When we think of psychosis, we often picture the madman running through the streets screaming about an impending apocalypse and firing warnings to all who stroll pass. Having worked in mental health for over 8 years, I have been trained to see psychosis as a wide range of mental health issues that indicate a person is having challenges determining what is real or not. There are a variety of ways in which this can manifest in a person’s experience, such as hearing voices (clinically termed: auditory hallucination) or feeling of distrust where everyone is out to harm them (clinically termed: paranoid delusions). The approach that the medical model has taken over the centuries is to label these experiences as pathological, stating they require “fixing” (treatment) in an attempt to suppress them. Could we really be so naive to think we are all cookie-cutter human beings experiencing the same reality?
Over the last few years of my journey I have made it my goal to begin to shift the views of mental health amongst those with lived experiences, my colleagues and those outside of the health profession. I took the plunge in the spring of 2018 when I attended a practicum to become a Certified Spiritual Emergence Coach. This led me to truly see how I can begin to use my skills as a coach within the context of spirituality and psychiatry. In addition, I have become accustomed to questioning the terms we use to describe someone’s personal experience(s).
For instance, let's delve into the word psychosis. In most clinical circles, the word is used to describe a person's experience of hallucinations and delusions and whereby the person is to have no awareness (insight) that these changes in their perception are occurring. Stepping out of the clinical realm, we can see that the word, when broken down from its Ancient Greek is comprised of two parts [according to Wikipedia]: ψυχή (psyche), meaning “soul” and -ωσις (-osis) “abnormal condition.” So by that definition we can say that psychosis is related to the soul.
This is fascinating as we can begin to see how humanity has shifted from a once spiritually driven approach to life, to a more physically (medical) driven model. As humans that is one thing we have perfected, the pendulum swing from one extreme to the next, am I right? But I do believe we are shifting back towards the centre and this means we have the opportunity to pause in that balance, whether it be for eternity or a moment.
It is my opinion that the balance we seek has presented itself in the concept of Spiritual Emergence (SE). I wrote a previous article on this topic and you can find more details here. In short, according to two of the leading minds in transpersonal psychology, Dr. Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof, SE can be described as ”the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature, and the cosmos. An important part of this development is an increasing awareness of the spiritual dimension in one’s life and in the universal scheme of things” (Grof & Grof, 1990). So if we take the definition of SE and see how the term psychosis refers to “an abnormal condition of the soul”, we can surmise that mental health is connected to our spirituality. It seems though, despite research showing it is a benefit in recovery, our Western model has tried to ignore the need for spirituality in mental health for some time.
The times are a-changin! This is why I am so excited to share my views in merging mental health with spirituality. When I say spirituality, I mean any way in which a person connects to the bigger picture in and around them. If this means through a specific religious dogma, then great! If it means going and walking in nature, that is great too! Or perhaps it is helping the little old lady cross the road. Whatever it is, my hope is to meet people where they are at and to normalize their experiences, which could include (but are not limited to) hearing voices or having other-worldly experiences or suffering overwhelming amounts of anxiety. I believe that once we can accept these experiences, look at them from a new perspective, and then integrate it, we can move forward with confidence and happiness. Now who does not want to live a life of empowerment!?
If any of this resonates with you, I invite you to sign up for my Free 5-day online course, Transurfing Spiritual Emergence. In it I will give some more details on Spiritual Emergence, integrating spirituality with mental health, and walk you through techniques you can shift your life into this power. This course is great if you have personally experienced mental health issues and felt there was something more to your diagnosis, if you are a family member of someone who has experienced a Spiritual Emergence, or if you are a mental health provider wanting to understand this topic further. I also encourage you to check out my website to see the services available and to contact me.
The awareness of greatness inside of us can be an overwhelming experience. To some it comes in waves, to others as a nuclear warhead striking without notice, eliminating everything in its path. The feeling of impending doom, the uncertainty, the fear; it may be too much for a person to handle alone. The emergence of a deeper knowing, this spirituality, is common and happens more frequently than we would like to believe. It is possible and a necessity to accept this awakening and step into a place of purpose. Throughout history humans have experienced symptoms of Spiritual Emergence and Emergency, all so we can rise to a place of awareness and growth in our consciousness. The important part is knowing that you are not alone in this process and that many before you have gone through a similar experience and there are those you cross paths with in order to provide opportunities for more shifts. Our ability to ride the waves and dive into the waters of our consciousness is possible with integration of experiences and allowing ourselves to accept this period of awakening in life. Having worked eight years in mental health, I feel there is a need for further exploration in the area of Spiritual Emergence and Emergency, so we can step away from pathologizing experiences and more into empowering people.
