MY STORY OF SURVIVAL AND OVERCOMING ADDICTION
Welcome to the here and now! My name is Elizabeth and I am in the ever-unfolding process of teaching others how to practice mindfulness, and how it can be used as a tool for addiction recovery and relapse prevention. I am a kidnap, rape and torture survivor who fell into heavy addiction and alcoholism as a result of the trauma. However, I was fortunate enough to have read the likes of Eckhart Tolle in my teens, giving me a small degree of presence, or awareness, throughout my PTSD and addiction. Little revelations and “ah-ha” moments led me to finally seek help in a methadone program.
It wasn’t until over a year later that I truly *experienced* what his teachings were pointing to when I had a sudden collapse of ego. Complete and total peace ensued, even though it only lasted a few days before my normal egoic patterns started taking hold again, but it was a large enough crack in the armor of ego that I would shift back and forth between ego and oneness as time progressed. Not very often at first, but slowly more and more. After that first initial experience, I suddenly lost the fear of detoxing. As I began to detox, I was more and more inspired to begin writing.
THE WAY I TEACH
There is no easy way to say I am a good teacher without letters next to my name. I don’t even have a bachelor’s degree. No one has been there to monitor, edit and grade my performance at researching the human psyche, while I’m learning proven techniques to offer solutions to common mental / emotional problems, or memorizing all the applicable laws when it comes to this industry. In that aspect, I am quite unqualified.
While there is no easy way to say this, there is indeed a hard way. And by hard, I am referring to the manner in which I gained my experience to teach mindfulness. Suffering, in all its forms, has been no stranger to me, just as I am sure it has not been one to you. You will not see someone in front of you who is trained specifically not to let their own emotional walls come down with their patients to protect themselves and the patient. This is, of course, a good thing. However, my own past and journey into sobriety will always be what I reference from, so I will have to get personal. The one who needs “protecting” in these situations is the ego, or egoic self.
As a teacher of mindfulness, however, I have already learned to overcome negative effects of ego by dis-identifying from it, taking away its power. This is where mindfulness teachers differ from counselors or therapists. Throughout your sessions with your therapist, their minds are clicking the entire time you’re both talking, analyzing, evaluating, interpreting; with a mindfulness teacher, they speak from presence and they listen without judgement. Ultimately, presence always has the power to dissolve egoic pain, so someone who is aware of this presence in themselves can always speak to another from this state and be considered a mindfulness teacher. That which points to the ultimate truth and cannot be told to you by another, you must experience yourself. I will only be a guide to show you how I practice, offering my words from the space of now as opposed to the thoughts of my ego. However, this is not enough to be considered a good teacher. Good teachers help you heal, great ones guide you to thrive on your own volition. This is how I will do this for you:
Within our own minds, the ceaseless thoughts we have are often all we know to be real, our very existence. Our emotions. Our experience of our physical senses. Pretty much the scope of what we know. These diverse modes of experience have one thing in common; the one that is experiencing. Think of a different sock puppet for each of your modes of experience; physical, emotional, mental spiritual. Each one has their own rules, their own states of being they tend to induce. They are tied to, yet fundamentally different from, one another. The experiencer, the watcher, or the presence, is the hand that puts on each of the sock puppets. You are essentially the hand, not the puppets themselves. They would be lifeless without your hand.
And that is essentially who I will be speaking as, and to, in our sessions. Everyone has an ego. A personal ego, and likely a number of collective egos, like your job, religion, family, etc. I definitely have an ego.
However, the modality of presence and “quieting” of the mind has become second nature to me at this point. There is not a “level” of superiority when it comes to mindfulness counselors, their only difference is their varying degrees of presence. Only their fullness of peace. This is the only qualification. Nothing is needed to quiet your own mind, except subtracting the mind itself from your conscious awareness. Presence is what’s left when mind is hushed. So, like the presence is “aware” of the ego, there I will sit, being the presence for yours. This is the common thread through all mindfulness teachers’ practices. We have discovered that space within ourselves; and have become aware of it enough that we feel compelled to share it with the world. Not as a belief to shove down your throat, no. But as a decreasing of the mind and all its labels. An eradicating of what is not real in you to uncover the peace that was there all along.
I feel personally called to find my fellow mindful addicts because, well, I’ve gotten to do a bunch of drugs, get addicted and have the absolute shit beat out of me by life, winding up flat on my face and having to pick my own self up out of the dirt. If I could have letters after my name for THOSE credentials… maybe Dr. Elizabeth Knell, F.U.B.A.R? All laughs aside, I must acknowledge that the lack of professional training in psychology has me feeling as if I am not truly serving with the greatest possible integrity. I want all souls that I touch to know there is no end to the depth of my compassion for them. There is no harm I ever desire to inflict on them, intentionally or unintentionally. I am dedicated to being the most honest and genuine I am capable of being because my inner calling rings out for me to do so. I lead and conduct myself always with the benefit of the all. That is my life’s purpose now, you are my life purpose now.
I offer a free introductory consultation for all new clients. This will be a brief overview that’s largely informal and relaxed, we’ll go over some basics and have a Q&A to get to know each other. Please feel free to ask any and all questions about my services during this time. Questions will help me better understand the best course of action for you personally.
After the initial consultation, we’ll begin the process of illuminating underlying root causes of addiction, pain, or other types of egoic influences. Each session will have a designated purpose or topic at first but will largely be conducted by what the space of now brings to the surface. An evaluation will be given to you at the end of each session via e-mail, so I can better understand what you got out of it and what is still unaddressed.
Sessions can be purchased individually or in bundles for a discounted price. If you purchase a bundle and do not wish to continue before it’s completion, a 10% administrative fee will be applied to your refund. You can cancel at any time.