Transformation Cafe Podcast

TC348: Cafe Book Club presents The Book of Joy-Pillar 6: Gratitude

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Books, Cafe Book Club, Gratitude, Podcast | 0 comments

TC348: Cafe Book Club presents The Book of Joy-Pillar 6: Gratitude

In this week’s podcast, host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost continue their discussion on The Book of Joy. This week we focus on Pillar 6: Gratitude – I am Fortunate to be Alive

The quotes below are excerpted from this chapter.

Greet each day with gratitude

“Every day, think as you wake up, ‘I am fortunate to be alive. I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it.'”

Gratitude is the recognition of all that holds us in the web of life and all that has made it possible to have the live that we have and the moment that we are experiencing. Thanksgiving is a natural response to life and may be the only way to savor it. It allows us to shift our perspective toward all we have been given and all that we have. It moves us away from the narrow-minded focus on fault and lack and to the wider perspective of benefit and abundance.

It is gratefulness that makes us happy

Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Catholic Benedictine monk and scholar who spent a great deal of time in Christian-Buddhist interfaith dialogue explained, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy. Every moment is a gift. There is no certainty that you will have another moment, with all the opportunity it contains. The gift within every gift is the opportunity it offers us. Most often it is the opportunity to enjoy it, but sometimes a difficult gift is given to us and that can be an opportunity to rise to the challenge.”

“A grateful world is a world of joyful people. Grateful people are joyful people. A grateful world is a happy world.”

In the video below, Brother David Steindl-Rast talks about the power of gratitude.

Joy is the happiness that does not depend on what happens

“Whatever life gives to you,” Brother Steindl-Rast explains,”you can respond with joy. Joy is the happiness that does not depend on what happens. It is the grateful response to the opportunity that life offers you at this moment.”

Unforgiveness robs us of our ability to enjoy and appreciate our life, because we are trapped in a past filled with anger and bitterness. Forgiveness allows us to move beyond the past and appreciate the present, including the drops of rain falling on our face.

Gratitude cuts across the negative bias

Scientists have long known that our brains have evolved with a negative bias. It was no doubt advantageous for our survival to focus on what was wrong or dangerous. Gratitude cuts across this default mode of the mind. It allows us to see what is good and right and not just what is bad and wrong.

Grateful people do not ignore the negative aspects of life, they simply choose to appreciate the positive

Grateful people do not seem to ignore or deny the negative aspects of life; they simply choose to appreciate what is positive as well: “People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks.” The are also more likely to have helped someone with a personal problem or to have offered emotional support to others.

Keep a list of things for which you are grateful

People who focus on gratitude, by keeping a list of what they were grateful for, exercised more often, had fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives, and were more positive about the week ahead compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events. Similarly, those who focused on gratitude were more likely to have made progress toward their important personal goals. So it seems gratitude is motivating, not demotivating. Grateful people report more positive emotions, more vitality and optimism, and greater life satisfaction as well as lower levels of stress and depression.

Gratitude helps us catalog, celebrate, and rejoice in each day and each moment before they slip through the vanishing hourglass of experience.

When we recognize all that we have been given, it is our natural response to want to care for and give to others.

The Eight Pillars of Joy:

  1. Perspectives: There are many different angles
  2. Humility: I try to look humble and modest
  3. Humor: Laughter, joking is much better
  4. Acceptance: The only place where change can begin
  5. Forgiveness: Freeing ourselves from the past
  6. Gratitude: I am fortunate to be alive
  7. Compassion: Something we want to become
  8. Generosity: We are filled with joy

TC347: Cafe Book Club presents The Book of Joy – Pillar 5: Forgiveness

Posted by on Apr 16, 2017 in Books, Cafe Book Club, Forgiveness, Joy, Podcast | 1 comment

TC347: Cafe Book Club presents The Book of Joy – Pillar 5: Forgiveness

In this week’s podcast, host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost continue their discussion on The Book of Joy. This week we focus on Pillar 5: Forgiveness.

Forgiveness does not mean we forget. You should remember the negative thing, but because there is a possibility to develop hatred, we mustn’t allow ourselves to be led in that direction–we choose forgiveness.”

Forgiveness do not mean you forget what someone has done, contrary to the saying “Forgive and Forget.” Not reacting with negativity, or giving in to the negative emotions, does not mean you do not respond to the acts or that you allow yourself to be harmed again. Forgiveness does not mean that you do not seek justice or that the perpetrator is not punished.

