By the time I hit 18 and a half years old, I had hit rock bottom. No longer the grade A good girl, I had become a paranoid, permanently afraid, cripplingly ashamed and deeply alienated young woman.
I was paranoid, drug addicted, unemployable and spiritually, emotionally and mentally bankrupt.
When I hit rock bottom, I had become unrecognisable to myself.
Fear ruled my life. It was with me night and day, a suspicious-at-best, vicious-at-worst voice in my head and feeling in my body that advised me, warned me, punished me and hurt me. It told me how worthless, repulsive, pathetic and freaky I was, and I believed everything it said. I was not in right relationship with it. I was brought to my knees. I was completely defeated.
The fear I lived with was chronic, often acute and brutal. I had reached a point where I could not see beyond it. Even the most ‘feel good’ drugs couldn’t get rid of it. It was with me all the time, living in me like a parasite.
I would be flooded by shame, experiencing debilitating + embarrassing shame attacks multiple times a day.
There was social anxiety. Anorexia, and then uncontrollable binge eating. Horrific body dysmorphia, so bad I couldn’t leave the house some days.
Self-harming. Cutting. Ripping the hair out of my skull.
Compulsive, out of control drinking and drug taking.
Promiscuity. Literally giving away my body in exchange for drugs.
Phobias. Paranoia. Compulsive tendencies. Hopeless, insecurity-ridden relationships.
In short: I was a mess.
My plea for help to what/whoever was out there — “Please God, help me. I can’t do this anymore!” — became the beginning of a whole new way of life.
That total rock bottom was my first experience of total surrender. My breakdown became an unintended but gratefully received breakthrough.
I had to learn to live in an entirely different way. I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about life, people and myself. I had to approach life from a different level of consciousness, with different operating principles.
This meant addressing the root of my dysfunctional behaviours rather than their outward manifestations. It meant resigning as my own teacher and becoming willing to go to any lengths to recover. Luckily, I was in so much pain that this came easily.
12 Step Recovery, therapy, 5Rhythms and various therapeutic communities helped me so much. But nothing has come close to the teachings of A Course in Miracles. That big baffling blue book has changed me from the inside out.
Today, over 14 years into this “second chance at life,” I am a transformational life coach, a writer, and a speaker… but those labels are really a cover up job for my real work, which is to be a Teacher of Love.
I am a teacher and a guide of the inner curriculum. Through deep coaching conversations, writing, courses, podcasts and workshops, I guide you home to your Self, to the Inner Teacher within you.
I am here to help you wake up from the fear-based nightmare and remember who you REALLY are. I am here to dare you to live braver, bigger and bolder than ever before.
I don’t have it all together, even after a decade and a half of living this work…
I am both a masterpiece and a work in progress.
But there are things I know, and know well.
:: I know what it’s like to live with fear every day, to feel at times like you’re fighting an exhausting, never-ending inner battle — and I know how to find depth, meaning and even grateful joy in the middle of the struggle.
:: I know what it’s like to want it all – joy, belonging, safety + expansiveness, the experience of being deeply met, deeply held + deeply known, the connection with soul-sisters and brothers, the purpose, the play and the power.
:: I know what it’s like to feel the call towards an unlived life from deep within you, and what it takes to consciously, creatively say YES to it.
:: I know what it’s like to decide that you’re done with playing small, to wrestle with all the doubt and discomfort that comes with daring to live a courageous, unapologetic, wildly brave life.
:: I know what it’s like to dare greatly. To say too much. To not say enough. To rise and fall and rise again.
:: I know what it means to commit to this path like nothing else in your life, to say YES to being fully alive no matter what.
:: I know what it’s like to truly relinquish fear and to trust yourself and Life like never before.
:: I know that no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Walking this path is my life purpose.
Teaching this work is my life’s joy.
The teacher in me honours and bows to the teacher in you.
And it’s time my love. We’re waiting. We want to meet the real you – the mess, the perfection, the weird, the eccentric, and the teacher and leader you were born to be.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for daring to see things differently. Thank you for every single step you have taken, for every risk you’ve taken, for every moment of brave and every one-degree shift.
You are more powerful than you have dared to dream.
It matters so, so very much.
Elloa Atkinson is a transformational life coach, writer, podcaster and teacher whose writing has been featured on the home page of the Huffington Post and the Good Men Project.
Elloa has over ten years’ experience of leading and facilitating deep inner work with people from all walks of life, as well as a decade of teaching and training experience (language schools, corporate training, 1:1 teaching and in a university setting). Her work draws on various influences including A Course in Miracles, Bowen Family Systems Theory, various therapeutic approaches, The War of Art and the work of many inspiring coaches and teachers.
She has edited two bestselling books, with a third book on its way very soon (Odd Man Out: Breaking the Vow of Male Silence, by her husband Nige Atkinson).
Elloa is fascinated by what it means to be fully alive, how to heal from shame, and the art of vulnerable yet emotionally responsible relationships. She lives near the woods and the sea in Sussex, England with her husband, Nige, and their rescue dog, Molly.
Interviews. Feature articles. Conversations.
Ancestry of Shame on Jen Pastiloff’s The Manifest Station
When Things Don’t Work Out: Who Knows If It’s Good or Bad? on Tiny Buddha
Journey of a FitPro podcast – we talk relationship with food, embracing the past, asking the the right questions and unbecoming
The Power of Vulnerability on The Project of Love podcast with Andreea Billig
What the Bleep is A Course In Miracles?! on the Punk Rock Personal Development podcast with Sarah Starrs
The Evolving Role of the Spiritual Teacher on the Awakening Dialogues with Will Pye
Vulnerability and Boundaries in Business on the Adventures of a Boss Lady podcast with Fab Giovanetti
Roundtable on Vulnerability with Kyle Wood, Elloa Atkinson and Toku on the Life On Purpose podcast by Gregory Berg
I Love My Husband But Here’s Why I Want to Cheat on the Huffington Post
My Wife Told Me She Wants to Cheat: Here’s How I Feel on the Good Men Project
Guest speaker on SoulSpa with Bebe Butler
Interview on Sexy Sobriety with Bex Weller
Truth Tribe Interview for The Phoenix Soul with Amanda Fall