What Emerging Kind means to Susie

With the Emerging Kind Peers part- way through their 12-week training to hold safe space groups in their local areas, I asked if they’d be willing to share with you what being part of the project means to them.

Susie Moate, from Sussex, UK is first up, and her amazing journey through trauma to emerging transformed, epitomises the ethos of the project…

SusietEK

What the Emerging Kind means to me

 In order to better explain my passion for the Emerging Kind movement, I would first like to take you through my spiritual crisis in stages, with the following headings:

  1. Prior to the crisis
  2. What my spiritual crisis looked like
  3. The immediate aftermath
  4. Integration
  5. My life now
  6. The Emerging Kind

 

  1. Prior to the crisis

Prior to the shift in my reality I had been depressed and suicidal, following a series of big stressors, including a bereavement and a relationship breakdown. In addition to these losses I also had a general feeling that my life had no value and that I was looked on by others as worthless. It sometimes felt that life was a huge competition in which I was always coming last, with low-paid and unfulfilling jobs and a string of broken relationships behind me.

 

  1. What my spiritual crisis looked like

A spiritual crisis is obviously completely different for everyone; it is also incredibly difficult to describe in words. However, I want to make an attempt as some people may never have come across this concept before.

 

My spiritual crisis arrived suddenly and unexpectedly. I had not been taking drugs and I did nothing to try to induce it. Over the course of a few days, however, I gradually entered an altered state of consciousness. I did not feel like sleeping or eating much, and my energy levels increased. As I entered this non-consensual reality, I began to see that not only was my life extremely valuable, but so was everyone’s life, and everything and everyone was interconnected in the most wonderful and joyful dance, even when it might not look that way on the surface level. I felt that I could see through to people’s beautiful souls; that every single person has a loving, beautiful soul yearning for expression.

Not just people, but plants, trees, animals, insects, birds, and all of life suddenly appeared to me to be part of the most brilliant, divine interplay – so precious, and I was full of love and respect for it all.

As I entered more deeply into the crisis, I began to remember and re-experience certain traumas from my past. I cried and wept as I released the emotions attached to them, and felt my body relax as the associated tensions melted away.

More uncomfortable emotions also rose up. I felt anger towards people whom I felt had dominated and suppressed me. Relationships in my current life mirrored some of those in my past, and I was angry with those people and I expressed that anger. This was unexpected and uncomfortable for those people, and also for others around me.

My reality had shifted so much that is was difficult to conform to people’s expectations of how I should be behaving. I seemed to have lost all fear, which was the most liberating experience ever. As anger gave way to joy and ecstasy, I wanted to sing and dance and play my violin, and I did, even when this was not really expected or appropriate. I seemed to find it almost impossible to conform to society’s usual rules and expectations.

As I released baggage from my past, and tension from my body, I also had a strong need to clear physical clutter from my surroundings. I began to give ‘stuff’ away that I no longer needed, and this, too, was alarming for those around me.

A strong transpersonal element also began to emerge in my crisis. I felt a powerful connection to the divine. I felt guided in my every move. I felt Spirit leading me, and my soul speaking to me, letting me know how it wanted to be expressed. I realized that the job I was doing did not play to my strengths, and that my vocation was to play the violin and to communicate through music. I had played the violin since I was five and reached a high standard, but for the past fifteen years or so it had barely been used, as I tapped away at computers in a succession of admin jobs, feeling bored and unfulfilled.

Unfortunately, at the height of my crisis, my total lack of respect for the usual social norms and boundaries, as well as my complete inability to remain grounded, led to me being arrested. I was subsequently taken to a psychiatric hospital where I was sectioned, and when I refused the drugs I was being offered, I was wrestled to the ground and injected with them. I was told I was extremely ill, with an illness called bipolar disorder, and it was now recommended that I take these drugs every day for the rest of my life.

 

  1. The immediate aftermath

In the aftermath of my spiritual crisis I felt frightened and alone.

My friends and family had not understood the changes in me. In their eyes I was very ill and had clearly completely lost it. When I came out of hospital some people avoided me. Perhaps I had offended them, or perhaps they just wanted to keep their distance from a ‘crazy’ person. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

What is more, I could no longer clearly connect to the divine wisdom and guidance I had received while in the altered state. My access to the heavenly realms seemed once again to have been blocked off to some extent, and I began to wonder if I had imagined the whole thing. There were certainly plenty of people ready to tell me that, and to tell me to take the drugs, accept I was ill, and try to get back to the life I had had before. In fact, I could not find a single person in my immediate circle of friends, family or co-workers who understood or was willing to validate my interpretation of events. More depressed than ever, I returned to my job, and took the medication I had been prescribed. My spirit was broken.

