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.

My 100th Birthday Speech

Before you get the wrong idea, I’m not 100 years old—I’m almost a prime 29.

At a local bookshop, I found a hidden gem called, The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose. Initially, upon looking at the cover, I thought, “Another self-help book? I already have more than I’d like to admit.” But I didn’t let the inner voice stop me. There was something about the book’s deep purple color and print, as well as the title, that spoke to what I wanted to achieve—to clearly define my life passions and consciously manifest them in reality.

The Passion Test, by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood, is a book I couldn’t put down. My soul hungered for the purple “word soup” to assist me in making progress towards my life goals. Before I encountered this book, I thought I was making headway, but I was missing something—a clear foundation.

Passion Led Us Here

The actual Passion Test involves writing down 10-20 things you are passionate about—things that when you are living your ideal life, you will actively be doing. What makes their approach unique, is the recommended process to rank your passions, resulting in the top 5.
Oprah’s magazine article, “4-Step Guide to Discovering Who You’re Meant to Be”, describes the ranking process best:

To narrow down the list, ask yourself, If I had to choose between the first activity and the second, which is more appealing to me? If you get stuck, close your eyes and envision a life in which the first activity plays a major role and the second doesn’t exist. Now envision a life in which the second activity plays a major role and the first doesn’t exist. Which image feels better? Once you have your answer, put your finger on the winner and compare that choice with the third activity.

Repeat this exercise all the way around the loop, moving your finger to the winning activity after each comparison; when you complete the loop, your finger will be on your number one passion. Write that activity at the top of a list, and draw an X over the activity in the loop. Now repeat this process four more times (always starting from the top), and each time, skip the X-ed out activities.”

– O Magazine, “4-Step Guide to Discovering Who You’re Meant to Be“, Sharing the exercise designed by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood of The Passion Test.

After taking The Passion Test, the authors guide you through “create your own reality” activities, such as crafting vision boards and writing your 100th birthday speech.

100th Birthday Speech Balloons

I wholeheartedly enjoyed writing my 100th birthday speech to myself! This writing activity is incredibly uplifting and improved my mood and outlook.

I recommend checking out the book and taking The Passion Test, but if you have a good idea of what your passions are, feel free to skip right to the vision board-ing and 100th birthday letter writing.

Self-gratitude can feel a little weird at first—like telling yourself “I love you” in the mirror (I learned that from another self-help book). But after you dive in the awkwardness, there is so much self-love that comes back to you; enough to warm a whole house with just your heart.

We can be accustomed to not congratulating ourselves as much as we should for our accomplishments and unique qualities. Our brains tend to focus on what we think we lack. There is so much magic when we work to retrain our minds to believe from our heart.

Here is an excerpt from what I wrote to myself for my 100th birthday, to get you started:

“Thank you all who have traveled here today to celebrate with Kelly on her 100th birthday. To be truthful Kelly, we are the ones who are truly thankful to be in your presence. Kelly has always shown unconditional love and kindness towards those you’ve encountered, striving to celebrate collectively in the gift of life. Kelly loved to write, ever since she was a little girl. She curated magazines, worked on a book about “life”, created lesson plans as a pretend teacher, and wrote creative stories. An early entrepreneur, she created a “mock business” at the age of 10 and filmed an advertisement for cat products, which included convincing testimonials from her favorite stuffed animals. Kelly inspires us all with her creative ideas and zest for life. Kelly stands tall in what she believes to be true, which is anything created out of love. She never wavers in the face of adversity or pays any attention to the “inner critic” that wants to test her dedication to her life passions. Being motivated to learn and share in positive self-awareness, Kelly has helped thousands of others to realize their life passions and self-healing power.”

I continued writing for about five more pages, which is way more than I imagined I could write for a 100th birthday speech! This writing exercise taught me that assumptions are usually incorrect. And what is correct, is that we are limitless in our potential to achieve anything we put our hearts and minds to!

We are limitless in our potential to achieve anything we put our hearts and minds to.

I would LOVE to hear about YOUR 100th birthday speech writing experience or any other activities that have helped you grow in self-love and appreciation.

Have you read The Passion Test? Do you have any inspiring book recommendations?


P.S. Who is ready to create a drinking game where you chug down your beverage of choice when you see or hear the word “passion” one more time?

Have a Soul-Full day,

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower

Believing in Flight Beyond the Cocoon

Looking back, it’s perfect.
All the decisions that brought me,
to this exact time and space.

Looking ahead, it’s uncertain.
My mind is preoccupied with wanting to know,
where each road will lead.

But where’s the fun in prediction?
Do I want to know my fate?
Or is there more pleasure in simply

letting

go.

The root of the fear-weed is in disbelief,
trying to snuff out new growth,
to deceive me into staying at the Lotus Hotel.

They say the point of power is Now,
and it sets the stage for the rest of eternity.
That’s just too much pressure for a present.

Maybe we aren’t designed to overthink,
that which, by nature, is flawless.
Instead, setting our sights on the little things.

Like a sprout of grass breaking through soil,
a caterpillar believing beyond the cocoon.
That outside of its nurturing womb, there is flight.

