VIC 23 | Addiction

Today KL sits down again with Sparkle, who is 30 years sober from her meth addiction, to touch on the importance of acceptance and compassionate, unconditional love with your addict.

Sparkle speaks on disconnecting from the emotional impact of the addict’s behavior on you. Sparkle reminds us that boundaries are key when the addict’s behaviors are chaotic, and this includes dropping the internal judgment as a parent and how it’s not your job to fix the addict. Saying “no” is saying, “I love you.”

Finally, they touch on codependency and being in your addiction to the disease. Remember, the addict’s addiction is not about you; you’re part of it, and how you are codependent is not about them.

If you’re ever interested in hearing from an addict’s perspective, this episode is for you!

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here

Sparkle – You Can’t Own My Addiction

I am super excited to have one of my dear friends, Sparkle, on the show with me. Sparkle and I met many years ago doing a Vision Quest process of nine months together. Immediately, I loved her, her energy, and who she is in the world. We’ve both been on these amazing journeys since then. Vision Quest piece was catalytic in our journeys. We continue to weave in and out with each other and both up to big work in the world.

I wanted to have Sparkle on because, in the early stages of my dealing with my son’s addiction, Sparkle happened to mention that she had had her own addiction issue way back when. I asked if would she be open to having a conversation with me so that I could better understand the psychology and the journey from an addict’s perspective and figure out how I could show up as a mom differently than the traditional way of, “He needs to be fixed and I need to do everything I need to do possible to make that happen.” Was there a different side to that story? We had a powerful conversation before we launched off into our Vision Quest that day. It changed the trajectory of me and my son’s experience and our relationship.

I wanted to have Sparkle on to give some of our readers an opportunity to better understand what is happening with somebody that you love dearly when they’re in the throes of their addiction. I’m going to turn over to you, Sparkle. I would like you to start from the beginning origin story of what happened when you were growing up, what led you on this path and an inside window into your path, and then coming out the other side.

Thank you so much. It’s an honor to be with you and such love for you in our interwovenness. That’s a blessing. April 2023 marks 30 years since I quit meth and moved up to the Pacific Northwest. That’s an interesting marker. I had that realization of like, “It’s been 30 years.” Casting back, I grew up in Reno, the biggest little city in the world. I found it to be a terrible place for people who are different in any kind of way.

It’s interesting because Reno has this reputation as a place of license and permission for gambling, prostitution, and drinking. That’s Western of, “You do whatever you need to do,” but because of that, there’s also a very strong streak of social conservatism. Everything is fine as long as you fit within this narrow pathway of identity. Growing up, coming out, and figuring myself out in the middle of that was fairly destructive. There wasn’t support or examples. I remember when I was thirteen, Reno kicked the Gay Rodeo out.

For a long time, the Gay Rodeo was an annual event that happened in my town, and then suddenly it was like, “You people can’t be here anymore,” which sends a message to little budding queer me that I’m not allowed or acceptable. That was the beginning of those kinds of messages that I then internalized. Parallel to that, coming out in the mid-‘80s when I was a teenager into the HIV epidemic and the rampant homophobia that was present at that time related to that, all of the messages around, “You all deserve it. You deserve to die,” I internalized those in big ways. All of that meant, “What’s there to do?”

In Reno, there’s not much to do if you’re not at the age of 21, but experiment and party. I found my way to meth and started that when I was about sixteen. I was on meth until I left when I was 22. It’s about six years. I started and stopped university in those six years. I graduated toward the top of my class. I was given a full-ride scholarship to the University of Nevada. I postponed for one year because I was like, “I don’t want to go, but I should.” The message for my parents was like, “You’ve got this free education. You should take it.” I was like, “I’ll take it later.” I waited for 1 year to get started, went for 2 years, and was uninterested.

My grades were dropping. It wasn’t working for me. It was a large standard-issue university that didn’t tap into how I think about the world or the ways I wanted to be. It didn’t have meaning for me. Seeing my grades tank, I was like, “I’m out. Even though it’s free, it’s still pointless. It’s not going to serve anybody, particularly me if I try and keep going on this.” About a year later, I came to this point where I was like, “These people that I’m hanging out and using with who are ten years older than me are not experiencing life in the way that I may want to experience life when I’m ten years older than me. They’re a mess.”

