Tag Archives: humour

K is for ‘Kicking a habit’: A Spiritual Vista From the Precipice of Addiction.

wine glass merlot splash

I didn’t think that I had an abnormal relationship with alcohol until I realized that I’ve been trying to stop drinking since January. Six months of broken promises to myself have not been good for my self esteem, nor has it been good for my waistline which will be gracing the beaches of San Diego in 3 weeks time. I swore to myself that if I touched another drop before my trip, that I would write this post and out myself. So here I am; I need your advice.

I’m not an alcoholic…at least, I don’t think I am (way to be in denial!) but I am definitely teetering on the precipice of some sheer rock face of addiction that I want to take a step back from…so what’s stopping me?

I don’t know exactly what is stopping me, but I have found it very difficult to stop drinking alcohol. I don’t drink every day, I don’t think about alcohol when I’m at work or studying. I don’t drink every weekend, I don’t drink to get wasted, nor do I drink because I feel depressed. I do, however, drink a bottle of wine per week…sometimes a bit more, which I know is too much. I drink alone at home because my boyfriend doesn’t drink (why do I need to do this?), and the thing that concerns me most of all is that I’m having difficulty stopping drinking even though I want to. I don’t feel in control of my compulsion to drink and I find it irresistible on some occassions. I’m at a very weird place right now because I genuinely don’t know if I need help to stop drinking, or if I need help to stop being so hard on myself and just let myself enjoy wine! This is why I need your help. Have you ever experienced the feeling that you are on the edge of an addiction? Have you had the voice at the back of your mind say ‘this is getting out of control?’ Have you ever felt trapped into a cycle of wanting to stop something but struggling and feeling guilty? If so, what did you do about it?

I think I may be addicted to addiction. In my young adult life, I hopped from addiction to addiction, managing to defeat each one as I went. Yet shortly after said defeat, I would unconsciously find something else to bestow my compulsive, cyclical and patterned behaviour upon (why is it never the gym or knitting?!). I am now pretty tired of beating bad habits and I want the pattern beneath them to stop. I stopped my compulsive behaviour with men (we won’t go into that…my mum might be reading this!), I stopped smoking two years ago and haven’t touched cigarettes or thought about them ever again, and I stopped partying with no cravings whatsoever to take it up again, but I know that the underlying pattern of behaviour that caused me to choose these things for myself in the first place is still there. And at the moment, it hides in bottles of merlot and beckons me over as I walk past. Can anyone else relate to this addiction-hopping behaviour?

I also think that I’ve had difficulty stopping drinking because my good old pal alcohol and I have had some really great times together. I definitely associate drinking with happiness. I drink when I see my family, I drink when I see my friends, I drink to be relaxed after a challenging day, and I drink to reward myself. I can see that I associate drinking with feeling good, and by the magic of neural-plasticity, my mind now instructs me to drink as a fast way to bring about good feelings. But having knowledge of this devious mental trickery doesn’t seem to be helping: why can’t I stop? I know that the ‘good connections’ between drink and happiness are illusions for two reasons: First, because I also feel great when I’m not drinking so drink is not the only cause of my good feelings. And second, because on more than one occassion, drink has definitely NOT made me feel good. (Admittedly, I am still in the process of forgiving some of my alcohol-related shame.) Intuitively, I know that I need to replace alcohol with something else that’s going to have positive associations, and I feel silly writing this, but I don’t yet know what that thing might be.

wine spill side glass

Get away you fiendish temptress!

This might sound weird, but I feel that my experiences with Spirit have allowed me to feel such heights of love, peace, forgiveness and security- such an intense and natural ‘high’- that when I don’t have those feelings (like when I’m a bit stressed about University or dealing with other earthly issues) I compulsively try to replicate the spiritually authentic ‘high’ feelings of peace, comfort and connectedness with whatever mind-altering substance or behaviour I am focused on at that time. It is as if I seek a fast-track back to secure spiritual feelings when I feel at my most insecure. I wonder if I am alone in this, or if any of you spiritual people out there have also found yourselves trying to replicate the high that you feel when you remember your divinity?

