Dr. Liara Covert

Holistic Coach
Breathwork Psychotherapist
Sunshine Coast, Queensland


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Entries in addiction (5)


Interview with Kerrie Atherton

Meeting Kerrie Atherton and learning about her endeavours is heart-warming reminder that every moment is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and develop strength from adversity. I had the pleasure to meet her through Darron Eastwell whose inspirational story and self-healing show us the universe shakes us up to awaken us to see the world and our evolving purpose differently. 

Like many of us, Kerrie Atherton has faced physical and emotional trauma throughout her life.  Rather than allow adversity to define her, she has used the wisdom gained from her experience to create Empower Life Solutions and become the Founder of Stories of Hope Australia. She has been highlighted in recent editions of Profile Magazine , Sunshine Coast Daily and has been a guest on radio. I am grateful to Kerrie Atherton for creating space to connect and engage in this dialogue:

If you asked someone to describe you, what would they say?

These are some of the things people have said to me: That I am caring, compassionate, bright, bubbly, non-judgemental, creative, wise, resilient and empathetic.

How has your sense of purpose and life focus changed over time?

Once I was able to let go of shame for things that happened to me and for mistakes I had made, my whole perception changed.  I no longer felt like I had to put on a mask or pretend to be someone I was not just to be accepted.  I finally felt I could be my authentic self without concern or fear of judgement or what others thought of me.  And that was a very freeing thing.

Love that your evolving purpose involved getting more connected to community. The more we feace our fear of speaking our truth, the more we come into our personal power This is also a measure of the ability to focus our attention on soul-fulfilling activities.

Indeed. Many people imagine they need to reach for liberation. It is said the hardest prison to escape is our own mind. Your life experience and those stories you share remind us we can change our thoughts and change our life. 

What has been your greatest life challenge? 

My greatest life challenge was when I hit total rock bottom where I planned to take my life as a result of much trauma due to alcoholism and a pill addiction.  

That is a huge thing to acknowledge.  How did you overcome or get through this?

I overcame this through reconnecting with my faith In God that day and through walking into the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Details of your story that you share with people include the internal shift you have experienced to transform your life. It is akin to what we hear about celebrities who beat addiction.  Australian singer- Songwriter Keith Urban speaks about his own addiction and sobriety. He came to recognize that he wasn’t living to his full potential.  Although he wishes he got sober earlier, It seems like you resonate with Jamie Lee Curtis who said on the Today Show, “My recovery is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. Without that, the rest of my life would have fallen apart... Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in a shambles and you have to change it.”

Tell us about Empowered Life Solutions.

EMPOWERED Life Solutions is a business I formed around 5 years ago.

So, your choice to shift your attitude in your life guides you to help others take their lemons and make their own refreshing lemonade. Cool! What fulfils you about mentoring roles taking shape?

After working with many people suffering with addictions and after working with troubled youth in schools for over 11 years, I wanted to devote my time to counselling, coaching, mentoring and running programs to help EMPOWER people who were struggling with different issues in life and to help prevent those people from going through them in the first place. 

What does empowerment process entail? 

To sit with an individual or family after the trauma has happened in their lives, especially due to drug addictions.  This is very devastating at times to see and to help them. That journey of recovery can be a lengthy process.  Prevention or early intervention programs can save so much heartache. Prevention really is better than cure.  Having said that, being trusted by someone with the opportunity to counsel and help them through their hard times is something I consider to be a huge privilege.

Something touches my soul as you describe creating a welcoming space where your clients feel safe to share stories of self-rejection and vulnerability.  Such an environment of unconditional acceptance would benefit many. 

When do you feel most alive? 

I feel most alive when I am sharing my own story or testimony to others about how I have come out the other side of hard times, so I can bring others HOPE.

How does instilling hope make you feel?

I feel most alive when I am playing a part in helping make a positive difference in the life of someone who has lost HOPE.  When I am at my Stories of HOPE events and I see all the faces in the audience this really causes me to know I am fulfilling my greatest purpose and being part of the process of changing someone’s life brings me the greatest JOY.  Especially helping someone who was about to give up on life discover that they really have a reason and a purpose for living.

