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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:17 pm 
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Lesson 01 Exercises:
A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are:
1) actively committing yourself to change
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
3) allowing yourself time to change.
Consider where you feel you are in relation to each of these recovery keys? Briefly share your thoughts in your Recovery Thread.

First Key: I feel as though, for the first time since I became an agnostic, and perhaps even for the first time in my life, I am actively committing myself to changing. For one, until encountering Recovery Nation, I didn’t believe true change was even possible; I cynically thought people don’t really change their cores. Or perhaps, I vacillated between believing change was possible for others and not for me, and that change was truly impossible for all. With the prospect of living beyond a recovery change, to recreating Denis himself and deconstruct all the old architecture and patterns and processes that I’ve enslaved myself to, I have hope and this hope gives me purpose and this purpose gives me the ability to actively commit to change.

Second Key: I’ve been told that I have a good heart and noble intentions but that it will hurt me in the end. Beginning this recovery, I told myself that being honest and transparent always gets me into trouble: first of all, it’s not honesty that gets me into trouble, it’s the behavior that I’m confessing; secondly—sure, at first, being honest brings on a world of pain and consequences and change, but almost always, the end result is freedom and a better life for all involved. That said, some of my “noble” motives are really just self-defeating behavior. Poorly timed honesty can just as easily be detrimental to my recovery. I need to protect and prioritize my recovery above all else, no matter how noble my intentions might seem. I’m not sure I can even identify which of my thoughts and intentions and behaviors are the sabotaging kind. I can easily feel the guilt and shame (that’s easy because it’s always there). In fact, I can feel myself absorbing the judgements and opinions from generalizations I've read online regarding some of my behavior. If I had an affair: I'm a villain. If I looked at porn: I'm a pervert. And all these opinions are layering themselves on me, adding to the guilt and shame I already have. Now I can't even tell which feelings of shame are truly mine and which one's I didn't need to apply to me in the first place. And should I ever dispute having any portion of volume of guilt and shame--if I don't accept all of it as the public sees I should--then I'm not redeemable, I'm not recognizing my sin. This guilt and shame thing is truly crippling my progress.

Third Key: Everything takes me forever to do. This first week’s lessons may well take me seven weeks to complete. I think it will be difficult, though not impossible, for me to arrive at a balance whereby I can give myself time to process each lesson and live them while not allowing a lack of structure or commitment to decelerate the speed at which I'm learning.

B. Beyond an active commitment to change, another important factor in determining your ultimate success is your motivation. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life. Don't stop at three or four obvious ones, really examine your life and what is important to you. Phrase these in the positive. For example: " I don't want to keep deceiving my wife" would serve you better if written like "I want to be honest and transparent with my wife". Positive statements have much more power in our mindset than negative ones. List these in your recovery thread.

1. I want Jessica to be able to trust in me unequivocally, and to take pride in me, and always feel loved by me.
2. I want to be able to guide Jayden through her own insecurities because I’ve resolved my own.
3. I want to reconcile with Yasmeen and prove to her that I’ll never leave her; that she always feel pure, fatherly love from me.
4. I want to be present and active in Liam’s life and development; to not be a passive caretaker.
5. I want to get more time back each day to be productive, engaged, aware, and happy.
6. I want to concentrate on fiction, on my novel; to finally finish it and have it published and have it become a canonical piece of literature within culture
7. I want to recreate my identity based on recovery, health, integrity, love, selflessness and empathy; that my identity be strong and courageous and assertive and confident because my guilt and shame have been destroyed in the crucible of recovery.
8. I want make my friends feel valued and needed by me and not forgotten because I’m absorbed in my own addiction.
9. I want people—especially my wife and children—to absolutely trust what I do and say because I no longer behave in an untrustworthy manner.
10. I want to be happy because I’m happy with who I am and not because of my circumstances; I want to be positive and bring happiness to others around me as well.
11. I want to be more disciplined so I can get more out of life and be reliable to those around me.
12. I want to be able to advance in my career because my addiction will no longer capitalize on all my time.
13. I want adventure in my life; to have fun and enjoy the unexpected twists and turns.
14. I want to constructively work through and learn from life’s tragedies.
15. I want to contribute to society by turning negative experiences into positive testimonies (non-religious), values, knowledge and/or efforts.
16. I want to have foresight in order to plan ahead and wisely make calculated and thoughtful decisions rather than relying on impulse.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Hello Elife
Quote:
Everything takes me forever to do. This first week’s lessons may well take me seven weeks to complete. I think it will be difficult, though not impossible


