Positive Energy

By: Sherry Gaba

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, psychotherapist, life and recovery coach, is featured on VH1's Celebrity Rehab. Sherry is the author of "The Law of Sobriety," which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your copy of "Manifest Holistic Health" from Sherry's Enrich Your Life Series. Contact Sherry at for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. 

Thinking positive to attract the perfect partner

Nov 02, 2012

Have you ever stopped to think about how rarely we think about the traits we want in a partner in more than a passing way? Do you find that you seek a physical type and then hope that they have the character traits that you desire? Or, do you find yourself imagining that you can wish the traits into their character once you get the relationship started? fact, there is a way to ensure that you bring just the right person into your life. Now, this isn't a magical event or just wishful thinking, rather it is a away to use the energy from your thoughts to open up the universe to all the possibilities that it holds. Your thoughts about yourself and your ideal mate need to be focused on in order to open your mind to the people that you meet.

There is a progression of activities to help you get to this point. It does take a bit of thinking and being honest with yourself, but it will be effective in attracting the right type of people into your life. The following tips will help you get started in organizing and focusing in on your relationship thoughts.

Step 1: What do I deserve in a partner?

This is a critical first step. If you don’t see yourself as deserving of that perfect partner then you cannot expect him or her to walk into your life. You have to believe that you are worthy and deserving of a partner that completes you and fulfils your dreams and desires. Good self-esteem is one major factor since you have to feel good about yourself to attract someone that will feel good about you, too.

Step 2: What do you really want?

Start by making a list of the traits or characteristics that you really desire. Is it a sense of humor, an intellect or a person that is understanding and empathetic? Think on these behaviors and see yourself with the person. What does the relationship look like and feel like? What are your feelings about the relationship? By imaging the relationship as it is you are able to project that energy to others that are attracted to the like vision of a relationship.

Step 3: Bring love into your life

Love is the greatest of human emotion and it is a powerful tool for attracting the type of energy that you are looking for. Surround yourself with people that you love, including your pets, and also share your feelings of love with others. The more love energy you put out into the universe the more that will be returned.

Image courtesy of vichie81/

Love addiction or an excuse for bad behavior?

Oct 22, 2012

For many people, the concept of a love addiction seems more like a "made up diagnosis" in an attempt to make excuses for bad choices and bad behavior. After all, there are no chemical dependency or physical signs of the addiction. But, if you stop and think about it, this is no different than many other recognized addictions. There are no physical or medical issues with gambling or porn addiction, so why is love addiction considered such a "made up" diagnosis? And, more specifically, what is a love addiction and can it be used to mask willful and intentional choice to engage in sexual behavior? addiction isn’t the same as a porn addiction or a sex addiction, which is a common mistake people make. There are actually lots of these misunderstandings about addictions, a point that I cover in "The Law of Sobriety" in great detail.

A love addiction is the need to constantly be "in love" with someone. The addict feels incomplete and unfulfilled when they are not in love. To get this feeling they will do whatever it takes to keep their partner happy, including literally transforming themselves into what the partner wants. However, often the people that they choose are avoidant personalities that find this love and smothering type of behavior just drives them away. In turn the love addict pursues harder and creates a vicious cycle.

A love addict will do whatever it takes to keep that romance alive. Unfortunately, all romance changes over time and the addict is constantly chasing that initial relationship "high."

Three key signs that a person you are in a relationship with may be a love addict include:

1.   Obsessive/Possessive Behaviors – The love addict cannot spend time away from the object of his or her affection. This means that they are constantly in the partner's presence or calling, texting or checking in on their Facebook page when they aren't.

2.   The Relationship Is Their World – Everything they talk about, write about and think about has to do with maintaining the relationship. They have no life outside of you and are actually amazed that you don't feel the same way. They are offended and hurt if you want to do something with your friends as this is, from their perspective, time not spent loving them.

3.   There Is NO Breaking Up – Love addicts don't get mad and leave, they continue to take whatever their partner gives them. They do not blame the partner for cheating or treating them abusively, they blame themselves. They also don't want to end the relationship because their need for the feeling of love is completely gone if the relationship fails. This means they are not going to leave voluntarily and some can engage in very disturbing behaviors including stalking and acts of violence if a breakup is attempted.  

Love addiction is real and is not just being a difficult partner.

If you suspect your partner is addicted to your relationship, professional help is your best option.

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “ The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your  free e-books at Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “ A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio.

Are you a Love Addict? Take Sherry's quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart:  5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction. Stop Attracting Damaged Relationships - Get the Love You Truly Deserve! Free Coaching Session

Image courtesy of


Love Addiction: When caring becomes dangerous

Sep 14, 2012 many people, the idea of a love addiction seems far fetched or something that is just made up to explain irrational behaviors. However, love addiction is not a new concept. Early literature and history are full of references to people, often very powerful and famous people, which allowed their dependence on another person to cause their downfall or even death. Why some people become so dependent on another is largely a factor of emotional needs that are not met through positive relationships but are somehow met through negative and destructive relationships.

When you are in love addiction you tend to put your partner (or ex-partner) on a pedestal and long for that person’s love and approval. Any time you put someone on a pedestal you are not seeing what is. You are seeing what you hope is that person, but not what is.

People don’t belong on pedestals. There is only one way down from a pedestal and that happens when the object of your obsession reveals their flawed humanity. In love addiction you see the flaws but put the person right back up on that pedestal.  You see what you want to believe is possible and you don’t deal with what is. In that way, you allow yourself to stay in abusive or unhealthy relationships, always believing the other person is finally going to change and keep their promises.

Love addiction is more than just an emotional need that isn't met, there is a potential for serious injury and even death because of this behavior. When a person continues in a relationship that is abusive, either physically or mentally, there is a very real danger. Women and men are abused in relationships, and unfortunately death by an intimate partner is a very real concern in today's society. Knowing when love has become an addiction starts by asking the following questions:

1.   Have I been hurt, physically or emotionally, by my partner?

2.   Do I make excuses or rationalize the abuse?

3.   Do I tend to choose partners that are emotionally distant or do I have a history of being in abusive relationships?

4.   Is there a give and take in this relationship or do I give and give but seem to get nothing or very little in response?

5.   Can I leave this relationship and move on in my life?

Answering these questions honestly is the first step in determining if you may have an addiction to love that is potentially harmful or dangerous. Most people need help with this very serious issue and greatly benefit from talking with a therapist or counselor that specializes in addictions and addiction recovery.

Are you a Love Addict? Take Sherry’s quiz for a free e-Book, Filling the Empty Heart:  5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction. Sign up today for Sherry's Free Teleseminar: Eliminate Love Addiction & Learn the Five Keys to Lasting Relationships

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured on VH1's Celebrity Rehab. She is the author of The Law of Sobriety, which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free e-books at Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba”on CBS Radio.

