We Need Mental Health Transparency Now

6/8/2018: I am updating this post to add some words after the saddening high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. May they rest in So Much Love and Peace.

Below are the powerful, honest, and incredibly healing words from my favorite poet, Andrea Gibson, shared from their Instagram post today, on the subject of mental health and wanting a world where we don’t feel shame in sharing our struggles:

Stay here with me, Precious Life.

You are So Needed.

You are So Loved.

You are So Cherished.

You are the Ultimate Gift.

To all the people who’ve told me to keep quiet about my mental health challenges—I say to you—I will not keep quiet. Life is too Precious to hide or to feel Unnecessary shame.

The World is crying out for Love, and Connection through the honest sharing of our challenges, traumas, and inner struggles.

We need to offer our compassion, support, acknowledgment, and hold safe, nurturing spaces to release and heal.

And again, here is my Mental Health Transparency:

I have been coping with symptoms of social anxiety and agoraphobia since 2008, just after graduating from high school. I am empathic, and highly sensitive to the energy moving through me and around me. I feel things deeply. I have happy days and sad days. I honor those energetic, emotional fluctuations of being a human on this planet.

It is okay to not feel okay. And it’s okay to talk about not feeling okay.

We need mental health transparency.

We need to share, and listen to each others’ stories. We need to connect and support each other. We need to collectively heal, learn from one another, and understand we’re not the only ones going through challenges and times of darkness.

I will continue to shine my Light out of Love for others. I will continue to speak truthfully and authentically from my Self. And I will continue to hold healing space on this blog for my Self, and all of you Beautiful Souls.

You are a Precious Life. You are So Loved, Cherished, and Valued.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts and feeling helpless, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, below:

NSPL Phone: 1-800-273-8255

NSPL Online Chat: http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx

💕

Below is Jessie J’s music video for “Who You Are.” I remember watching the video for the first time and was so moved, especially when she sings:

It’s okay not to be okay
Sometimes it’s hard
to follow your heart
tears don’t mean your losing
everybody’s bruising
just be true to who you are

– Jessie J, Who You Are

You can watch Jessie J sing “Who You Are” while on a subway platform, and watch the touching reactions of passerbys, here (warning: healthy tears may flow):

Sending So Much Love and Blessings to You.

💕

Original Post:

I often wonder why there seems to be a taboo on speaking openly and honestly about mental health. Is it because others do not want to appear “weak” or “less than”? Has society taught us to suppress core parts of ourselves that are anything other than what it deems “normal” to function in a fast-paced, corporate, commercialist culture? Is it healthy to give up parts of ourselves so others can feel more comfortable? Do we deny others the chance to get to know all sides of ourselves because we are afraid of what they might think, say, or do? Is this all based on an illusion that we are all distantly separate from one another in this life?

To me, this taboo on speaking genuinely about our mental health journeys denies the true magnificence of humanity.

How we live is what makes us real

Each of us holds a palette of beautiful, unique colors that make up our mind, body, and soul painting. Our unique canvas brings an abundance of positive qualities to our environments—new perspectives, observations, ideas, and changes.

If we deny or hide parts of ourselves, we may also inhibit our growth potential. Years later, our shadow-selves may eventually come up, no longer hiding in the light of the moon. This integration process, if allowed, helps us become more whole, happy, and healthy human beings.

Sometimes though, it can feel lonely if we are around others who are not very like-minded or supportive of our mental health and healing journey. When you connect with people who are of like-mind, it can feel safer and more comfortable to authentically express our core being and can make all the difference in remembering we are all connected, in one way or another.

These are the simple secrets to true, authentic living:

  • Know Thyself
  • Love Thyself
  • Express Thyself

When we know ourselves deeply, and express ourselves outwardly, we lovingly create our splendid reality! (Did that all surprisingly rhyme?)

The truth is, life is too short and spectacular to hide in the corner. It is too temporary and special for us to be concerned over what other people could be thinking about us. We are only responsible to ourselves—our mind, body, and spirit—to reflect our Inner Painting outward, and share collectively in the glory of an honest and full life, together.

And this year, I promise to do my part and not hide any part of my Self in the corner or be overly concerned with others’ assumed judgments at the expense of expressing my true being-ness.

I will Think, Speak, and Act with Integrity to My Self
I will think, speak, and act with Integrity to my Self.

The world needs our integrity more than ever now. It is time to show up for ourselves and shine our unique, honest, and brilliant lights outward. By doing so, we simply inspire others to do the same.

And here’s my transparency: I have been coping with symptoms of social anxiety and agoraphobia since 2008, just after graduating from high school. And I accept and love all parts of myself, including the challenges which help me to appreciate life even more.

Have a Soul-Full day,

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower

Tell The World I’m Coming Home

If you’ve read Ki & Me blog posts, you might have a taste of what I’m passionately over-the-moon about—writing about self-discovery, awakening to the gift of life, and sharing the inner wisdom I’ve learned through my self-healing journey of coping with symptoms of social anxiety and PTSD agoraphobia.

