Introducing our KindaProud Rep for the #EmergingProud through Trauma and Abuse Pocket Book of Hope and Transformation

#EmergingProud throughTrauma and Abuse 

 

MandyHorne

I had my first ‘official’ episode of mental ‘illness’ in early 2014. I had spent 30+years in the insurance industry, most of which were in busy, highly paid, senior roles. Sometimes things had been stressful, but I felt at this point like my life, relationships and finances were in a good place, so I felt happy enough.

Then, from nowhere, I felt total exhaustion, like I had burned out of energy, so I took a week off work sick. As I started to relax into my week off and empty my mind of daily work issues, I noticed that I was seemingly losing chunks of time from my day. I couldn’t remember what I had been doing, where I had been, or conversations I had had. I took another week off work as this unexplained amnesia was obviously worrying me.

I started to look back over my life to see if I could establish any sort of pattern. Everyone used to joke that I had a terrible memory for recalling events from the past, things that everyone else would see as significant. Like being told by a friend that she’d been raped – it had just disappeared from my mind. The only periods of amnesia I could definitely point to were the times when I was very drunk, where I would have memory blackouts and wonder the next day what I had done the night before.  However, I had given up alcohol the previous year, so it could not be related to that. I recounted events, including those that had not involved alcohol, and found that I had huge chunks of memory missing.

The next things that happened were so distressing that I lost all ability to cope with life on my own without 24 hour support. The blackouts continued, but I started to find out, through evidence of text conversations, or my partner recording me talking, that there was another side to me – an alter personality, in fact two. One I identified as a bolshy but naïve and immature female, who I named Sandy, and the other a protective male, who I named Joe. I developed severe anxiety. I also developed Obsessive Thinking, a form of OCD where imagined thoughts become real. As I saw myself as broken and bad, my imagination ran wild! I saw my mind as driving me mad. I was a complete mess, in tears most of the time, not sleeping other than having terrible nightmares, and at a loss for how to continue with life.

After researching, I believed that I was suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). DID is a severe and complex psychological condition caused by childhood trauma.

My Dissociative Friend

When I find I can take no more

my mind opens up a protective door

that I step through to keep me sane

and help me play his vicious game

 

A friend I create to take the pain

takes my place again and again

And though deep down I know it’s me

when she is there I cannot see

or feel, or speak, or cry, or bleed

She is the only friend I need

Without her I know I’d have to die

to escape the man I can’t deny

THE CRITERIA FOR DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER IN THE DSM-5 IS:

  1. Two or more distinct identities or personality states are present, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment and self.

(According to the DSM-5, personality states may be seen as an “experience of possession.” These states “involve(s) marked discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency, accompanied by related alterations in affect, behaviour, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning.”

  1. Amnesia must occur, defined as gaps in the recall of everyday events, important personal information and/or traumatic events. (The criteria for DID newly recognises that amnesia doesn’t just occur for traumatic events but, rather, everyday events, too.)
  2. The person must be distressed by the disorder or have trouble functioning in one or more major life areas because of the disorder.
  3. The disturbance is not part of normal cultural or religious practices.
  4. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (such as blackouts or chaotic behaviour during alcohol intoxication) or a general medical condition (such as complex seizures).

I seemed to be at the worst end of the scale but, as DID is a little known or understood reaction to trauma, I had trouble getting people to believe me, even people in the mental health profession.  I went on long-term sick from work, my partner took compassionate leave, and ultimately had to leave his job, to care for me. It was dangerous for me to be left alone, as I did not know what triggered me switching, or what I did when I was in these alter personalities. I went to my GP. She did not understand. I got referred for 5 different psychiatrist assessments, having to go through my story each time. They diagnosed me with various things, even though my symptoms exactly matched the diagnosis for DID. What I told them was not always believed and this was extremely distressing, making me feel so much worse. At one stage I was even signed off and told there was nothing they could do to help me!  I attempted to get sectioned as I was that desperate, but they did not take me in, as I had not attempted suicide. I felt suicidal but because I was (as one report described me) ‘well-groomed and coherent’, they did not think me bad enough. It takes, on average, 7 years for people to achieve the correct diagnosis when struggling with DID symptoms. In mental health services, what I needed to help me heal, or at least manage my condition, was long-term help from a psychologist but, although this was promised to me after each assessment, it was not forthcoming and months went by.  DID was taking over and destroying my life. I made a complaint to the CEO of the local mental health trust and it was only then, after a year of trying, that I got the help from a psychologist that I needed.