I must carry a subconscious thought that I am receiving some great benefit from drinking alcohol. Why would I continue to do it otherwise? My mind is still convinced that whatever good feelings/benefits I’m receiving from alcohol are more valuable than the benefits of stopping- even though I know in my heart-of-hearts that it’s not true.

Maybe I need therapy.

Maybe I need therapy to figure out why I am so independent in some ways, and yet I seem to fall into such deep patterns of dependency. Perhaps I need some help to understand why, when I go to buy a bottle of wine, my mind is thinking ‘woohoo!’ and choosing to focus on the good times, and not the the feelings of remorse and guilt, or the times I’ve been horrid to one of my loved ones, or said something embarrassing under the influence. I just want to understand why the big part of me that wants to stop is completely drowned out when I have the choice to drink wine…

I appreciate that this post has deviated from the blog’s usual content. I hope you don’t mind. A lot of personal stuff has been coming to the surface from within me lately, because I have been writing about my past for a book that I have coming out in January. I think it’s ‘meant to be’ that I’m digging and crying and re-visiting and writing at the moment. I think that Spirit is helping me to work through some stuff that needs worked through, and that I’m going to come out the other end somewhat unburdened and relieved. I really hope so- the habitual behaviour stuff is definitely a heavy issue that I’d like to let go of. So thank you for reading and in doing so, helping me to work through my issues. (We all have ’em, right?)

So what do you think about my drinking dilemma? Your thoughts are most gratefully received.

Next Week: L is for Love. (One of my favourite things to write about!)

Come and gimme some love over at:

www.angellauren.com

www.facebook.com/laurenmedium

…and get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie.

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J is for ‘Jobs’. (How to be happy at work and love your job.)

happy work job funny

Having a job that makes you happy is one of the most important aspects of leading a balanced life. I often say to my clients, ‘Do what you love or at least, love what you do,’ and that is going to be the topic of this post.

Every day of my life, I give thanks that I am able to work for myself in a career that supports my soul’s development, and that also allows me to assist other people with theirs. My journey towards self-employment as a spiritual advisor was a long but joyous one, and along the way, I worked at a variety of day-jobs to keep the bills paid and to fund my dream of working for myself. During that time, I worked as a financial advisor, customer service consultant, make-up artist and waitress, and each of these jobs taught me that my happiness at work was completely within my control, and wasn’t dependent on the job I was doing, as such. I also came to realize that, of course, it is important that there are ‘normal’ people out there who are doing spiritual work. But it may be more important that there are spiritual, positive and happy people out there doing ‘normal’ work; bringing their love, light and integrity to a variety of different jobs. It is those people, I believe, who incite positive social change and who are the spiritual foundations of our societies.

So to all of you who are teachers, carers, nurses, social workers, waiters, bar staff, customer service advisors, civil servants, chefs, cleaners, lorry drivers, politicians, soldiers, emergency service officers, security workers, taxi drivers and in any other profession that keeps our world ticking over, please know that your happiness at work is important – that you take your spirituality with you into work every day makes a significant difference to all of us. Thank you for doing what you do, and doing it with a smile on your face!

Do you have a top tip for being happy and fulfilled at work? Did you ever start a job and were pleasantly surprised by how happy it made you? Comment below and tell us how you stay happy in the workplace. Here are my top 5 tips on how to be happy at work, that I hope all of you will benefit from, whether you serve our food, patrol our streets, or operate on our brains!

Tip No. 1: If you can’t do what you love, at least love what you do.

Ok, so you didn’t manage to achieve your childhood dream of being the first astronaut to visit the Andromeda galaxy, but does that mean that you will never be happy in another career? What if I told you that your happiness at work is not to do with what job you do, but is determined by your decision, every day, to be positive and to give each task your best shot. If you make the decision to think of your job in a loving and appreciative way, your good feelings will rub off on your colleagues, making your place of work a happier place to be for everyone. You will enjoy your job more, simply when you choose to enjoy your job. Try this experiment:

Tomorrow, choose to go into work and do your absolute best, with the greatest care and effort that you can. Let me know in a comment how your day went, when you made the deliberate decision that your workplace is a happy place.

