Oakland researcher uses past trauma as tool for community healing

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OAKLAND — All humans have experienced trauma at some point in their lives, but not everyone has asked themselves to step back and focus on others and what they may be going through.

Nchedochukwu Ezeokoli changed direction by making healing in his community an opportunity for change.

When Ezeokoli looks to their future, joy is on the horizon.

“The joy for me right now is creating a reality aligned with my freedom,” Ezeokoli explained.

It is a freedom that has brought with it self-realization and love.

“I discovered my homosexuality and more parts of myself that felt more real to me than I knew before,” Ezeokoli shared. “I’m transgender, non-binary and I want you to know neurodivergent too.”

It’s a journey that has also included many firsts for Ezeokoli. They started a new business and recently moved from Mid-West Hawaii.

They also began a much needed period of healing.

“Healing and release of pain, wounds, trauma,” Ezeokoli said. “The past that keeps people stuck, feeling stuck and not living in alignment with their truth.”

Living in their truth has sometimes been a long and difficult journey for the 29-year-old.

“Complex childhood trauma,” Ezeokoli said of their journey. “I suffered every mental, emotional and physical abuse from those who were supposed to care for me and uplift me”

Bullying within their community has also etched a deep wound.

“All of this combined led to carrying a lot of deep wounds and pain inside where I felt like I was disconnected from myself,” Ezeokoli explained.

Reconnecting to themselves and others offered opportunities for the Nigerian graduate from Stanford University and Emory University. Study abroad programs included volunteer stays abroad.

And as Ezeokoli’s future career plans came into focus, being a doctor, once a big goal, was no longer a consideration.

“I didn’t want to be a doctor,” Ezeokoli said. “I wanted to do something else with my life.”

Ezeokoli’s discoveries fueled freedom, self-acceptance and a new career path. Last year they co-founded Healing 4 Liberationa virtual healing studio that offers coaching, online classes, workshops and counseling.

“This is the work I was meant to do, my soul committed to,” Ezeokoli said. “Otherwise, everything I’ve been through is useless.”

Reiki, mindfulness and meditation are integrated into the personal experience, as well as the heart of Ezeokoli to help others who are also suffering.

Ezeokoli says their goal is to keep healing for everyone, including the healer.

“They can do it too,” Ezeokoli said of other sufferers. “We deserve to cultivate joy in our lives. Our past doesn’t have to define our future.”

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