Sabine from Switzerland is Kinda Proud of how her shamanic calling has been her mental saviour

Sabine Obermayr-Adamzek, from Switzerland, currently living in the region Arnhem, The Netherlands, graciously tells us how her shamanic calling to be a healer manifested through what the western world calls ‘psychosis’. We see more and more proof that is is high time we ‘Re- think mental illness’ through these stories. Thank you Sabine, we are Kinda Proud of your journey…

sabine o

Shamanism, my key to mental sanity

Writing this blog was inspired by the documentary “CRAZYWISE” by Phil Borges and Kevin Tomlinson.

I dare to state that shamanism saved my mental sanity. By now I am living with a worldview that is strongly based on knowledge and tools from indigenous people.

Burkina Faso

A few months after my 28th birthday I found myself breathing deeply, for the first time in my life the nocturnal air of Africa. I was standing on a platform on top of the stairs that lead down onto the tarmac of the airport  of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, a small country in West -Africa.

Little did I know that this visit would change my life fundamentally and irreversibly.

I was invited as one of the members of an international group of people who were invited by Sotigui Kouyaté (19 July 1936 – 17 April 2010, the head of a clan of griots and griottes, that are part of the Mandinka ethnic group. Griots and griottes  are keepers of  the oral tradition, storytellers, singers, performers, dancers and actors.

A number of westerners, including me, from a variety of countries, we were scheduled to travel around with several members of the Kouyaté family to do research for a theater project. I was a professional actress at that time.

To make a long story short: during this trip I started to have, what a professional would call, psychotic episodes. I saw things that others didn’t see, I heard strange voices in my head and I generally felt out of sorts, especially in the countryside. I remember a very strong physical sensation  of dissolving into the earth, not being able to breathe anymore, it felt like being under water, drowning in the earth. It seemed that I had senses, that weren’t there before I went to Africa, feeling things happening miles away, hearing rock formations talking to me in my head….

I can assure you it felt absolutely terrifying. I lost my sense of self, my identity of who I was. On the other hand I had experiences of being part of something much larger than mankind, that infused my mind and my body with a sense of wellbeing that I hadn’t encountered before and left me totally confused. I convinced myself there and then that these feelings and sensations were related to my extended stay in Africa.

They would vanish as soon as I was back in Switzerland, where I lived and worked at that time.

Guess what? They didn’t.

Back in Zürich

After having returned  to Zürich (Switzerland) a number of weeks later, these feelings, sensations and voices in my head still kept me awake various nights and made my daily life and functioning, the way I used to function, very difficult.

I remember one morning where I found myself sitting at the base of a big tree in a forest nearby the town center, soaked with rainwater to my skin and disoriented, gazing confused into the friendly face of a forest worker who asked me if I was alright. I answered more automatically than consciously : “Yes, of course” but obviously I wasn’t.

I had absolutely no recollection of how I ended up here. I had a vague memory of incredibly complicated energetic structures and deep friendly voices in my head.If anyone would have asked me then : What do you remember? I would have stared at them blankly and would have answered: Nothing.

At that point in time I was terrified, shaken to my core by the feeling of absolute powerlessness. Being in the grip of something so much bigger than me, that had taken over my consciousness. I wept for the woman, that I have been and wasn’t looking forward to the person I was becoming. Losing my memory, my sense of self and not knowing, where all these weird experiences would bring me, I decided that it was time to seek out a psychiatrist.

In the years that followed this episode, the knowledge that was dropped in my head that night, started to surface at appropriate times and gave me a lot of insight about the mechanics of the universe and the interconnection of all living systems.

A few weeks later my psychiatrist told me that I should take medication to control my ongoing psychotic episodes. I was afraid of what these chemicals would do to me and my brain, and decided to look for an alternative solution.

Synchronistically I came into contact with a Dutch man who was practicing Shamanism in France. After our initial contact on the phone, he told me, that he was expecting me.  That his Spirits had already informed him, that a Swiss lady would seek his help and  he recognized me, as this person. He invited me to participate in his upcoming workshop, where we would find the time  to consult the spirit world concerning my problems.