time is only a measure
getting there is what is important so do it your way and at your pace
so welcome to RN

if you really do want to improve your life and to recover from your addiction then you are at a good place to make that wish reality
Commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting and reading however progress , continual progress is the main factor, so long as
Quote:
"taking my time"
is never used as an excuse
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness


looking forwards to reading your posts and wishing you all the best

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Note: I have to amend my last post: Jessica and her daughter will no longer be part of my life. Over the next few months we will be going through a painful divorce. Even still, I know I need to build a strong vision and commit to this recovery no matter the challenges that lie ahead.

Lesson 02:
C. Write out your vision. Use any format you would like. As a general rule, the more personal, the better. Post this vision in your Recovery Thread. There is no right or wrong to this vision...though it should be comprehensive enough for a stranger (such as a coach or mentor) to read it and have a pretty good idea as to what you value and the life that you want to live.
As we review these visions, what we will be looking for is the following:
1) Is it practical or is it idealistic? Practical is what we are shooting for. Idealistic visions feel good, sound good...but they serve very little purpose, other than to create unrealistic goals for which failure is already guaranteed.
2) Is this vision capable of sustaining a healthy life? Are there enough values identified that have the potential to generate fulfillment. To counter instability. To drive decision-making.

I've thought a great deal about my vision over the past week. Part of the time I was dwelling on the vision I was in a jail cell having been arrested for the first time in my life. The solitude and isolation and shame was crippling. Further damage was done to find out that my wife is leaving me and my job is in jeopardy. The world I've lived in, been used to, has quite figuratively fallen apart. Even if I wanted to go back to being the man I was, there is no life, nobody there to live it with. So, I have no choice but create something new; to build a new version of me. I don't fully understand what it looks like but I'll try to paint a picture.

1. The first idea is that I've never been whole--I've never been a whole man. What I mean by this is that I've always relied on the romantic attention provided by a woman to make me feel valued and happy and whole. I used pornography and masturbation to alleviate the pain I felt from not being whole. Being a complete man means knowing who I am, what I stand for, and not needing any other person to fill a void because I'm able to fill it myself. Right now, I feel more emotional pain than I've ever felt in my life. My sex addiction has brought me to the brink of suicide. And I don't know how make myself whole. But I've done the following to address the void I have: a) what happened to me as a child was not my fault; b) I've had to forgive myself for all the bad choices I've made, for the series of decisions that created the reality I have today; c) and I've had to admit to myself that I have a void in my emotional construct that needs to be filled with peace and the certainty that I exist, am worthy of love, and that my life doesn't have to end as a disaster. I can't continue to imagine myself happy only if I have a beautiful woman on my arm. To imagine happiness, I must learn to be alone and be okay with solitude because I am whole. I have to dispose with self-pity and self-loathing and be happy because I'm alive and because I'm free and the world is beautiful. So the first part of my vision Fill the void by knowing you are a good man already, that you don't have to carry shame, that you can make yourself whole by caring for yourself and believing in yourself.

