When I first encountered SeekHealing, I understood it and the world it operated in like I imagine most people would: there are people who use drugs and there are people like me who don't; those people need help and I'm a person who can charitably help. This lens I had divided the world into people like me, and people like them.
What I never imagined is that through working with SeekHealing, I'd have that lens shattered. There is no me and them; there's only us.
We're all humans growing from trauma, as life is by nature traumatic. We're all realizing we came into adulthood with strategies and tools that helped us get through childhood but hold us back as adults. Some people have more devastating and pervasive trauma in their life than others. Some people bond with substances to get them through - whether that's a couple glasses of wine at the end of the day or IV whether that's IV heroin. But the differences are but in degree, and all else is a story people like me tell ourselves to make us feel better about our own traumas - "At least I'm not them."
SeekHealing has helped me grow through my own past, limitations, and traumas - in vulnerable and respectful partnership with everyone else in the Seek community. It's the most revolutionary, compassionate, and empowering community I've ever encountered, and it's changed my life forever in ways I never could have imagined.
I thought I was going into SeekHealing to give to people in need. In truth, the people I've helped have also helped me. I've been given so much from everybody at SeekHealing that I couldn't possibly give back enough. I'm a person with something to give but I'm a person in need too. We all are, and so we all have a place at SeekHealing to grow, heal, and thrive.
My life has been changed by the practices taught by SeekHealing that are genuinely lived in the community. Deeply listening to myself and others with such practical and applicable tools that is also life changing and relationship changing. It has changed the way I relate with myself, my family, the way I work, the way I look at other humans. The connection practices continually evolve me into who I am, who I am becoming and how I show up in the world.
I first heard about SeekHealing when Jennifer Nicolaisen (the Executive Director) began to practice Yoga at a studio I was teaching at. Her authenticity and compassion allow her to connect with people so effortlessly, and the work SeekHealing is doing is a fantastic program that encourages that easy, yet sincere way to connect with other humans and yourself. Whenever I participate with SeekHealing (whether by reading their newsletter, popping by an event they host, or even by making a donation), I get this feeling of having had an eye-to-eye and a heart-to-heart with a good friend. And it feels good!
I first found SeekHealing through Jennifer and our mutual love of Authentic Relating. Once I learned about Seek's methods and mission, I was sold big-time! I've been involved with Seek for a over a year and a half now and I have never been so smitten with an organization and the movement it represents. Everyone I've met with Seek genuinely puts kindness and connection at the center of personal and planetary healing. And I can't count how many times I've heard that Seek has saved someone's life, or at least changed it for the better. It has certainly changed mine! I'm excited to see how this revolution in mental wellness will spread and create a sea-change in the way recovery and social wellness is done in our country and in the world!
I stumbled upon Seek Healing by happenstance one fateful day a couple years ago and I had no idea what I had found. Although I didn’t have any addictions, I did have depression. I Began by going to the social gatherings as a method of learning more about how I relate to others. It was during a weekend long Listening Training that I found the missing piece to my life: Authentic Connection Practice- a practice that comes from a non-judgement, guilt/shame-free perspective that allows individuals to talk about ANYTHING in a safe container without the fear of it all. I have now been a member for 2 years and I can’t thank Seek Healing enough for the bountiful happiness and secured grounded feeling I rejoice in. They are a flagship of transformative recovery!
Calling SeekHealing a nonprofit or a charity prevents one from knowing the joy, the movement, the revolution that is SeekHealing. As we all struggle to connect with each other, both prior to the pandemic but especially highlighted during the pandemic, Jennifer Nicolaisen's vision grows. Her implementation of using connection to battle what we call "addiction," i.e. struggles with unhelpful behaviours in our attempts to self-placate, becomes a vital port, an oasis, in this storm of isolation and disconnection.
