Classic Blog: ‘Mind Platter’ by Dan Siegel

“Wouldn’t it be nice if people had an idea of what a daily intake would be for their mind? How do you keep your mind healthy? So what I’m going to do is share with you what the healthy mind platter has, the seven activities that can help keep your relationships healthy and actually integrate your brain…”

“Finally, our seventh activity is called connecting time. Now, connecting time is where we connect to other people, hopefully in person, and to the planet, to nature. I try to remember connecting time with the phrase, ‘3G2P’.

The 2P is two people and the planet. 3G is we bring this sense of connection with a feeling of generosity, of kindness, of open heartedness. And we do with this gratitude, for being alive for our connections to other people on the planet.

‘5 Reasons Why I Could Get to Katahdin’ by Phil Valentine

springer_mtn_ga_at-225x300I couldn’t resist putting up this Hooked on Recovery blog from Phil Valentine. [If you missed out on my blog yesterday about Phil’s amazing trip, please check it out.]

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

I’ll be on Springer Mountain, Georgia in just a few days (03.19.15) to start my Appalachian Trail (AT) adventure. I set up a card table in my man cave and have started to get all my gear in one place. I bought a warmer sleeping bag because of all the cold, cold weather in the south this spring. As I talk to people daily about the AT, I’m usually asked…

“How are you feeling, Phil? You must be excited?”

Ya, I’m excited. Partly. And other parts are terrified, nervous, calm, anxious, determined, peaceful, relieved, sad, grateful, happy, curious, … Um, probably others too, but I have never been too good at describing my emotions. I am, after all, a typical male.

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Classic Blog: Brene Brown on joy and gratitude

Vulnerability expert Brene Brown talks about the relationship between joy and gratitude and offers a few tips on how to cultivate more joy in your own life.

Check out Brene in our section of books to help your recovery.

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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‘How Depression Can Bring Blessings in Disguise’ by Douglas Bloch

In this video. author and depression counselor Douglas Bloch talks about how depression and anxiety can bring unexpected blessings in their wake.

‘7 Ways to Practice Positivity and Optimism Every Day’ by Faisal Hoque

n-HAPPINESS-large570Helpful blog from the Huffington Post which links to some other very good blogs.

By now the benefits of positive thinking are well established. Sages, psychologists, neuroscientists, researchers and doctors all have been espousing the benefits of positive thinking for hundreds of years.

Positive thinking helps us to be healthier, more productive and ultimately happier. Yet for most of us it is hard to practice optimism on a regular basis.

‘Relieving the states that make life miserable… has made building the states that make life worth living less of a priority. The time has finally arrived for a science that seeks to understand positive emotion, build strength and virtue, and provide guideposts for finding what Aristotle called the ‘good life.’ Dr. Martin Seligman

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I Am Not Anonymous: Faith’s Story, “One More Chance’

Faith-Text-1024x681(pp_w1000_h665)Another wonderful story from I Am Not Anonymous, which helps us feel what addiction is like and experience the personal joys of recovery. Thank you, Faith.

‘Until I got clean and sober, I never knew that other people experienced the same pain and emptiness that I used drugs and alcohol to escape from. Even when I was a little girl I felt like a part of me was missing – I felt alone, afraid, uncomfortable, and incomplete.

I remember looking up in the sky at airplanes and wishing I could trade places with someone on them. It didn’t matter who it was or what the destination was, I just wanted to be anyone else and anywhere else… and I didn’t know why.

I started using drugs and alcohol in my early teens and they took me very temporarily to the place I thought I always wanted to be. They gave me relief from myself, my insecurities, my fears, and my loneliness. They made me feel “okay” with who I was, where I was, and who I was with, but they came with a price. At the time they seemed worth it.

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I Am Not Anonymous: Kristina, ‘Change is Freedom’

KristinaText-1024x681(pp_w1000_h665)‘Recovery goes far beyond its definition or interpretation. It’s about embarking on a process; a journey of fulfillments, enriching lives without the use of mind or mood altering substances.

Before ever being introduced to this process I was left with my own devices. After years of struggle and degradation, and the lives I’ve hurt as well as my own brought me to my knees. Everyone and everything seemed to have vanished within a blink of an eye, as if I woke up from a bad dream laying in the fetal position.  My body was  aching in pain and I couldn’t recall much of anything.

Crying out in desperation I felt helpless and my vulnerability was eating me alive. I hadn’t bathed, ate or slept in days. I was nothing but a mere existence of skin and bone who had lost her soul.

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‘These Three Companies Make a Point of Hiring Recovering Addicts’ by Heidi Vanderlee

Military_truck_with_crew_2004My apologies for being offline twice twice in the past couple of weeks but we were hacked and I didn’t realise our website was closed down by our server company as I was asleep! Hassles of a life online!

‘So you’ve hit rock bottom and now you’re crawling your way back out. But unfortunately the hard work that goes into getting sober won’t pay the bills. Getting hired as a recovering addict isn’t always easy: Many of us have spotty employment histories, and the stigma attached to past criminal or mental health records may deter potential employers.