2. There are other characteristics to my vision that I am trying to cobble together into a sustainable, practical, detailed vision.
i. I want to actively engage with my friends and family and others around me instead of passively accepting what others do to me.
ii. Recognize that time is a finite resource and I should be cognizant of what I'm involved in so I don't waste time. When I waste time, I look back on it and realize all the things I could've accomplished. I'm in a constant state of remorse/regret for not having finished things or spending too much time on other things.
iii. I should practice positive thinking. Too often, I entertain only the worst case scenarios. Without being unrealistic, it behooves me to start thinking more positively--more hopeful, more goodness.
iv. Relax! I'm a bit of a perfectionist in that I only want to try things when I have fully thought them through or worked out all the details of what something means. This perfectionism isn't extended to much else in my life. I can't wait to know everything before I accept things. I need to relax and adapt as life moves.
v. I need to focus and have depth into a handful of passions and people. I've always spread myself too thin which stresses me out which in turn causes me to act out and have poor judgement.
vi. Cultivate friendships with other good men. Having a kind of brotherhood on which to rely would prevent me from spending so much time looking for attention from women. My attention seeking behavior is simply for validation when the validation should really come from male peers with whom I share strong, productive, positive bonds.
vii. Humility, selflessness, and empathy will breed confidence. I judge others. I'm constantly finding reasons for why I am better than them. Internally, I grind them down in order to boost my own ego. As a result, I can't see beyond my own negative mental image of that person; I can't be selfless and I can't be empathetic to their needs. Perhaps engaging in acts of service and selflessness will give me confidence by providing evidence of my innate goodness.
viii. Plan, be logistical, be responsible, have foresight, be shrewd, be disciplined. I'm impulse driven. I procrastinate. I never complete what I begin because I get bored with it. The consequences: work piled so high that it robs me of time to do anything else just to finish it. My adult life is plagued by collections agency calls, unfinished paperwork, missed deadlines, late arrivals and a drained bank account. I'm constantly needing people to make allowances for my irresponsibility. This adds to my feelings of shame, remorse, worthlessness, and stress. Which, you guessed it, makes me act out to cope emotionally. That said, my vision must incorporate ways in which I will simplify my life in order to be able to manage it. Not allow my laziness or emotions to prevent me from finishing easy and necessary tasks. By being more responsible, I will have more time, more confidence and a generally better future.

3. Also, money: I've always thought money was inherently evil. So I've never had any in this lazy attempt at having some vague morals surrounding wealth. I now understand that all I have to show for it is an empty bank account, no savings and bad credit. The most difficult and disconcerting step in implementing my vision is the long struggle that I will endure to fund it. Having a good job isn't enough. Not spending the money like water is better. But having a long term strategy along with discipline will enable to me have a fuller life later.

4. I am first a writer. It's been my dream. It's what I've worked harder than anything on. While women come and go, and jobs are had and left, my writing endures. And whether it's a memoir or a work of fiction, I need to produce work to justify my existence (in a sense). My inherent value comes, in part, from the creative process. Creating work that will be accepted and read and loved. Work that changes people. But I have to finish and publish. My entire life has to reconfigure itself to make that possible.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:13 pm 
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So now that I've written all the characteristics and ideas behind my vision, I feel like I can create a narrative of what my future looks like...or at least a simpler version of my vision for my life. Let's try this version. I'm going to commit to the following vision for my life and adapt if need be:

"I have inherent value. I am worthy of love and affection. I do not need to carry shame or guilt from my past anymore. I leave that freight here. From now until I pass on, I must be honest with myself and never force myself to believe in what is unrealistic and imprudent. I will allow myself to fall in love only after I have learned to love myself. I can love my children and focus on their childhoods by getting to know their wants and needs. By having conversations with Jayden and being genuinely interested in her life. By being there for her and Liam now more than ever before. But in order to have a truly fulfilling life beyond parenthood, I must recognize three things: 1) that I have a talent for writing and I must commit my life to having my work published and living off its success; 2) that I am an adult and therefore I must be responsible with my time and money for they are limited and I would like to be wealthy in both, so don't spread either around too thinly; 3) that the world doesn't revolve around me, that others are in need and their lives are just as important as mine. Life is beautiful. The sky is blue and I have friends and family who love me. There are places in this world still left for me to see and explore. For now, I am free and alive, and I should never take that for granted again. I should leave a mark on this world, one that shows love for others and positively affects lives through my fiction. The days I have left on this earth will be more beautiful than anything that came before it. Everything will be truer, more honest, more pure, and more authentic because I will be living free of addiction. No shame of the past will influence my future. And the consequences from past behaviors will be conquered through healthy, positive and responsible actions."

