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.
Writing about everything that had happened to me. I have journeyed through hell and have come back, not unscathed but also not destroyed. I have come back whole. The way of the left-hand path is not one meant to deny your indulgences. You who have chosen such a road, as did I, the choice is an inevitable one for us. We are not meant to alter our circumstances to a place we think we ‘should’ be at. It’s not our place to change our circumstances at all.
It is us we change. It is the reaction that comes from within. Such change will naturally radically alter your circumstances once your identity has shifted from one perspective, with a story and a personality, to the absence of one. But not before recognizing that kind of depth is already within you. The ability to just be, without an interpretation. This is what I have found to be true. Through the intense suffering and resistance that I experienced, I found, unexpectedly, the deep peace that surpasses all understanding mentioned in the bible. My world was collapsing around me, yet there was a calmness inside of me, like a small undisturbed pool of water inside my chest, while all around me a hurricane raged on.
How did this happen? I don’t think it was because I was special or unique in any way. It wasn’t after countless hours of meditation and yoga. What I do attribute it to is the extreme nature of the pain I had experienced. Without the total shattering of my world view, the intense loss and complete desolation of the story I told myself about the way things were, I would have continued to hold on to the idea that I could get through it and one day get back to a place where things were “all right” again. The idea that this shouldn’t be happening to me was soon replaced with complete detachment. There was no longer an excuse I could make to continue believing my story, because the pain inside was so great, it was all that I could bear to retain in my consciousness. No interpretation or story could possibly explain why I was going through what I did. So, I stopped believing it.
While I’m very open about some things that have happened to me… they are of course not the whole story. And will not be something I share the details of. Not necessarily because of any personal preferences… but because the circumstances are honestly interchangeable from person to person. The details matter not. Great loss is entirely dependent on the one who is having the experience. Your personality and conditioning are a big part of the story you tell yourself about the way things are. Rising above it is one way to transcend it, of course. The other way, the way that I ended up going, is breaking that story into a million little pieces with a sledgehammer of destruction. And, like a hammer, I broke my perspective of the world and what it should be. What breaks, however, is not you. You, the real you, is thus revealed by the shattering of your expectations. What is lost is those shallow, petty interpretations. You become more fully you, liberated and whole. You lose the fear. I lost the fear. It happened to me.
This was never something I expected to happen, however. When one has tread the walk that I have tread, you lose the idea that anything about yourself is worth anything. I compared the failures of my life with that of the lowest riff raff our society deems as the worst place to ‘end up’. I was the lowest of the low. The fringe was my home. This may have also been an aide in my enlightenment because the collective identity of our society had never felt quite right to me anyway. Fortunately, the ability to think more critically was also a natural consequence of not being identified with the collective ego. My mind had plenty of alone time to tick away, the only influences being those I was naturally inclined to. After the enormous pitfalls of my early adulthood passed, I had that advantage really work in my favor, going off on my own and not having a social life to speak of for a while. Allowing my true self to emerge as my interpretations of life began to relax. I had suffered great, intense pain, and once those intense events started to fade into the past, what was left behind was a deep appreciation and awareness of how precious every single moment is. Without having to experience such pain I would have never known such simple joy as sitting on my bed in the morning and looking out at the beauty of the day.
Every. Single. Moment. How could I not be so full of joy? How could I not be so full of love? What more is needed than this? Wherever you’re sitting when you read this; is it enough? Do you hate it? Do you feel it’s not complete? What is missing isn’t something. It’s the true you. The true you is not based in having good circumstances or physical, material things. Your interpretation of your surroundings is obscuring the peace within you. It’s there. It’s experiential, so if you’re able to be taken aback for a moment by seeing something beautiful… you are there. That state is you.
Ever since I discovered how this state beautifully transforms circumstances by witnessing my own reactions and choices as a result of it, I’m here now to teach people how to do the same. Since it brought me out of intense trauma and addiction, I will be especially inclined to work with addicts in all stages of recovery. If you’d like to find out a little bit about me before working with me, I invite you to visit my blog, watch my youtube videos, or browse my other social media presence to get a better feel for our compatibility. While there are literally thousands of mindfulness-type teachers out there, there was one who truly brought me into recognizing the stillness within me (Eckhart Tolle) so it’s very important that your spiritual teacher truly inspires and helps you “experience” mindfulness in a way that works for you.
Before you go, thanks for taking the time to find out a little more about me, and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me via the contact page.