Learning How to Honor Your Feelings


When was the last time you honored your feelings? Remember when your friend suggested the two of you go to a place that he or she knew you disliked and you agreed? How about hanging out with a person that made you feel uncomfortable? What about the time you really, really wanted to share your thoughts but was afraid they wouldn't be accepted? Better yet, when was the last time you sat with your feelings, acknowledged them and honored them without saying a word to anyone? 

A friend recently shared with me their disdain for an individual they worked with for quite some time. They learned something new about this person every day it seemed.  Each time, their feelings of resentment and anger grew inside of them-just like a weed. Their impatience began to run short and before they knew it, respect was out of the window! Going to work was painful. Just the sight of them made their stomach churn in anxiety, heart beat fast, and the heat of rising anger consume them everytime they were in this individual's presence. There were no polite answers left, nor was there any patience. Long story short, going to work was downright painful. Instead of honoring their feelings, they pushed them way down, ignored them and continued pushing forward without ever once stopping to acknowledge their feelings.  The first step here would be to stop and ask, "How am I feeling?" . It simply doesn't matter if those feelings are good or bad. Acknowledge them. Sit with them. Honor them. When your feelings are honored, you are able to move forward in a direction that is forthright and clear.  Your time isn't wasted going around in negative circles of confusion because you simply haven't admitted and honored your true feelings. Once you honor your feelings, you can take the next step towards a solution.  Here are a few simple steps to honoring your feelings.

 1.  Stop hiding the way you feel and keep it real with yourself.  No one has to live with you but you.  Do not lie to yourself or suppress your feelings.  Admitting how you feel liberates you and gives you a feeling of raw pride in whatever you have just come to terms with.  At the end of the day, you aren't suppressing your feelings and walking around in a passive-aggressive state, refusing to acknowledge what made you feel the way you did in the first place.

 2.  Let go of and forget judgment.  Do not disconnect from yourself and begin with negative self-talk. Allow yourself to immerse in your feelings without criticism.  Your feelings are worthy of acknowledgment!

3.  Stop replaying the same thing over and over in your head! We love to do this, don't we? Pressing the rewind button a trillion times and getting ourselves worked up over the situation and beating ourselves up because we didn't speak up, be honest, or acknowledge how we truly felt. By continuing to play the story over and over again, it takes us further away from how we felt in the first place.

4.  Get yourself some support. Discuss the situation with a trusted friend or family member who loves and supports you. Sometimes we need a little extra support while working through our emotions. Most importantly, allowing yourself to grow into the best you requires you to listen and support your own feelings!


Getting Rid of Your Fears

How many times have you second guessed yourself? How many times did you change your mind on an opportunity that could have reaped great rewards? 

Let's talk about the big word called fear. Just the sound of it seems foreboding, right? What if I told you that you can turn your fear of failure and fear of success into bravery? Let's take a look at all the things that is evoking the fear inside of you. 

First, get clear on your goals.  What does it look like? How does it feel? What are you doing? Write down your goals and what you want to achieve in the next 6 to 12 months and break them down into smaller, easier goals. 

Identify the obstacles keeping you from achieving your goals. If you can identify them, you can get rid of them.  Getting rid of the obstacles that are between you and your goals means opening the path to success.  Knowing the culprit will give you confidence. 

Plan how you will eliminate the obstacles.  Plan how and when you will remove the obstacle. By doing this, you would have already begun to place your mind in a positive mindset. 

I love doing this exercise with my clients and you will find it helpful as well. Remember, fear is just a word backed by absolutely nothing. Imagine all the wonderful things that can happen if you just let go!


The Power of Journaling

I'd just recently posted some fun facts on the power of writing in your journal on my Facebook page.

The power of writing in a journal. It's just that simple. There is a power within you, for you, and in your journal each and every time you pick up your pen to write.  

I've journaled since I was at least 11 years old. I used to curl up in my favorite chair with my blanket and pour my heart and soul into each pen stroke. I felt better each and every time. It was like my own personal confidante.  Someone who didn't need to say a word of approval or disapproval. Just silently be, while I scribbled my thoughts, dreams, aspirations, pains, anxieties, hopes, and sadness into it.