To the above vision, I commit myself.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Lesson 03 Excercises:

B. On your computer, extract the values from the vision you have created and list them. Your goal for this lesson is to create a single, comprehensive list that involves all of the primary ways that you derive stimulation from your life. Or, those areas that you want to derive stimulation from. Most lists will contain between 50-100 items. When you are done, post this list in your recovery thread.

From my vision I was able to extract the following overarching, universal values:
I. Self-Worth
II. Transparency
III. Honesty
IV. Authenticity
V. Creativity
VI. Responsibility
VII. Empathy
VIII. Selflessness
IX. Beauty

Those are major categories. What follows are all the values, practical and universal, I believe I have or should have--those things I will or already derive stimulation from:
1. Not carrying guilt or shame
2. Knowing I am already worthy of affection and love
3. Actively forgiving myself for past behavior
4. I am a child of the universe and have inherent value as such
5. Being transparent with others, especially those closest to me
6. Being honest with myself about my motives and intentions
7. Being honest with others about my intentions
8. Not harboring secret behaviors
9. Not lying to protect my own bad behavior
10. Being authentic--no fake smiles or agreements just for cordiality
11. Genuine interest in people's lives
12. Integrity of thought and action
13. Empathy for other's feelings and circumstances
14. Caring involvement in people's lives
15. Thoughtful and careful when speaking
16. Always be an encouraging force
17. Love myself
18. Love my children
19. Love my wife
20. Love my parents
21. Love my siblings
22. Love my friends
23. Love others
24. Accepting beauty in all its sizes and shapes
25. Withholding judgement
26. Holding on to idealist perspectives
27. Employing realistic and objective analysis
28. Using the scientific method when possible for decision making
29. Seeing all perspectives possible before deciding or judging
30. Being a forgiving person
31. Being a good, intentional listener
32. Being loving and patient parent
33. Having a good work ethic
34. Self-limiting work hours
35. Recognize there is more to the world than you can see
36. Be mindful of when you are forcing emotions
37. Be aware of manipulation--yours and others
38. Meditate to be aware of your own emotions
39. Meditate to be more sensitive to the world around you
40. Meditate to experience the spiritual
41. Be ever hopeful and optimistic
42. Be romantic with your partner by anticipating their needs
43. Anticipate your own needs and challenges
44. Be disciplined in writing by faithfully adhering to routines and structure
45. Listen to your own creative voice no matter how out of the mainstream it sounds
46. Don't be careless or flippant with your words
47. Place realistic deadlines on yourself and keep them
48. Don't edit when you freewrite
49. Work focused and quickly for short periods
50. Be aware of distractions and eliminate them
51. Identify obstructions to creative life and eliminate or mitigate them
52. Work hard to get published
53. Allow true intimacy by being present while making love
54. Embrace sexual intimacy with your partner
55. Be honest with your partner regarding sexual fears and desires
56. Be an advocate for the relationship's sexual health
57. Be giving and selfless during sex
58. Always be courting your partner; never take her for granted
59. No masturbation of self-pleasure of any kind unless permitted by your partner
60. Fantasize only about your partner
61. No pornography of any kind, ever
62. Be aware of time constraints
63. Manage expectations by being realistic regarding tasks to complete
64. Be stable via scheduling and routines that are within reach
65. Keep clear work boundaries by arriving and leaving on time as much as possible
66. While at work, focus on each task intently and do not allow too many ideas to distract
67. Make space and time for relaxation with partner and family a priority
68. Make a budget
69. Track and forecast expenses
70. Target and pay off debts
71. Financial discipline will bring freedom over time
72. Invest when possible to grow wealth
73. Make realistic financial goals
74. Graciously accept help when it is offered
75. Give generously to well researched and worthy causes when possible
76. Select one or two causes and devote time and money to them
77. Keep your daily task lists short and simple and possible to complete
78. Enjoy time and relax
79. Take time out every morning for yourself
80. Wake up early to meditate and write
81. Go to bed at a reasonable hour to rest
82. Be selfless but protect yourself
83. Protect your family from negative influences
84. Be adventurous, not impulsive
85. Be strong willed
86. Be assertive
87. Be fearless
88. Appreciate nature by experiencing it more directly
89. Garden
90. Live in harmony with the environment
91. Become part of the community by engaging with others
92. Make sure your children have good friends
93. Travel locally, regionally, internationally
94. Plan ahead
95. Run every day
96. Learn to cook and use natural ingredients
97. Be confident
98. Keep constant contact with your close friends and family
99. Be humble
100. Think positively
101. Adapt to changing circumstances but never lose your values