Image courtesy of lania1/

The Glass is Never Half Empty

Jul 19, 2012 an eternal optimist is one label that is never going to cause you any problems. Unfortunately, most people are only occasional optimists or chronic pessimists. This is particularly true when there are addictions involved in a person's life. The negative impact of the addiction, the feelings of guilt, remorse, loss and despair that go along with addiction can cause people to always see the glass as half empty and draining quickly.

The Law of Sobriety, my book that focuses in on attracting positive energy in your life to overcome addiction and make changes, highlights several ways to release that negativity and bring good things to your world.

I would like to give you three tips to change your view of the world to focus on the positive aspects of change rather than on the negative. Eliminating those negative thoughts that are shaping your life experience allows room for different perspectives: the glass is half-full view, to fill your mind and life with positive experiences.

Tip 1 - Thinking About Doing

One of the biggest mistakes that recovering addicts make is to not giving enough thought to the specific actions they are taking in their life. In other words they tend to simply "do things" without thinking about why, how and what they are doing. It is like taking a trip without a GPS system or a map. Sure, you are traveling and going somewhere, but it is anywhere you want to be? If you are randomly doing things and taking actions you will likely use those same negative thoughts you have always had to frame the reasons why the actions were selected.

Tip 2 - Thinking about Thinking

Metacognition is the fancy term for thinking about your thinking. Understanding and releasing those negative thought patterns about yourself will allow you to bring in different and contrasting positive thoughts about yourself. When you stop to reflect on your thoughts and change from a glass half-empty to half-full, positive energy will flood your world, leaving the glass always full.

Tip 3 - Thinking about a Positive You

The way you think and the things that you do from now on have to focus on the positive vision or image of yourself that you have within your mind. You have to let go of the negativity that says, "You can't do this and you can't change" and embrace the image of yourself as you want to be. Seeing a clean and sober you living a happy, rewarding and successful life dispels those negative thoughts and allows you to take full advantage of the change opportunities that you will find all around you.

Image courtesy of

The Importance of Intentional Choices in Addiction Recovery

Jul 11, 2012 make choices all day, every day and, for the most part, the choices we make are relatively minor in our lives. Do we have pizza or salad? Does the blue shirt look better than the green? Do I get this project done today or rush through it tomorrow? For those working on their journey in recovery the importance of choices is much more relevant. Simple decisions can either create the opportunity to move forward or can result in a return to addictive types of behaviors. "The Law of Sobriety" focuses in on the way that choices impact recovery and how intentional decision-making is a skill that is critical for change.

In order to make intentional decisions that promote recovery, get rid of the negative and bring in positive energy and opportunities, there are three important steps to take. Using these steps as a model for big and small decisions and choices will ensure that you are not reverting to negative behaviors and thoughts.

Step 1: What options do I have?

Most decisions that we make are not “yes” or “no” options, there is a whole range of possibilities. It is just easier to break everything into its simplest possible form, which may be forcing you back into negative thought patterns and decision making models. Instead look outside the box to determine what options are out there.

Step 2: What are the pros and cons of the choice I am about to make?

This is the reality check part of the intentional decision. Most choices have potential positives and possible negatives. Understanding the risks and the benefits to the decision takes thought and careful consideration. Looking only at one side or the other may close doors or limit our decision making to things we have already done before.

Step 3: Will this decision move me forward in my recovery and a positive lifestyle change?

If the decision has positives, but those positives aren't moving you in the direction you want, they aren't really positive for you. A promotion that requires you spend more time on the road, more time away from your support system or something that adds stress to your life may seem positive from a financial point but may not be positive overall.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/

Could I be a Hoarder?

Jun 18, 2012

It seems that hoarding addictions have become the focus of a great many different TV shows on a variety of different themes. There are animal hoarders, people that live in absolutely chaotic conditions and people that are actually risking their health because of their attachment to a variety of objects, items or types of collections.

Hoarding often starts with other mental health issues including depression, anxiety and mood disorders. It may also start out as a perfectly natural and even rewarded behavior. After all many people grew up with comments such as "waste not, want not" that may have rewarded and encouraged hanging on to anything that may be useful in the future.

Generally most people have some type of collection or something they have around the house that serves no particular purpose. However, people that are not hoarders realize that they have these things and see them for what they are. Hoarders, on the other hand, tend to see everything that they have as incredibly necessary and incredibly valuable. This is usually obviously false but the hoarder will not accept this observation.  

Three quick questions that will determine if you are a hoarder are:

  1. Do you know the real value of the items you are collecting and have an appreciation of their true market resale value?
  2. Do you invite people into your home and take pride in your collection of items?
  3. Could you throw things out or sell things that you have in your collection or possession?

Answering yes to the questions indicates that you are probably not a hoarder. Hoarders tend to have no particular order to their collections or possessions. A true collector values each item and can readily access or locate the item because they have some type of system.

Hoarders have piles of materials, unrelated, uncategorized and literally all over the place. They rarely can located things they want without the overwhelming task of moving items around in overflowing areas to try to locate the specific item. Hoarders also seem to have little care about the condition of their possessions. This is one reason why animal hoarding is so horrific, the massive numbers of animals are often very ill, diseased and malnourished rather than well cared for, loved and healthy. 

Image courtesy of

Key Signs That You Are a Negative Nagger

Jun 05, 2012

Nagging at our kids, spouses, partners, coworkers, friends and family members is a bad habit that far too many people have. Nagging becomes a way of conversation, a way of life and a way of interacting with others. People nag for a variety of reasons that can include lack of communication skills, poor understanding of relationships and low self-esteem and feelings of self-confidence.

If you think you may be a negative nagger ask yourself the following:

  1. How many times do I bring up the same subject, topic or issue with people in my life when I am not happy with the current results?
  2. Why do I have to repeat my concerns, issues or criticisms of the person?
  3. How often do I say something positive, uplifting and complimentary to the person that I nag or to other people in my life?
  4. Do I comment on and highlight the faults of others when I don't feel good about myself or something in my own life?
  5. Do I feel positive and loving toward myself or am I feeling unhappy or devalued?

Most people that nag don't start out as naggers. They devolve into this communication pattern because they don't know how to effectively communicate their concerns, issues or wants to the people in their life. What they don’t realize is that their constant criticisms and demands push those people farther away and make them less willing to be positive participants in life.

Changing negative nagging to positive communication isn't an easy habit to break.

Working with a life coach is a good option and will help you reflect upon your communication styles and make changes. Counselors and therapists can also help with working on your own view of yourself. When people are happy and content with themselves, there isn't room for nagging; they are too busy noticing all the wonderful things those around them are doing.

Image courtesy of photostock/

Three Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Jun 03, 2012 old saying that love is blind is especially true when that love is negative, destructive and abusive. Unfortunately there are people that are addicted to love, sex and relationships. The people that are involved in these emotionally abusive or love addicted types of relationships are usually those with very low sense of power and low self-esteem. These people typically find themselves paired with narcissistic individuals that are takers. They will take the love, take the support, and take the relationship – but only on their terms.

Women and men that are considered addicted to love simply cannot break away from these emotionally and spiritually devastating relationships. They rationalize and defend the narcissistic or controlling partner to the point of alienating all their friends and family. This, in turn, only provides more leverage for the power hungry person in the relationship as they become the absolute focus of the addicted individual.

This type of dynamic doesn’t occur overnight. It is often very apparent right from the dating relationship. Everyone around knows there is something amiss with the relationship but many people don’t want to speak up. They are afraid of hurting the individual’s sense of joy over the relationship and they may also fear that saying anything will reflect poorly on their own involvement in the life of their friend.

There are three specific signs that should be red flags that your friend or family member may be in a very dangerous type of emotional addiction that will only get worse with time. The three signs to watch for include the following:

  • Avoidance of time spent with friends and family in order to always be with the new partner. Often the excuses to not get together are minimal and vague.
  • When the couple is together there is obviously a dominant person that makes decisions without any regards to the thoughts, opinions and preferences of the other.
  • Constant negative jokes, jibs or comments from one person in the relationship to the other despite wonderful things that the individual is doing.

Image courtesy of Ambro/

Relationships That Are Not Created Equal

May 24, 2012

In a healthy partnership, both people are equals in the relationship. This doesn’t mean that one partner doesn't make decisions on his or her own about some things, or that perhaps one partner takes control of specific aspects of the relationship. However, what it does mean is that they both value each other as people, as partners and as equals within the relationship. No one is the "leader," no one is the "boss" and no one is the "all powerful."

In an unhealthy relationship this balance is simply not there. One person is all powerful and makes all decisions. The other partner spends every waking moment trying desperately to keep the leader happy. This includes trying to divine what it is the leader wants; even though the leader’s wants seem to keep constantly changing.

To counter that, the leader is willfully blind to the efforts of the other partner and constantly finds ways to degrade, embarrass and humiliate them. In this type of relationship there is no balance, no equality and no true love.

One of the most important ways that people in unequal relationships can seek help is to work with an addiction therapist. This is because the relationship is based on an addiction to love — to the relationship and to a very unhealthy dynamic.

The abuse, which is often physical but always emotional, spiritual and mental, is devastating to a sense of self-esteem, self-worth and self-pride. Being able to learn how this relationship has become so one-sided and making the decision to get away from the problem is critical to moving forward in life.

People that are in unequal relationships can learn to have a healthy, balanced and equal relationship and can find a partner that will value, love and care for them in a mutually respectful way.

Image courtesy of

Keys To Being An Eternal Optimist

May 09, 2012

Being an eternal optimist is one label that is never going to cause you any problems. Unfortunately most people are only occasional optimists or chronic pessimists. This is particularly true when there are addictions involved in a person’s life. The negative impact of the addiction, the feelings of guilt, remorse, loss and despair that go along with addiction can cause people to always see the glass as half empty and draining quickly.

I would like to give you three tips to change your view of the world to focus on the positive aspects of change rather than on the negative. Eliminating those negative thoughts that are shaping what your life experience is allows room for different perspectives; the glass is half full view, to fill your mind and life with positive experiences.

Tip 1: Thinking About Doing– One of the biggest mistakes that recovering addicts make is to not give enough thought to the specific actions they are taking in their life. In other words they tend to simply “do things” without thinking about why, how and what they are doing. It is like taking a trip without a GPS system or a map. Sure, you are traveling and going somewhere, but it is anywhere you want to be? If you are randomly doing things and taking actions you will likely use those same negative thoughts you have always had to frame the reasons why the actions were selected.

Tip 2: Thinking About Thinking —Metacognition is the fancy term for thinking about your thinking. Understanding and releasing those negative thought patterns about yourself will allow you to bring in different and contrasting positive thoughts about yourself. When you stop to reflect on your thoughts and change from a glass half empty to half full positive energy will flood your world, leaving the glass always full.

Tip 3: Thinking About A Positive You —The way you think and the things that you do from now on have to focus on the positive vision or image of yourself that you have within your mind. You have to let go of the niggling negativity that says, “You can’t do this and you can’t change” and embrace the image of yourself as you want to be. Seeing a clean and sober you living a happy, rewarding and successful life dispels those negative thoughts and allows you to take full advantage of the change opportunities that you will find all around you.

Role Reversal with the Universe

Apr 13, 2012

Most people are familiar with the idea of a role reversal. It is an exercise where you assume the role of another person in an interaction and try to see and experience the event from their perspective. It can be literally attempting to view your actions from someone else's eyes. Of course it is not 100 percent possible to do this since your own internal view of the situation will somewhat block your ability to "get into their head" and see things only as they would. However it is still a very effective exercise if you are really making a good effort to put yourself in their shoes.

Why not try an activity to see how the universe would view your life? To do this you need to understand the Law of Attraction. This is a basic principle that relates to the way that things occur in the world based on your own individual actions. Imagine that the universe is energy and it flows around everyone and everything. The flowing energy is naturally attracted to similar types of energy that you are sending out into the world around you. If you send out positive energy then positive energy surrounds you. If you send out negative then the same thing happens, but the energy from the universe that surrounds you will be negative. This is because while you are sending out negative you cannot receive positive, you are blocking all the good that is out there.

Courtesy of stock.xchng.

To try this exercise find a quiet spot and just sit comfortably and relax. Turn off the TV, the phone, the computer and the music and just be. Once you are in this physical and mental state:

  1. Think about something memorable that you want to have happen in your life. Imagine how you thought about that event in the past. Did you imagine it happening? Did you anticipate the event or dread it? Is it something you are trying to avoid or welcoming?
  2. Imagine how something out in the universe would view the event. Are you expending positive or negative energy in your thinking about the event? Are your thoughts about how it couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't happen because you aren't good enough? Is it something you feel confident will happen?
  3. If your thoughts about the event are negative, think about how you can change your thinking around that event. Can you welcome a positive alternate option? What options are blocked because you are holding to the negative thoughts instead of opening up to the positive?

Spending a few minutes each day in this type of reflection will help you develop a positive framework for thinking of things in the future. You can start to do this activity with big goals as well as small to really set your positive frame of mind.

