The Healing Journey is a series born out of the reality that we all have our own path to healing. When we share our journey two things tend to happen, we often find freedom in sharing our stories and we always inspire others. There is power in speaking up and it is time to tap into that power.
The mission of The Healing Journey is to provide a platform for women to connect, inspire one another and empower each other. Together we will stimulate conversation, create awareness, healing and stand together knowing that each and every one of us are unique, gifted and powerful.
I am so very excited to share the first in The Healing Journey series. It’s fitting that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Our first feature is an absolute inspiration. She is an artist, activist, motivational speaker and sexual assault survivor. She is the creator of the #StopRapeEducate project and an incredibly bright light in the world. I am honoured to be delivering this interview and introduce you to Amber Amour.
CK: So, for those who don’t know. What is your story and how did #stoprapeeducate come about?
AA: The first time I was sexually abused I was 12 years old and rape has been a recurring tragedy in my life by different friends partners, at different ages and in cities across the world. I became a feminist in my early twenties which helped me cope with my sexual assaults, realize that only the rapist was to blame, and it allowed me to reclaim ownership over myself and body. In 2014 I started #StopRapeEducate after getting sexually assaulted by my roommate in New York City. With little faith in our justice system, I new that if I wanted to be heard, it was up to me to speak up and make a voice of my own. I took it to the streets armed with chalk and started writing messages about rape culture, consent, and respect in various NYC parks. The general public was very supportive and next thing you know, #StopRapeEducate became a movement of thousands.
Would you consider the work you do to be womb work? Why?
-Yes, the work I do is womb work in a sense. Although I stand for survivors of sexual assault of all genders, we cannot ignore the fact that the primary victims of sexual assault are women. Women have been succumbed to inhumane sexual acts for centuries and it is time that we all work collectively to heal our wombs, thus creating a better world for future generations. This is my mission. When we heal women, we heal the world.
How would you describe your wombspace?
-I’ve never tapped into my wombspace. Although I’m well aware that I identify as a woman, I never acknowledged my womb until this interview. I suppose that’s mostly because I am not a mother and I’ve never used my womb to carry a child. I think I’d like to get to know it… or her.
Would you say you have a relationship with your womb? If she could speak, what would she say?
-I’m completely out of touch with my womb. If she could talk, she would say, “Acknowledge me. I am here. Listen. I am for more than carrying babies. I am life and you don’t have to be a mother to get to know me. Even if you never have children, we can still convene. You’ve been ignoring me for too long. Let’s be friends.”
What (if there is one) was your moment of awakening? What was the point where your healing journey began?
-My awakening began about 4 years ago after I woke up from a suicide attempt. I swallowed 3 bottles of sleeping pills. Left a suicide note under my pillow and passed out. I was so disappointed and ashamed to wake up to the sound of friends knocking on my door. That knocking reminded me that I was loved and needed. I decided at that point forward I would never let myself feel down again. I came to realize that I had control of my emotions & actions, as much as I wanted to use my circumstances as a scapegoat. Not too long after I started doing yoga to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Through yoga I learned about meditation, the law of attraction, the mind-body connection and dozens of other concepts that helped me through my journey to healing. One new technique lead to another and I’ve learned heaps of holistic healing techniques that work well for me and that I now teach others.
What experiences have been the catalysts of change for you? How have you changed?
-You’ll be able to read the full story in my autobiography when that comes out but I’ll just say that the defining moments in my life are getting molested at age 12, moving to Paris at age 18, coming out of the closet at age 23, and moving to New York later that same year. Each of these moments tested my strength and taught me that I was more resilient and wiser than I ever thought I was. Every time I was rejected or denied an opportunity, I had to work on building something of my own. Each failure was a blessing in disguise because if I was working for someone else right now, I wouldn’t be helping thousands of people like I always dreamed to. I am constantly learning & growing and I appreciate the lessons, even the tough ones.
What work have you done in order to heal your womb/ body/ self?