I am a problem-solver. Whilst I was waiting for professional help, I wanted to get to the bottom of what was happening to me. I was desperate to get ‘better’.  I researched and read self-help manuals. I read stories from other people with DID and it helped me to identify with that and realise I was not alone. I got to understand DID inside out and I started to do some of the things that were suggested: to establish contact with my alters, find out what their purpose was and what they represented about me, and to start bringing my fractured mind and personality together. 

In meditation to try and connect, I started to recover childhood, as well as more recent, memories. My childhood had been a difficult one: an alcoholic but loving father who ‘abandoned’ me when I was 5, poverty, an emotionally stunted mother, a psychotic step-father, domestic violence, difficult teenage years, etc. I thought I had dealt successfully with my past by blocking it out and moving on, making something of my life.  My younger sister had always claimed that the step-father we lived with from my age 7 to age 11, sexually abused us. My relationship with her was strained, as I did not believe this, had little sympathy, and felt that she used this as an excuse for what I saw as any failures in life. Whilst I recalled the blackness of that period with him, the fear I felt around his unpredictability in terms of disciplining us and him frequently hurting my mum through violent attacks, plus his odd behaviour when it came to nudity and bathing, I did not recall any sexual abuse. UNTIL THEN.

I started to understand that I had had my alters, Sandy and Joe, since I was a child. My mind had created them to escape the abuse and to protect me from people around me that, at the time, were hurting me very badly (it wasn’t just my step-father who abused me). Sandy took my place for the abuse and Joe was responsible for the angry outbursts I had when I was younger, which had turned into panic attacks in more recent years. Instead of seeing my alters as the problem, I saw them as a gift, but a gift that I needed to help me survive my childhood and one that I could now cope without.

My sister and I had told no-one about this sexual abuse before and she had ended up dealing with things in her own way, sadly isolating from me and our family. However, I was able to corroborate the memories I was now getting with my sister’s own memories of events, so this told me they were real. It also brought us closer together again.

I finally started to get the help I needed through the NHS and I saw a great psychologist for weekly sessions over 9 months. By the time I started to see her (a year after my first symptoms) I had developed a huge insight into my own illness and so our focus was on establishing what triggered my dissociative episodes.  Anxiety around men, particularly men I saw as having some sort of power over me, like bosses at work, or men who were very confident and demanding, and feeling like I was put in a position of having to please a man, was one trigger. This is when Sandy would appear, as she did with my abusers when I was young.  Another was when I felt challenged, threatened or criticised. The time with my step-father had made me into a perfectionist because getting anything wrong or not doing any work well enough would trigger his violent outbursts.  I therefore handled personal criticism very badly. This is when Joe would appear.

I saw through all of this how I had developed into the person my main abuser, my step-father, had wanted me to be. I was emotionally dysfunctional. Nothing I did felt sincere or heartfelt. I had little real passion or compassion. I didn’t see myself as a nice person, although everyone thought I was because I had learned as a child how to please others. I saw clearly for the first time how my time with him, and the abuse I suffered, had created so much of how my life had turned out, including what I chose to do as my job and how I behaved in my relationship with myself, others and the world around me.

Maintaining My Self-worth

It’s important that I please you

important that you see

that I’m a good compliant woman

so that you will deign to like me

It’s important that you notice

my attractiveness and wit

intelligence and maturity

and that I am sexy with it

For without your endorsement

my worth amounts to nowt

I therefore sell my soul to you

so my self-worth can out

I worked with the psychologist, creating scenarios for me to practice in real life, but in a protective environment, gradually increasing exposure to what would normally be the problems that triggered me dissociating and switching. I also had work to do on relationship boundaries and to release suppressed emotion, recognising that it was OK to be vulnerable and to feel and express emotion, that sometimes I would be hurt and that it was OK to admit I couldn’t cope and seek support.

I also continued meditating and re-connecting with my alters and my scary memories, recognising that I was now safe from what I then feared. I convinced my alters (who I came to see as individual spirits sent to help me when I was a child) that there was no need for us to be separate and that it was safe to integrate.  I became stronger and stronger and my problems started to disappear. I have not had a dissociative episode now for 3 years.  I have found myself in stressful or upsetting situations since, but I have learnt how to deal with them.