Shamanism and shamanic illness

In the first workshop I attended he taught me several techniques to regain control over what was happening to my mind. He promised me ongoing teaching and mentoring to follow my calling. “What calling”?  I asked him.

He explained to me that  from a shamanic point of view certain types of “mental illness” maybe nothing more than a strong calling to develop and research certain abilities that would be beneficial not only for the person who is experiencing this “illness”, but for everybody and everything this person would encounter later in life. That this experience, this “illness” is an inherent part of the training to become a shaman, a mediator between worlds. This training would not only involve himself as a teacher, but more importantly, that there would be other teachers from unseen realms that would guide me in my search.

He would teach me how to reach out to these teachers, to learn how to integrate the messages from the other worlds and train me to balance what was going on in my life in a good, healthy way. That I would embark on a journey with him to become a shamanic practitioner, he told me. For 15 years, I worked with Daan van Kampenhout as his student and co-teacher.

I was reading, studying and practicing all kind of indigenous and tribal worldviews from Lakota to Sami, from real people, healers and medicine people to knowledge that continues to be  passed on to me in dreams and trance journeys, since 1995.


Praying, like traditional medicine people do, accepting my “gift” of being able to communicate with everything that lives and generally embracing the idea that we all are interconnected with everything that has a spirit, the visible and unseen world around us, all coming from a common source, the creator, confirmed a lot of what I  experienced in my ‘psychotic’ episodes.

Humility, deep felt gratitude and compassion are since then a constant factor in my life. They form the base of my work as a shamanic practitioner and systemic facilitator.

In #Emerging Proud, we like to call this the ‘positive domino effect’ – with every person who is brave enough to step up, accept their calling and work on personal healing, they become able to offer support to others on the same path. It’s thanks to Sabine’s bravery, intense study and self- work that she is now able to do just that… ❤

Sabine says; “Feel free to contact me for a shamanic consult (from a distance as I live in The Netherlands)”


Sabine Obermayr – Adamzek phone: ++31618275619


Does this subject resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Nicole’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through NOTES? 

Please contact us here to find out how. 

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Get set for #Emerging Proud day 2019

12th May 2018 Banner

#Emerging Proud day on 12th May 2019 is set to be extra special; we be launching our Kinda Proud  book, #Emerging Proud through NOTEs, spearheaded by the inspirational Dr Nicole Gruel, and together hosting an online event and encouraging worldwide conversations around the topic of NOTEs (Non- ordinary transcendent experiences)…

Will you join us and help to bring voices to the collective?


Bryony world

Access all you need to host your own FREE event, or call in on the day to join in our live – streamed event… more details on that to follow in the coming months…

Let’s spread some magic together; we CAN create the change we wish to see in the world through the power of our authentic stories… 2019 is the year for stories to be told ❤



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We are setting up a publishing house!


I am soooooo excited to announce that, with the incredible support of the heart – centred Publishing company, That Guy’s House , we have decided to set up a publishing imprint especially for our Kinda Proud book series, AND budding #Emerging Proud Authors!

This will be a not- for-profit set- up, with 100% of the royalties going to purchase Kinda Proud books for distribution to those in need of messages of HOPE… 

In time, we intend to also offer those of you who have #Emerged Proud and are keen to write your own books, the opportunity to publish under our publishing arm, also keeping 100% of your royalties… more on that later!

For now, we would love for you to vote on which name you think is most fitting…



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Amanda is Kinda Proud that she learnt to connect to the true authentic expression of herself, and ‘BE’ it unapologetically.

