Episode 41: Addiction & Recovery — Consciousness Prevents Relapse with Mike Govoni

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Alcoholics and addicts are people, too. It’s easy to judge them for the destruction and harm they cause due to their behavior. But, addiction is the result of a traumatized person doing the best they can to regulate a dysregulated nervous system.

Alcoholism and addiction are not about the substances. They’re about what the person perceives the substances are providing for them: alleviation of pain and suffering, feelings of connection, help to find their power or voice, a way to check out of the unbearable feeling of being in their body or mind. Those who are dealing with the trauma response of alcoholism or addiction deserve love, empathy, understanding, and compassion — just like everyone else.

While 12-step programs can provide a cognitive framework for getting clean and sober, there is a difference between getting clean and healing.

addiction recovery specialist Mike Govoni

Mike is passionate about helping people in recovery experience greater healing and transformation. As a person in recovery for over 16 years, Mike has personally walked this path and knows what it takes to not only recover but heal. Mike has overcome hurdles such as childhood trauma, addiction, and chronic illness that led him to have a profound spiritual awakening that he believes was the catalyst to his healing.

Mike’s extensive experience in the addiction/recovery field includes supporting three major hospital emergency rooms in Boston for the opioid epidemic. Today, Mike has a thriving practice a Trauma-Informed Recovery Coach where he believes helping people create a feeling of safety within their own body is essential to becoming well and achieve long-term recovery. Mike believes in addressing the whole person, not only to achieve greater freedom and abstinence from harmful substances, but to empower clients with tools and resources to meet everyday life with more resilience, presence, and ease.

Links

Show Notes

In this episode with addiction recovery specialist Mike Govoni, we…

  • share Mike’s unbelievable trauma story and how he healed himself from opioid and alcohol addiction, ulcerative colitis, and multiple chemical sensitivity
  • discussion addiction and alcoholism as an adaptation of the nervous system to attempt to regulate a dysregulated internal environment
  • differentiate between getting clean and sober and healing
  • talk about how addiction and alcoholism aren’t actually about the substances at all
  • discuss the role of the social engagement system of Polyvagal Theory and why addicts isolate themselves
  • share how Mike encourages his clients to be in awareness of their bodies to heal from the trauma story that led them to substance abuse
  • discuss the differences in cognitive, narrative therapies, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and somatic, body-based therapies, such as somatic experiencing
  • challenge the 12-step recovery language and discuss whether it’s truly supportive of healing and re-establishing identity after addiction
  • share the role of spirituality in healing addiction and trauma
  • discuss the role of ancestral trauma in addiction and alcoholism
  • share Mike’s take on people in recovery using psychedelic medicine
  • talk about the trauma that abusers and perpetrators experience and their need to heal just as much as victims

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Transcript

Hey, y’all welcome back. We are in the month of June, 2021, I have received some DMS from those of you who have listened to past episodes of the podcast, where I have talked about how I feel like time is skipping and moving so fast that it doesn’t make any sense anymore. And several of you have reported to me that you were also experiencing this phenomenon and I don’t know what it’s about or.

What it means, but I’m just glad to know that I’m not alone and I’m not crazy. Um, so as I shared in last week’s episode, we put our baby girl, dog, Betsy. Down on Tuesday, June 1st. I want to think. Each and every one of you who sent me an encouraging and supportive. Email or DM your support. Means the absolute world to me. And I’m so grateful. And I can tell you that the ceremony we had for Betsy.

And her entire. Um, end of life process, the whole process was just beautiful. And she passed away peacefully, surrounded by her people in her favorite spot in the yard on a beautiful day. And I can only hope to be so lucky when my time comes. But thank you for all of your support. We are definitely grieving in our house is coming in waves.

But the cool thing is that we now, as a family have this awareness about our emotions and trauma. And how emotions want to move so that they don’t get stuck in the body and become the stored traumatic energy. And so as a family, we are moving through that and it has been. A beautiful experience for us as we have had these conversations with our kids.

As my husband and I have had these conversations with each other, that we are aware of our feelings. We are allowing ourselves to feel our feelings, even when it is not a convenient time to feel those feelings. We are allowing tears to flow. We are talking about Betsy. We are talking about our memories of her and so far.

Granted we’re only five days in to not having our dog as of the day that this podcast is publishing, but so far. It does not seem like this event is being stored as traumatic energy in any of our bodies. And I absolutely believe it’s because of the nervous system awareness. And education that we have.

And that’s one of the reasons why I put this podcast out week after week. I don’t get paid a dime for a single episode. I’ve never put an ad. On any episode and I will continue putting it out there because I believe that nervous system education and trauma healing resources should be accessible and available to everyone regardless of your income level, whether or not you can afford therapy, whether or not you can afford a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Or expensive. Online courses or programs, this information. Should be accessible and available to everyone. Everyone has a right to know how their nervous system works. The ways that it changes and activates to help us navigate through potentially life and death situations. And in our modern age, we react to stress that is not life and death in life and death ways because our bodies, our nervous systems haven’t yet evolved out of that. Right. Our nervous

I’m still don’t know how to distinguish between the bear in the woods and the bill collector who comes and knocks on our doors. Like it proceeds both as a trauma. Um, or as a life or death situation that has the potential to be controlling. Excuse me. So that’s why I’m still doing what I’m doing. And I want to invite you personally.

To consider becoming a supporter of the podcast for as little as $5 per month. You can support this podcast so that nervous system education and trauma healing resources. Remain accessible and affordable to everyone. And if $5 a month is too much for you, I completely understand. I’m speaking to the people who have an extra five bucks a month who are able to afford.

You know, unexpensive Starbucks coffee. That’s literally what I’m asking for here is for the price of a Starbucks coffee, once a month, you are helping to financially support this work so that people who can’t afford therapy or people who can’t access. Courses or online programs or hiring coaches or any of that can still listen to this podcast and get that nervous system education and some trauma healing resources.

So please consider partnering with me to financially support the show. It’s kind of like patriotic. It’s just not on Patrion, but it works the very same way. So you can go to Lindsey locket.com forward slash circle to support the show for $5 a month. Choose the, I am a grateful listener option. That’s the $5 a month option. You can set it up to automatically pay. So you don’t have to think about it every month. And you’re supporting me, you’re supporting my family and you were supporting literally thousands and thousands of other people who are listening to this podcast on a weekly basis and who value what I’m putting out into the world. So thank you so much. We’re considering.

A partnership with the holistic trauma healing podcast. So I’m going to be moving on to the topic of today’s podcast. I have on the show today, Mike, go bony.

 

Mike is a certified holistic health and wellness coach and a certified addiction recovery coach. For over 15 years as a person in recovery, Mike has walked a path of healing and transformation, and it is his passion and purpose to support others on their journeys of recovery. Integrative recovery coaching is all about taking an integrative holistic approach to life in recovery. There are many parts that make us human and to experience overall wellbeing and healing. Mike has found that addressing the whole person is essential mind, body, and spirit.