Tell us about the Stories of Hope Australia initiative. (Some people get a taste via your Linked In)

I got the inspiration for this after I hit rock bottom for a second time in August 2016.  My father had just died, and my husband became very ill.  These things happened on the back of other trauma and grief I had experienced over the past few years.  I just felt like I could barely  go on.  I felt very alone and with little support. 

When did you get the inspiration?

After pulling out of all regular activities and spending much time alone for a few weeks trying to heal and regain my strength, I attended a women’s conference.  There I had a light bulb moment after hearing a couple of other people share about how they had come out the other side of their very hard times.  I knew right there and then that I had so much to share with the world.  That I had not been through all this pain for nothing, that it wouldn’t be in vain, and that I would use my pain for others gain, through sharing my stories of how I had come out the other side of the circumstances which could have easily destroyed me.  I also knew that I had to gather together all the other inspirational people I knew who had also triumphed over adversity and I thought ‘together we can literally change the world’. 

Eureka moments are like what you describe, instances which change each of our lives for the better. Like intuition in action, they prompt us to listen or pay attention to how we feel.  As you imply, we are triggering our own inner shifts in energy, attention and transforming purpose. 

How do you see this brain child unfolding? (and expanding)

I see myself taking my events into different states with some of my team members, and I am now working on my second Stories of HOPE Australia book. We will continue our regular free monthly events where we started two years ago at the Sands Tavern Maroochydore and will also be working on more ‘Men’s Only Mental Health’ nights and separate women’s nights targeting sensitive topics.

Meeting you echoes Pay it Forward movie message. You may be familiar with this flick. Who inspired/inspires you to empower and help others as you do?

There are so many people who have inspired me with both my parents who are no longer here being two of them.  My dad in particular who I witnessed over his many years also in AA, he was 60 years sober to be exact, pouring his life out to help others recover. Other than them, there is no one person more than another.  I guess the thousands of people that I have met in the rooms of alcoholics anonymous who are walking miracles, and all the people I have met through Stories of HOPE Australia.  Some of those people are my closest friends today and they continue to inspire me on a daily basis.  When you go through extensive pain and trauma, it doesn’t just disappear overnight.  It is a slow consistent journey of recovery.  Watching the progress of recovery in anyone who I have seen at the beginning of their journey and who is moving forward through it, inspires me beyond belief.

You have a book coming out soon. Share a bit about your process. Many people dream of writing a book. What is your own motivation? Why now?

The motivation behind me writing a book has always been there.  I have had my story sitting partially written for a few years, but got stuck.  I just really wanted to share a glimpse of the SOH journey and some of the stories to all the people out there who for different reasons, can’t make the events or they live in different states or countries.  I wanted,to take a glimpse of the SOH events and experience out to the big wide world, so I could exponentially share the experience with the masses of people out there, so they too could find the same kind of HOPE  that we have found through the sharing of all these inspirational stories.

This reminds me a  bit of a rendition of Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor HansenYou may know that Chicken Soup for the Soul book series of over 250 titles has sold more than 110 million copies in the U.S. and Canada. Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been translated into 43 languages, have been published in over 100 countries, and have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. What a backdrop for your inspirational endeavours!

At what stage did you awaken to the importance of feeling the way through life to grow and heal?

At 18 when I was about to commit suicide, I heard a voice I believed to be that of God.  He said  ‘Don’t do it.  If you hang on a bit longer you will find happiness one day.’  And I am so glad I did hang on. Since that day when I walked into AA I have dedicated my life to helping others heal also.  To try and help prevent anyone especially young people going through and experiencing the pain and trauma that I did became like a mission for me.  I never want anyone to get to that point like I did where they feel like they are all alone and that they have absolutely no HOPE.  If I can help provide that HOPE I will.

That is an inspiring wake-up call. It reminds me a bit of an experience of a man who was intent on committing suicide and the touching story of his Golden Gate Bridge Survival.  His will to live sent out a vibration that brought the aid of a sea lion.

If you could share a single message with the world, what would it be?  

When you are able to be your authentic self, you unlock the door to freedom.  When you have Freedom to truly be yourself without fear of judgement, that opens the door to true connection with others, which is something we all need and have a deep longing for.  My mantras of Don’t do life alone and together is better ring loud in everything I do.  Also to believe that there is always HOPE.

