I am Kia West, founder of Kia Creative Channel. I am so happy you have found your way to this blog. I am a Licenced Spiritual Director, Archetypal Storyteller, and Pyschospirituality Geek.
I also have Bipolar.
After 32 years of feeling misunderstood, 15 of those with the awareness that I have a significant mental illness, and almost 4 years of immersion in the Intuitive Sciences, I have come to a place of deep self-acceptance; exactly as I am, mental complexities and all.
The intrinsic self-medication that has innately supported me throughout my life, is Vulnerable Visibility. That may have looked like a raging 6-year-old, a violent adolescent, and an oversharing young adult – but the pattern of sharing what I feel is consistent.
Combined with extensive psychotherapeutic treatment, and my own spiritual development with a Licenced Spiritual Director, I am now serving my community, including this one, with Vulnerable Visibility.
This ‘medicine’ as I refer to it, is what I have come to understand is a somatic experience of allowing that which is stored in the body to be processed through storytelling. Whether that be through; written or spoken word, music, dance, or visual static and motion images, it is an art form of expression that allows an individual to not only be witnessed in their vulnerable, authentic expression and processing of their life experiences but also affirms connection within a community.
An archetype in its simplest form is an observable pattern that has been repeated over time for us to be able to innately recognize or relate to its characteristics.
Archetypes are defined as images and themes that derive from the collective unconscious, as proposed by Carl Jung. Archetypes have universal meanings across cultures and may show up in dreams, literature, art, or religion. Dr. Saul McLeoud (2018)
Part of my Bipolar superpower is my ability to see the world archetypally. It is innate within the avid storyteller that I am, and an intrinsic interest that largely has me borderline (ok manically) obsessed with this study; especially in relation to the mind and patterns of our human behaviors.
In my earlier years, notably in my teens, I often battled between getting Vulnerably Visible through creative storytelling and self-harming. Both gave me the release that my system was seeking, though obviously, one was incredibly harmful compared to the other. In my later years, this same pattern may not have been with a blade taken to my skin, but it was substituted with drug and alcohol addiction. It has taken me years to recognize that Vulnerable Visibility was an unconscious expression of getting my pain out of my body and has led me to an insatiable curiosity to research why and how it helps.
In my teens and the infancy of my Vulnerable Visibility, my storytelling was not necessarily shared in a harmless way. In fact, it was significantly harmful, especially when I was putting someone on blast with an overtone of self-righteous rage and condemnation. My untreated mental illness saw me incredibly rigid in my beliefs with a limited capacity to see beyond my black-and-white thinking. I generally shared reactively and without consideration of repercussions or harm to others. I cringe when I see the things I put out into the world! The relief from my pain, however, and the profound experience I received from those who witnessed me, is a pattern that I am deepening my exploration through my own work and research.
There is a great power of interconnected wisdom when an individual shares BOTH their break through’s AND their breakdowns. It allows others an opportunity to recognize an archetypal pattern that may be occurring within them and brings awareness to what is available through it.
Being Vulnerably Visible with the highs and the lows matters to me, especially when we live in a digital world that emphasizes a curated reality of “good vibes” only. We are fed the illusion of the Influencer archetype who leads us to believe we can manifest our dreams if only we can figure out how to pretend our very NATURAL negative human emotions don’t exist. It capitalizes on delusion which exasperates an already marginalized and stigmatized demographic of people living with mental illness that are vulnerable to buying into this deception. I feel compelled to be radically Vulnerable and Visible with being an aspiring influential figure who lives with mental illness because I want others to experience the freedom that is available when we can be radically accepting of ourselves; ALL of ourselves! I want to see our digital spaces filled with people being influential with their REAL humanity, not their DELUSIONAL divinity.
My intention for this blog space is to provide transparent reflections of my own experience with living a fully expressed life with Vulnerable Visibility, contribute to peer-reviewed, evidenced-based research through my own Academic explorations within Psychology & Psychospiritual Practices, and provide a nuanced expression of Spiritual Direction through my Archetypal Storytelling.
Your feedback is always deeply valued, so if there is anything that stands out that you would like to recognize or add to the conversation, please leave your comments. If sharing in a public space is not something that feels safe for you today, and you do wish to share your reflections, you are welcome to share them with me in private at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so grateful to have you here and your interactions with what I hope contributes to a profound movement of Vulnerable Visibility within a deeply connected community that is invested in the longevity of a thriving humanity.
So much love!
Ko wai au
Te taha o te whaia
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Pukihikio me te tui o te o marama nga maunga
Ko Mangapu te awa
Ko Ngati Kinohaku te hapu
Ko Ngati Maniapoto te iwi
Ko Oparure te marae
Ko Wetere Tahi raua ko Tiria Eketone matua tipuna
Ko Chris West raua ko Teressa Tahi matua
Ko Kia West
We pay respects to our teachers for the wisdom that has been passed on and lives on through our service to our clients and communities at large.
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land from which we serve, the Kabi Kabi people of the Taribelang Bunda Nation.
We pay our respects to the Elders past, present, and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.
We honour them for serving as the Spiritual Gatekeepers and caretakers of this land for thousands of years.
ALWAYS WAS ALWAYS WILL BE.