Sherry Gaba is a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in individual, couples, family and group psychotherapy. Gaba maintains a private practice in Agoura, Calif. Her treatment approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients resolve current problems and long-standing patterns

You can download your free e-books on relapse prevention and more hereContact Sherry Gaba for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements.

Living For Now

Mar 16, 2012

A theme that runs through my book, The Law of Sobriety, is the need for people who are recovering from any type of addiction to live for now. Too many people try to live for what might be or the perceived perfect life of the people they admire and look up to.

Their mindset is not focused on the serenity that living the good life today brings; rather they are focused on what they don’t yet have in their life. This brings about feelings of inadequacy, jealousy or envy, all negative thoughts that are likely to trigger a return to the addictive behaviors they are trying to rid from their life.
When you look toward the future with a positive goal, there is an increase in the positive energy around you. However, if you fail to notice the positives that are in your life today, it is too easy to say that you haven’t achieved success and that you have failed. Once you see failure, the old negative, destructive and toxic habits flood back into your life and derail your recovery. Recognizing the positives that the universe provides for you is an important part of bringing good energy into your world that gives you the support to stay on your path to recovery.
Living for now means recognizing the positives in your life. Each little step on the path of recovery needs to be acknowledged and recognized. They also need to be embraced and appreciated internally as this helps to build a strong sense of a positive self-image, getting rid of all those negative thoughts about self that have been controlling your actions for so long. Living for now means taking the time to enjoy the beauty in the world around you and taking the time to love yourself and the changes that you are making.

Getting Past Yourself

Nov 02, 2011
As a whole, people are their own worst enemies when it comes to changing their behaviors and thoughts. We constantly reinforce areas that we feel are weaknesses, going over and over these events as we try to sleep. We may also be constantly bombarded with other people's negative thoughts about our behaviors and choices. For people with addictions, this constant stream of negativity from self and others can block all the possibilities of positive change.

I have addressed this issue in my book The Law Of Sobriety in talking about how addicts see themselves as always making bad choices and never accomplishing what they want. Because they are unable to see any positives, the only option is to see negatives. Even neutral thoughts or behaviors become negative since they obviously aren't positive. Every time we try to break out of addictive behaviors, our minds tell us we are the addiction and we can't change because we just don't have it in us.

So, how can we change how we view ourselves to allow the change we crave and let go of all those negative images and thoughts? Believe it or not, all it takes is a few simple steps. To get you started try the following:

  • Clearly articulate what you want in life and why it is important to you. This is not tangible items like a car or a house, rather it is what they represent. A feeling of freedom and accomplishment, a sense of security and connection with the world around you—whatever is your deepest desire.  
  • Write down one thing that happens every day that has taken you one step closer to your goals. This could include taking a class, applying for a new job, meeting a new person, taking up a new hobby, keeping a promise to a family member or friend or whatever else you do that is replacing something negative with something positive.
  • Keep a record of positive comments made to you by friends, family members and even strangers. Reviewing these positives and reflecting back on what you did at the time can help replace those internal negative messages with ones that are much more accurate and true to the positive person you are.

Before long you will find that you attract more positive experiences and people and, once you see yourself in a sober, productive and positive light, real change will occur all on its own.



Four Questions To Ask Yourself

Oct 19, 2011
If you are a person who struggles with addictive behavior you know that your own biggest enemy is looking at you every time you stand in front of a mirror. This applies to those who are shopping addicts as well as to those who are drug addicts or alcoholics.

People who have addictions are their own biggest problem because they cannot let go of the negative stigma 

People who have addictions to any type of substance or behavior are their own biggest problem because they cannot let go of the negative stigma that the addiction has created internally. Being able to let go of those negative thoughts about yourself will free you from their restraints and allow you to thrive, grow and change into the person you want to be.

There are four questions that you need to ask yourself to find out if your own negative thoughts are creating a quagmire for you to get out of before you can start to change. They are:
  1. Can I list my positive traits as easily as I can list all the faults that I have?
  2. Am I a good person who has made some bad choices or a bad person who only has one choice in how I react?
  3. Do I honestly see the options I have in making decision in my life or do I seem to be a one-way track over which I have no control?
  4. Can I list the positive attributes I want to have and why they are important to my own personal growth and positive change?
If you had to stop and think about these answers, or couldn't answer at all, then negativity has definitely invaded your internal sense of self. This internal perspective about your lack of positivity is projected into the world around you, bringing in negative energy, interactions and experiences.

My book "The Law of Sobriety" talks about the often-rugged mental path that needs to be taken in order to get over the mountains of negative thoughts we have developed about ourselves through an addiction. Working with an addiction therapist or counselor is critical in being able to clearly see the path to a better, healthier self.

Working with people of all walks of life and with all types of challenges I have found that getting over this hurdle of negative self-thoughts often brings about amazing results. The world becomes more positive as your focus on what is helpful, welcoming and positive in your environment—literally generating the change you always wanted to find.



Moving from Negative to Positive

Oct 12, 2011
Most people have, at some time in their life, had an addiction. It may have been an addiction to work, food, alcohol, drugs, television, shopping, gambling or any number of other activities. To rise to the level of addiction, it must have interfered with your life


The only way that people can overcome addictions is to stop seeing themselves as the addiction 

in a negative way. This interference can include missed opportunities because the addiction came first, relationships destroyed, finances compromised or any number of other negative events.

The only way that people can overcome addictions is to stop seeing themselves as the addiction. You are a person with positive traits, attributes, gifts and talents. You are not defined as an alcoholic, workaholic, problem gambler or a drug addict. Those negative thoughts are influencing how you act and how you behave. You see the world through the lens of that negativity. Letting go of the negative thoughts you have about yourself as a person and seeing yourself in a positive light will help in being able to visualize yourself doing good, positive things to overcome the addiction.

This is not an easy task. In fact I have written an entire book about how you can use strategies to let go of the negative thoughts and beliefs in your life and look towards a more positive future. "The Law of Sobriety" provides practical steps to take to change negative thoughts in positive counterparts that will then increase your success in overcoming your addiction. To get you started here are three focus areas to get your thinking from negative to positive:

  1. Find your areas of interest and passion and become involved with others that have similar passions. It may be in helping others, volunteering at an animal shelter or helping to clean up the community in which you live. When you passionate about things you are doing you will see a whole different side of yourself.
  2. Surround yourself with positive thinkers. Avoid the negative people; they will only drag you down and hold you in that negative thought cycle. Positive thinkers look to the future, see themselves as agents of positive change and strive to help others do the same.
  3. Make a list of all the things you have accomplished in your life. It can include everything from childhood forward, small things and big things. Keep adding to this list as you make positive changes and watch how your perspective shifts on your life and your future.