Despite my employers being very supportive for a long time, I eventually lost my job. During that period, I lost my relationship with my daughter, which I have since thankfully regained.  I lost my house and the financial security I had put such importance in. I lost my sanity for a good while.

I am, however, grateful for this troubled journey. In the process of all of this, I found myself.  With it, I found my emotion, my compassion, my love for those close to me, particularly my partner, Ash, who supported me through my dark times. I found out who my true friends are (not so many but some surprising ones), those who believed what I was saying and stood by me. I have become closer with my sister. I have completely transformed myself as a person and now feel like who I am and how I behave flows naturally from me. I was freed from the confines of the personality that my abuser had created and could finally, at age 48, start to live my life as it should have been.

I wanted to use my experience and new-found knowledge to help others and found that I had a particular compassion for young people suffering from trauma and emotional distress. I networked with others in mental health circles. I found out what gaps existed in local provision and I wanted to put something in place to fill those gaps.  I invested what I had left of my savings and used this opportunity to create a social enterprise to help young people with counselling for emotional distress and, although this could not financially support me, I feel very happy that it has helped many young people cope better with the problems in their lives. I am very hopeful that their course in life will have altered through this intervention and they will not go on to develop worse outcomes, like I did.

I find it difficult to work within any sort of system now, especially in commercial business, because most jobs don’t allow for people to be authentic; after years of not being true to myself, I find it hard to pretend any different.  I have also found it difficult getting a job because of the fear from employers of any person with a mental health history. I am grateful to the Missing Kind charity for employing me when no others would. This has brought me into contact with Katie and the wonderful work she is doing through the #Emerging Proud movement.

Ultimately, I feel as if I have come through so much and this has given me a sense of  the strength and resilience I did not know that I had. I also know that everything that has happened to me has happened for a reason and has made me into the person I am; a person I am much happier being. That I can go forward using my experiences to help others, which is what my aim in life now is. My experience tells me that we can all become who we ought to have always been, that we need to keep going, despite any hardships and struggles to get to that point.

Whilst going through the pain of this process, I also found my passion for writing, which I used as part of my healing and which I hope will be what I do with my longer term future. I have written a lot of poetry, some short stories and have started a novel with my partner Ash. I am in the process of seeking the best way to publish my writing for the least financial outlay (any help or tips most appreciated 😊). I have found a belief in myself and my writing and I hope that what I write will help people going through similar struggles.

I am extremely excited to be supporting Katie with the work involved in putting together the #Emerging Proud Book Series, and for some of my poetry to feature in these books.

And I hope that, by reading my story and finding the right support, other people going through similar, will find the peace they deserve.

 

Does this subject resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Mandy’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through Trauma and Abuse? 

Please contact Mandy to find out how by contacting her at: ambrieleve@gmail.com

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Video account of #EmergingProud day in Brazil, 2018

Initiated following the huge success of the #EmergingProud event in Brazil in 2017 organised by Ligia Splendore, (wife of Sean Blackwell), an amazing group of 20 Volunteers have formed the group ‘Repensando a Loucura’ (Rethinking Madness). This is a video account of what they got up to on 12th May 2018, to mark the 2nd International #EmergingProud day…

A huge “obrigada” to the Brazilian team for your efforts and dedication to the campaign ❤

Find out more about Repensando a Loucura HERE 

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Introducing our KindaProud Rep for the #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem Pocket Book of Hope and Transformation.

Amy Woods is KindaProud, and so she should be! She’s emerged through years of self- criticism transformed, to give hope and support to others who are still struggling. We couldn’t be prouder to have Amy as one of our KindaProud Pocket Books of Hope and Transformation Reps! Here’s Amy’s story…

#EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem

AmyWoods

“What if the journey isn’t about becoming anything, what if it’s about UNbecoming everything that isn’t you so you could be who you were meant to be in the first place.”

I remember the feeling well….It was like a black hole of never being satisfied and obsessing about my next mouthful of food. I fantasised about what I would eat next, what I’d get from the shops to devour later and how I would hide it.  The shame, the secrecy, the manipulation of urgently needing to eat so badly! Just eat and eat and eat…

I remember having a meal with some friends and family members when I was about 18, reaching for portion number three when someone shouted: “Amy, stop eating! You’ll get fat if you keep eating” I was completely taken by surprise and to my horror realised that I’d been caught out.  From this place of utter embarrassment I tried to defend myself to deflect the hurt when they responded:  “Well, you’re putting on weight….”

