented a special part of our life for two years now and brought us pride in knowing there’s a worldwide community going through the same process of growth and discovery as us.”

 “I am still kind of buzzing with the wonderful energy of it all”

Ivy, event Organiser, also told us that;

The element of Mother Nature cutting the event short is a recurring theme, or cluster of themes in my life recently.  Ever since going through a healing process with the support of this tribe, and saying yes to trusting spirit, allowing for guidance, things have started to flow.  A setback like a thunderstorm that cuts an event short, actually was akin to trimming and pruning a fruiting bush to allow for the next harvest to be most plentiful.  “Let’s take this show on the road!” said the universe, “and not too much all at once.” 😉

Then the twelve days of rain.  A cleansing seemed to happen across the entire country, I believe it was ‘Gods,’ blessings falling from the heavens, and a much-needed break for me as a farmer to allow the Earth to tend to my garden for me as I rested.

 I personally witnessed tiny miracles unfolding all around the event, and felt the love and guidance allowing for this effort to happen as it was meant to be.  I also, made a new friend who is very special, helpful and supportive/involved in of this type of work.  And a local therapist (not your typical therapist) wants to offer me her space to host more events and collaborate in the future.  The network is building.  Thank you!!!

HUNGARY

Beautiful images from the Hungarian event

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  • Thank you for the chance to be here!
  • Thank you for organising the event, it was a great day!
  • It was a fantastic to be here – the conversations, the presentations and also the movie Crazywise were great!
  • The presentations and the conversations very interesting and also useful. I wish events like this were more often!
  • Thank you for organising this event!
  • It was worth to come!
  • It is good to know, that I am not the only one undergoing a crisis.
  • Thank you for inspirational thoughts. Today was an important day in the process of creating a self-organised help for those in crisis.
  • I had a lot of inner and outer experiences during the day. The most important message what I got was, that when I pay attention to something, I allow it to exist and it becomes genuine and alive.
  • Such events can bring more understanding and compassion to understand those in crisis and their decisions (for example suicide) and to forgive them.

 

ST ALBANS, UK

Organisers Kathy and Jane held a stall at their local Saturday market. They reported:

 It was a useful strategy in order to inform the general public about the possibility of positive outcomes from mental health issues. So many people asked questions and shared something of their own suffering.

100+ people saw the stall in the market and asked us about Emerging Proud, several people wrote comments or drew pictures at the stall for the message board.

There were several people holding painful issues that they needed to speak about, briefly. They were able to do so with us at the market stall.

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They also held a film screening of Crazywise and #EmergingProud later the same day…

Here are some reflections from their Message Board:

  • A new me
  • I am very happy to see such events happening, pain and challenges are to overcome
  • Enlightening!!
  • The light that shines through the cracks
  • If the world isn’t crazy I must be nuts J
  • Great films – powerful messages
  • Somehow, we need to get this out into the whole world
  • Spread the light!
  • Guidance

Kathy and Jane also gave us with their own reflections;

“The films bring out the notion of the insanity of supposed normality and the discussion around this is dynamic. People are given permission in some way after viewing the films, to step back and question the nature of their reality.

The nature of the discussion varies after every film screening, but at this screening the focus seemed to be on the madness of the mundane.”

 CANADA


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Dan, the event Organiser, fed back some responses he received from questions sent out after the event in Vancouver: 

Q: What did you think of the film? 

I’d watched the movie a couple of times, but it was good to watch it again. 

It has a grass-roots style, I enjoyed. The stories were compelling, and it made me feel good to know that there are people out there with similar experiences. 

I was particularly interested when people talked about real psychic experiences, which I haven’t experienced myself

Q: How did you feel after hearing people tell their personal stories (in the film or in our discussion?) 

I liked the sharing in the group. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be as good with only a few people, but everyone had a lot to share so the time went quickly. I’d never met together with people who had some similar experiences as me before, and it was great to hear stories. 

 Q: Did the film / event change your perspective on mental health issues at all? 

It showed me that we really need to see some changes in how people are treated when they have unusual experiences. There should be alternative ways to be treated. I think medication has its place, but not to excess, and over long periods. People need to be able to integrate the experiences they have.