It is his deepest aspiration to help guide you to the shore of freedom, to live your happiest and most fulfilled life. In recovery. And before you turn off this episode, because you think that it’s only for people who are in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, I want to encourage you to keep listening because I have not personally struggled with alcoholism or addiction, but I come from a long line of family members who have both of my parents have dealt with alcoholism and addiction.

I have several grandparents who were alcoholics and drug addicts. I have cousins who have been alcoholics and drug addicts. It runs sick. In my family and it is only by the grace of God that I did not go down an alcoholic or addict path because. I definitely definitely had the. Tendency to do that or the model to do that from what I learned.

From my parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles growing up because it was all around me. Like that was definitely a possibility for my life. And I really don’t have an explanation as to why I didn’t go down that path. But what I gained from this episode with Mike was a greater understanding.

I have. Why. Alcohol and drugs. Seems like an appealing choice to someone who is really dealing with deep, deep, unresolved unprocessed trauma that is stored inside their bodies. And they just. Want to feel peaceful and connected and more comfortable. And they’re just doing the best they can and trying to adapt.

To dealing with this energy of trauma that is stored inside their bodies. And so. It helps me to have a lot more compassion and understanding for why some of the members in my family made the choices that they made. And of course I’m not excusing their choices because of course being the child of someone who is an addict or alcoholic, or the family member of someone who’s an addict or an alcoholic that in of itself is also a traumatizing experience.

But if that’s you and you aren’t personally dealing with addiction, I still want to encourage you to listen to this episode because it sort of will give you a peek into how the brain and nervous system of an addict works. And their brains and nervous systems don’t actually work that much differently than the rest of us.

Uh, their addiction is another adaptation of their nervous systems to deal with the dysregulated and chaotic state that they’re living in. So please keep listening whether you are an alcoholic or an addict or not, or if you know someone who is, you are going to learn a lot in this episode. And even if you know, no one who is an addict or an alcoholic, and you are not one yourself, this episode is really, really deep. And I love how well our conversation wove together, the elements of the nervous system, polyvagal theory, addiction, alcoholism, and consciousness, and spirituality. So I’m very excited about this episode.

In this episode with Micah boney, we share Mike’s crazy story. Of childhood abuse, opioid addiction. And how he recovered from that. Like you are not even going to believe. The story that this guy has lived here. We discuss addiction and alcoholism as an adaptation of the nervous system to regulate a dysregulated internal environment. We differentiate between getting sober and healing from trauma. Those are two different things just because you get clean and sober doesn’t mean you’ve heal.

We also share how Mike healed himself from opioid and alcohol addiction, ulcerative colitis, and multiple chemical sensitivity. We talk about how addiction and alcoholism aren’t actually about the substances at all. We discussed the role of the social engagement system of polyvagal theory and why addicts isolate themselves.

We share how Mike encourages his clients to be in awareness of their bodies, to heal from the trauma story. That led them to substance abuse. We discussed the differences in healing addiction, through cognitive narrative therapy, such as AA and somatic body centered therapy. We challenged the 12 step recovery language that is.

Um, whenever you’re in a 12 step program and you say, hello, my name is. XYZ. And I’m an alcoholic or I’m an addict, Mike and I are challenging that. And whether or not it’s truly supportive of the healing and reestablishment of an identity while healing from addiction. We share the role of spirituality and healing and trauma. We discuss the role of ancestral trauma in addiction. We share Mike’s take on people in recovery using psychedelic medicine and exploring altered states of consciousness. And we talk about the trauma of abusers and perpetrators and how they need to heal too. And something that I’ve gotten in a lot of trouble with.

On social media is my perspective that hurting people hurt people. And the reason why we have people who are abusers, people who are perpetrators is because they are also dealing with trauma and we don’t excuse their behavior. But we hold space for the fact that they wouldn’t hurt people. If they were not deeply hurting themselves.

And I believe that everyone deserves to heal. And we’re not going to heal the world by inflicting more pain or punishment on people who have caused harm. I believe in rehabilitative justice and transformative justice. I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I’m learning, but I absolutely do not believe in a punishment model of justice, I believe in a healing model of justice. And that means that perpetrators.

Including alcoholics and addicts deserve access to healing, trauma, healing, resources, and nervous system education too. So that was a really long intro thank you for sticking with me now i’m going to turn on my interview with mike and i hope you stick through it to the very end And enjoy Hey, Mike, welcome to the holistic trauma healing podcast. Thanks for being here. Thanks for having me. I’m really excited to be here with you and be able to share with your audience today. Oh my gosh. Me too. In the very little I know about you, I know that I want you to tell your story, so please do that.

And people always say that to me, the first thing that comes to mind is how much time do you have? Cause my story there’s a lot of layers and I truly believe we all have a story, right? As Joseph Campbell says, we’re the hero of our own story. So yeah, I’m the hero of my story. I know you’re the hero of your story.

And especially when it comes to healing and becoming who we’re supposed to be in the world we all have a story. So my story I’m going to give you the nuts and bolts or the meat and potatoes of the story. And then we can go from there since this is. A podcast about healing, trauma disclosing some of those big meat and potatoes, portions of it is helpful and supportive.

I think so my story began really, especially my story of trauma began when I was in my mother’s womb and my mom experienced a trauma while I was in her womb. And that trauma was finding out about my dad’s secret. And I think that was my introduction to swimming in a sea of cortisol. And I think that set the tone for me to have a neurological and immune system issues.

As I grew to be an adult, as we know, trauma can be passed down generationally. And I for sure, got a heavy dose from both sides of mum and dad. So dad was a religious figure. Dad at that point had disrobed from being a Catholic priest and married my mother. And at this point he had a big congregation and a church in my mum discovered him watching pornography of the same sex, which meant he was gay.

And no problem, if you’re gay, there’s other layers to the story that we found out, such as my dad had accusations of being a pedophile while he was in the priesthood that we didn’t know about. So Pandora’s box was really open when my mum discovered him watching pornography and she had to flee with her unborn child, which was me and my sister, who was two years old at the time.

So as she came to this conclusion to flee, of course there’s a lot of stuff going on with him. I was being effective in her wound. And at that point, In the eighties, no one believed her. No one believed her story because at that point, of course we meld with doctors, priests. They had the final say we didn’t question religious figures back then.

Like we now question them when you have an organization that comes out with thousands of pedophiles, such as the Catholic church we have to begin to pay attention and see what’s really going on. I understand there’s more than what we’re aware of. So my mom. Was helpless in the sense of here she is, she’s the wife of this pastor.

He has a deep, dark secret. She’s pregnant with a child. She has another one. And boy, what does she do? So her parents enforcing my grandparents didn’t believe her either because they were part of my dad’s church and they took his side. And now here, my mother was with us and not knowing what to do.

And that led to her using alcohol, which later on. She couldn’t take care of us anymore because of her alcoholism because of her Chama. Now she lost custody to my father. So my father raised my sister and I, and now that we look back at it, to be honest with you, I don’t think my mom was capable of raising us.

And my dad was stable. He did have income. He did have access to financial resources. So he was able to provide for us, but , you can only imagine we don’t have emotional support. My dad didn’t have a paternal instinct, so as I grew up in my household, there was a lot of disconnection.