As I grew older, I would look back and grab my old journals and read them. It was easy to see how things changed with me. Out of my memories came profound lessons coupled with healing. It allowed me to see who I was then and what I had become, now. It brought me clarity and thoughts after the fact that helped me piece the puzzles together.

Writing in a journal is not only therapeutic, but it brings profound awareness. It also helps you reach your goals. What you have failed to see in front of you in plain daylight magically appears on the pages you spill your thoughts on.  When looking for answers to your questions and/or issues, the answers are easily there within you. As my slogan says, 'To Find the Answers Within You' really rings true. I wholeheartedly encourage and mandate (yes, mandate!) that my coaching clients journal every day. The success rate is miraculous. Try it. You'd be surprised at how much power you find within yourself!  





Shadow Work

Shadow work. Working on my own shadow has been one of the hardest things I've ever done for myself personally. Every time a situation upsets me, I do my shadow work. What is Shadow Work? Let me explain to you here

A shadow is an aspect of the separate self-story that, for some reason, gets repressed and then projected outward as an “other.” The “other” is a reflection of the separate self.  In other words, the thing or things which we despise in another, is within us. We box and embrace shadows. To box a shadow is to repress a negative trait and then experience a strong aversion towards others who possess that trait. To embrace a shadow is to repress a positive trait and then experience a strong attraction towards others who possess that trait.

Most people who speak of 'shadow work' mean those traits we dislike in others, which are actually characteristics we have rejected in ourselves.

The results are profound and create a catalyst for healing! Recently, I worked on my shadow and it brought a river of tears for me and with those tears, brought a realization that there lies within my soul, a child waiting to be healed. Inside of both you and I, is an inner child waiting to be spoken to and even healed. What is an inner child?   Sharing this is personal, yet I long to reach out to those of you who have experienced what I have experienced as a child of an alcoholic parent. Lately, I've been worried, that a really dear and close friend of mine, (let's call him Hank) has no time to spend with me due to his extremely demanding career.  First, I start off with my aggravating factor:  

I feel sad and hurt because I won't see Hank for a long time.

What does this mean to me?

It means that he is too busy with his lifestyle and career to spend time with me.

Assuming this is true, why would that be so bad?

It would be bad because if we don't spend time together he will forget me.

What does this mean to me?

It means that I will obviously be forgettable to Hank.

Assuming this is true, why would that be so bad?

It would mean that I am forgettable to Hank.

I AM FORGETTABLE. (Root belief)

So you see, it really isn't about Hank. It's about me. My root belief is, I AM FORGETTABLE. So the question is, why do I feel forgettable? What's causing this root belief? It's time to speak to my inner child. I must remember the very first time I felt forgettable. Here's where it gets riveting.  As a young child, I oftentimes, witnessed my father come home in a drunken stupor. Rebellious and careless, he'd come in as if he was attending some feast of a king. This particular morning, my mother sat at our custom made glass table, drank coffee as she normally did and ate wheat toast (Roman Meal to be exact). I vaguely remember the words she uttered to him, but I know they contained the words strung together that indicated he had been out all night with some "harlots" and "screwing around".

As I stood there at the table and watched in horror, my father lifted the table off of the base and slammed it back down, causing each and every piece of glass to shatter on the floor. As my mother sat there, she watched the glass break over her legs. With a blank stare in her face, she calmly got up and headed back to the kitchen. I felt like I was in a movie. I felt unreal. No one spoke to me nor even glanced at me. 

All was quite at that very moment.  As I walked into the kitchen, there stood my mother shaking violently, like a leaf, as she grabbed one of our largest kitchen knives. At the age of 9 years old, even I knew what was to follow. My mother gripped the knife so tightly, that I could see the veins in her brown skin bulging. I felt so invisible. I felt as if I wasn't there.  I felt entirely forgotten because my mother was about to kill my father, maybe even herself and I. 

