This campaign is a response to a long-term illness and the goal of the campaign is to raise initial funds for producing a series of short (15-20min) videos that offer a shared space for people with long-term illness and chronic pain. The purpose of these videos is to introduce simple practices for self-care and healing as well as share my own experience of living with long-term illness with people who are living in similar situations.
Background I have been sick with
covid-19 and long covid for altogether 20 months now and at this point
still continue having daily symptoms that greatly affect my ability to
function normally in every-day life. During this period the
symptoms have varied from being very severe to somewhat milder. I have
not been hospitalized at any point so I´ve stayed home though at times
it has been a real challenge to manage even small every-day life tasks.
Long-term sickness changes and re-arranges everything in life. What
seemed to be small before is suddenly quite challenging or even
impossible to do. Working has not been possible for me at all during the
past 20 months but slowly my ability to do things is improving. Right
now, though knowing that the situation can change on a daily basis, I am
able to do short periods of activities with lots of resting in between. I
would like to find myself doing meaningful work with respect to my
physical condition and that is where the idea of doing these short
videos came up. Like many others with long-term health challenges especially while living alone, I
have been struggling a lot financially and this project is about finding a way to be able to cover health costs and every-day life bills over the next few months.
There are so many people who are in similar condition, dealing with chronic pain or unknown illness, isolation, facing fear of uncertainty and this kind of vulnerability that touches many areas of ourselves and our lives at once. One of the big challenges of a more severe illness, especially if it is yet unknown, is to receive the support and help that one needs – both physically and mentally. Though in my case it has been difficult to find any help from the general health care system for this condition, I have felt very fortunate in terms of my professional background in body-mind practices and the spiritual education, practices and the guidance that I have been able to receive continuously over the past 15 years and especially during the sickness. I feel rich with different practices that have supported me greatly in dealing with and transforming the experience of long-term illness as well as other challenging conditions in my personal life and the way I experience the challenges of this world at large.
No matter what the diagnosis is, the common need to be seen, heard and supported is the same. These videos can provide another drop in the ocean of different ways to find relief while going through an illness, especially for people who do not have many self-care tools and practices to support their condition.
Content The videos consist of sharing my own "healing steps" in everyday life - the ways I have found relief during my sickness - simple moments for somatic
movement, energy work, breathing practices and short
meditations or mind practices. Rather than introducing any specific
method, the healing steps are more about about working with some of the core principles that
are common in different methods that I have studied and practiced -
principles like working with the elements in our body and in the outer
environment, natural alignment of our body and our energy and basic
principle of open, warm and caring awareness that we can develop towards
ourselves and our pain. Although it is natural to sometimes refer to a certain method when touching upon a specific practice, less formal ways of practice, creativity and space for each person´s own
experience is emphasized. The idea is to create a space for
sharing experiences, reflections and practices in an open format rather than particularly teaching or diving deeper into any specific method.
Each video is about 15-20min long and during the first three months I would like to produce around 10 videos.These videos will be published in a YouTube channel established for the project. I will also create a section for the videos in my webpage and they will be out first in Finnish language and then in English.
Finances In the first phase, funding is raised through this crowd funding campaign. The campaign covers the first three months of part-time work (500€/month) and the costs of a proper tripod and microphone for a mobile phone camera (100€).
I will be applying for some public grants to continue and develop the work further to see which format would serve the purpose best. It might mean continuing to produce these kind of videos over the next year, writing a blog or offering online-workshops or practice sessions that are more specific - the main point is to share and connect through activities that are free of charge for the people attending. This project might have a life of its own after creating the first videos and I am open to see where things would naturally go from there.
My professional background is in somatic dance and somatic movement methods that work with body-mind connection. I am also trained as an instructor/educator in Japanese Shindo®-bodywork method that is based on the meridians and includes both self-healing practices as well as treatments. I´ve been working in the field of well-being and creativity over the past 20 years with different kinds of groups and individuals in various settings. I´ve been studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism for the last 17 years and since 2008, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has been my main teacher as I have been deepening my study and practice in the Bon tradition. As a part of my practice, I have been an instructor of Tsa Lung Trul Khor (Tibetan Yoga) since 2012, instructing open classes and courses through Ligmincha Finland.
Webpage (in finnish): www.elonvoimaa.fi