 – Catherine  

 I watched the film before the event it was why I felt encouraged to participate the experiences I’ve had with spiritual emergency had me feeling like I was alone in the universe the documentary showed me I’m not and I’m so happy to know that. The talking portion of the event was valuable to me too because I met people in my community who experience the world through similar lenses thank you 

– Christopher

Re the film itself, I thought the openness of the people interviewed and the interesting-ness of their non-ordinary experiences were awesome, for the most part. It was great to see/hear the candid, un-edited/un-touched-up expression of everyone’s experiences, the film was surprisingly enjoyable. 🙂
– Galen

The event was wonderful for me and I thought the film was very good except that the sound quality was, in places, so terrible (I am oversensitive to sound) that I had to plug my ears and/or leave the room a few times. Nevertheless, big congrats and thanks to all. I would like also to say that I found it excellently freeing not to have to pretend that what I experienced when “crazy” didn’t “really” happen, because others knew their experiences were real and were so open about it.
– Irit

It was great to meet others who resonate with the movement and share our experiences.  It seems to me that many of us experience common themes manifesting in very different life details.  It was the second time I’d seen the film and it was nice to watch it again.  On top of everything, we all have different views on how things should be handled based on our experience.  It was nice to hear from people who seem to have been able to integrate their experiences and stay away from so of the more invasive things that can happen at certain points.  That gave me hope that I can be done with it all one day too.  Even if someone is on extended leave at one point, they can be totally free of psycho-pharmaceuticals at another point, even if it doesn’t last forever.  It’s a challenging rhythm of life to navigate as it is not as consistent as society would demand with its addiction to consistency, continuity and slow but gradual growth.  Thanks for the event!!
– Andrea

DENMARK

Anne –Kirstine hosted a small but impactful event in Copenhagen. She said;

 The whole day conversation was primarily centered around synchronicity. That the way through mental distress that leads to transformation, is at the point where you feel guided by your soul, spirit and where you have synchronicities that reflect a healing path. The healing paths we are on are both similar and different. The challenge is therefore to implement a health strategy in psychiatry. When I was hospitalized I had an inner voice saying, “What you need is healing” and was guided to the spiritual healing place of John of God in Brazil. Mathilde did not feel seen in psychiatry dealing with eating disorder and felt guided to Bali and found a healing path through yin yoga. We both have been on a healing path since then, going through challenges and transformations. From our experiences we believe that the change needed in psychiatry is to have transformation/spiritual crisis recovery mentors, that intuitively can help people going through a similar process and support them in the right healing path for them. There cannot be a one fits all health strategy, so the social and political focus we believe is to raise awareness about the numbers of people going through this transformational process and advocate to raise resources to implement a mentor program of this sort in psychiatry, that will create a safer space and trust for people going through this process, while using the psychiatric system. I have a father who doesn’t believe in healing, so trying to convince someone who have a story of disbelief can be hard. I believe that more and more people will be awakening to this healing and transformation process, so instead of using energy on convincing people, we believe that more and more that will search for a spiritual approach to healing that will slowly and in numbers make the change come. Therefore, instead of convincing people, the change can come from telling the story in your heart and allow hearts to open in a divine pace.

The Message Board quotes:

Anne-K 

  • Everything happens for a reason. It might not look like it in the beginning, but eventually you will feel it with all of your being; all the synchronicities that guided you towards healing.  
  • Through healing conversations, we foster human connection, safety and trust and find our way back to each other, where we can share with honesty from our hearts.

 

NEW YORK

Organisers Katrina and Tee reported what magical happenings took place in NYC;

“The event began with a Singing bowls meditation, followed by the Emerging Proud screening and a dynamic discussion where people shared their own spiritual experiences, noting how their interaction with the mental health system was a part of the process.

We discussed some of the challenges around languaging our experiences, and even how the term ‘Spiritual’ can shut people down who still see Spirituality synonymously with religion.

 Following the discussion, we shared some community-donated treats and then had poetry and musical performances including an hour of immersive Kirtan chanting with the Love Tribe Kirtan.”

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 11.42.07Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 11.43.04

Outcomes from NYC:

The team are working on a physical gallery space in NYC to display the submitted visual works, which were displayed on a slideshow throughout the May 12 event. The virtual gallery is up and still being added to at:  thecuriousspirit.org/transcendence-gallery.html

LONDON, UK

Pictures from the London event, held at Kingsley Hall, famous for R.D. Laing’s controversial residential experiment in 1965 for people in altered states to stay medication free… a very apt choice of venue by the London Organisers!

London 2018

Find out what was seeded at the event in London here: http://www.spiritualemergence.co.uk

 

  • ONLINE VIRTUAL EVENT

This was a first for #EmergingProud, thanks to the host, Ellie. Ellie sent her own reflection after her event;

What is moving through me – a few hours after the event – is the beauty of it. I was touched to hear that some of the participants experienced powerful emotions and felt more connected to other humans than they had in a very long time.

