Author Archives: kberman

Recovery Means Living a Life With a Purpose and Commitment

Often times helping others can be an exciting new adventure for all involved. I read yesterday about an organization that helps the homeless by having them run. It is called “Back on My Feet.” By helping the homeless become runners, the group is giving each person the chance to feel better mentally and physically. Fast facts from the site:

  • Back on My Feet started in Philadelphia in 2007
  • Back on My Feet has 11 chapters nationwide
  • 46% of Residential Members (those experiencing homelessness) move their lives forward with a job, housing or both

I learned about this group while reading another amazing site: One Day One Job. You can get jobs by email from this site with a new employer featured each day and jobs available from this employer. The site has 2000+ entry level employers. I believe the site is most valuable because it introduces readers to all types of job opportunities they may not have known about before the email. This is a list of all the employers.

1.  From Bob Miglani: “4 Lessons on How to Find the Right Direction in Life”:

1. Stop over-thinking.

So much of our stress and anxiety about the future stems from all the analysis and thinking we do as adults. We ask ourselves all sorts of questions. I recall countless nights lying awake, entertaining ideas and wrestling with my soul. I tried so hard to figure out where I would end up that I often felt defeated before I even began.

2. Try anything. Do something.

When you take action and start doing things, you begin to feel better almost immediately, because instead of thinking about some far off place in your head full of uncertainty, you will be working on something that is really certain: your actions.

3. Follow your inner voice.

I used to feel that if only I knew more, I would be able to make a better decision about the direction I wanted to take in life. But as I dug deeper trying to get more information, the hole got so deep that I found myself buried.

4. Believe in yourself.

When I first started exploring new opportunities to find the right direction in my life, I found myself overwhelmed by the competition. There were so many others just like me trying and doing what I was doing.

2. From Hummingbird (al-anon journal): “Laundry”:

I recently started a writing class that takes me a full hour to get to each week. I know that if I leave an hour and fifteen minutes before class, I can walk in calmly, present in the moment, and enjoy taking time to do something I’ve always wanted to do.  Two weeks ago, I was behind in my work and felt guilty about going to class.  I got caught up in the work and pushed my time window way too close, leaving only 55 minutes before class.  I raced all the way there, stressing, and talking on my cellphoneto clients from my car.  Like the writer of today’s passage said, I was trying “to rush to an encounter with serenity”.   As I pulled up to the parking structure, I narrowly missed an elderly pedestrian in the crosswalk and had a brisk awakening.  The man was justifiably surprised and angry, and I had to stop and do a Tenth Step, right there in the driveway.

As I mouthed an apology to the man I nearly killed, Al-Anon slogans ran through my head like a ticker tape.  “Easy Does It.”  “First Things First.”  “Keep it Simple.”  Words that I used to think were trite, bubbling to the surface of my crazy day.  I had to acknowledge the irony.  It’s no mistake that the slogans are simple because, when we need to hear them most, we are so caught up in our own heads that they haveto be simple in order to get through.

I know that recovery is not to be found on a racetrack.  I cannot multitask my way into serenity any more than Kelly Ripa can purchase an appliance to deliver it.  The only way I’m going to find serenity is if I practice the principles of Al-Anon in allmy affairs.  Old habits die hard with me and I have a stubborn resistance to change.  I know I’m getting closer, though, because at least I’m starting to notice when the laundry basket is on my head.

3. From Jonathan writing at ” How do I Find My Passion? The Missing “Recovery” Method”:

So, what are the keys to a passion that is both deeply rooted in who you are and deeply founded in service to the world?

Here are a few keys:

  • You must not only have a passion for your craft, but an earnest desire to help others. If you can’t get as thrilled about helping others with your gifts as you get about the gift itself, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to attract others to your message.
  • There must be a significant need in the world that you can relieve with your gifts, or an intense passion around your gift. Without intensity, urgency and emotion, it’s unlikely that people will care enough to pay for the solution or gift you offer.
  • It must have longevity. No craft will ever become profitable unless you can cultivate it for years or decades.
  • It must tap into a cause a tribe is fiery about, or something people can rally around. It needs to have the ability to create and foster community.

Photo credit.

Compassion for Ourselves and Others can Grow From the Pain of Our Childhoods

4244896858_85b07caa7d_z“Often, our misunderstandings about love are born in disruptive family relationships, where someone was either one-up or one-down to an extreme. There is an appropriate and necessary difference in the balance of power between parents and young children, but in the best situations, there should be no power struggles by the time those children have become adults – just deep connection, trust, and respect between people who sincerely care about each other.

In disruptive families, children are taught to remain one-up or one-down into adulthood. And this produces immature adults who either seek to dominate others (one-up) or who allow themselves to be dominated (one-down) in their relationships – one powerful and one needy, one enabling and one addicted, one decisive and one confused. In relationships with these people, manipulation abounds. Especially when they start to feel out of control.”     ― Tim Clinton

The Red Book of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) lists three ways we learn to dissassociate from painful feelings. We learn to use: (1) rationalizing, (2) using substances. and (3) creating negative excitement such as phobias, obsessions, etc. These force the body to produce physical armor–adrenaline, endorphins, melatonin–to stay imprisoned in a narrow but familar range of behavior.

So because I grew up in a home controlled by alcoholism, I learned emotionally how to create my own little cage that I lived in for over 60 years. I’m lucky. I learned how to come out of the cage and really be free. I meet others along my journey who have learned this complete release of the ties that bound us up inside ourselves. And they write about their journey in a way I can completely identify.

From laurieworks: “Just Keep Following (The Heartlines on Your Hands)“:

“I have struggled with anxiety for years. It came to the forefront when I stopped drinking, but it was there beforehand. I just had no awareness of it. When I stopped drinking, I got to see my anxiety front and center. I’ve had the chance to observe it the past almost 3 years. And as I do I realize it’s plagued me since I was a small child. I grew up in an atmosphere where I was only allowed to do things if they followed “the family rules” which were inconsistent and hard to determine. As a result I developed a ridiculously sensitive conscience and what I think is the origin of my anxiety.”

“Doing things in a self-empowered, heart-centered way is extremely foreign to me. Beginning last year in May/June, I started switching to this mode of life. It’s the reason I stopped going to 12 step recovery, stopped my love addiction recovery, started my yoga teacher training. I selected this teacher training mainly due to the empowerment aspect of it. I’m not seeking another person to tell me what to do. I’m seeking an empowered life.”

“It’s not easy. Because it requires finding the “still point in the turning world” (as e.e. cummings says) and rising out of the dark of that silence to quietly pursue what my heart prompts of me.”

“I have a different view of the heart, also. There’s millions of life coaches on the internet right now preaching following your desires, finding work you love, that kind of thing. While this has its merit, I think it can get a little skewed. Because in many ways I think you first have to reveal the heart. Which is another reason I took up Yoga. Yoga is all about learning to reveal the heart that lies beneath.”

“So yes, follow your bliss. But first – clear the mirror so you know what your bliss IS. That’s the message for me. Follow the bliss, from the True Self and the true heart center. Easy? Not necessarily.”

Photo credit.