The culture of care and compassion is not limited to a mantra or a mission statement. The leadership team at SeekHealing mean what they say, say what they mean, and live their lives authentically and open-heartedly. They promote accountability but not at the cost of autonomy. They promote encouragement and growth, even if might be uncomfortable and awkward at first. As a non-profit, I was thrilled to see the number of free programs they extend into the community, never placing volunteers or participants in obligatory positions. As a woman of colour with a disability, I felt at home along every axis, and that's a statement I don't make all too often.
They're an organisation worth interacting with on all levels: as a volunteer, as a participant, as a donor, and as a curious member of the public. You can't walk away from SeekHealing without wondering: how is each of us managing to survive under this paucity of connection?
I attend several connection practices. I am encouraged to come as I am, meaning if I am angry, lonely, heartbroken, gitty or any other emotion I am welcomed. I have never felt judged or pitied. Instead I feel as though everyone there has compassion for me in my struggles and celebrates my victories. I continually discover new things about myself by the curious questions the other Seekers ask. Seek Healing is a place where I can let my guard down, be totally raw and vulnerable and feel safe at the same time. They know more about me than anyone else ever has because I feel safe doing so.
SeekHealing came into my life when I desperately needed connection and a sense of family.
I previously was working a residential recovery job working towards my CSAC and through my own selfish actions, got terminated and lost everything. I lived there for three years and it was my recovery. It was my residence, my recovery family, and my employment. They gave me 24 hours to leave the property with no offer of help or any support. I was a heroin user that came through that program, dedicated my future to helping that program and people in recovery. I gave a lot of my heart and feel good about what i accomplished there but received nothing but criticism and judgement from one mistake. Three years of hard work completely wiped by one action. I never felt more alone or shamed. I was just a number to them, another addict that made them money.
So I had to push forward no matter how hard it was for me. I faced two options, try to connect again or eventually go back to using with the intent of leaving this world. Seek Healing was a perfect fit. It emphasized just connection with no judgement. I knew this was the key to my recovery from my work in the field, my actual experience. It also gave me better tools to actually connect with people in an authentic way through Listening Training. There were no shame based behavior modification practices, no requirements to be "clean and sober", no adding up "clean time" to form a sense of hierarchy. It was perfect! Everything I needed to be a better human without all the bullshit.
I have been involved with SeekHealing ever since and couldn't imagine my life without it now. I've never felt more supported, more connected, and more importantly - NOT JUDGED.
It truly SAVED my life as a former heroin IV user and I am forever grateful.
This is the best organization in the world, made up by the best people in the world, all coming together to serve the best purpose in the world. I believe this with all my heart and will gladly stand up to say it.
Wow, what a truly heart-felt and kind message. Thank you for sharing your truth and believing in yourself and the potential we as a community can share with each other by removing the barriers of connection. We appreciate the passion and support!
Greetings, my name is Cameron Payne. I came into Seek Healing; as a "Seeker", looking to heal a life of traumas, co-dependency, addictions and self-sabotaging ways. I was greeted with love and acceptance. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5. I was a hyper-sensitive person, unable to properly process my emotions. I was greeted with compassion and empathy. I was greeted with connection. I was educated in various practices to learn to connect with myself and others in a compassionate, empathetic, non-hierarchical, unconditional loving way. I was fostered and cared for. I was supported and given direction and purpose. I shown the worth and value that I had within myself and others. I was given the gift of connection. I learned tools of "listening" to connect with others in a authentic and vulnerable way without judgement. I was made to feel safe and seen and heard. Thanks to Seek Healing and all the other fellow "Seekers", I was given direction and purpose to help others along with their healing journeys. I now am giving to what was so freely given to me. I am eternally grateful to Seek Healing! This healing modality is truly a gift that I wish will spread around the country and around the world.I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to express my healing journey and to support Seek Healing!
Thank you Cameron, we love having you in our community!
My personal experience with Seek Healing is deep healing and opportunity to advance myself and my life in the direction I wish to go. I also witness great healing in others, in some cases, I hear personal stories of lives being saved.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and the support you share with us by showing up to be in community. We appreciate you for being you!