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True Power

" True power does not need arrogance, a long beard and a barking voice. True power is attained with silk ribbons, charm and intelligence"

- Oriana Fallaci in "Il Divo"


Spiritual Growth and Recovery are Painful

I've always had the desire to contribute to the growth of others. Time, energy and lots of money were thrown to the wayside in order to make other people happy. In retrospect, this was my way of not dealing with my own issues … taking on the role of ‘the helper’.

It’s been almost 10 months since I entered a treatment facility to deal with the aftermath of a manic episode that lasted the good part of the last 3 years. I now know that I wasn't in as good space, even though at the time I thought I was being ‘productive’.

By making a conscious decision to discontinue coping with drugs and alcohol, I've begun to see life in a new light. And this light continues to illuminate many issues I've been depressing for years.

The fog has lifted. And I've only begun to deal with the many emotional issues that date back to my early childhood. But I have to accept them, accelerate through them and conquer them. Period.

Q – What’s the best thing about recovery?

A -We get our emotions back.

Q –What’s the worst thing about recovery?

A -Yup, we get our emotions back.

My desire to truly know what love is and having the ability to give it unconditionally is very high on my ‘growth list’. My past relationships have been more like possessions; taking prisoners if you will. ‘Do as I say and I’ll be happy’.’ Don’t cross me and everything will be fine.’ They were the epitome of superficial relationships based in fear, convenience and self-centeredness. Not having the ability to appreciate people for who they are….Looking at people as objects vs. loving human beings. I would unknowingly judge them on their potential. While at the same time always hoping they would ‘come around’ …. Develop into who I wanted or needed them to be. Not cool.

Looking outside of my ‘self’ for happiness has also been a thorn in my side. Trying to fill the ‘God hole’ with possessions, success, acknowledgements and money is a recipe for disaster. And I’m dealing with the consequences as I write this. Money and success have been major motivational factors for as long as I can remember. I now know I was programmed to think this way and by the grace God I’ve been given the opportunity to adjust my game plan and remove this illusion from my consciousness.

The Remedy is Love

The only way we can be ‘whole’ is to look within vs. without. Nothing external is going to fulfill our desire to be loved. We must love ourselves first. This takes compassion, acceptance and humility … traits that I’ve never considered important until recently. I’ve always had a ‘kind heart’, a trait I can trace back to my mother (and father). But unfortunately this ‘kind heart’ frequently had conditions.

Conditional love is the work of Darkness. Constantly reminding us to take all we can get without thinking of others. When selfishness is inadvertently instilled in us at a very young age, it’s a difficult habit to break.  But once broken, we finally have the ability to think of others first. Give of ourselves and not look for anything in return. This is the true essence of Love. In the book, ‘The Road Less Traveled’, M Scott Peck defines Love as “the extending of one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”. Wow.

Not taking the opportunity to face my demons would be a tragedy. A tragedy because of what would be lost. I need to take advantage of the opportunity to assist others in working through the same emotional issues that have plagued me for years. When it comes right down to it, I've had to snap out of the ‘blame game’ and use my new found knowledge to access the infinite wisdom that is embedded in my DNA. There are no shortcuts. We can’t wait on others to save us. We have to ‘attack the day’ and endure the pain that comes with spiritual growth.

Looking at pain as a ‘price of admission’, we ultimately realize that spiritual growth is a gift. Spiritual growth is luxury that requires us to accept the necessary pain that will lead us to the joy of recovering from our past. Accepting this path to enlightenment, we will ultimately feel gratitude for the wisdom that we've attained.

Change Hurts

It’s difficult to embrace change. Change is hard. Change is scary. But change is the only thing in this world we can count on. Nothing stays the same…ever. We can reminisce about what we had or where we've been, but always knowing that it’s the journey we need to focus on. Change and growth are painful. And to take a quote from the movie, ‘Prometheus’, “The trick is to not mind the pain”.

Wayne Dyer often speaks about ‘enjoying the mystery’ of life. Once we realize that life is both mysterious and painful, we open ourselves to all the joy that life provides. So many of us are scared of growth and the pain that comes with it. To finally take the first step towards healing the past, enjoying the present and being optimistic about the future …. This is the true meaning of liberation.

Courage is being scared to do something and making the choice to do it anyway. So do it scared. It gives us the opportunity to smash our Ego and break the chains that have been holding us back from fulfilling our destiny. We must embrace the pain, move through it and look forward to the joy that awaits us on the other side.



Love and Tolerance

Kierkegaard wrote, "... to love human beings is still the only worth living for -- without that love, you really do not live."

And within love, there is tolerance.

    How many times can we recall letting other people's actions serve to ruin our mood? What is it going to take to understand globally that the only person we can control is ourselves. Both how we 'act'  and how we ' re-act' to external stimuli is entirely up to us.