I remember gently touching her forearm and pleading with her, "Mommy, please don't do it. Please don't do it." At my age, I wasn't fully aware of the ramifications, but I did know, without a reasonable doubt, that there would be bloodshed

Up until this very moment in frozen time, I felt invisible. I was forgotten. My touch on my mother's forearm brought her to the realization of the here and now. My touch and my words actually stopped something completely tragic from happening, and as an adult, that realization, even now, brings tears to my eyes as I share this story with you, my friends. I was forgotten

Part of the second phase of my shadow work was speaking to my inner child. What was I wearing? Where was I standing? Did I have on shoes? I had to then introduce to my inner child, the adult me. Which room in the house did I feel the most comfortable?  I felt comfortable in my room. It was my sanctuary. It was always clean and dust-free. The adult me walks into the scene and introduces myself to my inner child. I take my inner child into the room where I felt most comfortable. I proceed to tell her how strong, beautiful, intelligent, fabulous, vibrant, resourceful, and how memorable I am. I comfort my inner child. I make peace with my inner child. I tell her she is not forgettable. She is one amazing person, full of love and who can forget such a being? No one.


This is a snippet of the profound progress made when doing shadow work. It's not easy, but it can be done. It opens doors and lifts your spirit, frees your mind and unbound it from self-limiting beliefs. For more information on working with me on Shadow Work. Contact me here.



Confessions of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic Parent

I am adult child of an alcoholic, an ACoA. I had no idea that this was a category or that I was not alone in this strange feeling that I carried along a past that was somehow possibly burdening my present.

For some of us, it's hard to see the good in ourselves as others see in us-especially if raised in a dysfunctional home where love was not expressed openly. For me, it was a mixed bag of privilege, silence, un-expressed love and fear. On one hand, there I was, the youngest of my siblings with an alcoholic father who was born into a life of militant ways and harsh realities-Haiti, Port Au Prince. Don't get me wrong, I love my heritage and where my blood line stems from. What I never loved as a child was the non-expression and the code of silence growing up. Yet on one hand, I had my loving mother from South America, British Guyana, who did all that she could to build my self-esteem as high as a kite. I was sent to the best schools, put in beauty pageants and was allowed to partake in activities many in my immediate friend circle would only dream of. Perhaps it was my mother's way of keeping my head above water. I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of though, it instilled within me the can-do attitude and self-esteem to get me through almost any and anything I had set my mind to. Of course genetics plays a role in my personality as well. 

Living with addiction required us  (myself and siblings) to grow up in the midst of frequent changing, stop-and-go, moving in and out and overlapping worlds. Just attempting to figure out the back and forth rhythm made my head spin! 

When I think of the not-so-fond memories, I turn them into positives.  As an adult, the self-esteem and confidence I gained as a child helped me become the person I am today.  Even though I live a normal life as an adult, there are days that I sit back and re-live the trauma of childhood engulfed in nights of a father who went missing for hours or even days on his binge drinking-only to hear my mother screaming at the top of her lungs at his alcoholic ways and most of all, his antics. It seemed never-ending. 

Why share such a detail with you? I'm human. I am a survivor. A child who is now an adult, of an addicted parent. I am positive. I am light.  I am strong. I am intuitive. I am gifted. I am love. 

Suggested Read:  Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families Paperback- August 15, 2012 by ACA WSO, INC./Adult Children of Alcoholics Paperback – November 1, 1990 by Janet G. Woititz 




Love Yourself!!


It's a fact that many of us are critical of ourselves when there isn't a thing we should criticize! Of course, there are always things that we can improve about ourselves but those things are not valid enough to examine ourselves in the mirror and not love what we see both inside and out.

Maybe growing up as a child, you were bullied. Too chubby, too skinny, too many freckles, glasses or even braces. Me personally, I was bullied because of my complexion and sometimes my high forehead, but guess what? I love every part of me. I love my skin tone and my high forehead, along with my high cheekbones which makes my features distinctive. The point I'm attempting to prove is, ALL of us are BEAUTIFUL and we deserve nothing but love. However, we must first love ourselves and all that we are and embrace every aspect of our being.

According to the Wikipedia self-love is caring and about loving oneself, accepting responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one's strengths and weaknesses). He proposed, further, that in order to be in a position to truly love another person, a person needs first to love oneself in this way.

Self love is not narcissism, as narcissism is vanity, so don't convince yourself that if you begin to stop and stare at yourself in the mirror and admire yourself more, your'e becoming conceited. Matter of fact, a great exercise is looking into the mirror every evening before retiring to bed and stating to yourself the thing(s) that you like about yourself. It's called the mirror exercise and you can find it here.



7 Good Reasons to Smile & Laugh It Off!

By Yvette Louis

I love to laugh. That's the first thing. I laugh off things you'd probably think I should be terribly annoyed with.

