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Illuminating the Shadows...


No matter where I turned or what I listened to, I was being hounded to write a book. This went on for months and was driving me crazy. I wasn’t a writer and NEVER aspired to be, so this message was harassing me. I tried to ignore it until one day, sitting in my car before work, I yelled to the Universe “You know you’ve got it wrong? I’m not a writer and even if I was, I don’t know what I’d write about!!!”


‘Post natal depression’ – that’s what I heard.


“No! I don’t want to write about my experience with depression. I can’t even read about other people’s experience with it - why should anyone read about mine?”


Again I heard….’post natal depression’.


I stormed out of my car thinking the Universe had sent that e-mail (energy mail) to the wrong person, and decided to forget about it. Huh!!


Just allowing the possibility of writing a book in to my awareness meant that I was now thinking differently. What would I write about? I’m definitely not a fiction writer. I don’t want to write an autobiography. As I turned these ideas over in my head, the answer began to appear.


Since I had recovered from post-natal depression, I had spent my time exploring this illness. What caused it? Why did I get it? How could I make sure I didn’t get it again? My explorations covered a wide variety of topics including Buddhism, science, nutrition, mind-body therapies, energetic therapies, spirituality – anything that whispered of mental health caught my attention.


Also, as I recovered from PND, I had been very open with people about having it. I had worked in the disability sector for years before becoming a mum and therefore had no hang up about disclosing I had mental health issues. Often when I would mention it to other women, they would admit, in hushed tones, that they too had it currently or in the past. Then, usually, they would ask what medication I had used to get over it. When I would say I couldn’t take anti-depressants, they would look shocked – as if I had just said I cut my arm off to heal! They couldn’t conceive of dealing with this horrible illness without medication.


I began to question…. Why are so many women dealing with PND? Why aren’t we talking more openly about it and supporting each other? Why do people think the only way to deal with mental illness is with medication? Why aren’t people being offered complimentary approaches to mental health?


I realized this is what I needed to write about. We need more discussion about why mothers are suffering in such high numbers from pregnancy related depression. We need to look at the factors that are contributing to depression and anxiety, and consider ways to address and ameliorate these conditions. We also need to become aware that medication may help some people but it doesn’t help everyone. We need to learn techniques to protect or regain our mental health, and these are techniques that we could teach our children and therefore, contribute to more resilient and healthier families.


It took me 9 years to write and publish my book “Dancing With the Darkness – Moving Through Post Natal Depression” – some of the reasons for such a lengthy process are the topics for another time! A few years after its publication, I became a Chakradance Facilitator, which has provided another vehicle to help mums release old patterns and pain, and step into new ways of being. A beautiful way to protect and enhance their mental health.


This has become my purpose – to support women to be the mothers they want to be by exploring and experiencing themselves via a myriad of therapies, thoughts, processes and rituals. The more comprehensive our understanding of ourselves, the greater the sense of power we feel in responding to the highs and lows of life with grace and ease.


It can be overwhelming and scary to think of exploring our demons, but when we muster the courage to do so, the treasure we will discover is our own resilience. Often our greatest fear appears just before our greatest breakthrough, and the gift is our own beauty.


If you feel drawn to explore further with me, you are welcome to join my mailing list where you will be kept informed of new blog content, workshops and wisdom that I encounter. There are links on my website to my book “Dancing With the Darkness – Moving Through Post Natal Depression”, as well as information about my Chakradance classes.


But whatever you do, remember – everything you learn about yourself, becomes a pearl of wisdom that you can share with your children so that they can be healthier!


That’s true parenting!

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About Me

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With a mission to help mothers during some of the most challenging years of their lives,  Michelle offers a safe space for those struggling with their mental health. Having gone through Postnatal Depression herself, Michelle has lived the experiences and wishes to help those who are feeling lonely and scared.

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