“Why is it, that through my life I felt this sense of irritation? This agitation, this emptiness, this hollowness? This feeling that something is not quite there. The feeling that there is something just beyond my grasp. This sort of loneliness, a hollowness in me always. It nagged away at me. When I found, sort of, every progressive drug; cannabis, LSD, crack, heroin — each of them were greeted as tiny little powdery profits — solutions to the problem of my inner angst. But, you know, none of them worked. The thing is, what I have learned is, that what I was looking for all that time, is a sense of union, a sense of connection. I heard once, that all desire, is an inappropriate desire to be one with God. Who knows that more than we? I think we drug addicts are very religious people. I think we have a yearning for something potent. Life is just not enough. It’s enough for other people to go have a few drinks, a bit of a smoke, even a couple of lines. And they’re alright with it. Why for us must there be more? Why for us is there the subsequent misery? Because for us, these flimsy scraps are never going to be enough. We want the real connection. We want the absolute connection. And the thing is, that kind of connection exists. It’s possible that you in fact could find it now. But first you have to remove the chemicals and substances. You have to get rid of them. I believe in abstinence based recovery. I believe that if you are a drug addict in the nature that I am, you have to remove drugs from your life. Then what I think is, you have to create the conditions for a spiritual experience. You have to create the conditions. I heard a wonderful analogy once, apparently if you live in rural America — and I can’t imagine what that must be like — but if you do, you have to build a post box. You have to put a post up and build the post box to the exact specifications. Otherwise, the U.S. mail ain’t going to deliver your letters! So every morning, if you are thinking, “Eh, I can’t be bothered to build a mailbox. They can just chuck it on the lawn.” You might not get any letters, and you might therefore receive the information in your head that no one loves you, that no one cares about you. But you didn’t build the conditions for the letters to be delivered! I’ve been getting clean from drugs and following 12 step based abstinence programs. It’s creating the conditions for a spiritual experience. We have to create the conditions for the letters to be delivered. Once we create the condition for the spiritual experience — which isn’t easy — it isn’t easy, but it’s easier than being a drug addict in active addiction. Once you create those conditions, it’s possible for the spiritual experience. Then, you will need the support of a community, a community of like minded people. I think this is true for any transcendence, for any spiritual life.” — Russell Brand
I was talking with someone recently about how much I resonate with Dr. Gabor Mate‘s views and work. They asked why I would be studying information on addiction, when it didn’t seem as though I struggled with any. According to Dr. Mate, the definition of addiction is “any behavior, substance related or not, that a person finds some temporary pleasure or relief or craving for, but continues with it despite long-term negative consequences.” By that definition, I would call everyone an addict. So in my opinion, everyone should be interested in studying addiction. The way we live for money & pleasure, and will trash our own health, as well as the health of an entire planet; 196.9 million square miles of it; with our addictive & destructive habits, regardless of the consequences — is an example of acute addictive behavior. That being said, the real reason I can listen to someone speak for hours on addiction and the addicts’ mind, is because I’m interested in self-imposed suffering. It’s a topic I have been fascinated with for many years, and with each passing year, I continue to gravitate towards that topic. I believe almost all suffering in the world (in our individual lives, and therefore collectively) is self-imposed, or stems from self-imposed suffering — and that fascinates me. I am interested in the ‘why’. Why would we make ourselves suffer? Anyone that can shed light on that question immediately draws my attention. Therefore, Dr. Gabor Mate is definitely someone I would be keen to listen to.
Dr. Gabor Mate is an expert on addiction. He’s written several books, and speaks on the topic all over the world. If you put his name into a Youtube search, you will get a list of really good videos. Below are just a few. I could discus his views, or my views on addiction or self-imposed suffering, but it’s best for you to listen and hear his views directly from him.
[This blog post was written on Saturday, January 12th.]
Today has been one of the best days I’ve ever had. Yes, it’s special because it’s my birthday (I turned 38 years old). But another reason that it is special, is because I’ve made some changes in my lifestyle & they are proving to be very effective. I’ve been on a happy kick lately — feeling more alive than ever.
For those of you that have known me over a long period of time, you might know about my past. I’ve written about it before, but basically, it was clouded with toxic thoughts & toxic foods, deep-rooted shyness, as well as, lack of motivation — due to the fact that I thought life was pointless. I viewed life as a stupid game that everyone was in a race to play. The way life seemed to be laid-out or predestined for everyone was unrelatable. I had no interest in it. And when I say ‘past’ I mean as early as kindergarten. So this view had really shaped my life. Until my adult years, when my life finally started to change.