We all have to find the point where we realize that some things just aren't worth huffing and puffing about. As I've grown older, I began to realize that I have a short fuse at times and I run out of patience in 3 seconds flat!  Of course, I've since changed those ways and have adapted to the reality that people or situations will annoy you even when they did not intend to. 

One day on my way home on the train, I decided to take a seat in one of the narrowly designed seats to rest my feet. There are four seats which are expected to accommodate the same number of people. Of course, this is not actually the case.  Unless all four persons are extremely small, (I'm talking about no body parts!) there is absolutely no way four individuals can fit.  One of my pet peeves is sitting in a train, bus or anywhere for that matter and someone comes in and literally plops down next to me and someone else, squeezing themselves in the middle until they fit. 

Someone was reading my mind. Here comes someone and they are eyeing the teeny tiny seat in the middle of both myself and someone else. I'm thinking to myself, "Oh no they aren't!" and oh yes they were! The next thing I know, I'm feeling like a human accordion. Leg to leg, thigh to thigh and shoulder to shoulder!  Guess what I did? I started laughing and said, "Oh boy, this is pretty tight. I'll get up so you can have more space."  I said it with a huge smile on my face and I honestly felt that it was funny. 

What am I getting at? Years ago, I would have huffed and puffed and made a comment that included a lot of sarcasm. Instead of getting annoyed, I laughed. It's comical. It's purely unhealthy mentally, emotionally and spiritually to allow insignificant things to rob us of our happiness, right?

"How often do you smile in a day? Do you smile when you face new people? When you look at your friends? Around your co-workers? How about your significant other? Your face has 44 muscles in it that allow you make more than 5,000 different types of expressions, many of which are smiles. Read on for seven reasons why smiling is good for you, your health and your social life!"

Here's 7 Good Reasons to Smile!  Remember, the next time someone attempts to push your buttons, rather it is knowingly or unknowingly-just laugh it off!

Here's to your wonderful smile and attitude.




Hello Happiness!

By Yvette Louis

I have my days when the sun isn't shining as brightly as I'd wish to. I roll out of bed, grumbling with yesterday's problems in the forefront of my mind and feeling as if they are not going away. The first thing I do like to do is go into my kitchen, select a vue cup for my Keurig machine and brew the strongest, hottest cup of coffee ever. I take my muli-vitamin, do the usual morning routine and head off to the gym.

After my work out, I feel as if I've worked out all the kinks from yesterday, as well as today's. My energy level is up and I'm feeling as if everything is going to be ok.  Don't get me wrong, my mornings don't always start off with my grumbles and problems at the forefront of my mind. Matter of fact, it's not very often but I do have them. Most people who know me personally would say I'm a happy person, always positive and encouraging. Well let me just say to you; I laugh a lot of things off and have programmed myself to automatically reverse my thinking when I notice my mind needs reprogramming. 

Is that you? What I've come to understand is, I am control of my happiness. So are YOU. Our thoughts resonate into our daily lives. When doubt enters your mind, even if you don't feel it, try reversing those thoughts by saying out loud for example. "I am grateful for (the problem) being resolved." or, you can simply say, (as I do) "Thank you (God, or whomever your Higher Power is) for resolving (the problem)."  

Every single time I've said "Thank you" I believe that the situation has already corrected itself, resolved or turned around for the best. It's the power of belief. Believing in your words and having faith in what you speak will manifest into your daily life. Attitude is everything.  Let's take a look at attitudes.  How is your daily attitude towards life? It's no secret that optimistic people tend to live a happier life. 

There are certain types of optimism and pleasantly odd ways of thinking that brings success, health, happiness, etc.  Take a look at the benefits of optimism here.

Do you have an "Internal Locus of Control"? Internal Locus of Control simply refers to whether you feel your life is controlled by you or by forces outside yourself. Those with an internal locus of control feel that they have a choice in their lives and control over their circumstances

Ultimately, happiness begins from within. Having all the material goods in the world will not bring you happiness. Daily prayer, meditations and positive affirmations greatly increases your joy, among other things. With that being said, check out my positive affirmations list on my site.

Many blessings!



Addiction and Recovery Chronicles: When Should You tell Your Loved One It's Time to Go?