“There is an important distinction between forgiveness and simply allowing others’ wrongdoing. Sometimes people misunderstand and think forgiveness means you accept or approve of wrongdoing. No, this is not the case. We must make an important distinction. The actor and action, or the person and what he has done. Where the wrong action is concerned, it may be necessary to take appropriate counteraction to stop it. Toward the actor, or the person, however, you can choose not to develop anger and hatred. This is where the power of forgiveness lies–not losing sight of the humanity of the person while responding to the wrong with clarity and firmness.”

Forgiveness is the only wan to heal ourselves and to be free from the past. Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us. We are bound to the chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped. Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness, that person will be our jailor. When we forgive we take back control of our own fate and our feelings. We become our own liberator.

 

 

The Eight Pillars of Joy:

  1. Perspectives: There are many different angles
  2. Humility: I try to look humble and modest
  3. Humor: Laughter, joking is much better
  4. Acceptance: The only place where change can begin
  5. Forgiveness: Freeing ourselves from the past
  6. Gratitude: I am fortunate to be alive
  7. Compassion: Something we want to become
  8. Generosity: We are filled with joy

TC344: Cafe Book Club presents The Book of Joy – Pillar 2: Humility

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Books, Cafe Book Club, Joy, Podcast | 0 comments

TC344: Cafe Book Club presents The Book of Joy – Pillar 2: Humility

In this episode host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost continue their discussion of the Eight Pillars of Joy. This week focuses on the second pillar: Humility.

We are all just human beings

Dalai Lama said, referring back to the Archbishop’s story about preaching at Chris Hani’s funeral. “You mentioned when you spoke at the funeral that you did not consider yourself superior, you were just one of them. That’s very, very important. I always feels the same way when I give a talk. I consider myself as simply another person, just like those in the audience, same human being. So, I am just one human being talking to other human beings. ”

“Similarly, they should consider me as the same human being, with the same potential for constructive emotions and destructive emotions. When we meet anyone, first and foremost we must remember that they, too, have the same desire to have a happy day, a happy month, a happy life. And all have the right to achieve it.”

“Then, you see, my talk may offer them something relevant, but if I consider myself something special, or they also consider me something different and special, then my experience will not be of much use. So it’s a wonder that, in you, Archbishop, I have found a comrade who fully shares this same view.”

The Archbishop tells a joke

“‘Can you explain the role that humility plays in cultivating joy?’ I asked, as the Archbishop started laughing.”

“They tell the story of a bishop,” he began, “who was about to ordain candidates to the priesthood. They were speaking about virtues, including the virtue of humility. One of the candidates came up to the Bishop and said, ‘My lord, I’ve been looking in the library to find a book on humility.’ The bishop said, ‘Oh, yes, I’ve written the best book on the subject.'”

Humility is essential

“The Dalia Lama and the Archbishop were both insistent that humility is essential to any possibility of joy. When we have a wider perspective, we have a natural understanding of our place in the great sweep of all that was, is, and will be. This naturally leads to humility and the recognition that as human beings we can’t solve everything or control all aspects of life. We need others.”

Purchase your own copy of the Book of Joy

 

TC342: Cafe Book Club – The Book of Joy: Part 1

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Books, Cafe Book Club, Compassion, Joy, Meditation, Podcast | 1 comment

TC342: Cafe Book Club – The Book of Joy: Part 1

In this episode host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost begin their review of The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams.

The book explores how to live a more joyous life and is broken down into the “Eight Pillars”: Perspectives, Humility, Humor, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Compassion, and Generosity. This is one of a hundred or so (!) books  that the Dalai Lama has authored or lent his name to, and the first one with Archbishop Tutu.

The Four Independent Brain Circuits

In this week’s show, Robin mentions the “four independent brain circuits that influence our well-being. According to Davidson:

“There are four independent brain circuits that influence our lasting well-being, Davidson explained. The first is “our ability to maintain positive states.” It makes sense that the ability to maintain positive states or positive emotions would directly impact one’s ability to experience happiness. These two great spiritual leaders were saying that the fastest way to this state is to start with love and compassion.

The second circuit is responsible for “our ability to recover from negative states.” What was most fascinating to me was that these circuits were totally independent. One could be good at maintaining positive states but easily fall into an abyss of a negative state from which one had a hard time recovering. That explained a lot in my life.