More often than not it can take an existential crisis to discover who we truly are, beneath all of our old coping mechanisms that we use to repress pain we are not ready to feel. Amanda shares how her life crisis has turned out to be her biggest blessing; it has led her to discover who she truly is, and not only is she living her authentic version of herself, she has finally learned to love herself too!

amanda g

Rise up in Love

Connect to the magic of Hummingbird and the sweet nectar of life

My journey of falling in love with myself began when my 17 year relationship and marriage broke down and ultimately, came to an end. My entire life as I knew it had fallen apart.

Shortly after the separation I discovered certain truths that led me to feel deceived and betrayed. The rejection I felt was gut wrenching. The whole situation brought up my old story of feeling unlovable and replaceable.

My heart shattered into a million pieces.

It felt like my life had ended.

It felt like someone had died.

It felt like I had lost a part of my body.

I was totally heartbroken.

I felt unworthy.

I felt ashamed.

I felt like a failure.

I felt scared.

I felt guilty.

The list of self-loathing emotions I felt towards myself was endless.

For a long while getting out of bed in the morning was the biggest struggle.

I felt hopeless, a terrible mother, my body was gripped in such deep grief and pain that I literally felt like I couldn’t move.

I couldn’t even think about tomorrow without feeling anxious and panicky.  

Over the years I had developed an addiction to recreational drugs which I felt so much shame over.

I didn’t really know how to go out and enjoy myself without it.

I had no idea who I was.

I hadn’t supported myself financially for 14 years.

At 42 years old…I had no idea how to start a new life on my own.

But deep down inside I had a knowing.

A knowing that this was right and happening for me.

A knowing that this was an opportunity to rise up and connect to my authentic self.

I remember the day that woke me up and urged me to begin rebuilding myself and my life.

I was in bed and had barely been out of my room for a while. My daughter came over and made me get up and go see a friend. When I got back later, she had gone, my house was spotless and on my freshly made bed was a note saying… “Tomorrow is a new day. I love you.” I sobbed as my heart filled with love and gratitude for the love, beauty, compassion and wisdom she had shown me. My baby girl, now a young woman had reminded me of love, unconditional love and I decided at that moment to begin my journey back to loving myself.

I had to for my children.

I had to for myself.

It has been 2 years from the life I knew falling apart, to sitting here sharing my story.

In these 2 years, I have become a Forrest Yoga teacher, a bodyworker and healer, a transformational life coach. I moved and created a beautiful new home for myself and my kids. I started my own business, I met my twin flame, and most importantly I have fallen deeply in love with myself and my life. When I look back, I feel so much gratitude, so much pride  at how far I’ve come.

So how did I do it?

How did I turn my life around?

First, I made a commitment that no matter what, I was going to stay in a place of love and live from my heart.

I learnt to stop living in the past, repeating stories and create a beautiful new life.

I learnt to receive and give love unconditionally.

I learnt to forgive myself and everyone else involved.

I learnt to connect to the true authentic expression of me and be it unapologetically.

I committed to leading by example and show my children that it is possible to rise above anger, resentment and bitterness into unconditional love.

I committed to living with integrity and grace.

I committed to loving harder than any other negative emotion, embody and BE love.

Secondly, I chose to take responsibility for what had happened in my life, for my own happiness and not play into victimhood and drama anymore.

To be responsible for and change my behaviour, habits and stories connected to the imprints of my past that were clearly no longer serving me.

I overcame my addictions to drama, behaviour and stories of a lifetime. I had to get clear and conscious of what they were in order to catch myself, interrupt the pattern and change it.

Thirdly I practiced dreaming about how I wanted my future to look.

How I  wanted to feel.

Who I wanted to be.

What I wanted to do.

Why I wanted to do it.

I practiced and embodied how my future self would act, feel and be and made a commitment to be that person every day. I learnt tools to support me to overcome those moments when my past self would try and draw me back.

Everyday I practiced, committed and invested wholeheartedly into being my future self until it was more of a habit than being my past self.

And when I fell from grace, I owned it, made amends, forgave myself, loved myself and started again. I chose to never give up.

I  surrendered to the deeply uncomfortable and painful emotions I had repressed my whole life.

I leaned right into vulnerability.

