The Business of Being Born

If you have not yet seen this documentary, you need to. The medical industry and the media have convinced us that we need hospital intervention to give birth, and in particular, that we need cesarian sections because the babies are in danger if they come out any other way. Educate yourself about hospital’s hidden agendas behind pushing a cesarian section on you. Birth is not a medical procedure or a surgery… it is not something to expedite or sedate… It is the most beautiful and transcendent process a human being can go through. Women have been giving birth naturally for millennia. Don’t let the medical community convince you that you are not healthy enough or capable enough to do it on your own. Learn about the competence of midwives, and reduce your own fear and stigma about home births.

Resource if you or someone you know is experiencing a psychotic break

Hi everyone, The below link is a vitally important resource for anyone experiencing a psychotic break. There are different ways of viewing psychotic breaks, or psychosis. Here in the United States, nonordinary states of consciousness are hugely stigmatized and pathologized. From an experiential perspective however, nonordinary states can be spiritually meaningful, profound, and undoubtedly real. But they can also be frightening because for one thing, the nonordinary reality is highly incompatible with consensual reality, and those who subscribe to consensual reality are not only unreceptive to nonordinary reality, but can actively restrain, disempower, and even criminalize someone who is experiencing it. You may want to communicate what you are experiencing and get help, but you may not want to reach out to those who we think of as the obvious first choice for crisis intervention: 911. Being involuntarily confined and sedated is probably the LAST thing you want when in such a vulnerable state. However for most of us, it is the only option we know. Instead, I am posting this resource for those of you who may be going through this type of thing, and are seeking an enlightened community to support you:

The Spiritual Emergence Network

United States of Tara

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I must be a little slow on the uptake because I JUST discovered United States of Tara! Oh my god… I am a total groupie. Not only is this show hilarious, with outstanding acting from some of my faves, wildly entertaining, and with witty writing, but it actually brings mental illness to mainstream pop culture… Woohoo!! I have so much gratitude for the way this show humanizes Dissociative Identity Disorder (more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.) Watching this, I became not only fascinated with D.I.D., but could really appreciate what a kind of impact this disorder can have on someone and his or her family. The disorder, as portrayed by the fabulous Toni Collette, is so trippy, and really messed with my sensory perception of reality. When that happens, I know I’m onto something real.

It can be watched on Netflix!

The Recovery Model

I know it’s a slightly longer video but this video changed my life. It is an introduction to the Recovery Model, which is an entirely new way to approach mental health. Rather than having the objective of “curing”people, this model is interested in asking clients what their priorities are. These priorities can be above and beyond the realm of mental health. The idea is not to get rid of someone’s disease, but to help them have the best life despite their disease. The recovery model is so much more than that and I’ll let Mark Ragins explain the rest because he is so compassionate and charismatic. I am just so encouraged to find an approach where the clients are empowered, have autonomy in their own treatment, and where there is a collaboration and relationship between helpers and those being helped where the hierarchy is significantly leveled.

What a Shaman sees in a Mental Hospital

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Another article about the dissonance between “mental illness” and spiritual emergency. I like this article from renowned and beloved Malidoma Somé because he goes into detail about what specifically is happening on a phenomenological level in the energetic, psychic, and spiritual realms when someone is in psychological crisis. He also goes into the wounds we carry as westerners, and how we can heal these wounds. He talks about the importance of ceremony, and what specifically might be done to reconcile the energetic rifts that have been created from our disconnection from nature and ancestral memory.

What a Shaman sees in a mental hospital

Recovery from Schizophrenia

Were you always under the impression that schizophrenia was an incurable disorder? Think again! What I love about this interview is that we rarely get a view into the internal experience of schizophrenia from someone who can articulate it coherently. Since this woman is “recovered,” in a sense, she can relay the experience in terms we can understand. What pulls at my heart strings about her account is that it captures a different perspective of such psychotic breaks. It conveys more of a spiritual emergence understanding than the pathologizing, objectifying, and dehumanizing interpretation we are used to from the western medical model. That said, not all psychotic breaks are created equal, and many people do not recover from their experiences naturally, nor are the experiences pleasant or experienced in spiritual terms. I still think there is a lot to gain from watching this interview though. This is one woman’s experience.

 

Neurodiversity: working as a privileged helper with an underprivileged client

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This article completely rocked my world. It reframes autism, what we often term a disability, as an internal reality as valid as the normative consensual reality. It questions where the problem lies: are these people really defective, or is it the society that is problematic? Ours is a society that discredits the informed perspectives of diverse populations, and oppresses the people behind them.

Toward a Neurocosmopolitan Society

Spiritual Emergence/ Emergencies

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This is something everybody needs to read. It is about, what is termed spiritual emergence, or spiritual emergencies. These are experiences that are often diagnosed as psychosis, mental illness, disability, or pathology by the medical community, yet are experienced by the subjects as contact with higher sources or the divine. These types of experiences have been widely accepted by tribal and shamanic communities for millennia, as initiatory steps for someone entering the role of a healer or revered guide within the community. But these experiences, and the people having them, have been horrifically oppressed in our western society.

Spiritual Emergencies: Understanding and Treatment of Psychospiritual Crises

Can you call it rape if he makes you an omelette in the morning?

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A terrific article about the ambiguous boundary of date rape. Although rape is stigmatized as being attacked by a stranger in a dark alleyway at gunpoint, it is much more frequently this insidious, constant, and normalized phenomenon that is hard to identify as rape. More to come on this topic in an upcoming post…

Can You Call it ‘Rape’ If He Makes You an Omelet in the Morning?