I saw that example of like, “That’s where I’m headed if I keep using, and I don’t want to go there.” Part of my writing was cognizant enough to be aware of what was going on. I was like, “Is that what you want to do?” “No,” then I was like, “What am I going to do with that little tidbit? Let me use some more meth and then think about it later.” What I ended up deciding to do was a geographic intervention on myself. I pulled myself out of that environment, moved to a new place, and start fresh in a place I didn’t know where to get meth. Ironically, I moved to Seattle, which at that time in the early ‘90s was also a hotbed of meth use, but I didn’t know that.

I did land in the middle of it, but I didn’t have the connection. It still worked, thankfully. I had maybe one relapse, but pretty much that was it because I was like, “I’m done.” I recognize my story is unique in that I didn’t do a Twelve Step program. I didn’t access any kind of other treatment options or go to rehab. It was me making a decision. That’s not what I want and not where I want to go. I’m going to make a change that’s going to have an impact, and it did.

I look back on that still from the vantage point of 30 years later, recognizing that decision saved my life, getting out of that environment that I was in, coming to a place where I could start fresh, be and explore who I was gave me the opportunity to flourish and figure myself out in a new way. I’m alive because I left Reno and that environment. I’m extremely grateful to my 22-year-old self for figuring that out.

Start fresh, explore to flourish, and figure yourself out in a new way. Click To Tweet

For 22, that’s super insightful and courageous.

It’s funny because some of my friends from back then talk about, “You were brave and courageous. We all looked up to you as living your identity without a care in the world. You were going to be who you were.” I was like, “I was scared. I didn’t know what was happening. I was trying to figure it out and try and make my way through.” It was courage, but I didn’t see it as courage. I viewed it as survival. Looking back, I’m like, “There are some parallels and similarities.” I never think of myself as courageous. I make decisions to survive.

That’s a thread because several times in my life I’ve made these kinds of decisions where I’m like, “This isn’t working. I need to do something different. I’m going to quit no matter what the perceived cost is, or what the messages around me are about doing it or not doing it,” because there are lots of pressure to stay the course and do what you’re going to do. To me, that’s like, “I could do that, then I’ll die.” That’s the equation. I’ll do that. What’s been the thing every time is like, “I’m not done.” I can’t stay the course. I got to do it in my own way that’s going to be in alignment with my authenticity with myself so that I can exist in the world.

VIC 23 | Addiction
Addiction: Find the path that aligns with your authenticity and yourself to exist in the world.

There are almost these moments or patterns in your life where you’ve been brought to the edge. It’s an, “I’m going to thrive or die,” kind of place to question and, “I choose life.” That edge dwelling is a powerful place to be. Those of us that are edge dwellers may talk about it a little differently, but it is that, “I’m staying at this edge, and I know what the consequences are if I stay here. I’m going to jump off the edge. I don’t know how that’s going to go. It is an unknown edge, and I’m still doing it anyway.”

The known answer is no real answer. It could have that same answer or it could lead to something different, greater, and more in tune with who I’m supposed to be in the world. I’ve described it not as edge dwelling, but as living in between.

Say more about that.

I view myself as a betweener. I have always been in liminal space, whether it was in between groups of people when I was a kid or in high school, I was never part of one single group. I was part of many different groups. I was always in between. That theme has been present the rest of my life, where almost everywhere I exist, it is in this between place which gives a different perspective because I have access to, “This group is how it views the world.” I’m here as a connector, bridge, or in-between.

That perspective is fairly unique, but also very helpful for people. It can be hard for the person living in it because there’s not a lot of support as it were. One of the benefits of being in a group is you’ve got group dynamics, social norms, and a container of that in between or edge, there isn’t a container. It’s like you’re floating along, “Where am I at today? What’s going on? Who am I interacting with?” It also gives us the ability to jump in wherever, to connect, and be present.

This is how I’m framing it in my own head. When we did the Vision Quest process, your ability to step into my arena relative to my journey with my son, come over here, and give me insights that I didn’t have about the addicts’ journey was that connector part. Share a little bit with our audience in terms of what you shared with me that day that was powerful, illuminating, and stuck with me in terms of who I was going to show up as moving forward.

