We all engage in activities which provide much needed relief from our busy lives and busy minds. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting relief. Giving ourselves relief can come from kindness and compassion and can invite more well being into our lives.
However, when these activities or actions bring about negative or harmful consequences, we can find ourselves lost in a compulsion or addiction that is doing more harm then good. They started as a way to bring relief, but now bring suffering.
Sometimes these compulsions or addictions are overt/active- substance abuse, exercise, work, food, shopping, gambling, social media, porn/sex, to name a few. But often compulsions and addictions are much more subtle, and what I call passive: believing our stories/thoughts, an unhealthy relationship with love, attempting to control or manage life, spiritual seeking, pedalstalling teachers/ gurus, wanting or claiming to be a “special” teacher (pedastalling self).
Anything which acts as an escape from experiencing healthy intimacy with self, other and life, and brings with it negative consequences, might be considered an addiction or compulsion if we are not able to stop doing the activity/action even though it adds to our suffering.
Why do most of us engage in these activities even though they bring us suffering? In an innocent attempt to experience relief, peace and ease. Why do so few of us experience a state of peace and ease? We were never taught healthy ways to connect with ourselves and others.
Much of this starts in the earliest of our days, when our parents were too busy or unable to attend to our emotional well being. This had a traumatic impact (the greek meaning of the word trauma is wound). We didn’t have the resources to attend to our own emotional well being, and so most of us turned to the resource we had access to: our minds. For most of us, perhaps our first addiction was believing in the thoughts we were having- taking them to be reality. Those thoughts often included defiance stories about ourselves such as “i’m not good enough,” “I’m unworthy”, and “I’m unlovable.”
Believing such thoughts, it’s no wonder that beneath almost all unhealthy compulsions or addictions is a desire to feel love, to love, or be loved. Love addiction is so pervasive across our culture- it’s the air we breath. How could it not be when our culture itself has toxic relationships with love- and that we associate with it. From our earliest days we innocently learn and engage in unhealthy behaviors in attempts to feel love, escape from love, or “have,” love. Acknowledging these toxic dynamics can be powerfully freeing once spotted and journeyed through.
There is nothing wrong, bad or inherently shameful about having an unhealthy relationship with love (as well as food, sex, substances, and so on). These unhealthy relationships were innocently created as we are born needing love and connection, while simultaneously often lacking the support and role modeling needed to identify what is and what isn’t lov(ing).
Getting relief was an innocent part of our survival. Discovering the true essence of love is an innocent and profound aspect of this human journey.
This deepening course will explore the innocent web of addiction and trauma, and how to loosen this web. We will explore healthy ways to experience relief. We will learn how to safely connect to ourselves, life, and other.
We will also explore brain science and how dissolving patterning isn’t a matter of will power. Your brain would actually rather do the more familiar, habitual, easy behavior- even if it’s harmful. It takes up less energy to do that, then to learn new behaviors. Which is why it takes effort, a willingness and readiness to journey through unhealthy behaviors and belief systems.
From a client of mine: “It’s really become quite clear that i can’t stop (harmful) behavior through behavior modification- it’s a symptom of something much deeper. “Trying not to” just doesn’t work. Going to the source is what really loosens the grip.”
This course is open to anyone on this authentic journey of discovering peace amidst the challenges of being fully human.
When: February 24th, March 10, March 31, noon-2pm EST
Where: This is an on-line course. I use zoom, which is similar to Skype. You can attend from anywhere in the world using a phone, iPad type of device, or computer!
What: On top of the 3 group sessions, you will receive a total of six individual facilitations: Four with Senior Facilitator Trainer Lisa Meuser and two facilitations with Certified Living Inquiries facilitators. The investment is $495. This counts as a prerequisite for Living Inquiries facilitator training.
You can begin to receive you sessions once payment has been received- before the group sessions start.
FREE: attendance to the February and March Embodied Gatherings for additional support.
All classes will be recorded so if you are unable to attend one, you’ll receive the recording. Also included in the course will be multiple natural rest and guided rest audios and videos, and a private FB group for participants to share and receive support.
Please email me for questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on trauma and addiction: