First I want to express my gratitude for all the loving comments and emails I received to my vlog from last week. Thank you for reminding me of the difference that sharing vulnerably makes. Your responses reminded me of something my coach Mona said to me nearly 10 years ago when I was writing my first book . . .
I was in her office talking about how my goal was to be a best selling author and have millions of readers. As my ego was running off on its high horse, she stopped me by saying, “CHRISTINE: If you help one person, you’ve done your job.”
One person?!? How was I supposed to get on Oprah if one person read my book? She explained to me that being attached to the results and numbers would actually minimize the impact I could make. And that truly if I helped one person, I made a difference.
Many of you shared with me that you judge yourself for not doing enough or making enough of a difference. If you relate to this, you may be minimizing the difference you are making which inspired today’s vlog.
We all go through times when we are addicted to something. Some obvious ones are drugs, alcohol, money, sex and food. But there are less obvious addictions that are important to be aware of like control, negative thinking, self-doubt, escaping through things like travel, and even over-achieving. Addictions of all kinds give us a false sense of freedom. For a moment, the high or distraction we get feels liberating because it frees us from feeling things we don’t want to feel. Addictions may offer the appearance of freedom, but only aligning our actions to what truly feeds our body, mind, heart and spirit offers true liberation.
Having the courage to face and take steps to break free from addiction and addictive behavior catapults our personal growth in tremendous ways. Some of the wisest teachers I know have overcome addiction and now use what they have learned to serve others.
One of these teaches is Tommy Rosen, my friend and someone who I deeply respect for sharing so vulnerably about his 20+ year story of recovery from drugs and alcohol. He is also someone who is shining light on the more subtle addictions I mentioned above.
Tommy invited me to be a speaker in his Recovery 2.0 conference and share my addiction and recovery story. In our interview, I speak openly about my journey through depression and healing my 20 year addiction to prescription medication. Please join me and 35 other addiction and recovery teachers for a life-changing online conference dedicated to giving people the best wisdom on addiction and recovery available for FREE:
A friend of mine called me last week and said she had something she needed to tell me. She prefaced it by telling me it was really awful, she was so ashamed, she couldn’t believe she was doing it and that she was so mad at herself. Before she even told me what it was, she was teaching me how to hear it through how she was setting it up. When she finally did tell me, it did seem like a terrible thing. But that isn’t because what she did was terrible, it was because her delivery method was full of self-judgment and drama.
And I’ll admit that I did judge her. Fortunately I am well trained and was able to get out of judgment ASAP, but was reminded of something very important:
We influence others by HOW we say what we say more than WHAT we actually say.
Communication is the number one way in which we connect with each other and create relationships. We all want to feel connected and related. We get this by feeling heard. And we want to be heard in a way that supports us in our strength, not our weakness. But it is unreasonable to expect the person that is listening to give us the acceptance and compassion we desire when we deliver it on a plate full of drama and self-judgment.
“If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company. Jean-Paul Sartr
“All of our unhappiness comes from our inability to be alone.” Jean de la Bruyere
Being alone. It can be a wonderful time to recharge, relax and just be. And it can also feel really lonely. Many of my clients this week have been dealing with feelings of loneliness so today I feel called to offer some ways in which you can shift how you experience being alone.
The truth is we are always alone and never really alone. I realize that may sound confusing. We are always alone in that even when we are with other people we are 100% solely responsible for our experience. No one can “make” us feel any certain way. On the flip side, we are never really alone in that we are all connected on a Universal level. One of the ultimate Truths is that we are all One and each one of us is also connected to a Higher Power, which makes it impossible to ever truly be alone.
The experience of loneliness is based on the misunderstanding that we are separate and that being with another would “fix” the ache inside. What we are most longing for when we are lonely is the connection to that feeling of Oneness. When you feel lonely, having someone else there seems like the solution; however, the solution really lies in reinterpreting your experience of being alone and finding ways to feel connected both to yourself and to Spirit.
Now you may be asking, “How do I do I feel connected when I feel totally alone and disconnected?” Sometimes the experience of loneliness can feel so painful that connection seems almost impossible. If that feels true for you, here is a four-step process you can use to support yourself in relieving feeling lonely:
Step One: Indulge. Throw yourself a pity party – but only for ten minutes! Allow yourself to cry, feel sorry for yourself, entertain all the reasons why you are alone, fantasize over what would make it better, etc. Really go for it, get all the yucky feelings and judgments out by writing them all on a piece of paper and then destroying it. Give yourself the opportunity to experience the pain of your loneliness knowing you only have TEN minutes to indulge. Once the timer goes off, the pity party is over.
Step Two: Investigate. The negative feelings that come from being alone stem from what you are telling yourself when you are alone. Investigate your thoughts and judgments. What are you making being alone mean? I assure you that what you are telling yourself about being alone is what is causing your suffering. As you realize that you are the one making alone mean something that triggers pain, you will be ready to make it mean something different. You may not be able to immediately shift the physical experience of being by yourself; but you can change your perception of it.
Step Three: Inspire. Loneliness can be a heavy experience and your energy often becomes stagnant when you’re in it. Find something that feels inspiring to you to begin uplifting your energy. Listen to song that inspires you, read a book that comforts you, or do something creative to tap into your own inspiration. Being inspired also will support you in feeling connected to a Higher Power. Look closely at the word INSPIRE and you’ll see “IN SPIRIT.”
Step Four: Initiate. From a place of inspiration, rather than desperation or separation, initiate some kind of action that aligns you with feeling connected. Take some time to meditate or pray to support you in your awareness of Oneness and deepen your connection with yourself. Get out of your house and head somewhere like the grocery store where there are other people around. Initiate conversations with strangers. Or perhaps reach out to a friend or family member – but remember your Continue reading →