Did you notice a difference? So until NASA call to invite you to begin training for Andromeda, choose to make the best of what you have! And if something at work is really so bad that you really, really can’t be positive about it…then you need to give yourself permission to leave. Seriously, why would you choose that level of unhappiness for yourself?

Tip No. 2: Practice clear and open communication.

If you have something to say to your boss or a colleague, take the time to think it through and then just say it! Swallowing down your worries, concerns and criticisms is not healthy for you, nor is a lack of communication healthy for your workplace. Being unable or unwilling to express yourself can lead to feelings of resentment and isolation at work and that is definitely not conducive to your happiness! The fear of speaking up is often worse than the experience itself, and if you can be tactful about your communications then you will find that most bosses and colleagues are just people too and not the judgmental, angry monsters that our non-confrontational minds make them out to be. When you are afraid to communicate at work, it is really your thought about the outcome that you are afraid of. To work through this, deliberately visualize your boss or colleague responding in a loving and receptive way before you begin a communication with them- this positive expectation will open up the channels of communication between you both.

Tip No. 3: Do one thing every day that is beyond the call of duty.

It feels good to be deliberately helpful at work. If you show up to work willing to do a little extra, whether it’s helping a new-start, being flexible with shifts or meeting a tough deadline, you will give off a vibration that you are approachable, helpful and kind…those are good qualities to have. And when pay-rise or promotion time comes around, your record of work will be glowing. When you are helpful, you inspire your colleagues to follow suit. Kindness and generosity are contagious – try it and see!

Tip No. 4: Set realistic boundaries.

You may think that in order to be respected by your boss and others, you need to take on every bit of extra work that’s going. But this is not so. It is better to do 2 tasks excellently well than 5 tasks poorly. Be honest about what you can manage well and don’t be afraid to say no to extra work if it is too much: your boss and colleagues will respect your honesty and you won’t feeling like crying because of stress and pressure. This is very important in sustaining a healthy work/life balance.

Tip No. 5: Work with integrity.

Always work with integrity. If your workplace doesn’t treat you right, despite attempts to resolve issues, you should think about whether that really is the right place for you to work. Your health and happiness are more important than your job and you shouldn’t have to work someplace that doesn’t support your wellbeing. Try to avoid gossip, negativity, bullying and bitching – these also do not support your wellness at work. If your colleagues really don’t respect the workplace or each other and it’s really bringing you down, you may want to consider if that place of work is really what’s best for you. No job is worth the integrity of your soul. You may think, ‘I’d love to leave but there are no other jobs.’ And my only reply to that is ‘what you believe is what you receive’. If you affirm that there are no jobs then you make it much for difficult for the Universe to bring you meaningful work. Try, instead, to affirm what you do want:

I have a wonderful job that I am happy to get up for every day. My work pays well and supports my wellbeing.

Why shouldn’t you have this? A happy and healthy workplace is totally achievable for you, if you believe it is.

What do you do for a living? Do you think that it’s important to practice positivity and spirituality at work? Please leave me a comment- I’d love to hear all about how you make the most of your working day.

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Thank you to all of you who shared your joy with me in last week’s post – J is for ‘Joy’. I really enjoyed reading about the things that make you joyful. I am delighted to announce that the winner of a free reading with me is: Mia (Lights of Clarity)

I look forward to connecting with you Mia, and sharing the guidance of Spirit with you.

Until Next Time: Practice deliberate happiness at work and record any changes in how you feel about your job, and how your workmates treat you.

Next Time: K is for ‘Kindness’: (The power of deliberate acts of kindness.)

Come and gimme some love over at:

www.angellauren.com

www.facebook.com/laurenmedium

…and get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie.