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The Addict and the Isolation

There was a time in the not so distant past that the meaning of relationship went hand in hand with sobriety, the understanding of which was the deep and abiding necessity of life. Most of us were unable to create any meaningful connections with others and took counsel only from our own thoughts. We learned that our thoughts were not to be trusted, and were created by experiences that led us into addiction in the first place. Healing was slow and not so steady with many a comforting hand on our shoulder to guide us back from our self inflicted detours. There was always a shoulder to cry on, someone would always be on the other end of the phone.

Over our first years of attaining life saving awareness we were taught we needed each other, but it was difficult to give up what we thought of as our independence. We learned that our best thinking got us into a whole world of trouble and saw it clearly when examining our past deeds.  We were hammered, cajoled and loved into believing that keeping to ourselves was dangerous, but it was a hard fought battle to live with tribal consensus rather than our own opinions.

We finally got that isolation led to all sorts of relapse issues, from food to drugs to sex and relationships, anything that might even faintly smelled of addiction.   We found out, sometimes the hard way that recovery’s greatest enemy is isolation. Some knew it well and explored the terrain intimately, others thought they had that under control and became lost to us. As we grew older and wiser in recovery we came to believe we should never trust our heads. We understood tribal consensus was the only way for us.

We were surprised and confused when we were told to shelter in place. A little disoriented as body language hid behind a mask. No more hugs for awhile, no more gathering at half time to see friends anymore. But we knew it would only be for a short time. As weeks became months some of us realized some of our old behaviors were showing up.

The world we once knew has vanished in a very short period of time. This “new normal” is an isolationists dream to the same degree it has become nightmare. Just think, permission; no not even that. It is almost the law to social distance in these days of pandemic. Today a sneeze on the street cuts a wide swath in public, almost like the parting of the Red Sea for those who wish to walk alone. It looks as if getting ‘back to normal’ is not an option. At the time of this writing it’s actually against the law to be mask-less and to ignore social distancing in some regions. In one country a $27,000 dollar fine and a prison sentence can be levied against anyone refusing to comply. Here at home and in most of the North American continent there is a certain sense of entitlement, when you add and stir addict thinking into the mix it is easy to understand why it is so difficult to mitigate the disease.

Let’s take a closer look  and see why isolation has become so dangerous in the time of Covid-19 and beyond.

There are many definitions and meanings of isolation, probably as many as there is human beings on this planet. To some it is the most comfortable place to be, owing nothing to anyone but oneself. Responsible only to our experience of how comfortable it is to not be accountable to anyone but self. Romantic ideation of isolation is used as fertile imaginations look for a novel way of defending it. For instance, isolationists are attracted to the persona of the ‘lone wolf’, needing no one, speaking only when necessary. A Clint Eastwood type riding out of town slowly into the sunset with steely squinting eyes a cheroot hanging from the corner of his mouth. Or a spiritual guru, meditating while pushing others away with their metaphysical and other worldly demeanor. I will leave you to add to the list. Others can be fooled quite easily into thinking they are not isolating but are doing their part to save the world. A good one is sending kids back to school because there mental health will deteriorate without the stimulus of other kids. A half truth really, again I will let you fill in the blanks here again, but the point is the justifications are endless!

In Pre Covid times it was difficult to isolate. There would be phone calls, texts, and even a banging on the door. Becoming clean was such a tribal exercise that it was hard to be on the fringe. Through our own experience with relapse we found it to be true and usually gave up our incessant hiding out with the blinds closed and doors locked. We jumped in and became one of the door crashers ourselves, firmly coming to believe it was the right way. But underneath, where addiction waits, a yearning for aloneness never is truly vanquished. It was too hard sometimes to be observed and told how to be and what to do. We never did learn to use our voices. People pleasing was still a way to get the world off your back.

We start our exploration here, probably in isolation. Many of us work from home now and admittedly it took time, but we did become very comfortable with working in our pajama bottoms while conducting zoom business meetings dressed for business from the waist up. We found that not driving or taking transit was not only money saving, it was just plain better than having to wear your public face all day every day. The sleeping Dragon opened one eye.

In the beginning not going out to be with Tribe was a novelty. Zoom meetings got easier and smoother to attend. You still went to the same number of meetings except you didn’t have to find parking anymore. There were meetings all over the continent. You found yourself attending speaker meetings in Wisconsin, and Big Book studies in New York. You felt connected in your disconnectedness. You can tell your tribe (on line) that your attending a meeting every day. What a great way to get your sponsor off your back. The Dragon opened the other eye.