By Yvette Louis

That's it. You've had it. You've tried intervention. You've tried time and time again to gain control of your loved one's addiction. You've reasoned and have made pleas with them.  When should you tell your loved one it's time to hit the road?

Your initial reaction that comes to mind when a family realizes that their loved one is battling an addiction is, "Wait. What caused this?".  One of the first and biggest mistakes is thinking that you were the cause of that addiction

Have you exhausted all of your resources?  Of course, you're afraid to lose your loved one to the streets, in jail, or even worse-deceased. It's not easy watching someone you love literally hurt themselves and become someone you no longer know.  Do not be mad at yourself if you aren't the one giving him or her the very substance that is destroying their life!

First, have a look at some of the possibilities here.

  • Your loved one is threatening you with violence. He or she may have already began to exhibit signs of violence. Your property is being destroyed with visible evidence.
  • Personal items of value are missing. 
  • You're under a lot of stress. Your job is being affected.
  • Lies are countless and you can no longer keep pace with them.
  • Your loved one is not a good influence on other family members, such as a younger sibling, son or daughter.
  • Your financial picture is bleak because of the many costs such as jail costs, bails, replacing lost and/or stolen items, etc.
  • Your loved one's refusal to enter into treatment. No matter how many times you've volunteered to help.                                                                                                                                         

As a parent, brother, sister, father, etc., your natural instinct is to protect and try your best to nurture. Don't feel guilty! Deciding to tell your loved one it is time to go is a very challenging task. However, once the above issues begin to play out in your personal life, it's time to take a long hard long at other options.  As a child, I've experienced the other side of addiction. It was not me who was the addict, but my father. Sure, there's a twist, but the pain of being torn from your loved one cuts to the core. Asking or forcing an addictive loved one to leave shakes up the entire family and causes emotions to run high and low.

Try your best not to argue or appear controlling, as this may cause more addictive behavior.

Asking your loved one to leave does not constitute an easy task. Sometimes, asking isn't even an option. You just have to force them out, and that's even harder. Try to avoid force or emotional scenes. Ensure that you have exhausted all of your options.  It takes patience, time and practice. Yourself and family may help as well with respect to confronting such an issue.

Having a loved one with addictions affects the entire family.  It brings many emotions to the surface, making it hard to communicate our concerns and feelings in a way that is non-offensive and judgmental.  A resourceful article on how to communicate with someone who has an addiction can be found here. 

Communicating with your loved one is one of the first steps in your attempt to help them move forward.  Lastly, make sure you are not enabling your loved one's addiction.







Mother Finds a Helping Hand In Sobriety Coaches

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By M Fox – New York Times

Patty Powers, a recovery coach and a former addict, listening to a client in Central Park. Some clients require that she identify herself as something else. “My mom clients are the most terrified of being found out,” she said.  CreditJennifer S. Altman for The New York Times

Tamara Mellon, a founder of Jimmy Choo shoes and mother of Minty, 12, was sitting on a cream leather sofa in her airy Madison Avenue office, recounting her arduous climb from hard-partying cocaine addict to fashion goddess.

“You get over one thing and you get slammed with something else,” said Ms. Mellon, 47, looking slinky in a crisp white blazer, a high-slit skirt and gladiator sandals. She recalled some of the ordeals: her father’s death, two hostile takeover attempts, taking her mother to court. “It’s a miracle I’m still here,” she said.

Her secret to staying sober through it all? Ms. Mellon enlisted the aid of a recovery coach, Martin Freeman, a London-based psychotherapist.

“He’s the most enduring relationship I’ve had,” said Ms. Mellon, who keeps her sobriety coach on a retainer to ensure he will be there for morning chat sessions and late-night calls and to accompany her to stressful events. “I’m his one and only.”

Once consigned to Hollywood entourages to keep celebrities on the straight and narrow (and out of rehab), sobriety coaches, also known as sober companions and recovery therapists, are being hired by well-heeled mothers from the Upper East Side to the beachfront homes of Boca Raton, Fla.

Blame the rigors of being an urban mother. “Raising kids is stressful to begin with,” said Mary Karr, the best-selling writer who lives in Greenwich Village, who related her grueling recovery in her 2009 memoir “Lit: A Memoir.” “The new supermoms have to be thin and rich and successful, so there’s all this extra stress,” she said. “It’s loathsome.”

