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ENDPAIN Interview

mindyourmind interviewed Fraser Hammersly, Content Manager, and Grace Gregory, Creative Producer, from ENDPAIN. ENDPAIN started in 2015 and is based in Los Angeles, California, and their reach is international. In the interview they will explain their purpose, themes and how they collaborate with anyone who wants to share their personal story.

How do you feel about the words END-PAIN? It is easy to perceive pain as a negative experience and when you are hurt it feels like the pain will last forever. Sometimes, it is so painful in the moment you feel like it will never end. The team from ENDPAIN propose that pain can actually be good for us (emotionally and physically) after we start to focus on those experiences and dealing with them differently. In this interview you’ll be given some ideas and tools you can use today to start to heal from your pain.

Thanks so much ENDPAIN for sharing with mindyourmind!

Go to ENDPAIN to read the stories, art and blog submissions.

What is ENDPAIN and how did it start?

EP is an online platform that publishes stories, conversations and art demonstrated through first person narratives, interviews, short films, features. This can be done in any medium about pain, trauma, healing and evolving. More symbolically, EP is a platform and community, a safe container for processing pain and growing collective and individual emotional intelligence and consciousness. It is a space for people to connect the dots within their own lives. It's a space of total acceptance, pure love, compassion, and equanimity of grace for any and all in need of nourishment. From Founder Alison Hersel: “ENDPAIN was birthed from a desire to learn more about what we as a society are doing to treat pain in its various manifestations and to consider how we as a community of humans can do better...” To read more about the founder’s process about creating EP, check out the ‘about’ section at endpain.com

The slogan “What if all pain has a purpose?” comes up on your website. How can people find purpose in sharing about their past trauma or painful history?

In a process-based sense, we find that the question “what if all pain has a purpose?” helps people reframe their perspectives and relationships to pain. When we make the connection that our painful experiences have actually led to beauty, new knowledge, or strength within ourselves, we can begin to release the resistance and fear around pain, helping us move past and through it and confront it more directly in the future. It is so easy to forget that we are all intrinsically good and pure. Sometimes pain comes as a messenger to remind us of this truth, however, circuitous and scrutinizing that journey may be. We believe in the idea that engaging with our ‘pain’, rather than repressing or avoiding it, can create an opportunity for us as individuals to evolve, building a deeper knowledge of the self and strengthening our emotional intelligence. We can release dead weight, we can find a little bit more joy and connection each day, we can feel lighter. Beyond the personal catharsis, writing our personal narratives is what I consider a public service of sorts, adding to the collective consciousness particles of humility, self-acceptance, self-love, and independent thoughts. We are offering counterpoints to the dominant narratives of consumerism and self-comparison. In sharing these stories, thoughts and emotions, we are normalizing experiences we are often taught are markers of weakness, are shameful or strange. We learn to empathize with one another, fostering vulnerability, tenderness, and strength.

How does someone participate and get their story posted on ENDPAIN?

Submit, submit, submit​! That is the best way to participate. We accept submissions of any kind: first-person written narratives, documented interviews/conversations, poetry, review of healing modality, audio recordings, photo essays, film, collages, etc. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Sign up for our weekly newsletter, which feature a summary of stories published that week as well as the occasional narrative from someone on the EP team! Participate in our monthly VOX POP series, which is an audio collage of different voices all answering the same question. The name "vox pop" comes from the Latin phrase vox populi, meaning "voice of the people". This is our way of gauging the community to understand what each of our monthly themes mean to you, how you relate to it, and what sub-themes or inquiries you want to explore within it. Participation just takes two minutes—you can either leave a voicemail at the mailbox of (310)494-0243, or if you do not have the ability to call, you can email an audio file to contact@endpain.com. Our current question is-”WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE?”

Do you see any themes or similarities in the stories that are posted with the hashtag #endpain

We sense sincerity from all ENDPAIN contributors. There is a shared value of honoring self-love and destigmatizing the inevitable traumas of the human condition, creating more space for honest connection.

What tips could you share to someone who doesn’t know how to start telling their story? Or where is the best starting point for someone to pull from their story?

Try to identify a specific moment - whether it was a day, a dream, a trip, or a split second - that opened your eyes or made you think about things in a different way. Focus on your feelings and sensory experience in the moment or moments that you are retelling. Then, you can zoom outwards, connecting that moment to patterns, relationships, or experiences throughout your life. Think about the way it changed your outlook: how did you or will you move forward after that moment? Attempt to write without any self-consciousness of who your reader is or who will read your words. Write without any limitation or inhibition first, and then go back to edit and refine at a later time. You will know if your words have been authentic and true at the end if you feel good — a bit stronger and a bit freer than you felt before writing. Enjoy the process. Have a cup of tea, light a candle, burn some incense and create an atmosphere of sanctity around your writing time and physical writing space. 

What is the next chapter for ENDPAIN?

Our upcoming themes are: sleep (current), forgiveness, aging, addiction, loss, vanity, home, and isolation. IMPORTANT TO NOTE - we are not limited to these themes. If you feel compelled to share a story that doesn’t seem to fall into any of these categories, please do. Also, stay tuned for our app coming out later this year!