Tag Archive for: Addiction Recovery

Book Review: Tiny Buddha’s Guide To Loving Yourself

18 Sep
September 18, 2013

Tiny Buddha's Guide To Loving Yourself by Lori Deschene, Conari Press

I mentioned in my previous post that there is a lack of resources that can truly guide us to practice self-love.  Perhaps you too have been hoping that a practical and inspiring guide on the subject of self-love would be available.  If so, Lori Deschene’s new book Tiny Buddha’s Guide To Loving Yourself should come as good news.

This book is a gem.  The author, who is the founder of Tiny Buddha (one of the most popular personal development sites on the internet), has compiled 40 inspiring and touching personal stories shared by contributors to the Tiny Buddha blog.  I am one of the contributors (read my post Are You Running Away From Yourself?). ...keep reading

The Day When Suffering Stopped

24 Dec
December 24, 2012

How to end suffering and discover joy with Amyra Mah
I was in a session with a client at my centre the other day when I witnessed the precise moment when suffering ended.  It was breathtaking.  In that moment, I saw the endless grasping –  the controlling, fixing, righting what’s not right, perfecting what’s imperfect, knowing what’s not known, searching for answers – STOP.

In my work as an addiction therapist, my job is to lead people to the edge of the door beyond which lies their heart waiting to awaken, and guide them to travel through that door and emerge the other side as their authentic self. ...keep reading

Unleashing Creativity Without Using Drugs

16 Jun
June 16, 2010

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There is a belief among many whose profession lies in churning out creative works that drugs enable them to tap into their creative well, that without drugs they could never produce the works that have earned them their professional recognition.  Writers, musicians, artists whose lifestyles involve indulging in too much drugs and alcohol usually find it a huge struggle to give up the substance they’ve become addicted to when they embark on stopping their subtance abuse.  This is the main challenge for every ‘creative type’ individual I have worked with in addiction. ...keep reading

Do Not Be Perplexed…. Be In Awe

02 Dec
December 2, 2009

I consider myself very privileged to be in a position to facilitate spiritual awakenings for clients who are open to develop their spirituality.  It’s such an honour to be part of someone’s awakening process and so humbling to witness the growth of a soul.  A lot of our clients are highly-accomplished professionals and successful businesspeople who are left-brain dominant; whilst their structured, analytical minds have aided in their professional success, it’s an obstacle when it comes to emotional healing.  Hence, we often spend quite a lot of time breaking through their tendencies to intellectualise the process so that they can deepen into the realm where true healings can take place. ...keep reading

A Tribute To Personal Freedom

23 Oct
October 23, 2009

In my work as well as my personal growth, I often examine how our fears entrap us in a false sense of imprisonment.  We fear expressing ourselves, making courageous decisions, saying no to those who’re abusive to us, standing up for ourselves.… because we might leave ourselves exposed to judgements and rejection.  The cost of asserting ourselves and exercising our freedom is the shame and embarassment of being shown that what we do is not acceptable to others.

What is it about being accepted by others that make it such a powerful drive that stop us from living a happy life?  Reading this, it may sound ridiculous that we short-change ourselves so readily to gain the approval of others, yet it happens more often than we’re comfortable admitting to.  This feared unacceptability can come in various forms – e.g. being told we’re not good enough, being persecuted, leaving someone unhappy. ...keep reading

How Good Can You Stand?

10 Sep
September 10, 2009

Many of my clients with addiction problems have asked why they often drink or use drugs when things are going well for them.  “I can understand if I’d been feeling bad,” they say, “but why is it that when things are good I’d start using again?”  There are many reasons and I am going to offer my views focusing on the aspects which I find particularly interesting.

Sometimes, we use the excuse of wanting to celebrate to go on a binge and end up abusing ourselves.  This is not what I am addressing; here, the celebratory mood is likely to be forced just because we want an excuse to embark on our self-abusing behaviour.  What I am addressing is when your life genuinely starts to look good and you’re feeling good, and then you choose an unhealthy habit and you end up sabotaging yourself. ...keep reading

Boredom: A Golden Door Or Block?

18 Oct
October 18, 2008

In my work to help people get off drugs and alcohol, I keep hearing “boredom” cited as a reason for substance abuse.  A lot of self-destructive behaviours are motivated by boredom – when life seems meaningless and no longer interesting, we seek out ways to inject more fun, danger, madness into our lives.

Why do our lives become so boring?  The question we need to ask first is, why do we become bored with life?

Human beings by nature seek stimulation, because we seek to grow.  Without stimulation, there can be no growth.  Stimulation implies movement, and growth is a movement.  Our deepest core is made up of a vibrant and creative energy that is alive all the time.  This is the core of who we really are.  Stagnation of any kind dampens our spirit and kills the passion in us.  We feel bored so we seek new experiences and in the process we enrich our lives and grow through the experiences. ...keep reading

The Perfection Of Imperfection

13 Aug
August 13, 2008

One of the reasons why we fail to create lasting changes in our lives is we tend to focus on what is not-yet ‘perfect’ and using that as an excuse to sabotage our progress.  We tend to begin a process of change expecting to wake up one day with all our internal conflicts gone overnight.  It’s called a “process” because it is an ongoing journey of healing parts of ourselves.  But most of us expect our issues to disappear within a short time, and when we see that we’re still struggling, we consider ourselves to have failed.  So we go back to our old habits or old structure – full on – because “it’s all or nothing”. ...keep reading

The Need To Rebel

10 Aug
August 10, 2008

In the rehab centre where I work, it’s been pointed out to me that I tend to leave my coffee cups all over the place instead of putting them from where I’d taken them.  I started putting them back to their appropriate places, but then found myself wanting to leave cups at the pool, common bathrooms, etc.  I caught myself thinking it a few times, which prompted me to look closer behind it.

Clearly, it comes from a rebellious streak to do something that is considered a breach of what is acceptable to the authority or within an institution.  A minor thing to leave my cup where it doesn’t belong, perhaps, but it comes from the same place as someone who expresses their rebelliousness through substance abuse.  I believe that everyone has a rebellious tendency in them; it’s a self-balancing mechanism to correct any imbalance arising from suppressing our expression in some area of our life. ...keep reading

The Joy Of Doing Meaningful Work

10 Aug
August 10, 2008

I sent two clients who had completed our four-week programme to the airport yesterday.  As I said goodbye to them, I felt a surge of emotions well up inside me.  I walked away from the departure hall blinking back tears, overcome by a poignancy that moved me on a deep level.  When you’ve had four weeks of caring and watching the personal battles of a client who’d been residential with you, you can’t help but feel a little sad when they leave.  But it was sadness tinged with an admiration for their courage in pushing through some issues that are quite painful to deal with and coming out more whole that moved me. ...keep reading