I can learn from the tiny things,
and their magnitude of love.
Never grasping too tightly to the familiar.

Change is the only constant, I’ve heard.
If so, I want to re-learn organic flow,
remembering my trust in life beyond-mother’s-belly.

Knowing that after each love-filled action,
every word that’s written and cast,
a breakthrough to abundant life always occurs.

I dedicate this to every creature alike,
that believes the unknown to be their friend.
Entrusting its delivery of new life out of transformation.

I accept my inevitable soul metamorphosis,
and give the layers shed, back to the earth.
Tell the seeds, “The truth will set you free.”

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower

Not Another Day

Not another day

of noise and misguidedness,

pretending I don’t know who I am,

casting aside my own needs.

Not another day

neglecting my inner Self,

explaining away it’s priority,

degrading it’s vital significance.

Not another day

of engaging in outdated

primal survival instincts

to protect my ego self.

Not another day

dwelling in inaction

hoping things magically progress

when movement is key to opportunities.

Not another day

defining myself by my challenges

not acknowledging my power

thinking I’ll win a medal for suffering.

Not another day

of assumptions or expectations

losing energy mapping out the future

when all I really have is the present.

Not another day

entertaining the lie that I am weak

thinking I’m not beyond adequate

in every situation and conversation.

Not another day

Thinking change isn’t constant

clinging to something and not realizing

it’ll only lose oxygen in stagnancy.

Not another day

of self-doubt and disbelief

of my skills, gifts, and talents

thinking there’s no way I’m that magical.

Not another day

of talking in negatives.

+

From this day forth

I know I am a powerfully precious

cosmic star child of the Universe

deserving of every good thing.

From this day forth

I reclaim my strength and vitality

a vessel of crisp flowing water

releasing energy blockages.

From this day forth

I appreciate the past enough to

initiate a peaceful ending of

what no longer serves me.

From this day forth

I return home to Self

Nourishing my soul with only that

which fuels my purpose and passions.

From this day forth

I Receive to Create and Give

serving out of love and light

supported by the universal guides.

From this day forth

I holistically emblazon the trail

of authentic purpose-filled living

never letting go of my Self again.

From this day forth

I am unapologetically me

vibrating and attracting pure love

always learning to grow and share.

From this day forth

my body, mind, and spirit are awakened.

A grateful human

and a magical spirit.

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower

Almost Losing Myself to a Wolf in Life’s Clothing

Noise, static, expectations.
I am noticing the bluntness of our
domestication,
modernization,
and

Spiritual amputation.

And the dust accumulating on our
Wildness,
Intuitiveness,
and

Togetherness.

Isn’t the simple fact that
we are a Life,
a reason to celebrate each
molecule, laugh, and tear?

Have we grown so far removed
from our
Passions, Gifts, and Purpose
that we only notice that something

isn’t sound

when our Spirit is on its last breath,
mustering the energy to send out its
final alarm of discord,
hoping it’ll be the one that will

break down

what we thought was Living,
and awaken to a Wolf in Life’s clothing.

It’s not our fault we close the door on our Spirit,
all we wanted was to Live
how we thought we should be Living.

And the greatest quest we can take,
requires a leap of childlike faith,
to acknowledge the discord,
the key to unlocking the door.

Embracing our inner Self,
and promising
we will never let our Selves go again.

For the simple fact that we are
breathing, loving, and being,

right now

Is the sign that we were searching for,
to reunite with our neglected Spirit,
and to Live each moment with our
childlike eyes of love, creativity, and passion.

How we thought we should be Living,
was really what we’ve known since our first heart beat,
before the noise, complexity, and expectations.

Our inner truth is so
simple,
pure,
radically in Love.

That once you find it’s voice,
the discord turns into the most
beautiful, energetic symphony.

The music of truly living
is a never-ending,
Joyous Celebration

of

each

Revolutionary,

Evolutionary,

Tintinnabulary,

breath.

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower

Life is Short and Sweet (and Salty)

Mantras for Living in Radical Wholeheartedness.

  • I attract positive energy and experiences and live in abundance of what I need.
  • I find my soul purpose passions and devote myself to making them a reality.
  • I lean in to the present moment with my body, mind, and soul. I live in love and release fear. I am safe and welcome all new experiences and social interactions.
  • I embrace change and let go of what no longer serves me to make room for new life.
  • Love is the source and truth. I send love out and move forward with open arms.
  • I acknowledge and nourish my Inner Child and Let it Lead the way in Life.

InnerChildKiandMe

Life is short and sweet (and salty)…

Put your passions first–your intuition, gifts, creativity, and imagination–and trust wholeheartedly that everything will fall into place.

You create your own reality; from the inside, outward.

Be courageous and trust that you have the tools within to tackle any situation.

Know that you always be in abundance of what you need–Receiving to Give Back.

“If you don’t fight with Life, Life simply helps you, takes you on its shoulders” – “Ananda” by Deva Premal, Miten, and Manose on Mantras for Life (with Manose)

connectedKiandMe

Have a Soul-Full evening,

Kelly Eley Reiki Logo with Flower