Thinking Yourself Sober

Oct 05, 2011

Getting sober and staying sober starts with the desire to make a change in your life. For some people this is the so-called "hitting bottom"—when they do something or allow something to happen that they can no longer ignore, rationalize or blame someone else for. For some people it is a lost relationship, a tragic accident or the disapproval of friends and family that triggers the realization of the need for change. The tough part is figuring out just how to start that journey and stay on the path to recovery and sobriety.

While it may seem too simple, the key component to a successful recovery from


You create your own reality and the situation you find yourself in is a direct result of your own belief system.

addiction is to be able to think and see yourself in the positive alternate reality. If you cannot see yourself as a happy, healthy and productive sober person, then you really can't get there. Knowing both the destination as well as the route to take means that you can think each part of the route, making effective, insightful and meaningful decisions to help in your own recovery.

In my book The Law of Sobriety I dedicate time and effort to one simple thought: "You create your own reality and the situation you find yourself in is a direct result of your own belief system".

So, if you see yourself making bad choices, not being successful as a sober member of society or never being able to find friends that can support you in your new lifestyle, then that is exactly what you will find. If, however, you are able to think of yourself as a person of value, worth and with the ability to chart your own course, you will be amazed at the progress that you make.

Each decision, each move, each relationship you develop will embrace your new belief system about yourself, drawing in positive energy, positive experiences and positive people to continue on with your journey in recovery.





Energy, Others and a Life of Purpose

Sep 14, 2011

Recovery is a lifelong process that starts with making the positive choices that will allow the changes to be made in your life that move you forward with your goals.

In The Law of Sobriety, I have dedicated an entire chapter to the importance of determining what the purpose is in your life in order to begin to understand what type of people you need to surround yourself with. These people should be people that are

Surround yourself with people who are living positive, addiction-free lives 

living a positive lifestyle, unencumbered by addictions, doubt and negativity. They should also be people who love and support you and the changes you are making. You also need to weed out those who will try to lead you back into an addictive lifestyle.

It is important to surround yourself with people who are living positive, addiction-free lives for several reasons.

First, it is important to realize that living with an addiction has changed how you interact with the world. You may not currently have a basis for understanding how a person that is not addicted responds to a given event. Having friends around you to serve as guides for determining an effective response will help attract that positive energy into your life and assist you in building up a strong, positive set of behaviors.

Secondly, by having positive, non-addictive personalities around you the energy that you need to keep on developing, growing and recovering will also come to you. This "like-attracts-like" thinking is essential as part of embracing the Law of Attraction in your recovery process.

The thoughts, ideas, values and the behaviors that your friends use do influence how you respond to both the good and bad that occurs in your life. Surrounding yourself with positive people and positive energy will only strengthen you in times of indecision, crisis or change—which are the key times that old negative behaviors can surface.



Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions

Sep 07, 2011

Let’s get back to basics this week and answer some questions I’m frequently asked about my book, my work on “Celebrity Rehab” and my psychotherapy practice.


What is the Law of Sobriety about and how does it differ from other treatment options for addicts and alcoholics?

The Law of Sobriety is simply seven steps that an addict or alcoholic can go through to help them achieve sobriety. The seven steps need not be in any order. They are:

  • finding one’s life purpose;
  • living a life of value;
  • living a life of authenticity;
  • learning to live in appreciation, compassion, and forgiveness;
  • living a life of right action;
  • living with awareness and mindfulness;
  • and learning to let go of resistance and attachments.


How did you get into this field?

I went back to school later in life and my goal originally was to help single parents and their families. I had been a single parent and wanted to give back what had been given to me by mental health professionals. After a series of jobs from doing custody mediation to hospice, I landed a job at the famed treatment center in Malibu, Promises. I also married someone who is a recovering addict and alcoholic and realized I had my own issues with substance abuse at various times in my life. All of these issues lead me to working in the field of substance abuse.


You've worked on the VH1 show “Celebrity Rehabwith Dr. Drew Pinsky, the addiction specialist. What was that experience like?

Very real. Although, it consisted of a population of celebrities, it was real treatment in a real rehab. It shows for the average person contemplating treatment, what goes on in a rehab and hopefully, encourages them to look into treatment if they are considering that as an option in their own life.


Are celebrities different than other addicts and alcoholics?

Yes and no. Most people go into treatment with a history of pathology whether it is trauma, abuse, abandonment issues, loss, or the genetic predisposition. However, celebrities are sometimes treated differently in treatment, which I do not believe is a good idea. When you give them special privileges, I believe you are playing into their disease. Their disease is no different than anyone else and they should be treated no differently. I had a celebrity client who kept cancelling her appointments. When I asked her to pay me for her cancelled appointment because she didn’t give me 24 hours notice, which is my policy, she stopped coming to see me. She was only hurting herself by not coming back, not me.


What type of addictions do you see today that are the most prevalent?

I am seeing a lot on teenagers and young adults getting hooked on pain killers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, and a large amount of heroin addicts. It is quite alarming. The biggest reason they say they use or relapse is because of “boredom.” That is why my book emphasizes the importance of having a purpose and meaning in your life to help avoid the pitfalls of restlessness.


Are You Looking in a Warped Mirror?

Aug 03, 2011
The Law of Sobriety tells us that our self-esteem is directly related to how we see ourselves and whether or not we believe we are a valuable person. When we examine ourselves in the mirror, we are able to take a good hard look at who we are. The question is: Are we looking at our reflection in a warped or broken mirror? We cannot see our true reflection if the mirror is faulty. How can we see who we truly are?

Individuals should consider having a third party hold up the mirror while we gaze at our image. A great way to see if we are viewing ourselves accurately is to talk to our image while someone else listens. Have that person say back to you exactly what you said and then sit and discuss if your observations are accurate. You may be surprised at the results. While our perception of ourselves may seem right on the money, you may be shocked at how off-base you truly are. You may not be seeing your true assets, along with flaws and warning signs of things that could cause you problems. This is often the case when we look at our physical features.

When we look into the mirror, we see our physical features reflected back to us. If we have a poor self-image, our perception of our physical body can cause us to see things that aren’t really there. We can be thinking that we are looking at someone who is extremely overweight and hideous, which is often the case with those suffering from an eating disorder or an addiction to food. Without a third party there to explain to us what we really look like, we run the risk of indulging in our addiction of choice. The same applies to gazing in the mirror and seeing our self as unintelligent, worthless and undeserving of anything great happening in our life. A third party can repeat your perceptions to you and show you where your perception is warped.

There are several exercises that can be done while looking in a mirror that can boost your self-image. Repeating positive affirmations into the mirror out loud is a great way to counter that negative self-talk. Rewrite the scripts that have been plaguing you and warping your way of thinking and change them into affirmations that will lift you up into a positive frame of mind. By embracing positive self-talk, you are letting those positive emotions out into the universe, where they will return to you many times over.