There was a lot of shaming, those a lot of A lot of feeling like I didn’t belong. So I took the streets at a young age, 11 years old, started smoking pot. So I smoked my first joint at 11. I was drinking Jack Daniels and beers by, 13, 14 and off. I went into the world of addiction from there. I began to explore with other substances and eventually at 18 years old, I lost my shorts to Oxycontin because of the pain and Shama.

I was using Oxycontin to escape the pain. And if we look back, it makes perfect sense because now we know the opioid. Pathways of the brain are the same pathways that light up with a mother’s love. I never had a mother’s love, but when I took this substance, my pathways lit up. I felt this warm sense. I felt a sense of ease and Oxycontins were loved to me.

They were peace. They were feeling comfortable in my own skin. And eventually like all things that lead to a lot of submissions that we get in, get caught up in as they there’s a double-edged sword there they eventually turned their back and they did on me at the end when I was doing $500 a day worth the Oxycontins.

And I, at this point had left my home because like my mom, I discovered my dad. Through watching pornography. I fi I discovered him the same way. My mom did 16 years prior when I was in her womb. And just to touch upon that for a little bit, I’m very intuitive. I’ve always been guided by the angels. I’ve always been connected spiritually, not so much in the Christian lineage per se, but I felt like I’ve always been connected to spirit.

And one day spirit told me to go look under his mattress and I did, and there, I found the pornography and I knew something was going on at that time. And it was a very unhealthy environment. So I left and here I am. Now I’m 18 years old at a friend’s house, struggling in an Oxycontin. And eventually I reached out to my mom who was in my life, but distant with her own issues.

And I reached out for help say, mom, I can’t stop doing these pills. So she brought me to my doctor’s office. At that point, it was my pediatrician’s office. I was 18. I was strung out on opiates and I went there to see him. He examined me. And he said, okay, you’re ready to go. You’re okay. And I said, all right, doc, ready to go?

Where he said, you’re ready to go to detox. And I looked at him with the hairy eyeball. And I said, I’m not going to detox because at the time I don’t think this way now, but at the time people who couldn’t do it themselves went to detox, people who were weak, went to detox. So I looked them in the eyes that I’m not going to detox.

So I went out and I got some little wafers of methadone on the street and I detoxed myself off of $500 a day habit. Now, 30 days into that journey, I was crawling out of my skin. And at that point, the truth of the, in the depth of what my dad’s story was about, started surfacing when other.

Accusations of pedophilia from pre started coming out. And my father warned me and my sister that something could come out. Now, if you can only imagine here I am 18 years old, thank God I just graduated high school. And now my father went from being holier than now as a preacher to now being a pedophile.

So my whole world was flipped upside down and I was afraid and petrified of this coming out of the news of people, finding out I was connected to him. Think about the shame of as a male being connected as your dad molesting boys in a seminary. That was so much to deal with. It was like holding up a tsunami wave.

So 30 days off Oxycontins and it comes out in the newspaper, his story. And I said to myself, if I can stay sober through this, I can stay sober through anything. Almost 19 years later, I haven’t touched an Oxycontin. So . I put that stuff down. Two years later, , I was still using alcohol, still smoking grass.

And two years after that though, I hit a depression and I put everything down. So I’ve been clean and sober for about 16 years. And that led me to, finding a career. Not that I thought, what I do today, but I was in an office. I was living, I was traveling. I was having a good life and I bought our home.

And when I bought our home, I was under a lot of stress and I got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. So now I have an illness that about 25 years old and about , but five years sober and I get a diagnosis with all sorts of colitis. Now we know the issues are in a tissues. We know the Chama resides in the body.

I still hadn’t done my trauma work. Although I put the drugs and alcohol down, this is a big thing for the listeners. If you’ve been suffering or you have a history of addiction and you’re still suffering from other symptoms, per se, disconnection disease, anxiety, depression, can’t have a successful relationship feeling like you can’t access the present moment.

All of these are symptoms of unprocessed, unresolved trauma. So here I am with irritable bowel disease and really suffering. I went to Western medicine, they diagnosed me, they gave me a bunch of pills. I took them and went on with my life. I was getting worse and worse to the point where I developed a multiple chemical sensitivity because we know the gut and the brain are so intricately connected.

The inflammation was going from my colon to my brain. It was tripping off my amygdala through my sense of smell. So every time I smoked a chemical, I was being thrown into fight or flight. I didn’t know what to do. And at the end, after seeing some of the best physicians in the world, the best hospitals in Boston, They said, we don’t know what to do with you, Michael.

But if you want to remove your colon, here’s a business card for a surgeon. The medication I was on was destroying my liver. He said, you might need a liver transplant in eight years, if you don’t take care of your liver. So I looked these guys both in the face in knew it was a result of the medication and I wasn’t going to heal in this paradigm.

So I left Western medicine. I’m not anti Western medicine. It’s just part of my story. I left and never stepped foot again. That was seven years ago. Today. I have a colon today. I have a liver I’m healthy today, but the beautiful thing about that experience was. Everything. I just shared with you up until now.

My childhood trauma. Yes. Molestation is part of my story. I’m not sure if it was from my dad. I’m not sure if that happened from my dad, but it happened from someone else. And I have all these big hurdles, but it didn’t touch what I experienced with multiple chemical sensitivity.

And at the end, I retreated in the world retreated from the world, rather into the woods, as I shared with you, Lindsey and I began to practice Buddhist meditation. I really resonated with the teachings of alleviation from suffering. Meditation was the only thing that allowed me to calm my autonomic nervous system and calm the reaction from the overactive amygdala, the fight or flight response in my brain and low and behold, I had our profound mystical experience as a result of going inward in facing the pain.

Now things happen during that experience. When they talk about, animals coming to see you, the universe cradling you it’s not football. You can’t explain it. It’s beyond conceptualization. So explaining it and sharing what that experience was like is difficult because it’s beyond the thinking mind.

And that was the catalyst to me. Of healing my body of actually finding my life’s purpose, which is what I do today. And that was really the catalyst of the healing. So in a nutshell, that’s my story. So freaking amazing. Oh my gosh. So what is it that you actually do today? You’re an integrative holistic recovery coach.

You work with addicts and alcoholics. How are you working with them and how are you supporting them? Yeah, so through my own experience in studies and following the work of people like Gabo Mattec. Addiction is a as a result of pain and trauma. I have yet to meet someone who suffers from addiction without a history of trauma.

Now people’s understanding of trauma is often, I have to have gone through war. I have to have been beaten or sexually molested, and that’s not necessarily what trauma is per se. That’s that is trauma, but it’s not the only thing that’s true. That is trauma. So people who are addicted are suffering from pain, they’re searching outside of themselves, trying to regulate their internal environment, trying to find some peace, trying to find some connectivity, trying to find their voice, their power.

And my work is all about helping people. Feel comfortable in their own skin by bringing them home to their body, by navigating and creating a container for them to experience their sensations and feelings in a way that they build this inner resilience that they develop a sense of agency so that they can tolerate the discomfort.