You know yourself much better now. It bubbled into your consciousness that you were fooling yourself. But with no tribe around to agree you rationalized that as well. This is just a holiday, it won’t last long, everyone has to do this so I think I’ll just bake another loaf of bread. You do your Stepwork online. You talk to your sponsor, you do notice however you’re not talking about the awakening Dragon. You recognize that your manipulating yourself, creating a new reality, but it’s based on old behavior. Is that enough to put the Dragon back to sleep? Let’s leave this speculation now. From here on in it can morph into any direction. Pick one. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them truthfully:

Is your sense of belonging beginning to fray?   Y[   ]   No[   ]

Do you find yourself getting used to sheltering in place?   Y[   ]   N[   ]

Have you lied to others?  Y[   ]   N[   ]

Have you lied by omission? Y[   ]   N[   ]

Does it feel awkward talking mask to mask at the grocery store?   Y[   ]   N[   ]

Do you privately worry about isolation? Y[   ]   N[   ]

Can you feel the hot breath of the Dragon?         

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Endings are Beginnings Waiting to Happen

I lay in my bed this morning to late to go back to sleep to early to get up, a stray dream surfaces as my mind comes up for air.

I am standing at the end of the little death called sleep, on the bridge heading to the birth of awake. I await my que to enter stage right to begin the day so that it might end again.

The mundane habit of a day is much like the next and the next. Cumulations of small discoveries of life pile up on one another to make big changes from small beginnings to what I think of as the Big End.

The tiny simple days offer only anti climax after anti climax. As I pack these tiny learnings away what do I do with them? Like precious little keepsakes does one save them for something? Or are these little treasures of wisdom for naught?

This awareness we humans have has a purpose we hope. We have created a multitude of stories to go with them. We mix and match them as we match colors of hope and fear in equal parts. We have beautiful minds that are aware of the coming ending. We write beautiful songs and books about new beginnings, hoping against hope there will be one, fearing there isn’t.

We are so conscious in the morning about the big nothing at the end of this physical being. So we fill our lives with hard won objects as we tell ourselves we can take them with us, that they actually mean something. All this pain and laughter must have some kind of meaning at the beginning of a new ending.

We go through so much just to create it all. The end comes slowly or comes really fast. Either way it doesn’t really hurt. The mundane days make the build up bearable. It is the fear that does the hurting. We do all these other things to numb it, to make the hardness softer. We laugh when someone says, “well, you can’t take it with you”, as we hope desperately to do just that. Legacy is huge! Everyone wants to leave one behind. Why? Maybe you can take it with you, better not take a chance, maybe Santa Claus really does know who’s Naughty or Nice.

It’s all conjuncture as the sun comes up again as I lay in my bed sleep leaving my eyes. time to get up and move through the day preparing for it’s ending once again.

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How To Be Anything You Want to Be

Scratching the Itch

I wanted to BE a ‘biker’ in the worst way. I was completely taken by the dream. The Vision of me in the saddle on my gleaming iron horse, feeling the wind pushing tears from my eyes, the lines on the road blurring into a long ribbon of white. I feel the power of the V-Twin underneath me, the straight pipes drowning out any other sound , so loud they turn the world to silence. The excitement rises as I grab a handful of throttle. The feel of torque grabbing asphalt as she winds up in first and… What ??What!! Wait a minute!!! I don’t know how to shift into second!!!

The dream always crumbled like a fender at the thought of how high the impenetrable wall of ‘How To’ was. So much higher than I could possibly climb over.

Fear instantaneously crashed my dream every single time. Where would I get the money for lessons or a motorcycle for that matter? How do you change a gear anyway? But I couldn’t drop the dream completely, it just wouldn’t go away. I tried to bury it with thoughts that came with my moms voice, “you can’t”, “it’s too dangerous”, “act your age”. But every time I heard the thunder on the highway my dream turned on like a headlight only to consume me once again. I was so tired of this dead end detour.

So I finally put the blinders on and pushed past the fear as I swung my leg over the saddle of my first Harley Davidson.

Be-Do-Have. I know… I have written that mantra before but it bears repetition often and in many different ways so I don’t forget. I didn’t have the words or understand how it worked in those days. All I knew was a great drive inside my soul, an all consuming fire of Spirit, a crazy itch that I couldn’t scratch, and it was eating me alive. Blinders is the operative word in the world of hard commitment. I had to put them on, keep my eyes on the prize and jump! If I thought about it I would back out yet again.

Have you ever have that itch? I know you have or you wouldn’t have read this far. Was it a long time ago or recently? What power did it have over you? It’s hard to express that extreme craving, the obsessive need to satisfy that burning itch. Anyone who has experienced it will know exactly what I’m talking about. It might be a dream of publishing a book, or skiing, or having a baby maybe finding ‘The One’. The same process of being and doing must take place in order to actualize the dream.

Someone coined the term “Psyched up” as two great words that express that extreme will of the soul where any uncertainty or inability to accomplish is completely overwhelmed by desire. Harnessing that desire is the skill in which one can be anything one wants to be.

So how do you turn a dream to reality? How do you finally scratch the itch? It soon became apparent that I couldn’t swing my leg over the saddle and happily ride off into the sunset.

There were preparations to be made, learning to be done to amplify my “bikerness”. The time of the terrible ‘how to’s’ had come. The dream has to be of such intensity and endurance that it will withstand the pressure and pain of learning as well as the failures that make it so rewarding. It also must withstand the boredom of repetition. One must be able to do it without thinking, create a flawless habitual reflexibility. There can be no room for error. One must humble themself to a teacher, a mentor or written instruction and still keep the burn alive. It is so easy to give up in the learning phase; especially when it’s a live or die commitment. Your dream must be strong enough to survive the beating it takes. So many give up in this phase.

