An Open Letter from the Spiritual Emergence(y) Community

Phoenix bird flying, with wings on fire.
Phoenix bird flying, with wings on fire.
Image by skylarvision on Pixabay

Spiritual emergence/emergency — SE(Y) — refers to a continuum of experiences representing an unfolding, or awakening, of consciousness. These experiences provide an opportunity for growth and transformation but can be chaotic and overwhelming, often experienced as mental health crises, potentially leading to (mis)diagnosis of mental illness.

The SE(Y) community consists of individuals who have experienced varying degrees of mental health challenges in relation to a process of awakening, along with their advocates and supporters. This community includes academics, writers, mental health professionals, activists, artists, and members of the general population. Grassroots programs have evolved into a social movement that is…


Sure, you just saved democracy but you still need to GET INTO EMERGENCY MODE NOW

Planet Earth with an SOS sign stuck on top.
Planet Earth with an SOS sign stuck on top.
Image by Gerd Altman on Pixabay

G’day America. This is another intervention from Australia. OK, so you just made a HUGE breakthrough! Hooray, we are all very proud of you!!

But… America, you’re still a bit fucked. I’m sorry. I don’t want to rain on your parade. You deserve to party in the streets. You’ve earned it, so enjoy it. But now is not the time to relax or become complacent. You still have a lot of work to do! It’s an inconvenient truth, I know.

In my first intervention, I explained why I believe you are suffering from a psychotic disorder. To be fair, I…


A conversation with Margaret Klein Salamon

Woman kneeling in front of an apocalyptic fire scene.
Woman kneeling in front of an apocalyptic fire scene.
Photo by Cata on Unsplash

On 2nd June 2020, I attended a webinar with Australian climate activists. The webinar was hosted by Jane Morton, a Melbourne-based activist, clinical psychologist, and author of the publication, Don’t Mention the Emergency? Jane leads a climate justice movement in Australia, The Climate Emergency Declaration campaign. As a result of the campaign, in 2017, the Darebin City Council became the first council in the world to declare a climate emergency.

The guest speaker at the webinar was US climate activist, clinical psychologist, co-founder of The Climate Mobilization, and author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself With Climate…


These are the human stories that need to be told

Image of graffiti — red love heart with black stick figure hanging off.
Image of graffiti — red love heart with black stick figure hanging off.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

On July 27th, 2020, my son and I were outside playing in his treehouse. Our neighbours were pottering outside. One was gardening. Another hanging the washing. Her husband buzzing around doing some odd jobs. Then there was my three year old son’s special friend, Chris. A 50-year old guy, a big kid really. A bachelor, he loved his toys. In particular, a red Ducati.

My son, Gabriel, and our neighbour Chris have a special connection. Every time they see each other, Chris yells, “Oi”, and they chase each other around the shared driveway that joins our apartment blocks. …


If so, social responsibility may be the cure

Black and white image of a Native American man sitting at a bar.
Black and white image of a Native American man sitting at a bar.
Photo by Hatim Belyamani on Unsplash

Ilive in a modest townhouse apartment in an affluent suburb in Melbourne, Australia. A few weeks ago, I witnessed a spat between two of my neighbours. An older woman was photographing a garbage bin that was piled high with rubbish so that the lid didn't close completely. She was ranting, “This is unacceptable! I’m going to call the council!” while snapping away on her phone. A middle aged man was shaking his head as he walked back inside.

“No, surely not”, I thought. Surely, this woman is not carrying on about a slightly overflowing bin that’s being collected the very…


Australia’s PM has a new nickname

Image of Scott Morrison edited to appear like a holiday postcard.
Image of Scott Morrison edited to appear like a holiday postcard.
Image on CC by G20 Argentina, edited using Beach Photo Frames

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has embraced his nickname “ScoMo”, an endearing badge of honour, affording him a semi-cool “Quiet Australian” status through cringeworthy colloquial Aussie slang. He hasn’t been quite so enamoured by the snarkier nickname “Scotty from Marketing”, an homage to his marketing background and keen eye for political optics.


This is an intervention from Australia

Disclaimer: America, I love you.

Cartoon image of Donald Trump in front of the American flag, with the caption “American Psycho”.
Cartoon image of Donald Trump in front of the American flag, with the caption “American Psycho”.
Photo by Mim Friday on Alamy

G’day America…

My name is Dr Kylie Harris. I’m 41 years old. I believe in taking care of myself, and a balanced diet and a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I’ll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches*

Na mate, just kidding. America, this is an intervention. From Down Under. You’ve always been like a big brother. But, well… how shall I say this? Something just isn’t right. You’ve changed…

America, I believe you are suffering from a psychotic disorder. Your actions are not…


It’s just been weaponised by those who want to shut it down

Fist breaking through glass.
Fist breaking through glass.
Image by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay

Anger has become a dirty word. We are made to feel guilty or wrong if we experience it. The word is weaponised, the emotion shut down. But anger is a normal, healthy, and even adaptive human emotion. If you find yourself experiencing anger, and someone is trying to shut it down, ask yourself: WHO is trying to shut down your anger? Is it yourself? Perhaps you are ashamed. Is it a parent, a partner, a boss? Is it your government? Or just someone who doesn’t want to be confronted with the inconvenient truth of this natural human emotion that deserves…


It’s ok to feel angry during times of global unrest

Photo by Harry Quan on Unsplash

I’m angry. And you know what? That’s ok. I forgive myself. After all, we’re going through a global fucking pandemic. I think we can all forgive each other for a little bit of incivility during this time. In fact, just think about it… Maybe, just maybe… forgiving ourselves for our own anger may be a catalyst for forgiveness on a global scale…

Has anyone ever told you to “just let it go”? To “just get over it”? To “just move on”? To “just stop being angry”? Someone told me recently that I need to “just transmute the anger”. Do you…


Coping with COVID-19 in Melbourne, Australia, from the perspective of a research psychologist with generalised anxiety and post-traumatic stress

Click here for Part 3

More laneways of Malvern… Photo by Author

7th May, 2020

I am feeling a little more “normal” — whatever that means — and grounded. My general state of consciousness has shifted but I don’t feel quite so manic anymore. No more than what is normal for me. I have even started indulging in screentime other than COVID-19 updates.

However, I still have a rage boiling inside of me. Along with a certain acceptance of what I still believe will unfold. A few weeks ago, I could swear I was hearing more ambulance sirens. Now, as our numbers slow & we flatten the…

Dr Kylie Harris

Research Psychologist, Writer, & Activist from Melbourne, Australia.

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