Many years ago, when nothing in my personal life worked, I came to the realisation that I was profoundly ashamed of myself—an unconscious shame that kept me mired in disempowering beliefs and dysfunctional behaviours.
It took me a while to realise that this unconscious shame is endemic in society. It surfaces in people’s dislike of public speaking or of having their photograph taken. In fears of authority, responsibility and commitment. In embarrassment with body functions and sexuality. It underlies anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, addictions and self-harm. It lies at the heart of all the dysfunctional sexual behaviour emerging in the wake of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and other prominent figures.
My blog posts range from general emotional wellbeing through porn addiction and the emotionally repressive history of patriarchy to the transformational process known as Ascension that many highly sensitive people are experiencing. My aim is to disassemble complex emotional reactions into mechanical processes.
In addition to this site, I also post on guest sites such as In5D. My Ascension toolkit series has been re-posted on a bunch of sites including Love Has Won, Higher Density Blog, and others. Someone has even turned them into YouTube clips. I post once or twice a week.
“Mike is obviously a deep thinker and this, combined with his rollicking writing style, makes for an easy and entertaining read without losing the wonderful depth of meaning he offers us.”
— Joan Morgan McCarthy, author of ‘Peace and Harmony: Re-envisioning Sexuality Education’
I’ve always been interested in processes. As a child, I was less interested in playing games than in inventing them. As a teen interested in aircraft, I devised wargaming rules for use with model aircraft. Later I developed a game where the players built up airline fleets and route networks. Winning a game didn’t concern me; knowing how it worked did.
After a brief career in banking, when at 19 I became the youngest loans officer in New Zealand for the ANZ Bank, I moved into the IT world in the 1980s. I worked as a process analyst and software developer for major industrial and governmental clients in New Zealand, Asia, North America, and Britain.
While my business career flourished, my personal life didn’t. As a result I began—unconsciously at first—to apply my analytical skills to my own emotional processes. This led to personal development breakthroughs and the realisation that most of the world was struggling through a fog of emotional dysfunction so widespread it was seen as normal.
This led me to the education world, where I became the Chair of Governors of my son’s primary school. In 2010 I was commissioned by the Thames Valley Police to create a primary school musical on the emotional roots of extreme behaviour. When Chemistry goes Bang! has been staged at several schools in Milton Keynes. I was part of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s ChildLine Schools Service, educating primary school children to recognise all forms of abuse. I also have an NCFE-certified Advanced (Level 4) Diploma in Life Coaching from Stonebridge College.
In 2012 I co-founded CandleSpark with psychotherapist Ilse Leenders. This is a training and support organisation around issues relating to shame. It provides peer support for people who self-harm as well as providing training on handling self-harm to agencies including the Milton Keynes Police Community Support Officers.
In 2016 CandleSpark partnered with the Milton Keynes Council to run a high school programme for girls with anxiety issues. I also created Stepping Stones: building school capacity to resist radicalisation. Developed with the council, this workshop has been delivered to local primary schools with support from the Thames Valley Police and Safer MK.
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