It gets easier to rationalize the quit. Mother’s voice comes in loud and clear as I go up and down the road. Pull in the clutch at exactly the right rpm, toe up the gear, let out the clutch as I throttle up, all in liquid motion like part of the machine itself. Why does my mentor’s voice sound like my mothers when I hear, ‘your not doing it properly, do it again over and over, and over again and again, then once more. The itch is still burning, at this point it’s absolutely necessary just to keep going. Put it down now and you may never pick it up again. Your light will miserably fizzle out and you’ll be left in the vacuum with a bad taste in your mouth and a sense of ultimate failure. That’s the time you turn the key again.

Now those of us who saw the terrible ‘How To’s’ through and actually learned how to do their dream and got good at it remember vividly the day it first became reflexive. The first time I realized I had changed a gear without thinking was such a rush I almost dumped the bike. I was so proud of myself, but I got humble real quick. I got a ‘well done’ from my teacher and right away was thrown into another lecture this time about whether to use brakes or throttle to get out of a jam, and how I must be quicker than thought on those Life or Death decisions. I must apply this new lesson while changing gears reflexively, and most of all I must allow myself to hear the throaty growl of V-twin engines on the freeway in order to keep the dream going. Not a lot of time between lessons to gloat.

So how do you keep the dream alive? Well, for this particular quest I bought a motorcycle, a good helmet, boots and a very cool leather jacket. A physical as well as a soul investment must be made for the all important amplification part of the learning phase. Its an insurance policy that makes it more difficult to quit. So once you have decided to BE (fill in the blank) you must carry through with the DO part to amplify that decision . Whether it is a school, a website, a briefcase or riding gear, it will become part of who you project yourself to be in this new reality you are birthing. You add on to yourself in creative ways so life will open that door. You will naturally attract like minded folks who have their own dream going on. You will hang out with them and be named and thought of as that which you have willed yourself to be. A lot of work you say? Yes, but what were you doing before? Making nightmares come true about what a failure you are and will be forever? Dreams are what life is all about anyway, isn’t it? It’s called self fulfilling prophecies by some, dreams by others, but it is what we spend our lifetimes creating. Might as well be positive about it.

Be warned though, the ‘Do’ amplification will change your path and persona for good. Once you add the props not only the world will see you this way…so will you! To this day when I pull my riding boots on I feel like Superwoman coming out of a phone booth ready for bear! My habitual, reflexive learning curve has modified my persona. This could be awkward if I decided I wanted to ‘BE’ a ballet dancer. But it could happen though, yes? I can picture it, can you?

After all is said and done the final ‘Have’ part of the equation is no longer as important as it was in the beginning. Which gives proof to the fact that it really is the journey not the destination that is the focal point of the itch. There’s only one thing you must have and keep. It’s knowing without a doubt or contradiction that you are exactly who you say you are. Unequivocally, undoubtably and formidably.

“The purpose of life is to create your Self anew, in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are. It is to announce and become, express and fulfill, experience and know your true Self”. Neale Donald Walsch said that and he was right. (Conversations With God, Book 3, Chapter 15).

By the way, once you learn to ‘Be’ you will never lose your Be-Do-Have skill. You will always remember the ‘How To’ of it. You can be anything you want to be as long as you use your magic powers to create the itch.

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Go Surrogate Yourself

The Sleeping Dragon Awakes

Book 2 of the Surrogate Method of Addiction Treatment

(A little recovery handbook for times of Pandemic)

Coming to a book stand near you!

Chapter 1 (sample)

Isolation

The world we once knew has vanished in a very short period of time. Over our first years of gaining life saving awareness we were taught we needed each other, but it was difficult to give up what we thought of as our independence. We learned that our best thinking got us into a whole world of trouble and saw it clearly when examining our past deeds. We were hammered into believing that keeping to ourselves was dangerous, but it was a hard fought battle to live with tribal consensus rather than our own opinions. We finally got that isolation led to all sorts of relapse issues, from food to drugs to sex and relationships, anything that might even faintly smelled of addiction. Recovery’s greatest enemy is isolation. Some may know it well and have explored the terrain intimately, others may think they have it under control. Let’s take a closer look and see why isolation has become so dangerous in the time of Covid-19 and beyond.

This “new normal” is an isolationists dream to the same degree it has become nightmare for others. Just think, permission; no not even that, it’s almost a law to social distance in these days of pandemic. Today a sneeze on the street cuts a wide swath in public, almost like the parting of the Red Sea for those who wish to walk alone. It looks as if getting ‘back to normal’ is not an option.

