We are all on the Path to Recovery

SunflowerRecovery with the Buddha’s Teachings

Recently I read that the Buddha was in recovery, and his teachings were his findings on how he reached enlightenment or full recovery – recovery of his true self. We are all on a path to recovery, and sometimes we get distracted by a habit or substance.

How does this happen? Something triggers fear in our minds, and we fall into patterns of behavior to ‘protect’ ourselves from pain or find pleasure to avoid it. The inevitable (pain) is not only delayed by the action taken to avoid it – it is suddenly exponentially increased. Which if we are unconscious as the Buddha teaches (by recognizing the trigger or thought) we will initiate another cycle of addictive behavior to avoid pain by seeking pleasure or relief.

Sometimes the body needs relief from pain but sometimes it is self-destructive. Chances are that you are reading this post because you know there is something – a behavior – that is making hurting you and making your life less than it could be. Regardless of if you are fully aware of the unwanted behavior and its triggers or not – you can find help from the Buddha’s notes to recover your true self.

When you find yourself reaching for a self-destructive substance or lost in analyzing something that is fueling negative emotions;

try this:

  • Take a deep breath, hold for a moment, release very slowly. Repeat three times.
  • Wherever you are, soften your focus and look at one small natural thing ( a tree or a leaf – through a window or screen, or outdoors)
  • Slowly expand your vision to include all that is surrounding your field of vision.
  • Breathe and allow your lips to curl into a soft smile.

You will notice that the thought to ‘use’ has passed if you allowed it to. If you find yourself arguing, defending or analyzing a thought to do self-harm, internally or with others, you have been engaged and face losing your way. Step out-of-the-way with the breath and the thought will disappear without discussion or temptation.

Breaking a Habit For Good

SONY DSCBreaking an unhealthy or negative habit is part of being or becoming conscious of our selves. We recognize whatever is doing us harm as well as what is helping us. Ending any relationship  can be – usually is – challenging.  Our minds cling to what we know and believe to be part of us. So when we ‘discover’ something we consume or do as not good for us,the thought about doing it or not doing it can be at the front or the back of our minds – constantly.

Since these  self-destructive habits are tied into our connection with others or have become an part of our daily lives, letting them go (or holding onto them) can become an obsession.  Inside our minds a conversation ensues both supporting quitting and continuing the habit simultaneously. It’s necessary to call order into the conversation or we continue our bad habit or relapse eventually.

It’s hard to break a habit. But remembering that the moment’s pleasure always brings hours of pain, is part of the process. I know this even though there has been an active interest in health and wellness all of my life. Bad habits and relationships slipped into and controlled times in my life, too. The road to recovery is  with changes and challenges for everyone.

Fortunately for me, I had the creative process to guide me back to clarity and heart.  It was the mindful practice that called order in my mind.  There is a mindfulness method for all of us. The most accessible one is breath.


Try this to begin:

  • Slow down – sit if you can – when you hear chatter in your mind about the ‘habit’
  • Take a deep breath and hold it for a moment before you release it.
  • Release your breath slowly
  • Repeat until the thoughts are quiet and slower.
  • Move towards and with the thoughts that support your goals and dreams
  • Find support. Go to a friend, journal, paint brush, guitar, piano, trail head, counselor, coach or meeting.

This process can show you how to live with awareness and find your way on the endless path to peace. Find then and there in each moment a new beginning. This is a path where there are no mistakes, each moment is perfect and filled with possibility for you to recognize. Nothing to stress over or regret. When you let go of anticipation and worry, the need for destructive distractions disappears. It just takes attention – yours to live peacefully, positively and perfectly.


Lose that Belly Now

MeditationOnly the Buddha or Santa need a big belly – the rest of us want a flat, firm stomach. But it is not so easy to have and keep for this reason – not one workout or diet is right for everyone.  This is due to the differences in our body and belly types.

There are 5 types of bellies and different approaches work for each type. Find your tummy type and the plan to have a flat stomach this summer in this quick guide.  http://wp.me/P2QpFI-16T


Spring Ahead

Yellow flowersBy Dana Micheli

This has felt like the longest winter in history (or at least in the past several years!)  And now that it is nearly over and the first signs of spring are emerging, I realize that the normal energizing force at this time of year has been made even stronger by the anticipation of it.  Like the flower bulbs waiting for the right conditions to bloom, so have we been waiting for the right time to move forward, grow, and evolve, in all our endeavors. It’s also stronger due to the Solar eclipse and super new moon! Since we’ve had the long winter to re-think and review what works and doesn’t… we can move forward with new spring energy with well-made plans.

As often the case at the start of a new season, it is also time to make any necessary “attitude adjustments” concerning abundance.  This means sitting down with ourselves and thinking about what we really want to achieve, not only in terms of material wealth, but in relationships, passions, and health. You may find that outdated expectations, old hurts and negative thinking are weighing you down. By being very clear about what matters to you now, you will be able to free yourself of past disappointments and move on.

Before you say, “Ugh, I am sick of re-evaluating such things!”, I have something significant to add in regards to evaluating and planning our move forward. Spring is also a time of lightheartedness and fun.  Make time for play, whether it is getting together with friends or being in nature to enjoy the new growth. Practice mindful breathing (inhale to receive and exhale to give) to remind yourself that just as there is always an abundance of air to inhale and exhale, there are just as many possibilities and opportunities “in the air”.

Finally, spring is also a reminder that even while abundance might be buried (whether under piles of snow or piles of bills), it is right under the surface, just waiting to be found!

Yoga or Pilates?

Grounded in energy(1)

Yogini by Denise Demaras


Which is Right for You?

I’ve been asked often which is better – yoga or Pilates? Well, the answer depends upon your intentions for your body, mind and heart as well as your physical ability and condition. Beyond the machines used for reformer, the method of Pilates is quite different from yoga but the outcome can be similar with certain rigorous yoga practices.

Check this well presented infographic to see which is right for you.