The third circuit, also independent but essential to the others, is “our ability to focus and avoid mind-wandering.” This of course was the circuit that so much of meditation exists to develop. Whether it was focusing on one’s breath, or a mantra, or the analytic meditation that the Dalai Lama did each morning, this ability to focus one’s attention was fundamental.

The fourth and final circuit is “our ability to be generous.” That was amazing to me: that we had an entire brain circuit, one of four, devoted to generosity. It is no wonder that our brains feel so good when we help others or are helped by others, or even witness others being helped, which Ekman had described as the elevation that is one dimension of joy. There was strong and compelling research that we come factory equipped for cooperation, compassion, and generosity.”
― Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy from Human Journey on Vimeo.

Next week Robin and Amy will discuss “Perspectives”, the first of the “Eight Pillars of Joy”.

The Eight Pillars of Joy:

  1. Perspectives: There are many different angles
  2. Humility: I try to look humble and modest
  3. Humor: Laughter, joking is much better
  4. Acceptance: The only place where change can begin
  5. Forgiveness: Freeing ourselves from the past
  6. Gratitude: I am fortunate to be alive
  7. Compassion: Something we want to become
  8. Generosity: We are filled with joy

Join us as we cover this amazing book! We will be continuing through the end of April.

TC341: TRY – Trauma Recovery Yoga – Interview with the Founders

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Health & Healing, Meditation, Podcast, PTSD, Veterans, Yoga | 0 comments

TC341: TRY – Trauma Recovery Yoga – Interview with the Founders

This week host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost welcome Joyce Sportsman and Darwin Bosen, co-founders of Trauma Recovery Yoga.

Established in 2016, TRY is a team of trauma-informed yoga teachers who are dispatched to service individuals who have experienced trauma or are living in crisis. Trauma informed yoga incorporates a series of meditation, strengthening postures, and breathing which magnify the mind-body-spirit connection after the experience of trauma.

The effects of trauma

Trauma is emotional shock that follows a deeply distressing or disturbing incident such as: war, crime, accident, assault, or natural disaster. While shock and denial tend to immediately follow a traumatic event, its long-term effects can include: unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships (due to anxiety, depression, and/or isolation), and a number of stress-related physical symptoms. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Mass., and a clinical psychiatrist specializing in post-traumatic stress, calls these physical symptoms “issues in our tissues.” Unresolved emotional trauma can manifest in the body as migraines, nervous ticks, clenched shoulders/neck/jaw, a sunken chest, and/or a heavy heart.

Trauma-sensitive yoga

In recovering from emotional trauma, the American Psychological Association suggests to “engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress.” In addition to proper rest, nutrition, and the avoidance of drugs and alcohol, the APA suggests using relaxation techniques.

However, given the effects of trauma, we can understand why relaxation might not come easily to those suffering from PTSD. This is where trauma-sensitive yoga comes in. Dr. van der Kolk explains that, with the proper approach, yoga can greatly benefit trauma survivors: “Yoga really attends to the body and the breath, attends to stillness. It allows you to feel everything you feel, to tolerate every sensation, and to live and move with it.” – Healing Trauma and PTSD Through Yoga

How Yoga Heals

In the interview, Joyce and Darwin talk about the importance of reconnecting the mind and body after a traumatic event, and research backs this up.

“A three-year NIH-funded yoga and trauma study conducted at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts, with women who have treatment-resistant complex PTSD, has shown promising results. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, the study’s principal investigator, and his colleagues presented preliminary findings at the 2010 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies conference in Montreal last November. Initial study results revealed that participation in trauma-informed gentle yoga leads to a significant reduction (over 30 percent) in symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including fewer intrusive thoughts and less dissociation from the body. By the end of the study (after only 10 weeks of yoga) several women in the yoga group no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD.” – Transcending Trauma: How Yoga Heals

BREATH IS PRESENCE

In the video below, Joyce shares how the loss of her 22-year-old son Jake inspired her to bring her yoga work to individuals dealing with trauma.

 

Contact Information:

Trauma Recover Yoga (TRY) website:

http://www.traumarecoveryyoga.org/

TRY Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/Traumarecoveryyoga/

TC340: The Book of Joy – Our Next Cafe Book Club Selection

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Cafe Book Club, Joy, Podcast, Spirituality | 1 comment

TC340: The Book of Joy – Our Next Cafe Book Club Selection

In this episode host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost discuss the next selection in our Cafe Book Club: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abbrams.


