Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? How has that been working out for you? I ask this because I know that my need for perfection has caused me much heartache in the past. According to Dictionary.com, the word means a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less. In my case, when I am actively pursuing perfectionism, I am rejecting myself. Perfectionism is just one more characteristic of Not Good Enough Syndrome.

This is from the Online Etymology Dictionary.

perfectionist (n.)

1650s, from perfection + -ist. Originally theological, “one who believes moral perfection may be attained in earthly existence, one who believes a sinless life is obtainable.”

In both Hebrew and Greek, sin is an archery term meaning to miss the mark. We all miss the mark from time to time. The point is that we continue to pick up the bow and take aim. To become good at archery, you need to practice. The A.A. Big Book tells us that our recovery journey is progress and not perfection. Here is a quote from page 60.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Where are you today in your recovery journey? Are you able to pick up the bow and take aim? Are you ready to drop the need for perfectionism when you do?


Join us every Saturday for Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery. You can find out more here.

Are you interested in a really cool yoga mat with my original artwork or photography on it. You can look at them here.

Stop Apologizing

If you are familiar with The Twelve Steps, you may think this is a radical statement. In Step Four, we make a fearless and moral inventory of ourselves.

In Step Five, we admit to a Higher Power the exact nature of our wrongs.

In Step Eight, we make a list of all those we have harmed and do our best to make amends to those we may have injured along the way.

In most cases, these are all powerful ways to begin our recovery journey.

If you are like me and have suffered from Not Good Enough Syndrome, these steps can lead us down a path of shame.

What do I mean when I say stop apologizing?

Stop apologizing for who you are. You are a human being who sometimes burns dinner. You may be someone who forgets to get the milk at the store. Some days you may need rest instead of doing the dishes. You, are human.

You are perfect in your imperfection.

Continue to take inventory and make amends when you have hurt another. Do not make yourself wrong for being human.

I offer a weekly Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery every Saturday morning. Find out more here.

How To Heal Not Enough Syndrome

I feel as if I have spent my whole life learning to believe that. Just when I think, “I’ve got this!” another thought of “not enough” rears its ugly head.

I have tried everything to heal this most of my adult life. I’ve gone to therapy, practiced yoga and meditation, recited positive affirmations, etc. Those methods would work for a little while, but the negative beliefs would eventually seep through.

Lately, my body has been trying to get my attention by showing up with idiopathic pain. Idiopathic means the doctors can’t find a source for the pain.

I’ve been dialoguing with a friend who suggested that my body is trying to tell me something. They thought that “something” might be around my belief of not being enough. That resonated. As I mentioned, this is not my first rodeo with this issue. This belief has been a lifelong journey to wholeness.

Maybe the problem is I keep revisiting it. Perhaps it’s time to be done with it once and for all.

I decide in this now moment.

I. Am. Enough.

Who wants to start a revolution? Right here. Right now.

We are all enough!

Find out more about Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery here.

Go Gently

One of my students turned me onto the Hazeldon app called Letting Go. The April 1st message is quoted by Melody Beattie from her book Language of Letting Go.

Go easy. You may have to push forward, but you don’t have to push so hard. Go in gentleness, go in peace.

Do not be in so much of a hurry. At no day, no hour, no time are you required to do more than you can do in peace.

Frantic behaviors and urgency are not the foundation for our new way of life.

Do not be in too much of a hurry to begin. Begin, but do not force the beginning if it is not time. Beginnings will arrive soon enough.

Enjoy and relish middles, the heart of the matter.

Do not be in too much of a hurry to finish. You may be almost done, but enjoy the final moments. Give yourself fully to those moments so that you may give and get all there is.

Let the pace flow naturally. Move forward. Start. Keep moving forward. Do it gently, though. Do it in peace. Cherish each moment.

This message got my attention on so many levels. I’m a rusher. I rush through my day like I am on fire. Or as if someone is chasing me. The voice of my mother in my head not to be lazy pushing me to do more. The constant anxiety of feeling like I am not doing enough. As a result, I never enjoy the journey.


