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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:57 pm
Posts: 4
Starting a recovery thread here mostly to organize my own work in the Recovery Workshop. I'm heavily engaged in a lot of body, mind, spiritual, and emotional practices to help me change my life, following an "all-quadrants, all-lines" Integral Recovery model inspired by Ken Wilber's integral theory. (Sorry for the academic-sounding lingo, it's just how I self-conceptualize best). And the Recovery Nation workshop will be a good, recovery-specific structure to help me in that quest.

So... without further ado.

Lesson One: Laying the Foundation for Permanent Change

A.
1) Actively committing myself to change - I'm actively committed to changing. I've made recovery my top priority in life for these last few weeks, and have achieved 20 straight days of abstinence from my compulsive sexual behaviors. I've been spending time daily learning, practicing, growing, and not allowing myself to play games or hold onto any thread of the old behaviors. I am definitely committed to changing.
2) Not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage my commitment to change - I've been adopting some new mindsets over the last months, both within and outside of the context of recovery, that I think make me better equipped than ever to undertake this change. The first idea is that when difficult emotions like guilt and shame show up, it's almost always a signal that great growth and evolution lie on the other side of working through them. They're an exciting opportunity, worked with and released correctly. The second idea is that emotional and spiritual work is a core component of recovery, and to that end I'm exploring different practices and my own spirituality. And lastly, I've found a couple resources that I particularly like in helping me address guilt and shame as they show up (things like John Bradshaw's work, the Sedona Method, mindfulness meditation, etc)
3) Allowing yourself time to change - I don't know how much there is to say about this one except yeah, I'm here for the long haul (if need be). Buddhists talk about practicing every day simply because it's "what the buddha does", and I find a lot of solace in considering that the practices and skills I take up in recovery are not just means to a problem-solving end, but a daily practice that will stay with me my entire life, simply because they are good to do. I have a good idea of what to expect thanks to that introductory Recovery Nation article, and studies on neuroplasticity, and I'm buckled up.


B. 10-15 reasons why I'm motivated to permanently change my life (stated in positive terms)

  • I want to fix the neurophysiological problems that compulsive behavior has caused or contributed to for me- things like dopamine upregulation and hypofrontality (also closely linked to my ADD). I want to make it easier to follow through on things like instrument practice or generally getting things done
  • I want to free up my mind and spirit to be more creative and live the most productive, fulfilling artistic life possible
  • I want to regain a connection to emotions- my own and those of others. I want to be able to feel my own emotions more deeply, express them more vividly
  • I want to better deal with stress, anxiety, and frustration in a healthy way, increase my threshold for what I'm able to take on or handle
  • I want to consistently explore and develop a healthy, positive spiritual life
  • I want my foundation for a lifelong relationship to include realistic sexual expectations
  • I want to better appreciate and be content with my unique relationship partner
  • I want to have a positive net impact on the world around me
  • I want to be in peak health- physically, mentally. Be in great shape, take great care of my body, have energy to give myself and the world around me
  • I want to spend my time and power more wisely, being more productive, making the most of every day given me.
  • I want to truly be the balanced, high-achieving, mindful, loving, exuberant person I present to the world. I want my personal and public perception of myself to be congruent
  • I want to constantly continue my own evolution and contributing to the evolution and spirit-in-action of the world as a whole


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 233
TAL,

It is clear you have advanced skills of self-awareness. This will no doubt become a valuable tool as you move forward.

Quote:
The first idea is that when difficult emotions like guilt and shame show up, it's almost always a signal that great growth and evolution lie on the other side of working through them.

This and
Quote:
I want to better deal with stress, anxiety, and frustration in a healthy way, increase my threshold for what I'm able to take on or handle

are fantastic insights that will take you to new heights.

So welcome to RN and your journey to health.
The circumstances which bring you here may indeed be unique, but the path you will take to recover from them is not. What am I saying? You’re not alone and recovery is possible.
Your firm commitment to your life beyond addiction will make all the difference—don’t forget that it is your choice. So if health is what you want, then commit to yourself with conviction and complete the exercises with absolute honesty. The path is long and hard, but it has been done countless times before you.
Although we recommend completing around 3 lessons a week, we encourage you to read or post daily. That being said, recovery is not a race and it’s important to go a pace with which your body and mind can safely handle—many believe recovery to be a journey, not a destination.
If you find yourself challenged or have questions with one of the lessons, utilize the help forum as help is readily available.
Coaches and Mentors are likely to drop by occasionally. If they don’t, no worries, it’s generally a good sign that you’re on the right path.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease,

Anon


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:57 pm
Posts: 4
anon523 wrote:
TAL,

It is clear you have advanced skills of self-awareness. This will no doubt become a valuable tool as you move forward.


