Classic Blog: ’15 Steps to Become Grateful & More Positive’ by Mindfulness Coach

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThought I’d end this week with a classic self-care blog which I first posted in November 2013. The author, John Shearer, has an interesting bio.

‘“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Cicero

Being grateful is both a state of mind and perspective. One person’s idea of expressing gratitude may completely contradict another.

Most of us are not born eternal optimists, but being positive and grateful is something that can be imbibed even if a tad forcibly; such as by trying to tweak our sense of humour, the way we react to a given situation, by being more pleasant and believing others too have a mind, by smiling each time somebody says ‘thank you’, and by understanding that every person is on their own journey and accepting that it’s not your position to judge them.

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Classic Blog: ‘How Forgiveness Can Change Your Life’ by Peter Breggin

Unknown-1-1I have a high regard for the work of the psychiatrist Peter Breggin. Here is an article he wrote on forgiveness for the Huffington Post earlier in the year. Forgiveness plays a key role in recovery.

‘Early in 1865, in his second inaugural address, little more than a month before his assassination, Abraham Lincoln stood before the bloodied, fractured United States to speak about forgiveness, the letting go of hatreds, and the binding of wounds. He implored the people of America:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

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‘An interview with Matt and Amy Baumgardner’ by Veronica Valli

image1-200x300Here is a moving Story from Veronica Valli’s website.

A little while ago I was asked to review an extraordinary book called: From this day forward, A love story of faith, love and forgiveness by Amy and Matt Baumgardner. I had interviewed Amy Baumgardner previously for my Recovery Rocks interview series. Amy just has one of those jaw-dropping stories of recovery. Her story is so extraordinary that she was featured on Oprah’ Life class with Iyanla Vanzant.

Amy lost all sight of what was important to her and her drinking took over, one day she packed her kids into the car and drove them whilst she was drunk. She hit a tree and the accident left her 5-year-old in a critical condition. This was the beginning of the end for Amy, finally realizing she had a problem she began the long painful and guilt-ridden task of getting sober.

But how does a family recover from this? How does a husband forgive his wife for almost killing their child? How does a mother forgive herself? How can you repair a marriage with this kind of devastation and pain?

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20 Things to Start Doing in Your Relationships

rsz_start-doing-in-your-relationshipsRelationships are key in recovery. So let’s look at some things that will facilitate healthy relationships, from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

‘Family isn’t always blood.  They’re the people in your life who appreciate having you in theirs – the ones who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways, and who not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be.  These people – your real family – are the ones who truly matter.

Here are twenty tips to help you find and foster these special relationships.

1. Free yourself from negative people.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. 

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’15 Steps to Become Grateful & More Positive’ by Mindfulness Coach

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s an excellent blog on gratitude to chew on, written by John Shearer who has an interesting bio.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Cicero

Being grateful is both a state of mind and perspective. One person’s idea of expressing gratitude may completely contradict another. Most of us are not born eternal optimists, but being positive and grateful is something that can be imbibed even if a tad forcibly; such as by trying to tweak our sense of humour, the way we react to a given situation, by being more pleasant and believing others too have a mind, by smiling each time somebody says ‘thank you’, and by understanding that every person is on their own journey and accepting that it’s not your position to judge them.

Read More ➔

‘Powering America’ by John McKnight

UnknownI want to follow up John McKnight’s video from the other day with one of his blogs, from March 2011.

‘In a neighborhood, people are empowered by the work they do together.  Often, they use this power to confront institutions and advocate for the neighborhood’s self-interest.  In this kind of action, power is understood as our ability to get someone else to do something for us.  This is the consumer power of confrontation.

The other kind of neighborhood power results when we come together to create something for ourselves – from ourselves.  This is the power of citizens engaged in community building.

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’12 Things Happy People Do Differently – And Why I Started Doing Them’ by Jacob Sokol

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAExcellent blog from the Huffington Post, from Jacob Sokol of Sensophy. All makes perfect sense to me!

‘A lot of people have midlife crises. Me, I had a quarter-life crisis a few years ago, when I turned 24. There was no impulse purchase involving a red Mustang or electric guitar, but as my iPhone alarm woke me up bright and early for work one morning in my two-bedroom NYC apartment, I pondered, “Do I have everything – or nothing at all?”

My gut said that there had to be more to life than the rat race of what I was doing (IT consulting). But I just wasn’t sure what it was or who I could turn to for wisdom outside of “the Matrix.”

I decided to embark on a journey to find out. I quit my job, minimized my expenses, went to Hawaii and got very serious (in a wild sort of way) about discovering what made me tick.

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Marion’s Story: My Family, Mother’s Side

Marion’s mother was well-educated and had lived with wealthy white families. She taught her the ‘white’ way of doing things.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Letting Go, Forgiveness and Healing

Every participant spoke of the healing process and how before such a process can begin, they had to let go of negative emotions such as anger and hatred.

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Dealing with Betrayal and Abandonment

images-1Beth Burgess flagged this article which appeared on Hubpages. Sometimes things happen in your recovery that are difficult to come to deal with. Here is some excellent advice.

Remain Objective 
It is all too easy to blame ourselves when we have been betrayed or abandoned, and to take the actions of others as a personal affront. Most people’s behaviour is a reflection of their own shortcomings or mental state rather than a rejection of you personally.

Try to be objective about the situation – ask yourself if you genuinely did anything wrong, or was this situation brought about because of the other person’s issues. If you do feel that you were somewhat to blame, what can you learn from this occasion and how can you do better in future. 

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‘How Forgiveness Can Change Your Life’ by Peter Breggin

Unknown-1I have a high regard for the work of the psychiatrist Peter Breggin. Here is an article he wrote on forgiveness for the Huffington Post earlier in the year. Forgiveness plays a key role in recovery.

‘Early in 1865, in his second inaugural address, little more than a month before his assassination, Abraham Lincoln stood before the bloodied, fractured United States to speak about forgiveness, the letting go of hatreds, and the binding of wounds. He implored the people of America:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Read More ➔

‘From Hungry Ghost to Being Human – without stopping in Hell’ by Vince Cullen

Hungry-Ghost-Retreat-New-Life-Foundation (12)I have always been interested in the use of Buddhist-oriented principles and practices in helping people find recovery. I recently asked Vince Cullen, who often blogged on Wired In To Recovery about a Buddhist approach to recovery,  if he would tell us a little about himself and what he does.

If you are interested in what Vince does, please note that he is running a retreat in Coatbridge, Scotland on 8th July which you might like to attend. Details are provided below.

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Adam’s Recovery Story: ‘A moment of clarity’

After spending years locked into an addiction to amphetamine, cannabis and alcohol, Adam’s recovery took him to the other side of the world, where he lives happily with his new family.

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