I chose to rise up out of victimhood and into empowerment.

I chose to embody and FEEL deep gratitude and love for every experience, not only the joyful ones.

I chose to open my heart fully and commit to living, breathing and being my future self every single day.

Thank you Amanda for shining your bright light and helping others to #Emerge Proud as their authentic Selves ❤

Amanda is based in Norwich, UK,  where she lives and works. Her work is about empowering her clients in their own healing, in order to fall in love with oneself and their life–Rising up in love and living from the heart.  Amanda holds classes, workshops, courses, retreats in person and online. She also works one-on-one with clients empowering them in their healing and in their lives.



Does Amanda’s experience resonate with your own? 

Would you like to share your story for Nicole’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through NOTES? 

Please contact us here to find out how. 

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Katie is Kinda Proud of her Fight Club badges to BEAT disordered eating

As Katie from Wiltshire, UK, so rightly states; ‘recovery’ from any form of psychological distress is never perfect, linear or uncomplicated… 

However, we can still have things to be proud of amidst the journey; any achievements help to build confidence and bring us a step closer to transforming our lives.

Here Katie shares how creating her Fight Club pin badges in collaboration with BEAT  has given her something to not only be proud of, but has connected her to others who are openly commited to overcoming their own struggles, to show they are not alone…

katie kingham

Recovery is a strange concept when applied to an eating disorder. By definition, recovery means “a return to a normal state of health, mind or strength” but, as I and many like me know, there is likely never going to be a complete abolition of our eating disorder. They are so unhelpfully entwined with our identities, our self-esteem, our subconscious, that to assume they disappear completely is, sadly, just unrealistic.

I say this with a painfully fresh perspective. 7 months ago I was fully “recovered,” yet now I am stuck in a full-blown relapse. It caught me completely off-guard and I still can’t quite get my head around the fact it’s happening. It is the first time I have ever relapsed completely, and I was truly in a place where I believed that anorexia would never affect me again. It was just a painful, sad, distant memory. I am a Mother to 2 young children, and of course Mums don’t get anorexia, it completely undermines a Mother’s inbuilt instinct to put her children first. So when I finally decided to undertake a “healthy eating plan” early in 2018, I never believed that it would escalate into anything more. How wrong I was. Anorexia quickly sunk its claws in, tightened its grip, and took me over.

I am all too conscious that this seems a very negative start to something intended to incite hope, but the point I want to make is that when it comes to recovery, it pays to be realistic. It is seldom perfect, linear and uncomplicated. Allow yourself bad days, weeks even, as long as your resolve is there. Don’t put pressure on yourself to recover perfectly, you know, the way people on Instagram recover, emerging from the dark as a beautiful butterfly and conveniently with the budget for 5 star hotel breaks and Michelin star meals. Recovery is whatever it looks like to you. This could be a night out with the girls without a single care about the sugar in the cocktails, a meal out with your family without the anxiety and forward planning, an ice cream on the beach with your children without worrying about them trying to kiss you with their ice cream-covered mouths.

Remaining hopeful during recovery can be one of the biggest challenges. It is such a gruelling and often lengthy process that remaining optimistic and even remembering the end goal can feel impossible. This is why, straight off the back of watching a harrowing documentary on anorexia, I decided to try and do something to help support anyone suffering. I came up with the idea of designing pin badges – a small, subtle, portable reminder that you’re committed to recovery, and not alone.

I approached the wonderful charity Beat to see if they’d be interested in getting involved and attaching their name to my project. To my wonderment, they responded , and with such enthusiasm that I decided to take the plunge. This was uncharacteristically bold of me, as my self doubt usually results in me ducking out of anything that’s remotely risky or reliant on my success. With the target of getting them ready for EDAW (Eating Disorders Awareness Week) in place, I went about designing them.

