“Emotional repression underlies all addiction; when we learn to honor, identify and experience our feelings, the need to numb or escape them, disappears.” – Schreiber, MA
We choose toxic substances, behaviors and relationships when we aren’t listening to our own needs.
Self-Awareness Exercises to Journal
What am I using to escape? Excessive alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, food, sex, work, Facebook, TV, media, spiritual practices
What am I escaping from?
Is it something I need to feel? Allow yourself to feel “bad”, cry, sleep; it will pass.
Is it something I need to heal? An old emotional trauma/pain that just needs to be acknowledged, felt and released – journal how you felt about it and burn it to release it.
Is it something I need to change within myself, my mind? Are your thoughts (self-talk) negative, in the future with fear or feeling like life is happening to you beyond your control? Question your thoughts and drop the “t” after can. Be loving and gentle with yourself.
Is it something I need to change with a relationship/job? Do you feel loved, respected and supported?
Addictive Substances and Distracting Practices
The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren
Inside each addictive substance and distracting practice, there is a specific quality that can help us alleviate our specific turmoil.
For instance, consider the quality inside alcohol. Alcohol irrigates the system; it brings a moment of flow to people who cannot balance water in their psyches, and it can help release or anesthetize repressed emotions. Unfortunately, attempting to irrigate the system with the false fluidity of alcohol – instead of learning to honor the water element itself – does not balance or heal anything.
Another group of substances and behaviors can give us a sense of flying free and unencumbered as the air and fire elements do. The speedy, flighty distractions of caffeine, stimulants, methamphetamine, cocaine and crack, inhalants, excessive Internet surfing, sugar, sex addictions, gambling, over-spending, and shoplifting can help people lift out of their emotions and their bodies. These substances and practices can bring an airy swiftness and a fiery sense of power to people who cannot yet feel comfortable when their feet are on the ground. Stimulants offer the specter of vigor, brilliance, quickness, and instant fun, but soon enough more and more of them are needed, not to fly, but just to get up in the morning. The stimulants, because they don’t balance the quaternity, end up slowing us down to crawl.
An interesting new attempt to increase brainpower with stimulants – called brain doping – is taking hold on college campuses and in high-intensity workplaces. Many neurologically normal people are now taking drugs meant for attention deficit disorder, such as Adderall and Ritalin, or a drug meant for narcoleptics, Provigil. There is quite a black market for these drugs, which reduce the need for sleep and help people focus intently on tasks that are otherwise too boring to keep their attention (or that they put off until the last possible second). Though these drugs are useful in cases of ADHD or narcolepsy, if we look at brain doping through a quaternal lens, we can see that they rope the intellect into doing the person’s bidding with a kind of inhuman focus; they also quiet the emotions and the visionary aspects of the psyche, and they disrupt the body’s normal sleep cycles. What is fascinating about brain doping is that a 2009 neurological study showed that daydreaming, which was once thought to be irrelevant to intellectual tasks, is actually a process wherein large parts of our brains are keenly activated and engaged in high-level problem-solving. So the brain dopers, by forcing their minds to maintain constant focus, are probably reducing their intellectual capacities and making themselves less intelligent and less resourceful, not more. Constant, unwavering focus does not honor or support the intellect.
A subset of the speedy substances – the fiery hallucinogens such as LSD, peyote/mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, Ecstasy, out-of-body spiritual practices, trance dancing, and many tribal substances – create a sense that the spirit is lifting away from the body, the mind, and the emotions. However, the hallucinogens can cause dissociation and make it difficult to get reintegrated again. This is a problem, because we don’t need further dissociation; we need practices that can help us come back to earth. We need to allow our bodies, our multiple intelligences, our emotions, and our visionary spirits to have equal say (and equal freedom) in our fully functioning psyches. When that is done, when we have balanced our quaternaries, we won’t need or want to dissociate or send our awareness away.
There is another category of substances and practices that I call the anesthetics. The anesthetic drugs and practices – painkillers, cigarettes, heroin, marijuana, excessive reading or TV and movie viewing, and overeating – help numb the body, the emotions, and the thoughts so that part of us can live in peace and quiet. Each of the anesthetics, in its own way, creates a barrier against pain, emotions, thoughts, or other people. These drugs and practices attempt to deal with flow by ignoring or suppression it. Each anesthetic can certainly provide a moment of stillness, but artificial stillness usually creates excessive flow in response, which is why the anesthetics can be so powerfully addictive. By artificially squelching flow, the anesthetics actually encourage the psyche to increase its flow.
So many problems from addictions to relationship struggles stem from a disconnection from our self.
During a phone (US), Skype (Outside of US) session you will connect with the 3 aspects of your soul (will, love and intelligence).
I’ll intuitively guide you into journaling exercises to help deepen your connection with the innermost parts of yourself.
You’ll gain valuable journaling tools, techniques and exercises to use on your own.