Spiritual Emergency, What?
My heart always dips when I think back to my Spiritual Emergency. I’m transported back to one of the toughest assaults on my mind, yet one that has revolutionised my existence.
Today at almost 40 years old : I’m free : True to myself : Pursuing my heart’s desires. I’m not half as normal as I used to be and thank goodness for that.
Previous to that my life was ruled by a mortgage, working in PR and marketing for some financial companies (freelance), and a mind that was slave to a system that did little for my soul’s happiness.
By the way, I’ve included helpful links on this page to point you in the right direction, just in case you or someone close to you is going through a wobbly that you feel goes beyond a mental crisis.
Mine, if you read my Bold Launch into Uncertainty post, was triggered in December 2008, the most offensive year of my life. Only months before, within 100 days, I’d lost my father to terminal heart disease, lost all my PR and marketing contracts to the recession and lost a relationship.
Spiritual Emergence, the gentler form of its militant sister, the Spiritual Emergency is defined 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 (1980).
A mental breakdown, as per the medical books, would be a no surprise consequence of my trio of tragedies, but I far from expected extrasensory perception (ESP) and freak occurrences. This was far more than just a biochemical imbalance.
One extraordinary evening, in a state of utter despair, my tears were non-stop. Eventually, I lost the energy to cry or think anymore. Acceptance washed over me and I found myself in calm stillness. In that grey moment, that Unknown Force touched my shoulder. Nothing nor no-one was there. Not physically anyway. What felt like a comforting hand, was letting me know that you’ll get through this and emerge transformed and anew. My life had already altered forever, but what followed blew my mind.
Past life visions, out of body experiences, premonitions that came true, shifting objects, feeling people’s thoughts, to hearing spirits and more, would become a regular occurrence. With that writing three screenplays was dropped into my head from the ether – stories about self-belief that hoped to touch others – to be completed once I anchored my own self belief. Was this my destiny?
It’s understandable if the paranormal is difficult to grasp, but let me add this here, a kumquat looks like a kumquat, and unless you taste it you’ll never know what it’s like.
I threw my energy into them and if the above wasn’t incredible enough, I had to contend with the fact that I soaked up the moods, emotions and characteristics, good and bad, of any spirit I crossed paths with, even people, so thin my boundaries had become. Add to that, external sensory stimuli affected me at a much deeper level – loud sounds that weren’t so loud, ordinarily, were uncomfortable and certain smells could be smelled from a farther distance than usual – whether a flower, food or stinky mutt.
[I sit somewhere on the spectrum of being mediumistic and a highly sensitive person (HSP), although I’m not keen on labels as they tend to stir up negative connotations. Nevertheless, the latter is gathering positive worldwide attention, and last year The Telegraph on-line published the article: Highly Sensitive People, a Condition Rarely Understood, which mentions the rock singer, Alanis Morissette who confesses to being HSP.]
I lost who I was, immersed in a pool of strange personalities, barely keeping my own above water. Who the hell was I? I yelled from an existential standpoint. And who the hell were they?
What’s most important to mention here were the handful of voices that coaxed me to get up again at every I give up, I can’t, slump – following a heavy gunning from my ogre-self – my own worst enemy.
“This isn’t in vain.”
“Once you believe in yourself you’ll do this.”
I heard it over and over, that my arduous climb back to some kind of different normality was going to reap its rewards…eventually. Indeed, part of the reward is the healing that writing out your heart and soul bequeaths you.
I’ve never been attached to having answers for everything, but some kind of clue as to what was happening to me would’ve driven my logical mind less insane.
Eighteen months it took to discover what my positive transformative crisis was, so little is out there in the mainstream. Once I got my hands on the book, Spiritual Emergency, When Personal Transformation becomes a Crisis, written by progressive psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, his wife, Christina Grof and other professionals, the weight of a sack of potatoes was lifted off of my shoulders.
My spiritual and emotional overhaul, experienced by countless others, was wrapped up in mainstream psychological insights that didn’t diminish spiritual phenomenon. This was a positive opportunity for immense growth not a social downfall to be ashamed of or feel in isolation about – as per the mental illness label.
The spirit of my dad? My ancestors? A guardian angel perhaps? And who were the other handful of voices egging me on? In which case I should probably state Unknown Force et al…
…or to make my life simple, I’ve imagined IT as Yoda. Makes me laugh at least, which I tend to do even when others don’t.
Regardless, the mere fact I felt heard meant the real healing could begin. Holistic healing, including homeopathy (which I had qualified in, but don’t practice anymore due to my HSP nature), meditation and an ultra healthy lifestyle were my other faithful allies, over prescription pills which I steered clear of. To date they help me manage my oversensitivity to external stimuli, whether from the paranormal or material world. I can still be affected by other people’s moods and emotions, so I try and surround myself with positive, up-beat folk who enrich me, rather than sap my energy and bring me down. I look at it this way, I’m more in tune with others and my life than I have ever been, and I’d rather be more connected than disconnected – the latter an unfortunate truism of society these days.
A necessary interruption…
Seek medical advice from the professionals before you choose which healing road to travel down. I’m not an expert. I’ve seen for some prescription pills have worked in moderation. I’ve seen for some a combo of holistic and pills have minimised side-effects, even enhancing life in general. I’ve seen for some that it’s caused terrible side effects, addictions and even worse, needless to say. Do educate yourself before you decide what’s best for you.
In 1980, Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN) was established – an organisation of professionals who support those affected, combining mainstream and holistic healing methods. Since then affiliate branches have opened in many countries, worldwide to meet the demand of the increasing number of psycho-spiritual cases. Click on International Spiritual Emergence Network if you’d like more information, or to contact an organisation in your country.
Indeed in places like India and the Far East, and amongst indigenous tribes where such phenomena is widely accepted, healers and specialised centres, such as ashrams, have been assisting affected individuals to emerge to their best potential since ancient times to date.
As for my best potential – the screenplays have travelled far as I have. Ogre-self is kept at a safe distance and I CAN’T has transformed into I can. I’ve even committed to writing music, playing piano and learning French during the last few years. But I still need to declare I CAN with unwavering faith.
So you see, had it not been for my Spiritual Emergency, this BIG DREAM of mine, I would never have dreamt of in a million years. I want to see it to THE END, and not only on paper. It’s what I visualise in my head on a bright day. That and finding lasting luurve, sooo cliché, but it’s that.
Did you know that promising scientific research has been
conducted into spiritual phenomena?
In one such study, brain activity has been measured in medium active states during sessions of psychography or automatic writing – when a deceased person is said to write through the medium’s hand. While overall scientific studies are few, there’s hope that as research progresses in this field a bridge can be built between spirituality and science. Click on the study findings, Psychography in Brazil, Peres et al (2012), if you want to know more.