What’s Your Underlying Belief?

I continue to benefit from the insights of Dr. Gabor Maté, both personally and professionally, and am immensely grateful for the opportunity to study and teach with him. One of the areas in my own life that I currently bring awareness to are the mostly unconscious beliefs that show up when I feel self-pity or want to blame others. Both of these states cause internal discomfort. Here's a recent example. I was in Utah last week on a family vacation, touring around in my son's new-to-him 1992 Volkswagon camper van, hiking in gorgeous national parks and tenting at night, enjoying being together with my grown children, son-in-law and husband. On a particular long uphill hike to a natural hot springs not far from Salt Lake City, I found myself well behind the …

The Regeneration Project: Connect with Your Essence and the Earth

By reconnecting we can begin to work on regenerating ourselves, our relationships and the environment in an integrated sustainable way. The Regeneration Project aims to do this by integrating the Beyond Addiction program with organic, permaculture based and/or Biodynamic farming, cultivating a healthy relationship between people and the environment. "When we heal the Earth we heal ourselves"  ~ David Orr “We can calculate in approximately how many decades agricultural products will have degenerated to such an extent that they can no longer serve as human nourishment. It will certainly be within this [20th] century. We can see how necessary it is to derive forces from the spirit, forces that are as yet quite unknown. This is necessary not only for the sake of somehow improving agriculture, but so that human life on …

Excuses are Self-Abuses

Entering a new path that will lead you to your Best Future Self requires determination and commitment. Self-growth does not just happen - it is a result of persistent effort to follow one's vision. The first step is to create a vision if it is lacking. Who can you become? Feel it, see it, hear it - create a little video in your head of who you are and what you are doing as your Best Future Self, and play it numerous times a day. Often the gap between who we are and who we can become is filled with unconscious beliefs and outdated habits. Our modern lives are busy and full, and the adage “old habits die hard", rings true for many of us. Through the Beyond Addiction program, I've …

The Gut, the Brain and Addiction

Who Knew We Had Three Brains? The gut has its own independent nervous system, known as the enteric nervous system, that consists of about 500 million neurons. This system is embedded in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, beginning at the esophagus and ending at the anus. Amazingly, the enteric nervous system can operate independently from the brain – it can function without it, and has been dubbed our “second brain”. It has a two way communication with the brain and central nervous system via the parasympathetic fibers of the vagus nerve and the sympathetic fibers of the prevertebral ganglia. This channel is known as the gut-brain axis, and links the emotional and cognitive centres of the brain with intestinal function, and vice-versa. The gut-brain axis is modulated by neurotransmitters, hormones, immune …

Be Compassionate Towards Your “Stupid Friend”

Eckhart Tolle says that many people live with this terrible judge in their minds, that’s forever tormenting them with all kinds of negative evaluations. Some of you say, “I just don’t want that anymore.” But consider that the inner judge, that negative self-talk, actually helped you survive. It helped you survive, because when you are a child and stuff is happening to you that you suffer from, what you cannot do is to fight back against the environment, because if you do you’re going to get pulverised. It’s that simple, you’re going to get pulverised. You don’t have the strength, you don’t have the power. The child, therefore, as a matter of survival, makes themselves wrong. Says, “The environment can’t be wrong, because if it was I’d have to leave it, …

On Gratitude and Forgiveness

“May you be here now in gratitude. As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” -  Siddhartha Gautama Last night, en route to teach a Beyond Addiction workshop in New Mexico, summer storms made flying unsafe and I had to sleep in the Dallas Airport. In the face of this “first world problem” I was grateful for the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and the principles of the Beyond Addiction program. When my flight was cancelled, I observed my own drive to have things go “my” way and my desire to impose my will on others to have them behave as I wish. I then softened into acceptance. As Gabor Maté says, “I am here now in this.” There’s nothing any of us …

Move Beyond Addiction: Come Home to Your True Self

To move beyond addiction, it's essential that we come home to our True Self. One way of understanding the separation between our human and spiritual selves is to compare our “soul” or “essence” to our “personality”. Our “essence” is whole, beautiful, undamaged, ever-present, loving, linked to all that is, intuitive and connected. Our personality forms in infancy and childhood in response to the people and environments around us. When our “essence” isn’t received, cherished, loved or acknowledged, our personality creates armour and coping mechanisms to protect it. The personality is created to help us survive. It’s a set of reactive behaviour patterns that have become a habit, and includes feelings, body sensations, particular thoughts, words we use to define ourselves, images that occur in our minds, memories, projections and reactions. From the …