#EP gets an official sponsor for an international Peer network project; The Emerging Kind!

I am delighted to bring you some VERY exciting #EmergingProud news, and a unique opportunity…

Please read to the end if you are interested in applying to take part in The Emerging Kind project, and follow the guidelines to express your interest, thank you ❤

July 2017 news

As you may know, Mick, Jeannet and I were planning to set up #EP as a not-for-profit company, but the registration for #EP CIC was refused (for a very minor reason), so we took this as a sign that it may not be the right approach…

Since then I’ve had some very successful meetings with a UK based charity, The Missing Kind, (tMK) whose Vision, Values and ethos are very aligned with EP – they have now agreed to act as the official benefactor to seed fund an #EP project to operate under the umbrella of their full charitable status, plus ring-fence any extra funds raised through donations for our joint project; The Emerging Kind, offering transparency and sustainability. This frees me up to start action, rather than getting bogged down in the time- consuming work of developing an autonomous not- for-profit org. I am overjoyed about that!!

Synopsis; how tMK and the #EmergingProud campaign align

Since my own breakdown and awakening in 2012, I have been working to support ‘The Missing Kind’ in society; people alienated and often marginalized, and even pathologised, due to feeling like they don’t fit into the world as it is today; disconnected and overly technocratic. In Oct 2016 the social campaign was launched encouraging these people to ‘Emerge Proud’, to share their personal stories and passion for creating the new paradigm; a world based on compassion, re-connection and celebration of the unique gifts everyone has to offer. These individuals are now connecting all over the world; they are ‘The Emerging Kind’…people who have experienced a spiritual awakening which has inspired them to give back; waking up makes us more conscious of our impact on each other and on the planet. tMK has the unique opportunity to facilitate The Emerging Kind project; growing the global network of awakened Peers to create safe space local groups and empowering each other to act on their individual passions and share their unique gifts to create a more connected and compassionate world.

Together we really can create the change we wish to see in the world! 

Predicted outcomes for tEK project: social impact (aligned with the Objects of tMK)

  •      Advancement of health / the saving of lives: Research into what is most important for people experiencing this awakening process and preventing associated distress, (including possible suicide), says that the most important interventions are reducing isolation and providing validation of personal experience; tEK will provide this to approx. 200 people in the UK in the first half of the project, and eventually approx 400 people internationally over the first year (average 10 people per tEK Peer Support Group)
  •      Empowering individuals to make a difference to people, planet and animals: Facilitating the development of compassionate, self- sufficient local support groups, spreading kindness and skill- sharing and seeding their own kindness projects in line with their unique passions
  •      Increasing inclusivity and connectivity: Through introducing ‘The Emerging Kind’ to each other, in their geographical locations, to mobilise in- person connections irrespective of class, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or anything else that can lead to separation.
  •      Education and Training: To develop awareness- raising opportunities, educate and train Peers who are then able to hold space for others going through transformational crisis experiences.

The Emerging Kind Project (tEK) proposal Summary

To provide certified Peer Facilitator training run by Elizabeth Sabet with ACISTE, to 40 Peers who identify as ‘The Emerging Kind’ (tEK) at an international level over a year to raise awareness and provide support, connection and empowerment to others who identify as ‘The Missing Kind’. This will be achieved through organizing a local Emerging Proud film screening with each trained Peer with a view to them initiating their own KindaKafe (KK) Peer support groups in their local area. The first stage over the next 6 months will train 20 Peers in the UK, and initiate a Crowdfunding campaign to roll the project out internationally until July 2018, when the social impact will be reported.

This proposed project will operate under and in-line with the umbrella charity of tMK, but would maintain autonomy of management and development, with regular activity reporting and financial transparency.

tMK run a project called ‘KindaKafes’ – a ‘pay-it-forwards’ with kindness type enterprise. ‘The Emerging Kind’ (tEK), will aim to increase the number of KK’s globally by the local peer groups adopting that model; this can be as small as sharing tea in someone’s lounge on a regular basis, to opening a local coffee shop for a community activity hub.