This message slowed me down. The suggestion of moving gently through my day made me weep with possibility. Who would I be if I moved slowly through my day? The devil on my shoulder says you will never be enough. The angel on the other shoulder says, “Ah, but let’s take a chance on peace.”

Join me for Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery on Zoom every Saturday morning. Click here for more information.

Fear Is Seductive

I watched a Youtube video by Elizabeth Peru the other day, and she talked about fear being seductive. I invite you to sit with that for a moment and see if that is true for you. I know it got my attention. I can get caught up in the world’s drama and forget that my nervous system is being affected by engaging in the news, dark television shows, too much social media, etc. We are constantly fed fear which in turn breeds more fear.

These behaviors get us overly excited, and constant excitement can be addictive. Boredom can drive us to want even more excitement.

As recovering addicts, we look for stimulus in new ways, forgetting how certain behaviors like engaging in social media, doom scrolling, and binge-watching Netflix can negatively affect our serenity.

I don’t believe that we need to eliminate these things from our life completely. I believe balance is the key. Balance can be a hard nut to crack for people like us. We tend to be all or nothing.

I encourage you to “check-in” with yourself before you engage in any activity. Will this action, for instance, watching the news, or a television show, affect you positively or negatively? Ask yourself, am I avoiding being with myself by my time spent on social media? This is far from a perfect solution, but it can start redirecting your energy to more peaceful pursuits.

Feel free to share with me your thoughts and/or suggestions around this topic. We can all grow from each other’s wisdom and experience.

Please join me Saturday mornings @ 8 a.m. CST for Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery. Click here for more info.

Our Energetic Boundaries and Addiction

I recently taught a yoga class where I asked the students to become aware of their bodies’ physical boundaries. Our physical body is the container that holds our spirit. The idea was if we could become conscious of our physical boundaries, then we could take the next step of learning about our energetic boundaries.

All living things have an energy body or an aura that encircles their physical structure. From a metaphysical perspective, it can appear as if we are surrounded by a large egg made of light and color. This egg is our protection. When our energy body is strong and expanded, we are healthy and vibrant. When this body is weak, we are vulnerable to other people’s energy and dis-ease.

Our addictions weaken our energy body. Let me repeat this. When we engage in addictive behaviors, it weakens our protective, energetic boundary.

Envision this. You are at a party, and someone walks up to you and begins a conversation. They keep stepping closer and closer to you, and you keep stepping back. They are “in your space,” but there seems to be nothing you can do about it without seeming rude. The reason someone can invade your space so readily is because your energy field may be too close to your body, weak or thin.

How do we strengthen this field and therefore reinforce our energetic boundaries? Imagine you are standing in front of you with a large eraser. Visualize yourself sweeping the eraser from side to side from top to bottom just an inch or two from your body. Use the eraser on your right side and then your left. Now move to your back body and erase anything that does not belong in your auric field. Do not forget to erase above your head and below your feet. The eraser will know what “stuff” needs to go.

You may notice other people’s thoughts in your field or old wounds from the past. You might “see” debris or even rips or tears. Your eraser melts all of that away. When you have completed this exercise, fill your energy body with light or a color of your choosing. Doing this will reinforce and strengthen your energy body even further.

When our energy field is weak, we have a more challenging time honoring the boundaries we have made for our recovery. A weak energy body weakens our ability to commit to self-care.

Addictive acts are not the only way the aura becomes weak. Constant self-criticism or abuse can also take a toll. And, there are other ways to strengthen your auric field as well. Kundalini Yoga is my go to ‘getter done’ practice.

i hope you will join us on Saturday’s via Zoom for Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery. Click here to find out more.

The Body: Our Sacred Altar

As I was teaching my yoga class this past Sunday, we reflected on the body as a sacred altar in which the Holy Spirit resides. I am not referring to the traditional Christian definition of the Holy Spirit. What I mean is that each of us has a spirit for which our body is the container.

When we look at this from a recovery perspective, we can see how our addictive behavior disrespects our altars’ (body) sacredness. I am one of those people who have altars in just about every room. An altar can be a small space dedicated to a Higher Power, your ancestors, or your connection to the natural world. An altar reminds me of my connection to All That Is. Mine often includes feathers, bells, candles, stones, and incense.