Based on many shared stories, hope feels like a stepping stone to trusting ourselves more.

If you could share a meal with 5-10 people, who would they be? 

Jimmy Barnes, Mother Theresa, my grandfather Bert Fisher (who was the Tivoli Conductor/ composer and violinist who I never got the chance to meet), Brett Whitely, and the queen.

An intriguing combination of individuals would be sitting at your table...why them?

The reason I would pick all these people, is because they have all experienced deep trauma and lived both complicated and exciting lives.  They have all been through extremely sad and hard times and all reveal depth and great talent.  They all show resilience in the face of hard times.  All these people would have the most amazing stories to tell.

Love your choices! What the public hears about famous people is often only a glimpse of the truth or tip of the iceberg of deeper truths. It is also interesting that everyone we draw to us is revealing things about us we may not yet know. It is said we are drawn to or inspired by people who’s admirable traits we are in the process of recognizing, loving and accepting within ourselves. In a similar line, we can also imagine which fictional characters we would invite to dinner and the underlying reasons for doing so. In addition, it has also been said that anyone who is born into this world experiences birth and/or pre-birth related trauma and this is another possible avenue for investigation and healing.

Please share anything else you wish to add:

Our book launch is on the 28th of Feb at Venue 114 Lake Kawana.  Tickets must be purchased by next Tuesday 26th and are available via our Stories of HOPE Facebook page.  For anyone who would like to purchase a copy of my book  Stories of HOPE Australia ‘Everyday People, Extraordinary Stories’ which will be sure to change the way you look at life forever, you can do so via my website www.storiesofhope.com.au

If you are someone who feels you have a story of HOPE that you would like to share to help change lives for good, I would love to hear from you.  Until then,  ‘don’t do life alone, together is better’.

Thanks Kerrie, for creating the Stories of Hope initiative and inviting people to come together to reassure, empathize and support others.  I certainly look forward to taking in more of the events. You set an example to us all that we are not the body, not the mind, but the Soul in the process of experiencing different facits of life necessary to become a butterfly. Highly recommend people come attend one or more of the monthly events to get a taste of speakers who regain their personal power by sharing their stories, shifting their attitude and direct experience of what is possible in a group setting. Contact Kerrie Atherton for more details and visit the FB pages.

Leave people with a story:

Moving Mind from 10 Zen Stories 

Two men were arguing about a flag flapping in the wind.

“It’s the wind that is really moving,” stated the first one. “No, it is the flag that is moving,” contended the second.

A Zen master, who happened to be walking by, overheard the debate and interrupted them. “Neither the flag nor the wind is moving,” he said, “It is MIND that moves.”

Meeting Kerrie Atherton and learning about her endeavours is heart-warming reminder that every moment can be understood as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and the strength we can develop through adversity.



3 Ways taboos are pointers

Notice whatever evokes discomfort in you is the key and path to your own liberation and destiny. Recognize and join the dots of your own unique life experiences, and uncover an unconscious map to reclaim your personal power. Sounds easier said than done? Discover what surprising pointers guide you to your heart's deepest secrets.  Funny thing is, you may not even know how or why you gave this power away. This is invitation to contact us to engage in practices or therapies that enable you to access innate unconscious intelligence and wisdom and set it free.

1. List topics that bother you the most

Based on a surveys, thirteen of the most taboo adult subjects include; sexism, sexuality/sex/ prostitution, money, politics, rape, death (i.e. rituals, suicide) pornography, religion, weight, drugs, war (violence), abuse of power of authority, and stigmatized illness/ addiction (or any combo). Ask yourself what gives you the heebee-geebees or rattles your chain. Brainstorm what evokes anger, fear or heavy emotion.  Notice what you resist speaking openly about.  This points to sources of repressed/ suppressed pain or trauma you refuse to feel. You exist to decode why.

2. Notice what children blurt out

Ever notice children are direct, tend to tell it like it is until taught otherwise.  They speak freely and openly about body functions: burps, farts, digestion, poops, nudity, and  mysteriously voice those things you aim to hide or feel embarassed about. Ask yourself why its okay to speak about certain topics in the presence of kids or fellow parents, yet decide its taboo to speak about these topics more widely in other circles. At what stage or for which reasons do you begin to go silent?