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:16 am 
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C. When you have extracted every possible value that you can think of from your vision, do the following:
1) Review this example values list for any additional values that you may want to add to your own list. List them.
2) Consider the 'dark side' of your decision-making. The compulsive behavior. The sexual behavior. Take some time to extract the values that went into those behaviors, and list them as well.

Values from example list that I am adding to my own:
102. Being an inspiration to others
103. Showing appreciation towards other
104. Being tenacious in my pursuit of having a successful novel
105. Enhancing my spiritual awareness
106. Being playful
107. Being dependable
108. Being reliable
109. Living an exciting life
110. Developing emotional maturity
111. Overcoming/surviving personal struggles
112. Being a teacher/mentor
113. Feeling sexually desired
114. Feeling appreciated
115. Feeling masculine
116. Developing sustained friendships
117. Encouraging my wife's independence
118. Feeling unconditional love
119. Resourcefulness
120. Financial independence
121. Instilling healthy values in my kids
122. Personal independence
123. Avoiding conflict
124. Improving my social interactions
125. Being a leader
126. Vulnerability
127. Sacrificing for others
128. Fidelity
129. Taking care of others in need
130. Feeling happy and content
131. Accepting responsibility for living my life
132. Being a role model to my children and family


So...the dark side of my values or those things that went into my compulsive behavior.
1. Impulsivity
2. Immediate gratification
3. Selfishness
4. Self-pity
5. Emotional immaturity
6. Laziness
7. Sleeping late
8. Locked in distracted reveries
9. Procrastination
10. Building stress by inaction and irresponsibility
11. Reactionary outbursts
12. Irrational thinking
13. Egoism
14. Financial irresponsibility
15. Dependency
16. Shame
17. Unworthiness
18. Hedonism
19. Lack of spirituality
20. Lack of moral structure
21. Weakness of Personality
22. Obsessiveness
23. Passive aggression
24. No internal rules or framework
25. Vacillation and indecision
26. No willpower
27. Disappointments
28. Failure to reach goals
29. Lack of time management
30. Hardly ever writing down strategies or tactics for success
31. Denied wife sexual intimacy when she wanted it
32. Excessive Masturbation
33. Reliance on pornography for arousal
34. Uncaring about boundaries


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:26 pm 
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Lesson 4: Prioritizing Values

1. I am a child of the universe and have inherent value as such
2. Being honest with myself about my motives and intentions
3. Not harboring secret behaviors
4. Empathy for other’s feelings and circumstances
5. Love myself
6. Love my children
7. Love my wife/partner
8. Be strong willed
9. Be assertive
10. Be confident
11. Be humble
12. Be disciplined in writing by faithfully adhering to routines and structure
13. Listen to your own creative voice no matter how out of the mainstream
14. Be aware of distractions and eliminate them
15. Always be courting your partner; never take her for granted
16. Financial discipline will bring freedom over time
17. Target and pay off debts
18. Wake up early to meditate and write
19. Keep constant contact with your close friends and family
20. Think positively
21. Withholding judgement
22. Always be an encouraging force
23. Genuine interest in people’s lives
24. Not carrying guilt or shame
25. Being authentic— no fake smiles or agreements just for cordiality
26. No lying to protect my own bad behavior
27. Being tenacious in my pursuit of having a successful novel
28. Being playful
29. Being dependable
30. Feeling sexually desired


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:48 pm 
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To the coach:

I have to modify my values and vision a bit because today (3/13/2017) I have rededicated my life to God after nearly five years as an agnostic/atheist.

