Have you seen the #EmergingProud film yet?

There are numerous ways to watch!

You can rent or download it here:

To order your own DVD CLICK HERE

Or to see if there is a community screening happening near you: CLICK HERE 

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

Please spread the word; by purchasing this film you are helping the campaign to continue and this vital message to spread….we need you! Thank you, Katie ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#EmergingProud set to be a Community Interest Company

The registration documents have been submitted; it’s time to make this official!

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The launch of #EmergingProud on the 12th May 2017 saw passions for our message take off at an unprecedented rate.

Discussions revolved around the question; “Rethinking Madness; how can we create a society in which it is safe to talk about our madness?”, with the aim is to create a society in which people can speak openly about extreme experiences without having to worry about being diagnosed and marginalized. It’s about not seeing these experiences as something ‘wrong’ to be ‘fixed’ but as potentially part of a process of inner healing, growth and spiritual development – saying that it is possible to find deep meaning and wisdom in psychological trauma, while acknowledging the process can be extremely traumatic to go through.

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#EmergingProud is grassroots movement. It’s about creating positive change which will make old understandings, forms and social structures obsolete.

The problem with being a ‘grassroots’ movement is the usual funding issue; the only way we could continue the campaign activities, including providing an online platform on which people can #EmergeProud and tell their stories, was by forming an official not-for-profit organisation that enables us to apply for official monies. We therefore decided to set ourselves up as a Community Interest Company (CIC), which will allow us to raise money from grant making trusts, etc. to work on the outcomes from our Launch events.

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‘We’ are Jeannet Weurman, Dr Mick Collins and myself (Katie). Last weekend we met up and worked on the constitution documents, and this weekend they are winging their way over to Companies House! I am immensely grateful to Jeannet and Mick for their invaluable dedication and support to make this happen.

 

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#EmergingProud C.I.C.’s official objectives are:

The objects of the Company are to carry on activities which benefit the community and in particular (without limitation) to create a more inclusive society focusing on mental wellbeing and human transformative potential. The Company supports the promotion of human rights and the advancement of social inclusion by expanding the public perception of ‘normal’. It aims to normalise psychological distress and extreme human experiences, and offers a view of psychological crisis as part of a transformative process (‘emergence’). The company is aligned with theoretical and research perspectives found in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, which values the full spectrum of human potential.

Our proposed activities: 

  1. Creation of opportunities for discovery of personal meaning and purpose in our psychological / spiritual distress, through the development of platforms for inner exploration and mutual sharing of insight.
  2. Community inclusive events
  3. Facilitating empowering community action, including grass-roots, peer support and advocacy initiatives.
  4. Creation of awareness-raising platforms, including education and training.
  5. Research

 How will these activities benefit the community? 

  1. Encouragement of human transformative potential, self-awareness and self-actualisation.
  2. Increasing inclusivity and reducing isolation. Enabling contributions to community cohesion.
  3. Personal and collective discovery that we can all make a positive difference; encouragement of self- and social efficacy.
  4. Access to a way of understanding the meaning in psychological distress and extreme human experience, which offers validation and a positive approach to facilitate transformative human potential. Development of compassion for self and other. Provision of a vision of hope and opportunity, resulting in e.g. reduction of distress and risk of suicide.
  5. The capture of both qualitative and quantitative evidence of the benefits derived from this innovative approach. Improvement in our understanding of the most beneficial ways to carry this approach forward.

If the company makes any surplus it will be used for…

It is hoped that surplus funds will be raised in order that the aims and objectives of the C.I.C. can be increased in the future to assist as many people as possible to live more fulfilling lives.

We will continue to be transparent in our activities and blog regular updates on progress.

In solidarity, Katie, Jeannet and Mick ❤

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Norfolk Artist experiences her spiritual connection through materialising her intuitions into beautiful pieces of art

Local Artist, Samantha Symonds kindly showed her support of the #EmergingProud campaign by submitting some of her beautiful paintings to be displayed at the launch.

Here she describes how art offers her a spiritual connection to nature:

Sometimes it’s good to get a different perspective on life, especially the natural world. For example, I like to look closely at small creatures, or to look upwards at flowers, as in Oxeye Daisies here. This is one of my favourite paintings, I enjoyed working on it and it makes me feel peaceful to look at it.

