Chosen by the Wellness Centre, I represented the organization at the local board of education. I spoke in high schools throughout Northumberland County about the stigma of mental illness. Asked to sit on the Wellness Centre hospital board, I was a client representative and soon became their Chair of Public Relations. In this position, I organized wellness expos, mental health film night (to promote mental health week) and was appointed editor of the newsletter. The board of directors later nominated me for the “Courage to Come Back” award, which was designated by the “Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation” in Toronto. This award recognizes individuals who overcome mental illness and then proceed into the community to aid others experiencing the same hardships. I was later asked to speak about my journey to mental health for the Wellness Centre’s tenth anniversary picnic in Old Mill Park, Campbellford. Now I had to walk my talk. I no longer wanted to work behind the scenes anonymously.
Photo taken at the Lima airport after my 3 weeks sacred journey in Peru
Mad Mom Makes A Difference; by Gayle Cosmaz
As 1960’s teenager enrolled in a patriarchal controlled high school in a rural village, I was forbidden to take what was considered a boy’s class only. I wanted to enroll in drafting class instead of home economics and was denied, I was told by the principal that drafting was for boys and home economic was for girls. Later that year I retaliated by building a giant pink birth control pill snow sculptor with the woman’s symbol on top. I created it on the front lawn of the high school just outside the principles window. Back in those days this was considered an outrageous action.
Many decades later after we moved to a new area, my daughter wanted to be included in what was considered a boy’s sport. I was triggered when this small patriarchal rural high school, denied her participation. This mom immediately acted. I faced down that wrestling coach, bringing to his attention that my daughter was already a metal winning athlete and it was against Canadian law to exclude her.
She proved her athletic worth by being the only one in 20 years on the boys’ team to continuously bring home the metals for the next four year. She became the nightly dinner table conversation as the coaches praised her to his own 2 wrestling sons. When she won the right to compete in the Nationals she was denied again, this time for being too bit for her age, there was no weight class for her age group. I wrote a powerful letter not only the headquarters of the Canadian Wrestling Association, also to the Olympics in Switzerland, a few years later women’s wrestling was in the program. One of the coaches’ sons grew up to be a high school wrestling coach who includes girls on his team.
testimonial from a believer
Discovering Each Other:
Carolyn Corp: A believer
My first memories of Gayle are at our Women’s Business Network. I would see her speaking intently to groups of women during networking sessions. I had never spoken with her, but I knew she was someone I would like to meet...she looked interesting. There are over 100 women who are members, so it takes time to meet everyone.
One February evening, I accompanied a friend to a local annual fund-raising event “Be A Goddess” where Gayle was demonstrating her energy massage skills. I had no intention of stopping, but a friend convinced me I should stop and have a sample massage. After receiving an amazing ten-minute neck and shoulder energy massage I felt great! I had never had a proper massage and thought that an hour would be amazing, but who had the time? I never gave it another thought until I noticed a gift certificate from Gayle’s healing studio in the silent auction. I immediately bid on and won the certificate, only to realize when I got home what I had purchased. Without my reading glasses, I had assumed the certificate was for a massage.
Instead, I had an invitation to a workshop called “Self-Discovery” consisting of four consecutive Saturdays. I am not one to toss anything away and I was curious about the workshop so I decided, what the heck, I would go to the first session and see what it’s all about. Not only did I attend, I dragged my sister along with me. We `laughed and giggled on the way there about what might happen. We were really surprised.
As everyone introduced themselves around the circle of attendees, each had knowledge and experience in the “unknown.” When it was my turn to share, I simply stated that I had an open mind, but this was all uncharted territory to me. It then became time to share our painful experiences and to explain how these experiences affected us today. I did not feel traumatized by my experiences while others in the group carried deep emotional scars that oozed painful memories. I was saddened by the suffering of the group members and felt I did not belong. I was fine and felt I had nothing to offer to the other women except words of sympathy. I was curious why I was fine, and others were deeply traumatized. I had never allowed my assault to define who I was. Perhaps it was because I had always been surrounded by a loving, caring family, I was not alone.
Several years ago, when I decided to volunteer with assault victims, some of the women leading the group said I was in denial of my truth. I had blocked everything out and needed to experience the pain, but not Gayle. Gayle smiled saying, “We all aspire to be where you are.” She continued with, “Which just proves my point, that if we are supported by our family and our community, there is no need for extended suffering from our wounds.” During each workshop, after we had our lunch, Gayle performed a drum meditation that I found to be calming and relaxing. We were all asked to join in and I did so with some reservations as I have no musical training. After a couple of minutes, I realized it was not about playing pretty music; it was about you speaking through the drum.
At the end of each workshop day, we learned some energy healing techniques as we took turns on the treatment table. It was amazing what Gayle could tell you about your body using only a feather. I am a very “no nonsense” sort of person. Gayle gave me lots of food for thought and allowed me to look at life through a different lens. I was disappointed that other members of the group could drift in and out of visions at will. I found it hard work and really wondered if I was imaging the visions or if they were real.
