Another Look at Misery

By , October 15, 2014 2:19 pm

baby-443390_1280I was at a 12 step meeting yesterday and we were talking about step 6 – being entirely willing to have our higher power take away our character defects. In the discussion a lot was brought up about the idea of *holding on* to other stuff even after giving up alcohol or other things. This reminds me of our discussions of the addiction amoeba. What touched me yesterday was the idea of our attachment to things that really are not so useful in our lives.

In the meeting, I commented that misery evokes the exact same brain chemicals that alcohol does and that it is possible to be addicted to misery

I have talked about this concept in many chats and many classes. This idea of addiction to misery is pretty powerful and I thought about it all day. While I was driving in the car, I had this thought float through…*what is it that creates misery in my life?* and I realized that the idea of being fat was a big misery hook. That stunned me.  I have thought about why, with all the knowledge I have, have I not taken care of that piece.  Granted it took a while to get the elements together and to understand what weight loss means for sugar sensitive people.  But I have had the puzzle completed on the dining room table for a while. What was it that kept me from doing rather than just knowing?

What if the misery thing kept me hooked?  What if a low lying misery maintenance had become my *go to* default?

Rather a humbling concept I must admit.

Back from Euroranch

By , October 13, 2014 10:16 am

DSC00649 No, we do not do Ranch at the cathedral, but its presence is always felt throughout the city. Most of us go and touch noses with it at least once during our stay. We stay in a cozy hotel with a comfortable meeting room and great food. The rhythm of the time is designed to allow lots of down time and connecting time. Over the years, I have learned that the best Ranch experience comes with the quality of the material AND the quality of the interaction outside the formal learning time.

I thought it might be helpful for you to hear about what Ranch is really about. We bill it as a *seminar* but it is way more than that. Here is a little recap.

We started by talking  about *content and process*…how what we are learning is shaped by how we are learning it… I shared about the importance of introverts having enough down time to assimilate and regroup. Sometimes people believe that a *good* seminar is going from 8 AM to 9 PM straight through. I have learned that that approach is the farthest from good brain practice that one can imagine. Providing an overview helps to *set* the tone and rhythm.

We talked about the chemistry of sugar sensitivity…a review for many, and an intro for some…blood sugar, serotonin and beta endorphin with a wee bit of dopamine thrown in for interest…we learned about routine as a DA raiser, and we touched on novelty as another DA raiser.

Then we spent time telling personal recovery stories, what it was like before, and how it is now…this exercise was designed to help people *remember* what commitment and willingness has given. It is very, very, important. Then we made graphics to create a visual for the material people had shared. Seeing the charts all displayed together was a powerful testimony to what doing the food provides. The exercise also gave the new people a way to see what is to come.

Then we moved to  steps one and two. What appeared to be a simple reflection of step one, actually helped people remember the depth of what *breakfast* means and many were  awakened by that discussion.  This led to a discussion of step 2 and there was much sharing about how most people are not so drawn to it. We moved into some joyful problem solving. I think what emerged  will recharge all of us and I am planning a special class to introduce it.

We shifted then to joy dots and talked about healing the amygdala – how joy dots soften it and contribute to healing. We touched on PTSD, and how joy dots and Safe Place enhance and support amygdala healing. We did some meditation which gave people a chance to experience a bit of how these ideas work.  I am thinking perhaps that it may be time for another class on amygdala healing…It is so much a part of step 7. And the little meditations are way deeper than they seem when we do them..

A second meditation led to asking a question of *what is the new trying to emerge?* which can actually give people guidance through the year. Working with the images over time can be very rich.

We spoke of how it all fit together. You may not have realized but answering those questions can be a wonderful tool for reviewing any changes you are working with. Use them in other ways. they are powerful.

I think what stuck me most is how seamless it all was. On Sunday morning it felt as if we were just starting. We were filled up with both information and motivation. Overall it was just fabulous.

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