Spiritual Emergency and Spiritual Emergence fall along a spectrum of experience; the degree to which these play out in our lives varies. Defined as critical and experientially difficult stages of a profound psychological transformation that involve one's entire being,"(Bragdon, 2017) Spiritual Emergency (SEY) may leave one feeling alone and uncertain of where they are to take the next step in their life. When this crisis unfolds many have difficulties maintaining their daily life and this could lead to periods of time where they are required to go inward and be supported by others who can validate and ensure safety to their being. Sometimes these experiences can become so traumatic and lead to an external pathologizing of the experience (ie. Psychosis and other mental health diagnoses).
On the other end of the spectrum is the experience of Spiritual Emergence (SE) where one is also awakening to their role in this world and feeling a sense of connection to all that is around them. According to two of the leading minds in transpersonal psychology, Dr. Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof, SE can be described as the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature, and the cosmos. An important part of this development is an increasing awareness of the spiritual dimension in one's life and in the universal scheme of things." (Grof & Grof, 1990) The person going through a SE most often finds it possible to continue on in their day-to-day functioning. Due to the fact that both of these experiences can vary in degree of intensity, it is important that a person educate themselves that firstly these experiences are a natural occurrence, and secondly, there are ways to manage the intensity.
The main difference between SEY and SE is that the latter tends to be more fluid in its presentation and allows the person to maintain functioning. Unless we shift our willingness to work with those in SEY by providing more support, we will only add to the struggle. In the literature there are ~12 categories of Spiritual Emergency, including (but not limited to) Dark Night of the Soul, Shamanic journey, Encounter with ETs, Near Death Experiences, and Psychic openings. I believe that either SE or SEY can be accounted for from these 12 categories, and there are variety of factors that determine the ability of a person to integrate and move forward in their new found knowledge.
My personal experience with Spiritual Emergence was one of a sudden wake up call to my life’s purpose. The shift into this new understanding shook me to my core, and though there were many sleepless nights and anxieties crawling through every part of me, I was so thankful for those in my life that provided me with the information and empowerment to emerge from it. It is still an amazement to me when everything aligns and information, people and events seem to fall right into my lap. Of course, I had to accept this information and integrate it into my life on my own. That is also something that each of us must do in order to move forward. I understand how easy it is to want to give up and allow the events to continue to play out around you without taking the reins. But I assure you that it is possible to embrace where you are at and begin to visualize where you would like to be. Test it for yourself. Even you reading this article is the next step. You began to ask the questions about your own situation and now here you are reading these words and feeling a sense of calm because it resonates with you in some way. Continue to ask the questions and trust that the answers are coming to you in all forms. Dig deeper into what it is that you feel needs to be uncovered.
There are a variety of ways in which you can uncover your experiences and push yourself to the yet uncharted realms of the mind. This can be with the use of breathwork, meditation, being in nature or other shamanic practices. It is my belief that with the legalization of Cannabis in Canadian society, we will see an expansion in human consciousness. Whether we agree with the legalization or not, I believe we must come from a place of engaging each other and begin to support those who are going to have a wide range of experiences. By normalizing peoples’ experiences and allowing them to share their truth we can begin this process and set the stage for this shift to unfold. This change in viewing mental health will allow for the use of more positive language and acceptance of others. The resistance that has occurred over the centuries is losing its grip and so we must prepare ourselves. I implore you to see where it is you can best support yourself and those around you while the world adjusts to this change.
My hope as a Spiritual Emergence Coach and Energy worker is to facilitate healing in others and provide a safe space so this can occur. I give thanks each day that I have been on the path I wake up to everyday as I know that it is to bring more light to the world. I give thanks that all of humanity are also on the path and finding their unique way to bring light to others. If you would like more information on spiritual emergence/emergency or about the work I am doing, here are some great resources on the subject and information on the upcoming Spiritual Emergence YEG Group.
A Live Recording from today: Discussing spirituality and it's role in our lives. It can be something so simple! #GoSpiritual
Experiencing increased anxiety? Think you’re losing your mind? Shifts in your awareness or questioning your reality? Let me help you sort through these changes in your perception!
As a Spiritual integration coach, having a background in mental health and addictions, and being a practitioner of supplemental healing modalities, such as Reiki and Sound Therapy, I feel I am able to support those who are going through shifts in their life and are feeling as though they have no place else to turn.
We have been raised to hold certain beliefs. This is not our fault. It has been ingrained into us since before we were born. Now we are being taken out of the stagnancy and having to step into our full authenticity. The purpose of life is to fulfil our soul-purpose on this planet, which will then allow us to live the life we truly desire and be of service to others. When we act or believe in a way that does not serve us, then we begin to experience discord within. This then radiates outwards and becomes the conflict we see in our relationships, work, and physical and mental well-being.
Dramatic shifts can happen as we become more aware of this conflict. But I assure you they are not necessary and definitely not a place to be camping in for extended periods of time. We can see the discord every day. Turn on the television and you are soon reminded. We try to solve the problems of the world by fighting. Us vs Them.
What if I told you that instead of fighting we are to surrender and trust the process?
You are beautiful love and light and that is what is wanting to shine out from you. Your soul and the Divine wants you to shake free of these limiting habits and break free of any old belief patterns. Surrender and trust the process and you will heal all aspects of yourself. You will no longer be attached to the old or to the hurt that keeps you struggling every day.
Surrender to the feeling in your body. Surrender to the feeling in your mind. Trust that you have the answers inside you already.
We were all born with Free Will — the ability and desire to think for ourselves. This has often been stifled by those around us who also learned to hide their true selves from the world. We are all given the chance to step into this power and trust; now “Will you decide to do this?” is the question!
What will you choose?
Freedom and Love?
Or to remain in pain and discord?
I encourage you to try the former. But it may not necessarily be an easy one.
Let us connect! I would love to support you while you continue on your journey. Having someone hold that safe space for you and support you as you reach those deeper aspects of yourself that have been left in the dark for so long. I can be that reassurance and that applause during our time together; until you get to the place of knowing you had all the reassurance within you since the beginning.
I look forward to sharing my experiences and being a part of your healing journey.
To do or not to do.
That is the question.
How many times have you caught yourself in the inner battle of taking that next step or sitting down to watch your favorite episode of The Office for the millionth time. I know I have. And so I come to you today from a place of honest conviction:
I have come to learn – and it seems to repetitively learn – the lesson that when there is resistance to any task, there is a high likelihood that it is something you should be doing.
Now I know some of you might question this and I am sure there are some examples when you should not do something: such as, peer pressure to do drugs or flick off that truck driver that is riding your ass on the highway.
You see. The main difference with the above examples and the type of resistance that may arise prior to doing any inner work or accomplishing tasks that are going to take you to the next level in your life purpose, is that the above are all external forces. They do not come from within.
I will speak from my experience and give you an example from the other week:
For about 3 days I was contemplating doing some breathwork that I find quite uplifting and essential to making major shifts in my life. So I thought about it and felt so good. Then when it came to actually laying down, setting my Insight Timer and doing it, I felt so much resistance. The thing was (in retrospect) the feeling I had was this yucky, slimy feeling. I then passed on the task and continued with my day.
One morning I told myself: “ENOUGH FOLA! Get on with it!”
And so I did…reluctantly for the first 3 minutes, but then I remembered truly how much energy it brings inside and the cleansing and so my mind just enjoyed the ride of pleasure and resistance.
The amazing things unfolded immediately and throughout the next 24 hours:
I had a switch go off in my head about my current life situation. That I have been worried about joining two worlds of my Self / Interests and had not thought it was possible. All of a sudden I knew! My higher Self shared that it does not matter and that the two were always one in the sense that they were me and that I am developing something into its own unique Fola.
I was so excited by this!
Then some guilt came in where I was trying to figure out: WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST DO THIS EARLIER! GEEZ!
But I allowed that to pass and proceeded to think about how awesome it is that I can now work towards finding the place of knowing in the resistance.
I can recall the times I have had this resistance come up for me and when I surrendered to it and great shifts happened.
These forms of resistance can come in many different forms for each individual and so I ask you to ask yourself:
1. Where am I resisting in my life?
2. What does this resistance feel like? *so you can become aware of the times it arises in the future*
3. What do I need to do to surrender to it and shift into the next steps of life?
The final question can be answered in many different ways. Perhaps you need to do some meditation (silent/guided/walking) or breathwork. Perhaps some form of energy work (Reiki or Chakra Balancing). Or perhaps speaking with someone who can be present with you and offer a safe space to explore that resistance and help you clear it.
