At the heart of addiction is trauma. Addiction Awareness is a wellbeing initiative that can help you heal, recover and restore optimal health, resilience, self-esteem, empathy and compassion. The body remembers, and in this remembering is the potential to restore your chi to optimal health. When we feel whole and complete, are self-regulating and in flow with an authentic sense of knowing intuitively that everything is connected – we thrive!
My own meditation practice began many years ago, when I met Ravi Shankar. The concert at the now demolished Sydney Stadium was an amazing encounter with spiritual mastery. When interviewed post concert, by the ABC Network the journalist asked Mr Shankar “How do you harmonise so well while performing?” he replied ” We “know” one another – we are continuously “tuning-in” and that is how we create music” – I never forget those wise, love-of-life words.
After the concert I asked Ravi Shankar about an AHA moment I experienced while he was performing, he gave me the biggest smile and recommended I read The Bhagavad Gita. and go to India. I spent a year living a remote village in rural India- it was the best of times in an ongoing journey to love and happiness.
Ravi Shankar sparked my love of Eastern philosophy and mythology. I have had the privilege of meditating with His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe, Dadi Janki, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, AMMA, and Meher Baba’s mandali.
I went to my first silent retreat in Sydney over 45 years ago and continue this practice using Vipassana meditation. I use BrainWave Entrainment to travel, (I am a phobic flyer) which brings me peace of mind. I recommend Anna Wise for people like me – whose need for creative expression works superbly with meditation.
Meditation engages the mind and body connection, helping us detach at a level deeper than sleep and increases the strength and thickness of the corpus callosum: a thick band of nerve fibres, between the cerebral cortex lobes into left and right hemispheres that connects the left and right sides of the brain hemispheres engendering connection, communication and collaboration between both hemispheres.
The corpus callosum stimulates motor, sensory, and cognitive information is based between the right and left hemisphere of the brain. The Left brain loves the past, and is the executive mind-state (self mastery/emotional intelligence) continuously informing our past in the present. Language, critical thinking, analytical, numerical. The right (now) brain is intuitive and instinctive in the present moment: inspirational, creative,connected-ness, optima problem solving/solution focussed.
Over time meditation increases consciousness. Meditation equates a 90 minute power nap. You become more awake and aware. Consequently are able to hold more things in your awareness because there is less need to be “constantly on” as you are aware that you now switch off, detach and let go.
In essence, over time and practice meditation trains the mind to look within, which teaching us how to be resilient. Mindfulness is a relational modality that targets overthinking into reflective order. The natural effect is reducing stress, and engendering self mastery.
Pausing, breathing, pacing – allowing everything to slow down engenders self-regulating and reduces stress in the present moment. To relieve escalating stress I recommend consciously reconnecting to the present moment- pausing and awareness breathing. When you meditate, your body produces feel-good hormones: Serotonin and Dopamine, that slow down the ageing process.
Learn how to trust the process: be in flow. Cause and effect is a defining principle of existence, central to universality. When I fearful, I am disconnecting from my essential being and can easily spiral into negativity, isolation and disconnection.
With regular meditation practice it get easier to be comfortable with silence. Learning how to comfortable in “the space” or “gap” and thrive from consciously living consciously.
The stages of shifts in consciousness – aspiring to consciously live consciously is a departure from auto-pilot body, shame-body thinking, feeling reactivity. You will come to trust the renewal process when experience feelings of confidence, esteem and self compassion signalling you are enough.
By specifically identifying and re-programming limiting core beliefs, we look to remove self-imposed limitations to our current reality and re-align with self-affirming beliefs that allow for a more fulfilling experience of life. A change in core beliefs causes a paradigm shift in perception of reality.
Now & Zen meditation will naturally create awareness, how to consciously create a meaningful life experience, inspired and motivated.
Equanimity is experienced whenever we realign the mind and body in the right now, if you are doing too much, over thinking etc…you are not present. And you are running on adrenaline false sense of feeling high.
Instruction on Meditation
I automatically meditate upon awakening, consciously easing into the present moment and set an intentionto for the day – to thrive, be happy and love life.