In that moment, the long-tunnel vision, punch in the stomach, red cheek flare of shame washed over my body like a heavy wave of absolute failure.  Something within me cracked open. From this place of shame, embarrassment, humiliation and deep hurt, a door that was holding back so much emotion, flung wide open. I cried all night and 2 days after that. The utter heartbreak I felt was unbearable and tears kept coming, and coming. Until I eventually found some peace. I felt cleansed, light and liberated.  I realised that for so long, for years, I had actually numbed myself of feeling any kind of emotion and had imprisoned myself in a box of self-judgement and self-criticism.  I realised that for a very long time I had been completely rejecting my body, hating it even. Feeling frustrated every time I looked in the mirror and saw my hideous self looking back at me. 

The encounter had completely cracked me open and for the first time in what seemed like forever I felt an aliveness, a peace and a connection to something so much bigger than me.

Around the same time I had started to come across authors such as Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle, where they explained much of what I was feeling and opened my eyes to this “other world” where all beings are connected in the source or the Oneness.

This was the beginning of a long journey of UNbecoming everything that wasn’t me and embracing everything that was me.

A few months later I came across the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. They were talking about how the relationship we have with our food is ultimately a relationship we have with life.

When I came across their ethos, I started to understand that my binge eating was a result of years and years of not knowing how to process the intense emotions I was feeling, it was a result of DIS-connection from my soul and from the Oneness of life, it was a result of not feeling able to express who I was and what I wanted. It was the result of being so severely disconnected from my Wildish nature and the natural world around me.

It was an intense way of my body and my soul desperately trying to get my attention. 

“DIS-ordered eating is the body’s way of coping with a DIS-ordered world”

– Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

I started to discover that there was so much more to the story than me being a weak  failure with a complete lack of willpower.  I started to become aware of the tremendously judgemental and critical narrative I lived my life through and actually realised I had a choice and the willingness to transform it into something positive.

I then went on to discover books like “The Gifts of our compulsions” by Mary O’Malley, “Women who run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and “Body Positive Power” by Megan Crabbe, and learned more and more about where this mentality of self- blaming and shaming comes from and why we have different self-sabotaging behaviours. 

All of this opened my eyes to the fact that we are so much more than our physical appearance. We are spiritual beings living an imperfect and emotional human experience with a purpose.  We are each here for a reason, we belong to mother Earth and we are unconditionally accepted and loved by her helped me begin to heal my relationship with my body and my food.

Understanding that it was ok to feel EVERYTHING from the heartache to the ecstasy and everything in between.

Understanding that the voices that were telling me I was not flawless enough, thin enough or beautiful enough, are not who I truly am and knowing that they are ghosts of a narrative so deeply ingrained within our collective consciousness that we inherit them on a subconscious level from the human world around us.

The transformation I experienced through starting to heal my binge eating and my unhealthy body image inspired me to train as an Eating Psychology Coach and support and empower others to feel free, alive and worthy.

By no means is my binge eating eradicated completely or is my life a self-rejecting free party. It’s a life-long journey of recovery and some days are easier than others to be kind and compassionate to myself. But it’s safe to say that most of the time, I am no longer afraid to be myself, to speak my truth and fight for what I believe in.

If you are reading this and are struggling with your relationship to food, your body image or low self-esteem, please know that it does get easier, things will change. You are strong, you are so strong actually, hang on in there and reach out for support in any way you can. I believe in you. You are worthy, you are resilient and you are so flipping beautiful.

Doing this with the support and love of people who understand and have been through similar things has made this journey a lot easier and so much more fun too. I am so grateful for meeting people like Katie who are doing such inspiring things to bring hope to so many people who are struggling in a world that tells them there is something “wrong”.

There is nothing wrong. This is your time for transformation. Love, Amy x

Does this subject 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: info@soul-shine.org.uk

Manifesto of the Brave and BrokenHearted

There is no greater threat to the critics
and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned how to rise.
With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.

We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.
We are the authors of our lives.

We write our own daring endings.
We craft love from heartbreak,

Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.
Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home. Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong

– Brene Brown

Does this subject 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: info@soul-shine.org.uk

 

Amy’s Bio:

Amy Woods is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach, specialising in Compulsive Eating, Cultivating a healthy body image culture and empowering women to transform the relationships with the food they eat and the body they’re in from one of  shame and guilt to one of nourishment and pleasure.