So much is in limbo right now: my marriage, my job, my liberty...but I know with certainty that God loves me and has forgiven me. I am immensely thankful right now. This gives my recovery renewed vigor and I am committed to seeing this workshop through.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:36 am 
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Lesson 5: Value Congruency

1. I am a child of God and have inherent value as such
2. Being honest with myself about my motives and intentions
3. Not harboring secret behaviors
4. Empathy for other’s feelings and circumstances
5. Love myself
6. Love my children
7. Love my wife/partner
8. Be strong willed
9. Be assertive
10. Be confident
11. Be humble
12. Be disciplined in writing by faithfully adhering to routines and structure
13. Listen to your own creative voice no matter how out of the mainstream
14. Be aware of distractions and eliminate them
15. Always be courting your partner; never take her for granted
16. Financial discipline will bring freedom over time
17. Target and pay off debts
18. Wake up early to meditate and write
19. Keep constant contact with your close friends and family
20. Think positively
21. Withholding judgement
22. Always be an encouraging force
23. Genuine interest in people’s lives
24. Not carrying guilt or shame
25. Being authentic— no fake smiles or agreements just for cordiality
26. No lying to protect my own bad behavior
27. Being tenacious in my pursuit of having a successful novel
28. Being playful
29. Being dependable
30. Feeling sexually desired
31. Resourcefulness
32. Graciously accept help when it is offered
33. Make realistic financial goals
34. Be selfless but protect yourself
35. Protect your family from negative influences
36. Adapt to changing circumstances but never lose your values
37. Align with Biblical truths
38. Run for health
39. Self-limiting work hours
35. Recognize there is more to the world than you can see
36. Be mindful of when you are forcing emotions
37. Be aware of manipulation--yours and others
38. Meditate to be aware of your own emotions
39. Meditate to be more sensitive to the world around you
40. Meditate to experience the spiritual
41. Be ever hopeful and optimistic
42. Be romantic with your partner by anticipating their needs
43. Anticipate your own needs and challenges


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:42 am 
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D. Take the top fifteen values that you have currently listed and post them in your Recovery Thread. To be successful in recovery, you will need to learn to derive about 75% of your life's meaning and fulfillment from these values across any given week or so. It is okay if you are not currently doing this, because that is what the following two lessons are for: to help you develop this ability over the coming months.

So here are the top fifteen values and how I will implement them:
1. I am a child of God and have inherent value as such: in community, I will allow God to work in and through me
2. I will not carry guilt or shame or resentment from my past by not constantly reminding myself of it
3. I will be honest with myself about my motives and intentions through careful self-examination
4. I will not harbor any secret behaviors from my wife by being completely transparent and honest with her at all times
5. I will have empathy for other's feelings and circumstances by withholding judgement and being an attentive listener
6. I must anticipate my own needs by being aware of and planning for upcoming challenges, stressors, constraints and obstructions
7. I will cultivate a genuine interest and involvement in my family's life by being curious, taking notes, asking questions, and listening
8. I must set and adhere to realistic routines and schedules by breaking down tasks and self-limiting time during execution
9. Be disciplined and motivated in writing and publishing by adhering to routines and separating the creative from the editorial
10. Listen to my own creative voice no matter how outside the mainstream it may be
11. Always be courting your wife by anticipating her needs, taking note of her desires, being present during intimacy and initiating romantic and surprising liaisons
12. Keep constant contact with your family and healthy friends by routinely checking in on them via phone, video, text and physical hangouts
13. Meditate to be more sensitive to the world around you through morning meditation, prayer, introspection, and running
14. Make realistic financial goals by monitoring expenses, targeting debts and wise investments
15. I will be resourceful by creative problem solving, graciously accepting help when provided and being assertive with others


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:55 am 
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Lesson 6 Exercise:
A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones. For instance, "Strengthening your relationship with your wife" is complex. "Developing a closer bond with 'Chewie', your dog" (probably) isn't. For now, choose 'Chewie'. Post these plans into your recovery thread.