Finally at the last session, I drifted to a new place. It was peaceful and familiar, and I didn't want to leave. I felt like a small child, amazed and in awe. The afternoon of our last gathering I said to Gayle, “How are we going to market you? I'm afraid people are going to think you are a kook. You have a good heart, your intentions are pure and your abilities divine, but there are a lot of skeptical people in this world.” I had no idea how we would get people to take her seriously. She just smiled and said, “Don't worry, it will happen.”
Since that time spent together, I have developed a respect and appreciation for Gayle and her abilities as a healer and a teacher of emotional healing and, most of all, I am pleased to call her my friend.
While on our weekly Green Tent Circle zoom meeting with women around the world, someone said something that triggered an old memory.
Barbara Thorngren mentioned the woman’s symbol and I had to giggle as this memory flashed through my mind.
We are a group of women creating a movement of action and I wanted to share my very first activist moment.
At age 14 I began high school in a village that was ruled by patriarchal protocols.
As a blooming artist I wanted to develop my art skills but there were no art classes at our school.
While the principal spoke to our classroom of newbies I asked if I could take drafting instead of home economics. Thinking to myself, I never really had an interest in cooking and I had already been trained to sew by my seamstress aunt.
The principal put me in my place saying drafting is for boys and home economics is for girls and we are not going to change the system to suit you.
I was dismayed until later that year when I had an opportunity to speak out, not only to the school but any one driving by the school.
It was winter carnival time when the students were invited to create snow sculptures all over the school property.
I came up with a plan.
Armed with red food colouring I created a giant pink birth control pill with the woman’s symbol protruding out the top of it.
I create my sculpture right on the front lawn of the high school looming in the principal’s office window. Remember this was the 60’s in a rural area and birth control was only discussed behind closed doors in private.
My rebellion did not change the system but it sure made ME feel good
Born to speak out
Challenges of Awakening - Living Parables
Excerpt from Wisdom of the Origins Gathering
The most important confirmation of my self-discovery journey in New Mexico was being treated as a peer at this prestigious gathering. Addressed as Grandmother Gayle I was accepted for the knowledge I brought to the event. We are all unique individuals filled with wisdom that must be shared safely and without judgment.
When I was asked at the conference what was the focus and purpose of revealing my life story in a memoir, I emphatically said “No more secrets!” Step forward and take back your power by allowing yourself the gift of vulnerability. It is through that directive that I take my place as a Rainbow Warrior.
I invite you to join me as I continue my journey of awakening, welcoming other Rainbow Warriors into this new dawn, this new era
The wound was completely healed. I was able to let go of all the pain and the hatred.
I now had a coherent idea of my souls purpose. It is here to gain knowledge from the lessons that I have arranged for it to learn and to ratify unfinished business (or Karma). I am on this earth to share my accumulation of insights with others and to help them clarify their own soul’s intent. As I continue on my path to self-discovery, I understand that each lesson is my soul’s purpose from my Earth School. I found whom I can trust: the Universe.
I acknowledge that life is just a set of lesson plans for me to transmute, to promote awareness and clarity of my purpose. Reflecting on my first trips into the light, I recall what a profound and exhilarating experience they were.
Opening up to my journeying abilities was a long, slow process of trust, forgiveness and adventure of spirit.
Thrown off the cliff of emotions.
Today a minor incident threw me off the cliff of stability.
Just when one believes they have mastered all the set backs….
Just when life is beginning to slowly open up to new possibilities….
Just when you think your heart is finally mending from all the loses over the years….
A small insignificant incident turns you into a vulnerable blubbering mess of tears and disillusion.
I guess what I am attempting to relay is, life will continue to send you into a spiral of defeat.
It is how you handle it that changes the outcome.
Grandmother Gayle Crosmaz
Photo of me at Russel Glacier, Sacred Valley, Greenland.
Challenges of Awakening - Living Parables
Typically, I can energetically leave my physical body merely by closing my eyes; using thought visualization, I can project myself to other locations, higher realms or past lives. In fact, departing from my physical existence has always been a safety net for escaping life’s grief and ordeals as leaving the material body is the soul’s way of protecting the innocence of the physical- form from being consciously affected by a trauma.
Traumatic experiences are stored away as unconscious memories; these unconscious memories are memories that cannot easily be accessed through the conscious mind.
Unconscious memory can be stored in the body as cellular memories; cellular memories can later be consciously accessed when it is emotionally safe for the person to do so.
The area of the body that stores the emotional pain or unconscious memory will react as constant physical pain and/or disease.
This, then, is a signal that past issues must be closely examined to heal the disease and/or pain.
An unconscious memory can include cellular memory from current life’s traumas, past-life experiences or parallel realities.
Cellular memory is the complete blueprint of our existence, including past, present, future and other dimensional memories. These memories can take several years of psychotherapy or an experienced energy healer/Shaman performing regression therapy to break through to the source. A tool like regression therapy is a form of guided meditation hypnosis allowing someone to travel back through time, either in their present lifetime or a past life.
Photo taken along the trail to Black Pearl Beach in Iceland.
Reach For The Sun
Artist: Grandmother Gayle Crosmaz
Price: $1000 Canadian
Acrylic on Canvas - Size: 41 X 51 cm
50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Turtle Guardians of Haliburton Ontario, Canada. Working with kids and communities to save the turtles.