Linda’s story is a special one for me, (Katie, #Emerging Proud Founder), to share, as Linda was one of the few people who offered me a non- judgemental safe space to work through my own spiritual crisis in 2012. We travelled the unfolding of our journeys alongside each other, often mirroring, and triggering each other to growth…
As Linda explains, her repressed trauma catalysed a spiritual awakening for her, and without a prior context for that, the chaos that ensued caused instability, as it does for many who experience a spontaneous awakening.
Today, 7 years on, Linda is bringing her individual passion for providing deep listening that emerged from her crisis into both her own life’s mission and a joint project that we are evolving together; the transformational opportunities of crisis indeed! Hear Linda’s journey through her own words…
As the dowsing rod spun faster and faster above my head, I felt a release in my body and a tear drop trickled down my cheek.
Confused by my emotional response, I asked what was happening…
The course leader explained that I was probably feeling the relief of freely accessing my innate feminine gift of connecting with earth energy. She explained that for generations, we have repressed our innate sensory, intuitive and supernatural gifts, to protect ourselves from the risk of being drowned or burnt at the stake, as these gifts were associated with witchery. Now it is ‘safe’ to be who we really are, without the risks of the past; the release I felt was ancestral, as well as personal.
There had been no room in my life for drama, or the non-ordinary and I had no context in my upbringing for the spiritual, supernatural or transcendental. My 45 years had been happy, stable and sweet. In early 2011, I began to feel increasingly highly sensitive and euphoric and this coincided with a new awareness of synchronicity and receiving messages from vivid dreams with symbols of sacred geometry. As well as feeling more emotional, I also felt frequent blissful moments as though cradled in a silky wrap of unconditional love and floating on a cloud of cotton wool. The euphoria continued intermittently for around four months.
More extreme, was having a vision (or hallucination?) of light emanating from the soil. I had a knowing that the mirror like points of light were some kind of message, though it must have been for my subconscious, as I had no idea what the message was. Although I felt completely comfortable during the experience, I did feel concerned the following morning, when I described the event out loud.
A few times over those months, I found myself emerging from spontaneous, trance-like states with a disparate view of the world; the revelations were liberating and I became evangelical (and probably very annoying), about what I had ‘seen’ and now ‘knew’ to be true. Although many of these revelations have since become mainstream, my values changing 180 degrees overnight, caused chaos in my life and for my family.
We had no context for my experiences and it was assumed that my ‘instability’ was at best a mid life crisis and at worst a psychotic breakdown and imbalance of chemicals in my brain. Feeling misunderstood, alone and alienated from everyone who had ever known and loved me, it was a relief to meet someone who shared their similar anomalous experiences and so fully accepted and understood what I was experiencing.
I was only fleetingly aware of the internal split I was feeling and at one point, when feeling desperately confused and alienated, I fell to my knees and prayed for the first time in my life.. and within 15 minutes I had received an answer – a direct experience of ‘God,’ which considering my atheist upbringing, was.. unacceptable! I was buoyed up by visions of angels radiating their healing light to protect my family… chaos ensued…
Within a few months, the gravity of the pain and shock I’d passed on to my family, began to pierce my heart and I spiralled into despair. Amidst my vulnerability, I made it my mission to understand exactly what had happened to me mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. I embarked on a journey and immersed myself in exploration, research and study: including questioning and listening to peers. This gave me good understanding of the nature of my spiritual awakening, experiences and life crisis, as well as the healing processes that followed…
In February 2011, I was shocked at being introduced to my half brother at a family party: he had been kept a secret from us. I felt gushing compassion for him, as he had not known the wonderful Dad my late Father was: I welcomed him into our family. A series of revelations about my birth family followed and I tried to understand my parents’ decisions. Although I was dealing with my anger consciously and moving towards forgiveness, something deep within my psychological foundation had shifted and it was as though, as the truth about my family was revealed, so to was the truth about the world and in time, the truth about who I am.
It is only in retrospect that I realise, that in hearing the truth around my Father, I’d felt a trauma and it had triggered a deep break in my psyche. I had indeed lost much of my rational capacity: it was as though my left brain took a break and my energy flooded my right brain. Maybe just as the truth about my family had been repressed, parts of who I am had been repressed and the revelations gave an opening and permission for those repressed parts of my psych to be liberated, in an explosion of unconscious chaos, as I suddenly became sensitive, tuned in and alive with my new intuitive gifts and emotional state, contrasting to the fairly quiet, logical, rational and composed wife and mother, I had been.
There are maybe two reasons that I managed to hold on to my sanity through these months:
1 – I had a strong solid foundation – for 45 years before the shock, I had lived a stable and happy life
2 – Intuitively, I found a group of people who listened to me with skill and validated and normalised my experiences as they shared their similar experiences. Gaining courage to share more and hearing myself, helped me make sense of my story. I began to accept myself and realise the strength and gifts I’d gained from my crisis. My confidence grew and gradually I clawed back my rational capacity and the spirals of healing, rebalancing and integration continue..
Making sense of my challenges in a way that contributes to others feeling heard and understood, to enhance wellbeing, is an important part of my journey.
Initially, I felt compelled to offer the same support I’d received and so facilitated a peer support group. Katie had encouraged me to start the group through a vision she’d had! We all felt the relief each week, of having a safe space to share our experiences that we couldn’t comfortably share with family, colleagues or other friends. The bonds we made over those two years were strong and we are still connected now.
I developed my KindaListening project as a training programme to enhance connection and empower people to resource themselves and each other, through developing stronger skills in deeper listening and empowering conversation. Feeling heard helps!
KindaListening is proving to be a strong ‘revolutionary’ foundation for communication that empowers self awareness and authentic, conscious expression, enabling creating a safe space for others to share. As such, it has become a key foundational training for Peer Group Facilitation. This was initially for the Emerging Kind Peer Group Facilitator training, inspired by Katie’s Emerging Proud event in 2017, and then for our Support Source Community Sharing Circles Facilitator training which was Big Lottery funded. We are now rippling out the benefits of being heard to sustain wellbeing within organisations.
To find out more about what Linda’s training offers, go to:
Have you experienced a personal transformation that was catalysed through a crisis?
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