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Maz Dela Cerna: “Know you are not alone”

So many people suffer from rape, abuse and addictions and believe that there is nothing more for them in life. They feel they can’t do better and they won’t get better. I was one of them and now I want to help those that are stuck in those mindsets that keep them limited. I made […]

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So many people suffer from rape, abuse and addictions and believe that there is nothing more for them in life. They feel they can’t do better and they won’t get better. I was one of them and now I want to help those that are stuck in those mindsets that keep them limited. I made my life worth living and now I want to encourage others to do the same.


As a part of my series about people who made the journey from an addict to an entrepreneur, I had the pleasure to interview Maz Dela Cerna.

Maz Dela Cerna is an inspirational author, blogger, YouTuber and self-development coach. With a history of abuse, drug addiction, weight gain and trauma, she changed her life around when she lost 30kg and went on to become a bikini competitor and sponsored ProTeam Australia athlete. Her physical transformation triggered a spiritual and emotional awakening forcing her to look within and dig into subconscious thought patterns and behaviours.

From what started as documenting and sharing her journey on YouTube and Instagram, Maz is now the founder of the Phoenix Rising Collective and coaches people around the world to uncover and remove their self-limiting beliefs and self-destructive thoughts.

By understanding and using the law of attraction to help transform her own life, she now shares the The Phoenix Rising Method with clients, and across her teaching platforms.

Maz believes and teaches, “No Matter What Kind Of Hand We Are Dealt, We Always Have The Power To Choose Our Next Move.” She’s been featured in Oxygen Magazine, Lifehack.org, ThoughtCatalog, Lifehacker, Financial Gazette, The Australian News Today, and more.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you please describe your childhood for us?

Thanks so much for having me! My childhood is a bit different than most. I was born into poverty a third world country, moved to Australia and abused before I was 10yrs old. Was drugged and sexually assaulted by a group of men at 14 which led to a near death experience, found myself sleeping on park benches and couch surfing in my teens and got caught up in the wrong crowds and turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to escape my reality.

Can you share with us how were you initially introduced to your addiction? What drew you to the addiction you had?

I was working 7 days a week doing morning and night shifts in hospitality. Even though I worked 7 days a week, I was still struggling to make ends meet with the small income I was getting. I turned to stripping and this led me to meet the wrong people. I was drawn in as in a way gave me a sense of belonging. I felt I belonged into something and it was also an escape from the reality I had found myself in.

What do you think you were really masking or running from in the first place?

I was masking unhealed childhood trauma. I was running away from having to face myself, my insecurities, and fears. I didn’t want to own up, admit or even relive anything I experienced so I tried to sweep everything under the carpet.

Can you share what the lowest point in your addiction and life was?

To be honest, I don’t think there was one low point. That whole time I was addicted to drugs was a low. It was a blur. Nothing mattered. I didn’t care to lose anything. I didn’t even care for life. It was like anything good in me had been sucked out of me. I had no passion for anything.

Can you tell us the story about how you were able to overcome your addiction?

I saw each of my friends that were also addicted slowly walk off a cliff. It was like once they stepped over this edge, they were different. Their minds didn’t work anymore, they became fiends, they couldn’t think of anything intellectual or be a part of society, drugs were the only thing on their brains and where to get their next hit.

One day I started realizing that I was forgetting things that even happened 2 minutes ago, I was getting super paranoid about everything, I thought everyone was talking behind my back and I could tell that I too was losing my mind. It was like I killed the majority of my brain cells and I couldn’t think anymore. This scared me. I didn’t want to walk off the cliff like I watched so many around me do. I begged my family to let me stay at their place for a couple of weeks and I literally just hid in the room suffering withdrawals alone. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going through and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I even thought I was going to die the withdrawals were that bad.

How did you reconcile within yourself and to others the pain that addiction caused to you and them?

It took years. It wasn’t an overnight process that’s for sure. I had to learn to love and forgive myself. I had to find out who I really was and seek out my potential as a human. I had to learn to accept and let go of any resentment or hurt I was holding onto. Once I accepted myself and my past, others were more receptive to it as that was all it was… my past.

When you stopped your addiction, what did you do to fill in all the newfound time you had?

I got a normal 9–5 job in an office. I cut all ties to anyone that was involved with the crowd I knew and started getting into exercise. I started to make new friends and learnt social skills (I was a hermit before) I said yes to invites, created longstanding relationships and then I found one of my other passions, travel.

What positive habits have you incorporated into your life post addiction to keep you on the right path?

I like being outdoors and keeping active, endorphins are my new drug. I love to travel and learn about new cultures. Travel has opened my mind up in ways that no book could ever teach you. I like to cultivate fruitful relationships with those that really matter. Meditation and journaling my feelings has definitely been a gamechanger and just taking care of myself and what I allow into my body, including the thoughts I feed into my mind.

Can you tell us a story about how your entrepreneurial journey started?

I was in a job that sucked the life out of me. It was that bad that I hated waking up and getting out of bed. I started to wonder if this was all there was to life and if I were to do the same thing over and over and then die. This then got me thinking on how I could give back and be of value to the world. I started to search for a meaning to my life. I wanted to break free from the mundane routine and live a life more purposeful. I realised that so many people were still stuck in the mindset I was stuck in.

So many people suffer from rape, abuse and addictions and believe that there is nothing more for them in life. They feel they can’t do better and they won’t get better. I was one of them and now I want to help those that are stuck in those mindsets that keep them limited. I made my life worth living and now I want to encourage others to do the same.

What character traits have you transferred from your addiction to your entrepreneurship. Please share both the positive and negative.

My stubbornness used to be a negative and now I use it to my benefit. It is what allows me to get things done when I want something. A current negative is that at times I can get carried away with work and shut off to the world. I become a hermit and stay up all night, which I had done while I was using drugs.

Why do you think this topic is not discussed enough?

I guess a lot of people are ashamed or worried what others may think and how they may be judged.

Can you share three pieces of advice that you would give to the entrepreneur who is struggling with some sort of addiction but ashamed to speak about it or get help?

Know you are not alone. There are many people that have gone through it and are still going through it. I feel if more people spoke up about it, there would be a surprising number just how common any form of addiction is. Especially those that are functioning addicts. I think the first step is to admit that there is a problem, once we do that, the rest will start to fall into place and we can take action toward a healthier us.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

www.mazdelacerna.com

https://www.instagram.com/lilmissmaz/
https://www.facebook.com/MazDelaCerna
https://www.youtube.com/c/PhoenixRisingCollective

Thank you so much for your insights. That was really inspiring!

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