One of the consequences of using meth when I was a teenager is that I rewired my brain. Memory is not my strong suit. My approach to this is, “What do I imagine I would’ve said at that point?” It’s also an interesting space where it’s having to deal with the long-term consequences of rewiring an adolescent brain. For a long time or for many years, I was like, “I’m broken,” and then I was like, “This is a consequence,” and that’s all right. It is what it is.

“Learn your coping medicine and strategies to deal with it,” and that sort of thing, I’ve been doing that for a long time, but it took a while to get to that point of acceptance of like, “I did that. Done.” What I imagine is talking about coming from a place of compassion and unconditional love, that what the person needs is not corrective behavior or corrective language, but acceptance, love, and as hard as that is, disconnecting from the emotional impact of their behavior on you because that’s the drug talking, not the person.

It’s being in a space of like, “I am going to still love you. I’m not going to be a pushover. I’m going to have boundaries and be self-protective, but I’m not going to allow that to become something that gets in the way of my loving you.” What the need is like, “No matter what, you are still loved. I still love you.” The boundaries are key and important because that behavior or chaos is hard to deal with. I hate calling it tough because that is a whole different area, but it’s how you have compassionate, unconditional love while holding boundaries and protecting others.

I do think that it is a higher level skillset in loving somebody deeply. The ability to recognize is that when your loved one is using, they are a different person. I framed Sam as, “That’s his addict talking. That’s not Sam talking,” because I know when Sam is clean and sober, I know who he is. I knew the heart of who he was, and that distinction was immensely valuable to me. Because I knew the heart of who he was, I knew when he was using and doing things that he would never have done in his clean and sober life that there was going to be a lot of shame, judgment, and guilt that he was piling on himself and that was self-destructive in and of itself.

My job was not to pile it on because he already knew to the quantum field what that was. That’s not enough to get to that edge of, “I’m going to make a decision to choose life versus the drug.” Getting clear about that was a pivotal experience for me. I was going back through a lot of my photos with him over the last few years. More than half of them are with my arm around him smiling broadly, and he’s high. I was consistent in delivering that message all along the way that, “No matter what, you were always loved.”

It’s to drop that judgment as a parent and then also to understand that it’s not our job to fix them. If you would say a little bit more about that component to it because I think a lot of people get caught up in this notion that, number one, the consequences could be deadly. Coming to grips with that at the same time that you’re dealing with an adult who’s using is tricky navigation.

The connection is about a heart connection, heart-to-heart. You knew who he was. That doesn’t change even beneath the drug use and the habits of the addict’s behavior. That core is still there. Letting your heart recognize that level of connection is key in that. The piece about fixing people is we can’t fix anybody else. The person has to make their own choices and do their own thing. It’s hard to watch what appears to be very self-destructive behavior when your heart is saying, “I love you and I don’t want to see you in that position.” Right next to that is the piece of like, “It’s my fault as a parent, a lover, or a partner that this person experiencing this.” You got to get rid of that.

VIC 23 | Addiction
Addiction: We can’t fix anybody. The person has to make their own choices and do their own thing.

You can’t get to the point of dropping judgment or not fixing it if you don’t deal with that part first or at the same time because that is a major emotional weight. Anchor is the brick stone block that you tie to your ankles that sinks you. That piece is not yours. It wasn’t your decision or anything you did. When I think about some of the conversations I’ve had with my mother since then, it is being like, “No, this wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t you. You didn’t force me to use meth.” There was a whole set of circumstances or context that went into what made me start.

“You can’t own my addiction. Don’t even try. It doesn’t work. If you own my addiction, then how are you going to get to this spot of, ‘I’m not going to judge you and not try and fix you?’” You have to let go of ownership of somebody else’s addiction first and recognize that they own it and let go of that judgment piece. The shame is there and that feeds continuing addiction because part of the process of stopping or coming off of it is then you have to deal with whatever’s there that you haven’t been dealing with because you’ve numbing it, covering it or all that with drugs, the alcohol, or whatever the addiction is. That internal judgment that feeds is somebody’s own work to do too. It’s like, “How do I get past my own internalized judgment and shame to a point where I can walk in the world in a different way?” That’s hard.

