Ivy found the answers for her healing lay in the darkness, not in her appearance

You may remember Ivy, now happily based in Florida, from the #EmergingProud film. Hospitalised due to a spiritual awakening unearthing unconscious trauma for healing, Ivy was once mute – the only way she was able to express was through her art. Now Ivy has created a business with the coping mechanism that she loves, as she says, in her darkness she found herself and the path to her future…

Ivy C-S

Early childhood to me felt so wonderful. I was taught unconditional love by being given unconditional love. My heart was so full and my spirit so carefree. I had two loving parents, brother, sisters, cousins, lots of family and friends. School was good for me, even though I was a bit shy I was an excellent student and a pretty good athlete.

I was truly blessed.

Then at some point I became depressed. Family turmoil and separation occurred when life, work and everything lost balance. Loss of balance and lack of the ability to feel love made me lose the key to my heart. But this was not so true, I later found out.

Art, learning, and continued love and support from others helped me through my dark spaces. Tragedy took blow after blow, I seemed to rise and fall with each obstacle like the hurdles in track and field, but true love grounded me every time I got lost.

At some point I developed an eating disorder in all of this. I received some mixed messages from my environment about what I ought to look like and how that should make me feel about myself… Some of it came from magazines, some of it from kids at school, some from tv or even innocent bystanders who meant me no harm.

Some of my artwork reflected this:

So I began to binge and purge, and restrict… My two sided reward was soon attained, so I thought, when I saw myself become thinner. As I looked more ‘beautiful’, I felt more love. I needed that so much that I became addicted to self judgement and self deprecation. I loved everyone else around me so much but I couldn’t seem to love myself enough to take good gentle care of myself. Then one day I fell in love. I fell in love and found true love outside of myself, outside of my comfort zones with the man of my dreams. I never expected this to ever happen. So much heartache made me doubt if true love existed. But here it was. And I was so happy to care for someone, that together we began to take such good care of each other. In giving and loving, I received love and my heart was full once again. This natural heart fulfillment healed my soul, but there was still work to to do. So much work. I still deep down believed that my beauty was only skin deep, that it could easily fade and with that my value as a person would be downgraded. That was the lie that I once believed and had to work my way through.

It wasn’t easy, but with proper love and support, compassion and understanding, and a little courage… I learned to love myself and forgive myself as well as others, no matter what. Perfectionism has new meaning. I no longer wish to be perfect, I wish to feel perfect as I am, with room to grow. With true love, I found myself again in all my dark spaces, and opened the door to new friendships. I found that it was not that hard to love myself after all, and if I stumbled, I had so many wonderful people to help lift me back up.

Returning the favor and giving back has become my pleasure and purpose. True love, self love, and an open heart, though heavy at times, is so worth it. I am a work in progress, and I love my beautiful mess! 



Ivy now channels her passion for helping others into creating art and has recently started an organic creative business, ORDERGANIC    With her husband Eddie they grow a variety of organic cullinary and medicinal herbs, vegetables, fruits, and create all natural organic body products. The Phoenix has risen! ❤

We are on a mission to reach more people and spread the message that it is OK to be who you are, that you are MORE than enough already, that the world needs your gifts and that you are more than worthy of living an amazing life.

Please message Amy at: info@soul-shine.org.uk

If you are ready to share your challenges with disordered eating, body image and low self- esteem. Your voice is so valuable and we want you to join us in the Kinda Proud series of Pocket Books of Hope

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KindaProud pocket book of HOPE 2 is set to be launched at SoulShine’s ‘Thank you Body’ festival on 12th July!

Remember our shiny Soul Amy, Rep for the 2nd pocket book in our KindaProud series; Emerging Proud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem?