However, I could neither forget, nor completely dismiss, what had happened to me. What about all the other patients in hospital whom I’d talked to? Was our mutual connection to Spirit really just a sign of how ill we were, as the psychiatrists assured us?

 

  1. Integration

Over the next few years, I read and researched voraciously. I looked online, and I read books by Stanislav Grof, amongst others. I found others who had experienced what I had, and who had interpreted it in the same way.  I was flung into a second spiritual crisis, and was once again hospitalized. If anything, the treatment was even more brutal than the previous time. However, this time other things were different. Not only was I armed with more information, but as I entered the crisis I also happened to have someone by my side who believed in me, who had been through their own spiritual crisis some thirty years previously, and emerged on the other side. This time, when I came out of hospital, I did not continue to take medication, as the psychiatrists had recommended. In fact, I never took it again.

Gradually, I began to take in, and follow, some of the wisdom and insight I had gained during my altered states. I took a course in mindfulness meditation and learnt to meditate for the first time. I went to festivals where I met other spiritually-minded people, who could validate my thoughts and feelings. I began to play the violin again, fronting a band as a Stephane Grapelli style jazz violinist. Alongside my admin job, I took a three year violin teacher training course, and began to work as a violin teacher.

Slowly, I was integrating my spiritual awakening experience into my everyday life, rather than viewing it as illness, and something that I should distance myself from.

 

  1. My life now

I now work as a violinist and violin teacher, as directed by Spirit during my first intense spiritual crisis over ten years ago. This brings me great joy. I live with my wonderful partner, Richard, whom I love very much and who is my rock, helping to ground me – and we have two beautiful daughters together.

I do still sometimes lose my connection to Spirit, usually when I’m over-stressed, but on the whole, it is gently there, guiding me.

Occasionally, if I have been meditating regularly, I drop into a zone in which events seems to flow synchronistically; in which I let go of all worries about past and future and just allow myself to be guided. It is rather like my spiritual awakening experiences, but grounded into my everyday life. When I am in this space I feel incredible love, joy and compassion for everyone and everything, and certain insights help me to see what people need or how I can help them.

 

  1. The Emerging Kind

When I came out of hospital following my first intense spiritual crisis, I felt completely isolated and confused. I desperately needed to make sense of what had happened to me, but the only model available was the medical one, the illness model which had totally invalidated my spiritual experiences. I longed for people I could talk to who had been through what I had, who interpreted things as I did. I did not necessarily realize it then, but I needed to find people who had eventually trusted the insights from their altered state and incorporated them into their lives, in order to come out on the other side of their spiritual crisis into a new way of being.

As a trained peer for the Emerging Kind, I hope to be able to provide for others what I longed for myself. The Emerging Kind will set up groups which will bring together people who have been through awakening experiences, which may have been traumatic. Members of the group will probably all be at different stages of integration of their spiritual awakening process, but we will be able to learn from each other, as well as providing validation and support for each other’s experiences and spiritual journey.

We, in the West, find it so difficult to talk about spirituality. We all have souls, and we are all connected to Spirit, but somehow many of us have lost touch with this dimension of our existence and it has become taboo to speak about it. Those who are awakening can end up confused or stigmatized, or trapped in the psychiatric system where their experiences are invalidated and pathologized. However, I am certain that change is coming. The word ‘psychiatry’ actually means ‘healing of the soul’. I envisage a mental health system in which a spiritual crisis is not only recognized as such, but welcomed by psychiatrists as an opportunity for great healing, such that a person in crisis is treated gently, with validation and understanding, enabling them to integrate their experiences and go on to lead a happier and more fulfilling life. This, in turn, will allow more and more of us to ‘wake up’ and embrace our connection to the Divine, gradually healing not just the soul of the individual, but humanity as a whole, and indeed the planet itself.

Huge gratitude to Susie for stepping up and ‘paying forward’ her gifts from crisis in order to help others; that is truly how we are healing each other and the world ❤

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2 Responses to What Emerging Kind means to Susie

  1. Jenny says:

    Susie what a wonderful journey you have been through! It may sound strange but i would love to experience what you have been through, to heal from those past traumas, to realise, to feel connected to every living thing.
    I think i belive that what things come up like anxiety, depression bi polar ect are mauveotter@hotmail.com part of the process to feeling, being connected to the divine.
    Thank you soo much for sharing x

    Like

  2. Wow thank you for writing about your journey. Xx

    Like

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