“Addiction is a disease of isolation,” added Ms. Karr, 59, who has a 28-year-old son (she starts “Lit” with an open letter to him). “I would have loved to have someone come over and help me not get drunk.”

It’s not just the extra glasses of pinot or rosé. Cosmopolitan mothers these days are also reaching for Adderall (the multitasker’s best friend), Percocet (the antidote to the taxing trifecta of marriage, children and career) and Ambien (that bedtime staple), not to mention a cocktail of other drugs that high-strung mothers also have at their disposal.

And by the time these mothers realize they need help, they don’t exactly have the time or wherewithal to check into rehab or attend 12-step meetings. In addition, they want more privacy, the better to avoid the judgment and stigma that mothers with addiction face.

“Can you think of a greater taboo?” said Nanette Zumwalt, the president ofHired Power, a recovery agency in Huntington Beach, Calif., that works with many mothers. “Addiction is still viewed as a character defect,” she said. “There’s far greater stigma among women, particularly mothers. “

Discretion “more anonymous than A.A.” is one of the reasons Jeanne, a 42-year-old vice president at a Fortune 500 company in New York, hired a sobriety coach this year for her drinking. (Like several mothers interviewed for this article, she requested that only her middle name be used to protect her family’s privacy.)

Jeanne, a remarried mother who shares custody of her 11-year-old daughter with her ex-husband, said that she never slurred her words at cocktail parties or got pulled over for drunken driving. But on a recent family vacation, she heard the words she dreaded most: “Mom, you’re drinking too much.”

“I was my daughter’s age when my dad came out as an alcoholic,” said Jeanne, a marketing executive, who spent her youth going to Alateen, an offshoot of A.A. meetings for teenage family members. “I never thought that would be me,” she said. Rehab was not a viable option. “What working mom can be away for 30 to 60 days?” she added. “And how would I explain it?”

So she hired Natasha Silver Bell, 38, a sobriety coach on the Upper East Side, who is a divorced mother and former addict. Jeanne has been seeing Ms. Silver Bell once a week for the last four months, paying roughly $2o0 for an hour sit-down session, which also grants calling or texting privileges. “I liked that I could do it without disrupting my schedule,” Jeanne said.

Since she started seeing Ms. Silver Bell, Jeanne said she has not had a drink in months, feels more clearheaded and energized, and she does not fall asleep when reading bedtime stories with her daughter.

Some mothers integrate their sobriety coaches into their social lives, bringing them to parties, brunches and the gym. “I’m the new Pilates instructor,” said Patty Powers, a recovery coach from the East Village, offering a cover story she tells her client’s friends. “My mom clients are the most terrified of being found out,” she said. “If someone wants to pass me off as their trainer, I go with it.”

Ms. Powers, 53, a former heroin addict, was an art director at Area, a prominent nightclub in New York during the 1980s, before moving to Los Angeles to get clean. She joined Narcotics Anonymous, where she became a sponsor to help fellow addicts through the program. These days, when she’s not on a tour bus with a rock-star client or on a film set with an actor, Ms. Powers rides her bike from Wall Street to Carnegie Hill, where she weans mothers from Vicodin or Klonopin.

“They’re starved for companionship,” Ms. Powers said. “Today’s pill-popping moms are a far cry from the bored, suburban housewives of ‘The Valley of the Dolls.’ They’re taking opioids, which are dangerously addictive. If you’re trying to withdraw from OxyContin, a doctor might prescribe Suboxone, which is even harder to kick than heroin.”

Just ask Alix, 44, a grade-school teacher and mother of three who lives in Boca Raton, Fla. She was given Percocet for her first cesarean section 12 years ago. “I never felt anything like that before,” she said. Enabled by her husband, a prominent doctor, she was up to 10 OxyContin pills a day before long. When she wanted to go to rehab, she said her husband refused to let her go, fearing his colleagues would find out.

Alix tried detoxing at a hospital clinic, but the doctor there replaced one prescription with two others: Xanax and Suboxone. She saw Ms. Powers on “Relapse,” the A&E reality series about drug addicts, and after trying to find another sobriety coach, she called the show’s producers to get in touch with her. Ms. Powers checked Alix into a hotel in Delray Beach, Fla., for a monthlong “wellness” stay.