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I’ve always loved drawing and painting, and found it a natural thing to do, so I’m often at my happiest and most fulfilled while I’m painting. It is the way I explore and absorb the world, and it is an important part of my spirituality. I particularly love the moment inspiration comes to me for a new painting, and I have a vague image of it in my mind. However it takes a lot of time and work to materialise the idea, and that initial image is tricky to keep hold of, so the final result may evolve a fair bit from its conception!

Currently my life is busy with things other than painting, so it’s difficult to make time for the very thing that is my purpose in life. I’m grateful though to have such a purpose, it keeps me going!

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Find more of Samantha’s work here:

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www.samanthasymonds.co.uk

www.facebook.com/awencreative

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AwenCreative

 

 

 

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12th May Launch; International Report

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12th May 2017 saw the official launch of the #EmergingProud campaign, a grassroots social movement aiming to change the conversation around mental distress.

12 countries hosted 16 events based around Open Space discussions of the question;

Rethinking Madness: How can we create a society in which it’s safe to talk about our ‘madness’?”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL INTERNATIONAL REPORT

What does the world have to say about necessary change?

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Artistic expression; so often an intrinsic element of #emergence to wholeness…

Many amazing Artists have contributed their work in support of the #EmergingProud campaign. More recently, local Artist Hannah Hardy got in touch about her related work. Hannah’s beautiful guest blog invites you to be part of her Free Spirit Network:

Are you a free spirit?

What do you experience in response to that question? A memory? A feeling? A desire?

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We are all born as free spirits, it is just a case of remembering our inner expression. Once we reconnect to our highest joy our life purpose unfurls before us. Like driving to a distant city at night our path is set and our head lights illuminate sections of the road at a time. So it is that our highest dreams are fulfilled with trust and baby steps sometimes into the darkness and the unknown.

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Once we reconnect with our authentic joy the universe aligns to bring abundance to all levels of our being. In our Western society we are not encouraged to connect with our highest joy or authentic self. Perhaps, we are actively discouraged through corporate social programming, outdated education system, biased media and disempowering politics. Whereas in indigenous cultures the parents are often aware of the life purpose of their child during pregnancy, enabling them to prepare the spirit to incarnate and uniquely supported through life on his/hers souls mission. A deep sense of interconnectedness prevails these cultures and honouring the soul journey of all that they relate to, be that to each other or the animal to which they will hunt. These cultures understand that nourishing our spiritual self is as important as nourishing our physical self, as without the thirst for life we will not drink.

Not authentically connecting to our spirituality is like trying to stop a river’s flow to the sea, if blocked it will break out. This is often the cause of crisis point in one’s life, not living in accordance with one’s true nature.

When I was a child I remember looking at the sunset on the clouds and the light falling on the grass and inherently knew my connection to all things. As I grew I saw people’s stories in their eyes, I could astral travel and thought this was normal. It was only when I started being schooled by our society that I began to Ignore that part of myself and tried to fit into what I perceived as ‘normal’. A near death experience and a miraculous healing made me aware of my higher purpose. This is why I founded The Free Spirit Network and The Free Spirit School to reconnect with and support our free spirits.

Our first event brought together international speakers, workshop leaders, artists, poets, activists and healers to connect as free spirits and to express themselves openly. We have since grown a flourishing network with workshops, talks and regular free global meditations.  Understanding that we are all free spirits- we just need to remember it.

Our free spirit can be connected to through a myriad of ways, be that through meditation, creative expression, dance, music, gardening, sport… and we encourage the normalising of our spirituality as a need as important as physical nourishment. In a collaboration with BBC voices we interviewed a wide cross section of the public and asked their response to the question ‘Are you a free spirit?’. The video illustrates that we all have an inherent feeling of and connection to this higher freedom..

The Free Spirit Video

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The Free Spirit Network supports the connection of free spirits through online and event based creative networking. I have since founded The Free Spirit School to support children and adults to connect to and nourish their authentic voice. The rainbow circle have been on a passage of discovery together for a year. They have been building trust and relationship to share and explore their free spirit together through diverse workshops ran by world leading holistic practitioners including drumming, mindfulness, colour workshop, yoga, aura sprays. The rainbow circle have also been exploring and connecting to global indigenous spiritual cultures.  Through our work together parents have been amazed to witness their children flourish, in becoming more grounded and confident to express themselves. We have an extensive waiting list, so to offer this unique gift out to more people worldwide we will soon welcome interested parties to train on a unique program with us to enable them to offer their own branch of the free spirit school wherever they are in the world!. So please get in touch if this resonates with you and if you are drawn to offer this unique and rich gift to your own community. Email us at thefreespiritnetwork@gmail.com

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To celebrate the turning of our current energy shift The Free Spirit Network welcomes you to join us in our incredible Global Free Spirit Healing monthly meditation. This free event supports you to reconnect with your highest state of being, with a guided audio meditation, wherever you are in the world to connect to the amazing collective healing energy.