The global nature of the event was also special, to me. Attendees from Norway, Romania, Bulgaria, South Africa and the UK 

 Feedback from Attendees of the Online event:

  • “I learned to create more space for harder to share aspects/parts of me and to connect with others just by being present. Thank you <3”
  • “Never before did a meditation session trigger such strong emotions!”
  • “I felt warm and fuzzy and welcome. Like I am home which is something that rarely happens. Very grateful.”
  • “The word spiritual no longer has much meaning for me…….my life is as it is, and I am who I am”
  • “Thanks for this space in time – so lovely, peaceful and very: Here NOW – together :-)”

 

Afterword and Next Steps for #Emerging Proud

 Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for the Organisers, Volunteers, Contributors and Attendees of this year’s events; each and every one of you is helping grow the movement, and so spread the hope of better support resources for people going through challenging transformation processes.  My sincere upmost gratitude to all of the event Organisers in each location, for your incredible selfless efforts – giving your skills, time, energy, love and in some cases, your own funds, to help make this collective effort happen; #EmergingProud can’t thank you enough.

My vision is for #Emerging Proud to take on a life of its own; to become a huge social movement like ‘Pride’, but for mental health. This takes a lot of effort to make happen, and I’m working on a model that can be distributed and freely used anywhere to continue the momentum, whilst ensuring that the ethos of the campaign is maintained. This will be collaboratively developed, and I hope that each year the global events for International #Emerging Proud day can from now on be coordinated by a different country each year…Keep watching the Blog for ongoing news! Katie ❤

Please feel free to share the full Report in PDF format: 2018 International Report Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hot of the Press; ‘#Emerging Proud through crisis’ book series to be created!

Announcing #Emerging Proud’s latest venture; Kinda Proud Book Series

#Emerging Proud through adversity; Stories of Hope and Transformation

With huge thanks to ongoing kind support from the Missing Kind Charity, I am excited to announce that I will be facilitating and empowering a growing network of #Emerging Proud Peer Reps to create a series of ‘Pocket Books of Hope and Kindness’ for people experiencing different themes of mental distress…

We plan to create books on specific themes under the umbrella of the anti- stigma social movement ‘#Emerging Proud’ such as:

  • #Emerging Proud through Depression
  • #Emerging Proud through Psychosis
  • #Emerging Proud through Bi- Polar Disorder
  • #Emerging Proud through Abuse
  • #Emerging Proud through Bullying
  • #Emerging Proud through an Eating Disorder
  • #Emerging Proud through Schizophrenia
  • #Emerging Proud through Suicidality
  • #Emerging Proud through Spiritual Emergence

We’d LOVE to know which books would be the most popular with our community – YOU! and focus on them in priority order of your requests;

CLICK HERE TO TAKE A SURVEY AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO SEE! 

Each book will have an #EP Peer Coordinator to help advise and ensure that the books are as collaborative as possible. These ‘pocket books of HOPE’ will contain personal recovery stories, poems and artwork of Peers who have experienced the specific theme of each book and ’emerged transformed’ to give hope to others who may still be suffering.

Each book will also contain a resource guide pertaining to that specific issue, with helplines, links and self- help tips.

What are the main aims and objectives of the Kinda Proud book series? 

  • To relieve people of the distress associated with transformational crises by offering authentic examples of personal stories and resources to engender hope and initiate recovery.
  • To provide opportunities for volunteers to join a virtual community and work in collaboration with other #EP Peer Reps to create books of empowerment.
  • To decrease stigma, improve wellbeing and influence the saving of lives through providing a more compassionate and positive conceptual framework for emotional distress.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE A SURVEY AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO SEE! 

Stay tuned here for opportunities on how you can get involved, and to keep updated on the latest developments!

Just imagine; 100 years from now our future generations could be looking back at our collective journey on the making of the empowering #Emerging Proud book collection…

Book collection

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2018; 12th May events …a sneaky peek at the full report to come!

I’m in the process of collating the wonderful feedback from the amazing Reps who dedicated their time and energy to hold events for the 2nd International #Emerging Proud day on the 12th May; it’s been such an uplifting experience to read the reflections coming in I wanted to share some of the love with you and give you a sneaky peek!

