Unleashing Your Light
By: Laura Shaver Photos by: Rachel Benavides
Belkis Clarke-Mitcham is a gem in our coastal community – a gem who shines after rising from the depths of trauma-induced depression and soars with exuberant confidence. Originally from Saint Kitts island in the Caribbean, Belkis and her husband recently relocated to Corpus Christi, so he could pursue a dream career. “So here we are,” she said, “and we are loving it.”
Belkis strives to help others transform trauma into triumph. She is a spiritual life coach, motivational speaker, and the owner of Unleash Your Light, an online self-help program. And later this year, she will introduce the Phoenix Life Academy in Corpus Christi, designed for women who struggle with self-esteem, have been hurt or betrayed, experienced traumatic life events, or feel broken.
“My aim is to help individuals live their phoenix life and unleash their truth and the best in themselves, so that they can be released from negative patterns and the tangle of pain and disappointments,” said Belkis.
For over a decade, Belkis has taught on a multitude of stages, at retreats and seminars, and at youth camps. Her motivation for providing emotional support for so many others stems from the sexual abuse she endured as a child. “I felt as if I was only good to be used,” said Belkis. She first tried to commit suicide at age 15, and even after her release from the hospital, she still lived a disconnected life. “There was so much pretending, but I was trapped inside myself.”
As she grew into a young adult, she never forgot all of the feelings she had processed in her youth. “The confusion, thinking I was a failure, doubting every decision, and second-guessing everything – it has not been an easy road,” she said. But she soon discovered how great a teacher and a motivational speaker she was, and she combined those two talents. “I had a lot to learn, but I was determined to give myself a chance, and here I am today, a motivational teacher.”
Unleash and the Phoenix Life Academy, through targeted exercises and teachings, walk an individual through various, significant stages of life to help uncover what is true to each participant and how she can achieve living in her truth. “We help them rediscover their value, fire, and passion. A candle that is unlit is not serving its purpose,” said Belkis. Unlike traditional therapy which focuses on the past, Belkis’ programs focus on the current stage of life and mapping a plan to help achieve personal goals.
Belkis knows the importance of dealing with trauma, as hard as it may be, because life changes after a traumatic event. “We pinpoint goals, challenges in various areas, and determine how to move forward. This can be accomplished one-on-one, face-to-face or online, in a seminar, or at a retreat,” she said.
Through these programs, lives have been touched and changed. In a world where dealing with trauma sometimes gets set on the backburner, people like Belkis and her passion for mental health are not only needed, but imperative.