You must let go of ownership of somebody else's addiction. Recognize that they own it, and let go of that judgment piece. The shame is there, and that feeds continuing addiction. Click To Tweet

I’m compelled to ask the question, although I know it’s a huge question. From the CNN version, if possible, can you speak to your own journey of letting go of your own shame and judgment?

It’s 30 years later and I’m still not done. What I’ve been realizing lately is childhood or teenhood trauma writes itself in our body and gets stored there. While there’s this mental process that we go through, that’s one level. I’ve been doing a lot of work in the last several years somatically unearth and release a lot of that. Part of it is the recognition of where this stuff comes from.

When I think back like, “What was the context of me as a little queer kid in the early and mid-80s?” no wonder I was messy. There were lots of things going on in the world that gave me this message that I don’t belong, I don’t deserve to be here, and I don’t deserve to be alive. All got plugged in into the brain, wired into the brain, through the meth used, into the body, and then I think about, “I’m going to turn 52. I never thought I would live past 50.”

Up until my 40s, I never thought I would make it. The fact of making it is a testament in itself of something that if I believe that I wasn’t going to make it past 50, and I have, then what else was not right, correct, or an accurate assessment? Some of it is ordinary and stubborn and like, “If you don’t think I belong, I’m going to prove you wrong. You are mythical, whoever that you is. I’m going to keep going and prove a point. That’s BS that I don’t belong.” That’s part of it. Shame is such a messy thing. It sinks in and has these little tendrils that grab on.

It comes up in weird ways, attaches to weird things, and thrives on silence and secrecy. You are not talking about these kinds of things and keep it in. You got to have somebody to talk to and unconditionally love you to talk about this stuff, not a parent. There are some things that I’m like, “I can’t have that conversation with my mom,” and that’s fine. That doesn’t mean anything about our relationship.

It means like, I know she doesn’t want to know things. I don’t necessarily want her to see those messy, gritty depths of shame that would not do right for her. You got to have somebody to bear it all and be like, “Here are the depths who will listen, not judge and be supportive.” It’s finding ways to get that stuff out, out of the brain, body, and soul. Release it without attachment. Part of the thing is we create these identities around our shame and judgment. Letting them go means, “If my identity is wrapped up in that and with shame, then if I let that go, then who am I?” I heard in this training I did around trauma that so much of our identity is an adaptive survival response, that’s not us.

We believe it is because it’s been that way for so long. It’s an adaptive survival mechanism. That’s powerful. If you back that up and be like, “What got me to that survival mechanism, what was I adapting to and why?” although I also don’t believe that you necessarily have to go that far back to understand the reasons, I’m like, “I also believe that if you recognize the pattern, you can undo the pattern.”

For some people, they need to go back and figure out like, “Where did this pattern begin? How did it start?” and then rewire it. Other people don’t need that. Other people can look at the pattern and be like, “Here’s the pattern. what I need to know is when does the pattern come into play and stop the pattern in its track then and replace it?” Those approaches are great. Somebody needs it.

It’s the whole pattern recognition piece and the trauma work that’s being done now that we’re able to read about and study. Dr. Gabor Maté, other trauma researchers and the whole brain science research is taking place in terms of rewiring neural pathways and understanding how our brains work, for me, it has given me great hope, not only in my own journey but Sam’s journey and all the people that I get to touch and work with in my work because we are not static in who we have become.

We are dynamic in who we can become. That understanding for me was revelatory. I do think that for most people, it’s still a nuanced way of thinking about things and potentially rewiring their lives and deciding from a much more choiceful place, “Now that I understand this piece, who is the person that I do want to lean into and become?” which is an extraordinary question to be able to ask.

VIC 23 | Addiction
Addiction: We are not static in who we have become. We are dynamic in who we can become.

Right next to that question is, “Who was I before all of this stuff got layered on? What have I lost that I want to reclaim and reconnect?” That’s another powerful piece.