I don’t even think people have a problem with the substance per se. They have an inability to be with things as they are. Now, when you experience a lot of childhood neglect and or trauma the present moment isn’t safe, right? Coming home to our bodies doesn’t feel good. It’s because that’s where their trauma lives.

So helping them establish a sense of safety connection and helping them really address, process, resolve, and integrate the story of maybe what happened to them and what they live through. And helping them discharge that from their nervous system. So they can take steps forward to build connection, to feel safe in their skin, to not have to take something from the external environment and put it inside themselves.

So I do that through practices like somatic experiencing I’m actually in the training right now. I haven’t finished my third year, but I’m in the training for somatic experiencing. So that’s a modality I use I started under a pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Dr. Paul Epstein. So bringing in the aspect of biology and biography, right?

How did you become this way as being addicted or sick or whatever the case may be? What was your story like? What did you live through? Right when I went to the doctor at 25 years old with muscles, my whole colon ulcerated do think he put his hand on my shoulder and said, Hey, Michael, Tell me your story.

How did your colon get ulcerated? What did you live through? No, there was none of that. It was take six of these, take two of these and I’ll see you in six months. So listening to the client, holding safe space for them navigating what’s here in the present moment is all the work I do to help people heal.

That’s beautiful. That’s amazing. You’re doing amazing work. Before we started this call, we were discussing a little bit of, I have not personally struggled with addiction or alcoholism. I come from a family where addiction and alcoholism run rampant, but I have not personally struggled with those things somehow by some miracle I have not gone down that path.

And so I’m wondering what is the trauma informed approach that you take with the people that you’re working with?

Yeah. So when people begin to understand that trauma isn’t necessarily. The experience that they lived through, but it’s what actually happened in their body as a result to what they lived through. So helping them in, do a little, doing a little psych ed with them and helping them understand what trauma is and how it resides.

Cause a lot of people come to me as I never really dealt with trauma. How was your child? All this is normal. But then you start, excavating that ground with them and there’s those neglect all over the place, but they don’t see it. And they don’t know because a lot of people. They grew up in dysfunctional families or for example, I worked in the hospital for three major hospitals in Boston as a recovery coach for the opiod epidemic.

And most of them that were strung out on heroin. I asked them, Hey, what was it like growing up? And they, I was normal. My father was out on the PS as longshoreman and was never home. My mom was an alcoholic. My husband was in Vietnam and all these things that can be extremely traumatized and they weren’t even really understanding that this still lives on in you.

And this is why you’re here in this hospital bed 20 years later. So helping them first understand what trauma is and how it creates the dysregulation. In the nervous system. I take a lot of work from Stephen Porges, Dr. Steven prudence, with the polyvagal theory, understanding that we have these different gears speaking on nervous system, sympathetic arousal, right?

Fight or flight. Anxiety too much energy dorsal, vagal shutdown, depression, cutoff, disconnection, ventral vagal, your most evolutionary part, right? Connection, safety, present moment. And helping them understand that, throw each day they’re accessing these different parts of their nervous system. And often what happens with Chalmers, they get stuck in the sub-cortical parts, such as the fight or flight response or the shutdown response.

So when it comes to addiction, people are like, oh yeah, everyone isolates. And all my, my, my friend or my parent was an alcoholic. They isolated. They no wonder they isolate. It’s no mystery. We’re disconnected from our social engagement system. We’re suffering from the symptoms of trauma. So really giving them some education is really a great first step.

And then helping them acclimate and create the ability to. Pay attention in the here and the now, because it’s impossible for you to process and discharge in heal from the parts of you that are holding these deep emotion. If you don’t have the capacity to tolerate difficult sensations and feelings. So working on that with them, touching and helping them feel their sit bones on the chair and being mindful, seeing the blue sky and noticing something in their environment that helps them feel grounded and safe.

Oh, this beautiful tree in front of you. Oh, what happens when we look there and we concentrate and we sense into nature. Oh, I feel what do you feel in your body? It feels sensitive. Ease. So helping them. Expand that window of tolerance. So they’re not getting blasted outside of that window of tolerance and being caught in the cyclical loop of dysregulation, hence anxiety, depression stuck in their mind, their inner critics running the show.

So these are really first steps and fundamental steps along the way of helping someone heal from the past and the story. I share my story with you, but it’s not the story. That’s really important per se. It’s the emotion that’s connected to the story that lives on in my body. So most people, they go to talk therapy and they just talk to talk talk, which is okay.

It’s a starting point. It’s, there is such thing called narrative medicine. Alcoholics anonymous is a wonderful program that supports narrative medicine. Everyone’s at a table talking about what happened to them and they feel a part of, they feel supported. They feel maybe there’s a little relief, a little, the monkeys off their back a little bit more, whatever the case may be, but still as you’re ready to do your deep work, there’s emotion.

That’s tied there. Those sensations there’s repressed feelings that come with that story and helping the person, integrate and resolve those emotions tied to their story. So when they think back of what they lived through, they’re not afraid to not only be with it, but they’re there, they don’t have that charge.

That’s connected to it. Does that make totally makes sense? Yeah, totally makes sense. Yeah. I was sharing with you before we started the recording that I have a little bit of a hot take and my hot take is that I don’t really think that it’s serving a purpose for people who are in recovery and working the 12 step program, which I think the 12 step program is amazing.

Don’t get me wrong. Like I do think that AA and Aetna and all of those programs are awesome for recovery. So I’m not dissing the program at all. The part that I don’t like is the part where every week you go to a meeting and you’re always an alcoholic. Hi, my name is Lindsay, and I’m an alcoholic.

Even if I haven’t touched a drink in 20 years, I’m still an alcoholic. And I’m a person who believes that the language we use is really important. They, the enter the inner voice that we’re using that inner narrative that we all have going on all the time, the way that we think about ourselves and the way we talk to ourselves is really important.

And So I’m wondering what your thoughts are about that, about the language of saying I’m an alcoholic or I’m an addict, even if you’ve been sober. And is that something you do with your clients or do you take a different approach? Yeah. I love this. Thank you for bringing this up. And I’m really excited to talk about it.

Some clients that’s their paradigm or that’s where they’re at and that’s serving them. So I respect and honor them. I have clients too, that identifying as the alcoholic or addict no longer feels right and resides with their consciousness. And they’ve let that go. So this is a situation where.

It can be supportive for some people for, I believe in the beginning of getting into program or really feeling a part of and understanding the truth that, Hey, I have an addiction and alcoholism or being an addict, but that’s not who they are. That’s not who you are. That’s not who I am.

And I don’t want to get all Bible Lee Versie on you. But I want to share a quote with you from Ephesians. Now I have a lot of religious trauma, right? And we’ve experienced it. We’ve talked about this and you’ve experienced it as well. And yet I know Jesus was a great teacher I can hold them all today.

And I just want to read this and it’s from a fusions. It says all things when they are admitted are made manifest by the light for everything that has made manifest is light. So I think there comes a time, or at least there has, for me where my consciousness has shifted to have the direct realization of what I am rather than a very limited reductionist view as an alcoholic.

