Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

A friend of mine recently moved to a new apartment. I don’t know if you’re like me, but the very thought of moving makes me start shaking. It’s the idea of packing up all my stuff that gives me so much anxiety. Over the years, we accumulate so much, and moving means we need to sort through it all, get rid of a lot, and pack up the rest. Whenever I think about it, the task seems monumental.

            My friend didn’t particularly enjoy the packing up either. But she told me she loved the unpacking. In her new place, all the closets and cabinets and drawers were empty, and as she unpacked each box, she decided how things would be arranged in her apartment and exactly the best spot for each item. It’s the only time our closets and cabinets are so well-organized.

            This got me to thinking about clutter. Clutter– physical, mental, and emotional–is one of the things than can block us from achieving our goals. We let things accumulate without sorting through them, and without either getting rid of them or putting them in their place. Clutter of all types is negative energy, and when it fills our lives, it crowds out the positive energy.

            I’ve talked a lot in this blog about mental and emotional clutter, but clearing out the physical clutter is every bit as important. Objects can have powerful associations for us, and holding on to an object can be a symbol of holding on to a counterproductive belief or a behavior. Do you still have that cocktail shaker, that ashtray, that sweater your mother gave you that you always hated, that photo of you with the boyfriend who never treated you well?

            Throw that stuff away–and throw away all the negative energy that goes with it. Imagine your life as cleaned out as my friend’s closets in her new apartment, stripped of what you don’t need all ready for you to decide exactly the right spot for everything.

 


 

 

As addicts and alcoholics, you all understand you have no room for un-resolved anger in your recovery program. On the other side of anger is resentment or a feeling that some injustice has been done to you. Something or someone is irritating you or it is “just not fair.” Don’t you wish you could just control your resentments by controlling your anger? Not so easy, right?
On many levels resentment separates you from others and from yourself. There is no loving compassion or forgiveness when you are resentful. Ask yourself, “What am I resentful or angry about?” “Am I angry because my spouse is still dealing with pain from the consequences of my behavior?” “Am I resentful because my boss expects too much out of me when I just got out of rehab?” These questions and others similar all have to do with a belief system that if people, places, and things, “would just go my way” all would be well. In other words, it is everyone and everything that is causing you to be angry and resentful. You go through life feeling other people and circumstances are responsible for your happiness. Well, what if your spouse forgave you like you wanted or your boss lightened up your load out of understanding your new recovery? Would you then be happier? Would you then feel permanently resolved of all anger and resentment? Probably not. Why? Because before long someone or something else will come along to irritate you again so you can again build up a resentment? That is how it goes for alcoholics and addicts. As soon as one thing goes your way, you feel temporarily content, but just around the corner is that next thing to cause you discontentment. If you want short term happiness, go ahead and let outside people and circumstances make you happy? That may be okay for a while, but if you want true happiness, it is time to look within and to understand your thought patterns. People and places no longer need to change in order for you to be happy. Instead cultivate an attitude of joy, interest, contentment, creativity, and growth. Once you learn these positive emotions, anger and resentment take a back seat.
How to do you cultivate these positive emotions?
1. Notice your positive emotions throughout the day. Write them down and label them, “Gratitude”, “Serenity,” “Confidence.”
2. Notice what your thoughts were when you were experiencing these positive emotions.
3. Notice what is happening in your body when these positive emotions surface? Do you feel expansive? Are your shoulders lifted?
The more you notice these positive emotions, the more often you will begin feeling them. As you begin to feel more positive, negative emotions may erupt, but they will not take up as much energy as they once did.

2 Moms and a Mic

2 Moms and a Mic Listen or stream 2 Moms and a Mic at 8AM 1400 KKZZ today as I talk about Finding Your Purpose with Intention from my book “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery”.  Be one of the first callers and receive a free download of my new Living on Purpose Meditation CD. 

I am learning many lessons as I go through the process of promoting my book.  One of the biggest lessons has been “humility.”  This quote from the book “The Kabbalah of Envy” is a great definition of what humility means to me.

“Many people believe that humility is the opposite of pride, when in fact it is a point of equilibrium.  The opposite of pride is actually lack of self-esteem.  A humbler person is totally different from a person who cannot recognize and appreciate himself as part of this world’s marvels.  His attitude is thus different from someone full of pride, totally centered on himself.

I have had three book signings since my book came out.  One was extremely successful and the other two, not so much.  I have had to take a look at what success really means.  At first, a successful book signing clearly meant having a big turn our and selling lots of books, which was my first experience at my book signing.  The second book signing was in another city where no one knows me and the turnout was small.  I felt sadden not by the fact that it was small, but I noticed many people walking by my area and they looked as if they wanted to sit down, but were too embarrassed.  At the moment it hit me.  People are still embarrassed to admit they have an addiction.  This was in Las Vegas, Sin City, and it was clear to me that even in 2010 people won’t admit to having a problem.  They still see their addictions as a moral issue rather than a disease.  Of course, having a small turnout was a humbling experience and I learned to define success in whole new way.  I would have felt more “successful” if I could have at least gotten my message out, but unfortunately, Las Vegas was not ready to hear it.  I do hope, however, that someone will one day stroll over to the addiction section of that bookstore and get the help they need so that in some small tiny way I have made a difference.

Then I had another book signing over the weekend.  Again, not as big a turn out as I expected.  Was I disappointed?  Yes.  Did my pride take over for a few moments?  Absolutely.  Luckily, it didn’t last long and I just was happy I showed up and suited up, as we say.  I carried the message to some people and even got to practice my speaking skills.  It turned out, although I didn’t realize it at the time, it was a “successful” evening, and it had nothing to do with selling books.  It was all about doing what I say I am going to do and believing in what I do; and if even not one person showed up, I did.  That is humility, don’t you think?  Please let me know your thoughts so we can start a dialogue about the meaning of humility to you.