Moving beyond cocaine addiction and self-destruction to self-mastery



As a podcaster for justice, I stand with my sisters from the Women of Color Podcasters Community. We are podcasters united to condemn the tragic murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and many others at the hands of police. This is a continuation of the systemic racism pervasive in our country since its inception and we are committed to standing against racism in all its forms.


This week I’m sharing my conversation with Cindy Van Arnam, who has faced a lifetime of mountains…starting when her beloved dad passed away when she was 16 years old. For 23 years, she created a “mountain” in every choice she made about her life. From cocaine addiction and abusive relationships, to travelling to foreign countries without a plan, she was always seeking a way to make life hard for herself. She finally understood that she was the mountain that didn’t need to be there. Now she helps entrepreneurs fully discover their own limitless power so they can create sustainable wealth through self-mastery.

Cindy as a young girl on the farm

Cindy had a happy childhood, growing up on a chicken farm in Alberta, Canada with 18,000 chickens. Cindy’s dad was her biggest cheerleader, a mechanical engineer turned farmer. He always told Cindy she could do, be, or have anything she wanted in life.

“He was always building things and creating things, and he was a second-degree black belt in Shotokan karate. He was just this powerhouse, somebody I looked up to and admired.”
Cindy with her parents and brother on the Alberta farm

Then when she was 16, he suddenly passed away. In deep grief at losing her biggest fan, Cindy reacted by making self-destructive decisions.

“You name the bad decision, I made it…abusive relationships, drug addiction, alcoholism. I was just a wreck.”

Although she had been a straight A student, Cindy's grades started failing. She was able to graduate from high school, but not with the honors she’d intended. After high school she moved to British Columbia and fell in with the wrong crowd, continuing to make bad decisions. She got addicted to cocaine and had a series of abusive relationships.


After she’d gone for a week without food or sleep and she was high as a kite, her mom looked at her and asked her, “are you okay?” When Cindy responded that she was not, her mom sent her to stay at a friend’s house, where she detoxed and recovered for three weeks. She never had formal drug treatment.

“From there, I decided that I was going to take control of my life…”

She decided to leave Canada and start over.


Teaching in Indonesia
“I knew if I went to some countries, I would probably fall back into my same habits. So I chose to travel to countries where if you do drugs, it's the death penalty….I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, for a year and from there I moved to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.”

She returned home when her mom got sick and almost died. But she fell in with the same crowd again and started making poor decisions again.


In Abu Dhabi

Cindy then decided to go work on the pipelines in Saskatchewan and get her act together. Then after moving back to British Columbia, she worked as a bartender for six years.

“I was working at this one bar where the baseball bat behind the bar would be for protection. And it was the night that I actually had to pull the baseball bat out that I realized I'm better than this. And I deserve better.”

On her way home from work that night, she heard a song by Halestorm, “I Am the Fire.”

“I listened to that song on repeat over and over and over again, and the one line that stood out to me was, ‘I am the one that I've been waiting for.’ I started realizing that the only person who would ever help me change my life and make my life better was me.”

Cindy in 2009, living in British Columbia

When she got home, at 3:00 a.m., she started researching career options. The next day she applied to college and went back to school to study event promotions. Halfway through college, though, she realized what she really wanted to do was to start her own business.

“The education helped me step out of my comfort zone, but what really happened was that I took my power back.”

Now Cindy specializes in quantum numerology and universal laws. I asked her to translate that for lay listeners.

“I help people understand who they are, what they want, and how to get it…everything in our experience has a mathematical code. The things in our physical reality, the people, our relationships, energy, everything has a numerical mathematical code to it…there are certain numbers and pinpoints we can use as numerologists to dive into what that code is and how it can best support us as entrepreneurs or humans.”

Cindy explains that by just looking at our date of birth, numerologists can tell us the foundation of our personality, some key sabotages to watch out for, our biggest challenges, and major possibilities available to us…and how to operate within that mathematical code.


She got interested in numerology when she was working as a virtual assistant, helping entrepreneurs build the back end systems in their business, and she soon discovered how much she hated that kind of work.

“I had put a mountain in front of myself, thinking that if I just worked a little bit harder that somehow I would have that magical breakthrough. I was living PayPal to PayPal, and I was burnt out in six months. Along my journey I ran into a woman named Joy Kingsborough, who to this day is my mentor. I'm her apprentice. She's teaching me everything she knows.”

(Listen to Cindy interview Joy on her podcast, Rebel Radio.)

