Underwater Transformation About Face Underwater Transformation About Face

Kimberly – Colorectal cancer & childhood trauma survivor

«« Please drag the arrows to see before & after underwater transformation »»

My name is Kimberly Holiday-Coleman, Born- Houston, Texas and grew up half my life in California and 1/2 in Texas. I’m a little country and a little rock-n-roll. Currently, I am a colorectal cancer/ostomy awareness advocate, commercial model, motivational speaker, author, wife of over 24 years, and mom of 5 fabulous kiddos.

Cancer Free since 2016!

The earlier parts of my life were comprised of physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse at the hands of close family members. I would hold those painful secrets for many years before speaking them in therapy at the age of 24.

Intensive therapy helped me to begin the lifelong process of working through my trauma. It would also open the door for me to explore various healing modalities.

Little did I know that all of the tools which I had acquired along my life journey would come to serve me in the cancer journey. By choosing to be transparent and speak about my journey, much like I did with the childhood trauma, my goal was to be free in order to heal.

My survival story is that of believing that “EVERYTHING works out for MY good.” No matter what it looks like on the surface of things. And to continue to grow in embracing peace, love, joy, and healing throughout this lifetime.

What inspired you to be involved in the Underwater Transformation Project?

After seeing Erena’s work for well over a year, I was drawn to all of the beautifully moving pictures alongside these powerful and tender stories. This led me to reach out and the connection was there. It felt like kismet.

What were your plans for the photo shoot?

My plans for the photo shoot was to find liberty within my body. Growing up my body had been weaponized against me by my abuser/s. By the time I became an adult, I took up the mantle of self hate.

And for the past 31 years of my life, I have been working toward liberation and peace with self. So, to bear all of my scars, seen and unseen alongside my peace, I wanted to be free. Yes, I achieved my goals. I love my body, mind, and spirit. I AM FREE.

How was the experience with an underwater portrait session?

My first experience was amazing! I learned my body can do more than I realized. At first, it takes a while to get used to all of the things you want to do under water. Erena is patient and worked with me to relax.

By incorporating the breathing techniques, I was able to be present which then allowed me to stay under longer. Being under longer and able to focus and have fun, gave me the feelings of liberation and joy.

Being underwater felt weightless, quiet, meditative, and peaceful. At times, I would forget that I needed air. It felt like second nature. It was also awesome to see how long Erena can hold her breath while operating her massive camera structure. I am still in awe of her strength and light.

Yes, my goals were achieved and beyond.

How was your mood after you finished?

My mood after was that of shock at first, then, euphoria, joy, and peace. Learning to trust my body in the water and trust my heart in the moment was the healing that I needed to connect fully to my SELF. And now, with living with a new life threatening condition which creates chronic pain often associated with lots of movement, being able to swim around that long was awesome since I was weightless. I didn’t even want to get out of the pool at the end. It felt sooo good.

What does WATER mean to you?

Water means healing to me. I have loved water all of my life. Having used water as my peace and therapy during my cancer treatments and beyond, it holds a special healing place for me. It has helped with reducing the intensity of chronic pain and helped to facilitate healing on some levels.

One of my favorite memories around water is traveling to Jamaica in 2017, a couple of years after my ostomy surgery, it was my first time wearing a swimsuit in public. And because I learned that Jamaicans view water as a healing source. I consciously practiced this and love the thought of water as a healing source for me.

Do you think this experience could help overcome your trauma?

Yes, it seems that this type of process could help to heal those dealing with various traumas like myself. Especially when the person being photographed takes the time to understand the depth of Erena’s work.

This is not a fashion or trendy photo shoot. This session captures your essence, your spirit, your life, your pain, and your joy. Yes, I would happily go back and do it again. It would be awesome to see what else could be revealed and/or shed during another session.

How did you sleep the night of the photo shoot?

The night of the shoot, my sleep was awesome. To be taken into consideration, I had also driven over four hours and had flown to Chicago the same day.

When I stay in hotels, the first night, I don’t generally sleep well. So, I was shocked at the peace and length of my sleep. And I didn’t experience as much pain. It felt as if I had let go of some important and heavy issues.

How was Erena working with you?

Working with Erena was Fabulous! She has been warm, personable, and professional since day one. This shoot has been a dream come true for me. I was not sure if her project was completed or if I would get the opportunity to work with her.

So, to have this moment with her has been THE GIFT. It was more than the pictures, it was the connection, being seen, heard, and understood. That under water, neither one of us had to carry the weight. We were free together.

Would you recommend underwater transformation to other survivors or anyone?

Ohmystars, Yes! I would recommend this underwater transformation to other survivors of trauma or anyone who would like to see themselves in their true essence. To be able to be weightless in my spirit, my body, and my mind was the connection to self and healing I needed.

My hope is that this work touches the spirits of other trauma, ostomates, and cancer survivors, everywhere, in the most healing way. And they will seek their truth and freedom in an underwater transformation with Erena.

What’s your dream?

My dream is that others would be inspired to find their peace, joy, and healing regardless of the cancer prognosis. And that life with an ostomy would bring about new opportunities for new healing and empowering experiences through the challenges.

I am a huge advocate for therapy. Over the past 31 years, I have done a lot and with cancer, it was empowering to do cancer therapy, solo and with my family. Support groups can be helpful especially when there are medical professionals involved. For ostomates, check out orgs like UOAA(United Ostomy Association of America), Colorectal Cancer Support(FightCRC.org), or ostomy product support- Hollister Incorporated (Secure Start Program).

This is my social links!
FB/IG/TT- @kimberlyhcoleman

Any other comments and advice?

Wow, Wow, Wow! What an incredible experience to take part in! As a colorectal cancer survivor and ostomate of almost nine years, doing this photo shoot has been healing beyond belief.

And as someone who loves water, I experienced a panic attack in the water and Erena caught it. She handled the moment so well by simply being present with me. She acknowledged the moment and made a point to breathe with me until I was able to be present. That was a true gift and a testament to who Erena is. I remain appreciative to have connected and worked with such a beautiful being.

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