And that only came by not belief because belief isn’t even enough that comes with direct realization or experiencing this truth. And what I mean by that is when the great teachers talked about us being a terminal, we are eternal consciousness. We are awareness. Void of any identification, but I had to go through the fire in order to have that direct experience.

Now people come into program and it’s easy to keep identifying with that. And it’s easy to continue to stay stuck in that narrative, around being an addict or alcoholic. And I think at some time, if you want to experience true liberation, you’re going to have to get more curious and investigate who you really are beyond those titles.

Even like your let’s just take up your profession. Oh, you’re a firefighter. You’re a nurse. You’re a doctor. Is that really who you are? Or is that something you do in the world? So today ever since I’ve had that experience, that, that shift in consciousness, And this isn’t for everyone. I don’t want to scare everyone.

I never stepped foot back in AA. Again, I never related to myself as being an alcoholic because that’s not who I am. I am awareness. I am loving consciousness and I don’t walk around saying that all the time in white robes or anything like that. But when I sit back and resonate in the truth of what’s happening here, there’s no one here really, to hold on to.

Yeah, it’s all a construct. It’s all a construct and the great spiritual teachings, you can actually experience that, right? You’ve experienced the Christ consciousness. You experienced the Buddha nature. You experienced the Atman, right? The, these are the past of. Spiritual development of spiritual enlightenment or seeking that.

And a lot of people in 12 step, they, say they’re spiritual. And that they’re following a spiritual path, but they’re still as car totally would say, basically your ability to touch the present moment depends upon, how spiritual you are like to connect into what the is-ness of what’s here.

This is the spirit. This is and yet there are a lot of people are still suffering from symptoms of trauma. And when you’re suffering from symptoms of trauma, You don’t have access to your higher cortical parts of your brain, where you’re connected to everything that’s here, where you got identified of the wounds of the past.

You’re not falling into this victim place. You’re taking responsibility for what happened. You’re touching these different, deeper areas of your being in, in, in letting these constructs go. So that’s like part of the spiritual journey. Yeah, I’m so glad you brought up the spiritual journey.

That’s something that as someone who myself, I’ve struggled with religious trauma. And a big part of my journey was deconstructing. And deconverted from Christianity, taking that like nodded ball of thread and and picking it apart, one thread at a time, trying to make sense of everything, asking all the questions.

I wasn’t allowed to ask, going to church growing up, because if I ask those questions, I was a doubtful center. All that kind of stuff and by the end of it, it was like, okay, I’ve changed my mind about literally everything. Like I no longer believe that being gay is an abomination.

I no longer believe that all Christians have to vote Republican. I no longer believe that the Bible is the inerrant infallible word of God. I no longer believe in like the rapture and like all these things. Okay. I don’t believe in these things anymore. Great. And then I thought, all right, I’ll just keep going and living my life.

But there was this gaping hole where a genuine love for who Jesus was and a genuine like I can’t even to this day, I still miss standing on a stage and leading worship with my husband. And not because I like to hear myself saying, and not because I like people watching me. It’s just, it’s such an experience where you truly feel like you are closer to something that is outside of yourself.

And I miss that to this day. But there was a gaping hole there and it was like, okay, now I’m deconstructed at deconverted. But I have to re establish some type of a connection to. That thing that I know is there. That is not me, but it’s still there and I can’t touch it and I can’t feel it and I can’t smell it, but I see it’s there.

And I don’t call it God, because God for me has a lot of triggery sort of connotation because of, Christianity. For me, it’s like universal consciousness or it’s like source. But it’s I am God and you are God. And that plant over there in my corner is God. And the tree outside my house has God.

And like the bald Eagle flying out over my house has God like that to me is what it is. And of course I know to any Christians who are listening what I’m saying is absolutely heretical, but but that’s where I’m at. I don’t know what this has to do with addiction. I sorta just went off on a tangent there, but like I, the spiritual piece was absolutely necessary for me.

Like I thought for a minute about being an atheist or agnostic, I really did think about that for a bit. And I thought that’s the only thing that seems to make sense. Cause I’m a very left brain, like critical thinker kind of person. And I want something to make logical scientific sense. And of course the things that we’re talking about here can not be seen on a microscope and they can’t be measured with, I guess they can be measurable some high-tech equipment.

There are certain things that we can use to measure these things, but the spiritual piece was a big part of of healing for me. And I talk about it all the time with holistic trauma healing, particularly for people who have dealt with religious trauma is don’t let the trauma of this dogma that was perpetuated by primarily men that has colonized people all over the world, including white people, particularly white women and all women like don’t let that leave a bad taste in your mouth for the richness of a spiritual life and a spiritual practice that is possible outside of that dogma.

For sure. Yeah. And thank you for sharing parts of your story. It’s beautiful. But to be catapulted out of that framework and belief system, isn’t itself a spiritual awakening, and that takes a lot of guts that takes a lot of courage for someone like you. For someone like me to go within and challenge the belief system that we were brought up in.

Now we know, will these teachers such as Christ and so forth, didn’t teach a lot of the messages we hear from man today. But in fact, it’s a huge

paradigm in of itself that we’re healing from now because. Let’s look at part of my story, right? My father was one of the thousands of priests that have hurt children in the name of God.

In order for us to heal from this, the shadow has to be exposed in the light of consciousness, has to be shined down or shine through. And we’re in a very interesting time. Everything right now, these old paradigms are coming up for renegotiation and quite frankly, a lot of them to be collapsed. So it’s people like you and me that are leading the way for others to say it’s okay to challenge.

The belief system that you had. I was the minister son can only imagine how washed I was. I was the pastor’s wife. Totally. And yet there’s a saying no mud, no Lotus without the mud, the Lotus doesn’t bloom. So we have been gifted this crisis, whether it’s internal, external, physical disease, for something, for us to be for our cage to be rattled.

And for this old construct within us to just crumble and fall and for us to get in touch with the God that’s within. So when Jesus said be still and know that I am God. God is within you. You are God, I am God. That consciousness is within us. It’s actually, it’s outside of us now relating that to people in recovery for a moment, everyone in 12 step, there’s a power greater than yourself. Yes. Okay. But what about accessing the power within you?

I think consciousness is the greatest relapse prevention anyone can ever have. And it’s the cure as Gabo Mateus says to addiction because there’s an inner knower that’s present. That is the gatekeeper of your sense stores, including your thinking that can use discernment and wisdom to move forward then to be living from an unread rather than living from an unconscious place.

That is that all the wounds are driving. All the wounds are coming from. So what you’ve done, what I’m doing, the work that we’re bringing out into the world is beautiful because we’re helping others and helping others, take a look at what’s going on and saying it’s okay to look. God, that was awesome.

I got chills several times during that. Okay. Yeah. Consciousness is the greatest presenter of relapse. Like I just have to sit with that for a minute.

That’s great. That’s really great. On the contrary to that being the case, we’re driven by the unconscious trauma is held in the sub-cortical parts of our nervous system. We don’t have access to the most evolutionary part, present moment, executive function, reasoning, social engagement, hence addiction brings everything on the contrary to that.

But as Carl Young says, we don’t become enlightened by imagining images of light. Only by making the darkness conscious. So that’s the work of healing and that’s my work and my message to people in recovery is all right, great. You’ve been in 12 step. You’ve been in smart recovery, narcotics knives or whatever your path is.