As you’re talking about your journey, for the most part, it is the loved one’s journey also. We are inextricably linked because we love somebody who is in addiction mode. A lot of the time, we become addicted to the other pattern that coincides with that. You don’t see it as an addiction, but when you’re codependent you are addicted to the disease as well. To uncouple our own journey from an addictive pattern behavior is the same journey.

I had to come up against my own addiction in this, not just from an enabling perspective, but I remember distinctly this one day when Sam had sent a text for more money. I realized, at that moment, when I would hit the Cash App and send him money, that was my heroin or my meth hit. I would get like this release of I’d be like, “Okay.” When I realized that, I was like, “Damn.” That was one of the drop-to-the-knee moments for me in my own recognition of my side of the equation in this addiction.

Your identity becomes wrapped up as a mother of an addict. It’s that uncoupling of, “Who am I separate from? What pieces of this are feeding the addiction on my side? Is that what I want or not? Who do I want to be in this and how do I step back and release judgment for that person but also judgment for myself?” I’m imagining every time you hit that thing on the cash app, there was the endorphin and serotonin rush but also the shame-guilt rush.

I wasn’t telling my wife. I was lying. It was the same thing just in a different package. Owning that and making a very clear, distinctive decision to change that behavior for myself and to step away from my own addiction around that and to clearly define and get clear in my brain that saying no is saying I love you. I rewired and reconnected my own message around that and then committed to being authentic and honest in my own journey.

It is necessary. A piece of that, too, is that recognition. We talked earlier about the addicts’ addiction is not about you. Your stuff is not about them. If you blame them for your own stuff, then that keeps the cycle going. You have to step back and be like, “What is my part in this? What do I own? What am I responsible for? How do I reconnect with my own self and authenticity?”

That’s such a powerful distinction because, for a lot of people, if that’s all they get out of this conversation as somebody who loves and deals with addiction, that will change your world.

It’s that principle of addiction is not about you, and your part in it and how you are co-dependent is not about them. Releasing them from responsibility and attachment to your stuff and releasing yourself from it from the judgment and shame attached to it is critical.

That whole notion, I’ve heard many people say, “If you would stop, I’d be fine.” It’s almost comical to me now because we do have our own work to do in this, and they’re showing up to allow us to do our work. Part of the gift of this is that Sam’s addiction gave me the opportunity to do my work in a way that I’m not sure anything else could have. Kids have a particularly powerful opportunity with parents that I think I needed him in order to do my work.

It makes sense that a common view is, “If the person stops, everything will be okay,” because that’s the common cultural narrative. That’s step one, that first level thinking of like, “They’ve got to stop,” but that’s not the solution. You have to recognize all these other layers. I want to acknowledge that it makes total sense why that is such a thing and a common view of like, “If we get them to rehab, or stay sober for 1 or 7 years.”

I was having a conversation with one of my clients who’s seven years sober and not at risk of relapsing, but I was like, “If we think about recovery in developmental stages, seven years isn’t that long. if you’re in your late 30s or early 40s, how long did it take to build addiction up?” It takes time to do it. We were having a conversation where I have this theory, and I don’t know if this is true or not. Seven years is the rebellious teenage years of recovery. She was like, “That makes sense because in the conversation we were having, I’m feeling like a rebellious teenager.” I was like, “You are.”

It’s an evolution as life is. Addiction or loving somebody with addiction and being addicted on the co-dependency side is a journey. I personally had it my entire life. My mom was addicted to prescription medications. My brother was a cocaine addict. I married an alcoholic. I have a son who’s been dealing with addiction. My whole life has been dealing with me on the other side of it and my own evolution in understanding my own journey.

None of them was their addiction about you. You are about you. Your stuff is about you and isn’t even about any of them either, coming to that recognition.

It’s super powerful to think about from that perspective. I’m inclined to want to take this to a meta-discussion a little bit if you’re okay with that.

I can roll with it.

What I’m thinking about is there was a book that I read back in the ‘90s called The Paradigm Conspiracy. That book is predicated on two paradigms. One is the power over and control of which is generally the world that we live in. It is about the more money you have, the more power you have, the more prestige, and all the things, then you win as compared to contrast with a soul-honoring world, which is a very different world to live in and is exemplified by the Iroquois Confederacy that came out of the 1500s.