IMG_0071

What I’ve learned over the years continues to lift the veil from over my eyes and to assist me in growing and evolving as an open-hearted, compassionate, and loving human and spiritual being—and I would love to share that with you.

I’ve always been enthralled with self-discovery. Each nugget of wisdom I’ve absorbed fuels my spiritual growth—from receiving my first healing crystal years ago (i.e., hematite) to today, where I’m focusing my intentions and energy on opening up a holistic coaching and therapeutic energy practice and working as a freelance writer. It is my life passion to share with you the self-healing techniques that continue to transform me from the core—and to support you in making positive, loving changes in your life.

Variety of Crystals and colors
My Healing Crystals

I am thrilled to say that I’m a student of the Awakened Academy’s Spiritual Life Coach Certification and Sacred Business Academy program, founded by Arielle Hecht and Michael Mackintosh. In their online work-at-your-own-pace training program, with students from all across the globe, I feel infinite support. Every single aspect of their holistically designed program resonates with my life passions. Arielle and Michael have developed their life-transforming Spiritual Life coaching program to help build, strengthen, and lovingly support all areas of your life, and the incredibly precious souls you’ll help guide and mentor.

Along with the Awakened Academy Spiritual Life Coach Certification program, I am working on Usui Japanese Reiki Master/Teacher Certification (I am currently certified in the 2nd degree) with Jesse Wicher, Crystal Reiki Master/Teacher certification with Lisa Powers, and am starting a Certified Crystal Reader (CCH) program with the incredible Krista Mitchell—the “Rock Whisperer” in April.

I am genuinely overflowing with joy that I encountered the opportunity to train alongside such knowledgeable and impactful holistic practitioners.

A miracle is a shift in perception. The moment that we choose to perceive our life with love, we can create miraculous change. - Gabrielle Bernstein

 “A miracle is a shift in perception. The moment that we choose to perceive our life with love, we can create miraculous change.”Gabrielle Bernstein

It took me years to acknowledge my genuine life passions and actively trust in the unknown to place them in the spotlight. When parental pressures (and my young and confused sense of self) led me away from pursuing my dream of being a counselor, I veered off into the Information Technology/Cybersecurity field. Cybersecurity is an important field. I helped organizations keep their information secure, but it wasn’t my life passion or the career field I ever desired to be in.

Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your heart and soul to it

After resigning from a high-paying salary in a career that wasn’t for me, I eventually came home to myself late last year—and I wouldn’t change a single thing. The most significant lessons I’ve learned in 2017 (and there were plenty) were to honor my limits, devote my energy towards my life passions, and to believe in myself.

The Cybersecurity knowledge I gained wasn’t wholly discarded; I found a way to continue sharing the vital information I’ve learned in the field and help others succeed in their business projects. And it involves one of my core passions—writing! By serving as a freelance writer, I help others write about a variety of topics, including Cybersecurity.

I’ve lived, laughed, loved, and cried for almost 29 years on this lovely planet of ours. According to the World Bank, the average life expectancy for someone in the U.S. is 78 years. That means that I have already lived 37% of that and have only 63% to go (let’s hope it’s more).

Life is short break the rules forgive quickly kiss slowly love truly Laugh uncontrollably & never regret anything that makes you smile

Life is short and sweet, and I will cherish every moment of the day to actively express my authentic self and work towards building my holistic coaching and energy healing business. For more soul-angst, check out my poem, Almost Losing My Self to the Wolf in Life’s Clothing

Before late 2017, my career decisions focused on how much money I could make to pay the bills and $100K of student debt while testing the limits of what I could handle to make it through the day. I credit the momentum of my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing that resulted, to my cat, Kuma, that passed away last July—and acupuncture. Through the grieving of a profound loss, I reflected on my life. And the acupuncture sessions released energy blockages and jumpstarted healing on many levels—it was a runaway recovery train. Through the painful upheavals and resulting emotional healing that took place, I discovered and claimed the ultimate holy grail—My Authentic Self.

“Through the painful upheavals and resulting emotional healing that took place, I discovered and claimed the ultimate holy grail—My Authentic Self.”

Rest in So Much Love Kuma (picture of white cat with gray spots)
Rest in So Much Love, Kuma

Every lesson, trial, tribulation, and tintinnabulation I experienced provided infinite inner wisdom that I am fortunate to share, with an open heart. It takes radical courage, trust, belief, and self-love to follow your life passions—who’s with me? When you take a willing leap of faith towards expressing your life passions—trusting that the “universe has your back”—you’ll witness an abundance of intention-supporting miracles in your life.

“It takes radical courage, trust, belief, and self-love to follow your life passions”

Believe you can and you're halfway there - Theodore Roosevelt

Now for the super joyous and fun stuff…

I’ve been planting “seeds”, and one of them is the blog you are reading, Ki & Me.