There are many definitions and meanings of isolation, probably as many as there is human beings on this planet. To some it is the most comfortable place to be, owing nothing to anyone but oneself, responsible only to our experience of how comfortable it is to not be accountable to anyone but self. Some of the romantic ideation used to isolate are used all the time in our lives. Isolationists are attracted to the persona of the ‘lone wolf’, needing no one, speaking only when necessary, a Clint Eastwood type of figure riding out of town slowly into the sunset with steely squinting eyes a cheroot hanging from the corner of his mouth. Or a spiritual guru, meditating while pushing others away with their metaphysical and other worldly demeanor.  

Others can be fooled quite easily into thinking they are not isolating but are doing their part to save the world. The justifications are endless! Pre Covid it was difficult to isolate. There would be phone calls, texts, and even a banging on the door. Becoming clean was such a tribal exercise that it was hard to be on the fringe. Through our own experience with relapse we found it to be true and usually gave up our incessant hiding out with the blinds closed and doors locked. We jumped in and became one of the door crashers ourselves, firmly coming to believe it was the right way. But underneath, where addiction waits, a yearning for aloneness never is truly vanquished. It was too hard sometimes to be observed and told how to ‘be’ and what to do. We never did learn to use our voice effectively. People pleasing was still a way to get the world off your back.   

We start our exploration here at this point, probably in isolation. Many of us work from home now and admittedly it took time, but we did become very comfortable with working in our pajama bottoms while conducting zoom business meetings dressed for business from the waist up. We found that not driving or taking transit was not only money saving, it was just plain better than having to wear your public face all day every day.  The sleeping Isolation Dragon opened one eye. 

In the beginning not going out to be with Tribe was a novelty. Zoom meetings got easier and smoother to attend. You still went to the same number of meetings except you didn’t have to find parking anymore. There were meetings all over the continent. You found yourself attending speaker meetings in Wisconsin, and Big Book studies in New York. You felt connected in your disconnectedness. You can tell your tribe (on line) that your attending a meeting every day. What a great way to get your sponsor off your back. The Dragon opened the other eye.

You know yourself much better now. It bubbled into your consciousness that you were fooling yourself. But with no tribe around you rationalized that as well. This is just a holiday, it won’t last long, everyone has to do this so I think I’ll just bake another loaf of bread. You do your 12 Step work online. You talk to your sponsor, you do notice however you’re not talking about the awakening Dragon. You recognize that your manipulating yourself, creating a new reality, but it’s based on old behavior. Is that enough to put the Dragon back to sleep? Let’s leave this speculation now. From here on in it can morph into any direction. Pick one. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them truthfully:

Is your sense of belonging beginning to fray?   Y[   ]   No[   ]

Do you find yourself getting used to sheltering in place?   Y[   ]   N[   ]

Have you lied to others?  Y[   ]   N[   ]

Have you lied by omission? Y[   ]   N[   ]

Does it feel awkward talking mask to mask at the grocery store?  Y[   ]   N[  ] 

Do you privately worry about your isolation? Y[ ] N[ ]

Can you feel the hot breath of the Dragon? Hell Yeah! [ ] N[ ]

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Lemmings or HEBs

There is only one reality and that reality is also an illusion. How so you say?

Most of us believe our own experience is the right one. 7 Billion people know personally that their experience of the world is the only way it could possibly be. Everybody’s right and everybody’s wrong, and all of those rights and wrongs make up the illusion we all live in.

Take the young man who meets a beautiful defenceless but misguided young woman (his thought). She seems to need a protector. She is so small and fragile. And so the young man protects her and guides her to his better way of living. He gives her everything she will need to live well as her beauty and fragility demands. He learned this from his family when he was growing up, because that’s what men are supposed to do. This is his reality; his lived experience through his family, T.V., magazines and advertisements for Old Spice shaving lotion.

The beautiful defenseless young woman on the other hand was taught to be just exactly that by the culture and society handed down to her at her mothers knee.

She grew up emulating her mother and learned to be strong minded just like her. She found early on that she could only play with dolls and Easy Bake toy ovens that would teach her to be the most desirable wife a man could ever want. She had no physical way to get her needs met so she was taught to manipulate, only it wasn’t called that.

She was also taught that the more manipulative and sweet she could be would get her more of what she thought she needed in life. So they became a couple. He thinking he was giving and she thinking she was getting, and it was all just fine.

The reality was that the young man did not believe in himself. He gave in to the illusion of his father and his father’s father because he could not be who he secretly dreamt of being. He felt weak, not like a protector at all. The young woman sensed this and knew in her heart she was not the sweet defenseless girl he thought she was. They both secretly knew it and were ashamed that they couldn’t be like everyone else. Soon it became apparent to both of them that the other was not who they thought they were and they ended up in a divorce. Both were miserable in their knowledge of their incompetency as human beings; but did not sign the divorce papers before passing on the illusion to their children.

The larger illusion of course is that everybody on the planet feels the same way to different degrees. Instead of celebrating all the different parts of us we insist ours is the only truth. We must because we’re so afraid of anything unfamiliar that we try to kill it; we feel we must or we won’t survive. The tragedy is we are One Thing and we are killing ourselves causing wars, addiction, mental illness and paranoia not recognizing our own parts that make the whole of us.