Things began to change for me the moment I made a choice. I was either going to live completely & fully — or not at all. I was in a very supportive relationship at the time, & this person really provided a nurturing environment for me to work on myself. Self-expression & deep healing became a priority. I began to educate myself on physical, spiritual & mental health. I took it on like it was my full-time work. My whole life revolved around it. I soon made a list of my fears, & I began to conquer them one by one. A few years to work on myself quickly turned into 15 years. Which leads me to where I am today.
I’ve learned a lot, & I’ve been through a lot. And every step of the way, be it painful or joyful was a gift. I’m grateful for every bit of it. And I am EXTREMELY grateful for everyone that has either stood next to me, or was a stand for me, as I made a transition from a person merely surviving, to a person happily thriving. Every year gets better. Every year I learn more. Every year I see that the healing I needed to go through was part of a universal plan. It gave me who I am in the world. And it gave me something to share with others. Which I do weekly through this blog, & daily through the people I am in contact with in my day-to-day life. But I would like to take it a step beyond that.
I decided to offer some companionship, support & guidance, for anyone who feels drawn to it. I’m offering three options, you can choose which program is best for you. The programs are geared towards anyone who is serious about making room in their lives for more light: for a brighter more brilliant self. If you have any questions about the programs, feel free to email me.
Both programs include guidance & support on the following:
There is so much (too much) to cover in a short amount of time, so if you have a particular interest, or something you would like to focus or work on, just let me know in advance. That way I can give you more attention & detailed information in that area.
I made the programs inexpensive intentionally. I did that so people can do two different programs back-to-back, or they can sign-up for the same program repeatedly. One thing that I learned over time, is that there is always something to clean-up in one’s life. There is always room to go deeper, or get clearer — always. There is also an ongoing need for support, encouragement & motivation. No matter how evolved one is, it can always be useful.
I look forward to working with you, & meeting you in person. (Via Skype or phone.) We are in this together! No worries, I will be on a program along with you. Mine may differ, because it will be geared towards my needs, & yours will be geared towards your needs. But if you would like to know what my personal program is, I can tell you all about it. I will tell you everything I am doing & everything I have set-up for myself. And if you feel inspired to take part of it on, feel free! We can incorporate it into your program.
You can choose from the following:
Vitamin A – 21 days ($115)
Love, Peace & Happiness — What Else is There?
2 Conversations via Skype or by phone
6 Personal emails (2 per week) to answer your questions
3 Informative PDF files (1 per week) to guide you through your program
Vitamin B – 40 days ($165)
Brave, Beautiful, Brilliant, Balanced: Life is Awesome!
3 Conversations via Skype or by phone
12 Personal emails (2 per week) to answer your questions
4 Informative PDF files (1 every ten days) to guide you through your program
Vitamin C – 3 days ($75)
Ray of Sunshine :)
2 Conversations via Skype or by phone
3 Personal emails (3 in one week) to answer your questions
In the future the three options might turn into group programs, but at the moment, I am only offering private programs. I will update this blog post if any changes are made.
Please note: When we work together, I will share with you my training, as well as my personal experience & personal views. Sometimes my views are intuitive, & sometimes they are based on technical information. In the end, they are just words. Ultimately, your progress depends on how open & available you are. You must show-up (for every meeting, & for every day of the program), & you must be willing to be either diligent or fearless — preferably both. This is no different from working with a personal trainer at the gym, or working with a doctor of some sort — if you are lazy & uninterested, you will get lazy & uninteresting results. You’ll be wasting money & time. When working with me it’s not tedious or boring, it’s fun. But fun is not always easy. Sometimes fun takes heart (courage & vulnerability), a place many are afraid to venture into.
If you are interested in working with me & signing-up for a program, please email me.
Quotes from Ruth Denison:
– You have to stop in order to become aware of what you are doing.
– The literal translation of the Pali word sati (mindfulness) is to stop.
This is why fasting (on water) has helped me in my relationship to food. When I completely stop eating, I see the mindlessness in eating habits (and drinking habits.) I see the escape, the abuse, the misuse, the bigger picture, the madness. I never saw it in the same way before I stopped it completely in order to examine it.
The same goes for jobs, environments and relationships. I’ve been in a few that were not suitable for me, but I didn’t see this while I was in them. I had to completely remove myself from them (sometimes for a lengthy period of time, sometimes indefinitely) and spend time reflecting. It was only in their absence was I able to see how much damage that relationship/environment was doing to my well-being.
Love yourself enough to let go every now and then. By letting go I mean, remove that which you think you need in order to exist. Invest in your unlimited sense of self and strength. Go beyond that which you think you are, to that which you know you are. Know that you are infinite bliss and immeasurable love. Know that you are whole.