All posts tagged Addiction

You Are Sweet Enough

You have the power to stop the addictive sugar cycle you may not realize you are on, and start living the real sweetness of your life. Here are some practical things that you can do immediately to improve the quality of your life.

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Addiction and Sobering Up

Hello from London, where we are keeping busy putting together a photo shoot, and gearing up for three workshops at the lovely Nutmeg Spa in Hemel Hempstead, beginning tomorrow (Monday) evening with a YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine workshop at 10:00 a.m. If you are in the area, please join me. Even in the UK, we have been hearing the news about Toronto’s mayor. Rob Ford’s situation reminds us of the humility we all need to embody a sober life, free from substance and ego addictions.     You may find my series of blog postings on addiction relevant at this time if you are feeling triggered, angry or judgemental towards addicts who are unwilling to admit that their lives have become unmanageable. In the same spirit, I share an excerpt from the “Sobering Up” section of my book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker. In 2004, I came across Debbie Ford’s book The Right Questions. It showed me how to let go of trying to fulfil other people’s dreams and find the courage to fulfil my own. If you have not read it, I recommend it. It is short, to the point and useful. In it, Debbie reminds us that where we are today is not the result of…

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Production Mode, Book Excerpt: On Seeing Our Vasanas

Dear friends, I am in full on production mode as we get ready to go live with my new website. I look forward to sharing it with you! It will feature fresh content and a new community portal.In the meantime, here is another excerpt from my book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie. This is the opening of the chapter entitled The Dirty Work. Image courtesy of Erwin Plug Amma speaks of how, when we sweep a floor, we may think it is clean, but then upon washing it, we find more dirt. We go through a similar process in purifying our minds. We may feel that we have “gotten somewhere” and no longer have a certain tendency, only to discover that it still exists within us in a subtler form. We may even feel that our negative tendencies have increased after we have been doing spiritual practice for a while. As we cultivate inner light, our vasanas will arise to be witnessed, understood and released. We do not need to be discouraged when we discover that there is yet more to be done in the process of purification. Our attachments will naturally be brought to our attention in subtler and subtler ways as we continue along the path. To avoid becoming a yoga junkie, we must…

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Mind Body Spirit Festival and Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie

Dear friends,   I leave early Monday morning for London, UK where I will be performing and teaching at the Mind Body Spirit Festival. Waiting for me in London will be the freshly printed copies of my new book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie. I thought you might like to read another sneak preview:   In the yoga community, we have come to a place that is like spiritual adolescence. We know the basics and we are out in the world. Wal-Mart sells yoga mats and Costco sells Eckhart Tolle’s books. We can express lofty ideas and speak beautiful things. But in order to grow, we must go deeper. We know how to fool our parents, as many teenagers do. But we cannot fool nature. Eventually the teenager realizes that to be responsible means to understand the consequences of his actions, just as the junkie needs to discover the wanting at the root of their addiction in order to heal. If we are to address the pervasiveness of greed and wanting in our lives, we need to start talking about and becoming aware of our shadowy habits that support them, including the ones lurking in our yoga practice. We need to mature as yogis and as people. We are not being truly honest with ourselves if…

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Coming Soon: Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie

Dear friends, Today I am busy at work finalizing my upcoming book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie”, about the pitfalls I experienced on the yogic path and how you can avoid them. The book will make its debut at the Mind Body Spirit Festival in the UK later this month. In the meantime, though, here is a teaser for you to enjoy: We use the word “junkie” loosely. You can hear it uttered with enthusiasm when someone expresses particular zeal for something. They may be addicted to that thing. But the offhand use of the word can easily mask what may be a shady underbelly lying in the darker recesses of their psyche. The word “junkie” ultimately refers to someone who is an addict. As such, it points painfully to a human being who erroneously identifies with some elusive external substance, person, place or thing as his or her source of permanent happiness. There are many forms of addiction deeply interwoven into the fabric of our culture. Addiction is somehow a part of the modern, human psyche. The popular, casual use of the word “junkie” seems to give us unspoken permission to broadcast our compulsions in a way that does not ask us to look more deeply at them. Inadvertently, the word illustrates how we…

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Ask Parvati 43: The Present Is The Present – Part 1: The Bounty of Boundaries

Problems May Actually Be Opportunities Dear Parvati, Someone said to me the other day that even the things about myself that I don’t like are actually gifts. How can this be true? Sometimes it’s easier to learn about ourselves by observing others. I have found watching people in my life, (at times working my way though judgment, blame, anger, guilt, envy or jealousy – the whole range of emotions one can project onto another), I have been inadvertently taught by those around me. Take one friend of mine, let’s call her Suzie. She is a wonderfully sensitive person who loves the arts, nature and has a real affinity for healing. She also is an addict. Suzie courageously goes to SLA meetings (sex and love anonymous) to face her co-dependency tendencies and to help her find the inner strength to look at and heal her addictive patterns. Through her friendship, I have found myself learning to be present for her ups and downs, finding new ways to express understanding, compassion and patience. I have also had a powerful mirror to face parts of my shadow, such as tendencies to judge, become self-righteous or impatient. Recently Suzie and I were talking, when suddenly I found myself suggesting that I felt her addiction could be seen as a tool,…

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Ask Parvati 42: Healing Shame – Part 2: Bringing the Wounded Bits to the Light

(Continued from “Toxic Shame“) The misperception that we are fundamentally flawed, which feeds our sense of shame, does need healing, but not because we are wrong, bad, ugly, awful or damaged. The misperception needs healing simply because it is untrue. It is an illusion perpetuated by our wounded self-perception. It exists because we give it power. We fear that it’s the truth, so we hide it away. As we reveal our broken bits from the darker recesses of our psyche, we eventually see that we are all beings of light that cast shadows, on an evolutionary journey back to the One place of undivided consciousness of pure love. In every moment, no matter what shame binds our perception temporarily, we are loved and supported beyond what we can habitually and consciously see. If you feel you suffer from debilitating shame, other than reading John Bradshaw’s book, I would recommend professional help from a skilled therapist who can help create a safe place in which you can allow your feelings of low self-worth to emerge, without judgment. Because shame exists in the severed places in our self that we fear, the process of revealing them in a safe environment is powerfully healing, just in itself. We need to be seen, just as we are. When we bring…

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Ask Parvati 42: Healing Shame – Part 1: Toxic Shame

Dear Parvati, My life looks good on the surface – I’m intelligent, good looking, have a decent job, a good relationship – but I feel like a loser. I can’t seem to stop doing things I’m not proud of, like spending evenings playing World of Warcraft instead of working on my writing (I want to publish a novel), or letting the vegetables rot in the fridge while I eat chips for supper or order pizza… meanwhile I’m paying $100/month for a gym membership and not using it. I think most people who know me are really fooled and they think I have it so much more together than I really do. I’m afraid that if they found out the reality, they’d all get disgusted and drift away from me. My significant other has brought up the idea of living together, but I’m afraid I’ll lose her if she sees how I really live. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in shame for not being a better person. How do I fix this? Thank you for your question. Hiding is hard to do at any time, especially on an ongoing basis. Hiding our true self from our self and the world is extra hard, even painful. You may think you are the only one who does things…

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Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food – Part 5: Who Or What Is Creating?

PART 5: MULTIDIMENSIONAL CO-CREATORS: WHO OR WHAT IS CREATING? (Continued from A New Generation of Multi-Media Artist: The Multi-Dimensional Co-Creator) Ok. Buckle your seat belt. You may read this last entry in response to this week’s question and think, “uh oh, Parvati has drunk the kool-aid. What IS she talking about?” Well, in the spirit of sincerity, transparence and honesty, here it goes… Many of you know me well enough by now to know that I see things in terms of the multi-dimensional. We are spiritual, infinite beings in a temporal body with a temporal personality returning back to the infinite. Our soul is a reflection of the divine, merging back to pure consciousness. Our personality is being purified, the aggregates removed so that we may be vessels of unconditional love. Have you ever seen a show or looked at a work of art and wondered, who was actually creating? Sometimes, it is not only the voice of the artist’s soul. Sometimes, the work can feel superhuman, like other energies stepped in and participated in the creative process. You know what I mean? I believe that we are not alone by any stretch. We are part of a vast, intelligent universe. Just like we can observe in Nature, there are energies that need healthy space, light and…

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Ask Parvati 27: Addiction – Part 6: We Attract What We Know

PART 6: WE ATTRACT WHAT WE KNOW (Continued from Helping Versus Enabling) I believe that we attract people into our lives who reflect aspects of ourselves. Until we have taken a look at our childhood, our relationship with our parents, and how we felt growing up, we will either unconsciously attract a “mommy” or a “daddy” into our lives, from whom we still hope to get the love we feel we lack. If you are attracted to a life-partner with an addiction tendency, it does not necessarily mean you too are an addict. But it may mean that one or both of your parents were and you are still trying to heal the childhood pain you likely felt. Perhaps your coping mechanism as a child was to be a fixer or a good kid, as a means to avoid the inevitable ups and downs of your addict parent. Perhaps you do the same with your partner. You tiptoe around his or her addiction and sidestep your own self, because fundamentally, you feel unsafe. Whatever the story may be, the relationship is a mirror for you to see yourself more clearly. I believe that we all benefit from counseling and psychotherapy. I believe we are here, on this planet, to grow, to evolve, to become whole. The…

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