Addicts in early recovery often find themselves tending bar, waiting tables or working the cappuccino machine at a local coffee shop. But if mixing boozy beverages or making little hearts in foamed milk isn’t up your alley, there are still plenty of other employment options out there.

Growing numbers of non-profit organizations – such as the Doe Fund and the Salvation Army – are going out of their way to find employment for addicts in recovery. And there are places where your history with substances could actually give your CV the boost it needs to get you in the door.

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Helping You Gain a Better Life

Here are some resources that can help you lead a happier, healthier and more positive life.

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‘Mind Platter’ by Dan Siegel

“Wouldn’t it be nice if people had an idea of what a daily intake would be for their mind? How do you keep your mind healthy? So what I’m going to do is share with you what the healthy mind platter has, the seven activities that can help keep your relationships healthy and actually integrate your brain…”

“Finally, our seventh activity is called connecting time. Now, connecting time is where we connect to other people, hopefully in person, and to the planet, to nature. I try to remember connecting time with the phrase, ‘3G2P’.

The 2P is two people and the planet. 3G is we bring this sense of connection with a feeling of generosity, of kindness, of open heartedness. And we do with this gratitude, for being alive for our connections to other people on the planet.

Read More ➔

’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 ➔

’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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’10 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Addiction Recovery’ by Addiction Helpline

rsz_ten-recovery-mistakesThis is an interesting article on the traps you may fall into in your recovery, published by Addiction Helpline in the UK.

‘It takes a significant amount of effort to break away from addiction. You could do all the right things, like going to rehab, yet you still end up more or less back where you started. This is a real shame, but it is always preventable. The reason people end up ruining their recovery is they go off track – this starts by falling into one of the common traps.

Here are 10 mistakes you will want to avoid to enjoy a lasting recovery:

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Brene Brown on joy and gratitude

Vulnerability expert Brene Brown talks about the relationship between joy and gratitude and offers a few tips on how to cultivate more joy in your own life.

Check out Brene in our section of books to help your recovery.

Simon’s Moment of Clarity

post1In reading Simon’s Recovery Story, it seems that he had two major Moments of Clarity. Mind you, I’m sure he had many others along his recovery journey!

‘One day, I received a letter from the head of faculty, asking me to come to see him in his office. I’d stopped attending lectures and tutorials, and I was only attending university to collect giro cheques from my mailbox.

I knew that my addiction had come out on top again, and that I’d need all my wits about me if everything was not all going to fall down around me – my brittle facade of lies and last chances and denial that I would retreat into every time I was challenged.

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Are you a Victim of ‘Compare and Despair’? by Beth Burgess

london recovery coach.jpgHere’s the latest article from Beth Burgess in the Huffington Post:

‘Much of our unhappiness comes from comparing ourselves to where we think we should be, or where others are, rather than seeing what is positive about our own reality. Instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses, we should be focusing on ourselves and ploughing our unique furrow.

As an addiction therapist, one of the things I regularly hear from clients who are newly sober is that they feel like they are behind everyone else when it comes to where they “should be” in life. Having “wasted years”, as they see it, stuck in a negative lifestyle, they feel like their peers have pulled ahead of them and have their “stuff” all sorted out.

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‘Building the science of recovery – what I have learned goes far beyond our studies (Part 2)’ by Alexandre Laudet

IMG_2882In my previous blog, I summarized a few highlights of the research on recovery I have conducted with my collaborators. Our ultimate goal is to give a voice to people in recovery to inform policy and service development. However, I would be remiss in not mentioning what I have personally learned from people in recovery because it’s probably the most meaningful aspect of this endeavor for me.

Not surprisingly given my line of work, I have encountered numerous people in recovery. Today, most of my friends and some of my colleagues are individuals in recovery – the latter too often undercover for fear it would bias how their science is received… (a sad commentary on our field and how society regards this disease…)

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‘Remembering my son’ by Susan C

IMG_2398Some of the most moving blogs on Wired In To Recovery were from Susan C who lost her loving son Michael from a heroin overdose in 2010.

Sue contacted me recently and said how much she missed the old website. She found it to be a lifeline when she was struggling. I had the impression that writing helped Sue deal with her terrible loss, if only a little. Here is one of Susan’s blogs from 2011.

Next week, I start a three part ‘Story by Blog’ by Susan C entitled ‘Missing Michael’.

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‘My Recovery: A seminar opening speech’ by Adam

IMG_3279Some of you in Perth will remember Adam Brookes. I met Adam a few years ago and he quickly became someone very important in my life, a really good friend. Adam is more than that, he is like part of my family. My children love him and my partner Linda feels very close to him.

I also saw that Adam had that something special, that empathic and caring nature that helps people get better. I knew that he was going to help many people.

Adam moved to the UK (Mosley, near Manchester) in December 2011 and was married to Jemma the following month. They now have two beautiful twin girls, Summer and Tegen, born on 2nd April this year.

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