Amy Rep picture

Amy’s on the look- out for ordinary people with extraordinary stories to share in her book. This is what she’s been up to recently on her search;

Last weekend we (SoulShine) attended the Bodykind Festival which was packed full of Body Positive speakers, inspiring panels, open discussions and lots of dancing!
It was colourful, vibrant and filled to the brim with so much kindness.
The knowledge that people had come from all over the country to be there felt so special. To know that everyone in that hall, both attendees and speakers, were changing perspectives about body image, about how we treat ourselves and each other would then go back to their little corner of the world and spread a little of that empowering message.
So much passion and energy in that room was fuelled by support, laughter, connection and this common understanding that every single person deserves respect, no matter what size, shape, gender or ability.
It felt like a celebration of humanity in all it’s imperfect perfection. It was so exciting to be in that room listening to people’s authentic and raw stories, with love, compassion and understanding that we are all in this together.
As the weekend went on, I found this niggling sensation of frustration start to rise… I started thinking:
“Why don’t we see this on the news and on the front page of EVERY single newspaper?”
I realised that my little world, is actually a bubble of Body Positivity, from the books I read, the conversations I have with my soul sisters, to my social media feed… I feel really grateful to have that as my “normal” now….
More and more people are discovering this world and the magnificent people in it YES, but there are still SO many people isolated, suffering on their own, walking around thinking that they are the ONLY ones feeling this way, when the truth is, we are all feeling it… struggling with shame, struggling in silence.
We are all in this together and when you speak up, voice your truth and start talking to people you trust, you realise that you are not alone, you can be understood and the burden of carrying that shame can dissipate with just one conversation.
When you share your story with others it not only creates a deeper connection but it also allows you to move forward in an empowering way.
We are on a mission to reach more people and spread the message that it is OK to be who you are, that you are MORE than enough already, that the world needs your gifts and that you are more than worthy of living an amazing life.

Please message me if you are ready to #EmergeProud through any challenges with disordered eating, body image and low self- esteem. Your voice is so valuable and we want you to join us in the Kinda Proud series of Pocket Books of Hope


Please contact Amy at: info@soul-shine.org.uk

Amy’s book will be launched at the ‘Thank you Body’ festival on 12th July in Norwich

It’s free to attend, rock up and BE awesome in your body exactly as it is! ❤


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Want to see some changes in mental health? Take part in a Greek research study

I am so grateful to those around the world conducting research in the field of the intersection between mental health and spiritual experiences – we desperately need more understanding in why the interpretation of, validation of and helpful responses to what our culture deems to be ‘unusual experiences’ is so vital.
Have you had such experiences?
Want to take part in Loukia’s study which could influence change?

I am Loukia Chaidemenaki, licensed psychologist and student at the Art Psychotherapy Center in Greece, with an interest in learning more about the experiences of hearing voices and about other ‘unusual experiences’. I am conducting a research on the mystical experiences of people who hear voices, see visions or have other extra-ordinary experiences. 

I am looking for men and women with such experiences, who would like to take part in a my research study


Are you:

Someone who has experiences of hearing voice(s), seeing vision(s) and/or other extraordinary experience(s) ?

Someone who has interest for spiritual, religious, transcendent matters and so called mystical experiences, having/or have had mystical experiences ?

 Above 18 years old.

What is the study about? 

The aim is to explore the experiences of the mystical among people who hear voices, see visions or have extraordinary experiences. The purpose is to explore multiple perspectives of people living with these experiences in order to better understand them.

We will talk about your experiences of hearing voices and how you and other people make sense of voice-hearing. I am particularly interested in talking about how experiences of the mystical and of hearing voice(s), seeing vision(s) or having other extraordinary experience(s) is understood by you; how you relate with spirituality and the way you interpreted/defined your mystical experiences; how these experiences might differ or relate to each other; how you cope with these experiences; whether you find any positive or safeguarding aspects in hearing a voice(s), seeing vision(s) or having other extraordinary experience(s); and your experience of sharing your encounters with the mystical with mental health professionals and your close environment.

Do I have to take part? 

It is completely up to you whether or not you decide to take part in this study. If you do decide to take part you will be asked to sign a consent form. If you change your mind at any time during the study you can withdraw up to 2 weeks after our interview, without giving a reason.

What would I have to do in the study? 

