Around 2013 I came across Dr Gabor Mate. I was instantly drawn into his fascinating and accurate understanding of human experience. His calm, measured way of presenting information was like eating a galaxy chocolate bar while floating along the laziest river, I was instantly hooked and became captivated by his work.
Gabor Maté’s experience includes working with heavily addicted patients in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He has been quoted as saying “I learned much” about himself from this work. He discovered and unearthed his own addictive tendencies by defining addiction as a continuum that extends from the dishevelled street person using injectable drugs—whom we might avoid on street corners—to the well-dressed, successful workaholic, like a physician, who is addicted to recognition, fame, and self-promotion. Addiction “arises near our emotional core,” and Dr Maté holds up a stark mirror, challenging many “comfortable new” perspectives. All of which resonated with me.
I have always believed we all have addictive traits, that none of us are immune from the lure of it’s clutches yet all so very capable of overcoming it at the same time. Addiction is an avoidance of pain, a successful way to move away from the things in life that cause us distress so we can become closer to comfort and connection, well in the short term anyhow.
This fascination with Dr Mates work helped to form my practice today and he continues to inspire my approach to healing. His metaphor of hungry ghosts being these people who roam among us who have huge bottomless bellies and tiny mouths. Who are constantly consuming yet never feel satisfied or connected, perfectly explained my previous existence and the modern world I find myself living in.
Our persistent need for stimulation or numbness lies at the root of most of our concerns, somewhere along the line we have forgotten to just be. The clue is in the title, we are human beings after all, yet we spend our time doing this and doing that.
As a weekly practice I meditate and visualise what I would like to have, be, or succeed in life. I connect to what it is I have visualised and imagine it is in my possession. I then set the visualisation free and act as if I have ordered it, almost like you would do with a catalogue. After repeatedly doing this with an introduction to Dr Mate I set about my life safe in the knowledge it was ordered and I was just waiting for it to arrive, almost like a random Facebook purchase that arrives 4 months later from China!
In 2017 I connected with a movement called Emerging Proud, an organisation committed to changing the paradigm around Mental Health, and through this I had the privilege of watching a screening of a documentary called “Crazy Wise” where Dr Mate was the physician offering his perspective of the psychological crisis case studies that were highlighted.
In an email I was included in, in relation to this movie, and to my astonishment, were the contact details for Dr Mate!! I wanted to email right away and gush about how I was a huge fan of his work .. but then I caught myself on and simply visualised having a proper use for this email address and not just some creepy random email gushing about how wonderful I thought he was, so I went back to the weekly practice and asked for a reason to use the email.
In 2018 Dr Maté was to speak at the trauna conference to be held in the Waterfront Hall Belfast. I had my excuse. As the founder and owner of Hydro-ease Northern Ireland's only dedicated floatation centre I emailed stating I knew he was visiting Belfast and invited him to come and float, as my guest and he accepted. Well .. to say I was excited was an understatement. He came that day and I had the honour and privilege of having 4 hours in his company. During this time I kept the conversation as regular and close to “normal” as I could, we touched on the subject of addiction but kept it primarily to a “hello great to meet you” type chat.
Since then I have kept in touch, just one or two emails a year to say hello how’s things with you, share some of my animations and work that I deliver to my clients.
Recently I approached him to request his attendance at the Havening Conference in June 2021, and while engaging with him and his PA I suddenly thought, Why don’t I host an up close and personal webinar where people who are living with, or families who are impacted by addiction can have direct access to Dr Mate and ask questions and gain his insights and understandings? So that’s exactly what I did .. and guest what …he said yes! Oh, my word, my dream, my visualisation was coming true, all my hard work and patience was finally delivering… Good old Universe, never fails to provide. I never lost sight of having an opportunity to use the email, never lost sight of keeping up the connection to Dr Mate, and most of all never lost sight of my purpose to serve and show others that healing is possible.
I am writing this blog today for 2 reasons.
1 - To highlight the upcoming webinar with myself and Dr Mate “When Vivian met Gabor – In the realm of hungry ghosts” and share the link to offer you the opportunity to invest in tickets https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/when-vivian-met-gabor-in-the-realm-of-hungry-ghosts-tickets-145907598555
2 – To remind you all that there is no success in giving up, no pleasure in fearing the worst, no joy in believing you do not deserve.
However, there is hope in triumph, there is pride in achievement and there most definitely is power in believing you are worthy.
And most of all … there is nothing you cannot dream therefore make a reality.
If you are reading this and thinking this webinar could be for you, or indeed this way of making things happen would work for you, then be present and give it a go, only you can make it happen.