Light in my Shadow

Hi there and welcome 🙂
My name’s Rachael, and I began my mindful drawing journey in 2017. I didn’t know it at the time, but this random little hobby was about to completely transform my life.
This powerful practice taught me how to create a top-shelf version of myself that I give gratitude for every day. Before then? I was hanging out on the bottom-shelf, completely broken with no awareness that life could be any different. I was a self-sabotage queen, which is a bloody awful crown to wear.

I’ve got one of those life stories that honestly, I wouldn’t be telling anyone about if I hadn’t fixed my shit. But I am telling it – because my story has become one of transformation. It serves as the perfect example to show how powerful the practice of mindful drawing is. So even on the days that shame might still try to pinch me, I will never allow it to silence me. My old life actually feels like a past life to me now. It takes me a minute to digest that I was indeed, that person.

Let me tell you a little about my life got so...messy.

I was born into a cult – the weird kind.

As a child growing up, I used to often wonder to myself, ‘Why me?’ Out of ALL the kids in ALL the suburbs around me, why did I GET THIS LIFE? To say it sucked is an understatement – it was excruciatingly painful for 15 years. And as a sensitive child, I felt it all.

It’s the kind of cult that isolates you from ‘the world’. The kind where you’re not allowed to have any friends from outside. It’s the kind that controls through fear and a heavy, hurtful hand. The kind that tells you you’re going to burn in hell, screaming for all of eternity if you don’t do what they tell you to do. The kind that makes your family disown you.

I got out with my sister when I was 15. We were disowned and cut off for years afterwards, and I took away deep psychological scars that never left me until I was past 40.

And I became a magnet to addiction after I left.

Alcohol, weed, meth and gambling. I didn’t dabble, I fell in deep. I did anything I needed to do to stop my suppressed ghosts from poking me with their sharp, triggery pitchforks. I had no awareness of what I was doing or why. Psychiatrists diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (from developmental trauma), Substance Abuse Disorder and Gambling Affected Disorder.
The only thing I was able to do properly, was self-sabotage. I got really good at that. I ruined everything – my relationships, my jobs, my finances, living situations, my health – I couldn’t manage ANY OF IT. I just learned to roll a heap of life-wreckage over from one day to the next, dodge the fallout and smother it under more addiction.
And then it got worse.
In November 2014, out of nowhere, I lost my Dad to suicide. I was 5 years old when I lost him the first time, when he left the cult and we were forced to disown him. I was 39 when I lost him the second time. This awful event triggered a rapid downhill spiral for me. It’s also the reason my website and my work exists.

I was so bad at managing painful emotions as it was, and his suicide was just too big for me emotionally. I couldn’t process it. The mask I wore on my face said I’m fine, but inside, the warning signs had started sounding. Inside, I was running and screaming. Over the next two years my addictions grew into such enormous monsters, they ended up costing me everything that was dear to me. I lost my whole world.
There are
some things
you can only
learn in a storm.
This was such a hard part of my life, it still makes me cry every time I write about it. Maybe it’ll always be powerfully raw, I don’t know. But I do know that if it didn’t happen exactly as it did, I wouldn’t be writing this now. So I wouldn’t change my past – even if I could.

The long version of my story – including my massive issues with addiction, mental health damage and my dark stint at rock bottom is woven into the benefits section of my website so I won’t repeat it here – but that was the end of my life as I knew it.

I moved into my sister’s house, and I entered the blackness of rock bottom. This is perhaps the scariest part, because after a while it becomes apparent that you can’t go on too long like that. The bleakness, emptiness, and the suffering becomes unbearable.
After 13 months of sitting in the darkness, ‘something’ threw me a lifeline – I picked up a pen and began drawing. Abstract patterns – like I used to do when I was younger. And I kept drawing for hours. The particular way I practiced began to change me, and over the next two years I drew, and I journalled exactly what was happening to me.
This consistent practice in focus and attention pressed pause on my thoughts and programs for the first time in my life, and this allowed something else to drip-filter in. It taught me how to dissolve all these false programs I’d been carrying around since I was young, and to see the truth underneath. It taught me to find my missing pieces and bring them back home, into my wholeness.
I found a light in my shadows that was brighter than I ever imagined existed.
My website here – is about that light. The unexpected way I found to remove my damaging (and common) programs, one by one.
As I changed my brainwaves and raised my frequency through mindful drawing, I began to activate different traits. Lasting, powerful ones. I’ve written about 50 of them here, and they just keep on coming.
Now, for the first time in decades I’m no longer an alcoholic. I’m no longer a gambling addict or a meth addict. I’ve deactivated my decades-old PTSD, I’ve finally stopped hurting myself, I’ve stopped hurting others and I’m no longer stuck in the wheels of a broken justice system.

In 2019 I got my driver’s licence for the first time, at age 44. I got a passport and I went overseas for the first time, to Bali, and I moved out on my own.

Ironically, I created my website – which is ALL about freedom – from my home in Melbourne, over the course of six lockdowns. Somewhere after 250+ days, we became the longest locked down city in the world.

We are going through a time of great change on Earth. In years to come, more and more of us will be seeking freedom from suffering (because the system we live in creates it). Many of us have a growing feeling that THERE HAS TO BE MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS. And there is.
There is so much more.

When we remove the layers of programs that block us from seeing it, what is under there is more beautiful than you can ever imagine.
I exist in service to hand you the tools, so you can experience it for yourself.
Only in my pain did I find my will.
Only in my chaos did I learn to be still.
Only in my fear did I find my might.
Only in my darkness did I see my light.
and after the storm cleared,
she met the next version of herself.