Today I am delighted to be able to share an extract for Liberation by Emma Eker. This book is on my reading pile for February and I’m very much looking forward to reading it. I’m a great believer that books will often find you when you need them most and this may well be the case with Liberation.
Raw, introspective, and deeply personal, Emma Eker’s debut Liberation is a meditative and spiritual approach on how to thrive in the face of adversity.
Framed by an incredibly moving and housing story about entering rehab at the age of 28, Emma Eker’s Liberation is a story of breakdown to break through and everything in between. This solution-based memoir, with its easily digestible teachings and guidance will help the reader to forge a deeper connection with themselves and move through challenges and suffering. Liberation demonstrates that with a change of thinking, we cab relinquish all mental barriers and truly thrive.
Liberation allows the reader to free themselves from self-imposed and perceived external constraints. This book acts as a guide, helping an individual to move from surviving to thriving, from constriction to expansion, from judgement to acceptance, from impossible to I’m-possible. This book is about showing up as your very best Self and living your very best life. A must read for these times.
A Woman’s Quest for Freedom
By Emma Eker
They asked her, “How did you free yourself?” She answered, “By embracing my own power.” Yung Pueblo
I have always asked questions. I have always wanted to know. As a small child I remember staring out of my window at night, gazing into the black sky whilst I wondered – where oh where does it all end? Who are we? Where are we? Who’s out there? Where does space actually stop existing? And then what? What happens when we reach the edge?
These thoughts baffled me. I often felt the need to divert from this train of thinking as I truly had nowhere to go with the questions, let alone my idea of the answers. The wonder, awe and bewilderment these musings provoked within me seemed far too big for my little mind to contain – if I kept looking, surely my brain would combust! But there it was, the precedent had been set – I was a searcher. I was questioning as soon as I knew how and it hasn’t stopped yet. I am certain it never will.
Life was ‘normal’ growing up. I lived in a house in a suburban road in northwest London, UK, with my mum, dad, sister and various cats at different times. I moved through the schooling system in the ‘right’ way. I was taught right from wrong, correct manners, my please and thank yous, what to wear, how to dress, who to be friends with, the way life goes, that life is tough (you’ve got to work hard in a job you don’t enjoy in order to get what you want), that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and much more about the nature of life and what it means to be human. Most of which I wouldn’t have chosen were I to be the designer of life – incidentally, it turns out that I am… more about that later.
As for my personal identity, I understood from my outside world that I was naughty, a little aggressive (with a satanic temper apparently), that I spoiled happy occasions and was generally very difficult to get along with. As one can imagine, this is not an ideal sense of self to grow up inside of and to brandish in everyday life, and needless to say, I didn’t feel great about myself.
As a caveat, I clearly see that I learned to give people the exact ‘me’ that they expected. We tend to hold gospel to that which we’re told from a young age, it becomes our identity (who were we to know differently?) and we wear our labels as badges of honour, no matter how crappy they feel.
As someone who’s interested in understanding ‘the journey’, be it psychological or otherwise, I have often considered what set the precedent for my breakdown and journey into addiction – be it OCD, codependent relationships, food (under or overeating), drugs or alcohol. It’s an opportune moment to tell you that my longest relationship to date has been with cocaine. We hung out together for 11 or so years and in hindsight, it potentially wasn’t the best choice of partner. Regardless, I have no regrets… more on this later.
So, to the ‘cause’ of my foray into addiction and my descent down the spiral. There are a few suspects…
My feeling is that I was generally uncomfortable in my own skin. There was lots of ‘fitting in’ to do and I was constantly contorting myself into a shape that was not me. I was a strong personality with anger being a very familiar emotion for me. I have been told that I would regularly tantrum from a very young age to the point of passing out – I guess my little self just couldn’t deal with the rage that I felt, I simply couldn’t contain it. My mother was concerned at first (who wouldn’t be) but as with most things, you get used to them and I always came round quickly after the intensity subsided. The body is incredibly intelligent and it took me offline whilst it recalibrated.
Who’s to say why I was experiencing such intense emotions from such a tender age, but it is what it is and although I absolutely cannot say for sure, I have always been fighting the status quo and fighting for justice and for what feels right and sometimes it just felt too much.
This feeling of fitting in has been a familiar thread in my life. As I mentioned, I am not sure where or when this materialised or at which particular point I received the message that my natural shape was flawed, only G-d knows the starting point, but I have often considered the impact of systems and how instrumental/detrimental they have been to my sense of self and well being.
We’re brought up in a society where there are hard and fast rules and a protocol to adhere to, a ‘right way to be’ and a correct way to behave and if, like me, you receive a message from a young age that you’re ‘too much’ and it is simply not tolerated, the child will find ways to adapt that are acceptable. To one’s detriment.
You see, if I consider who I was before I forgot (that is, before I was shaped by environment, societal protocol and the like), I have a sense of being a carefree, creative, highly emotive and sensitive individual, potentially leaning more towards the arts with a strong desire to express and to feel my way through life, rather than to think, rationalise and use logic. Indeed, I believe this is the case for the majority of children before we reach a stage of being that barely resembles the truth of who we are and what is possible.
It is important to mention at this stage, that with the message of ‘I’m too much’, I learned to dim myself down. This dimming down meant that I moved through life as a lesser version of myself, a less shiny model. And when you’re not being true to yourself, when you’re hiding, it’s a lonely place to be and it’s hard to forge deep and authentic connections when the you that shows up in the world is a false self, not the full picture. I learned to swallow myself down, that is, to stuff down my feelings and emotions from a very young age.
About the author
Emma Eker is a life coach and author from London. Trained in Psychosynthesis Psychology (PG Dip), Emma has worked as a coach for over 14 years, helping individuals understand how their experience is created in order for them to realise they are in control of their own experience – far more powerful than they imagined.
Emma is passionate about the human experience, evolution and helping people to live in alignment with who they are – moving away from restrictions, limitations and negative self-talk in order to live a life fully expressed. Liberation is her first book.