The book explores how to live a more joyous life and is broken down into the “Eight Pillars”: Perspectives, Humility, Humor, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Compassion, and Generosity. This is one of a hundred or so (!) books  that the Dalai Lama has authored or lent his name to, and the first one with Archbishop Tutu.

“Happy, not only just on the physical level, but mentally.  Peace. Compassion. That’s the real joy.” – Dalai Lama

 

The video below appeared on CBS Sunday Morning in the U.S.

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu were together for five days. The last day was the Dalai Lama’s birthday.

Desmond Tutu shows the Dalai Lama his dance moves!

Robin and Amy discuss how the book is organized, and their plans to cover each of the “Eight Pillars”.

The Eight Pillars of Joy:

  1. Perspectives: There are many different angles
  2. Humility: I try to look humble and modest
  3. Humor: Laughter, joking is much better
  4. Acceptance: The only place where change can begin
  5. Forgiveness: Freeing ourselves from the past
  6. Gratitude: I am fortunate to be alive
  7. Compassion: Something we want to become
  8. Generosity: We are filled with joy



Join us as we cover this amazing book! We will be starting February 21st, and continuing through the end of April.

TC 339: Forgotten Not Gone – Helping to Heal Veterans

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 in Podcast, PTSD, Veterans | 0 comments

TC 339: Forgotten Not Gone – Helping to Heal Veterans

In this week’s podcast, host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost talk with Kelley Guidry, co-founder of Forgotten Not Gone, a Las Vegas-based organization that provides much needed help to veterans suffering from depression, isolation, and other emotional and physical issues.

The Mission Of Forgotten Not Gone

The mission of Forgotten Not Gone is to get suffering veterans physically active and interacting with society. They are a 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families through emotional, physical, and spiritual activities.

Veterans are encouraged to re-engage with society instead of living in isolation. Too many veterans go within, shutting off the outside world until it is too late. According to Veterans Administration research, 20 veterans take their own lives each day in America.

“People don’t die from suicide. Sadness kills them.”

Physical activity is one of the surest ways to help veterans get back into an active social life. Based on doctor’s recommendations, the group uses recumbent bikes. “The challenge with most veterans is that we have mobility issues. So our balance may be off, so a regular bike is not really going to work for us.  Or we may have back troubles like like my husband, and he has bi-lateral knee damage. This bike is specifically designed to get you out of the house when you normally wouldn’t be able to ride a regular bike. It’s specifically designed for rehabilitation.”

Peter Guidry, co-founder of Forgotten Not Gone, knows the struggle first-hand and how much this organization aids veterans. Guidry says, “I feel like I’m serving this country again, but I no longer have to be violent to do so.”

Kelley and Peter Guidry, founders of “Forgotten Not Gone”

Kelley explains that the name “Forgotten Not Gone” refers to our Vietnam-era veterans. Once the war ended, Vietnam vets came home to hostility, name-calling, and rejection. They did not receive the kind of respect and support that they deserved. They are still here; forgotten, but not gone.

Suicide Prevention and safeTALK

In the podcast Amy and Kelley mention safeTALK, which is built around the four TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe. Each year, safeTALK prepares over 60,000 people to ask: “Are you thinking about suicide?”

Check out this video from LivingWorks.net, a world-wide leader in suicide prevention training, that gives an overview of safeTALK. Check their website for training available in your area.

Below is another video that describes the importance of safeTALK from the perspective of a hockey team.

We encourage you to visit Forgotten Not Gone and other organizations and lend your support. You can learn more about their mission, purchase a Forgotten Not Gone t-shirt, join in on a ride, and donate to their organization.

TC338 – K9s for Warriors – Interview with Randy Dexter and Captain

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Health & Healing, Podcast, PTSD, Service Dogs | 1 comment

TC338 – K9s for Warriors – Interview with Randy Dexter and Captain

This week we have a very special guest on our program. Randy Dexter served in the US Army as a combat medic. He deployed to Iraq twice. As a result of the trauma that he dealt with there, he developed severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, traumatic brain injury, migraines, and other issues. He spent over a year in the Naval Hospital as a result of his injuries.

He was on the brink of suicide.

Randy told his doctor at the Naval Hospital about his suicidal thoughts. His doctor suggested he enroll in a program called “K9 Inspired Community Reintegration”. It is partnered with a non-profit organization in San Diego called “Paws’itive Teams“. The organization shows veterans what it would be like to have their own service dog to see if they could benefit.

