Alcohol, drugs, sugar, and nicotine are the little helpers that we use to make us believe life is OK. They give the illusion that they are relaxing you, helping you sleep, cheering you up, making life better, smoothing out the edges, but at the end of the day, they are doing none of those things. In the beginning it might start out that way, but that reason is now lost in the midst of time and then one day you wake up and realise that all you are doing is feeding your addiction. The little monster inside your mind screaming for more alcohol, more chocolate, more, more, more in ever-increasing amounts.
After you have consumed or used your comforter of choice you get the illusion of being satisfied, but it is not satisfying you it is only your best attempt at filling the emptiness in your soul, and it works even if only for a short space of time. Until the craving begins again, feed me, more, more and more.
Using something that damages your health to make you feel better is a road to misery and unhappiness. Instead of using quick fixes to put a sticking plaster on what is wrong with your life, you need to take the longer journey and stop looking for instant gratification.
What is missing from your life that you feel the need to keep looking for short-term fixes to make you feel better? Here is the test, ask yourself if what you are doing causing you more harm than good and do you need to do it day after day? If the answer if yes then it is not the solution you are looking for.
It’s all just smoke and mirrors, as you search desperately for positive reasons to support the bad habit that will allow you to continue: Red wine is good for the heart; I need to smoke to get a break from work and ease the stress; cocaine keeps me awake and lets me do more. Really? Are you listening to yourself? At the same time as grabbing hold of any positive messages, you reject anything that may suggest that what you are doing is making you ill, draining your energy, and stopping you from achieving your true pathway in this life. If you are ready to try a new pathway in life, then why not start living with a Beginner’s Mind.
Going back to the Beginners Mind
- Are you ready to begin again? Who were you before the addiction took hold?
- Are you ready to let go of the things that are hurting you and poisoning your mind, body, and spirit?
- Are you ready to build new self-belief and self-confidence?
- Are ready to put your crutch in the past and live your life to the full?
How do you go back to a beginner’s mind?
Firstly, remember that a beginner’s mind is your natural state. You are not trying to change who you are; you are just going back to who you were. To get back to our curious selves we need to get rid of the constant noise from our Ego mind, this allows our natural curiosity to shine through. Can you remember a time when you were a child, and you could not stop asking questions? Can you remember when you played imaginary games like cowboys and Indians or shops? It is time to allow your imagination to run free and ask why? Don’t accept that things have to be the way they are, just because they have always been this way.
- Find your childhood passion
Ask yourself what did I enjoy doing as a child? What things could occupy my mind for hours and hours without feeling I need to go and use something to relieve my boredom? Did you enjoy being outside in nature? Did you lose yourself in good books? Did you enjoy writing stories or drawing? Think back to a time when you had a full day as a child, what were you doing that you no longer do because life got in the way. If you want to find your life’s mission then a good place to start is to go back to the time before your addiction took hold.
- Find a Breathing Exercise that works for you
There are many breathing exercises to choose from, they all have the same effect of calming your busy mind and allowing you to reconnect to your inner wisdom. You can try focusing on your breath as you breathe in and imagine the colour of your breath as pure white light. Just allow the breath you breathe in to flow through your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and all points in between. Sit calmly for as long as you need to bring yourself into the present and drop all those thoughts of the past or worries of the future that have drifted away and you feel present in the moment. There should be a lovely feeling of calmness surrounding your body.
- Go for a walk
When you go for a walk, which you should try to do every day. Don’t put on music or a podcast just allow your gaze to travel around the outside world and become curious about everything you see. Imagine you are a child, and you see the street or the walkway for the first time. Slow down and take time to admire the colour of the leaves of the trees, the weeds that grow between cracks in the pavement, the depth of the puddles, the way the water flows down the street, if you are lucky to have sun, the way the sun sparkles and glints off the trees and leaves. Look up at the sky and the way the clouds form, look around at the trees, what season are you in, are the leaves starting to grow to beckon spring or are they starting to turn brown and float to the ground as autumn approaches.
- Drop “I am” or “I have” labels
Go back to when you were born, you did not support a political party, you did not support a sports team, and you did not have rules and regulations. When you hear yourself say I am … or I have …. Start to drop this and realise that anything you are or have only got added to your life over the years. They are not who you were when you began this journey in the world. Free yourself from the labels we give ourselves. Like an artist armed with an easel and paints ready to paint a new picture. What picture of your life will you paint, now the addiction has gone.
Close your eyes, focus on your breathing and relax. Once you have relaxed use that wonderful imagination that you have to draw an imaginary picture of the life you want to live.
When we go back to who we were before our addictive habit we can see the life that made us happy. Some people find it easier to move on to a new life after addiction and to recreate themselves but for others, it is easier just to come home to who they were before, and who they can now be again. At peace with themselve and who they are now the poison has gone.