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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.