Setting an intention can be as simple as “I will do do my best, to be my best” …this grounds my integrity.
Meditation for me, is a way of life that needs constant attending to – like needing to be aware of when I need to charge my phone. My energy levels fluctuate throughout the day, my aim is always for more balanced emotional fitness.
My awareness exponentially grows more and more as I progress into a 35 plus years of daily mediation practice.
You will automatically be the judge of your meditation on how well you are doing during the day (happiness is a byproduct of a healthy mind and body) – one day sometime soon you will suddenly realise that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be, because you will be happy.
Don’t over think your breath. Breathe without thinking about whether you are doing it right or wrong, holding the inhale for a few seconds and then exhaling. This exercise will help you destress your mind and body: Oxygenating the left and right brain hemispheres. Cover your left nostril with your right ring finger, inhale for a few moments and then reverse: cover your right nostril with your left ring finger do this whenever you feel a rush of stress hormones as it will relax you, and renew your energy levels.
When I connect to something painful, I want it to flow, to be released. I don’t to project this onto others, nor do I wish to suppress strong emotions such as anger, fear and pain because I know feelings pass, when we let them.
Inhale hope – Exhale fear. When I breathe in, I am opening my heart. Allowing the pain space to experience what it is, rather than automatically expressing pain which escalates into anger.
Thriving is connecting to your essential being with your passion and purpose. each day full of energy and vitality. Addictive disorders are complex – with one shared dymanic a disconnection from oneself, family, community and work place, masking the impact of trauma, generational abuse and the absence of love.
The thoroughness of holistic therapeutic approach to understanding the mind: authenticity, autonomy, empathy, and compassion is available when a person is willing to transform woundedness to wisdom. Sadly many suffer in silence because of negative psycho-social stigmas attached to mental and addiction healthcare problems. Mindfulness Leadership is hoping to further illuminate the neurobiology of emotions and the pathways to mental healthcare.
Meditation guide us to determine how to restore our constitution. Providing safe, natural alternatives to conventional medicines and treatments. Practical advice. Easy to- follow instructions, and strategies tailored to your mind/body type.
Stress/relaxation management, meditation breathing exercises, medicinal herbs, cleansing and lifestyle changes to guide you in achieving total physical and spiritual healing.
Learning positive ways to retrain the brain to pause, slow down or switch off begins with learning how breath. Stress = shallow breathing. It takes practice to breath differently. Moreover, withdrawing from seeking intensity, self-destructive instant gratification impacts quality of lifestyle. From disrupted sleep patterns, to poor diet/nutrition this collective stress is enough to cause long term health problems
The universal Mudra enhances connection, communication and collaboration. There is no particular time duration needed, you can practice by sitting, standing or lying on bed whenever and wherever you have time to increases memory power and sharpens the brain, and enhance concentration. Perfect mudra for awareness.
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks
Every form of genuine awareness is liberating. Each moment we release entanglement liberates us from cravings and attachment. selfless. Remember too that every practice of awareness can create a shadow when we mistakenly cling to it. A misuse of space can easily lead us to become spaced-out and unfocused. A misuse of absorption can lead to denial, the ignoring of other experiences, and a misuse of ordinary awareness can create a false sense of “self” as a witness. These shadows are the subtlety of attachment. See them for what they are and let them go is accessing the lenses of awareness to serve your wise attention.
The more you experience the power of wise attention, the more your trust in the ground of awareness itself will grow. You will learn to relax and let go. In any moment of being caught, awareness will step in, a presence without judging or resisting. Close-in or vast, near or far, awareness illuminates the ungraspable nature of the universe. It returns the heart and mind to its birthright, naturally luminous and free.
May you be free from worry and indecision.
May you be happy.
NYC 1988, I volunteered @ the Manhattan Centre for Living. A life changing health initiative founded by Marianne Williamson & Louise Hay for AIDS and cancer survivors. Connecting with others in healing communities is wonderfully confronting, challenging and life-changing. Cultivating compassion and fearlessness in the face of uncertainty in the presence of people who personified dignity, grace, and humility in the shadows of death and dying.
