This month let's delve into the history, heart, and soul of ECLIPSE. I'll unpack the who, what, why, when, where, and how of our journey and mission.
The inception of ECLIPSE was driven by a glaring gap in the sector, which was training that aligns with the Combined Lived Experience Lens – which is why we created it. Navigating my role as a practitioner and leader in the family violence sector was akin to walking a tightrope with what it was that I was being told to do, how I was being told to lead, and it truly didn’t sit with my integrity as an individual, as a leader, or as a victim survivor. I felt that sometimes priorities other than whānau safety and wellbeing were the core focus, and this hurt me, and deeply concerned me. And so, in 2021 I took this leap of faith and left the sector to keep my integrity and my mental health in check. I was tired of fighting the systems that we should have been in partnership with.
Thus, ECLIPSE was born. It was a moment of reckoning, a time to embrace my identity as a victim survivor. It was time to use my voice to share and raise awareness of what coercive control and entrapment looks and feels like, and why primary victims do and say what they do. I made the decision to no longer see myself as a victim, but as a victim survivor. By shining a spotlight on my story (which is the same of millions of stories), we may be able to increase knowledge and understanding, reduce judgement and increase empathy within our frontline.
For the first time, I dared to dream and truly believe in my own capabilities. This came at the same time as I was beginning to evolve further into my own spiritual journey. I am not a religious person, but I am a deeply spiritual person, and I grew to understand that we only truly know the value of light when we have experienced the darkness. Our greatest challenges in life are our greatest lessons and blessings when we learn from them, grow from them, and allow ourselves to evolve into stronger people for the hardship we have faced.
This is what the ECLIPSE logo stands for; allowing the light to come back into our worlds - stronger and brighter than before.
Never in my wildest dreams did I envision ECLIPSE blossoming into what it is today. I thought I would just stand up in front of people and tell a bit of a story in the hope that it resonated. Here we are now, 2 years later, a national and international training provider, that is growing by the day.
I truly believe that the reason ECLIPSE training is so popular, is simply that passion, hope, integrity and genuine people sit at the heart of every single word we utter, and every single action we take. I will never allow ECLISPE to grow so big that we dishonour those aspects of our identity.
As I wrap up this kōrero, a heartfelt mihi to each and every one of you that have and continue to support ECLIPSE. I also want to acknowledge my incredible team - Keino who has been with me since day one, and Braden who has been on the peripheral since day one but is now walking with us. We're excited to be introducing you shortly to three new incredible people who will be joining the team and enriching what we offer even further.
Love and thoughts to you all, please stay warm and well.