Allow yourself to ask these questions and move forward. I dare you!! J
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below or feel free to contact me over PM!
New Moon (March 17th and 18th 2018)
It’s coming up to that time again!
The New moon is ahead of us. What are you intending to shift?
I was reading the following on the upcoming New Moon in Pisces and found it to be applicable:
(her writings are always so enlightening I may add).
At the beginning of 2018, one of my intentions was to become closer to Mother Earth and all her wonderful creation. I feel that this has been happening since and look forward to furthering this connection as we approach Spring. As I see big changes in my life (and those around me) I cannot help to express my excitement for what the next 12 months will bring. Tomorrow night I will be taking part in a sweat and cannot wait to experience the next steps on this journey.
I encourage you as you enter this new phase, to continue to speak your truth, live your life to its greatest potential, and WRITE DOWN the hopes/dreams/affirmations you wish to play out over the next year.
If you need some guidance please feel free to message me and we can talk more about this!
AND if you are interested, there is a great ritual you can try if you really want to solidify your thoughts into your something tangible and want an example:
Til next time!
My boyfriend is a talented and unique writer. Lately we have been having conversations on channeling. He wrote this post:
“The Art of Channeling” https://medium.com/@raizok/the-art-of-channeling-123eabfb57c0
Let me know what you think!
For more of his writings pleaase visit:
Do you doubt love?
Do you doubt yourself?
Love from one - turns to two - then back in union.
Will you allow it?
Let it unfold and your eyes will open.
Let it hurt so you can grow to your fullest.
Let it come.
Revel in it.
-Twin Flame Woman
What is Reiki?
Reiki is an energy healing modality that originated from Japan in the early 1900s. It was started by Buddhist monk, Mikao Usui, who received Reiki after several days of fasting during a spiritual journey. He began to spread the word of Reiki to those in Japan and eventually it made its way to other countries in the world via his students. Reiki means Universal healing energy.
Everything is energy. Ki (‘Chi’) is the energy that circulates everywhere and is not limited by time or space. Reiki is the practice whereby a practitioner uses specific hand placements (on or away from your body), has been attuned by a Reiki master, and has the ability to channel this universal energy to the client.
Who benefits from Reiki?
EVERYONE and EVERYTHING! But I primarily work on human clients. From newborns to the elderly. Anyone can receive this healing energy and (in my opinion) should! Reiki has been known to help those who have physical ailments/pains, emotional issues or are needing spiritual guidance. The great thing about Reiki is that it does what it needs to do depending on each person. The practitioner does not decided where the energy goes and so learning Reiki for oneself to give self-treatments on a regular basis is always a great tool. But of course, having a practitioner is a great way to relax and let the universe give you what it is you need at that moment and some extra guidance from whomever it is you are working with.
Where’s the proof?
There have been some studies carried out international to test the benefits of Reiki. Our current technologies have yet to fully find out where and what this energy is, but various studies show there are some benefits. You can find links to these studies at:
Or (sign up as a member - it’s free - and check out):
Why did I start Reiki?
I began my Reiki journey officially in Jan 2016, going for my first session with a friend. It was very intriguing to me at the time of the experience due to the visuals I had with my eyes closed. But the next day I had alot of energy moving and trying to work through my throat chakra. It amazed me that something so simple could do so much. I was encouraged by someone I met to consider completing my Level 1, and so in Oct-2016, I took my first Reiki course. It was so beautiful and it really got me to look into myself and my issues that I had been ignoring or not aware of. Don't let me kid you! It required a lot of inner searching and questioning... and crying...but it was worth it! The benefit of doing at least Reiki Level 1 is that you will learn self treatments and can do them on yourself often.
Why do I charge?
I used to question the reasons practitioners would charge for Reiki. I honestly feel like everyone should have the opportunity to receive the blessings of this wonderful gift. After realizing in my own life the need to give and to receive and speaking with other practitioners, I decided that requesting an exchange back for my services was most appropriate. Everything is energy. In the world all things are exchanging this energy and I would not want to keep someone feeling indebted to me/my providing a service. I understand that everyone’s financial situations are different and so I am more than willing to discuss payment options and exchanges as needed. We are all on this earth for a reason: to give to others from the source of our soul purpose. What that may look like for one person may be different for another.