If you decide to take part in the study, you will do an online interview with me, the researcher together with Georgia Feliou, the co-researcher. The session will be divided in two parts, an interview discussing your experiences and a second part where we will ask you to use colored pencils in order to describe, in the form of drawing, your mystical experience(s). If you cannot afford to buy the colored pencils and A3 paper, I can put the required amount to an account you will designate. The interview will last for approximately 60 minutes.

You will be given the opportunity for an online follow-up meeting, with us, the researchers. We can discuss your experience of the interview and our understanding of your experience, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Where will the interview happen? 

The interview will happen online (using an online medium i.e. Skype) at a convenient time for you. We can decide this together.

Is the study confidential? 

Yes, the study is anonymous and confidential. This means that no names or identifying features will be revealed in the study. The interview will be recorded and we will ask a photo of your art product. Some direct quotes from the interview may be used in the study write-up (journal article), however, quotes will not be linked with identifying features or names. In order to ensure this, in the consent form you will be asked to state your pseudonym with which your quotes will be addressed throughout the study.

I am interested in taking part, what do I do next? 

If you would like some more information about the study or are interested in taking part in the study, please contact me on get in touch by email at:


The research has been Ethically Approved by the Art Psychotherapy Center.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that you get in touch soon.

Loukia Chaidemenaki

Together we can create the change we wish to see in the world ❤

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#EmergingProud day 2019; what happened all over the world?

“Gifts that emerge out of our darkness’ #EmergingProud day celebrations reverberated the world over on Sunday thanks to YOU, the fabulous #EP community! On our online event, we had folks join us virtually from far and wide including Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, the UK, the US, Australia, and South America!

Click HERE to sign up and watch the recording of our global live event – we’re almost at capacity, so if you miss out don’t worry, the video will be available on this website very soon too! Those of you who were with us on our live call – keep your eye out for an email winging its way to you …

Nicole + i

Some countries also hosted live in-person celebration events. Here’s what happened in;


Thank you to Organisers Ligia Splendore and Sean Blackwell and team for gathering a huge crowd in the biggest Psychiatric hospital in Sao Paolo! ❤

Foto RL2019 Group - Copia

Here are the recordings from 2 of their talks;

David Lukoff

Oryx Cohen

CLICK HERE to find out more from their dedicated website!



In Budapest, the main topic of the event was “Crisis as an opportunity to change”

Big thanks to the performers, all helpers, and organizing team! ❤️

If it’s worth doing, time, energy, then this is the topic!

We wholeheartedly agree team Hungary! Some pics from their day;



#EmergingProud #crisipsicospirituali #emergenzespirituali#spiritualemergency #emergingproud #psicologiatranspersonale#psicoterapiatranspersonale #biotransenergetica #psicosintesi#InternationalEmergingProud #EmergingProudItaly

Grazie! to team Italy; Elena Toscan psychologist and psychotherapist transpersonal;
Anita Godi Psychologist and psychotherapist, psychosynthesis imaginative and hypnosis;
Loretta Illuminati Psychologist and psychotherapist transpersonal.

They say;

Thanks to all the magnificent audience who compared with us openly and actively with questions and reflections. Thanks to the super Valeria Galletti, a psychotherapist exponent of the psychosynthesis and the approach approach, who hosted us in the headquarters of the association “il calicanto” and also seat of the centre om


What an incredible #Emerging Tribe we have evolved … Cheers to us all! ❤

So, all that leaves is the question; What shall we do next year? 🙂

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Nessi Gomes retreat opportunity – find your authentic voice in the beautiful Greek islands…

A HUGE thank you to those of you who were online with us for our launch event yesterday – we had a blast and raised some funds for free books to be distributed – we’ll update you on that as we confirm the amount soon…

You may remember that unfortunately we didn’t get time to hear Nessi’s amazing song All Related … here’s a snippet from that song from her album “Diamonds and Demons”