3.  Be honest about where things need to change

When you feel some public system, structure or services are outdated or that things need to change, you are actually inviting yourself to view yourself differently so you access and activate more untapped potential.  Thinking about these things is a step toward speaking about or challenging the status quo in thoughts, beliefs and behaviour.  Beginning to change your view of the world and how you imagine your place in it is the path to feeling more comfortable with transparency.  This is a stepping stone to more consciously evolving into a futurist who is co-creating a new reality. Now is the moment to listen, empathize and flourish.  Simply be real.


Interview with Dario Da Ponte

Steven L. Hairfield, Jeoff Hutcherson and I co-host a regular Aware Talk Radio show. Dario Da Ponte is a repeat guest. Listener interest in his presence and healing abilities inspire me to interview him here. It is a privilege and pleasure.

Appreciate the opportunity to reconnect and share your insight with a wider audience. Thanks Dario for putting yourself 'out there' and reminding us that what we seek is always accessible and closer than we think. So let's get right to it:

Different kinds of healers exist. Please share with our readers how you came to be aware of inner healing abilities and why you use this to empower others.

My personal empowerment journey began when I was 16 years old. My mother gave me The Silva Mind Control book and I was captivated by the possibility that we have infinite potential. For whatever reason, this struck a very deep cord with me. I remember wanting everyone to read the book and learn how to tap into their personal power to create whatever they wanted. It’s just something the seems to run in my blood. I stumbled on these healing skills really on my own journey to heal myself on an emotional level.

It's interesting what your state of mind viewed as 'stumbling on' or 'a random experience' deeper awareness arises to reveal as cosmic synchronicity or awakening with perfect timing. Many people relate to key life turning points.

As for me, I was going through a really challenging moment in my life and fell into a depression. Even though I had many skills to overcome fear and inner limitations, I wasn’t getting anywhere significant with the depression –then  one day lying in bed something inside me told me to go deeper and meet the depression much deeper inside. When I did that, a huge surge of energy poured into my body and cleared away my depression in a couple of minutes. To make a long story short I later put two and two together and realized how to reproduce that phenomenon any time I wanted for myself. I later realized that this energy could be used to heal others, so I started practicing on my family and friends and later on clients.

One message that stands out is that nobody is alone in having wake-up calls or revelations.  Personal stories about depression are also common. Now, when did you begin to see everything as energy?  In other words, what triggered this knowing inside you or letting go of the resistance that blocked it?

This is a great question. When I realized that I could shift someone out of their traumas and limitations, it was one the most exhilarating realization of my life. To finally be able to move things just with your mind is something I think we all dream about at one moment in our lives. When I  learned that everything is energy and that thoughts are energy that can have an effect on someone 10,000 miles away and literally change their entire lives – life completely changes.

As you say, direct experience is indeed life-altering. It's possible for everyone to recognize a shift in perspective that allows deeper knowing to reveal itself. In your view, how can people benefit from being open to energy in ways they do not yet experience consciously?

More importantly than to realize that everything is energy, behind the energy there is consciousness.  That seems to create this energy that everything is made out of and it seems to create it out of a void. When we become the witness to what is happening, when we enter into being conscious rather than thinking with our rational minds, we are movers and shakers of reality much more so than when you are not aware of this miracle. It think people would love to believe this about themselves but they have not had the experience, or least they are not conscious that they are magical creative beings. Everyone can do this work because we are all conscious beings and it is consciousness that creates. We are coming around as a whole to come to really understand this. There’s always hope.

Love your attention to distance healing. Some people are unfamiliar with the nature and potential its power. Of course, direct experience speaks for itself. But from your healing role, how is this possible and what can block it?

We are one conscious mind having billions of different experiences. We are  each a piece of the whole, which is a hologram. That means that we have the whole within us. All we need to do is to focus and the effect is created in another individual. There is no sending energy across the globe. In this realm there is no time and space. There is no space really at the core. Quantum science understands this very clearly. They call it entanglement. Some people think that the healer needs to believe in order for this to work. Not true. As a matter of fact, this is why people go to a healer as a last hope and often don’t believe it will work, but they still go because there’s no other option and it works anyway.

Beliefs can then be surprising motivators for healing. What is the most common reason clients approach you?