Only a few understood that although we are all one in the universe we all have different experiences as do different cells in the same body, and those different experiences are the exact same thing that makes us all one in the first place.

The absolute “reality” is there is no right or wrong, only that which works and that which doesn’t. To understand this natural law would completely change the view we have of each other.

There are some with that knowledge now and their numbers grow as they awaken to who they really are.

Will we get there in time to win this foot race? Or like the lemmings keep running blindly toward the cliff falling over each other to get there first. Will we gather enough self knowledge to come to the tipping point where more of us know the truth than don’t?

We would have the knowledge, the love and the know how to become the HEBS (Higher Evolved Beings) that our human DNA proscribes. Or through our baser selves shall we fall into the abyss to let the Universe try again with some other species?

Stay tuned.

It is Our call

We Are Enough

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May 30, 1969

I remember “Bloody Thursday”. I was there in 1969 at Peoples Park, Berkeley, California when I heard about James Rector dying after being shot in the back by police.
I had hitch hiked with my 4 year old son from Vancouver Canada just to go to the Sky River Rock festival in Washington. I was a 20 year old hippie (yes I had flowers in my hair) and I just wanted to see Janis and Big Brother and the Holding Company. After the festival someone asked me if we needed a lift to San Fransico and it sounded like a good idea at the time. So me and my road partner headed out on a new adventure in life.
Long story short, we ended up in Berkeley California. Most of our time down there is a blur after half a century. My space saver brain has created a kaleidoscope collage of memories to go with the impressions of Telegraph Avenue, the university amphitheater under a full moon and a head full of acid, a commune and pregnant women wearing nothing but flowers and necklaces. I can picture Ken Keasy at the Fillmore West, Profs Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary giving lectures on LSD and god on campus, holding my little boys hand running to beat the waves of the incoming tide and star fish in a pool near an ocean cave. There is a Volkswagen van where we lived for a time, a record with Dark Side of the Moon written on it, old monks in orange robes and chanting for hours.
But mostly I remember what it felt like being lifted off my feet and plastered against a wall by a fire hose. I remember it hurt and I couldn’t breathe and then it was gone and I dropped to the ground. There were thousands of people everywhere, cops advancing with guns. I lost my kid for a moment. It was May 30 1969
It built up over a period of a couple of weeks. Everybody was angry. Although I wasn’t ingrained and steeped in the feelings of America during the Vietnam time, I was angry that a faceless friend from Peoples Park had been shot and killed by “the man”.
After the riots, the fear and the curfews, we couldn’t get across the bridge to get out of there. We pretty much had to stay in the van to avoid the cops. I was an alien and became fearful of somehow losing my boy. I don’t even remember how we did get out.
I write this little piece because of the date. I had no idea it happened on May 30, I am guessing my soul remembered, thus the feelings coming back up when I listened to the song I posted (Somethings Happening Here) with the sound on, CNN sound off.
It
Was the day of the fire hose.
“Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results” -Albert Einstein

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Last Chance

Editorial

I know it is first thing Saturday morning, I also know we concern ourselves with recovery and spiritual growth here. But I would be amiss not to ever talk about this world crisis we’re presently in the middle of. It’s hard to read first thing on a Saturday morning, so you might want to skip it and drink your morning coffee elsewhere. I didn’t plan to write this so it must be the right thing to do.
We have experienced much together these last months. “Together” is the operative word here I believe. The whole world is in flux. We are changing as a species and it is our chance to grow. Individual growth is always necessary but now change can be systemic…if we allow it.
It is a rough awakening and could get worse before we break through. It is a hard birth, millions dying all at once from a world wide plague, (corporate) America burning, young people of all colour rising up together saying NO!!!! The social norm is breaking down world wide, the politicians are trying frantically to regain control and the kids just keep marching.
We have the power, and the circumstance to make it happen if we have the physical, emotional and spiritual energy to do it. Or we can slide back into obscurity and draw our blanket of fear and indifference around us tighter.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better if we keep our resolve. It will be touch and go. We have become soft, and this is a crash course
in life and death reality! We are getting a good look at what we have become, the good and the bad and the ugly. Will we take up the torch? The world has grown to small to ignore, there is no “over there” anymore.
We have been given a glimpse
of what the world looks like without the smog. The whales can hear under the water again! Human beings are taking mortal risks to save others they don’t even know from disease, folks are working from home and remembering what it’s like to create a living garden and actually see the colour of a loved ones eyes in the sunshine as they plant. Our music makers and spiritual leaders are coming together on social media, people are sharing what they have and finding out how right it feels.
This is it guys, we’ve thrown away our chances before, this might be the last one. I remember Berkeley in the 60’s…and how it feels to be blown against a wall with a firehouse!
Change doesn’t have to be huge! Put a quarter in the donation box at the supermarket, see if you can do something for the senior down the hall. Smile and say hello through your mask, write a letter to the editor, march on Ottawa whatever…but do it consciously consistently, and with intention and you will save the world, I promise!