VIC 23 | Addiction
The Paradigm Conspiracy: Why Our Social Systems Violate Human Potential — And How We Can Change Them

How I think about this is that where we are is that 500-year delta. Things are falling apart. Addiction, suicide, and mental illness are at all-time highs. The way that I frame it is these are all massive big red flags that are basically signaling to us as humanity that this power over in control paradigm is not working. I’m curious about your perspective.

If you’re taking an even longer-term view, you see the big arcs and cycles that wanted to come back and make the point that pre-processes, whether they’re for the addict or the codependent person, are not linear. They’re not like, “Here we go, we start and we get there.” They do these funny jumps. Recognizing that also gives some freedom and openness in the process where, “Today, things are great, Tomorrow, they may not be so great. Today, they may be a little better.” It’s acknowledging that. To step back, the broad arcs and cycles of humanity, we go through these periods where we learn that lesson and then we gradually forget. We’re in that learning the lesson again phase. We can hope that it will last long once we do learn the lesson.

We’ll uplevel a little bit here.

Each time humanity goes through that, we uplevel a little bit. Our souls know and our souls are doing what they need to do. My journey now is individually soul-honoring myself where I’m supposed to be in the world and what I’m supposed to be doing, supporting people and figuring that out for themselves too. There’s work that needs to be done on a big-picture system level, and there’s work that needs to be done at the granular individual level.

I’ve spent lots of time working systems level. Part of my process now is letting go of the guilt of not doing that. We need all people working at all levels. If my place is to work at the granular, that’s all right because that is work that needs to be done. Other people are working at the system level. I did lots of system levels and wasn’t working granular. Being okay with that has been an interesting process.

That’s fascinating. I never thought about it that way. I work in the executive space. The way that I think about it is it is granular in each individual that I get to work with. At the same time, my hope is that there are bigger ramifications because they run companies.

Any change on an individual level in the direction of authenticity and soul-honoring has an impact on the whole or the macro, even for somebody not in a leadership position. The more people we have who are honoring themselves and living to their authenticity, the better off everything is. You have leaders who are doing that and serving as models that have a ripple effect, but somebody still needs to work with those people. We need people at every level that work.

Coming back down to Earth a little bit on the individual level, what would be your most powerful pivotal advice to those, whether they’re spouses, sisters, friends, or even parents of people that are loving someone who’s in the throes of addiction?

I want to say the simplest advice ever, which is to keep loving. I recognize that is the most complex advice ever. It’s both simple and complex, but at the root of it is loving. In every action, think about what is the love response to this. What would love do in this instance? That requires a level of honesty with oneself. That is important. It requires authenticity, understanding, following your intuition, and all of those things, but fundamentally, keep loving.

I’m with you. What I think about is that translated in my world as loving myself. For a lot of people, that’s a big lift also.

Yes, because we’re all dealing with our own stuff, guilt, shame, and packages. The more you can love yourself, the easier it is to love somebody else. All of this starts with ourselves. Practice letting go of that judgment and shame on yourself, understand your own areas of responsibility and what you own and don’t own, and hold yourself with the same love that you hold somebody else. We seem to have an easier time loving somebody else, but we need to love ourselves too and first.

The more you can love yourself, the easier it is to love somebody else. Click To Tweet

I’m a big believer that we need to model what loving ourselves looks like and stepping into that space. It became clear to me that I did not want to stay in the crisis of all of this. I have a big life that I love. I wanted to figure out how to thrive in the midst of the chaos of dealing with Sam’s disease. Setting my sights on that thriving piece changed the trajectory completely. The notion of thinking I could thrive while my son is in the throes of an addiction to some people is crazy talk. I’m okay with that. That was my intention. To wrap this part of our conversation up because I think we should do a part two is to ask you, what are three things that you do for yourself in terms of your own thriving?

Number one is honoring where I am at the moment. It’s checking in with yourself to say, “What’s going on for me now? How am I feeling physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, psychically, and all of that and accept it?” It has to start there because if I wake up and I’m angry and I’m like, “I can’t be angry,” then that doesn’t help me get through it and recognizing like, “I’m angry, and that’s okay.” That is a feeling and the option is, “It is what it is.” If I wake up uber-happy and think, “I can’t be happy,” it’s the same thing like, “I’m going to be happy today. I may be happy, but that’s tomorrow. Right now, I’m happy with that.”

That piece of understanding and accepting where you are and where I am is one practice that I’ve done a lot of. Number two is learning to trust my gut and intuition. We believe that the brain is the seat of knowledge, and that’s not entirely true. That’s one type of knowledge. We have multiple ways of knowing. Tuning and understanding those are another piece of this, listening and acting on that knowledge, and not being, “My gut is this. I’m going to ignore it.” Letting intuition guide us is two.

I’m going to do a two-part number three. Part A is it’s okay to have a team of support. We need a therapist, bodyworker, music teacher, art teacher, and whatever it is. If everybody had a team, we would be in a lot better place. There’s no way that one person can help one person completely. We each have a part to play. 3.A is part of that team should be a bodyworker, somebody who’s doing some body work with you. I’ve been seeing my massage person this one for a few years, a woo-woo energy worker also. We’re very compatible in that way. It’s not just massage therapy. Working that stuff out of the body is critical. That has helped me. Those are my 4 things wrapped up as 3.

I love all four. We’ll go with four and that’s fantastic. All four of those are mission-critical for us to be the best versions of ourselves to elevate in terms of how we show up in the world and continue the journey of unfolding who we truly are from that genuine, authentic, and transparent place without fear, but I still think fear shows up. It’s just we still walk through it.

We can’t get rid of fear.

It’s what we do with it. Do we let it stop us, sidetrack us or go, “Thanks for the message,” and move forward? As we wrap this up, any other thoughts that you have? I’m going to ask you how people get ahold of you and what you are up to now.

I have lots of other thoughts, but none on top of my mind for this. It would be great if we got the opportunity to do a part two. What am I up to these days? I have my own practice The Liminal Mirror. Liminal because of the in-between space that I inhabit because so much of my work is mirroring back to people. I don’t have a solution for anybody. We all carry the seeds of our own healing. My job as a coach and energy healer is to reflect that back. That was the reason for the name.

We all carry the seeds of our healing. Click To Tweet

I do coaching, energy work, energy healing, and various classes at times. I’m doing a class coming up that I call Secrets To Navigating Change, which is change, big or small, does a number on us, and makes this question all sorts of things. It causes all sorts of stress. There are some things we can do that will help us navigate that. That’s one of the ways that I can help support people. I have another one on managing anxiety and overwhelm.

It is a great topic.

Another one that I’m working on is how to stay grounded and centered. One of the big things that I’m working on is a self-guided radical self-love workbook, like how to begin to love oneself, what that means, and what it looks like. The work that interests me is the radical self, how to love oneself in one’s entirety, full complexity, and authenticity. That’s the work I love supporting people with is coming to that place of understanding who they are and how to support and love themselves. I’m happy to have folks reach out.

You are such a gift and I will be there with you on March 28, 2023. I’m super excited about this because I’ve watched from afar the journey unfold and now I’m going to participate with you, which will be super fun. What a blessing you and you have been to me personally. To many people that you are now working with on an individual level, we are blessed at this moment and to have you in the place that you are in. You taking that step of calling to do this work now that is needed by many people. Thank you immensely for this conversation and for who you’ve been for me on this journey and now for many others on this journey.

Thank you.

Love you.

Love you too.

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About Sparkle S

VIC 23 | AddictionSparkle is an intuitive life coach and energy healer who identifies as genderqueer. Born in California and raised in Nevada, she became an adult in the Pacific Northwest. After receiving her Masters in Teaching, she spent over two decades working to end the HIV epidemic in a variety of nonprofit and government settings.

She took vows as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence in 2003 and in 2015 completed a three-year program at the School of Traditional Magic in Seattle that focused on intuitive and spiritual development through European earth traditions, foundations of traditional magic, and ceremony.

What she learned from all her experiences built a foundation of love, compassion, and justice into her leadership. She believes the most radical and revolutionary act is learning to deeply love ourselves and communities. She is drawn to sparkly objects and seeks to embody the transformative power of glitter and love in action.