It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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An Attempt to Solve a Problem

tryingtosolveaproblem An Attempt to Solve a Problem

I first learned about Dr. Gabor Maté through his groundbreaking book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, which explores his work with addicted individuals living on Vancouver’s skid row, as well as being an exceptionally comprehensive delineation of just what the hell addiction is, its causes, its effects, and so, so, so much more. Aside from that, Dr. Maté is a renowned speaker and bestselling author, highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics, including addiction, stress, and childhood development.

 

I’d heard that Gabor believes addiction is not the problem but rather a person’s attempt to solve a problem in his or her life. I reached out to him because I wondered, among other things, how he would define addiction and what his perspective was on people using addiction to solve their life problems.

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What looked like a suicide attempt was the start of my recovery

jogging-outdoors-on-autumn-morning-picture-id517191808 Hospital

I can’t breathe. F#$k. F#$k. F#$k. I can’t breathe! My eyes pop open as a full-body panic attack sets in. Through my haze, I see my hands strapped to the bed. Oh, f#$k. Not again. I’m gasping for air.

 

There are tubes coming out of my mouth. This is new. I raise my head and realize I’m in a hospital. But where? How did I get here? What the f#$k happened? That’s when I see my parents sitting in chairs at the end of my bed, near a window. The heartbreak and despair in their eyes are unmistakable. A nurse stands nearby. She’s telling me to calm down and let the tubes do the breathing for me, but I’m too panicked. I begin thrashing in the bed, trying to break the woven nylon straps that are keeping me from ripping the tubes out of my mouth. Later I’ll find out this is the reason I was restrained in the first place.

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2183 Hits

Sometimes All I Am Is a Dark Emptiness

Sometimes All I Am Is a Dark Emptiness Sometimes All I Am Is a Dark Emptiness

Because I have lived so much of my life caught in a cycle of addiction, recovery, relapse, repeat, a quote from Zen master Ikkyū Sojun—Sometimes all I am is a dark emptiness—sums up and shades much of my experience. I’m no stranger to relapsing and the pain, shame, guilt, confusion, and heartbreak that come along with it. Nor am I a stranger to detoxes, rehabs, emergency rooms, jail cells, and psych hospitals. What is strange for me is that after my last relapse, I began to care about relapsing. In the past, when I found myself in a place where I was willing to pick up a bottle of vodka or succumb to depression, I didn’t give a damn about the consequences. Fights, handcuffs, lies, withdrawals, self-cutting, hospitals, vomiting, and pissing blood—none of it mattered. I meant nothing to me.

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1657 Hits

The Power of Healing

The Power of Healing The Power of Healing

I know, I know. I know what happened yesterday. An American woman joined the royal family. Yippee!

I actually got up to watch Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding. Yes, I did. I watched it because I’m a romantic at heart. I just love love stories, and theirs is an especially good one because it’s about more than just two people in love. It’s also about acceptance, race, second chances, overcoming differences, old rules and new traditions. That’s what love can do for you. It can let you see the world again with a fresh set of eyes. When two people take a stand for love, other people can see the world differently through their example.

Meghan Markle’s story is quite the American story. She is a child of mixed race who grew up in California. Now, she is the Duchess of Sussex and a woman recognized around the world. Markle has a huge opportunity in front of her to rewrite the definition of a royal for young women everywhere. My hope is that she continues to use her voice for causes she believes in and that she uses her American grit and strength to overcome whatever balls get thrown her way (because there will be many).

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Rachel Naomi Remen: sustenance for uncertain times

Rachel Naomi Remen: sustenance for uncertain times Rachel Naomi Remen: sustenance for uncertain times

When it comes to healing, our notion of time can behave very strangely. It might speed up or it might be infinitely slow, like molasses. When we are eager for a loved one to get better, as I am now, it can seem like forever. The body heals at the rate that it heals. I remember Rachel Naomi Remen saying disease is a weird thing; it reveals itself when it’s ready to reveal itself. It can be frustrating when all sorts of symptoms appear, but no prognosis is certain. You are left wondering...where am I?

Rachel Naomi Remen, one of the pioneers of the mind-body health movement and relationship-centered care, is my inspiration for how to think about these unfathomable mysteries. How many of you have read (and reread) her book Kitchen Table Wisdom? I read it when it first came out and I was in culinary school. My copy is a dog-eared treasure on my shelf.  

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1345 Hits

Welcome Joy.

joy Welcome Joy.

Joy lifts the heart and nourishes inner peace.

What’s the spark and what’s the fuel?

The Practice:
Welcome joy.

Why?

Positive emotions—such as feelings of gratitude, love, and confidence—strengthen the immune system, protect the heart against loss and trauma, build relationships, increase resilience, and promote success. Based on studies that have already been done, if a drug company could patent a happiness pill, we’d be seeing ads for it every night on TV.

Technically, emotions can be organized along two dimensions: intensity (how strong they are) and hedonic valence (how good they feel). Tranquility, for example, has low intensity but can feel really really good, a profound inner peace.

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From Monkey Mind To Mindfulness

mindfulness

Although it feels like New Years was weeks ago, we are still very much in the conversation of "New Year, New You!" Even though every January we tend to engage in a dialogue about what we can do to revamp or upgrade our lives, each year we see a few new concepts or practices added to the "what's trending now" lists. In the past few years, the concept of mindfulness or being mindful has become a crucial part of the self-care conversation. 

From the boardroom to the kindergarten classroom to centers and apps dedicated to the practice, mindfulness trainings are widespread and have become mainstream. Credited with reducing stress and anxiety and having several other physical and mental health benefits, mindfulness is often defined as the practice of bringing your full mind to a singular object or situation or, as Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and leader in the field of mindfulness, defines it, mindfulness is "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally." 

Although being totally present to one thing for even five to ten minutes might seem like a no-brainer, for many it is a challenge. Described as a practice that takes practice, many beginners are encouraged to practice mindfulness by bringing their attention to day-to-day activities, even something as simple as drinking a cup of tea or eating food. We are urged to smell the food, taste the food, chew the food, and truly be in the experience of the food. 

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6501 Hits

Let Us Not Forget the Healing Power of Touch

barbara-sinclair-let-us-not-forget-the-healing-power-of-touchNEW

With the recent #metoo and #timesup movements, I’ve been thinking a lot about touch.


The focus lately, of course, has been on the wrong kind of touch.


The kind that makes us feel shame and fear and anger.


Used, violated, helpless, traumatized.


Powerless.


The uninvited kind.


The kind that crossed a line.


The kind that has put women on guard, time and time again, and made them leery of being touched.


The kind that destroys a healthy relationship with touch.


A world full of women are walking around with PTSD of one level or another from being touched inappropriately.


And yes, many men, as well.


Say what you will about social media, but it has helped birth a movement which is determined to change this story of power and disrespect.


But today I want to say good things about touch.


How it heals.


How it’s a basic human need.


How living without it can make us emotionally and physically sick.


I learned a great deal about touch when I studied Ayurveda.

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3340 Hits

Body - Restful Rejuvenation Meditation (audio)

Panachemeditation

In order for our bodies to recharge and rejuvenate we must eliminate stress. Stress is the reason why our bodies do not function at the optimum levels. Listen to this vibrational encoded meditation to give your body the healing it needs.

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2417 Hits

How The Divorce Diet Became The Integrity Advantage

How The Divorce Diet Became The Integrity Advantage

As you may know, this past week, my first book, The Integrity Advantage, was released. It was a pinnacle moment filled with a smorgasbord of emotions. It quickly turned into a somewhat surreal experience watching this baby being birthed out into the world, seeing people holding the book in their hands, and knowing that they would soon be reading my words.


Many people have asked me why I committed to this concept of integrity as a way of life a few years ago. I was recently invited to write a guest blog addressing what motivated me to write this book and what I hoped the reader would get out of it. Since it was my own pain and chaos of living out of integrity that brought me to living and realizing the advantage of living an integrity-guided life, I thought I would share the blog here. 