My work as an artist is largely influenced by nature, and I knew I wanted the pin badges to stay in keeping with this. I also really enjoy using symbolism, which suited the fact I wanted them to be subtle. I started thinking about the key messages I wanted to convey, not forgetting those supporting us, because they have it hard too. I started with dogwood, which symbolises love undiminished by adversity. This is a nod to the carers, families and friends who have to deal with someone they love trying to self-destruct, often whilst transforming into a completely different person, but being there regardless. Not through force or out of duty, but because they love you so much and are committed to your happiness.

Next I wanted to use a mushroom to symbolise resilience. This one is fairly self-explanatory. It’s no secret that recovering from an eating disorder is exceptionally difficult. If you are attempting to take on an eating disorder, you are already stronger than you think.

Finally, there’s the moth, which symbolises intuition. Our intuition is a powerful and mystical tool that enables us to judge when something just isn’t right. Trust yourself and your intuition in your recovery, harness your own voice to help empower yourself and belittle the eating disorder. If you’re in contact with somebody struggling, and you think something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Don’t be afraid to confront this, they’ll thank you eventually for finding them out.

Thanks to Beat sharing my badges, and through my own promotion, over 300 fighters have purchased a badge. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the response and every time I send one out, I feel proud of that person for acknowledging the struggle and taking it on. I have one on every one of my coats, and whenever I catch a glimpse of it in a mirror or window I can smile for a second and remember that I’m part of an amazing club of people fighting to make life better.

I will continue to fight and share my journey. I am starting treatment imminently and with the support of my partner pushing through what I hope has been the lowest point of this relapse. I hope to look back on this relapse as a reminder that I need to put myself first sometimes, keep my wits about me, and never underestimate an eating disorder or, more importantly, myself.

If you would like to find me on social media, or purchase a Fight Club pin badge, the links below will get you there!

Love to you all, we can do this together ❤

Well done for #Emerging Proud Katie; we’re with you all the way! 


Follow her: @edfightclub on Instagram and Twitter

Does Katie’s story resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Amy’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem? 

Please contact Amy to find out how by contacting her at:

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Free film screening to launch support group in Cambridge

Cambridge community film screening and discussion

SAT 12th Jan 1 – 4pm 

This is an informal full film screening #EmergingProud; watch how Peers managed to ’emerge’ transformed from their perceived mental health crises;

…Can a breakdown really be a journey to breakthrough?


This screening is free to attend and is intended to initiate interest in an ‘Emerging Kind’ Peer support group on the topic of spiritual emergence for those who resonate with the concept and are in need of mutual support to help the integration process.


Following this Launch, an Emerging KInd peer support group will be established in Cambridge, facilitated by our trained Peer, Yasemin. Come and join us to see the movie and be part of creating our local group together.

Emerging Kind is a group of people who have experienced spiritual crisis and have been extensively trained to arrange and facilitate peer support groups around the country for people having experienced a spiritual crisis.

There is no obligation to join the group if you attend the screening 🙂


Testimonials from the world premier on 12th May 2017

“Thank you so much for working to further this movement. You’ve given me a safe space to shed many tears of joy and hope.” Theodore

“The film was extremely affirming and emotive to watch. I found myself relating deeply to the people discussing their experiences of spirituality within mental health, and resonated with the struggle of being severely misunderstood. It was especially inspiring to witness each beautiful person have the courage to speak openly about their awakening with such depth and humour.” Thomas

“The film blew me away – it was beautifully put together, and totally inspiring. More than just addressing the stigma attached to mental health, it speaks to the human condition in general and I think we all have a lot to learn from the stories that are being told. Absolutely loved it.” James

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Free CRAZYWISE event with Phil Borges, Producer, in Ipswich; Jan 7th 2019

I’m excited to be hosting a FREE CRAZYWISE screening with Phil Borges in Ipswich on the 7th Jan thanks to the Suffolk User Forum being so pro- active


Come along for the live Q+A and hear all about the Crazywise Conversations from Phil… We’ll be asking;

“What resources are needed in mental health to better support these processes?”



Have your say:

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 08.41.58

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