When I think about my body as a Sacred Altar, I approach it in this way. I dress in a way that uplifts me. I feed my body with nourishing foods. I exercise to strengthen and maintain its flexibility, and I rest when needed.

Do I do this perfectly? Hello no! Yet, I do the best I can. All you need to do is start where you are at. Every day is an opportunity to honor our sacred altar anew.

If you would like to experience a yoga class with me, click here.

How To Trust Yourself

If you have a history of addictive behavior, as I do, you might feel that trusting yourself does not come easily. I know how you feel. Time and time again, I have succumbed to the pull of my addictions. You may ask, how can I ever trust myself with my history of (fill in the blank)?

The key, for me, is to get quiet. Becoming quiet can be difficult, though. My ego-mind likes to keep me distracted from hearing my Inner Voice. It wants all of my attention.

Here are some ways that I have used to become quiet and listen to my heart speak.

  • Get out in nature. Go for a walk. Hug a tree. Sit by a lake.
  • Get creative. A simple coloring book will take you out of your active mind and bring you in into the present moment where wisdom lives. Gardening, photography, and painting can all be useful tools as well.
  • Exercise!  I use exercise to stay fit but mostly to quiet the mind and get me into my body. My favorite is my rebounder (mini-trampoline). I put on some rock and roll and bounce all the unruly thoughts out of me.
  • Breathe.  Long, slow deep breaths can bring you into your body where you can hear your higher wisdom more keenly.

Once the mind slows down, drop into your heart. The heart is where your Wise Voice lives. You can trust this Voice. How do you know you can trust it? Ask yourself how the message feels in your body. Are you feeling doubt or rightness? If you feel a rightness, this is your body’s internal navigation system telling you it is safe to follow through. This way of deep listening takes practice. I promise you it will be worth it.

Join our weekly Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery class. There is space to share your experience, strength & hope after the class. To find out more about my online yoga classes click here.

Impermanence or This Too Shall Pass

I am reading a book by author Kevin Griffin entitled Buddhism & The Twelve Steps. This book is a daily reflection with thoughts on dharma and recovery. I was looking for something outside the box of the traditional 12 steps that I learned in A.A. and came across this gem.

The February 9th reading is about impermanence. I have been struggling with some unresolved health issues lately, and I have been afraid. When I am in fear, I binge eat. As I reflected on this behavior, I was reminded through this reading that the one thing I can count on is change, even my behaviors. When I look at change in this light, it takes the shame out of my binge eating. I know this behavior is something I want to shift in my life, and I am taking action towards that goal. I trust that I can and will change because change is inevitable. This, in turn, gives me hope.

Join me on Saturday mornings via zoom for Kundalini Yoga for Addiction Recovery. Click here to find out more.

What Are You Really Craving?

Have you ever craved something and stopped to ask yourself, is this what I truly want? Most of us don’t ask the question. We will follow the craving, whether for food, alcohol, drugs, etc., hoping to satisfy it. According to the Buddha, it is our desires that are the cause of our suffering. If you have addiction issues, you know this to be true.

What if you stopped yourself the next time an impulse rises and asked yourself, “What am I really wanting or needing here?”

Think about this. What if your sugar craving were about wanting more sweetness in your life? What if your longing for a cigarette was to put up a “smokescreen” for some reason. Maybe your craving for drugs or alcohol is your desire to shut out the world around you.

There are many reasons that we crave dangerous substances or act out in unhealthy ways. Some of it is a physical addiction, but it can also be something else. Are we lonely, so we fill that hole with our drug of choice? Perhaps we want to soothe ourselves or escape from life for a little while, so we binge watch Netflix for eight hours straight. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel something different, but maybe the tools we’ve used in the past need to change.

What To Do Instead?

Getting a massage or some bodywork can fill the need for physical touch. Instead of going after that second or third cookie, try being completely present with the experience of eating the first one. You would be amazed at how fulfilling a single cookie can be when we experience it in the present moment.