The most common reason  is a person’s inability to create the shifts and transformations within themselves that they would like. They want to have more confidence, feel free to be who they know they can be but because the resistance  of their inner conflicts are so strong they need help clearing them.  The other issues are physical issues, followed by addictions.

You certainly deal with a variety of situations. Clients as well as visitors here can come to value their own versatility. What advice would you give to people to be more attuned to their own energy?

Being more attuned to energy vibrations is essential to putting your inner power to use for personal growth and empowerment. It is actually very simple. All one needs to do is get into a receptive state, pay attention and be conscious of your sense of feeling within your body. This is how we learn to use more of our brain. When we feel with our bodies we are using our power. Feeling is power. Feeling is a creative force. There are many different skills one can learn which I teach people, but it is about being sensitive to the vibrations we create with our thoughts. This is a very easy skill to learn. Bottom line is first and foremost is to be open with your whole body. Once you practice that, your sensitivity will build. It’s actually something very grounded in our bodies and not some woo woo thing. It’s about learning to control the parasympathetic nervous system by holding a state of calm and receptivity.

Readers appreciate your focus on simplicity.  Now, what does it mean for a person to meet feelings of emptiness?

That just means to be conscious of it. The best way to be conscious is to create a gap between you and the feeling of emptiness. Sort of like being a fly on the wall and watching. Just watching without any judgment, without being for or against the emptiness – by being the witness we can meet our feelings and not get entangled in them. This simple act will empty our emptiness and give our real self a space to be.

From your work as a healer, what would you say is the greatest block to natural healing or core well-being? And what remedy would you suggest for people concerned to remove it?

It think that it all boils down to learning how to be conscious. We have never been taught this simple concept and the power it has to help us live a well balanced life. The only thing we must remove is ignorance. These things should be taught in school. Take time every day to be conscious. Just be still. If you want –here  is a cool little way to do that. Pretend you have turned into a statue. Let your body freeze or turn into stone. Do it for just 3 minutes and you will be amazed how deeply this process activates consciousness. When you do this you have no choice basically but to be conscious because your body is frozen. Just play with these type of exercises and they will carry over into more well being in those testing times. But play with this type of practice. That’s the most important thing.

As you imply here, individual awakening to the nature of the dream is done on different levels. Please offer an example of a client and how you guide them to trust themselves more.  What shifted in his life on different levels?

One that always comes to mind is an individual I helped with BDD (body dysmorphic disorder). People who suffer from this condition see themselves completely distorted when they look in the mirror. They usually feel just as bad as they see themselves. Most are aware that they have a mental disorder that shows them something that is not really there, yet they still suffer tremendously. My client basically saw a hideous monster when he looked in the mirror and I was able to help shift the image in the mirror so that he no longer saw the distorted image. This completely shifted his life around and was able to have a romantic relationship again, start to work and in general just feel comfortable in his own skin again–something he hadn’t felt for over 20 years.

How do you see the evolution of distance healing and the other healing modalities you currently do? (within yourself and in the world more generally)

There is a huge energy healing movement going on now and I think it will just continue to grow. There is no question in my mind. I see –I envision more and more everyday people having the basic know how to use the power of their minds to create shifts within themselves and others. That’s what I am working towards, myself to help that happen.

What are the three most profound lessons (and/or experiences) that have shifted your energy, focus or perspective?

#1 – that consciousness is everything. I experience this everyday and have had many shamanic experience that have showed me that there is only consciousness.

#2 –that we are creative beings, when we observe, the very act of observing causes an effect. This has proven to me that we have god-like powers. And we are just now barely scratching the surface. It’s how I perform the healings, with conscious awareness and intent. Just notice what is and observe it and it transforms.

#3 –my own awareness and intentions have healed and transformed me so deeply that I now so full of hope for the future of humanity. I have experienced how relatively easy it can be and yet how powerfully  moving our awareness and intentions are. This work keeps evolving and recently I have felt  that I am now working on a much deeper level –at the level of our DNA. This happened just by moving my awareness around and the results have been amazing. This saves me twice the energy and I am getting much better  results. It has also shown me that our evolution could become so much quicker that I have imagined.

