I am delighted you are here. I’m Monica, a nurse therapist, and the founder of The Thriving Spirit Project. I want to extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to you, as you take your first step towards understanding the truth of who you were before you were impacted by the world. To me, understanding the root causes of your challenges are the necessary first steps towards healing and living a life in which you are ready to experience both life's joys and challenges.
Let me explain why…
For over 20 years, from the age of 17, I worked within the public mental health system. I witnessed people grappling with the same problems, trapped in repeating cycles, often in survival mode at best and experiencing deep psychological distress at worst, day after day. Despite accessing mainstream treatment, people frequently returned, and their conditions rarely improved.
People were left believing that there was something inherently wrong with them. This belief disempowered them, as they were led to think that the best that could be done for them was symptom management through medication, occasional psychological therapy, and social support. I watched as people became reliant on a system that, in my opinion, did little to assist those in acute psychological distress. Though I will acknowledge the many hardworking and compassionate workers who strive day after day to soften the journeys of so many as they navigate this system.
When I eventually left, driven by burnout from feeling utterly powerless, I embarked on exploring something I had always known - that a person's past experiences, particularly those from childhood, were directly linked to their adult life struggles. I had read enough case files to know this truth, though it was seldom addressed. We all have some inkling of this when we attempt to explain someone's behavior with phrases like, "Well, you know, they had a difficult childhood, so..." – often with inaccurate assumptions about how that childhood continues to impact them, implying that they have a choice in how they react.
Now I began to understand the physiological impact of past distressing experiences…of trauma. I began to understand that when we explore the impact that trauma, whether big or small, has on a person, we begin to understand what is actually behind their thoughts, their behaviours, their diagnosis, their addiction.
...And the survival mechanisms that we adopt to adapt to that pain as small children and take with us through adulthood, adopting more survival mechanisms along the way as necessary.
My mind was blown…followed by incredible awe at all the ways our nervous system and unconscious processes work at keeping us safe…albeit sometimes like an annoying big brother who doesn’t understand that we are now grown and can look after ourselves!
When we understand what lies beneath our reactions, our feelings of overwhelm, our depression, anxiety, ADHD, our struggles with alcohol and drug dependency etc, we finally realize that there isn't anything 'wrong' with us. Being a reactive adult who struggles to regulate emotions isn't a choice; it's not something we 'failed' to learn along the way. Nor is beginning a destructive habit that we can't shake, which slowly erodes our relationships and physical health, simply a choice.
Understanding the fundamental reasons behind who we become is the starting point for the healing journey. Moreover, it helps us recognize our commonality.
Us humans are united by how our past experiences shape us, but we are also united by what resides at our core, beyond our shadows.
And when we grasp this concept, there is no room for stigma, discrimination, or prejudice.
Only compassion remains.
My mission is to help 10,000 people understand the origins of their distress, realizing that the person they aspire to be already exists within them, waiting to be uncovered beneath the burdens, opinions, and labels imposed by the world and its inhabitants. This mission extends to assisting families, caregivers, and mental health professionals worldwide in understanding those under their care.
I intend to achieve this through forthcoming online courses (stay tuned!), in-person workshops, and the one-on-one healing sessions I currently offer.
So, welcome to The Thriving Spirit Project blog, where I hope that you are offered various insights that empower you and foster a deeper connection to who you really are.
Perhaps you're ready to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and healing or know someone who is. If so, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can book a free Discovery Call below, where we can discuss how we can collaborate to help you discover the thriving spirit within you.
The Thriving Spirit Project