Might you be interested? Read on for the project details and how to express your interest;

  • 40 Peers will be offered the opportunity to be funded to undertake ACISTE’s Peer facilitator training over a year in 2 stages; phase 1 will be 20 UK based Peers, then phase 2; 20 further international Peers
  • Following training, each Peer will then be supported to organise a free #EP film screening in their local area in order to attract groups of people who resonate with the message
  • The Peer facilitators will identify people who would like to be part of ongoing Peer support groups and initiate that, with the longer- term aim to become a mini ‘KindaKafe’ in their local area
  • The list of ACISTE trained facilitators will be listed on the ACISTE website, plus the local groups on http://aworldawake.org,this website will have a dedicated ‘The Emerging Kind’ project page, as will The Missing Kind charity website.
  • This opportunity will also enable the story- sharing blog and interviews to continue, with a view to further live events and possibly even another book and film!
  • The first 6 months of this project will be funded by tMK, and I will be running a Crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the remaining 6 months; any donations made from now on will go via tMK charity and be ring- fenced for The Emerging Kind. This amazing opportunity to fundraise via an established charity means that Emerging Proud can also focus on longer- term aims; such a blessing!
  • Our main longer – term shared aim is having a mobile safe space welfare van that travels to offer awareness raising and crisis support at festivals and remote locations, where people find it difficult to access support – more on that in due course!
  • The EmergingProud Facebook group will no longer be a space for open discussion, but only to share news of developments. Please Sign up to follow the blog in the right column here: https://emergingproud.com to ensure you receive the latest updates; there will be many!

IMPORTANT:

Expectations of you if you would like to take part in The Emerging Kind project:

  • Identify as a Peer having been through a crisis and emerged transformed
  • Be integrated enough in your own experience to be able to hold space for a group where there may be difficult emotions triggered
  • Be motivated to create change for a more kind and compassionate world
  • Undergo a 12 session training course in Peer Facilitation with Elizabeth Sabet.
  • Commit to take part in regular liaison with myself to report progress and organize a community screening of the #EP film
  • Conduct your group under the ethical guidelines of the ACISTE training
  • Commit to regular supervision sessions with Elizabeth of ACISTE
  • Commit to setting up a self- sufficient regular Peer support group post- training in your local area, with the aim of becoming a KindaKafe
  • Take part in an evaluation at the end of the project and be willing to share your experience in a blog or video interview to help us with the impact report.

Are you still interested in this amazing FREE opportunity to become part of The Emerging Kind global Peer network?

Please email me (Katie) at:emergingkind@missingkind.org with a statement to say why you feel you are the right person to join the Emerging Kind team of Peers, and I will email further details for the application process for training with Elizabeth as the first step.

With huge gratitude to The Missing Kind team from the Emerging Proud community; united we are stronger to create a better world ❤ 

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So what’s new; action in silence.

Roots and wings

Dear #Emergees,

As most of you know, it’s been necessary to be less active in sprouting the branches of #EmergingProud whilst we focus on growing some firm roots for the sustainabilty of the organisation’s future. Please rest assured that this silent period does not mean that nothing is happening; indeed a lot of work is being done under the surface to create a firm foundation for the movement to grow… the aim is to keep spreading our wings!

We hope to continue the story- sharing blogs and interviews once the administration of the organisation is complete, but in the mean time we hope that you will stay engaged…

At the launch event on the 12th May we promised to follow – up with 3 and 6 month reflection calls, to report on any ideas or projects that ’emerged’ from the international events.

In preparation for the 3 month reflection call in mid August, I am attaching the report below from the 12th May, which includes a synopsis of all discussion groups.

If you’re interested in staying in touch with others to continue discussions on ideas for a particular topic area, please add your email address in the right side comment bar beside the subject of your choice in the Googledoc (link below – please do not change any of the content). To do this, highlight the subject heading, and add your name and email in the comment box that pops up 🙂

We will then circulate emails to each group according to the topic area so everyone has the email address for each person interested in the same subject.

This will hopefully help you to continue, or join, any ideas that were seeded on the 12th May, and also ensure we include an invite to eveyone interested for the 3 month and 6 month catch up calls. Let’s keep this momentum going; to do that we need YOU!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10XWc2NypMiOGeJwYkmWWFa5_5AebQ0p-6JL0ZXTrtQU/edit?usp=sharing

With gratitude and cheerleading for any project ideas!

In solidarity,

Katie, Jeannet and Mick (#EP Trustees)  ❤

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#EmergingProud community screening discussions are launched; will you join the conversations aiming to transform mental health?

Would you like to help raise awareness by hosting your own community screening and discussion? Let’s bring the issue of how to reframe ‘madness’ and better support people who are experiencing mental health challenges into our local communities; together with united voices we can create a momentum for change…

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW TO HOST YOUR OWN SCREENING

Community Screenings

To give you an idea of what might unfold at an #EmergingProud screening, here are some valuable personal reflections from Jeannet, who attended the screening that took place in Brighton, UK on Sunday 25th June;

I really enjoyed seeing the film again (I always hear new things in it!) and I felt exited by the energy in the room during the Q&A and discussion with Lori Morrison, Jordana Jyoti Goldstein (who both called in via video link) and Susie Moate, all of whom feature in the film.