When a close, long term recovery friend, Lorna Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer her smile lit-up the universe when I gifted her a bold red Chanel Lipstick, and a bright pink scarf to wear when she went onto lose her hair, confidence and esteem to the ravages of chemotherapy.
Recovery is being in community. Surrendering the negativity on a daily basis is rejecting whatever gets in the way of feeling love, happiness and gratitude. So Hum – I am one with the Universe.
Positive mental states…we breathe approximately 20,000 time a day. Learning how to breathe in a way that fully opens up the torso is fabulous for an instant vitality burst. Whenever you observe feeling increasingly stressed you can in the present moment you can change how you feel and think. The technique to cease ruminating on the past, or projecting into the future is by focussing on your breath. Remember it takes time, patience and practice to breathe efficiently.
For those of us who live consciously conscious – our faces reflect our inner calmness, acceptance and happiness. I once shut down a discussion about “what is beauty?” by saying the happiest, most beautiful people I know are deeply spiritual, intelligent, compassionate positive people.
Harvard Medical School (2013) study revealed people who meditate daily are happier, live longer, maintain healthy relationships, and have longer telomeres – shortened telomeres are linked to accelerated ageing.
Now and Zen: Daily decompress with a 15-minute guided meditation. I have guided meditations or podcasts on all my digital devices. Perfect for longer distance train or bus travel.
I begin each day with breath work insight meditation in my favourite ego-surrendering salutation-yoga posture: Child Pose. The mind graciously bowing down to the heart. Easing into the stillness anchors me in setting my daily intention. The benefits are that throughout the day I can bring my mind back to my intention…helps keep me centred, focussed and present.
Raise awareness, inspire change by regularly checking in with where you are holding onto stress in the body. Frowning. Tightened lips etc are instantly distressed by breathing. good breath practice is regularly checking in with YOU…. breathing in deeper, counting up to 10 and down again…for 10 to 15 minutes to revitalise the mind and body.
Allow your breath to find its own rhythm.. slower, easier, visualise sending your breath to that area on your inhalation. Imagine a knot loosening as you exhale. Repeat this cycle with each inhalation and exhalation. Do a body scan for 10 to 15 minutes. Find a comfortable seat or lie down. Close your eyes and breathe, hold the breath for a few seconds, release, and repeat. First, focus your attention on your feet. Notice any tension, pain, or stress. Take deep, slow breaths helps you you focus your awareness on any area of your body that feels tight, and or stressed. As if you are scanning your body with light, move your attention slowly upward.
Bring your awareness to how each part of your body feels as you continue to slow your breathing, from the top of head, the back and sides of your head, your neck and shoulders – particularly when we are sitting at the computer, or in the car/train or plane for long periods of time…I was taught at a very young age the importance of good posture.
Robust digestion: compassionate nutrition means we have a healthy relationship with food, from planning, prepping to making whatever it is we are eating look gorgeous. I love beauty, grace and elegance. We eat with our eyes, my nature is that whatever I am doing: “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
There are so many ways too reduce stress. Proven to bring instant relief is a mind/ body realignment technique that returns me to a state of happiness in the moment. Pause. Breathe. Straighten my back. Open my torso and instantly be connected, restored and renewed.
Want to look and feel younger, stronger and have abundant energy. Change your breathing. Stress ages our bodies, as does pollution, too much sun, smoking, sugar processed foods and an absence of insight mediation.
Our breath instantly detoxifies us. Releases any tightness and toxins which left unattended to impacts the quality of sleep, and our bodies natural ability to self-regulate. Breathing increases the flow of energy.
We can go without food for 40 days – and without water for three days. When our breath is impacted by sudden onset illness or an accident we have a few minute window in which to get help and even less if we are flying and the plane loses air pressure. Which is why it is always recommend putting on your oxygen mask first, then help your loved ones…
Meditation and mindfulness breath work focus upon the activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings us into a safe. comfortable calm relaxed state and soothes the overly stimulated sympathetic nervous system fight or flight mechanisms.
Just remember you can do this. You can heal your life. One breath at a time. One day at time. It is a universal truth that when we are happy we attract happiness into our lives. I create my reality. Love life and it loves you back.