Randy meets Ricochet

As a result of the six-week program and his interaction with a golden retriever named “Ricochet”, Randy was finally able to start talking about his experiences and what he was dealing with to his wife, and to others outside the hospital setting. He realized that this could benefit others in his situation, so Randy and Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s handler, started the “PTSD Battle Buddies Initiative”.

Randy and Ricochet

Ricochet and the organization do a lot of fund raising, and as a result, were able to raise $10,000 for Randy to get his own service dog.

Randy flew to Florida to visit K9’s for Warriors and met Captain for the first time.

Randy with Captain

The video below gives you some idea of the deep bond that Randy and Captain developed.

Military Veteran and K9s For Warriors graduate, Randy writes a letter to his service dog Captain. As of today this video has been seen nearly 250,000 times.

Randy is going into his senior year as a Communications Studies major at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, carrying a 3.7 GPA. He is President of the “Rebel Vets” Student Veteran’s Organization. He continues to share his story in an effort to help others learn about the benefit of service dogs, and hopefully save lives.

Randy’s story appeared in Barkpost in an article titled “When a Veteran Needed Redemption, He Turned to This Incredible Dog“.

Service Dog Resources

Assistance Dogs International – Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a coalition of not for profit assistance dog organizations. ADI has regional chapters in Europe, North America, and Australia/New Zealand.

K9s for Warriors – K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to our Warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11.

Freedom Service Dogs of America – Freedom Service Dogs enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual needs. They are an accredited member of ADI.

Canine Companions for Independence – For over 40 years, Canine Companions for Independence has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by training and placing more than 5,000 assistance dogs with program graduates, including over 140 dogs with wounded military veterans and more than 1,500 dogs with children, entirely free of charge.  All Canine Companions dogs and services are provided free of charge. Canine Companions for Independence is funded by private contributions.

TC337: Growing Forward-Nutrition with Catie Fitzgerald

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in addiction, Cafe Book Club, Nutrition, Podcast | 0 comments

TC337: Growing Forward-Nutrition with Catie Fitzgerald

In this podcast we wrap up our discussion of Codependent No More by Melody Beattie, and welcome back our nutritional guru Catie Fitzgerald to talk about food and how it relates to codependency. Catie also describes her new program for 2017.

Chapter 20 – Learning to Live and Love Again At the Same Time

This chapter reviews summarizes the main concepts from the book.

“At least I don’t run around actively seeking my own demise anymore”. – Anonymous Alanon Member

Getting started:

In a nutshell, she uses the HOW method:

H – Honesty – get honest
O – Openness – keep an open mind
W – Willingness – become willing to try new things

We need to learn to really see ourselves and our motives. Melodie says to pick one behavior to work on at a time. Work on one, then get busy on another. Chapter four can help with this. Time to light a fire under ourselves.

Ways to get our needs met:

  • detachment
  • don’t rescue people
  • be direct
  • pay attention to ourselves
  • work a 12 step program
  • become “undependent”
  • seek and build healthy relationships
  • don’t maintain painful relationships
  • set goals and reach them
  • know growth is uncomfortable but worth it
  • have fun
  • balance emotional, physical and spiritual needs
  • let go of grief
  • balance giving and receiving
  • balance between letting go and doing our part
  • balance problem solving and living with unsolved problems
  • let go of unrealistic expectations (most of them)
  • remember we are important, valuable and deserve a decent life

I am responsible for my choices and behaviors in initiating, maintaining, and discontinuing relationships as appropriate.

Growing Forward:

  • Its okay to backtrack a bit
  • Face tough decisions about relationships
  • Be patient when rebuilding damaged relationships—Love and trust heal on their own time. Sometimes they can’t heal.
  • Find new friends.
  • Work on ourselves and learn what needs to be learned.
  • Strive toward goals.
  • Have fun.
  • Trust God (or your higher power) and ask for guidance
  • Love from strength not weaknesses.
  • When we fall, get up and start again.

“Getting our balance and keeping it once we have found it is what recovery is all about. If that sounds like a big order, don’t worry. We can do it. We can learn to love again. We can even learn to have fun at the same time”.

Catie Fitzgerald – A Different Perspective on Food

Catie is launching her Health Quest 2017 through Enhanced Nutrition Solutions. This program gives you seven days of concentrated things to do, then after those seven days you practice on your own. The following month you get another seven days of concentrated things to do, and the cycle continues.

Catie’s last episode: TC327: Making Food Your Friend for the Holidays.