Keep in touch about our next Global Free Spirit Healing Meditation

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There are many ways to get involved with this amazing network, including sending us creative expressions of your Free Spirit to be included in our forthcoming collective The Free Spirit Book which will be published next Spring, deadline for work is October 20th. We welcome you to get in touch with authentic expressions of your free spirit, be that artwork, poetry, meditations, a dance..!

Sending rainbow hugs to you

Hannah

Founder

To involve and inspire

www.thefreespiritnetwork.com

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Malcolm Hunt from Sydney tells us how slipping through the cracks helped him #Emerge to his life purpose…

Malcolm Hunt is founder of The Cloud Thinking method and system of coaching, based in Sydney, Australia. His inspiration for this method derives from his time as a Buddhist Monk in China living and working in a small temple in the mountains near Tian Mu Mountain. It was from Guang Jue Temple that he ran mindfulness skills retreats drawing people in from many nations.

Malcolm has worked with A Place To Belong, Anglicare Mental Health Project, GROW Queensland and ARAFMI Queensland. Malcolm has been in private practice as a psychotherapist.
He has further conducted Mindfulness Skills and Cloud Thinking Retreats in China from 2008 – 2013 as well as in Osaka Japan and Australia.

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Malcolm #EmergesProud to tell his story:

I hadn’t been feeling well. I was experiencing dizzy spells and I had felt nauseous from time to time.  My world, the one I was trying to create, was gradually piece by piece falling down around me like rubble tumbling from a decaying building.  I had gone through divorce proceedings, and my father had died with cancer that same year. The combined grief was enormous and I was struggling to make meaning of my life, lost and trapped on the not-so-merry-go-round of work and booze to find my way out of it all. On top of this I felt an intense sense of shame. I should have known better. I was a qualified psychotherapist in private practice and would have been able to see the signs in any one of my clients but I denied them in myself. My solution was to work ridiculously long hours and have a drink of wine to go to sleep.  I justified it by telling myself it was just one glass of wine; only, I just kept filling the one glass over and over again as an anaesthetic to the mental pain.

I don’t recall much of the day I was thrown into the spiralling vortex of emergence. I had made a doctor’s appointment to see a doctor I liked to talk to but he was away on annual leave. I accepted a time slot to see another doctor.  I am sure she would have asked me what my issue was but I recall seeing a small crack in the lower part of the wall of her office and it was as if a small voice invited me to disappear inside the crack in the wall.  The next memory was being in an ambulance with a paramedic monitoring my blood pressure.  I sensed it was odd that I had been firmly strapped into the stretcher as I couldn’t move my arms. Nothing made any sense until the ambulance turned off the road into a long driveway and stopped in front of an old building with a foreboding appearance. In an instant, a flash of orientation returned to me. I recalled the building I had once visited to see a client. It was a psychiatric hospital and I was being admitted. Apparently I was delusional in my conversation with the doctor and wanted to commit suicide.  Thus began three weeks in a psychiatric ward, broken, lost, alone with a deep sense of shame, and a sense my career may have just terminated.  Little did I know it was just about to begin but that was far from my world at that point.

I had at the beginning of the last paragraph mentioned the word ‘emergence’ for that is what emergence is.  Emergence is the convening of events, forces and perceptions that create a sense of chaos and seemingly throw us down into an eddy of spiralling water from which there seems to be no escape.  We try desperately to make sense of what is happening to us.

Soon after my release from hospital I had two very vivid trance-like dreams that seemed to speak of my life path as if it were an encounter with the divine.  I attempted to talk to some friends and counsellors about this but I sensed they felt it was part or the residue of my “mental breakdown” as they called it.

I moved away from the city I was in at the time to find new beginnings in another city.  After twelve months of rest with many days sitting beside the ocean watching the waves crash to the shore and recede, I felt it was time to look for work again.  One night I received a phone call from a friend who told me of a position at a rehabilitation centre. I phoned the centre the following day and accepted an interview.  When I arrived I was shocked to see that it was not a rehabilitation centre but an aftercare facility for 46 patients released from psychiatric hospital with varying mental health challenges.  My world began to spin again reliving memories of my time in the psychiatric hospital. It seemed for a moment I had stepped out of myself until I heared a voice.  “Are you the new director? You will stay, won’t you?” I looked up and there was a patient talking with me.