She is Founder and Director of the social enterprise SoulShine which aims to empower people of all ages to live their fullest and most authentic lives.

SoulShine delivers coaching sessions, workshops, inspirational talks, vlogs, online courses and wild women photo shoots.
Amy and Robyn are highly motivated and passionate about creating positive change within their community and  believe that everyone deserves to lead a fulfilling life and be able to embrace their full potential.

Their aim is to build a supportive and compassionate Body Positive Community where each person is celebrated for who they are.

Come and join the Body Positive Revolution!

Find out more information at www.soul-shine.org.uk

SoulShine

Join our FB group: “Embrace” Yourself & Your Body with SoulShine

Facebook: @soulshinehealingAmy

Instagram: @soulshine94

Twitter: @soulshineyou

Amy’s poem; Dare You? 

Like a tornado ripping through a forest
with the strength of a thousand angry oceans,
I felt the pain tear it’s way through my heart.
I felt the pain from the depths of my soul..
With what felt like a stone in my throat,
I sobbed into the ocean.
The waves embraced my being and washed away my tears and my sadness…

Sitting on what felt like the edge of the world,
with the occasional spray of the ocean from a wave hitting the rocks with a greater force
I felt my open wounds start to heal
With the strong rays of the sun kissing my skin,
I breathed in the sea air and finally started to feel the storm inside, calming down…

I dare you…. to have the courage to be vulnerable. To feel everything deeply, but not to get lost in the pain.
I dare you….. to have the courage to look that ghost that’s haunting you in the eye, forgive it and let it go.
I dare you…. to forgive yourself and open your heart to the experience.
I dare you… to LIVE and BE everything you are meant to be.

Does this subject 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: info@soul-shine.org.uk

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Are you having a spiritual awakening? By proud Emergee Lori Morrison

Thank you to #Emerging Proud film subject, Lori, for this wonderful article…

Meditative Yoga

More and more people are asking themselves this question and thankfully western culture is becoming better equipped with some answers. Spiritual awaking can be a glamorous term but the reality is that an awakening can be life altering and chaotic. When that happens it is called a spiritual emergency. There are many things that can trigger a spiritual emergency:

1.) Societal pressures: When people have been living their lives for the perception of others, their true selves lies hidden. Trying to fit the mold of society can limit the souls journey and an awakening is the emergence of the truth of a person. A shattering of limiting beliefs and the realization that there is more to what is seen can stimulate a change of perception of the world that leads to a shrugging off of the old and stepping into a new vision.

2.) Is there more to life? When you start asking the bigger questions and wanting to know more about your existence, your purpose, your place in the cosmic view of things you make be at a juncture of a spiritual awakening. Twelve astronauts have spoken of their shift in how they see themselves in the world after trips to space. This is called the overview effect. They have spoken about the awe they have and the transcendence into an understanding of connectedness. Here is a video about this phenomenon. 

3.) Depression: Many times depression can be precipitated by not living your true existence. The soul weeps that you have lost touch with the recognition of the purpose of being here.

4.) Trauma: Many spiritual emergencies occur after a near death experience, death of a loved one or a very fearful incident.

5.) Childbirth: Many women will realize that bigger picture after giving birth. The act of what occurs brings to light the feeling of miracles and phenomena and a total unity and oneness with another human being.

6.) Intensive spiritual practice: Many of the great world wisdoms have known of the possibilites of enlightenment. Asian cultures have always explored the bigger picture and the importance of an inner perception. Meditation, yoga and other practices can be a foundation for the feeling of connectivity to the universe.

7.) Repressed emotions: The emotional load has limits and there is a fragile turning point when we do not manage emotion well, storing them until a danger zone. The psyche will reach a limit and explodes when the reality of our lives is revealed through an awakening.

When an awakening sinks in there is a vast list of symptoms. People talk of a unity consciousness and a blissful existence where they may feel unconditional love for the first time in their lives. They often describe themselves disintegrating and becoming whole with a universal energy. There is also a sense of knowing, receiving information from the external world without even asking for it, a ripening of intuition. Many will hear voices, channel messages and receive psychic abilities. The sensitivities of smell, noise and others energies and emotions can play havoc with someone in a spiritual emergency.