I hear that a fair amount from the two mentors/coaches in my life that I trust immensely. I hope that skill will help me offset my more obvious weaknesses (like followthrough and sticking to structure).

Quote:
The circumstances which bring you here may indeed be unique, but the path you will take to recover from them is not. What am I saying? You’re not alone and recovery is possible.
Your firm commitment to your life beyond addiction will make all the difference—don’t forget that it is your choice. So if health is what you want, then commit to yourself with conviction and complete the exercises with absolute honesty. The path is long and hard, but it has been done countless times before you.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease,

Anon


Thanks so much for the kind welcome, Anon. It means so much. Especially your encouragement that some of my new mindsets are on the right track.

---

Lesson 2: Establishing a Healthy Vision for Your Life

The themes I wrote about in my vision are things I've been thinking about a lot the last few weeks. What I wrote poured out of me pretty quickly. And then when I finished writing, I sat and read it, and actually cried for a minute.

I mean, fuck, I've done at least 100 hours of different goal-setting, vision-crafting type self-improvement exercises before, but I have certainly never cried while doing one. I'm not even 100% sure why I cried. Could be that I found what I wrote beautiful and moving, could be the hope that came with realizing that fulfilling this is basically unavoidable for me, could be a sense of longing that I felt from realizing that I'm not yet living this vision- and that my compulsive behaviors and patterns of decision-making will never get me there. I don't know. But anyways. Here's what I wrote my Vision as.



I want to live a full, rich artistic life. To leave a lasting legacy of great music, that resonates on a deep emotional level with as many people as possible, and to co-create lasting memories with those listeners. I want to develop my musical, mental, emotional, spiritual faculties to facilitate that creation. I want to practice living that vision daily. I want to be free, creative, tapped in, always growing and learning- and to reach as wide as I can, securing a long life for myself of public music making and sharing.

I want to have a deep connection and contentment with my partner, as the unique individual she is. To see and love her as unconditionally as I hope to see and love myself. I want to continue co-creating a relationship that spurs each of us to growth in every area of our lives. And to continue growing and nurturing the relationship as her and I grow up and enter new stages of our lives.

I want to be healthy and to take care of my body and mind- be in the best physical shape, have the best energy and wellbeing I possibly can.

I want to live a life devoted to practice. Music practice, spiritual practice, life management practice- always having a mindset not focused on a goal or result, but loving the process and daily, monthly, yearly rhythms just as they are. Even the plateaus, however long they last. To embrace the ever-present Now, not just a Now sandwiched in-between the past and the future, but the Now in which everything that exists is constantly rising anew. I want to go to sleep every day smarter, wiser, more experienced, and knowing that I’m taking advantage of the time and power given me. I want my own self-evolution to fulfill its tiny role in the constant evolution of the Kosmos.

And the crux of this whole vision is just that every day, for the rest of my life, I take a step or two in the right direction on each of these lines of development. That’s all.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:57 pm
Posts: 4
Lesson 3: The Role of Values

Here's my brain dump of values:

