#EmergingProud is a Grassroots Social Movement
Aimed at: Re- framing ‘Madness’ as a catalyst for positive transformation
#Emerging Proud is ultimately a campaign about providing hope; that breaking down does not mean we are broken; it means that we can be amidst a difficult journey to ‘breakthrough’. In the same way that the caterpillar completely dissolves before emerging as a butterfly from its chrysalis, the human ‘emergence’ process can look exactly the same. #Emerging Proud aims to add to the voices aiming to create a society in which it feels safer to speak out about our extreme experiences without fear of being told there is something wrong with us, or that we are “crazy”.
#Emerging Proud acknowledges, in equal measure, both the extreme crisis and positive transformation potential contained in the ‘emergence’ process; what we consider important, is to shift the focus away from something being ‘wrong’, to the growth potential, deep meaning and wisdom psychological trauma can contain.
#Emerging Proud provides a platform to give those people who feel they have not had a voice, the chance to speak out and tell the world how they found a way out of their own darkness; a celebration of the positive transformation potential of these experiences, whilst at the same time acknowledging how challenging they can be, and what support is helpful during the process.
#Emerging Proud features accounts of people telling their personal transformation journey story, to show that it is possible to go from breakdown to breakthrough; what kinds of things they experienced, and what helped them to work their way out of the chrysalis. Personal story- sharing is one of the things people say is a helpful tool in the recovery journey.
The concept of the campaign is built on that of the Pride gay rights movement, because being gay was considered a mental illness before the public uprising in the late 60’s, when the voices of those feeling oppressed and discriminated against spoke out to initiate change. Homosexuality is no longer a category in the DSM as a result. Voices create change; let’s not stay silent. #Emerging Proud aims to achieve the same ‘normalisation’, but for mental distress and extreme human experiences.
International #Emerging Proud day launched on Friday 12th May 2017, aiming to expand the public perception of ‘normal’ all over the world.
Normalising extreme human experiences is fundamentally a Human Rights issue.
Article 9 of the Human Rights Act states a right to Freedom of thought, belief and Religion. And yet certain beliefs are still being pathologised as mental illness.
The inclusion in the DSM-IV (1994; Diagnostic and statistical manual) of a diagnostic category called “Religious or Spiritual Problem” was heralded as a significant breakthrough. It was intended as an acknowledgment of distressing spiritual experiences as non-pathological problems. But they continue to be pathologised and are little spoken about within the psychiatric world due to fear and misunderstanding. It’s time that changed.
Millions of people around the world are waking up to an expanded level of consciousness and thus experiencing spiritual phenomena. For many of these people the journey of awakening is a turbulent roller-coaster ride into the abyss of a misunderstood Universe, and as such, it can also be a fast admission ticket into the world of psychiatry. If the world is to evolve, our Western cultural perception of spiritual phenomena has to evolve too.
As we know the current portrayal of spiritual experiences, not just in psychiatry, but also in mainstream media, can be so destructive, and by increasing understanding and thus reducing fear, more people should be able to journey through their awakening process with a reduced level of crisis; this is about assisting a spiritual ‘emergence’ as opposed to an ‘emergency’.
The campaign includes photographs, video blogs of personal stories and interviews featuring people all around the world #emergingproud and talking openly about their own transformation experiences, many of whom were labelled as mentally ill.
Sign up and follow the blog to watch intriguing interviews with special guests and read powerful stories covering some of the more extreme ends of spiritual emergence experiences, and see the faces of those who have pledged to #emergeproud and end stigma to support those going through the shift: https://emergingproud.com