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Director, Peak Recovery Program, Victoria, B.C.Canada. M.Ed.,University of Toronto. Trained at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto,Canada. Individual and Relationship "Recovery Counselling," Workshops, Seminars and Talks on Peak Recovery, Healing and “A Course In Miracles.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Coping Choices And Healing: Reply To Addiction Question

Any destructive coping choice is the way we attempt to reduce anxiety, pain and fear to find peace. However, no medication or sedation we use to free ourselves from the pain and fear of this world can bring us the peace we seek. Drugs of any kind, legal or not, will give us only temporary relief at best and lead to addiction and the destruction of our mind and body at the worst.

The only thing that will bring you lasting peace and freedom from your pain and fear is meditation. This is a process where you learn how to still and silence your mind, body, emotion, or ego self.  All you need to do is find ways to relax your muscle tension through exercise.  Hatha Yoga and Ti-Chi are great because through your need to focus on each exercise, you still your thoughts (mind) as well and let go your body tension or armour. Yoga also works a great deal with relaxation, breath techniques, another important way to still your mind and let go the muscle tension, stored in your body from past trauma.

As you learn to 1. Stay present, still and silence your thoughts, 2. Release (let go) your muscle tension, 3. Experience and release your emotional pain and fear without defense or resistence and 4. Breathe in a more full and relaxed way, you will begin to find a deeper sense of calm and peace flowing from WITHIN YOU. This inner peace will dissolve your sense of anxiety, pain and fear that has, in the past and even now, pressed you to self medicate. We live in an insane and fear-based world. The more sensitive we are, the less we can survive without using some form of medication or sedation. When we are ready, as you are, we begin to search for ways to find real and lasting peace. Before we are ready, we search for our love, peace and security in all the wrong places.  It is, however, the further pain we create for ourselves through these destructive substance and behaviour choices that eventually forces our readiness to search for a better way. The good news is that we need not look anywhere for it. The Peace, Love and Joy we search for is deep within our own consciousness, beneath all the clouds of our ego's pain and fear.

Once you begin to experience, through stillness and surrender, your inner peace, both your need and desire to use destructive behaviour and substance choice to cope will begin to fall away. In point of truth, once you begin to experience the Peace, Joy and Love within you, your use of "weed" or any destructive substance or behaviour coping choice will become painful and impossible for you to tolerate. You will give up these choices willingly and without regret. I have experienced this truth for myself.

All we need do to find the Peace, Power, Joy and Love we seek is "Be Still." This awakens what I call our Energy-Self. Our ego self, which holds all our pain and fear and indeed survives on this pain and fear becomes terrified as we begin to "Be Still," so expect much resistance at the  beginning stage of any form of mental stillness work.  It is best to do lots of exercise first, even just walking.  Attempt to stay present in the here and now; see, hear, touch, taste, smell, etc. This is also meditation. Then have a hot shower to further relax your muscle tension and spend 10 or 15 minutes either sitting up or lying down doing relaxation breathing. Just breathe through your nose and experience your breath flowing gently in (abdomen rising) and out (abdomen falling). Let go and relax deeper (heavier) and deeper (heavier) into the mattress or chair with every out breath. Say to yourself a few times, "Peace be to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still." If thoughts or distractions come into your mind, let them go (fly by) and bring yourself back to experiencing your breathing. Begin to listen, watch and wait with infinite patience for the experience of the Peace and Love (Gratitude) within you to arise. We are here to find and experience just that. Be grateful that you now understand the rules of the game of life. We are like Jason Borne. We have lost our identity and don't know who we are or where to look for it. The first stage of the game of life is to recognize we are lost. The second stage is to search for ways to discover our identity. The third stage is to reclaim what we have lost, our True Self.  I call this True Self our Spiritual Identity.  It is the experiencing of this True Self that brings our freedom from fear and Inner Peace. Meditation in the form I describe will begin the third stage of the process.

I am excited that you have made it through this far in the game of life and have asked for help in finding a better way to gain peace and joy. "Ask and you shall receive," but understand that the ego part of your mind will resist its destruction. It must die, however, for you to experience the peace you are entitled to and have come into this school called life to find. Before you begin this final stage, just say to Spirit, "Please help me learn to be still. I truly desire to find my "Inner Peace." Then begin the process I have outlined with whatever you feel to do to learn stillness and surrender. There is a "Zone" exercise on my web site that is a guided meditation you can try. I also urge you to go through the Power Point presentation and while there, read the article on "Coping With Stress" and the "Peak Recovery" article as well.  If you want me to mail you a CD of this "Zone" meditation, then email me your address. If you are near a phone, I could guide you through this mediation in person.

Good luck and write me if I can help or explain further. Try and find a Hatha Yoga or meditation group if you can. Groups like these will make your healing or awakening journey much easier and you will find support there when the ego begins to resist your efforts. Do not fight or resist your ego. Listen to it with compassion like a frightened child and remain firm on your path for a better way to live your life. Whatever you resist or fight against will persist and strengthen. Like the rebellious complaints of a child, you can listen and still say no without fear or anger when you know you are right. You are right and it is essential for you to learn ways to be still through any form of meditation. This is the only way you can find your inner peace and free yourself from all fear-based destructive coping choices.

David Ott, M.Ed.

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