And yet you don’t know what’s wrong, you’re still suffering, right? Let’s take a look deeper. What’s going on and let’s explore that territory so you can be free so you can feel comfortable. So you can have thriving relationships, you can follow your purpose. So you can be seen in the world. Maybe it’s a desire for you to share your trauma story, which is very difficult.

Sharing my story to the public, took a lot of balls and so that’s, that was a process in itself. So when we become conscious we’re not suffering from what’s underneath, we’re integrated. We can tolerate the present moment. We can sense into our sensations, feelings, emotions, and be with them in a new way.

When that happens, addiction becomes vestigial. It’s like the days when we had a tail, we don’t need a tail anymore. So let that shit go. Yeah. Yeah. So an unpopular opinion that I have is that labels and diagnoses like mental illness are meaningless kind of superfluous not really needed because whether it’s anxiety or it’s depression or it’s insomnia or it’s, being bipolar or whatever it is, I believe that all of those things are not actually the problem.

I believe that there are symptoms of the problem and whether you have, big T little T trauma whatever it is. I believe that all of those things are adaptations of our nervous system. It’s just, it’s a, it’s either a hypo aroused or a hyper aroused nervous system that is sending signals throughout the brain that then increase our stress hormones.

Our adrenal glands are cranking out cortisol or for, depressed people like maybe your body’s cranking out more melatonin than you need. So you’re a lot more tired than everyone else’s things like that. And, I think that psychiatry has a place like I have certainly benefited from psychiatry and I’m not dissing anyone who takes medication for anxiety, depression, or any other mental condition.

But I know that psychiatric medication did not heal me. Like I know for me it was something that mediated symptoms and it definitely helped me feel better. And while I had. The help of psychiatric medications. I wanted to start excavating the shit that caused me to need the meds to begin with. And that took me, it took me over a year of being on medication and then going off and then I wasn’t quite there yet.

So I went back on and now I’m like totally off of medication I’m sleeping. I definitely would say I’m healed of anxiety. I’m healed of insomnia. Like I still experienced those feelings from time to time for sure. But I don’t identify with the diagnosis anymore of being a mentally ill person.

Is addiction and alcoholism and adaptation of the nervous system or is it disease? Is it mental illness? Yeah, I don’t believe in the disease model of addiction. I don’t think there’s a place in your brain that says, oh, , here’s the, this is the disease of alcoholism or addiction that lives here.

Is there. Parts of the nervous system that are disconnected. And for example, the amygdala, like in my situation, being overactive sure. Are people who suffer from addiction typically suffer from a comorbidity. Another, let’s just say mental illness diagnosis. Sure. But what’s at the root of that.

What’s where’s why is the disease happening or the disease happening within them? I believe addiction is a response to pain and trauma, and I believe that contingent upon how we were brought up specifically in childhood sets the tone for.

Cultivating addiction. But as we know from the scientific literature, we can be predisposed to genes that make us susceptible to becoming addicted. But what triggers the gene? It’s in it’s environment. It’s nurturing. It’s absolutely. So I’ll just say a quote from my mentor, Dr.

Epstein, and if you believe in the disease model, you can apply it here. Or you can look at other elements of diagnoses in general, such as some of the DSM five or whatnot, but he says this ease. Or disease tells a story, not just about ourselves and a diagnosis, but about ourself in our life.

Listening to the story, we are led to the truth of what happened to us in the emotions that lie at the core of our authentic being. So really what’s happening is where we’re disconnected from that authentic self, because for whatever reason, it wasn’t safe to experiment it. Wasn’t safe to express ourselves and where I was going with that when I said, look at your situation, you weren’t even allowed to question.

What was your truth as a little girl, if you were to tell me I have trouble following my heart today, Mike and trusting what I believe. I would say, Lindsay, of course you do. That is just par for the course girl. Like you didn’t have that as a child, in childhood where we’re setting that template of our belief systems, our sense of self.

And so I don’t fall into the disease model. And I believe that we can heal from addiction, but we have to take this bio-psycho-social spiritual approach and address the whole person, not just the addiction. Yeah. So there’s many layers to, that was all colitis. Once again, did the doctor taken a consideration?

My biography with my biology? No, he didn’t. My biology was totally left on the table, but it’s what created the dysbiosis, the excessive shooting off of cortisol. Epinephrin cytokines. Pro-inflammatory, processes are happening because I have trauma from childhood. I was scared. I was taken away from my mom, there were lions and bears all over the place in my life. And that just showed up in my body. So it’s the same context of addiction. As well. Yeah. I want to go back to what you mentioned about the genes for addiction. I’ve done some studying on ancestral trauma and intergenerational trauma. And I think this is just an opinion, this is I’m not quoting any studies here or anything.

I think that addiction and alcoholism run in families, not because of genes, but because of ancestral trauma. Because whenever your great grandfather dealt with a hard life by drinking, then your grandfather saw your great-grandfather deal with that by drinking. And so that’s what he knows. To deal with, or that’s what became acceptable in his life.

And then your father sees that in his father. And then you saw that in your father. And so I don’t, sure. Are there genes? Probably but I don’t know how much of it is actually genetic and how much of it is the product of this is what was modeled to us. This is what we saw as acceptable, even if it was unsafe and unhealthy, even if we knew there was something wrong with it as a kid, we don’t have any other coping skills.

And we wait when we grow up as an adult and our adults. Like I think that it’s very related to ancestral trauma, even more than it’s genetic. Do you have any thoughts about that? Yeah. Once again, I don’t know if there’s any literature backed up in that. I know you’re saying that’s your perspective. I think it’s, I think it’s quite appropriate.

Once again, I haven’t met any one person that has suffered from addiction that hasn’t suffered from trauma. So things are getting passed down, whether I was going to say consciously or unconsciously trauma is passed down unconsciously. And it comes to

people like us that say, no more and we have to do the work of our ancestors. So I believe I do. Like your process in regards to, thinking that it’s generational Chalmer, It’s trauma. We’re suffering from trauma either way. It’s trauma. There’s actually a lot on Instagram right now.

There’s a couple of really big accounts that like they’re standing up and they’re taking this alternative approach and being like, not everything that’s wrong with you is because of trauma. You can’t blame trauma for every ache and pain you have on your body. You can’t blame trauma for every bad habit you have.

Not everything is trauma. And I’m having a hard time with that. Like that’s one of those like things my motto in life is I’m comfortable being uncomfortable. And so that’s something that makes me really uncomfortable. And my initial reaction is just turn away, or like unfollow or scroll past those things.

I don’t want to see those things cause that doesn’t line up with what I believe to be true. But then there’s part of me. That’s no, that thing that makes you uncomfortable, lean into that, explore that some more. What does that feel like for you? Why do you think that’s coming up? I’m curious what your thoughts are or if you’ve even seen what I’m talking about, there’s just this like secondary movement of like therapists and people who are like, not everything that’s wrong with you is trauma and stop blaming trauma for everything.

The root of all evil is not trauma. What are your thoughts on that?