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A World of Opposites

Our world has shrunk. We are living in each other’s back pockets. It seem strange to some, but normal to others. It has, for some, brought a stark reality of the world order into focus. For others in the world it has been just a way of life and all they’ve ever known.

We have heard the word “chaos” from the fearful chattering of ones that have spent their lives with their heads firmly planted in the sand. We have also watched satellite photos of the smog clearing from the face of Mother Earth.

In this crisis we have watched death in helpless horror but since the world slowed down with the words “shelter in place” we have watched daffodils and bluebells poke through the early spring earth.

We have seen the people in our midst dropping all around us not unlike the Fentanyl crisis that we don’t even notice because it isn’t newsworthy.

We have been warned for years that we must cleanse the planet. Now we no longer have the title of Stewards of the Earth. We have been warned and took no heed and have been stripped of that title. Mother Nature is taking care of it now.

I am torn between mourning your loss and rejoicing the new birth we have a chance at.

So “shelter in place” and ponder the smallness of earth and how everything that happens affects everything else, and watch the daffodils pop their heads up from the new spring earth. You have the time to look into your children’s eyes now and make your own personal decision going forward.

It will be different but it will be good…in time.

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Negative Bias 2020

Its your choice, ascension or descention. Its all in the angle you see it from. The nightmare or the dream.

As mammals, yes we do tend to see the negative aspects of life coming at us. It is inbuilt, a protective reflex. In the days prior to the frontal lobe we watched for danger reflexively, it kept us alive instinctively in the interest of self preservation of the species. We have evolved and adapted over time but our tendency to react automatically in the face of precieved danger is alive and well. There are no more saber-toothed tigers although we still look for them. The world is a dangerous place as we watch CNN for the latest bombings, killings and politics. Our primal brain protects us in its ancient way not knowing it is in fact killing us, not understanding the danger is not immediate. The frontal cortex is overpowered by fear but we can’t stop reacting. Our nerves are shot, we fall into mental illness, addiction and paranoia. The world gets more dangerous and we find ways to rest. Many of us us rest in the shade of oblivion. We desperately find shelter in substances to numb, to flatline to get away from looking or caring. Others go to far to ever come back.

In our oblivion we get out of the habit of fight, flight or freeze. Bad things happen but it doesnt hurt anymore. Sometimes we get fished out of addiction; if we get lucky. There is kindness on the other side of horror. The view is different here in recovery. A positive bias begins to give hope, and on the otherside of horror is a world we never knew existed. How strong it is too! The exact opposite of the horror. Why could we not see the goodness, the living angels, the belief in humanity… the way out is so obvious. Every once inawhile you hear, “hold tight, it will get worse before it gets better”, and so you do because everybody you know now is holding on too, everyone creating the tipping point. Understanding the Law of Opposites and making it happen, fishing one person at a time out of the soup of paranoia and hate.

Its up to you right here right now in the beginning of the decade. How will you chose to see the world? Will you decide to banish negative bias from your thoughts. Will you step toward the healing or the killing? We offer you the hand that will pull you up. You will be amazed before you are halfway through.

Come over to us. Come into the sunlight and leave the dark, dank caves of fear and violence forever

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Children’s Thoughts Become Adult Things

Never ignore the pain of the child

All of us… every last one of us brings a package of pain to adulthood. It matters not the environment we came from. Care givers from both ends of the spectrum, from abject abuse to absolute love all contribute to the creation of our values, mores and beliefs as adults. I don’t judge the caregivers, that’s a story for another day.

What we are up to here is to understand the process of thoughts and behaviors that are transferred to the child as a normal course of events in any family. Over time the child turns learned thoughts and behaviors into his own beliefs and values as his parents did before him. Ultimately he makes up his life as a powerful creator thus acting out his own inherent self fulfilled prophecies.

In my book the Surrogate Family Model of Treatment for Women (2019) I described a child’s view of the world as looking through a keyhole to see just a mere slice of life. Although the view may be dramatic, it is but a narrow bit of pseudo-reality coloured by the family story, the child’s inexperience, and language limitations.

The child looks to his caregivers as gods. They are not only tall as gods should be, they also dictate what time you go to bed, and how long you stay at the table until you’ve eaten all your carrots. Your physical world consists of your house, your yard, and maybe the park and day care. Whether terrible or benign, these are the gods of your existence.

It doesn’t seem like much to base a lifetime on, but by 3-4 years of age the child has made up his mind about the universe and all the Laws of Nature. Without parental guidance his mindset will be fixed by the age of 6. What she believes she knows then will be written in stone even as she grows into maturity.

This 6 year old child’s belief will be the view of the universe for her on an emotional level throughout her entire life. She is a child in an adults body. When trauma and or substance use is a part of her experience she will paint the world accordingly not knowing that she will have little chance to get out.

Take a minute to think of the chaos the world is in now and the high profile “Leaders” at the helm. Are they mature? I wonder what their view through that keyhole was?? Do you see grown up politicians not allowing others to play in their sandbox? This will also be a fascinating study for another day.