We touched on a range of issues, such as how language and perspective (e.g. psychiatric, psychological and shamanic ways of understanding) make a huge difference in how our experiences are supported by practitioners and ‘held’ in the community. There is a huge difference between diagnosing, medicating and suppressing ‘symptoms’ to return the person to how they were before their ‘illness’, as opposed to offering a safe space to support a person’s process running its course, so that the person can find insight, meaning and purpose as a new inner balance establishes itself.

We noted the importance of not ‘demonizing’ psychiatry – there are psychiatrists with a deep respect for the mystery of our process, who are valuable allies in growing our understanding and developing a truly supportive and healing response, including through mainstream services. Equally, we didn’t want to romanticise indigenous or alternative therapy approaches, and wondered whether, although there are common elements of expressions of shamanism through the ages, the Western world (which seems to have gone furthest in losing connection with shamanic practices) may need to adapt this ancient wisdom to a form that is accessible to those shaped by the dominant Western world view.

We went on to share information about pragmatic, hands-on support being offered by organisations like Soteria (which runs a safe house using only minimal amounts of medication, only as a last resort). We noted how prescriptions for anti-psychotic medication tend to be long term and how difficult it is to come off it.

http://soterianetwork.org.uk/

The Windhorse Project supports people going through a psychotic process in their own homes.

http://windhorsecommunityservices.com/…/the-windhorse-proj…/

The Mind Freedom organisation support people to free themselves from the effects of mind conditioning.

https://www.facebook.com/Mind-Freedom-Movement-10746388825…/

The Hearing Voices movement and support groups offers support to people hearing voices.

http://www.hearing-voices.org/

RADAR is developing protocols for coming of anti-psychotic medication.

http://mcpin.org/radar/

Finally, I found out that Brighton has a Spiritual Emergence Network peer support group, one of only three in the country so far, and as a result of the screening, more people will be attending in the future;

https://www.facebook.com/SpiritualCrisisNetworkUK

We reflected on the importance of considering writing an advance directive to record what you want to happen, if in the future you become unwell and people conclude you can’t decide for yourself what you want to happen or communicate what you want.

CLICK HERE FOR INFO ON ADVANCE STATEMENTS

I was particularly struck by a line of discussion around how difficult it is to put into words what we are talking about. As one person put it – the word spiritual is not very accessible. When we talk of spirituality and think of experiences we are going through, how do we talk about that in a way that someone else is going to really know what we are going through. How do we know we are talking about the same things when we share experiences?

Personally, I have found this definition of spirituality helpful:

‘Spirituality is something that characterises the relationship of an individual to the universe and does not necessarily require a formal structure, collective ritual or mediation by a priest. […] It provides a context for personal discovery of the numinous dimensions of reality.’ — Stan and Christina Grof, The Stormy Search for Self – Understanding and living with spiritual emergency, 1991

But it only gets us so far in talking about our experiences …

A related question that emerged (in a private discussion in the programme break) is whether there might be different processes which need different responses – are all our experiences part of a spiritual emergence, of an inner movement towards healing and evolution to higher levels of functioning? Are there ever dysfunctional processes which need ‘treatment’ in a more traditionally medical way? Is a distinction even helpful?

In the wider discussion we wondered whether, whatever view you have on this, the important thing is to offer people a safe space in which they can go through whatever is happening for them, without the risk of them harming themselves. A space which allows them, when they are ready, to start to express what they need to and to make sense of their experiences. They would be supported by feeling deeply heard and seen, which would give people the opportunity to let things come into awareness that may have been to frightening to look at before. It was thought that some of that material for many of us is related to early trauma.

It was suggested we need language that allows us to deeply connect on levels we may never be able to completely define or put into words – a language we can use to connect to one another, rather than divide and separate us out. More generally, we need to create a society that supports such communication and support.

Finally, we reflected on the importance of validating everyone’s deep process and experiences, whether these are explosive, overwhelming and disruptive of a person’s life, or whether they are more subtle, gradual and ongoing over many years, but profound, deeply healing and supportive of that person’s evolution all the same. I was very glad to see there were people from right across that spectrum at the screening. However confused we can be about what exactly is going on for any of us at any time, we can all stand together in our demand for recognition of our right to live from the full height, depth and breadth of what it means to be human! 😊

The experience was a beautiful depiction of how discussing our vulnerabilities and challenges can be the very thing that unites us, whatever path brought us together…

If you’d like to attend a community screening and discussion, CLICK HERE to see if one is happening in your local area, or HERE to find out how to host your own. 

If you can’t get to a community screening but would like to see the film, don’t forget it’s available to WATCH HERE

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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!

Official

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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