-Most of my healing took place in my mind. I’m not talking about mental health either. I mean that my healing only began when I unlearned certain patriarchal ideals. For example, it wasn’t until I finally realized that the rapes I experienced weren’t my my fault, that I could work on my own healing. The first step in my journey to healing was unlearning the lies we are all taught about beauty, rape, and women’s roles in society. Thanks to feminism I replaced misogynistic beliefs with those that supported & empowered me. My spiritual beliefs have also helped me a great deal in my own healing. The most important work I’ve done & am still in the process of, is cutting emotional cords from any and all sexual partners (consensual or not). In a nutshell, when we engage in sexual activity, we exchange energy with that person. When we cut emotional cords, we release the built up energy of our previous partners. This work takes place in the womb and can be done with meditation. I have also made immense progress in reclaiming my body after sexual assault. I reclaim my body through yoga, modelling, and dance.
How do you allow yourself to feel through experiences? (When a feeling comes up how do you work through it?)
-It depends. I try not to linger on negative feelings. I let it be, because it’s important to feel, not suppress our feelings, but I don’t allow them to stay long. I believe that happiness is a choice and I always feel best when I choose happiness. However, life does throw fast balls. It’s important to feel all the emotions and then pick yourself back up to prove just how strong you are.
I have followed your Instagram account for quite a few months now. I remember seeing your posts after the rape took place in Cape Town. How did you begin to heal from such a traumatic experience? What are some of the things that you did in search of healing?
-The first thing I did was speak up about it. I knew that if I hid the rape, I would have been living a lie, given the work I was doing. I then left Cape Town, staying there after the rape was detrimental to my mental health at the time so I left to go where I thrive best: in nature. I spent time doing yoga, meditation, and connecting with Mother Nature every single day. It was so incredibly therapeutic swimming in waterfalls, watching the sunrise, and the shooting stars. I felt more alive than ever. It is so important that we take time to enjoy the little things, like looking up at the stars at night. When we take time to appreciate the beauty and joy of life, when we are living in the present moment, everything is perfect.
In one of your posts, you mentioned PTSD, insomnia and a lack of appetite after you returned to Cape Town. How are you now?
-Yes, the PTSD lasted a few weeks after I returned to Cape Town nearby where the incident occurred. It got better when I moved to the suburbs to live with a South African family but when I went back to Cape Town a few days before my flight departed, the PTSD came back. It honestly took me by surprise both times.
What is your message to anyone in the midst of or about to enter their healing journey?
-My message to those who are ready to begin their journey of healing is this: take baby steps. Trust your instincts. Be brave. Only you have control of your healing. Know that you are worth it. You owe it to yourself. You don’t have to just “survive” it, you can’t thrive! You can turn your pain into power. I know because I did it.
Do you have any messages for anyone reading this post?
-You are divine. You are radiant. You are made of love. Perhaps you have forgotten or perhaps you never knew. But I am telling you this: you have everything you need to live the life of your dreams. It’s all inside of you. Channel your power, use it, and you’ll see! I have faith in you. I believe in you. And I support you.
Amber, thank you so very much for sharing your story with us. You are an absolute inspiration! You work is such a necessary part of awareness and healing. You are a gift to us all!
Looking for support in your womb healing journey? Click on over to the Womb Wellness Program. This is a program that requires you to dig deep, to face what is stored in the womb and work with it to heal, release and receive. The program combines integrative health coaching, deep womb work and Reiki to support your healing. Read more…
Not ready for the full program? Check out Womb Wellness 101. A series of workshops that educate and empower women not only to reconnect with their bodies but learn how to heal themselves naturally. Together, we look at simple ways to make changes in our lives that benefit our health and wellness. From what foods promote womb wellness to how to decrease your PMS symptoms, Womb Wellness 101 will encourage you to take a proactive role in your health. See what WW101 is coming next. Read more…
If you are interested in sharing your Healing Journey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “The Healing Journey” in the subject line and include a little about yourself and your story, or fill out the form below and I will contact you. Please be aware that The Healing Journey series is primarily about womb healing and womb wellness.
Don’t miss out! Subscribe below and receive posts, issues of The Healing Journey and exclusive offers!