12 Keys to Healing Addiction
by Ester Nicholson
Foreword by Michael Bernard Beckwith
Book Review by Kam Williams
“This is a book about recovery—my recovery—from addiction to drugs, specifically cocaine. But… my addictions didn’t stop there. I was addicted to… drugs, love, men, food, you name it—if it gave me the temporary illusion of feeling whole and complete… My wants knew no end. Those wants nearly destroyed me and my child many, many times over…
The fear, unworthiness and shame I felt were so much a part of my identity as if they were in my very bone marrow… But I rose like a phoenix from those ashes.
I have written this book to take you from powerlessness to a place of shining in your full power… I am here to show you—with my story and my recovery—that finding your power again is possible. It will depend on your own ability to be humble in the face of the demons you are fighting right now.”
Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. xiii-xiv)
Ester Nicholson is a gifted gospel, jazz and R&B artist who has toured the world singing backup with everyone from Rod Stewart to Bette Midler. Perhaps more importantly, she recently celebrated the quarter-century of sobriety she’s enjoyed since resolving the host of childhood traumas that had led her down a self-destructive path marked by drugs, unemployment, near homelessness, and the loss of custody of the daughter she gave birth to in her mid-teens.
Today, she remains “eternally grateful” to the 12-Step program which put her on the road to recovery. Now, she plies her trade as a spiritual therapist and coach, delivering inspirational speeches and leading transformational workshops all across the country.
She has something to offer beyond the traditional 12-Steps, which sees as limited in terms of helping a person harness their power. And since she went from “being a victim” to creating “a new life of balance, order and harmony,” Ester has codified what she calls the “12 Keys” in order to help others overcome addiction and recover their souls.
The dozen tenets of the philosophy involve such New Age-sounding kernels of truth as “You Are the Power,” “Never Give Up,” “Complete Surrender” and “Honoring the Inner Child.” The earnest author’s conversational writing style is certainly very engaging, being based on oodles of anecdotal evidence culled from personal experience.
Each Key involves starting with an intention, focusing on finding a healthy direction, keeping a journal throughout the process, verbalizing affirmations and taking the steps necessary to reach your goal. Does the system work? I wouldn’t be able to tell you, not being an addict in need of salvation.
Hard to say whether starting a diary and chanting stuff like, “I am now ready to release all thought patterns and behaviors unlike my true nature,” would be enough to get a monkey off my back. Regardless, it did the trick for Ester, and the sister is very able to argue persuasively on behalf of her proven method.
To put it simply, what we have here is a practical handbook with a prescription of hope for the hooked.
To order a copy of Soul Recovery, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/140194311X/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20
To see a video of Ester Nicholson singing, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYktiTSNEOY
To order a copy of Ester’s CD, Child above the Sun, visit