You may recall I mentioned that she has a unique opportunity for you…

“Nessi Gomes is not going to transform you into a pop star.
In fact, instead of telling people how to sing she helps them to tap into the essence of self through voice, allowing participants to let go of stuff that is buried in their basement – trauma, pain or anger they never managed to release elsewhere”
Sunday Times

Nessi says;

I am hosting my only Vocal Odyssey residential retreat alongside my husband in 2019 on the beautiful island of Amorgos in Greece from the 14th – 21st September. We normally facilitate many more workshops, retreats and concerts but my husband and I are expecting our first baby in a matter of days so I am now taking the time these months to prepare for her arrival and to adjust to the new life of motherhood.
The Vocal Odyssey process embarked on with a focused intention and sincere longing for liberation, is a wonderful opportunity to have a significant and lasting breakthrough shift in your creative and intuitive expression.

The deep, loving and celebrative process supports you to express your naked voice and to bear witness to the transformative potential that this vocal power holds. We can all access this wisdom both via our individual naked voice and collectively as a singing field.

The aim of this retreat is not to become a ‘perfect’ singer – it is about unleashing our raw, natural capacity to celebrate all colours of life through our unique and authentic expression while tapping into the intuitive and mystical realms of our connection to ‘Spirit’ through sound.

The human singing voice is our most powerful and intimate resource. The Vocal Odyssey retreat is a deep journey that unleashes and frees the untapped sonic power of our voice from the hidden corners that have kept it quiet, silent and buried.

It is a space of self-enquiry through our voice and where we will reconnect to the simple, playful and natural way of expressing our authentic naked sound beyond judgments, painful beliefs and limiting conditionings. So for that reason, all levels of experience are warmly welcome ✨


About Nessi;

Nessi Gomes

Born on the tiny island of Guernsey (Channel Islands, UK), singing and music became Nessi’s way of dealing with challenging life circumstances. From a young age, she discovered for herself the ability to transform painful limiting beliefs and unspoken emotions by exploring sound and providing sufficient room for her voice to be heard. Today Nessi continues to root herself more in the therapeutic value of vocal expression with her music and voice retreats that she has shared internationally in the last 4 years in over 30 countries.

Nessi’s work has been carefully crafted and is an invitation to dive deeply yet playfully into a journey of self-discovery and self-inquiry, where the mystery and healing forces of our most intimate musical instrument unfold – our voice.

The content of her work aims to pierce through the voices in our head and to open a door safely for a new relationship between us and the transformative quality of our vocal expression. 

Nessi believes that the voice is our bridge to something bigger than ourselves, it is our connection to the prayer we carry. Therefore the workshops and retreats are not a traditional singing group as her work aims to look at how we can use our voice not only as a form of creative expression but also as a tool for improvisation, prayer, healing, self-enquiry, positive transformation and spiritual evolution. 

Through her work we collectively discover how singing is not only about ‘singing’ – it is in fact about ‘listening’ and expressing all that is inside of us moment to moment. It may not always sound ‘beautiful’ and that is warmly invited and embraced, for the voice is a bridge to our soul –  yet our soul may be invisible it is not inaudible.  

Often the intentions shared amongst participants are initially focussed on what one can do for their voice. This is understandable, however, together we quickly recognise through the essence of this work what our voice can actually do for us as we all hold the power to this unique and powerful medicine. 

Nessi Gomes is an international musician, and group facilitator with a BA (Hons) in Creative Expressive Therapies in Music (2007), and a certified Holistic Voice Practitioner with The British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST). She is also the co-founder of Vocal Odyssey alongside her husband Lino Hermesh.


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International #EmergingProud day 2019; It’s tomorrow!

We’re almost at lift-off! If you can’t join us for the live event, no worries, just sign up anyway and you’ll receive the recording after the event has ended to watch at your leisure…


See you on Sunday, Katie and Nicole ❤

Instagram pic

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CRAZYWISE reflections on KindaProud

What does Phil Borges, Producer of the CRAZYWISE film have to say about our KindaProud book series? 

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CLICK HERE TO BUY OUR 1st BOOK #EmergingProud through NOTEs 



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