Monthly Archives: July 2010

Obsession

Obsession is a way of organizing our lives so that we never have to deal with the hard part.                      -Geneen Roth

My aim is not to judge our obsessions, but to become conscious enough to be able to witness them with awareness, curiosity and self-compassion so the old beliefs upon which the obsession is based can eventually become obvious.  Only when we recognize irrational beliefs for what they are, can we begin to change them.

Many of us with strong obsessive and compulsive behaviors – in my practice it’s usually those who have addictions and emotional eating issues – tend to think they can’t get through the hard part. 

But how we get through it is to connect with it.  To scream, sob, throw tantrums – then feel it in our bodies and sit with it.  We need to feel it – especially in our bodies.

The biggest roadblock for many of  my clients is helping them get in touch with what is going on in their bodies.  If we can connect with that, we can move through many of our emotional problems.  The problem is that most of us are scared to death of our emotions.  Maybe we think if we let ourselves feel sad or cry we’ll never quit.  Or maybe we were told when we were younger that to show emotions is weak.  The best way to not show them is to not feel them, so when something emotional comes up we avoid it like the plague!

I received that message as a kid – and shut off my emotions for years.  I can promise you, it’s no way to live.  Now, even though is often sucks to feel things, simultaneously I feel gratitude for the ability to connect with it, because I know that will get me past it and I’ll eventually be able to see the growth I’ve made.  That is a GREAT way to live!

Failure

Failure is an editorial judgment imposed by others – (usually those who came before us, whose values we often assume without much consideration). 

Actually, I don’t believe much in failure.  Every effort produces a result.  It may not be the result we wanted – or thought we “should” get, but it is a result. 

Thomas Edison failed many times before he successfully invented the light bulb. Some say that it was 10,000, while others say it was 1,000. Another source says he tried 3,000 times. So even if it was “just” 1,000 times that’s a lot of attempts. When a reporter asked him about his many failures, Edison simply said, ‘It just meant that I was that many times closer to success.’

So if we don’t get the outcome we thought we would accomplish, then it’s an opportunity to learn a different way to accomplish the goal.  And maybe, eventually, we determine that original goal isn’t really what’s best for us in the long run.  If we had accomplished it the first time, we might never have learned that.

Relationships

Relationships are our greatest spiritual teachers.  They provide us with the best opportunities to grow and evolve as spiritual beings.  

Of course, it’s the difficult relationships that teach the most.  I’ve heard it said that our true soul mates are those that cause us the most grief.  Often those are the people we’re closest to – or who we WANT to be closer to – a parent who has always been distant or abusive, a child who is defiant and constantly keeps us questioning our sanity, or a boss who has his/her own issues that are taken out on us.

I can honestly say that the most difficult relationships in my life have been the door to increased spiritual satisfaction and peace m- eventually. 

The opportunity knocks from the outside, but that door only opens from the inside.  We have to be conscious of the lesson and willing to do what it takes to learn it.

Crises

Life gives us messages all the time.

If you ignore them, you’ll then be handed a lesson.

And when you neglect to learn the lesson you’ll be served a problem.

And if you don’t deal with the problem, you can expect to receive a full-blown crisis.

-Thomas Leonard