Thank you for showing up. I am Ross McKenzie and I want to share my story with you.
Even as a child I could “feel” the mission in life I was meant to fulfill.
I didn't know what it was and yet it was always present. Since I can remember I have always been highly sensitive. What I then perceived as a weakness I now hold in gratitude as one of my greatest strengths. My parents were loving and wanted the best for me. They enrolled me in sports and an all-boys private school. I was a good student, a star athlete…. Everything seemed good. However, I am extremely sensitive, and throughout my early years as a young boy and teenager I didn’t have tools or a frame of reference for how to understand and integrate who I was into the outer world.
At a self - development seminar in 1993, in my early 20’s, after walking over the burning coals of a fire-walk initiation, I had a Kundalini awakening. I started to feel a volt of energy that could not be contained. I could not sleep or eat for days on end. As a result I was restrained and hospitalized. Once in the western medical mental health system I was subjected to traumatic and highly toxic brain/body- disabling medications (which are both the standard course of treatment in 1993 and still today) and a title was stamped in ink beside my name: Ross McKenzie - BIPOLAR.
This label, Bipolar, replaced Athlete, Son, Student, and Scholar, and was intended to predetermine the rest of my life. Just like a diabetes patient who needs insulin to stay alive, I was told by Psychiatrists that I needed Lithium for the rest of my life to survive.
This diagnosis did not resonate with me- it did not “feel” right. As my journey unfolded in my 20’s it became very clear to me that millions of people around the world have similar stories of misdiagnoses and overmedication with psychotropic pharmaceutical medications. I knew there had to be an alternative way to understand and address mental health challenges and symptoms. The Western Medical model approach to mental wellness did not add up. What about a mind, body and spirit root cause resolution approach to addressing symptoms?
When one is taking Lithium you must do a blood analysis every 3 months ( four times a year) because it is so toxic that the levels must be checked often. Nine years into my Lithium treatment my doctor showed me my quarterly bloodwork which showed damage had been done to my kidneys. The side effects of Lithium for me were very harmful and debilitating. I knew at this crises moment it was my duty to walk an alternative path. I faced two challenges. First, getting off Lithium safely and secondly, stabilizing my mood and unpacking the symptoms which lead to me being diagnosed in the first place.
It is a miracle I am alive today given what I went through. It feels phenomenal to be fully detoxed and off all medications since 2010 and releasing the diagnosis and label of Bipolar Disorder. It was a 20 - year dark night of the soul journey that propelled my awakening and provided the framework for holding deep compassion for those that are still suffering and seeking support. Since 2015 I have professionally empowered and inspired my clients to take their health into their own hands. Self- inquiry and self - development are critical ingredients in this healing process.