Neil Scott Interviews: Nelli Smith

Nellie Smith In 2016, Neil Scott, the producer and host of RECOVERY – Coast to Coast visited our beautiful campus and interviewed some of our team members along with care partners and alumnae. His radio show is a two hour nightly national radio talk show dealing exclusively with addiction, with a focus on recovery. In addition, he has been a keynote speaker at numerous national, state and local events and has lectured at America’s leading schools of alcohol and drug studies, including Rutgers University. We are grateful we had the opportunity to get to know him and share all the wonderful life-changing work that we are doing at New Directions for Women. In this segment, he is interviewing, Nellie Smith, our Energy Meditation Care Partner at New Directions.

Neil Scott:

Welcome back once again to Recovery Coast to Coast. I’m Neil Scott. We’re down here at Costa Mesa, California, at a program that I’ve been wanting to come down and visit for a long, long time. It’s New Directions for Women in Costa Mesa, one of America’s leading gender-specific treatment providers, successfully treating women since 1977. Five-thousand women have found their way into recovery by going through the doors of New Directions for Women. It’s an amazing program.

They are also successfully treating women with children up to 13 years of age, and they also treat pregnant women in any trimester. One of only a handful – and a pretty small hand at that – of treatment programs that do that in the country. You can find out more about New Directions for Women at their website, newdirectionsforwomen.org. You can follow them on Twitter at NDFW, and of course on Facebook as well. Joining us in this segment is the lovely and talented Nelli Smith. I’ve been talking to Nelli before we went on the air. She’s a care partner, she’s a volunteer, and she does energy meditation. She’s a facilitator, and she’s an interesting woman.

She grew up in the Philippines, moved to New York, worked for the United Nations, and then came out to sunny southern California. And while living here, she got involved with spiritual volunteering. And she went to one particular organization, and then that lead her here, and she has been with New Directions for Women since January of 2004. Nelli, welcome to the program, and my goodness, you’ve been here a long time.

Nelli Smith:

Thank you, Neil.

Neil Scott:

And I always say that when looking for a good treatment program, find a facility that has a low staff turnover. In other words, find a facility where the staff has been there for a long time. And you have been here for a long time. And you do groups, and you do meditation. Let me start by saying that a lot of these new women that come in here, they are hurting. Many of them very agitated. They have a lot of anxiety. They probably didn’t wake up on a bright spring morning and say, “I think I wanna go to a treatment center.” They have a lot of issues going on, and probably many of them, frankly, have never meditated before. How difficult is it to teach these women to get in touch with their inner self in meditation?

Nelli Smith:

It’s not that difficult for our method that we use. It’s called “divine light energy mediation”.

Neil Scott:

You work with their organization, correct?

Nelli Smith:

Yeah. But we do it one-on-one. So we have three women volunteers come here. Each volunteer works on one woman at a time. And the way we do it is, we have them sit down, and we touch them very lightly, and apply some very gentle energy on the back of the neck and the kidneys. And that’s all we do. But at the same time, we tell them that we are not physically healing. We are not medical practitioners. We are doing light energy meditation with them, so to speak, so that they can relax and get in touch with themselves.

Neil Scott:

How long does that take?

Nelli Smith:

It depends on how many of the women come during the day. Usually it’s a minimum of 15 minutes. But if not too many women come, we can go as high as 30 minutes for each woman. And what we have seen is that after they leave the facility – and I’ve seen some women at the breakfast fundraising – and they say, “Oh, you’re the one who does the – it felt so good, and you just don’t know how that helped me.” It’s like planting a seed to get them to get in touch with themselves.

Neil Scott:

And then watching the flower blossom.

Nelli Smith:

Yes. Oh, it’s so beautiful.

Neil Scott:

Nelli Smith is with us. Care partner. She does energy meditation. Really do spiritual purification.

Nelli Smith:

Yes. That’s all it is. Even though we touch a certain point in the back of the neck, we tell them, “We’re only touching you to open up some points, so that you can absorb divine light, and then you can feel that in you – you might say, etherically.” And so we say it’s all spiritual healing. We do not claim to physical heal anybody.

Neil Scott:

In this session of 15 minutes or 30 minutes, what is the mood like? Is there music? Is there light? Is there darkness? Is there ambient light?

Nelli Smith:

We do it 8:30 in the morning Saturdays, and we can have the light, but usually we don’t need the light. We actually close the blinds. We do it at the gym over there, and we have meditation music, and everybody’s quiet. And some of the women would have a baby or children. We tell them, “Bring your child,” because to be with your child while you’re meditating, the child or baby absorbs that beautiful energy that comes out of them. And we just simply allow them to bloom. So we’re simply the conduit. We’re not the source of the energy. It’s divine. It’s from the higher source. What they call “higher power” here.

Neil Scott:

You are a volunteer. You’ve been volunteering your time, and your service, and your talent, for some 13 years. What have you learned from these women?

Nelli Smith:

I have learned that some of the women feel they are alone, and so having somebody come to just simply touch them a little bit. It makes them feel they’re not alone, and when somebody is going through some issue, you can tell. I just say, “You’re OK. You’re only going through this experience so you can grow. And it’s going to help you.” Especially when there’s a baby or a child. “It’s going to help your child, because your energy shifts when you do this kind of energy meditation.”

Neil Scott:

Really? It shifts?

Nelli Smith:

It shift. Yes. The reason is, we do the back of the neck. And that is in the practice of divine light energy meditation. The back of the neck gets tight. And so, the energy of light – so to speak – or the higher spiritual consciousness – is more or less blocked from going into the consciousness, the brain. And so, we do the back of the neck, pretty much, and that – I’m not gonna use the physical brain, per se, as being healed. But it’s like getting a faucet to open up. I don’t know if I’m using the right words.

Neil Scott:

Yeah. That’s good. That’s good.

Nelli Smith:

Yeah. So, when they come out, they either are very relaxed, and there are some women who will be emotionally touched. And they would be crying.

Neil Scott:

I would imagine there would be a lot of tears.

Nelli Smith:

Yeah. There will be some tears, and we wanna make sure they’re OK before they leave. So I say, “Are you calm enough?” The other part of the energy that we work on is the kidney area, and that is to allow the – I’m going to say the blood, in the physical world – but the source of spirituality, the life force, is really the blood. And allowing the kidneys to flush out the toxicity, allows purer, divine blood to go through them.

Neil Scott:

That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. But when they leave here, and they no longer have access to Nelli Smith, what do you suggest people do as kind of a follow up in continuing care?

Nelli Smith:

We leave the brochure with them. And, again, whenever they’re ready, that’s when they will come. But we are always around. People can call me, and they can call the center. Our center is in Santa Ana. It’s not that far. So we are available. And some women have asked if they could come, and I said yeah. And some have come in over the years. They used to take a van to go to the center, but they have to let us know because we don’t have enough people there for six people at a time.

Neil Scott:

You have a great gift, Nelli that you share with these women. I’m so grateful you’re a part of this process, because recovery is a holistic experience.

Nelli Smith:

Yes.

Neil Scott:

It really is. And body, mind, and spirit.

Nelli Smith:

Right.

Neil Scott:

Nelli Smith is a care partner, a volunteer. She had been here at New Directions for Women since back in 2004, and I hope you’re here for a long time to come.

Nelli Smith:

I certainly would love to stay.

Neil Scott:

Thank you so much for your time. Nelli Smith joining us on Recovery Coast to Coast. We’re gonna take a short timeout. We will be back with more from Costa Mesa, California, and New Directions for Women. I’m Neil Scott. Thanks for joining us tonight.

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