This discussion offers much for reflection and also invites letting go of what is outgrown. What final message would you like to leave our visitors?

That we are just one consciousness, one being and that we should consider that deeply in our lives, our work, within our family and friends, and with mother earth. Take responsibility for the results in your life and face your life with conscious awareness, open your heart to the challenges in your life so that you can awaken the truth your life challenges are seeded with. It  will only be uncomfortable for a moment and the pay off will be forever.

How can people contact you? Please share details of courses, products and services you offer for consideration.

They can contact me via my website at http://www.coreawakening.org. Visit my this site to find out more about this work, sign up for the newsletter and receive several free healing audios. I also teach a healing course every three months, for those interested visit the website. I am also doing DNA activations, which will activate your potential. I basically do whatever the persons wants to activate within themselves, any inner power, love,  confidence, more intelligence, aligning with their purpose. Anything can be activated and really, we are filled with potential, we just need to check in and ask what wants to manifest through me.

It is a joy to connect with you Dario and to feel how you genuinely exist to invite others to rediscover who they are. Your presence on Aware Talk Radio is welcome. Until we reconnect, in Lak-ech.

Thank you Liara for this interview.


Live without fear

Consider what fear is and why some people are addicted to it. Ask yourself whether you invite it in and how it prompts you to behave as you do.  What if you choose to allow freedom to shift your perspective?

When people allow themselves to be controlled by fear, they block out the experience of joy and freedom.  You have the opportunity to open the mind and choose to learn from yourself.  Respect the external world.

Notice the choice to fear invites the reason for it into your life.  The mind does this to help you learn to face and see through fear, realize you can live in peace and harmony. Fear does not have to be on your agenda.  You are taught to expect fear and suffering and to forget the kindness and compassion. 

Recall you can live without imagining painful penance. Take another approach.  Give yourself the penance of 50 strokes to the back of a cat or another animal.  Never underestimate healing power of compassion.


4 Ways to move beyond addiction

Addictions are extreme behaviors that arise in a person who believes he is incomplete. People develop compulsive habits for different reasons. Each person is on a healing journey.  If you dream of being anywhere other than where you are, you refuse to believe healing and redemption are available now.

People consume too much of things when they are under the illusion they do not have enough. They over-indulge in activities as they do not consciously feel satisfaction. They behave in ways which they believe compensate for deep-seated fear and perceived lack and yet, a sense of restlessess lingers.

To move beyond unhealthy behavior, a person must evolve to recognize extremes. As you choose to explore reasons why you permit extremes to arise, you also have freedom to explore feelings that perpetuate and dissolve them. The path to wholeness invites you to recognize different sides of yourself;

1) Address the physical level. Based on gender, unless you are a hermaphrodite, you are male or female or what appears to be half of a whole. You are attracted to whatever you sense is missing. Sexual intimacy is one way human beings seek to fill a perceived gap. For many people, this a short-lived experience because the sense of union does not last. A return to oneness raises the issue of energy polarity and why opposites attract.  Certain kinds of love are addictive yet they do no serve you.

2) Examine the emotional level. Addictions arise based on the unconscious refusal to face and work through pain and related issues.  Whatever you are using or doing to an extreme evokes discomfort precisely because it draws your attention to what bothers you underneath all that.  You surpass the threshold where your chosen distraction is no longer effective.  The pain source is more pronounced.  As you move beyond ego substitutes for needs, another part of you awakens.

3) Review the psychological level.  To identify with the mind is to falsely identify with an external sense of self.  In other words, you may create an identity based on your social position, material items, money in your possession, physical appearance, perceived approval and conditioned beliefs.  To deny ego is not the same as choosing to understand why it exists.  As you stop focusing on self, you dissolve reasons for fear.  To consciously empty the mind is to stop resisting what is.  An effective trigger for change is to completely accept others and yourself. Turning off the judge takes you beyond ego. That is, the inner critic and will to punish, dissolves.

4) Explore spiritual connections.  The non-material, non-physical reminds you of the power of presence.  This draws attention to the reality of timelessness.  As you learn to live in the present, you sense unmanifest reality. Part of you yearns for an end to duality.  This is experienced through connecting with everything.  You consciously remove veils of illusion and form to sense pure love.  Suddenly, energy aligns.  You feel it.