Founder, Michele Garcia
Michele Garcia, Founder of Cielo Sober Living, is a seasoned addiction treatment and recovery outreach professional originally from Los Angeles, California. With a vision to help others in recovery, Michele opened Cielo Sober Living that promotes an emphasis in spiritual work, recovery support groups, and sober fun.
Michele had faced her own hard-fought journey into the surrender of sobriety. She first got sober on April 23, 1991 at the Drug and Alcohol Center in West Hollywood, Oasis Women’s treatment program and continued her recovery by entering a sober living home. With recovery under her belt she decided to pursue a degree in education which was driven by her passion for working with kids and adolescents. Shortly after, Michele became active at local Boys and Girls Clubs, leading field trips and nature trips and running workshops on writing and poetry. During this time, she obtained a certificate in child advocacy from Circle of Hope, an organization formed to raise awareness for helping abused children.
Michele then started working in the addiction recovery treatment industry. Over the course of her work as a consultant she became quite experienced in different facets of treatment programs and sober livings. As time passed tad been multiple professionals and clients who had suggested that she open her own sober living. When a colleague made the same suggestion, recommending the full-service recovery treatment model as a guide (clients receive treatment outside of the home and live in the sober-living facility, making it more cost-effective than inpatient treatment),
Michele believed she had received direction from her Higher Power about her greater purpose to pursue opening a transitional program. In July, 2010, Michele co-founded and opened a transitional program in Malibu, California, which remains a successful transitional treatment program today. Since that time Michele began to focus on more challenging and client-oriented roles in the field. Michele also received her certification for Family Systemic Intervention training.
Inspired by the healing that she found in the Coachella Valley, she opened Cielo Sober Living with an emphasis on spiritual growth. Michele has networked with a number of successful recovery partners in the area. She has been doing spiritual group work and sharing recovery skills and tools she has learned along her journey. Cielo Sober Living is now located in Cathedral City , CA.
In addition to the spiritual work that is done, Michele has organized Sober Fun Days at the Sober Living as well as in the community. These activities include hiking; rock climbing, Frisbee, community outings, and barbequing are among the many. Michele’s passion and commitment to recovery and the treatment field is clear: “I discovered that all things are possible with my higher power; my recovery comes first today”.
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY?
Spiritual Psychology is a holistic, non-traditional perspective of compassionately looking at the whole person in terms of psychological evaluation. Sigmund Freud believed that the study of psychology had to do only with the mind and body. Carl Jung and other progressive psychologists did not agree with Freud's opinion. They offered that in order to heal the whole person, the practitioner would need to take into consideration a person's mind, body and spirit; that was the birth of Spiritual Psychology.
In my opinion, psychological perspectives are merely images or beliefs of self and others. Many psychologists and holistic health care practitioners now believe that what the mind believes, the body will eventually believe. In other words, the beliefs that we have of ourselves and others can and often will create the energy of health or illness.
One of the predominant healing tools of Spiritual Psychology is forgiveness: Self Forgiveness and Forgiveness of Others. I like to refer to this as the " Power of Positive Thought ". Energy Psychology teaches that negative thought is the biggest interrupter of energy flow in our meridian energy system. I believe that negative thought creates negative emotion and negative emotion creates negative physical symptoms like stress and eventually pain and illness. Its very likely that unforgiveness is the unhealthiest of all fear based, negative emotions.
My interpretation of the difference between spiritual psychology and traditional psychology is that spiritual psychology does not recognize that a person may be damaged or "irreparable", per se. One of the basic Spiritual Psychology tools is "Seeing the Loving Essence" of each person, regardless of the problem or issue that they may be perceived as suffering from. The person is recognized first as the soul, then the physical and emotional body. Therefore, even a person who has been diagnosed with a serious mental, emotional, or even physical disease, can still be seen as a person that is whole and complete and simply has mental, emotional, or physical challenges that can be remedied. In this respect, Spiritual Psychology, from the very onset, is a much more hopeful and compassionately positive process for healing psychological issues and their mental, emotional, and physical symptomatology.
(source - SpiritualEFT.com )
"My experience working with Michele Garcia as her former client, has been a magical expirence for me. She is a wonderful, giving, and spiritual woman that I look up to. She has not only helped in me in my recovery, but also has inspired me to be of service and help other people. The lessons I have learned and applied to my life from working with her has made a major impact in my life."
“I have known Michele for many years, and started working with her as I was reaching my 35th year of sobriety at her women’s treatment center. I observed her to be dedicated, passionate, steadfast, light-hearted, inspirational, and very loving.
I noticed that the girls she sponsored and took under her wings held her in high regard, and everyone loved her and respected her very much. Many have accredited her for their good fortune and caring living situation. I know her to be a tireless worker, and a steadfast proponent of the 12-step way of sober living and spiritual growth. Michele is ever-vigilant and sensitive to other people’s needs - mental, physical, and spiritual. Always concerned about other’s well-being, her training as a spiritual psychologist was just the beginning… she has taken that education and continually expanded it to the point of being able to offer a completely customized experience on a person-to-person basis, while accessing a vast array of different tools & modalities. All the while, she works with a sense of joy and light-hearted playfulness, which is of course the best medicine for the newly sober.
In closing, one would have to search long and hard for someone who is as dedicated and committed to helping others as Michele. She’s a delight and a joy in this world of chaos and despair. A true angel.”
- Dan H.