“Stay? I haven’t even gone for the interview yet”, I remarked to him.

On leaving from the interview I saw the patient standing near the interview room.  “You will stay, won’t you?” he asked a second time.

The following day I received a phone call to tell me I had been accepted for the position. I did stay in mental health for the rest of my career.  It was this position which encouraged me to rethink the entire approach to mind health not only through my own emerging to a new life but assisting many others in their own emergence.  We are not broken pieces of pottery but sunsets to be admired. The sun will always set but with its setting there is the promise of a new day.

Janet screamed to me from across the other side of the room: “What would you bloody know about being in a psychiatric ward? I’m a schizophrenic don’t you know!”

“I thought you were a human being, Janet, with a beautiful light” I replied. “And by the way I do know what it’s like in here.” We like to label things: schizophrenic, depressed, sad, happy, anxious. We churn out endless labels.  There is always another side to a label, if you can slow down to see that.  There is a beautiful human being waiting to emerge to their highest potential.

Emerging is often painful.  It confronts us to ask the deeper questions. Answers only lead to a full stop. Questions lead to a new paragraph.  The word question is related to the word ‘quest’.  Emerging places us on a quest to search for a light within each of us. It brings us face to face with the door that blocks the way to the light.

“What is the key that opens the door to this new life?” asked the disciple. The Master kindly smiled and replied: “But the door was never locked. Just turn the handle and it will open.”

Find out more about Malcolm’s organisation here

CLOUD THINKING

“We believe that each person can change their destiny and collectively the destiny of the planet. We exist because we are on a quest to change the old paradigm that approaches problems with fear and of uncertainty with a knee-jerk reaction. We see a new paradigm that uses the hidden positive energy of problems to transform them and to create new and innovative pathways to living a rich, full, meaningful and prosperous life. We believe in this for all people no matter the social level, creed or cultural background. We embrace a mindset that helps us grow into our fullest potential.

We believe each individual can do this. We believe in you.”

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First Community Screening and Live Q+A session announced for Norwich!

The #EmergingProud film had its world premier on Friday 12th May in 12 countries; be amongst the first to see this game- changer in mental health.

This is an informal full film screening and unique opportunity to ask questions LIVE to a select few stars of the film – ask them how they managed to ’emerge’ transformed from their perceived mental health crises; can a breakdown really be a journey to breakthrough?

LIMITED PLACES: BOOK HERE FOR CINEMA CITY, NORWICH, NORFOLK, UK 

Joining us virtually on the evening to answer questions will be at least 2 of the following very special guests:

Susie; From a diagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder, to a life- loving, dynamic violin teacher!

Magdalena; From life as a refugee, through breakdown, to an International Human Rights Lawyer!

Jordana; From hospitalisation and multiple episodes and labels, to a Spiritual Energence(y) Coach and Healer, and Co Director of an Internaional Peer Support Forum!

Lori; From hearing voices and experiencing strange visions, to the Director for Education for the Mental Health Coalition in Sedona, Arizona, and Shamanic Healer!

Tee; From multiple hospitalisations, labels and suicidal ideations, to a creative ‘Death Doula’ in New York, helping people manage their transition to the next life!

Frances; From chronic physical disability and diagnosis of ME, to an active and energetic Wellness Coach!

Ivy; From an hospitalised Mute, to an inspiring and talented Artist, Mother and Wife to a Rock Band Musician!

Anna; From a recluse diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder, to an Author and life- lover!

Q+A stars

Some film testimonials from the premier:

“The #EP 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 #EP 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

“This is more than a movie, this is a movement! A new paradigm of mental health and human awareness is emerging and these are some of the pioneering voices heralding that change. I watched the Emerging Proud film with tears in my eyes thinking of the lives that will be saved and of the possibilities and gifts made available when human transformation is managed well. And this is just the beginning…..” – Kimberley Jones, UK.

“Emerging Proud is an important contribution toward our understanding of what society labels as ‘psychosis’ or ‘serious mental illness.’ The subjects profiled in Katie Mottram’s film embody a clear and direct link to the spiritual nature of these experiences for many people. It’s time we start listening, there is so much to learn.” – PJ Moynihan, Producer/Director, Healing Voices

“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

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