In this month’s segment of Beyond the Keyboard, we are featuring Benir Pierre of Rising Phoenix Abuse Recovery Coaching. Benir is a “soul whisperer” who is guiding women through the painful experience of abuse. A survivor of child abuse and molestation, she spent many years picking up the pieces of her broken life. With a gentle spirit, a soothing voice that offers the assurance that your secrets are safe and wisdom beyond her years, Pierre has dedicated her life to empowering other survivors to discover the transformative power behind their pain. It is only fitting that we highlight her during this month set aside to bring awareness to issues that plague women such as domestic violence and breast cancer. Women of Atlanta are in for a treat on October 15, when Benir will host the Sweet Peach Soiree’, an empowering celebration of women’s sexual wellness. For more information visit risingphoenixcoaching.com.
SI: You are doing amazing “soul work” with Rising Phoenix Abuse Recovery Coaching. How did you choose this life path? Or did it choose you?
BP: As a survivor of abuse, I spent the first half of my life trying to numb my pain. Once I began to do the work to face my past and truly heal my soul, my life transformed. It’s only natural for me to reach out and give other survivors some of those same tools that helped me find freedom.
SI: The effects of abuse manifests itself in many ways. What are some of the more inconspicuous ways the effects of abuse manifests in the lives of survivors?
BP: Untreated abuse and trauma have a number of long-term effects including depression, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and eating disorders. Some of the less obvious symptoms include: insomnia, lack of concentration, diminished physical health, difficulty maintaining employment and financial irresponsibility.
SI: A study by Black Women’s Blueprint revealed that 60% of the women surveyed had been sexually assaulted by age 18. Chances are that someone in our immediate circle has been affected. What advice to you have for the loved one of a survivor who refuses to seek therapy?
BP: My first piece of advice for someone who loves a survivor is to understand that healing comes in stages and is not always a straight path. Allow enough grace and compassion for your loved one to have their own unique journey, no matter how long it takes and how that healing may manifest. Don’t take what they are going through personally. Provide support by holding space for your loved one without judgment and without expectations. You can help by creating a safe space to foster open and honest discussion with one another in addition to helping your loved one access professional resources such as coaching or counseling.
SI: Although the practice is centuries old, the phenomenon of crystal healing is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. How did you become interested in crystal healing? Do you have a favorite crystal? (Benir uses crystal healing for her clients and also designs crystal jewelry see examples of her work here.)
BP: I’ve always been attracted to crystals, but I didn’t understand their power. I am naturally sensitive and in tune with others’ emotions. While this a great tool for connecting with clients in my business, it can be very draining. A good friend gave me a black tourmaline as protection and after the first day working with it, I was convinced. I have used crystals for everything from healing inflammation, helping with insomnia, tapping into my intuition during prayer and meditation as well as bringing a much-needed windfall of cash. Crystals are powerful tools for manifestation.
SI: One cannot pour from an empty cup. As a healer, it is imperative that your cup is always full, since you pour out so much of yourself for your clients. What are you favorite self-care practices?
BP: For me, setting healthy boundaries is an important part of my self care ritual so I make it a practice to say no to things I don’t want to do without the need for an excuse why I can’t. I also love taking myself on dates. Most recently, I went on a dinner and movie date to see Bad Moms.