A lot of people come for treatment and they get – they feel lost and they say things like, you know, “I want to discover my authentic self”. And I always tell people, not to worry about that, you know. Don’t worry about discovering your authentic self, discover who you want to be in the world, you know, and you’ll be yourself.
Introducing Yeshaia Blakeney
So, maybe that’s a good intro into who am I? I have no idea. My background, my name is Yeshaia. I’m a Spiritual Counselor. I’ve been a Drug and Alcohol Counselor for 14 years now. I’m also an Assistant Rabbi at a Temple in Los Angeles, called Ohr Hatorah, various roles.
I’m a father of three. My first passion, my first way that I identified as a young man, was as a Hip Hop MC, so I still have a lot of music that’s living in me. So, I have a lot of different roles. So, I you know, I don’t identify as you know, kind of one thing. I identify as a person in recovery. I’ve been in recovery for about 15 years and identify as a teacher, but most importantly, I identify as a human being that has a soul.
You know, that’s most important. My background, people often ask me if I am a Clinician, cause I’ve worked in treatment this long and I have a decent looking office. And I go no, I’m not a Clinician, both my parents were psychologists, there’s just no way that I could become a psychologist, cause I had to rebel against what they did, I became a rapper, a poet.
And, but somehow you sometimes get pulled back into the things that your parents do, so I got, you know, life brought me to getting pulled back into the healing arts, which is nothing romantic. It’s actually quite a challenge to do. It’s – when you care about people, it’s difficult to hold, you know, but at the same time, you grow from it emotionally and spiritually, in working with people, and sitting with people, and creating spaces of intimacy and safety and connection.
And watching people transform, you know, every time I see somebody transform, it transforms me, you know. I just like, anybody suffering from addiction, or anybody walking out on the street, I wrestle with my own hopelessness, you know.
When I see the transformation of the human spirit, it gives me hope for my own transformation, right. Because I also fall asleep in my life. I also need to continually wake up. I also need to grow. I also need to learn to love and be loved.
So, that work for me, grounds me and who I want to be in the world. One of the most important things to me in an individual life, I would say there’s two immediate things. Experience itself, having the experience of life, if I’m living right now, feeling that and being as awake and present in that as I can and love.
And then what else is there beyond that, those are the currencies that I attempt to cultivate in my life and a beautiful way to do that, is to work with other people who are suffering and to try to bring them into awakeness, trying to bring them into their experience, bring them into their spirit and to love them and to be loved in return.