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1796 Hits

Does Everything Really Happen for a Reason?

sunnydawn-does_everything_happen_fora-_reason

When we are going through a difficult period in our lives, or are dealing with a crisis, it can feel like our lives are over. I’m sure that these last few months have felt very challenging for you, as they have for me, with the hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and, the most recent, the shooting in Vegas! During these challenging times, many well-meaning people will say things like “well, everything happens for a reason,” or “behind every gray cloud, there’s a silver lining.” Oftentimes, it is these types of statements that make us want to scream at the top of our lungs, “you just don’t understand, nothing will ever be the same” or “leave me alone … you have no idea.”


When we are in the midst of such periods, these age-old sayings can be difficult to hear, and even more difficult to believe. I get it. I have been the one to say it … and the one to scream … all at different times.


But, what if it were true? What if everything really does happen for a reason? What if we lived from a perspective that every experience that we have in life is designed to be an opportunity for growth, expansion, awareness, and dare it be said … for Love?


Most of us have, at some point in our lives, been lucky enough to have had some rough patches; but, experiences that, when looked back upon, can be seen with appreciation. Others have lived through downright catastrophes – where there seems to be no good reason whatsoever. Broken hearts, financial ruin, abuse or even the death of a loved one can leave us with more questions than answers. The why’s of it all, no doubt, cause pain, sadness, anger, illness and depression. We all see these challenges differently. For some, the pain is so devastating that they can’t get out of bed; while others can take what happened, and turn that energy into motivation. Why such different responses in similar circumstances?

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3139 Hits

I Couldn’t Breathe… and then I Remembered ( tips for staying sane in these insane times)

colettebarronreidblog

This past week has been a blur.


Have you ever felt that you’ve been swept up in a tornado of feelings that you can’t control and don’t even know the source?


It’s been surreal if you think about everything that has happened in the past month alone- a relentless tsunami of suffering and tragedy- all of it real, all of it needing to count.


Which do you pick? The devastation in the Caribbean? Texas? Louisiana? Las Vegas? Or should we look overseas?


I live here in North America and so what happens closest to me is on the news and I’m more exposed to the locale but this is all but a snapshot symbol of a deep insistent global pain, that we feel rising up from an unknown space within us, and we don’t even know what to call it and we resist it by deflecting it through rage and apathy, fear and denial.


But it’s all about waking us up – to what lies beyond this nameless pain.

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2688 Hits

Healing Power of Gratitude

Healing Power of Gratitude

Ready to feel better and heal faster?  Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don’t.

 

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2746 Hits

My 9 Step Process to Heal the Heart

My 9 Step Process to Heal the Heart

In healing my own heart, I’ve found that there’s an evolutionary process that occurs as I move from awareness to appreciation. I’ve broken this process down into nine steps so that you can recognize where you are currently and then see where you can move to. I will be using my own life experiences as examples of how you can use these steps to open up, ask for help from the Archangels, and allow healing into your heart. By witnessing my journey from beginning to end, it is my hope that you can take what fits for you, relate it to your own present or past circumstances, and reach a place where true healing is realized. This is my process of self-love and forgiveness.

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2525 Hits

Transforming Suffering Into Grace

Transforming Suffering Into Grace

When you look back at your own life, you see that with the suffering you went through, you would have avoided it each time if you possibly could, yet when you look at the depths of your character now, and the fact that you’re sitting here doing this work, you see it’s all a product of those experiences.

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3228 Hits

The Freedom of Yes – Allowing Life to be Just as It Is

The Freedom of Yes – Allowing Life to be Just as It Is

I often quote the psychologist Carl Rogers, who said, “It wasn’t until I accepted myself, just as I was, that I was free to change.” In other words, this acceptance — this recognizing what’s going on inside us and this deep unconditional tenderness — is the prerequisite to change.

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2252 Hits

Where Does It Hurt? Healing the Wounds of Severed Belonging

Where Does It Hurt? Healing the Wounds of Severed Belonging

I recently heard about a man who attempted to sneak his pet turtle onto a flight by placing it between two buns and wrapping it in a KFC wrapper. When he was discovered, he told the officials that he just couldn’t leave his beloved pet at home.

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1717 Hits

Is It Time to Let Go of Being a Victim?

Is It Time to Let Go of Being a Victim?

There comes a time in our lives where we make a decision. Sometimes it’s a conscious choice and sometimes it stems from an experience that we can no longer deny. Either way, we arrive at a point in our lives where we know or feel that it is time to move forward.

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3435 Hits

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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