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Yeah. So once again, I think everything’s on a spectrum. I think everything’s on a spectrum to some degree or another. And I think there are bad habits and ways I conduct myself in the world that are directly correlated to not feeling safe and that are directly correlated to trauma.

And then I think there’s. Behaviors and things that I suffer from now and, the life I live today that, are a result of being a human being. I think it’s on a spectrum and I really appreciate your ability to get curious about what really triggers you about that. And I think that’s a great place for exploration.

I will say this, there are many people with fancy letters next to the name. One in particular. I talked to not too long ago, who’s in the field of addiction and he has an MD in the, the end of his name. And he basically told me, I don’t believe in addiction and trauma method. I believe like everyone should just suck it up.

Like I did, and I was completely floored. And why I’m completely floored about this is because. That man does the work that he does today and he’s missing. It’s like the it’s like the iceberg. You see a little piece of the iceberg. And then underneath is about 75% more of the iceberg that this man’s a really accredited professional, intelligent person.

And yet his capacity for understanding trauma is the tip of the iceberg. And his, it just shows me

the inability. He must have to really connect with his patients to make a difference. As Carl Young says, I’m a believer in coats. I love quotes. He talks about, the doctor can only be as useful. To the point where he has examined his himself, or you either have to have gone through or going through the process in order to initiate the healing to the patient, only the wound did heal.

So to get off a little tangent on this is I don’t think everything may be trauma per se, but it’s on a spectrum, but there are many people who are coming from the other side, possibly that don’t even understand how trauma manifests in the body. Hence, I go to quote unquote, the best doctors in the world and no one even asked me what my story was.

You have cancer, heart disease, obesity. How many people do think are suffering. In fact, the ACE study was cultivated when Dr. Filetti handed out that first ACE questionnaire. And the women were responding that they were sexually abused and that their weight actually was like a protective mechanism for them.

When a doctor comes to when when people come to a lot of doctors, not every doctor and they’re obese. Once again, coming back to the trauma aspect is, do you think the doctors actually saying, oh, are you protecting yourself from something with this weight? So traumas misunderstood. It’s now just coming out full blown and you’re hearing all about it.

But once again, I think we have to have some flexibility in understanding there’s a lot of ignorance when it comes to really understanding trauma. Yeah, for sure. Thank you for sharing your perspective on that. And yeah, I just want to be clear to everyone. I don’t actually have a study that I can cite.

It’s just a theory that I have just from observation of my own family and other families. Okay, so I’m going to shift gears on you. Again, I really liked the direction our conversation was going. When we were talking about consciousness, I got really excited and I got all lit up. And I’ve shared on the podcast before that I have used substances that alter my state of consciousness.

And that those have been beneficial for me at times. And in fact, one. Altered state of consciousness was the catalyst for this podcast. It’s been a pretty big part of my journey, but it’s definitely not like I’m telling everyone you’re just one mushroom trip away from like changing your life.

Maybe you are. But I think the work that we do I think the work is like the daily work, it’s not just like doing mushrooms all the time. And I know we were chatting about this. So what is your take on using substances that alter the state of consciousness as a person in recovery? Yeah.

Awesome. I love this. Thank you for bringing me into this territory. And I’m really excited that this podcast was that came to light as a result of inexperience . I’ve had some of the similar experiences that have brought pieces of my work out into the world too, from those experiences. So yeah, my take on this is all right.

Now, if you’re in recovery just pause and just, take a moment to just open your mind. And a lot of people in the recovery community are actually really minded about this right now, just because it’s coming so quick through like maps program, like MGMA is most likely going to be legal and MGMA psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is going to, we’re going to see that in the next year or two, we’re probably going to see the legalization in therapeutic supportive of psilocybin with, trained professionals.

So this is all coming out and we’ve been using plants and fungus’s for a long time to heal. But in fact many of us. Who live in 2021 have been influenced by government by propaganda. And really the suppression of these sacred sacraments for the beneficial of let’s say not so healthy entities and places of power.

So as a person recovery, I really believe in the power of plants and fungus to promote healing. But I want to say for the record, I don’t believe it’s for everyone. And I believe it has to be done in the right context with the right intention. And there are other. Parameters as well, such as set, intention setting, whereas the environment dose, what you’re taking substances important, whether or not you have someone there to guide you and facilitate or a sitter with you. So we know the therapeutic benefits when all these parameters are met in a therapeutic way that people are having unbelievable transom, formative experiences and healing from a lot of trauma now, I think, or not necessarily what I think, but what the studies show too is, they’re giving us access to what’s in the subconscious, these substances bypass, what’s called the default mode network, which is the network or the network that creates the sense of self.

So we’re able to see through or see. In different ways when we’re on these substances, that shift our perception. Now, once again, going back to consciousness, the plant themselves per se, may not really be healing, but it’s the shift in consciousness that we have to, what’s exposed to us in the journey, what we’re holding on to maybe some things that happen to us that were suppressed so far down, that we didn’t even recognize that comes through.

And you might say to yourself why would I ever want to do that? That’s, what’s driving the addiction or driving the pain inside is what’s down there below our consciousness of, feeling that great disconnect from that wholeness. That’s there as well. So I am a big fan of using psychedelics in the right context to promote healing and wellbeing.

Even if you’re in recovery, even if you’re in recovery, especially if you’re in recovery and you’ve done a lot of different modalities that haven’t been able to help you unlock and or heal. Cause I, I want to go back and you said this earlier and I want to make sure that this comes across really loud and clear.

This is an important message. Is that just because you’re clean and sober doesn’t mean you’ve healed. Absolutely. I love it. Yes, absolutely. Or my quotas, you can be years in recovery and still be suffering from the symptoms of trauma. Yeah. Love it. So what I want people to hear from this is like this episode, isn’t just about trauma and addiction and recovery.

It’s about getting clean is awesome. That’s a big step forward in your journey and it’s a necessary step, but don’t end there. Don’t get clean and then stop right. Getting sober is just a first step. It’s like addressing the tip of the iceberg. Everything underneath, all that is here. You need to go to experience healing.

Now I believe recovery and healing are two different things. Or if you want to look at it as I’m recovering the lost part of myself or recovering the wholeness that was there before my trauma. Great. But a lot of people now recovery is okay, I just put recovery. One of the crates to absent abstinence, like that’s not healing, right?

I didn’t get sober to not feel comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t get sober to not have a healthy, thriving relationship. I didn’t get sober to not live my dream. Like all these things I wanted to do. In fact, even nine years into recovery, I didn’t know that I was suffering from symptoms of unhealed, unprocessed trauma.

And I’ll have to say too early in my recovery, if you would tell me I was still suffering from a little wounded boy inside of me that, needed love and attention that was driving the bus. I would say, what are you out of your mind? Look at me, I’m 180 pounds. I’m just out of my mind that I’m strong as an ox.

But little did I know all that was a self protective mechanism too. So it’s once again, it’s there’s a lot of layers to this, but getting sober and getting into recovery is just the first step. Yeah, absolutely. How do you work with your clients? With the consciousness piece, like how, cause when you explain consciousness to someone, especially someone who’s come out of religion or maybe a sill in religion, it sounds like a very, new agey millennial spiritual term, which I know that it’s totally not.