What about you? What did you see through the keyhole? Did someone come and open the door so you could have a full pano of life, or were you left to make your own unschooled decisions throughout? Have the thoughts you had about Life at 6 become things? Have they become your destiny, your self- fulfilled prophecy?

Luckily we’re divine sentient beings with the power to change our thoughts into better things. Only it does take work and commitment to change the course of your life.

Think about the end game. Visualize what it will look like as a powerful creator? Start changing the story now! You have the power to create the life you dreamt about! But don’t wait even one moment more!

It All

Starts with a thought!

Blessings

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How to Flex Your Emotional in Muscles

Every good author knows that in order to write well one must read a lot. Every book read expands and strengthens ones emotional core.

Reading challenges your beliefs, values, and moral fortitude. The struggle to accept, integrate or reject a new idea is like pumping iron. Up, down, slowly, conscious of the burn. Repetitions, turning pages. Focus on form, breath and thought. Expansion and adding your own truth to the moral fibre of thought and outward expression builds confidence and brings new words and new worlds to the surface.

From a 98 lb weakling to a spiritual hulk in no time flat! Then the disseminating and rebuilding to write your learning into your own experience to share to the world.

Wisdom comes with reading. When you express through writing, you gift the Universe with more knowledge. You give folks like me the opportunity to know your heart and your wisdom, because if we are truly all one the world needs your wisdom just like you need mine.

So let’s get out there! Start light until you are pumping War and Peace, which by the way would be a physical workout as well as emotional!

Go In Peace

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Synergy, Synergy, Synergy

I have a radio in my bathroom, thanks to my motivated and handy partner. You turn the light on, you get the radio…like it or not. 4:57 AM with eyes still at half mast I turn the light on. The radio said to me, “and then I picked up a book called Conversations with God”. Huh? My brain turned on immediately and I listened to some guy talking about “What God Said”. He wasn’t talking about Neale’s new book; he was explaining what God said through the trilogy about who we really are. The program was over at 5 AM so I figured that was the message. Translating the message, it said to me that I should read while eating breakfast so I picked up the nearest book at the kitchen table which was Friendship with God. I opened it up where I had left off, chapter 6 p. 96. The first words that Neale said, “So that’s step two isn’t it?” I flipped back to see where this came from and God said, “When you love and trust yourself, then you will love and trust in me”.

So chapter 6 is all about Trust and Faith. Now, here’s the kicker…. I am of course a card carrying member of A.A. and I just happen to be writing on Step 2, and I know some of you know that the main Spiritual Principles of Step 2 of the 12 Steps are…Faith and Trust. Can anybody remember off the rib what step 2 is…? (no cheating now wink wink). I say that because after almost 30 years I still cannot remember all of them off by heart!!! But I digress. Step 2 is of course “We Came to Believe that a Power Greater than Ourselves Could Return us to Sanity”, and you are in-sane if you have gotten this far with your interest in the New Thought movement.  So this morning got me to thinking about the statement, “God never shuts up, but who’s listening”. That is what synergy is to me…awareness of all the ways God talks and shows and demonstrates to us the truth, if only we would listen.

I shared with you about my reading the same book up at the lake in the sun; on the vacation when Neale was sharing a childhood memory of disappointment associated with not getting what he wanted on his 8th or 9th birthday Sept. 10th. Well can you guess what I’m going to say next? Yes, that’s right; I realized I was reading this on Neale’s 70th birthday, September 10th, weird? No I think not at all, synergy and God’s way of bringing it home to me that the universe is intelligent and is aware, and not at all above using this parlor trick to wake me up to remind me what’s available in awareness’s.

How did your awareness come about? Was it like mine, a slow evolution, God as I understood Him through the 12 Steps? Reading books like The Road Less Travelled, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, Course of Miracles, Marianne Williamson, learning Transcendental Meditation etc. etc.? Doing LSD in the 60’s, thinking Timothy Leary or Ken Keyse and the Electric Kool Aid Acid test was it? Always searching, searching, knowing but blindfolded, eyes wide open but sleepwalking, culminating with this writing. Synergy all the way through, God within me while I experienced what I needed to so I could end up as a bringer of the light, living my soul’s agenda at my “Joy Place”, teaching what I so desperately want to learn.  I dare say I didn’t “wake up” for many years and my main fun now is to help people to wake up earlier in their present incarnation. It is my joy and my way of expressing who I am in my own present incarnation.

I would love to hear your stories…how did you come to know what you are remembering now???

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The Process

Excerpt P. 173 Surrogate Model of Treatment for Women – Linda Shaw 2019

Coming up the 12 steps to Charlford for the first time, desperate to get out of the hell she had created, the novice Peach struggles with her suitcases and big black garbage bags. There is always one or two bags filled with unwanted garbage and clutter she just can’t part with. They are filled with core beliefs, anger, self hate, mistrust and loneliness to name but a few. She’s been dragging them around for years, she knows they are pulling her down and she would do anything to get rid of them, but somehow they are comforting; the only normal she has ever known, at least they are consistent .