Global locations that held events this year:

  • Norwich, UK
  • London, UK
  • St Albans, UK
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Rotterdam, Iceland
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • New Jersey, USA
  • Minnesota, USA
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Sao Paolo, Brazil
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Online virtual event

Feedback from discussions in Brazil (event hosted by Sean Blackwell and his wife Ligia)… 

Admiration & Gratitude Information
1. An inspiration

2. Congratulations.

3. Much admiration

4. I was proud of the person who spoke and of the other people who spoke about the challenges and insights they experienced.

5. The openness to share your own experiences, processes and show your vulnerability is admirable.

6. Example of overcoming.

7. How beautiful.

8. Lots of light.

9. I loved it.

10. Much love involved.

11. Gratitude.

12. I am grateful for the light and the words.

13. I am grateful for the conversation.

14. Gratitude for the respect, awareness, prudence.

15. Open and very sincere talk.

16. Inspiring.

17. Assertive.

18. Sensitivity.

19. Sincerity.

20. Peace.

21. I want more!

1. I cleared my doubts and was able to better inform myself about a previously unknown condition.

2. Sharing of knowledge

3. A great moment of reflection.

4. Clarifications

5. Knowledge

6. If you want, you can do it.

7. Breaking paradigms.

8. Importance of getting rid of the taboo of mental disorder, both for the diagnosed individual and for society as a whole.

9. Transformation by reframing experiences

10. Experience and sharing

11. Continuous integration process

12. Being smart and emotive is not easy.

13. Guilt and criticism do not help growth.

Warmly embraced Responsibility
1. I felt welcomed.

2. I feel calm.

3. I’m feeling great.

4. Embraced.

5. I felt good with everyone!

1. Responsibility and self-responsibility.

2. Self-responsibility and health as the center of life.

3. Responsibility

4. It’s my responsibility.

5. I know that I am in command.

 

Iceland:

Here is a report, or a story, of how the organizing and happening of the #Emerging Proud day 2018 in Iceland went…

Most of the organizing was performed by three members of the „Uppvakningar“ team in Iceland. „Uppvakningar“ (Wake Up-ers) is a small, slowly growing, Facebook-group formed after the first #Emerging Proud day in 2017. The members consist of people who have or are presently undergoing a spiritual crisis, plus a few allies, or friends interested in the phenomenon. The present number of members is 17.

The three organizers were Hrannar Jónsson, chairman of the Icelandic Mental Health Alliance (Geðhjálp), Katla Ísaksdóttir, activist and pensioner and Halldór Auðar Svansson, worker at the Reykjavik City council. All three have undergone a spiritual transformation in the past decade.

The organizers met for a brief meeting at Geðhjálp April 17th We agreed upon screening the film #Emerging Proud and holding a sharing circle afterwards. We talked about offering fruit and fresh and healthy drinks. We decided upon trying to reach the media with help of Anna Gunnhildur Ólafsdóttir, Director of Geðhjálp. We then met for an international meeting on Zoom on the 19th of April.

In the end Hrannar was interviewed by a local newspaper and a member of the Uppvakningar group, Berglind Bang Óladóttir, took a beautiful picture of the crew sitting in a tree in Reykjavik. Iceland 

And a heartwarming closing snapshot from #Emerging Proud Australia;

The Message Board Brisbane

Some of the reflections from the Attendees at the Brisbane event:

  • This to me is a wonderful reminder to stop running from the gift that I have been given, that I once found frightening and abnormal. I feel grateful that groups like this exist and are creating an environment for people who have been labeled crazy to reach out and have a voice.
  • I believe I can see the future. Some people told me I was broken. My society told me I was broken. I did not fit into their very narrow box of human experience. The truth is mental distress is part of life and I have known few who have claimed to never experience it. So I changed the way I looked at it, I started to see myself as whole, not broken.
  • For the sake of labels I am many things, yet somehow nothing seems to qualify me more than my own lived experience. I work in a system who does not seem to understand the breadth or depth of human existence. I am a catalyst for something different, I create spaces where people can be themselves, where people can see other possibilities, a way for all to to have a space to touch there wholeness. This is my awakening and my souls work.

And the outcome…

  • Brisbane Australia has heard the call of our community and has set up the ‘Breakthrough Transform Network’ to continue the conversation and start addressing these issues at a grass roots level in our community. We also wish to link in with the wider community that can be allies of this project for referral and support services. We will be offering support groups, mentoring and coaching, think tanks and creative/spiritual skill building as tools for transformation and strategies to assist in emergence.

