Why Being in Addiction Recovery Could be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You

One of the ways I honor my recovery is by understanding that I cannot underestimate the value of a positive ripple effect. Everything I do and say matters, and is, in effect, a pebble in a pond. I can contribute to society or I can partake in the decline of it. 

Being in recovery from addiction does not have to mean your life is over. Actually, it could very well mean your life has just begun. 

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SOUL VS. EGO

Perfectionism, attachment to outcome & results, wanting to get it RIGHT, thinking we are defined by our jobs--this is our ego. Our spirit, our soul, doesn't care about results or what we look like on paper. The ego wants to be "good at it," but the spirit could care less and just loves the process. Our spirit craves adventure and new learning experiences. This is why "failure" is good for the soul. These experiences grow us. 

If we can reframe all our "failures" as opportunities to learn, well, I deem that a success. Welcome failure as your teacher. It means opportunity is at the door. It means something is about to be learned or about to change. Failure is character-building at it's very finest. 

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Don't take what's not yours (including other people's shit) : boundaries

There's that saying, "what we allow is what will continue." It is 100% accurate, in my experience. If I don't want other people to give me their shit, I don't take it. I don't accept shit gifts. I kindly say, no thanks. And walk away. I also try not to give shit gifts to anyone else. I take ownership of my own stuff and let others take ownership of theirs. 

Noone has the ability to MAKE YOU FEEL any which way, unless you hand over your rights and let them. This reminds me of another good one-liner, "if you don't want people to drive you crazy, don't give them they keys."

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Yoga as Medicine

As trendy as yoga has become—with Lululemon symbols peppering any yoga studio room, I really hope I never lose sight of the true gift that this practice has given me. Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word that means “to yoke, unite, or bind” and that it has—yoked my mind, body, and spirit into one.

This is why it is medicine to me. It’s not just a place to sport expensive luon and symbolic body ink, fly into crows and hop into headstands, chant “oms,” and utter “namastes”—it’s my church and my temple. It's a place to come home to me. 

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The Alchemy of Addiction

I consider my experience with addiction to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. Truly. Because had I not seen how messy and unmanageable my way of living had become, I never would have transformed it. And the transformation process is everything. I think I was only shown my weaknesses so I could overcome and transcend them. 

So what I am proposing is a simple alchemical reframe to turn our most negative qualities into our most positive ones. Alchemizing our character liabilities into our greatest assets. 

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Sensitivity is a Gift: How to Thrive with a Bleeding Heart

But growing up as sensitive or empathetic, we learn that we are oversensitive, too much, too emotional, cry babies, wimps, too fragile, over-reactors. So what is given to us as a gift—our sensitive nature—is often squashed, repressed, and stifled.

And when we don’t know how to use our superpower sensitivities for good, the weight of the world’s suffering will most definitely crush us. My sensitivity felt like a wicked curse for a long time, before I learned how to treasure it like the blessing it is.

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Will you let yourself be happy?

When I realized I had to ‘get out of my own way’, I needed to literally tell myself that it was okay to have fun, feel at ease, and live in peace. I needed to retrain my brain and teach my body to feel comfortable when things were going smoothly.

Our bodies seek homeostasis, which is to keep our internal conditions relatively constant. If we are in constant crisis, our bodies will want more of that. 

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When you feel all the feels

It's okay to be sad. It's okay to be angry. It's okay to be hurt & cry. It's okay to feel all the feels. The only emotion I believe serves no real purpose is shame.

I just had a really rough day yesterday, and quite frankly, a difficult last week. I cried so many tears my eyeballs were sore and red and I felt exhausted, like a child after they've had such an intense tantrum that they pass out. Not to be dramatic, or anything. 

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One of the BEST anti-depressants not on the market

It’s free, easy, quick, and simple. It’s life-altering and mood-enhancing. “It turns whatever you have into enough,” says Melody Beattie.

When I found myself in a very deep and dark black-hole depression in the fall of 2014, I vowed to do everything within my power to never end up in that place again. I was already practicing many healthy habits, but I promised I would do whatever else I could to stay in the light.

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SELF-LOVE: what it is and how to do it

Where on earth does one get this self-love you speak of? I thought to myself. Can I get it at the store? Is it something I can order off Amazon with free prime shipping? 

We are born with self-love, and then we learn fear as we grow up. We learn to fear our power and doubt our abilities, and some of us learn to neglect, abuse, and hate ourselves, our bodies. So much so that we participate in destroying ourselves. A lot of us learn negative self-talk which is equally destructive. But no matter how we got this way, it remains our choice whether we choose to heal and be kind to ourselves, from this day forward. 

On a very fundamental & intuitive level, when we remember our child within, it deters us from treating him or her badly. It deters us from calling ourselves dumb or ugly or fat or worthless. Because what we are doing to ourselves, we are, in essence, doing to our inner children. 

 

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THE SOBERING TRUTH ABOUT ADDICTION

The social & mental health issue of addiction is sweeping our nation, and it’s high time we stop sweeping it under the rug. Some of us only feel free to talk in shrinks offices or church basements, if we’re lucky. By the way, I love church basements.

But I will not be silent. And I am not anonymous. 

We don’t necessarily choose to be addicted. But we do choose to recover. 

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How to GET IN the Arena of Your Life

When I hear the word arena, I call to mind a boxing ring. And when I think of a boxing ring, I feel kind of intimidated at the thought of bright lights, sweaty muscles, mean faces, and flying blood. 

But when I think of boxing movies, I feel fired up. The message and storyline of a good boxing movie is one of the best ways I know to renew my own motivation & champion spirit (Warrior is one of my absolute faves.) 

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