Teacher, Speaker, Addiction Therapist
Walking back from the crack dealer's house was always the hard part. With her seven-year-old in tow, no promise of "never again" could convince. Even seven-year-olds know better than that. Fast forward to another life and a higher purpose: Walking off the stage at Madison Square Garden after singing with Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Beyonce' or Barbra Streisand—and having her life story featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Ester Nicholson, daughter of a Baptist minister, renowned vocalist, former addict, teacher and author of Soul Recovery - 12 Keys to Healing Dependence – finally realized what her healing called her to: A mission worth living for.
Soul Recovery, the process that Ms. Nicholson developed to heal herself of a life-threatening addiction unifies the 12 Steps of Recovery with universally accepted spiritual practices—and has guided thousands to their recovery and higher purpose.
In keynote speeches, retreats, workshops, staff trainings and more, Ester shares the stories, inspirations and lessons-learned that led to her transforming journey from addiction and domestic violence to healing, serenity and success.
In the process, she challenges all of us to a far-reaching reexamination of how addiction and dependence takes root and how it can be overcome and ultimately healed.
“So much of what progresses to dependence starts with how we ‘identify.’ Growing to adulthood is a messy process as we discover who we are. Our identities are forged through life experience and we selectively identify with the experiences that give us a sense of security. That does not always create a positive sense of self—resulting in challenges ranging from feelings of unworthiness to substance abuse.”
By addressing addiction and dependence on this more foundational level, Ms. Nicholson finds that people respond more powerfully to the central 12-Step principles, the forgiveness of others, a deep sense of compassion for themselves and a practical system they can engage in.
"Joining 12-Step process and accountability within the context of a compassionate, spiritual practice offers a profound opportunity for the treatment and management of addiction and dependence," Ms. Nicholson states. "The work is so powerful and the results so stunning that it has become the focus of everything I do.”