The Negativity Addiction

Jul 06, 2011
Negative thinking is addictive. Once you start to believe the negative things you tell yourself, it’s as if you’re caught up in a powerful whirlpool and you can’t break free.

“I won’t get a better job.” “I can’t make new friends.” “I can’t learn a new skill.” “Good things never happen to me.” When you believe this, you’re defeated before you ever start anything. And, of course, then you never start anything anyway—why bother, because you’ll just be defeated?

Negative thinking can be comforting in a strange way, too. That’s because it enables you to avoid taking any responsibility for your life. If you’re the person bad things always happen to, you don’t have to even try to make good things happen. You’re off the hook.

The Law of Sobriety says whatever you resonate, the universe sends back to you. In other words, your thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Radiate negativity and nothing good will come to you. Your own negativity brings you exactly what you don’t want.

Positive Energy Attracts Positive Results
Fortunately, the opposite is also true. When you believe good things will come to you, that’s what will happen. It will happen because positive energy attracts positive results. But it will also happen because you’ll stop asking the world, “When am I going to get mine?” and start looking around at what you’ve already got. Appreciating what you have changes everything—not just your outlook but your reality. Your world is richer and more satisfying. That happens right away, as soon as you break out of the negativity addiction.

Take a moment to stop and do a little inventory. What did you see and hear and smell today that makes you happy? Was it a kid walking her dog? Was it a snippet of a song you like? Was it the smell of fresh-roasted coffee? Appreciate the little things and the big things will come.


The Power of Positive Affirmations

Jun 22, 2011

We all have the power to change our mindset. All of the limiting beliefs and negative thoughts that run through our mind can be transformed into empowering beliefs and positive thoughts that serve. When was the last time you took a few moments to reflect on how your way of thinking is impacting your life?

Every decision we make is based on our personal set of values and beliefs. When we hesitate—worrying about what others will think and doubting our choice—we release feelings of insecurity into the universe. While life can be filled with stresses and negative influences, life is also a joy, filled with delightful surprises. Any given situation can become a positive experience if you have a healthy mindset. How can this be accomplished?

A useful tool that empowers you to make conscious positive decisions is positive affirmations. You have the power over the choices you make and now is the moment to infuse those choices with positive energy. Our lives are a manifestation of what we think and what we believe. When you embrace the positive, your life will change. You will feel better about yourself and you will be able to embrace everything that you want to achieve. Positive affirmations empower you to envision what your life should be like. You have the power to choose your life’s path; using positive affirmations will begin this journey.

To create positive affirmations, start with writing down three beliefs that you have about yourself. Are these thoughts positive or negative? If your words invoke negativity, rewrite the statement with a positive twist. If your words invoke positive energy, leave them as is, without changing them. If you need assistance writing three positive statements about yourself, use the following examples as prompts.

  • My life is filled with fun and friendship
  • I accept compliments and praise
  • I choose to open my heart to the wonderful things the universe wants me to receive
  • I receive greatness and am worthy of an abundant life

Take a few minutes of every morning to repeat your positive affirmations in the mirror out loud. You can even write down these affirmations and keep them with you. They can be a constant prompt, throughout the day, reminding you that you are worthy of amazing things.

Open Up To Receive
The use of positive affirmations will change your mindset. As you move out of the negative and into the positive, you are opening up to receive the wonderful things the universe wants to manifest in your life. As you repeat your positive affirmations, you will begin to believe the words. You will face outside stress with newfound confidence, knowing you will make conscious decisions that will serve you well. You are worthy of living an abundant and fulfilling life. Make today the beginning of your new life.



Journey of self-discovery

Jun 01, 2011
The recovery process is a journey of self-discovery. The effort spent in the past, put into hiding away your true self, zaps energy and manifested a less than ideal lifestyle. When you set yourself free and live a life of authenticity, sobriety is just the beginning of what is possible. This is the beginning of the journey of self-discovery.

Those suffering from active addiction build a wall of secrets around them to sustain their dysfunction. Their loved ones are affected as well, having shown the world that “everything is OK” but knowing this to be untrue. This false sense of reality is sustained thorough guilt and shame. Addicts and their family continue to live with a great deal of anxiety, fearful of what would occur if their secrets became public. In this situation, everyone is suffering. All of the parties involved may end up feeling lost, experiencing a stifling of their true essence. Continuing to live in this false role comes with a heavy price. Recovery takes this heavy toll away, leaving room for honesty and a clear sense of identity to surface.

The Chance To Live an Authentic Life
Recovery allows the addicted individuals and their families to have the chance to live an authentic life. The individuals involved are now able to take this journey of self-discovery without fear of repercussions. All of the effort once used to hide the shame of addiction is now used to fuel a world of infinite possibilities. Consider how many positive situations will occur when the energy invested in the desired outcome derives from a place of strength and confidence? This core unit of strength, rather than fear, will serve the recovering individuals and their families well. A foundation of strength has now been created for the journey of self-discovery.

As the recovering individuals uncover their true “selves,” they will be able to see the world clearly, making decisions based on truth and reality. They, and their families, will experience a new freedom, having pushed through their limiting beliefs and fears. This freedom will continue to build confidence and manifest positive energy into their lives. As this pattern continues, the possibilities are endless. With effort and a newfound clear acceptance of reality, this combination will empower individuals to make mindful choices, determining to go through life joyfully and with purpose.


Journey from surviving to thriving

May 18, 2011
Have you evolved from a victim to survivor? Are you asking yourself “now what”? How can you transition from surviving to thriving? The journey of recovery is miraculous. Above everything, remember to congratulate yourself for a job well done. The leaps and bounds necessary to live a sober life should not be taken lightly.

It is common to discover that you have hit a wall in your recovery. You are keeping your side of the street clean, keeping sobriety first and functioning as a human being. The next transition needed to continue your fulfilling recovery is to know where you stand. Do you know what you stand for? What are you looking forward to? What are you working toward?

What do you want?In Pursuit Of Happiness
How do you define personal happiness? How do you measure personal success? Maintaining sobriety is key but we often let our happiness fall to the side. We go through the motions of life but have we become complacent? To avoid just going through the motions, create a happiness meter. Define what happiness means and list people, places and things that bring you joy. These items will create positive energy that fuels your journey of recovery. Along the way it is important to touch base with your inner-self to determine what you want out life.