There are also physical changes as the energy begins to emerge and rise within the sacrum of the body and spreads throughout the body. There can be a sensation that you have been plugged in and cannot unplug yourself from intense energy. This can even be painful as an overload on the nervous system. Another symptom can be amazing synchronicities and the ability to see past lives. You may also have the experience of being out of your body astral traveling at night or even during the day.

For many these spiritual experiences are manageable and do not effect your life, for others they can be very overwhelming and destabilizing. When there is not a framework for understanding and when the experiences are not validated it can be very chaotic and disturbing. Friends and family may find it very difficult to understand and to help and many end up in the mental health field where there is little to no support for these types of events.

The earth is changing its frequency and this can be the cause of many people switching on to a higher vibration. Here is the perfect stone to work with:

Moldavite:

A very rare stone from Eastern Europe, moldavite is my go to stone for  extra-terrestial energies. It is a type of tektite formed when a giant meteor hit the earth, a fusion of the cosmos with mother earth. It has been a very cherished stone throughout the ages. For me it is the ascension stone sent to our planet to raise its vibration and help us in our transition to a higher level of consciousness. It is intense and and will clear out your chakras and increase your connection to the higher realms and accelerate the ascension process. It is important to use a grounding stone like hematite or obsidian while using moldavite to balance its extra-terrestial affects. It is very helpful to shamans who can venture into past lives and repair aberrations on the energetic fields, they can also use it to journey to the infinite field of possibility and bring back what is needed in the present for optimizing future results. It serves as a transformer of information from the akashic field.

Many people feel very disconnected on earth, as if they miss the place of their origins. These people are often called star children, indigos or crystal children and are highly sensitive beings often struggling with the density of earth. Moldavite’s energies are like a phone call home, tying them back to the interplanetary world they most resonate with. Highly empathic people will resonate with moldavite as it can be a support of compassion and purpose.

About the Author:

Lori Morrison is a “concierge” to the spiritual world and a “soul intuitive” for those seeking connection and support in their life journeys. Combining her skills as a coach, spiritual counselor, shamanic healer and psychic intuitive she has built a successful practice located in Sedona, Arizona where she works with clients from all over the world. She is especially gifted in supporting those who have experienced trauma and grief and other debilitating life experiences through the use of alternative methods and ancient wisdom. By changing the perspective of mental illness from despair to the emergence of a creative gift it can lead to dramatic shifts in the possibility of recovery.
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You voted; these KindaProud books will be co-produced over the coming months!

A couple of weeks ago we told you that the next project for #EmergingProud is to create little pocket books of hope on specific themes of distress…
KindaProud_V4_Century_Gothic_EditedCutted_Font_KatieColors
The first stage is being made possible thanks to sponsorship from The Missing Kind Charity, and we recently ran a survey to ask which books you’d most like to see produced and share your stories for; you voted, thank you!

There will be a series of ‘Pocket Books of Hope’ for people experiencing mental distress, to help reframe it as a possible transformation process. 

The first 4 themes will be:

  • #Emerging Proud through Anxiety and Depression
  • #Emerging Proud through NOTES (Non- ordinary Transcendent Experiences)
  • #Emerging Proud through Trauma and Abuse
  • #Emerging Proud through disordered eating, body image and low self- esteem

Each themed book will have a KindaProud Rep; a Peer who has personal experience of that specific issue, who will help to collect stories, co- create the book and feature in it. 

The inspiring KindaProud Reps will be revealed over the coming weeks, and you’ll be invited to share your personal stories for each of these motivational books 🙂

We look forward to journeying with you very soon! 

In the mean time, don’t forget you can get your mits on the official 2018 commemorative print,      IMG_0425published by Chipmunka Press, HERE  or the E-Book HERE  All proceeds go towards publication and continuing the campaign work.

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My journey through Kundalini awakening by Alan Foulkes

My Story by Alan Foulkes

Alan F

I had been going through an unusual period of extreme anxiety. I had been made redundant and was finding it very hard to get another job. A well of anxiety rose up.  I managed to settle this anxiety down and find more work but then found the same extreme anxiety re-surfacing as work became quite busy.

A good friend recommended that I went to an acupuncturist, and I decided to try this rather than take the anti- depressants that were offered by my GP.

I realised that this anxiety was from a childhood trauma that was finding a way to come to the surface, and I explained this to the acupuncturist.

