Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recovery is a Journey, not a Destination

Hitting bottom is often associated with someone struggling through addiction. And no matter how low, the low may not be low enough for him/her to make that decision to change things. They may lose things held dear: a job, family, friends, a relationship, even their health and well-being or ultimately, their life. Watching the addict fumble as the chaos unfolds, we may find ourselves spinning around that chaos. Perhaps a long-held pattern developed from our family of origin as we saw a parent use substances like alcohol, drugs, sex, food or gambling to salve their pain. Maybe we even rescued our parent from their disarray because that was the role we assumed. We were born into rescuing by virtue of not knowing any better.

When we think it cannot get any worse, the addict in our lives acts up or acts out...again! We may find ourselves getting close to or hitting our own bottom. We want to throw in the towel, but something inside tells us we haven't done everything we can. We must try harder. If only we do this, then the addict will do that—they will change. The reality is the first thing we learn in recovery: how powerless we are. We cannot control or cure something we did not cause. We must step back, detach, and in effect, work our own recovery journey that doesn't necessarily have a final destination.
Working recovery from the affects of someone else's addiction is a daily practice. Sometimes it's even a practice right in the moment. Recovery involves calling upon all the tools available to us, our inner resources, because as twelve-step recovery programs say: "Let it begin with me." And that is the only place from which we can start to work—from the bottom up—that place of deep pain compelling us to take action. The real journey begins when honesty with the self takes root and we are ready to transcend our pain.

Seeking recovery? Try these tools:
  1. Recognize the craziness and name it if you can, then step away—take a HUGE step back
  2. Begin with yourself: notice the foundation on which your bottom rests and look for ways to rebuild from the ground up
  3. Connect with a recovery program (12-Step group, support group)
  4. Be honest with yourself; dare to look at your pain
  5. Enjoy the ride because the journey is all about your discoveries along the way
  6. Above all, be gentle and patient with yourself  
Sometimes our bottom is limitless; other times our bottom comes up to meet us. Hence, the potential for recovery. And eventually we come to recognize that recovery is a journey. It's like one long train ride with numerous stops, giving us the opportunity to visit the many diversely interesting places of our own self and soul, without ever disembarking at a final destination. While the train ride never ends, we'll simply be richer for taking it.

What insights have you encountered along your recovery journey?

Seeking accompaniment through recovery? Empowerment coaching/transition partnering can hold you through your journey of the self. Call for a free discovery session: 514.996.2414

Monday, January 21, 2013

Emotional Abuse: Breaking the Cycle that's Breaking YOU

It might be a comment about your appearance, your competence or your actions. It might be an outright putdown with cursing or a sarcastic remark. It can be pervasive and leaves you feeling like you can never do enough or be enough--that you're just not good enough. IT is emotional abuse. And emotional abuse is violence. Over time, emotional abuse has the ability to isolate you, break your spirit and cause you to question your validity as a person. Eventually, emotional abuse shatters your confidence and robs you of your self-esteem. It breaks you down. Like the brainwashing of living in a cult, the breaking of you emotionally has you questioning your core self. And you no longer know that core self or what it needs and how to trust yourself to make even the simplest decisions.

In her compelling book, Breaking the Cycle of Abuse, Beverly Engel tackles the complex topic of emotional abuse head on, explaining its similarities with psychological maltreatment. She offers compassion, support and empowering tools to help the reader--whether abused or abusive--break the cycle of abuse, with exercises that let you reflect on and write about your experiences and perceptions. This involves looking at aspects such as your family legacy, your beliefs and values and your expectations from a healthy relationship. Only in this way, can you shift your perspective from victim or victimizer to one who is empowered and living and respecting healthy boundaries as you learn to love and trust yourself.

My own experience with family violence goes back a long way, having started in my family of origin with physical and psychological abuse. Later when I found myself living in an emotionally abusive relationship, my dear childhood friend shared Maya Angelou's wise words that gave me comfort as I began to search for my way out of the cycle: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." It is this memory of how it feels that fuels my desire to help others experiencing the injustice of abuse.

Are you in an emotionally abusive relationship? Do you default to abusive behavior with others? There is help out there. You have choices. You can break the cycle that's breaking YOU.

Empowerment coaching/transition partnering can help you take back your power from the impact of living with abuse and control. For a complimentary discovery session to see how we can work together, contact me: 514.996.2414

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Reason, a Season or a Lifetime

Loving this brilliant prose by Brian A. "Drew" Chalker:

"People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

Sweng's Autumn Woods on
When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."

There are no coincidences. Has someone come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime? And what lessons have you learned from their presence or from their absence?

Are you seeking greater clarity on your life and relationships? Empowerment coaching and transition partnering can help you do just that--contact me for a complimentary discovery session: 514-996-2414.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vision Board Your New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year to YOU and yours!

New year, new start. Did you make your New Year's resolutions yet? Wait! Do something different this year--vision board your resolutions!

What you'll need:
  1. A poster board--better still, get a thicker poster board (1/4 inch). You can find this at many Dollar stores or at your local stationary store. Or disassemble a cardboard box and lay a large section flat. You can even use a bulletin board. You might want to cover your board with material or just leave it plain.
  2. Magazines--if you don't have any on hand, ask around. Or go to a second-hand book store and for less than the cost of one magazine, buy a stack of mags that appeal to you.
  3. Scissors, glue and tape
  4. Some ME time--a quiet afternoon by yourself or with a friend or two (makes it more FUN!)
Either alone or sitting and chatting with a circle of friends, cut out of your magazines, pictures and words that appeal or somehow resonate with you. I've done this with a friend whereby we shared pictures we had come across based on something the other person said. It was interesting to note how our conversation inspired our finds. Apply the pictures to your board. Don't worry about how neat or pretty your board looks; the point is to get these images onto your board. Be brave. Be bold. Let your imagination run as you dwell in possibilities.

Goals tend to stick when we share them with others. And sharing makes our commitment real. Take some time to show and tell, going around the circle and highlighting what stands out for you as a focus on your board and why this is important to you.

Another way to do this activity is to create your board on Pinterest, a simple online tool that lets you pin images from the Internet onto a space of your own. Pinterest now offers hidden boards so you don't have to share your pictures with the world (Click here to view my Pinterest boards).

Display your vision board in a prominent place at home. You might even add other pictures to your board during the coming weeks and months. Watch your life unfold. Vision boarding is law of attraction and creating your reality all rolled into one. "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve," says Napoleon Hill. Come back here and let us know how the miracles happen in your life.

Happy Vision Boarding! Wishing you much joy and abundance in 2013!

If you want to learn more about creating your vision for your best life, consider empowerment coaching. As your Coach/Transition Partner, I can walk alongside you on your journey of discovery. For a free session, call me: 514.996.2414