TC336: Cafe Book Club – Codependent No More – Ch 15 – 19

Posted by on Jan 16, 2017 in Books, Cafe Book Club, Codependent, Podcast | 0 comments

TC336: Cafe Book Club – Codependent No More – Ch 15 – 19

In this week’s Cafe Book Club, host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost discuss chapters 15 – 19 of Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself and the companion Codependent No More Workbook by Melody Beattie.

Chapter 15 – “Yes You Can Think”

In codependence, many of us don’t trust our minds. We truly understand the horror of indecision. The small choices such as what to order at a restaurant or what bottle of bleach to purchase paralyzes us. Big choices like what to do with our lives or who to live with or how to solve our problems can be overwhelming.

We must think, figure things out, decide what we need and want and decide how to solve our own problems.

Our ability to think may be clouded by lies we have believed, told to us or by ourselves (denial), chaos, stress, low self-esteem and repressed emotions.

Over-reacting can be spurred by wrongly thinking we must hurry or we must be perfect and by worrying about what others think.

“Should’s,” self-deprecating thoughts, low self-esteem and self-hatred can also make it hard to make decisions.

Not listening to what we want and need or telling ourselves what we want is wrong stops us from seeing informational tools to make choices and decisions.

 

Things to help us gain mental confidence:

  • Trust our minds to peace – get quiet before you make a decision. Maybe now is not the time to make a decision.
  • Ask God to help you think
  • Quit abusing your mind – worry and obsessing is mental abuse – stop it
  • Feed your mind – research choices
  • Feed your mind healthy thoughts – read and think positive thoughts
  • Stretch your mind – learn, read, take a class
  • Stop saying negative things about your mind – say positive things and they will come true
  • Use your mind – create, form opinions, make decisions (also let others use their mind)

Chapter 16 “Set Your Own Goals”

Learning How to Set Goals

  • Turn everything into a goal
    • Make solving a problem or making a decision into a goal
    • Make getting what you want or need into a goal
  • Omit the shoulds
  • Don’t limit yourself
  • Write goals on paper
  • Commit written goals to God
  • Let go – don’t obsess or worry
  • Do what you can, one day at a time
    • Follow your gut or desire
  • Set goals regularly and as needed
  • Check off reached goals
  • Celebrate and thank God for reached goals
  • Be patient

Chapter 17 “Communication”

Many Codependents:

  • manipulate
  • are people pleasers
  • are controlling
  • cover things up
  • assign/use guilt or try to alleviate guilt
  • repress feelings and thoughts
  • have ulterior motives
  • have low self-esteem or self-worth and feel a lot of shame
  • react inappropriately
  • allow abuse and use badgering as a tool
  • justify, rationalize, compensate and threaten

Codependent communication is indirect and not forthright, regardless of intention.

Fear of rejection fuels our inability to say who we are and what we want or need or allow others to do the same.

The words we speak reflect who we are. If we don’t love or trust our thoughts, feelings or wants and feel we are not worthy, we will judge others and expect them to have all the answers. We will control others to ensure they are “pleased” and force things to happen because that is all we have.

To speak openly and honestly is fun!

  • Who we are is okay.
  • Our feelings and wants are okay.
  • Our opinions count.
  • Its okay to discuss our problems.
  • Its okay to say no.

When your answer is “No,” start out with “No.” Don’t start with: I don’t think so…

Use:

  • I feel…
  • This is what I think…
  • This is what I need…
  • This is what I want…

It is not polite to lie about what you want, need, think or feel – It is lying.

Other phrases we should become comfortable with:

  • I love you but I love me too…
  • This is what I need to do to take care of me…

It is okay to ignore other people’s nonsense. We can tell others, “I am sorry you are having problems,” and then let it go. We don’t have to fix them.

Phrases we can use to defend ourselves:

  • I don’t want to discuss this…
  • This is my limit…
  • I will not tolerate this…

Work A Twelve Step Program

Chemical dependency and other compulsive disorders destroy beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, creative, loving people.