1. Creativity
2. Artistry
3. Creating at a high enough level/quantity to complete my next album
4. Self-awareness (and general Awareness)
5. Owning my shadow
6. Emotional intelligence
7. Self-expression
8. Recognizing and understanding my emotions enough that I can adequately and deeply express them in my music
9. Practicing my art and art skills daily
10. Sharing my art with the world around me
11. Being caring and compassionate
12. Mindfulness
13. Lifelong learning
14. Working through shame, grief, and negative programming
15. Deep intimacy
16. Deep emotional connection
17. Taking care of my partner’s needs
18. Practicing monogamy out of choice, not fear
19. Loving non-judgmentally and unconditionally
20. Self-esteem and self-love
21. Co-creating a growth-driven relationship
22. Integrity- truly being the person I present to the world
23. Physical health- strength and aesthetics
24. High energy
25. Daily practice
26. Spiritual practice and learning
27. Contemplation
28. Organization
29. Self-discipline
30. Creating structure and context for life management
31. Patience
32. Calm and serenity
33. Freedom from outcomes focus
34. Contribution
35. Legacy
36. Public advocacy and activism
37. Courage
38. Speaking truth to power and injustice
39. Exploring healthy masculinity
40. Practicing a sacred sexuality
41. Discovering and driving towards purpose
42. Passion
43. Commitment and follow-through
44. Honesty
45. Authenticity
46. Seeking eustress and opportunities for growth, feeling challenged
47. Striving towards an integral or transpersonal level of consciousness
48. Sense of humor
49. Self-experimentation
50. Remaining open
51. Risk taking
52. Expressing spirituality in my day-to-day life
53. Feeling appreciated
54. Sexual connection and presence
55. Leaving the people/spaces around me better off
56. Friendship and collaboration
57. Bringing comfort to others
58. Financial security
59. Pursuing academic knowledge
60. Pursuing mastery
61. Open-mindedness
62. Quirkiness
63. Warmth


---

And some of the "dark side" values that drove my compulsive behavior:
    * physical pleasure
    * physical attraction
    * escapism
    * feeling sexually desired
    * power
    * dominance
    * manipulation
    * avoiding conflict
    * experiencing the forbidden
    * curiosity
    * control
    * sexual contact
    * risk-taking
    * ego
    * confidence
    * being validated
    * spiking energy levels


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:57 pm
Posts: 4
Lesson 4: Prioritizing Your Values

All this talk about values and value-based decision-making comes at an interesting time. Just yesterday I was talking with my coach (a clinical psychologist who I began working with for ADD life management strategies, and we just clicked and now talk about everything from managing work to exploring new realms of spirituality). We talked about how I had been finding all these ways that the various lines of development I want to work on (body, mind, spirit, shadow, music, etc.) overlap.

And that as I find those overlaps and interactions, managing all my goals and lines of development has become much easier and more peaceful. I kind of identified that years ago that my drive to achieve was largely shame-based ("I should do this, I should do that"), and now it's becoming values-based, and that makes it so much easier just to do things. ("I'm doing this because I want to work on my body, I'm doing this because I want to work on my mind"). Maybe that's why I'm having the best success I've ever had right now with abstinence and starting recovery.

Anyways.

I prioritized the values I wrote down in Lesson 3... here's what I'm looking at. (I combined a couple that felt too similar)

1. Artistry
2. Daily practice
3. Being caring and compassionate
4. Mindfulness
5. Deep intimacy
6. Lifelong learning
7. Physical health - including strength, aesthetics, and energy
8. Self-awareness
9. Sharing my art with the world around me
10. Co-creating a growth-driven relationship
11. Integrity- truly being the person I present to the world
12. Spiritual practice and learning
13. Freedom from outcomes focus
14. Taking care of my partner's needs
15. Deep emotional connection
16. Creativity
17. Creating at a high enough level/quantity to complete my next album
18. Emotional intelligence
19. Owning my shadow
20. Working through shame, grief, and negative programming
22. Self-expression
23. Recognizing and understanding my emotions enough that I can adequately and deeply express them in my music
24. Self-esteem and self-love
25. Loving non-judgmentally and unconditionally
26. Exploring healthy masculinity
27. Discovering and driving towards purpose
28. Speaking truth to power and injustice
29. Practicing a sacred sexuality
30. Striving towards an integral or transpersonal level of consciousness
31. Self-experimentation
32. Quirkiness
33. Open-mindedness
34. Sense of humor
35. Pursuing mastery
36. Pursuing academic knowledge
37. Warmth
38. Friendship and collaboration
39. Leaving the people/places around me better off
40. Bringing comfort to others
41. Feeling appreciated
42. Sexual connection and presence
43. Expressing spirituality in my day-to-day life
44. Risk taking
45. Seeking eustress and opportunities for growth, feeling challenged
46. Honesty
47. Authenticity
48. Commitment and follow-through
49. Courage
50. Passion
51. Patience
52. Self-Discipline
53. Public advocacy and activism
54. Legacy
55. Financial Security
56. Practicing monogamy out of choice, not fear
57. Contribution
58. Contemplation
59. Organization
60. Calm and serenity
61. Creating structure and context for life management


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