When writing this blog post, it sent me to look up my own life path number and those of my family. I can see why Cindy got drawn into numerology. My 17-year-old son joined me in my research, and we were blown away by the accuracy of our family’s numbers. We are both 9s, the sage. Each of the family members' numbers we looked up were not 100 percent accurate, but definitely on the mark.


I asked Cindy how numerology and universal laws helped her heal her old wounds of drug addiction, emotional abuse, and trauma.

“The number one tool I have used is forgiveness and understanding my journey of addiction and poor decisions…I used to have a lot of shame about it…there was a lot of healing that needed to happen, but what really needed to happen was that I needed to forgive myself.”

Cindy’s big journey of self-awareness and understanding has made her realize that the decisions she made in her 20s led her to who she is today, so she looks back at that time of her life with gratitude. I asked her about her relationship with her mom now.

Cindy with her mom
“My mother is my guardian angel. I adore her. We talk almost every day. She's amazing…She just has this radiance about her that anytime anybody meets her, it's like a warm hug."

I marveled at how Cindy has recreated her life through incredible self-awareness and innate wisdom about what she is meant to do with her life.

“I follow the breadcrumbs in my life and I follow my passion. I always knew I was not meant to hold down a JOB. It's just not in my code…I think this comes from my dad saying I could do, be, and have anything I wanted.”

We talked about being entrepreneurs, and Cindy commented that it requires a lot of self-mastery.

“It requires a lot of leaning into the unknown and trusting. It requires faith, and faith is a muscle that you develop every day…It's not like you just one day arrive at faith. It's a daily practice, and the more you practice it, the more you lean in…the more you spend time in meditation and contemplation and connecting with yourself, the more you're able to follow the breadcrumbs and let go of the mountains in front of you.”

On Cindy’s podcast, Rebel Radio, she talks with entrepreneurs who want to dive into self-mastery and wealth. She jumped into podcasting almost a year ago, without spending any time to plan, and she’s already in every country except North Korea. Check out Rebel Radio here.



I asked Cindy what the numbers and universal laws say about this time that we're living in right now.

“2020 carried the energy of the four…stability, structure, foundation, and safety…in 2020 it became clear where our foundation and our structures and our systems weren't working…as we started to understand that and we were literally forced to go home because many people couldn't go to work because of the pandemic, it was an invitation to come back to what's most important and to rebuild our own foundations. So many people experience the pandemic as an opportunity to try new things and experience things that they didn't have time to before, where people all of a sudden were starting yoga or starting their own businesses.”

And moving into 2021,

“2021 comes along and it carries the energy of the five. The five wants freedom more than anything else, so we're already starting to experience this with anti-mask rallies. People are starting to push against the system…we're starting to see people fight for their freedom…we want more adventure, we want more play…we want to be able to do what we want when we want. We're going to see a massive awakening happening this year as people begin to understand the illusion that we've been medicated with for hundreds of years is falling apart.”

Cindy believes 2021 will be challenging for a lot of people, but also liberating. She shares the importance of listening to your own heart instead of what the external world is telling us.

“The invitation of the five is to bring us back to the idea of listening to the beat of our own heart. It only takes a moment for you to close your eyes, place your hand on your heart, and just listen. Your heart always knows the answer of what's right for you…”

Cindy and I talked about numbers in world religions as well as life paths, and she recommended a number of resources about quantum physics and numerology. Listen to the podcast to hear the lowdown!


Next week I interview Elena Joy Thurston, an inspirational LGBTQ speaker, trainer, and founder of the nonprofit Pride and Joy Foundation, which is dedicated to reducing the rate of suicide and homelessness in the LGBTQ community. A Mormon mom of four who lost her marriage, her church, and her community when she came out as a lesbian, Elena’s viral TEDx talk on surviving conversion therapy has been viewed 40,000+ times and landed her media and speaking opportunities with ABC, CBS, FOX, and other outlets.


The Finding Fertile Ground podcast is brought to you by Fertile Ground Communications. If you enjoyed this podcast, please give us a rating and subscribe to hear our next episode.


Contact us if you can use some help with your writing, editing, communications, or marketing. With 30 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry, I am passionate about sustainability and corporate citizenship, equity & inclusion, businesses that use their power for good, and doing everything I can to create a kinder, more sustainable, and just world. We help organizations and people discover what makes them special and help them share that with the world.


Fertile Ground Communications LLC is a certified women-owned business enterprise, disadvantaged business enterprise, and emerging small business.


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