WOW. I am so very touched by the enormous efforts made all over the world by amazing Volunteers who are passionate about supporting people to feel safer about sharing and managing their Emergence process…together we are stronger, together we can create positive change. My heartfelt gratitude to you all, Katie ❤

Watch this space for the full report; coming very soon!

stronger-together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thomas “Ain’t Got No Tears Left To Cry”

You may remember Thomas Khepri who #Emerged Proud in 2017…

TomDaley

In the previous blog I described Tom as displaying the power of vulnerability in re- claiming his emotions as an authentic part of himself. Tom has grown through his bravery, and shows how the feminine is also rising in brave young men ❤

Thomas says;

“Ain’t Got No Tears Left To Cry”

My “mental illness” or the term I prefer, condition, is characterised in many ways. Ultimately I see it as just that, my character. The condition I am in is my characters response to the conditions of my life at the time.

One thing that used to take hold and cause concern or worry in others around me was this intense emotion I used to experience. My therapist at the time termed these waves of emotion as ‘tidal waves’ of emotion.

I would swell with pure emotional energy at the thought of something not being right, or the way it should be in my view. Or if something beautiful dawned on me, the same emotional tidal wave would occur.

These days I am largely freed from this emotion, though I do not take stance against it. Through the dark times it was what always proved to myself and my guides just how much I care. From time to time I still experience intense emotion, though I have learned how to regulate it within my body. Instead of letting it tighten my throat and stagger my breathing, I have learned to breathe through it and let it rise through my crown with a sense of ease. Now these emotions exists within my auric field in more or less a balanced state.

As a young man it may be deemed somehow wrong to experience such intense emotion by some, and this held me back. But now I honour and respect myself for my emotions, sometimes anger, sometimes appreciation; no matter what the emotion is, I am learning to listen to it and respond in a way that my being needs me to.

—-

What Next?

The next step in my emergence, or as many would term it, recovery, isn’t too clear.

My intentions are to help other star seeds find their way, and to the community that helped me find mine, I simultaneously ask for guidance and thank you!

Warm wishes

Thomas

Thomas uses music to express himself and his emotions creatively…

——

If anyone would like to keep in touch with Thomas on his spiritual journey, he welcomes you to join his website/blog where you can interact:

www.thedaleyexpress.com

Thank you Tom, for sharing your emotional wisdom and musical talents with the #EP community ❤

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Our 2018 #Emerging Proud Commemorative Print is PUBLISHED by leading Mental Health Publisher!

We are totally delighted that this year the official 2018 #Emerging Proud campaign book is not only a commemorative print of all of your amazing stories and artwork collected since the 2017 launch; it has actually been published by the UK’s award- winning Mental Health Publisher, Chipmunka…

*Order your copy here

(*This is a not-for-profit sale; All proceeds go towards the publishing costs.)

Jason Pegler, Chipmunka CEO, said he is;

“honoured to publish this amazing and inspirational book.”… He is;

“proud to work with the Emerging  Proud movement.”

Jason is a world leader in mental health empowerment and winner of the 2005 New Statesman’s Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Since 2001 he has dedicated his life to giving a voice to people with mental illness, helping them tell their stories and breaking down the stigma attached to mental health.
“At Chipmunka publishing we raise awareness of mental health and the stigma surrounding mental health problems by encouraging society to listen.”
Chip
We couldn’t think of a more suitable partnership…where passions and skills unite; beautiful things result. This 2018 edition is dedicated to the memory of Ben Potts; we hope that he’d have been very proud ❤

*Order your copy here

*This is a not-for-profit sale; All proceeds go towards the publishing costs.

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Re- emerging in 2 weeks time!

I’m finally listening to my own advice and going off to ‘fill my own cup’ for two weeks… two weeks of self- care, two weeks offline; I haven’t allowed myself to do this since my awakening six years ago – it makes me feel wobbly; who am I beyond this work? It’s time to find out…

full-cup

Oh, and here’s a very grounded but necessary parting statement;

 In order to comply with the new data protection requirements (GDPR), I have to let you know that your personal data has been collected so that we have contact information to communicate with you in regard to your participation in the Emerging Proud project and Emerging Kind sister project. We keep this information confidential within the project and do not share it with third parties. You may withdraw your consent to receive this information at any time by unsubscribing to the blog; your contact information will therefore no longer be available to us. 

On that note, I’ll love you and leave you!

Have a wonderful few weeks you lovely people; I’ll see you on the other side! ❤

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