There isn’t any cause more powerful than something you are passionate about, and that’s exactly what Linda Kiernan has done to end the silence of mental illness.
I had the honor of meeting Linda through facebook. My friend Kim Page Gluckie commented on a post and I happened to see it on my facebook feed. In 2009, I had the opportunity to emcee for Jack Canfield, that evening I hosted a VIP party for 24 women. Janet Attwood graced us with her presence, and a beautiful evening of connection followed. Since that evening in 2009, I have wanted to take The Passion TestTM. I looked at seeing Kim’s comment as a sign that now, finally three years later, here was my opportunity. Finally I did, and it was divinely timed. Linda helped me ground my “why” and move forward with clarity and focus.
As the Going Blue 4 U (GB4U) fundraising campaign began to take hold, Linda stepped up. With passion and purpose she began to step into her why? Linda organized a sold out private screening of I AM to raise funds for GB4U. Thanks to her commitment, hard work, and big heart, $590 was raised on that beautiful evening. To witness such dedication I knew there had to be a deeper reasoning for her support, I wasn’t surprised to hear that mental illness has impacted her in a deep way. I asked Linda to be a part of the GB4U Advisory Board and asked Linda her why?:
I started to support Going Blue 4 U without much conscious decision at all; it was as though I didn’t choose it, it chose me.
Before I knew it, I was sharing on Facebook, organizing a fundraiser and committing to dyeing blue streaks into my hair. Really, you’re going to do what? I was swept away in a wave, and swimming with this wave seemed like the most natural and obvious thing to do.
It wasn’t until after this frenzy of activity stopped that I asked myself one of the most powerful questions we can ask ourselves, “Why?” Why was I so naturally impassioned to support GB4U?
I realized this cause was giving voice to something that had been silenced within me most of my life. It spoke to the place in my heart where I hold my Mom, the woman who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and severe depression. She was intermittently institutionalized and experienced a myriad of procedures and experimental drugs, all designed to make her better. It didn’t work. As a child, I don’t know how I felt about this. All I know is we didn’t talk about it.
How would her life have been different if it would have been safe and accepted to talk about her illness; if she was met with acceptance, openness and compassion? How would her life have been different if there wasn’t so much shame?
As an adult, I experienced the “baby blues” after the birth of my first child. These blues stayed with me for many years. The stigma and pattern of silence was so well established that I suffered in isolation.
Yet, there was something bigger that lived within; something that fueled my energy to find answers. I considered a whole person approach to healing. I researched and studied areas spanning from nutrition and exercise, to spirituality and personal development.
This is how I found The Passion TestTM; the number one tool being used world wide to help people identify and live their passions.
What are passions? Passions are those inner callings that give our life meaning, healing and purposeful forward movement. A life guided by passion is not just for the rich, beautiful and powerful. It is the birthright of us all, and I dedicate my life to this truth.
When people are blue or depressed there can be a disconnect from the very things that could potentially support their well-being. It is common to feel detached from life, apathetic and stuck. The greater the disconnection, the more depression is fed.
The Passion TestTM is an elegantly simple process that works to reestablish connection. It builds clarity, certainty and focus. It gives the mind something meaningful and positive to anchor on to. In my whole body approach to finding wellness, The Passion TestTM was the tipping point that allowed me to move forward in life with greater purpose.
Supporting GB4U has helped me realize my “why” behind all I did and helped me fully claim my history. For many years I journeyed mostly alone and in silence, which made the road so much longer and, at times, lonely and painful.
I dedicate my work to my Mom who remained in silence.
Let’s end the silence; let’s end the shame. Enough.
So as you can see Linda is clearly being the change she wishes to see in the world: ending the silence of mental illness.
Worthy Wednesday is about celebrating that you are worthy, we are all worthy, and that you are enough.
Every Wednesday Lee gives a SimpLee Serene Shout Out to an individual or organization being the change they wish to see in the world.