Or maybe I’m speaking from my own experience. Cause I hadn’t heard the term consciousness from a spiritual perspective inside of Christianity, except for it had this connotation of that’s new age and we don’t do that because that’s not pleasing to God, so how do you for religious and non-religious clients alike, how do you bring about this concept of consciousness and help them to wake up?

Yeah. Awesome. So just to touch on what you just said with the religion, I want to recommend a book for you. It’s called the yoga of Jesus. And w Jesus talks about the seven candles, the seven houses in the Bible. He was talking about the chakras Ascension moving up awakening. We’ve actually talked about this on my Instagram stories a lot lately that I totally believed Jesus was a real guy.

I really believe that he was like woke as fuck, like woke in a good way. Not in the like weird culty leftism way that we’re seeing now with like cancel culture. But he was awake. He was aware he was enlightened and he was trying to point people towards consciousness. And like when he said the road is narrow and fewer, those who find it, I don’t think he meant the road to salvation on the cross.

I think he meant the road to like consciousness and awakening and being in this present moment and knowing that you are the, I am, that you are, I am, and I am. And I am not a podcaster and I am not a woman and I am not I just am, I’m not the labels. I’m not anxiety.

I’m not an alcoholic. Like I just am. I think that’s what Jesus was trying to tell us. Somehow, as things tend to happen, man got ahold of it and decided to capitalize on it and decided to go use it as an excuse for like colonizing and decided to use it as a way to suppress women and decided to make money off of it and advance an agenda.

That’s what happened, but Jesus, himself, I think if Jesus was alive right now and he saw the shit that’s being done, like in his name and quote unquote for his glory, I think he would want to throw up honestly, like I think he would be totally disgusted. And he would be like, you guys missed the whole fucking point.

Yes, absolutely. And now it’s beautiful as me and you can reflect and we can say. Holy shit. My, my parents never knew God. They never really knew the truth. My father was a master’s degree in theology, Boston university priest. He didn’t know God. I Who hurts people when you know God. And it doesn’t mean he’s not a Buddha either.

It means he hadn’t done his work to heal his shadow. Yeah. Like for people listening, I’ve actually talked about this a lot lately and I get called like a perpetrator of harm because of it. Like your dad had fucking trauma too. And your dad was a wounded little boy who had his power taken away from him early on, who didn’t have a voice who was like, he was hurting too.

And he. Like for sure. Didn’t need to have access to like little boys, but he deserves just as much healing as anyone else. Absolutely. And that’s a big shift to be able to hold that, that we’re all Buddhists. We’re all Christ. Yeah. And I actually got to have the conversation that I needed and asked him who perpetrated him and he told me, so he disclosed to me what happened to him.

So that was beautiful and healing. But let me go back to answer your question is now I’m going jump out of the limb here a little bit and say that all these paths to awakening have some form of meditation, contemplation to co Trump who was incurred incarnated master back in Tibet, who came to brought Buddhism to.

The west he has a very profound statement. He says, meditation is the only way. And what I mean by that is it doesn’t mean you have to be a Buddhist to and say, okay, I have to be a Buddhist and meditate. All these other Judaism, Christianity, they all have this form of going within, but are we actually doing the practices that promote or support Ascension to move up?

No, we have this blind belief and say, oh, just go to church. And it be good. Most of these people are living a half-assed life and doing a bunch of shit on the side, but it takes practice. It takes,

as Rumi says, those who give light must first burn. You got a burn baby. And that requires facing the parts of you that you don’t want to face. That requires holding the both, both the aspect of the light in the dark and integrate them and choosing to, to love and support other beings in the process of wherever they are.

And being that light in the world, rather than being some sort of judgment till hypocritical person that says, oh, I’m a Christian and you’re not. So you’re going to hell, going back again, how do you begin to help a person become awake? Let’s begin to engage in some sort of self-awareness practice

with addiction. Look at the contrary, you’re running all the time. You’re seeking all the time. You’re pushing away. What’s uncomfortable and gravitating towards what you think is comfortable, substance behavior, whatever it may be. How do we begin to rest in the stillness and touch into what’s here?

How can we begin to be friend? The parts of us that are holding the wounds in and that are actually, holding the pain. So I think, I’m not going to say everyone just sit on a meditation cushion right away, but can you begin to get quiet? Can you begin to pull away from what’s can you begin to pull away from your distractions a bit?

Can you begin to spend time in nature and begin to ground in, in, in the earth now, tic manhunt, B Vietnamese Buddhist monk. He says the miracle is not walking on water. The miracle is walking alive and present on the green earth. That’s good. Bring the person once again, establish the ability to be with what’s here is as paramount is vital to actually working with everything else from there.

So self-reflective practices, self-awareness practices spending time in nature, connecting with your breath. Your breath is the bridge from the unconscious to the conscious, the breath of life. The breath is named a bunch of times in spiritual, some traditions because. It has the ability to anchor us here too.

That’s why in Buddhist practice, we’ve used the breath because it’s here. It’s a way of shifting your attention to settling this monkey mind, settling this mind that we perceive as the truth when this mind in fact is nothing. But phenomena running through it and the natural mind or the Original mind is pure as crisp as a crystal. And when we begin to settle that we begin to see what’s actually going on here. See, most of us live from our chin to our crown in our head all day, believing the stories and the voices, but all of that isn’t even reality. That’s why settling down and going within, be still in though that I am God awakening that consciousness inside. Once we begin to do that the, even the fear of death begins to loosen at scrip because what’s observing this what’s what’s question. What’s holding this. Oh there’s something in there. That’s that’s dif that’s separate from this continuation of the thinking.

So separating and creating that gap through meditation is important for the person to begin to awaken. Yeah, no, you didn’t lose me at all. I’m tracking, I’m totally tracking. This is exciting. I’m just where I’m at is like we have 15 minutes left in this conversation and I’m afraid to ask you another question, because I want you to be able to take as much time as you need to respond.

So I can give you a short version. I like a lot, some more questions I want to ask. I want to talk to you about I would like to talk to you about your experience in altered states of consciousness. I would like to talk to you about your spiritual awakening, religious trauma, and like how you’re transmuting that, which obviously you’ve alchemized that into something that a lot of people are struggling to do.

I have so much more, I want to talk to you about how about for this one? Okay. Why don’t we just plan on recording another one after this? Can we do a part two? Amazing. All right. So then before we close this one out, can you tell people where to find you and how to work with you? For sure.

You can find me on the net at WW dot Mike . Last name is G O V as in Victor, O N as in Nancy, I, as in India, Mike devone.com. There’s my website. If you’re interested, if you like what and you want to schedule a complimentary consult call, be more than happy to chat with you. You can also listen to my podcast called the healing beyond recovery podcast and thinking social media.

It’s pretty much Mike Davone, Instagram and Facebook as well. Amazing. Thank you so much. We’ll have all of that listed in the show notes for this episode, and then you will be back for part two. Amazing. Thanks so much. Thank you so much, Lindsay.

 

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