Category Archives: gratitude
When I think about the upcoming workshop I’m holding using Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map process and addictions I honestly wish I could share it with everyone right this minute. I was pretty riled up this weekend about addictions and how they can tear individuals and families apart and all I could think about was this process of flipping everything we know on its head and achieving our goals in a spirit supporting way, decreasing the shame of our human failings and really expressing who we are without any hesitation or censure.
Addictions, which includes alcoholism in my definition, are a part of my past and present, my family and friends history and the shame they engender is overwhelming for most people until they learn that secrets really can kill us and bringing light to the darkness is critical. The more we bring addictions and how they affect us out into the open the faster the shame dissipates however the process of taking those first steps of disclosure can be truly excruciating.
I used to be a therapist and worked with substance abuse and trauma for many years, I’ve seen clients and my father die from it. I watch my husband struggle with it every day and I struggle with my own cravings and addictive tendencies. However I know the freedom that comes from accepting the fact that addictions do not equal loser or failure or forever fucked up and it is enormous. Addiction is a disease which means it can and is cured every single day.
You are not lost forever. You are not worthless and you are not to blame for the addiction itself although you are responsible for managing your behaviors for your sake and for those who love you.
How does this related to Desire Mapping? In every way.
Desire Mapping gives you permission to want what you want without judgement. Well, I want heroin thank you very much and I say that’s perfectly fine! You want it, accept that you want it and then plan for how not to act on that wanting. Once people are past the physical withdrawal it becomes critical to face and learn to handle the psychological components. The Desire Map helps you define, clearly and succinctly how you want to feel and teaches you to achieve your goals from that place, from the place you want to be right now without struggling over how.
No one truly wants to feel numb or hungover, we just want to avoid the emptiness or the anxiety or the hopeless feeling that nothing will ever get better. No one wakes up one day and sets out to burn their lives to the ground leaving a trail of broken promises and hearts behind them.
Addicts in general feel different. They feel odd, out of step, always searching for but never finding “home”, as if they are interacting with the world through a glass wall fearing exposure for the rotten person they believe themselves to be and yet needing to be seen because we all want to belong. Families and loved ones want to feel supportive yet often don’t know how to love the person while still setting and holding boundaries against the harmful behaviors of a person active in their addiction.
What we want as humans in general is to feel accepted, loved, seen with compassion for who we are and encouraged to reach for even more development. What we want is to feel alive, productive and creative and I can tell you that every active addict has a stifled creative nature so large that it must be given a channel for expression or it will continue to turn inward and contribute to the outward destruction.
Desire Mapping says your desire is your fuel. What you want is where you start. We don’t start with I’m going to stay sober forever. We don’t start with I’m leaving if he comes home drunk one more damn time. Those goals are too big and they miss the core of it all, it takes us too far into uncertainty so we say I want to feel in control of my urges today, for this hour, for this minute. I want to feel accepted (which starts from within) and how can I feel it? What does acceptance look like? Is it knowing I want to drink, accepting that the urge is perfectly ok but not acting on it? Is it exploring avenues of creation so that all that energy we’ve been holding back has somewhere safe to go?
What tiny part of myself can I accept right now and then use that to expand to another part and another? Is it possible for me to choose an emotion other than despair and if so what emotion would I like to feel and how do I stay there? Do I even know emotions exist other than happy or sad?How do I get distracted, wander off from that feeling and ease myself back into it time and time again throughout the day/night without feeling like a failure at this too?
Desire Mapping answers those questions in a loving way that still holds you personally responsible for your life. Yes you. No one can change the thoughts but you, no one can make the choices but you and the Desire Map process shows you how. If you can’t come to the workshop in Jan go get the book. If you’re out of money get yourself to the library and read it. Ask questions here with the contact form if you need clarification or visit my Facebook pages here and here where you’ll find art and words and Young Living essential oils.
If you want a workshop held where you live contact me, it might be possible for it to be brought to you, you never know unless you ask right?
In the meantime, just for today, please let yourself off the hook if you’re in addiction or if you love someone who is. You are not a loser if you love an addict. You are not anything that your disease says you are if you’re addicted. You deserve a life free from bondage please give yourself permission to feel happiness and peace. If you can’t feel it, imagine that you can and it will come.
Say to yourself in a mirror, “It’s ok. We’re going to find the answers we need and in this moment I accept you as is, no questions asked.Every day, every minute we get a chance to start over, it’s ok.” Sounds ridiculous but don’t underestimate the power of speaking that out loud even if you don’t believe it and guess what? You deserve to feel good and nothing will change until you make that a priority!
When she sang it was in this thin reedy voice that set everyone on the church’s teeth on edge. She was so tiny and thin and leathery that it was incredible and defied reason that such a sound could come out of such a body. It did. It was awful. But seriously how are you going to tell a little old lady that she sounds like someone’s killing cats when she sings? When she raises her skitchery and loud voice to the skies in praise of the Lord? No, you will not say one word and I myself chose not to sing for fear that I might sound terrifying too. Read the rest of this entry
I opened a book to this quote today and it hit me. How often do I start the day mentally rehearsing all the “bad” stuff I think will be coming my way? Too often. It colors my entire mood before I am even fully dressed and out of the door. I am pre-planning and internally tensing up and defending against tough moments that haven’t even happened, and may not ever happen, yet.
I can say I am much better at this and even today, on my way to a meeting that I wasn’t totally enthused about, did take a few moments and offer up a prayer for the best possible outcome. I think I do better in my personal life at this than my professional one as I often make gratitude lists that remind me of what’s important and help me center back into a positive frame of mind. Too often at work I am silently worrying that I won’t know the right answer when asked a question or that someone will need something that I can’t deliver. And lately, as my memory slips further away from me, I stress out wondering if I have forgotten to enter something critical on my calendar!
Too often I am trying to get through the day alone forgetting that I can ask for help from other people and perhaps more importantly from God, Great Spirit or whatever other name you’d like to place on whatever it is out there that is larger than us. I love Anne Lamott, a writer who says her most often said prayer is “Help! Help! Help!” I adore that because I often use it myself and it is always answered in one form or another even when I can’t always see it in the moment.
Today I live in the quiet, joyous, expectation of good – Ernest Holmes
Really read that one. How much different would your mood and subsequently your day be if you, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, really believed that eventually everything would work out in your favor? And doesn’t life usually, given enough time, end up positive? When you reflect back on your life how many places do you see where what looked like the worst possible timing/event which was happening to you actually turned out to be a gift?
I know I’ve certainly been handed boxes, “presents” from the Universe wrapped in tattered brown paper that smelled a little or a lot like leftover tuna and when opened sure didn’t look like a gift by any stretch of the imagination! In fact some of them looked a lot like…well you can fill in the blank on that one in with your own imagination. You know what I mean though, sometimes life knocks you right off your feet and when you stand back up (and you must stand back up!) your world looks entirely different and usually entirely better than it was before. Hindsight can be a moment of regret but it can also be a moment in which you finally understand what the “bad” was all about and if you’re lucky even feel grateful for it.
Today I live in the quiet, joyous, expectation of good – Ernest Holmes
The point is to have a little faith that living in the expectation of good means it’s much more likely that you’ll see it arise in your world and even more likely that you will recognize all the good which surrounds you in this very moment. And if you can’t expect something good today then prayerfully ask for help in learning how to expect the very best in every day. Try it and see what happens, remember it goes like this, “Help! Help! Help!”