“Not even my closest friends knew,” Alix said. “I said that Patty was my life coach-slash-nutritionist. She was with me 24/7.” Last summer, Alix celebrated her first sober anniversary and no longer checks in with Ms. Powers.

Some sobriety coaches become so interwoven with their clients that they end up living at their homes. When Deborah Magaldi, 56, a mother of three who runs a marketing company in Seal Beach, Calif., was finishing her third stint in rehab for addiction to alcohol and Vicodin, she hired a live-in sober companion.

“I found it hard to function in the real world in a sober capacity without the protective cocoon of a rehab,” Ms. Magaldi said. “It’s like reading a book on how to swim, and then jumping into the ocean. Having a companion with me at all times allowed me to transition, so I didn’t drown.”

For three months, her sobriety coach slept in a spare bedroom and got Ms. Magaldi to work out, to go to meetings and even traveled with her as needed. “My first night alone was scary,” she said. “My husband was away on business, as he usually was. But she taught me to write my feelings down and think things through instead of heading down the path of destructive impulses to quiet down the white noise in my head.”

The experience inspired Ms. Magaldi to start Hired Power to help other addicts. “I had been on chemicals for more than 30 years,” she said. “It takes a while for the brain to normalize.”

For mothers like Ms. Magaldi, sobriety coaches offer more than someone to keep them from relapsing, but companionship at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.

Back at her office, Ms. Mellon reflected on how her recovery therapist, Mr. Freeman, had given her the strength to soldier on. Her towering up and downs, which she chronicled in her 2013 memoir, “In My Shoes,” had included a stint in rehab, a fairy tale wedding, a nasty divorce and her work building a fashion juggernaut and then seeing it all go.

“It’s not the actual substance that defines addiction, it’s the feelings underneath,” she said. “It’s amazing the ability to move on once you are healthy and not stuck in the past. Martin definitely helped me get on with my life and start again.”

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Positive Words

We have control over our future more than we realize. Are you taking authority over your needs, desires, wishes, hopes, and dreams? You are the master simply by being you! Your reaction to all situations determines the outcome. Taking authority doesn't necessarily mean having control all the time. It can mean taking leadership and focusing on what you want - not allowing anyone or anything to dictate who you are! 

Have you ever had an instance where you are feeling great-full of joy and hopes, and you express those feelings? It can be about life in general, a project, your job, or a particular situation. You have realized the power of your words and the effect they have on your life and the vibrations it creates. Then comes the person or persons who try to shoot you down and take away every single ounce of joy and happiness within you. Here's the trick:  For every negative thing a person says, you can re-instate it with a positive reply. For example: "That will never work out to your situation. You know the results." You can say: "It doesn't hurt to try. Things don't always remain the same. I am positive that there is some good to come out of this". Get it? You have just re-instated your words and thoughts.  Obviously, it's always good to stay away from the naysayers, but what if you can't do that all the time? You have to arm yourself and infuse your soul and spirit with positive light and affirmations. You can use this gift to yourself at any given time. Even when you speak negative to yourself, you can re-instate your positive thoughts and intentions by simply saying out loud, the complete opposite in a positive manner. 

Remember, our words have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of others. 

Many blessings.

The Power of a Vision Board

Do you have a vision board? 

Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals, you are destined to achieve them!

Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you. This powerful tool serves as your image of the future - a tangible representation of where you are going. It represents your dreams, your goals, and your ideal life.

If you have a vision board, what does yours look like?

Challenging times

Staying on track

Once your loved one has left treatment, they might continue to face challenges. But for addicts, trial and error can be a game with high stakes. Without adequately preparing for the day-to-day challenges of life in recovery, recovering addicts may find themselves relapsing shortly after leaving treatment.

That’s where a recovery coach comes in. As a compliment to continuing care and relapse prevention planning, Soul Enlightenment provides guidance and support with real-world applications, whereas therapists teach addicts about the disease and address the emotional and psychological issues underlying their addiction, Soul Enlightenment helps develop the practical tools that will improve daily lives

The Deck: Strength

Strength and power lies in each of every one of us. At any given time, that power can be called upon by simply believing in yourself and standing strong in rough times. Positive affirmations and prayers builds us up to face adversity, painful times, change, etc.

What makes you strong? 

Comment here with your strengths and what you do to face hardship.

Positive affirmation for the day: I am strong and powerful. I can summons these qualities at will.