Month: September 2018

Chris Cole – What Healing Means

Healing means to me that I am in congruence with myself and my world, that I am able to maintain relationships in love and devotion, and that I am continually aware of and attempting to return to a state of holistic harmony. Healing, or true recovery, is not necessarily the absence of symptoms but rather an awareness of symptoms and a humble responsiveness to such maladaptive responses to pain, knowing that I want to be healthy for myself and the people I love. Healing requires some connection to a deep meaning and purpose, which I hold as a spiritual vision of love beyond my own small life and circumstances. By healing, I am moving toward the ability to love myself and my world with a growing expansiveness. Healing is a surrender to the dynamics of life and the intimate understanding of continued trials and tribulations on the infinite and mysterious unfold of my own humanity and that of those graciously placed in my life.
I have a strong desire to contribute positively to the world, to love all people, and that has to be an overflow of the love I have for myself. I hold my healing in the highest regard, because I am unable to give without being resourced enough to give. It is like the modern metaphor of oxygen masks on an airplane: I have to put my oxygen mask on before helping another with their oxygen mask, or else I run the risk of being incapacitated and incapable of living in alignment with my values. Such an inability to show love to myself is a sort of spiritual death in itself.
Perhaps most pertinent to the intersection of social justice, neurodiversity, and mental health is the healing required to hold the goodness of humanity in all people located in societal systems of stigmatization, prejudice, and oppression. I believe that people are doing the best they can with the tools they have. Any inability to see their goodness is a reflection of my refusal to see my own shortcomings and capacity to heal. People are fundamentally good, sane, and whole. I believe that wholeheartedly and have come to know this truth intimately within myself. Providing tools—whether in language, models of thinking, or more skillful treatment reform—must be an expression of the ways in which we all long to love and also need better vehicles to more fully express and articulate that love for us all.

Episode 16 – Waking Up with Chris Cole

Author and Mental Health Podcast Host of “Waking Up Bipolar”, Chris Cole, walks us through his vision of a more person-centered, holistic, compassionate mental healthcare system.  Chris re-appropriates language to describe mental illness. For example, he describes his personal journey with “bipolar order”. His podcast focuses on the intersection of bipolar disorder and spiritual awakening.

Chris’s podcast, blog, and Cole Coaching website is  There are multiple references in the episode to his blog post Re-appropriating Bipolar Beyond Pathology.

Some of the topics covered in the show include:

What is his life experience with “Bipolar Order”?

How can the mental healthcare system care for individuals suffering with severe mental illness?

Who are some of the best coaches in his life?

What does healing mean to you?


Chris Cole’s book: The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madness

Podcast Facebook Page: Waking Up Bipolar (with video editions of his podcast)

Tony and Eric will be key note speakers at Best Practices for Ministry: Heartland 2018. If you live near Columbus, IN please consider joining us on Wednesday, October 10 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

Next Episode:

Bob Mills, President and CEO of Minds Renewed

Episode 15 – Laura Pogliano, Caring for the Caregivers

Leader of a Facebook group with nearly 20,000 members, Laura Pogliano has the unique experience of professionally working with Johns Hopkins and personally serving her son who suffered from mental illness. Laura shares her passion for advocacy, putting it into the context of a social justice movement.

Laura’s Facebook group is Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses.

Laura’s Non-profit is

Some of the topics include:

How does her non-profit help caregivers?

How has the church shaped her family’s life experience?

What are drawbacks of the “Recovery Model” in mental healthcare system?

How does HIPAA impact families?

What does healing mean to you?

Show notes:

Lars and the Real Girl

Treatment Advocacy Center of Virginia

Video of Laura at John’s Hopkins

Next Show:

Chris Cole, Podcast Host of “Waking Up Bipolar