No. 9
Proactive Action Plan "Be disciplined and motivated in writing and publishing by adhering to routines and separating the creative from the editorial"

> Create a realistic writing schedule
> Take into account the days you have the children
> Allow for small intervals of scheduled time (e.g. 15 - 30 minutes)
i. Don't think you need 3 hours to get writing done. Take every moment to write.
> Write down the schedule or use an app
i. Set date ranges for sections of the story to be completed
ii. Work on one item at a time
> Have a schedule for Freewriting
> Have a schedule for Editing
> Set ahead of time the story/novel/chapter/piece to work on
> Set realistic, achievable goals
i. Small word counts for Freewriting
ii. Realize a first draft isn't going to be very good
iii. Don't get frustrated if you miss a deadline
> Track progress
> Discovering which times of day you are most productive; schedule those times for writing when possible
> Realize, admit to yourself, that each story will take struggle and pain; each will be difficult in its own way, not because you cannot write it but because each story must wrestle with its creator if it is to matter to any reader.

No. 2
Proactive Action Plan "I will not carry guilt or shame or resentment from my past by not constantly reminding myself of it"

I. When you pray, thank God for his grace and forgiveness
II. When a thought of the past creeps into your mind, and if it causes shame, guilt or pain, acknowledge it and the discard it.
i. use a 10 - 20 second meditation exercise to clear your mind
III. Acknowledge that guilt/shame doesn't just leak in from the past but from interactions you have every moment
i. Don't confuse humility with weakness; being humble requires strength of character
1. Remember your values
2. Use kindness as a compass when interacting with others
3. Listen to what is being said; don't wait for your turn to speak
4. Be comfortable with silence; make the other person comfortable with silence as well
ii. People close to you can often be hurtful intentionally or unintentionally
1. Recognize what they've said in context of their own condition
2. Compare with the truth you know of yourself
3. If what they say is true then evaluate it for application in your life regardless of their intention
4. If what they say is false then discard it immediately and recognize the truth you know of yourself
5. Feel the sadness, anger, embarrassment or offense; acknowledge it and tell the person how they've made you feel. Then discard it.
6. Holding on to resentment will feed your addiction and it will feed into building a new shame/guilt/resentment construct
iii. Consequences from past behavior will often resurrect feelings of guilt and shame
1. Understand that who you were then is not who you are now
2. Use the consequences as an opportunity to learn from mistakes
3. Face consequences with a good attitude
4. Share your emotions with trusted individuals who will listen
5. Pray at all times for strength and dignity; God may not save you from consequences but He will give you strength to stand them
6. Be optimistic. All consequences end eventually.
7. Do not fret during the consequences as they will eventually turn into guilt/shame/resentment
8. Ask yourself: "How can I turn these circumstances into opportunity?"

No 3.
Proactive Action Plan "I will be honest with myself about my motives and intentions through careful self-examination"

I. Proactive self-examination:
i. make sure your life is organized:
1. having an up-to-date calendar
2. creating a to-do list for each day
3. scheduling tasks and items
4. communicating with wife/partner/others to verify
ii. In a well organized life, some choices can be anticipated and decided upon ahead of time
1. through these sets of values, I am already deciding what my attitude and decision will be concerning some general circumstances
2. planning ahead requires a certain amount of motivation and intention: while planning, ask yourself whether the process and the
end goal are aligned with God's word and my values
iii. don't keep secrets from yourself or lie to yourself
1. if you're rationalizing a motive/intention you're already "doing it wrong"
iv. think before you act
1. do not execute an action or communicate a decision before self-examination of motives and intentions
2. decide, before you act, whether your action will hurt anyone in any way
a. ask: "will I be ashamed?"
b. ask: "could I disclose this action AND my motivations without a shred of embarrassment?"
c. ask: "does it cross any established boundaries?"
d. ask: "does it bring honor to God, to my wife, to all three children, to me?"
e. ask: "is it productive or obstructive/destructive?"
v. Your mood shouldn't decide your motives:
1. Sometimes I'll be in a bad mood, or even a good mood. I should first note which mood I'm in BEFORE self-examination.
2. Ask whether your motives have been tainted by your mood
3. When possible, postpone the action/decision for when you've changed your mood and achieved some objectivity

II. Reactive examination
i. Self-examination after a decision has been made:
1. Notice changes in motives, mood after results are observed
2. What does hindsight tell you?
a. Looking backward, were your motives pure?
b. Were your actions/decisions wise?
c. What were the consequences? What were the benefits?

III. Apply lessons learned to next proactive examinations


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