addiction is a family illness

Nowadays, the unfortunate reality is that many of us have been affected in some way by addiction. We personally may not be the person suffering from the addiction but odds are there is someone in your family or circle of friends who either is currently addicted or is working on a program of recovery. The latest opioid crisis has brought addiction to the spotlight, but addiction as a problem has been around for decades.

More and more families are affected by addiction and are seeking ways to cope with a situation that places any family in a crisis mode. Even the healthiest of families find their world turned upside down when needing to deal with a family member suffering from addiction. I have worked in the addiction field for a couple decades and have seen the positive outcomes of recovery and have witnessed how families have gone from their lowest points to becoming healthy and whole. I am not saying this is easy, but I am saying it is possible.

Before I get into discussing the impact that addiction has on a family and what the family can do to cope with the addiction, I would like to offer a…

Read more: How To Cope When Addiction Runs In The Family

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Mindfulness find your inner peace

As a counselor and a life coach, it is unfortunate that I wasn’t provided any formal education to prepare me to use mindfulness. But, after becoming personally aware of mindfulness and how it led me to find my inner peace, I made it my mission to teach people how to find your inner peace.

Historically, the arrival of mindfulness to the US is attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn. Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn was first introduced to the philosophy of Buddhism while he was a student at MIT. Later, in 1979, he founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he adapted Buddhist teachings on mindfulness and developed the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program. He later renamed the program “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR), removing the Buddhist framework and eventually downplayed any connection between mindfulness and Buddhism, instead putting MBSR in a scientific context. To this day Kabat-Zinn downplays the connection of mindfulness to Buddhism, yet I feel his downplaying of Buddhism is a means of bringing mindfulness into the…

Read more: How To Find Your Inner Peace

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mindfulness in adversity

In an instant life can become hectic and chaotic. Just when we think we have life all figured out, and our path forward appears to be straight; adversity happens! All the talk of mindfulness, living in the moment, and meditation seem to fall short in light of the adversity and chaotic realities of life.

Platitudes are not my message. My life has had its share of ups and downs so I will not trivialize the impact adversity plays on a person's thoughts and feelings. My message relies on my own experience of mindfulness and it's ability to lead us to finding and living with inner peace, regardless of what life may throw at us.

Mindfulness is a word I often use in my writings and in my life coaching sessions with my clients. One of the pioneers in the mindfulness movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines mindfulness as: “a means of paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

The two phrases in this definition which I focus on are “on purpose” and “nonjudgmentally”. To find and maintain inner peace we need to consciously make the choice to spend time every day focusing our attention…

Read more: 6 Tips For Practicing Mindfulness When Upset

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personal power

Who doesn’t want to be in control? We spend a tremendous amount of effort and energy in controlling our lives and our environment, only to be “surprised” when our efforts fail. Even though we convince ourselves that we are in control of our life and environment, the reality is that we aren't in control of either.

Much of our stress and anxiety is caused by our failure at controlling life. So, finding where we do have control in life reduces our stress and anxiety. We do have control over our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. How I think and feel about myself influences my view, or perception, of the world.

Learning to gain personal power starts with an understanding of power. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, power is defined as “the ability to act or produce an effect”. In other words, our power is in our action. Power is not an outside force acting upon us, power comes from within. If we want to have personal power, we need to believe in our ability to control our thoughts and feelings, then to take action.

Many of the clients who come to me for life…

Read more: Steps On How To Gain Personal Power

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we are not helpless in adversity

In today's day and age, who hasn't been affected by adversity of some sort? It is the rare yet fortunate person who lives life unaffected by any pain or suffering. Living life means we take chances and place our trust and faith in other people and society. This trust in others can be betrayed while some of the chances we take don't work out the way we hoped or wanted. This is why we suffer from adversity.

I reviewed various dictionaries for the definition of adversity and found "misfortune" and "a difficult or unpleasant situation". I feel that it's important for us to keep in mind that some adversity happens to us, while some adversity may be caused by us. Nonetheless, I firmly believe that it is not the adversity which defines us, rather, it's our way of dealing with the adversity which is most important. The question is not "how do I avoid adversity?" The question is "How best can I cope with my adversity?" We can't escape adversity, but how we respond to the adversity will determine whether or not we are happy and at peace, or miserable and in turmoil.

The first step in learning…

Read more: Successfully Coping With Adversity

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