Exercise is a great stress reliever. I go for walks whenever I can. When I can’t go outside I jump on my mini trampoline while listening to my favorite music. Journaling or talking things out with a loved one is another tool I use on a regular basis.

Yoga and meditation have been a staple in my life for many years now. I attribute the practice of Kundalini Yoga specifically to my mental wellness.

Community is key to keeping us on the road to wellness. When we have community we have support. When we have support we have hope. When we have hope we become open to change. Try a 12-step group near you. The first time I stepped into an A.A. meeting I knew I was home.

What tools have worked for you on your recovery journey? I would love for us to share our experience, strength, and hope with each other.

Find out more about my weekly Addiction Recovery with Kundalini Yoga class here.

Hope

“We began to realize that we needed help beyond our own thinking and actions in order to solve this problem.”

The Twelve Steps for Everyone

My disordered eating was getting out of hand. I was feeling bloated and uncomfortable in my body with strong leanings towards self-loathing. I would have streaks of binge eating and then restrictive eating. Back and forth, back and forth. I remember lying in bed one night and praying to the Powers That Be that I needed help. Trying to do this on my own wasn’t working.

As I surrendered, the Still Small Voice Within reminded me how Kundalini Yoga had helped me in the past. I took a break from that technology for the past couple of years, and it was time to revisit this yogic system. The next morning I got up, and I found a meditation for addictions and began practicing it every day. I felt immediately better, more in control without being controlling.

I remember 31 years ago, when I entered my first A.A. meeting, how the people there immediately accepted me. It was that acceptance that gave me hope that I could get sober. I knew the same would be true this time around. That is why I created the Saturday morning Kundalini Yoga class for addiction recovery. It isn’t enough to just do the yoga and meditation. I needed community. The sharing after the yoga portion of the class is what gives each of us hope for recovery. When we can share our experiences with one another, we know that we are not alone. That is the beginning of our healing. There lies our hope.

To find out more about the Saturday morning Addiction Recovery with Kundalini Yoga class click here.

Loving Kindness Meditation

The definition of Loving Kindess is tender and benevolent affection. What if you could send that affection towards yourself? What about sending that Loving Kindness to someone you adore? Now send that energy to a neutral person. Someone you may not know very well. Now send that energy to someone you have difficulty with.

This meditation will give you an opportunity to send Loving Kindness to all of these people. It is a great tool for healing and transformation. I hope you like it.

Let me know how you like it.

For yoga classes, workshops and intuitive readings go to my website. www.innerpeacemovementstudio.com

Acceptance

“We admitted and accepted that we had a problem that we could not resolve by ourselves – and repeated attempts to resolve it only made it worse.”

The Twelve Steps For Everyone

Over 30 years ago, I stepped into my first A.A. meeting. I was frightened and felt very much alone. I knew I needed help. I had finally accepted that my drinking was a problem.

For the first two years of my sobriety, I went to 5 to 7 meetings a week. The community I found there helped me stay sober. The 12 steps helped me discover why I drank.

I was staying sober but I wasn’t getting mentally well or emotionally happy. 15 years ago I found Kundalini Yoga. This ancient yogic technology works on so much more than the physical body. It had such a profound impact on my life that I became a Kundalini Yoga teacher a year after my first class.

Recently I began to have issues with unconscious eating, binge eating, and negative body image. I once again had to surrender and ask for help.

My Inner Voice reminded me that Kundalini Yoga has a yogic solution for almost every problem. I got back on my mat in a more intentional way. I immediately found relief by practicing a meditation to heal addictions! I knew that people out there could benefit from this technology, so I created a weekly class for addiction recovery.

But practicing yoga wasn’t enough. I knew that what had helped me in the past was community. So I invited the participants to share their experience, strength, and hope after class. And they do!

We start each class with a kriya (set of yogic exercises), followed by a meditation for addictions. I then give a “recovery talk,” after the talk, we hold space for each other to share whatever is on their minds that day. This class has been instrumental in keeping me committed to recovery.

If you would like to participate in our weekly zoom class, you can find out more here.