During the resulting treatment I had very powerful energy moving up my body along my spine..it came all the way up to my head…the Acupuncturist kept on saying to me to open up…I did….I saw clouds like a William Blake painting, and in the middle the clouds started to thin…until….a golden light came through the clouds and whoosh…the energy went right up through my body and out of my Crown Chakra.

For 24 hours I felt blissful. I could see the oneness of everything, colours were very vivid, and I was very sensitive to other people’s energies.  I could not stand close to people with negative energy.

However, after 24 hours the experience changed. I felt the energy shift in my stomach, the anxiety came back with a vengeance. I could not function, go to work. Energy was coming up to my head and getting stuck, as if 1,000 watts was being put through a 40 watt light bulb.

I ended up being convinced I was dying, could not walk more than a few yards and spent 2 days sitting on the end of my bed waiting to die.

I was admitted to psychiatric hospital for 6 weeks which was a major trauma in itself. I was hearing flute music ( a common experience in Kundalini awakenings apparently) but realised early on that had to stop telling them what was really happening to me as it was all seen as psychosis, so did not tell the medics this. If I had I am sure I would have got the diagnosis of schizophrenia…I was actually given the ridiculous diagnosis of “psychotic depression”; at no point was I depressed…..just very anxious.

I was put on anti-psychotics and anti-depressants. At no point was I ever listened to. As I was trained in Reiki I had some understanding of Kundalini (and was very scared of it).  Even the most empathetic medical staff could not understand this; I had no validation of my experience.

After a difficult four months life returned to “normal”. I was able to function, go back to work. A year on a friend told me about the Emerging Proud Launch Event. It was an inspiring day and fantastic to meet other people who had comparible experiences.

I am now a trained Peer Group Facilitator in the Emerging Kind project and will be starting a support group in Oxford in September. I am also working with two others to set up a Kundalini Awakening Support group in London and a You Tube channel with interviews of people who have had Kundalini awakenings.  I am committed to working with mental health professionals to try to open their eyes to the fact that a significant number of people have spiritual emergencies, and they need to be listened to and have their experiences validated not pathologised.

I feel on a personal level that I have learnt a lot from my Crisis. I am much more spiritually connected, and the Kundalini process is unfolding now in more gentle and positive way.

I also feel that I want to do my bit to try to make this kind of experience less traumatic and more positive for other people. I am very grateful to Katie and others who have initiated Emerging Proud and the Emerging Kind. I have also applied to volunteer for the UK Spiritual Crisis Network.

I am a keen song writer and musician and I am recording a CD with the title “Healing”; the band is called Firegazer, and the album will be coming out in September (see http://www.firegazer.co.uk; note the website is in the process of being constructed and is not active yet).

There is so much is to play for….a crisis is an opportunity….but sometimes we need help through that crisis so we can meet that opportunity.

The following lyrics are from a song called “The Storm” which is from the album I am recording with the band I play with. I am the song writer for the band and the songs relate to crisis and the spiritual journey.
The album is called “Healing”.
This art work from the cover of the CD is by my friend Mario Coelho mariocoelho.co.uk

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In the winter breeze

The Storm it starts to breathe

Swirling from behind

Like a whispering mind

And now it can speak

A voice not so meek

Boats dance in the bay

Street lights start to sway

I heard the news

Fools lit the fuse

Troops go off to fight

For what cannot be right

And the mind it screams

As the walls come down

Nothing much to see

Of the crumbling town

I’m by the sea

There’s only me

I turn and walk away

There’s more games to play

I’m by the sea

There’s only me.

Keep watching the blog for more details on Alan’s Oxford film screening and Emerging Kind support group over the next few months! Thank you Alan, for bravely stepping out of the spiritual closet and sharing your journey with us – and now, for using your experiences as inspiration to support others; you are one of a Kind! ❤

 

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Introducing A New Vision for Mental Health

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New Vision for Mental Health is a new website that focuses on a central question:

“What would our mental healthcare system look like if, knowing what we know today, it was redesigned from scratch?”

It looks to gather and provide answers to this question by taking a critical, informed and constructive look at the current mental health system, the concepts on which it rests and its constituent parts.

It explores ideas, insights and suggestions – from a wide range of individuals and organisations – that might, in time, lay the foundations for a new and quite different approach to mental healthcare.

Access is completely free and open to everyone. And the site already references #Emerging Proud – together with several related items. For example:

New Vision for Mental Health are inviting contributions; CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW TO GET INVOLVED

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