In the first few days she almost forgets they are there, still packed and sitting in the closet of her heart. The girls are so nice and helpful, and she’s learning so much, and she says in group one day, “I think I’ll just stay here forever!” and her new friends laughed looking at each other knowingly. Life on retreat is sublime; many would pay thousands for the 3 weeks of isolation from the world. “Maybe I don’t really need to be here”, she thinks, “Maybe I’m not as bad as the others”. She watches others in control mode, arguing, blaming, crying and she smiles a little Madonna smile….

But then…..

She hears someone gossiping and she thinks it is about her, and then her three weeks are up and she gets out of the bubble of retreat.  She feels awful finishing her Step 1 that provided a glimpse of the devastation she has caused her love ones, and herself.  Finally she gets to use the phone and life totally leaks in, suddenly she realizes she has just unpacked all of her pain. Nothing is different nothing’s changed, the harm was caused over a lifetime but she could never acknowledged it.  All she saw was her own pain and blame for everyone and everything around her for causing it. Here she had nothing to soothe her pain and it was stark and unforgiving. Everything she ran into Charlford to get away from is back with a vengeance. She wants nothing more than to pack her bags and run into the night to get caught in the lurking web of her dealer.

But wait…..

Somehow she ran into the office instead of out the door. She cried until her nose was running and cheeks were red. She hiccupped in her sobs, and slid down the wall to the floor. The two counselors turned in their chairs like judges on “The Voice” and listened until she was all cried out. She had a stray thought that she was glad she had her old long sleeved sweat shirt, she knew there would be no Kleenex to stop the deluge.

They allowed her the space to think things out, no hurry, no rush. The office felt safe and soft and warm. She asked if she could just sit here, and they said of course, this is your home, and then they went about their business with her as a welcome presence. The door opened and a resident came in, and then another, they sat down with her and began to talk about their first days here. Then there was the laughter that comes only when people share and relate to the same experiences.

One of her friends asked her if she could give her a hug, and when she did she suddenly understood these women were there for her. They gave her a glimpse of a new reality, a reality just out of ear shot, just around the corner. She actually “heard” the voice telling her that it wasn’t about her; it was about the ghosts in everyone’s past including her own.

She began her awareness process. She learned that she would experience awareness over and over again as the healing took place. It seemed to take forever to really embrace who she really was, and it was touch and go for a number of weeks and months. As she internalized this great gift of unconditional love she noticed her behavior was changing. One day she noticed that she was enjoying herself by helping another. How extraordinary!! Who knew?? Who would have thunk? Her housemates became Sisters and this truly was her family home.

Suddenly….

Her world crashed around her. The one huge thing she was holding on to, praying on, dreaming on, fell through. Just toppled down like a house of cards. It was in her grasp and then it was gone, like it had never been there. And despair overtook her. She became quiet, her sisters thought they had done something wrong, she just wasn’t herself. But she didn’t like the feeling; it didn’t feel normal even though this was the worst thing that could have ever happened. Then she did something that was utterly unavailable to her before, she reached out and began seeing the music therapist. You could hear the songs she wrote drifting like a sweet summer breeze all through the house. They were songs of grief, songs of love and sadness, but songs from her soul none the less. She saw it worked and reached out again to her yoga class and then to art therapy. She found herself creating her own reality through positive thought…the strength, the wonder of it all, she was back!

She finally understood life would always be there to leak in, but she could trust herself, feel, cry and decide to change it into something valuable. Her group sessions became meaningful as she became more and more honest in her step work. She learned ups and downs wouldn’t kill her but make her stronger and she became a Warrior for other women struggling with their garbage bags coming up the 12 steps to Charlford House.

And the time finally came….

That she counted the 12 stairs on the way down as she left her Spiritual home to go out into the world and change it just by her presence in it. Her head was up, her shoulders back, a true Spiritual Warrior, a Peach among Peaches!

And now…..

 She comes back all the time, we are family, been through a lot together. We will always have each other’s backs no matter where we are in this new world. Charlford House will be her home forever and she knows it and does her best to bring others up those 12 steps, she even carries theirs bags for them.

She has found a way to change the world!!!

(Who do you think I might be talking about?)

I have your back

I  get in front of connecting  my own essence with his at times.

My conditioning erects a wall and all I can see is his conditioning.  Much of the wall I build is made out of expectations.  In those times I can see his essence but cannot see my own.  We become separate and relate mentally and emotionally but not spiritually.  

The spiritual trigger is the phrase “I have your back”.  It is the door built into the wall.  When I walk through the door the wall vanishes.
I can deconstruct it by removing any expectations.  Any Criticism disappears  I once more understand that essence we call love is that which is the Oneness of God.

We both know our relationship transcends mental and emotional constraints. Appreciation can only come within the human  realm in the law of opposites.

Living constantly in this spiritual condition of love would only normalize it. It would no longer be something to marvel at and strive to reach.

We are not just our spirit, we are spirit, mind and body. Each is as important as the other.

When I can touch his essence and know it as my own I feel the eternal miracle achieved once more before I reconstruct the wall.