Some Twelve Step Programs:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous – Group for people addicted to alcohol
  • Al-Anon – Group for people affected by alcoholics
  • Alateen – Group for teenagers affected by alcoholics
  • Al-Atots – Group for children affected by alcoholics
  • Narcotics Anonymous – Group for people addicted to drugs
  • Nar-Anon – Group for people affected by drug addicts
  • Overeaters Anonymous – Group for people who eat compulsively
  • O-Anon – Group for people affected by food addicts
  • Family Anonymous – Group for people affected by addicts and those with behavioral issues
  • Emotions Anonymous – Group for people who want to live better with their emotional issues
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous – Group for people who compulsively engage in sexual behavior
  • Co-SA – Group for people affected by sex addicts
  • Gamblers Anonymous – Group for people who compulsively gamble
  • Gam-Anon – Group for people who are affected by compulsive gamblers
  • Parents Anonymous – Group for parents who are abusive to their children or fearful that they will become abusive

Self-help support groups are not only meant to help people overcome compulsive disorders or the affects of these compulsions but also a place where people can learn how to live peacefully, happily and successfully.

The Twelve Steps

  1. We admit we are powerless over ____________________ and our life has become unmanageable. We have given our authority away and we have controlled others. We know we incapable of having power over others – what they do, say, think, feel, or don’t do, say, think or feel. We can only change ourselves.
  2. Acknowledge a higher power [God] who can make our craziness into sanity. Being thankful that [God] is with us for every step and [God] will meet our spiritual needs.I must stop comparing myself to the people around me and live my life.
  3. Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to our Higher Power [God]. We have given our lives over to ____________________ and now we are putting it in the hands of our loving [God].God is responsible for all of it, who I am, whats happened to me, where I shall go or how I will get there.
  4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Take our eyes off others and look honestly at ourselves.
    • See what we are working with
    • How we have been affected
    • What we are doing
    • What our characteristics are
    • Root out other problems
    • Examine hurts and angers
    • See what role we have played in our lives
    • Examine our standards
    • Prepare to dump guilt and forgive ourselves
    • Accept ourselves and stop hating ourselves
    • Start a path to change
  5. Confession: Admit to God, ourselves and to another human the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We are ready to have God remove our defects of character. Our defense mechanisms have hurt ourselves and others and we are willing to change.
  7. Humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Make a list of people we have harmed and become ready to make amends
    • Don’t forget yourself
    • Don’t get stuck in guilt – dump it.
  9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible unless it would cause more harm to them or others.
    • Making amends is more than an apology; it includes paying back debts and changing behavior so we don’t hurt other people.
  10. Continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong admit it quickly. Evaluate behavior. Congratulate good choices, feel good about them and thank God. Dump guilt. No hating ourselves.
  11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our relationship with our Higher Power [God]. Pray for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to do it.
    • Rumination is over-thinking or obsessing about situations or life events. Rumination can cause depression, anxiety and other compulsive problems.
    • Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content.
    • Do this daily as many times as needed
    • Learn to trust God
  12. As we take care of ourselves spiritually we will love ourselves and others and we will become a light for others.
At meetings:
  • People just show up (no registration) and are themselves.
  • People speak about steps, experiences, traditions or topics related to the problem.
  • Slogans that work: “Let Go and Let God” “Easy Does It” “One Day At A Time”
  • Listening, sharing and fellowship is key.
  • Literature at home helps support what is learned at the group.
  • Steps are meant to be worked on.
  • We don’t do what we don’t want to do, find offensive or can’t do.
  • Meetings are something we do for ourselves
  • Health begets health so when others are choosing health they will inspire us and visa versa.

Chapter 19 – “Pieces & Bits”

Drama Addicts are people who have become addicted to problems and turmoil; problems have become a comfortable emotional experience
Drama Addicts:

  • get involved with problems that are not their own
  • think a peaceful life is boring
  • create problems

As we develop our lives, set goals and find things to do, peace will be comfortable.

Click the images below to order your copy of the book and workbook.

Cafe Book Club Schedule

You can join us live Tuesdays at 8 PM PST by calling 646-727-3206.

December 6: Part 1 : What’s Codependency, and Who’s Got It?  which covers chapters 1 – 4 of Codependent No More. Workbook Lesson 3 chap 3; Workbook Lesson 5 chap 4

December 13: Part 2: The Basics of Self-Care  chapters 5-9; Workbook Lesson 4 chap 7

December 20: Part 2 – The Basics of Self-Care Part 2 – Chapters 10-14; Workbook Lesson 3 chap 12; Workbook Lesson 6 chap 10

January 2: Part 2 Chapters 15-20; Workbook Lesson 7 chap 17; Workbook Lesson 8 chap 20; Workbook Lesson 9 chap 18

January 10: Interview with Catie Fitzgerald on Nutrition and Codependence

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