Ki & Me is another way of saying the “Universe & Me”. “Ki” is a Japanese word that means “universal life force energy” that flows naturally through all things. I created this blog to share my thoughts and experiences on the body, mind, and soul journey of growth and healing. And to share some of my own experiences recovering from PTSD anxiety and agoraphobic symptoms since 2008 (see my “I Met Fear, And It Rewired My Brain” post)—all to lay the groundwork for my future Spiritual and Life Coaching and Energy Therapy business.

I now provide the following holistic, intuitive service offerings:

  • Long Distance & In-Person (near Buffalo, NY) Reiki Therapy Sessions

My holistic service offerings will evolve and grow in time. I have an immense passion to serve you as a Certified Spiritual and Life Coach and Reiki practicioner!

I am so thrilled to help you dive into self-discovery to achieve your highest and best goals and dreams!

Have a Soul-Overflowing Day,

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower

P.S. I’ve had this post drafted for weeks, waiting for the “right moment” to finish it and share it with you all. What I’ve come to realize is that every moment is the “right moment” to share. Whenever I confront the notion that I need to “know everything now” or “have completed my certifications” before I can share, I remind myself that the joy is in the journey, that everything I need to know will be revealed to me in each moment and not all at once. I will always be learning. Therefore, it’s never a more perfect time to open up my heart and share from deep within my heart and soul, with you all.

I realized that I don't have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life. - Kerry Washington

If you’d like to send a donation to support my path to becoming a Spiritual Life Coach, click the ‘Donate’ button below and send only what you desire.


Donate Button

I continue to steadfastly work towards manifesting my life passions of holistically supporting others who cope with symptoms of anxiety and agoraphobia—through Spiritual Life Coaching and healing energy therapies, such as relaxing and stress-reducing Japanese Reiki sessions. Any gifts from the universe help tremendously with the cost of my holistic training needed to obtain the expertise to open my Spiritual Life Coaching and Energy Therapy practice—making my dreams a rooted reality.

I am truly honored to be here now, to serve you all in light and so much love.

I Met Fear, and It Rewired My Brain

Have you met Fear and it changed the way your brain processed life?

I sure did.

Fresh out of the chains of high school, I was thrilled to start an exhilarating, unknown college experience hundreds of miles away in Philadelphia, PA. I was a rebel and wasn’t afraid of anything. When I turned 18, I bought my first pack of cigarettes and smoked them until I enjoyed it. I was ready to try anything and everything and welcomed the world and its inhabitants with an open heart and mind. I was living the “dream”–at least the dream that I wanted when I was 18 years old–adventuring around the city at all hours of the day and night, cutting class, talking and sharing with all walks of life, and drinking 40’s with the homeless.

Then, one bright and sunny day, I heard that a person got stabbed outside my apartment building–The day I met fear. Immediately after hearing this, a switch turned on in my brain, and I never thought or acted in the same way again. I was rewired. I couldn’t leave my apartment without someone accompanying me. I was desperate–because I felt it was a life or death matter–for someone to go with me everywhere. If I heard a noise that somewhat resembled a gunshot, I would lay face down on my floor until I felt it was safe to get up. I didn’t have curtains on my windows–which completely boggles my mind now–and one time someone had a laser pointer in a hotel high-rise across from my building, and I saw it go across my wall. I felt like I was in a fishbowl and being out in public felt like I was in a video game where someone, somewhere was after me–and it was my turn to “go” next. I was afraid to die.

After that day, I started noticing more people sharing their traumatic experiences and stories that happened to people they knew in the city (e.g., robbed at gunpoint, raped and killed, and other horrors). With each traumatic story, I dug myself a deeper grave of seclusion (Oh, the irony). I started losing my friends, and it felt like I wasn’t “cool” to them to hang anymore because of the challenges I was going through. I had no idea what was truly happening in my brain–I was lost, confused, vulnerable, and wanted to feel “safe” in hibernation for the rest of my life. After a few more weeks of ordering groceries online and hiding in trembling fear in my apartment, I moved back home to my dad’s. I felt like I was a failure and ruined my shot at a good life in the city. From that point on, I began understanding and coping with the symptoms of agoraphobia.

This experience isn’t the end of my story. Nor is it all dark and gloomy; it is quite beautiful and I wouldn’t change a thing. The most significant step I took towards healing was unconditionally accepting and loving myself—and my rewired brain. From that point on, I started to see stars in the darkness and wasn’t running around in fear of the dark–as much. As the years go by, I reach new mental goals with my post-traumatic condition. It isn’t easy, and it feels like I am back at the start sometimes, but I know I have come a long way in healing my body, mind, and spirit.

And this is what I will be writing about from here on out–healing, taking risks, going on challenging solo adventures–and learning to sit next to my mind and hold its hand, instead of shaming it into hiding.

Fear is just a scared little kid that needs a hug.

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower