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Adrian Hanks is the creator of the Conscious Life Development Foundation, an organisation committed to assisting people realise their greatest potentials through coaching, training and passionate engagement. He speaks with Mandy Nolan.

How has your personal journey dealing with alcohol and drug addiction informed your practice as a healer/coach? Having walked the path of both alcohol and drug addiction, it is much easier to understand, and have empathy for, other people’s journeys. When, and if, I share my past experiences with clients, it can give them the feeling of being more understood.

Knowing the challenges involved in overcoming addictions gives me a clearer indication of the steps that people need to break the cycles of addiction.

What are the mistakes we most commonly make, do you think, on the road to recovery? Mmm – tough question – although I feel that it is all about having a plan, a set routine and some form of good professional support. Without these it is easy to step off the road to recovery and fall back into the old way of being. Often it is about changing old daily habits, connections and social connections. By not doing this, it is easy to stay stuck.

How do you help sick people get well when they don’t have the self-awareness to even know they are sick? The fact that they seek my service and support is a clear indication that something is not right. Often in the sessions or workshops deeper issues come to the surface and the awareness of the ‘sickness’ comes to light.

Why do you think we are drawn to the same bad choices in our lives over and over? From a holistic and psychotherapeutic perspective, it is a case of people not engaging and holding their focus on the choices that they have and allowing the ‘old self’ to be the decision maker, rather than working from their ‘I’ presence, or higher self.

This is nearly always connected to old stuck past experiences, lifestyle, diet, drug and/or alcohol intake and lack of creativity. These things dampen or swamp our ‘I’ or higher self and keep us in a cloud of unconsciousness, and/or fear and doubt.

There is a great quote I heard once from a 12-step program that says something like ‘the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results’. How do we break these destructive and limiting patterns? This quote, I believe, comes from Einstein. I believe and have come to understand that the only way to overcome our limiting patterns and destructive behaviours is to change our lifestyle and make new conscious choices and set ourselves a new plan and routine, along with support, and learn to be in the present and learn to be the age that we are in that present time. If I am 48, then I must learn to act and be 48 and learn to be responsible for my behaviour.

I use a great powerful tool and ask my clients to use it – it is the foundation of all my work. I ask people to ask the question ‘Where am “I” Right Now?’ – I ask them to ask the question on the hour – every hour for one week. This one exercise, when used and carried out, will, and has, changed people’s lives.

What do you think should be part of a person’s every day mental and spiritual hygiene to keep them in touch with their higher purpose? By asking the question Where am ‘I’ Right Now? and choosing ONE spiritual path and staying with it every day and for a period of several years at least. By jumping around from one discipline to the other there is not generally much growth – it is like going from Kindy to Kindy to Kindy.

I believe that we have to move up through the spiritual/educational layers, like going from kindy to primary, to secondary, to university. This way we can keep up with and further develop our higher self and purpose.

Do we all have a higher purpose? If so, how do we locate it in the first place? I often ask people in sessions about this topic, and I ask them, ‘If you had a magic wand and could tap it three times and make a wish – what would you do next week if you had no fears, doubts, boundaries or obstacles?’

This generally gives people an idea of what their purpose is – our purpose is often connected to our work or vocation.

What are the excuses you hear the most from people for not being more empowered in their lives?

I hear Blame! Blame! Blame! They can’t do ‘it’ because of him or her or it. This is the most common thing that I come across. That and probably lack of will and the lack of having a dream to follow.

Do we all crave the same thing in the end? Yes, in my opinion we all crave love and acceptance and some spiritual/higher connection.

If so, then why is it so hard to get there? Phew – the million-dollar question! Is it so hard? Or is it all about choice – this is my belief – we either choose to be there or not. My work is more about getting people to see and make new choices in their lives. Then we put a plan into process.

Tell me a little about the workshop at the Starlight Expo. It will be a hands-on and experiential workshop and will begin with the participants asking the question ‘Where am “I” Right Now?’ physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – and moving to a more empowered place by using communication, fun and games, art, speech and drama and movement.

Adrian presents his workshop on spiritual growth Sunday 1pm–3pm. A&I Hall, Station Street, Bangalow, Friday–Monday 9.30am–5.30pm every day. Daily admission $15 ($10 concession). For more information go to http://www.global-healing.com/starlight.


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