Posts Tagged ‘unconscious energy’

5 Keys to Healing Addictions

Sunday, April 1st, 2007
 
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How did I get into all this debt? In just these few words, posed all too often by clients, I can hear their shock, shame, frustration, and hopelessness. When we are in this terrible state, we can feel very alone and isolated. Yet left to our own devices, we will get worse, not better.

So here are 5 Keys to healing any addiction, whether it’s spending, drinking, cheating, lying, gambling, eating, or whatever else you have been overtaken by.

1. Realize what a slippery slope addiction is: It’s a lot easier to get into debt than to get out of it. This is because getting into debt doesn’t require a plan; in fact, it often requires unconsciously not planning. The same can be said for an addiction to food or any other addiction. It’s much easier to gain the weight than it is to lose it because gaining it means simply “going unconscious.”
2. Recognize the benefits you get from going unconscious: There are two short-term benefits to going unconscious using addictive behaviors: First, we get temporary relief from the pressure of having to take responsibility. Secondly, we get a temporary high from our addiction. The relief and the high are intertwined because the high offers a heightened sense of relief.
3. Reach out NOW: You obviously can’t maintain an addictive high permanently. When you do finally come down, it is a crash landing. Each time you experience the cycle of your addiction, you tend to feel worse and fall further, right? Consequences become ever more severe, including destitution, suicidal thoughts/depression, total loss of self-esteem, or poor health or even death. If you try to go it alone, you will probably let your shame run you. Shame isn’t a good motivator. Compassion is. Find a group or a competent coach or therapist to work with.
4. Stop lying to yourself: Quit telling yourself that if you had more money, you wouldn’t be in this much financial trouble. Or if you had better metabolism, you’d be thin. Or if you had a nicer mate, you wouldn’t be cheating. None of these excuses are true. If you continue to believe your excuses, you will lose more of your dignity and waste more of your precious life and energy. If you are in deeper and deeper debt, what is true is that you are addicted. Winning the lottery wouldn’t change that. After all, over 70% of people who win the lottery end up with as little or less than they had before they won. If you are drinking more and more, changing from “the hard stuff” to wine isn’t the cure. That’s like believing that smoking will cure a food addiction. Trading addictions isn’t healing addictions. It is a game your addictive mind will try to play but you can’t win at it.
5. “Tap” into healing: You are misusing money or food or sex or alcohol or drugs or TV to try to numb something. What memories, feelings, or situations trigger your addiction? Once you stop avoiding the core reason for your addictive behaviors and begin to get comfortable with feelings you once dreaded, you will feel less compulsion to behave addictively. There are so many valid options for healing addictions, including 12-step programs, therapy and coaching, acupuncture and other holistic approaches, even prayer for many people. In addition, I use EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, with my clients. EFT is a quick, efficient, yet powerful “tapping” method for releasing the anxiety and pain that trigger addictions.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer tomorrow from your addictions just because you are suffering today. You are a worthy being who deserves to thrive and live your extraordinary life.

Jane Straus is a trusted life coach and the author of the popular book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. To read her articles and excerpts from the book, watch her on TV, listen to her on radio, order Enough Is Enough, or to hire her as your life coach, visit stopenduring.com.

It’s a B*tch Being Conscious

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
 
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Do you ever feel that it takes more work, more out of you emotionally, to live a conscious life than it did to live less-than-consciously? Many years ago I had a T-shirt made with the saying, It’s A Bitch Being Conscious. I wore it on the first day of my Journey Into Ecstasy workshop intensive because I could count on it to evoke instant, knowing laughter from all the participants.

So why do we do it? Why do we keep working on ourselves when it takes so much effort, when we’d sometimes rather be zoned out, pour a cold one, light up a joint or cigarette, or grab the remote? Why do we put ourselves through seeming torture for no guaranteed rewards, sometimes paying a hefty price for the privilege of doing so? Are we just masochists disguised as seekers and healers? Is ignorance perhaps, if not the best policy, at least a better one than relentless self-examination? Who is it that said that the unexamined life is not worth living? A lot of people might disagree.

I know that I’m supposed to answer these rhetorical, “teaser” questions for you in this paragraph. I’m supposed to justify and validate all your hard work, the money you spend on coaching, therapy, workshops, and books, the courage you’ve mustered to face your demons. But you know, I don’t know why anyone does it.

When my coaching clients express how hard this work sometimes is all I can do is smile, agree, and cheerlead. I say things like, “Doesn’t clarity feel better than confusion?” “Doesn’t feeling your emotions feel better than walking around numb?” Sometimes they give in and admit that they like living in an aware and awakened state. Sometimes they give me the look that lets me know I’m skating on thin ice, that their answer just might be a resounding “No!” if I weren’t so chipper.

I can relate. I like the temporary high that blaming and playing the victim provide so well. Blaming feeds my ego and playing the victim allows me to relinquish responsibility for my life. Who wouldn’t say, “Bring it on!”

But once the high leaves, I’m stuck with all my hangover symptoms: depression, lower self-esteem, helplessness, and hopelessness. I wake up and see in the mirror someone who traded the excitement of possibility for the drudgery of inevitability, someone who is stuck in a rut, reading from a very boring script, complaining often and loudly. I see someone who, while familiar, is less than admirable.

Kicking and screaming, or at least whining, I stop the chatter and remind that face in the mirror what the goal of consciousness is: happiness. I tell myself that I am more than the sum of my fears, self-judgments, and limiting beliefs. I quiet the chatter long enough to hear my spirit’s whispers. And when I persevere, I do occasionally stumble onto great and unexpected joy. More often, I find myself feeling at least a small measure of peace. I’m grateful for that. Is it all worth it? I guess each of us needs to answer that question for ourselves.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.