It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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How to Heal Your Body With Your Mind

First let's use the example of addiction. It’s not a physical, organic thing. The addiction is a consequence of learned experience and repetitions of patterns. So is alcoholism in the genes?

The answer is no. In the 
science of epigenetics it’s been found that it’s the perception of your environment that controls your genes. You’re not a victim of your genes because you’re the one who can change your environment—or, more importantly, change your perception of your environment—and thus change your response to it.

Let me tell you some fundamentals of how the mind works so this will be more clear to you. The cells of your body are merely following instructions given by the nervous system, by the brain. The nervous system does the interpretation. You can easily see this when you see two people reacting to the same stimulus with very different reactions, one positive and one negative. As your perception changes, you change the message that your nervous system communicates to the cells of your body. Your mind controls your biology. That’s what the placebo effect is about; the mind believes the pill will work and so it does.

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On Suffering, Healing & How to Fit the Entire Human Race into a Single Sugar Cube.

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”

 – Chuck Palahniuk

In my teenage into early adult years I felt like I deserved to suffer. I’m still not sure of all the ins and outs that caused those feelings, but I would drink myself to the brink of death, complimented by excessive drug use, cutting, empty sex, horrible dietary habits and even a couple of suicide attempts just for good measure.

In my endeavor to understand suffering and its root causes better, I came across a metaphor by spiritual teacher Ram Dass who wrote, “Suffering is the sandpaper of our incarnation. It does its work of shaping us.”

While at first glance that statement may sound simple enough, as I took it into my heart and truly contemplated what exactly it was saying, it began to profoundly affect me. Those simple words helped me to realize that even though I was still yet to understand the psychology of my past actions, at the very least, maybe all of that suffering wasn’t for nothing.

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What Twelve Step Programs Can Teach You About Dealing with Chaos

Twelve step programs have helped millions of adults who felt like their life was spinning out of control. Even if you’re not addicted to alcohol or gambling, their philosophy may help you when external events make your situation seem unmanageable. Maybe your life has been disrupted by health issues or job loss. Maybe your relationships are strained, or you’re isolated from others. Your wellbeing depends on how you respond to challenging situations. Take a closer look at twelve step programs and the lessons they contain. You’ll find wisdom that you can apply to any kind of hardship. 

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The Hope & Hurt: Living & Dying in Addiction

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

Waking up in a jail cell with little to no recollection of how you got there really isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time—okay, at least it’s not most people’s idea of a good time—yet thanks to living in active addiction for many years, I’ve managed to accomplish this feat on more than a few of occasions.

Today, I have more than a couple of years in sobriety, a first in my life since the age of fifteen. This isn’t my first time in recovery, though it’s definitely been the longest and most heart-centered attempt I’ve ever made. I’ve knocked on deaths door numerous times as a result of being an addict and spent more time in detoxes, rehabs, psychiatric hospitals and jails than I care to remember.

I was actually messaging with someone from my past recently, someone I hadn’t spoken with in quite a long time as a result of addiction and other circumstances. At one point she wrote, “I used to check the obituaries for you, Chris” and I didn’t even blink an eye at that statement.

For all intents and purposes, the way I was living should have killed me ten times over and yet, for whatever reason, I’m still here, I’m still alive, something so many addicts can’t say as they’ve lost their lives to this insidious disease.

I attribute the better part of these years in recovery to something I’m grateful to have finally learned, something I’d let slip through my ears at 12 Step Meetings for far too long, so I ask you to hear me when I say; the healing process (which goes for both addicts, and non-addicts alike) is always, always an inside job.

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Thank Your Habit

Anne Davin is an incredible woman! She spent several years living on a Native American reservation in New Mexico, and her later work with Southeast Asian Indo-Chinese refugees inspired her exploration of the intersection of psyche, culture, and the marginalized voice of the feminine. She is a licensed psychotherapist and the cofounder of the Imagin-NATION Academy, offering a pathway to wisdom and healing using the ancient tools and practices of earth-based indigenous cultures.

Anne taught me an exercise that worked for her when she quit smoking. It’s a way to get into agreement with any addiction—social media, drugs, alcohol, complaining…anything—ultimately accepting that you’re not in control.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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