“After half a century of psychiatric practice, I know without a doubt that the source of addiction is spiritual deficiency. Irrespective of whether we are religious or atheist, all human beings are spiritual by nature and spirituality is the cornerstone of our recovery.”
— Abraham Twerksi
” I’m just a hard worker, my family needs to understand me.”
” I only drink beer and wine, and I don’t drink everyday.”
” But I just love to work out 2 hours a day.”
” It is their fault, no one ever understands me.”
These are some of the voices that mask the rampant addictions used to cope with our stressful culture. Let’s face it, as the intensity of our world amps up, many people are coping with disconnection from their spiritual nature and suffering a lot. I hear words like “I feel like my soul is dying here” as I speak to a successful business woman who doesn’t know how to stay in corporate America and do life differently.
Addictions come in so many forms: work, substance, victim-stance, shopping, excessive activity, anger, positivity, relationships, technology, spirituality and food. A need for approval and attention are right up there with the addiction to fear based thinking.
One of the most profound statements that Rama, my yoga teacher, ever said to me was, “We are all addicted to something.” And, then of course she followed that up with, “Why not be addicted to yoga?” I took that to heart 30 years ago and I still agree. The style of yoga I was trained in was specifically designed to open and unwind the tension in the body and to slow down obsessive thought.
At the time, I was a great victim with judgment, blame and self-pity running me. Instead of taking responsibility for my circumstances at that time, fear of change consumed me, and I became addicted to needless suffering. Much of the time my mind ran down the channel of ‘what’s not working’ rather than view the amazing love, abundance and good fortune I had. Eventually, my misery propelled me to deepen into my true nature and take responsibility rather than complain and procrastinate.
Today, I offer you a peak into the 4 most prominent addictions that cause needless suffering. And, I say needless, because with awareness and action they can be remedied. Relationship and work challenges and a generalized unhappiness arise out of these addictions:
- The Need to Know
- What’s Not Working
INTENSITY ~ These folks have a low tolerance for boredom and tend to dramatize, exaggerate and often use substances to cope with life.
Remedy: Uncover your vulnerability with true feeling and authentic expression. Connect with your heart to express your love.
NEED TO KNOW ~ These master controllers often have strong trust issues and don’t like surprises or uncertainty.
Remedy: Give up the need to be right or critical. Embrace uncertainty and the unknown, this is your freedom. Connect to your inner wisdom and self-trust.
PERFECTION ~ Fearing mistakes, life becomes rigid and you live your life feeling 1/2 alive. Eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and substance abuse live here.
Remedy: Accept all of you and get rid of the ‘good/bad’ ‘right/wrong’ constant self-judgment. Learn to acknowledge that your best is good enough.
WHAT IS NOT WORKING ~ Living in their head, complaint keeps magnifying what is not working.
Remedy: Each time you recognize this chronic mind pattern, make the choice to shift your focus and find your gratitude.
While most of us demonstrate some of these tendencies some of the time, when they become addictive, they interfere with our life and our relationships.
What do you know about any of these addictive patterns?
One of the first things I suggest to my successful, unhappy and stressed out clients is to get to a yin or restorative yoga class and begin by slowing down and unwinding the body. All else follows! The anxiety that creates our addictive thoughts and our addictions will unwind, if we are willing to pull back and slow down and re-evaluate and implement that which is truly important to us.
Stay tuned for my Yin Practices coming soon. They are specifically designed for women who are ready to bring greater ease to their life and relationships.