Know What You Want
Steven Covey said it best with “begin with the end in mind.” This statement says it all. People cannot successfully reach their destinations if they are unaware of where those destinations are located. When you take time to define what brings you joy, check in and determine what you truly want. As a recovering individual, you have made amends and you deserve to have concrete wants. There is no glass ceiling in regards to wishes and desires. As long as your feet stand firmly on your foundation of recovery, you can still reach for the stars. Determine your goals and create reasonable milestones. Celebrate along your journey and embrace your emotions along the way. When the destination for your goals becomes clear, the path that leads towards victory will manifest.

Draw A Map
Putting pen to paper is an extremely powerful tool. Write down what you want and draw a map showing you the way. Having a concrete plan of action in your hands will keep you grounded, centered and focused. It is difficult to stray from a positive path when the ultimate goal is clearly defined. If you find that you are going in the wrong direction, simply take a moment to breathe, reflect and embrace what the universe is telling you. You will find yourself heading back in the right direction with ease.

The Bigger Picture
In the end, it comes down to the bigger picture. All of the pieces of your journey will fall into place and begin to make sense. You will never face more then you are capable of handling. Once you take the time to know that you are worthy of joy, have an understanding of what you would like to occur in your life, and design a plan to manifest these items, you only have one thing left. Take the first step.


Spirituality: A welcomed companion

May 11, 2011
What is spirituality? How does spirituality impact recovery? Is a defined Higher Power necessary for a successful recovery? Are you frustrated with spirituality? Spirituality can be a delicate subject due to the close connection to emotions. A common phrase that one hears when they enter recovery is that addiction is a “spiritual” problem. Does this mean that a recovering individual needs to subscribe to a specific institution of faith to succeed? In my opinion, the answer to that question is no.
Spirituality and religion often go hand in hand, but this does not have to be the rule. If you have a structured religion that works for you, that is wonderful. You will find strength and answers for the many existential questions. If you find that organized religion doesn’t suit, this does not automatically mean that you cannot be spiritual. Spirituality comes in many forms. The key is that spirituality needs to be safe, comfortable and provide you with the support that you need. 
SpiritualitySpirituality Is Personal
Spirituality and feeling connected with something greater than you can occur virtually anywhere. Perhaps you feel connected to nature and enjoy hiking through the woods. You may find freedom in swimming in the ocean. Maybe you feel at peace when you are meditating in your sacred space. Regardless of where you find peace, comfort, hope and a connection with something greater than yourself, the important thing is that you are connecting with an element outside of you. By acknowledging that your form of spirituality offers you balance, wisdom and the answers to your questions you are creating a solid foundation that will serve you in a positive way.
Spirituality Answers The Tough Questions
As your journey through recovery progresses, you will experience emotions that you have kept hidden and questions will arise that you may not have pondered. These questions can include:
• Why am I here?
• What is my purpose?
• Why am I addicted?
• How do I make amends?
• How can I be loved?
• What is the meaning of life?
• Why is there pain and suffering in this world?
As these questions arise, your spirituality will offer you the answers that you seek. Spirituality offers perspective on the events that have occurred in your life. This mental clarity will allow you to work through your past, deal with your present and plan for the future. A great way to begin to build your spirituality is by creating your own spiritual advisory board. 
Spiritual Advisory Board
Take a few moments to think of philosophers, musicians, artists, actors, teachers and poets that have created works that influence you in a positive manner. If you can’t think of anyone off hand, do a Google search of motivational or inspirational quotes and images. Write down the words that resonate with you, keep track of the individuals that inspire you and place these names and images in a notebook.

When you find yourself asking tough questions, think of your spiritual advisory board. What words of wisdom would they share with you? In what direction would they encourage you to go? Your spiritual advisory board does not need to replace a Higher Power or become your Higher Power. Your spiritual advisory board simply acts as a structure of wisdom that will support you and offer truth. 
Spirituality is a wondrous experience. You will feel more connected to that which surrounds you and your purpose and intention will become clearer. You will begin to live a more authentic life. All of these elements will strengthen your recovery. Only you can define what is deemed spiritual in your life. As you become more comfortable with your spirituality, you will witness the amazing things that will manifest in your life. Remember, there is no rush, this is not a race, and it is a journey.

The power of purpose in recovery

May 04, 2011
Recovery with a purposeHow Powerful Is Purpose for an Individual in Recovery?
The power of individual purpose in recovery can make the difference between success and repeating old negative behaviors. For some addicts, abstaining from their drug of choice is enough; for many, this creates a sense of complacency, leading towards relapse. How can a recovering addict overcome being complacent? Why isn’t staying dry enough? How can having purpose impact the quality of recovery?

Being Dry Isn’t Enough
It is important to realize that being sober does not always equal being in recovery. One must also realize that being dry doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is sober. When these definitions become clear, you will understand how critical purpose is for a successful recovery. You will be familiar with the evolution of an addict from using, to dry, to sober to recovering.

Dry: abstaining from your drug of choice.
Sober: abstaining from your drug of choice and participating in a form of addiction treatment. This treatment can be a 12-step based program, a fellowship, a house of worship and/or working with a therapist or another addiction professional.
Recovery: Recovery is not just a state of not using, it is the combination of not using with a design for living. There is not just one way of achieving a fulfilling and successful recovery.

The key to any successful recovery is purpose. This element must be in place, regardless of the specific structure you implement to achieve sobriety.

Being Sober Isn’t Enough
Becoming sober is critical for a successful recovery, but it is not enough. It is the foundation that creates a firm and stable place for you to stand. When fellowships or programs reinforce your sobriety, you will begin to see life more clearly. You are learning to live. This design for living is what you will use day to day, in order to become a functioning human being who is able to participate with the world around you. This system and structure will give you the strength and support that you need so that you don’t pick up. Sobriety is your foundation; purpose becomes the wings that allow you to recover and soar.

Recovery Requires Purpose
Recovery requires being both mindful and vigilant. This is where purpose comes in to play. If you do not know what your purpose is, or have a goal that is purposeful, you are simply existing, not living. When your purpose becomes crystal clear, you will become aware of why you are working so hard at maintaining your sobriety. The struggle to maintain sobriety can, at times, seem fruitless. Purpose fuels your hard work, giving you reasons for all that you invest in staying sober.

Finding your purpose should be an eye-opening experience. You should feel an immense sense of joy, comfort and peace. The clarity that comes from discovering purpose is life changing. While this prospect may make you anxious or nervous, you must remember that your purpose is not permanent. It is important to note that you are not locked into one specific purpose. Just because you have a certain purpose at this exact moment does not mean you are locked into that goal. Life evolves and you will continue to evolve. Your wants, needs and desires will all change as you grow in your recovery.

While the exact nature of your purpose is not carved in stone, having a purpose is essential. You are working so hard to keep your side of the street clean, having a purpose will reinforce why you are doing so. Purpose gives you a SMART goal. The term SMART refers to Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. This tool enables you to keep track of your efforts and witness how much you have achieved.

Purpose reminds us all that we are all here for a reason. The reason you are here, however, is unique to you and you alone. Purpose doesn’t have to be intense, it doesn’t have to be materialistic in nature and it doesn’t have to be something that will occur overnight. Purpose simply needs to be of importance to you, understood by you and achieved by you. Purpose fuels the motivation to become more than dry.

Purpose is the energy that supports your recovery, which is the basis of your way of living. A fulfilling recovery doesn’t only contain purpose, it is the culmination of all of these elements we've discussed. Through mindfulness, hard work, vigilance and spirituality a successful and fulfilling recovery is always possible.


How to evolve from victim to survivor

Apr 27, 2011
The subject of being a victim or a survivor is not always a pleasant one. Most people don’t want to admit that their behavior is keeping them in the victim mindset. Individuals do not want to realize they are holding themselves back from being asurvivor. We can become complacent, finding it easier to do that which is comfortable, rather than taking action. Unfortunately, awful things happen to everyone. These traumatic events can be abuse in any of its horrific forms. Abuse can be physical, sexual, verbal, mental and emotional. When one decides to face his or her abuse head-on, the end result—remaining a victim or becoming a survivor—is a matter of personal choice. By using positive energy and releasing your pain into the universe, becoming a survivor is possible.


The Victim Illusion
Human beings will do anything in their power to not feel pain, even if the thing they use to cope is proven to be detrimental. For example, an individual may use drugs and alcohol to escape the lingering emotions of pain and anguish due to a horrific event. For a short while the person is given respite, a chance to become numb and happily forget. Unfortunately this haze does wear off and the drug of choice begins to stop working. You can no longer run away and attempt to become numb.

Finding escape through any variety of means (addiction, work, food, gambling, being online) will no longer be an option, but the illusion of escape still lingers. This results in heavier drug abuse. By continuing to remain in this cycle of numbing the pain and shutting out feelings, you will become stuck in the victim mindset. A healthier alternative is to deal with your issues head on, thus becoming a survivor. When you embrace the positive and engaging in healthy activities, you tell the universe that you are ready to take control of your life.

controlTake Control of Your Life
Releasing the pain, fear and other negative emotions surrounding your trauma creates room in your life for the positive. You are consciously creating space for healing, peace and freedom. By actively dealing with your issues and traumas, you will move out of being a victim and become a survivor. Being a survivor entails dealing with the awful things that have occurred in your life. Facing your individual issues is extremely empowering.

If you wish to deal with the trauma of your past, it is advised that you do not attempt to do so alone. Help can be in the form of a therapist, a life coach or, if you are an addict, within a program of recovery. A trained individual or a fellowship with individuals that may have experienced similar trauma will give you a safe environment to work on your issues. By surrounding yourself with positive and sympathetic energy, a safe environment where you can heal, is created. This is the first step towards becoming a survivor.

Embrace the Survivor Mindset
Survivors no longer feeding their trauma with negative energy. Instead of the trauma creating an environment where your behavior is detrimental, you have transformed into survivor. Survivors maintain their empowered and positive mindset through vigilance and self-reflection. They embrace the freedom from the bondage of past traumatic experiences. Taking time and working through your traumas is a very freeing experience. Your sense of self-worth will increase because of the conscious choices you are making. By investing energy towards creating the mindset of being a survivor, the word victim will no longer be in your vocabulary.



Learning to live in appreciation

Apr 20, 2011
Are you separating your list of desires into wants and needs?

GratitudeDo you fully appreciate the life that you are currently living? Are you struggling with impatience, waiting for the universe to bring to you all that you have released? Are you constantly sending positive energy into the universe but find that you are feeling drained, still wanting or still in need?

As human beings we all experience moments of desire. We covet objects that others own. We wonder why we don’t have a larger house, smaller bills, less debt or a job that we are passionate about and millions of dollars in the bank. All of these factors are present in the mindset of everyday people, doing the best they can with what they have.

Have you taken a step back and taken inventory of what you posses in your life? Have you considered your motivation behind your desires? Are you releasing the outcome of any given situation, knowing that your Higher Power will always provide?

The Nasty Enemy Lurking Within
These are not questions that you have to sit down and write concrete answers, they are questions to consider and ponder when you feel that you aren’t getting what you honestly feel you deserve or have earned. There is a nasty enemy that may be lurking in your mind, taking up prime real estate without paying rent. This enemy is the feeling of “entitlement”.

When we take time to reflect on each individual item that is in our lives, we may be pleasantly surprised with the abundance that the majority of us have. There are many things that we may take for granted, assuming that these objects are a “given,” that everyone has them and you have a right to have them. This is a line of thinking that could prove to be dangerous. This path will take you on a journey towards entitlement, where you will never feel fulfilled, nothing is ever enough and you are constantly clawing towards the future, never paying attention to the present. The present is what is going on in your life at this very second.

Are you in front of a computer, reading this on a smart phone or an iPad? Consider for one moment the vast number of people who do not have access to that level of technology. Millions of people that will live their entire lives without ever owning one piece of technology that can be used for entertainment. Have you taken inventory of the items that you own?

What Are You Taking for Granted?
When we consider the amount of “stuff” that we actually have, we can begin to appreciate the abundance that is in our lives. We all should value what we consider necessities: running water, indoor plumbing, food choices when we open the pantry or fridge, electricity and the clothes on our back. These items alone would be considered a luxury by several of the world’s populations. Are you taking for granted that these elements exist in your everyday life? Have you considered if the “things” you desire are wants or needs?

I would love to have a larger home, a newer car or the ability to go into a grocery store and buy anything I want without comparing prices. These are all wonderful desires, things to strive for and work for, but they are not needs. When we take the time to live in appreciation, we will see that many of our desires have already been fulfilled. You are already living a life of abundance, blessed with material items or wonderful relationships with those that you care about.

When we take time to reflect on what we do have and appreciate those elements of our life with earnest, we allow room for more gifts that the universe has to offer. To constantly live in a world of want, want, want is demanding, exhausting, self-serving and selfish. I like to call it the “Veruca Syndrome,” after the child in Willy Wonka who had to have everything and anything that she desired at the moment she wanted it. I am sure you do not wish to end up like she did, a “bad egg” in the first version and a “bad nut” in the latest version.

Simply put, when we take the time to be present in our lives, to examine what is going on at this very moment, you will be amazed at the list of blessings that have already manifested in your life. By living with appreciation for the abundance that is present in our lives, we tell the universe and our Higher Power that we are grateful. It is our sincere gratitude that will open the door for new possibility. What abundant blessing do you have in your life, at this very moment, which you are grateful for?



Advertise with Renew

Find Addiction Treatment Today
Renew Your life, Better