    I feel there is a dire need for recovery on many different levels when it comes to today's society. Due to our programming,  we have been and are currently being taught to react to life's many challenges by pushing ourselves deeper and deeper into a separate-self consciousness. An 'us vs them' mentality that only serves to keep us in turmoil. My position is that this is by design, but we'll save that thought for another day. Let's focus on a remedy.

   I believe that every human's true essence is good. I've always sought to see the good in people. This approach has serves me with mixed results. But I refuse to take the bait .... to think that people actually are 'aware' of their 'unawareness'. They simple need to wake up.

   Due to the vast array of experiences, trials and tribulations, people have been tricked/programmed to think that we need to be selfish. That in order to get what we want, we need to ignore other people's feelings altogether.... taking all we can for ourselves. This continues to separate our society, leaving no room for growth towards a unity consciousness.

    If we could could only take the time to look for similarities in our fellow man. To find a way to ignore the superficial differences, stereotypes and stigmata. We're constantly being bombarded by the media reminding us how we are different. This leads to judgement. And when we judge, we put labels on people, setting them apart from ourselves. This protocol is very dangerous.

   When we have an ' us vs them' mentality, most of our actions/thoughts lead to a state of mind that divides us. That being said,  we are at a crucial point in the evolution of spirit on this planet. The cosmos are realigning,  opening us to a whole new paradigm. The more we continue to compete, stereotype and put other people in categories/groups other than our own, anger/hatred/jealousy spread like cancer throughout the universe.

   You see, we're all connected. We are one heartbeat within the Divine Matrix of the universe. A collective consciousness. All of our actions, thoughts and emotions effect everyone else on the planet whether we know it of not.

    This is where the case for love and tolerance comes in. Once we realize we need to change our thought patterns and send loving energy into the universe, the collective consciousness will be fed and will grow towards the tipping point. We all have an infinite source of wisdom that is at our finger tips. And the key to accessing this knowledge is love.

   It's imperative that we stop judging others, always thinking we know what's best for them. If we take a good hard look at ourselves, we'll notice that we have a wonderful opportunity to grow spiritually and emotionally.We're been tricked, folks. Thinking that in order to love someone, we need to love everything they say and do. People's actions and thoughts are not necessarily who they are.... their true essence.

   We are all in this game called 'life' together. And the sooner we realize our similarities vs our differences, we'll be able to take a quantum leap towards a loving, tolerant unity consciousness....where there's no room for anger and hatred. Focusing on our similarities, we can grow towards an environment of communication, acceptance and unconditional love. Taking the time to to really listen to the heartbeat of the universe. Think about it. Separateness is rampant in society today. Black, white, Republican, Democrat, tall, short, fat, thin. WTF? Anything or anybody we don't understand, we basically want to destroy with judgement, senseless gossip or full on hatred. And the funny thing is we're not even aware of it. It's been programmed into our subconscious mind from a very early age. Divide and conquer anyone?

Change has to happen. And it has to happen now. The more we live in a separate-self consciousness, the more conflict, violence and turmoil will continue to plaque the world. We have to wake up to a new awareness. Make the effort to contribute to the growth of unity consciousness through tolerance and understanding that all human beings want the same thing: LOVE.

Our capacity to love, our ability to take the time to understand that all humans are on similar paths to spiritual growth will knock down the barriers that keep us separate. No more biting, scratching and climbing up on each others backs in order to achieve superficial acknowledgement, fortune and fame.

Mass media teaches us that we need more 'things' in order to be happy. What if the truth was known that we have all we need internally. Infinite wisdom and the capacity to love one another unconditionally. Tolerance for our differences and finally understanding that each one of us is at his/her own point of spiritual development. Some of us farther along than others. But by showing patience and sharing our love and wisdom with others will only serve to help them along their journey.

Prayer, meditation and actively sending love out to the Divine Matrix that connects us all will push forward the process of unity consciousness ..... And it will make love 'tip'.

One - GM


Growth and the Power of Forgiveness

In light of my most recent manic episode, I've really found a new appreciation for acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude.

When in the middle of a tumultuous manic episode, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of the ‘blame game’. We point the finger at others when in reality we should be looking in the mirror; engaging in some some serious soul searching and restructuring the way we conduct our lives.

How many times do we make the fatal error of lashing out at the ones that love us the most? …. simply because they don’t think the way we do. Instead of moving forward and accepting everyone for whom they are (including ourselves), we tend to rehash the past and try to figure out what ‘went wrong’.

I've found that forgiveness is the key. Not only for all those that have wronged us, but most importantly, we must forgive ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are as well.

In my personal case, I've had a tough time letting go of my childhood and the many speed bumps that have been a direct result of my actions. The propensity to form excuses for the many trials and tribulations that simply need to be chalked up as ‘life’ …… and sometimes life sucks.

I've spent the greater part of the last 9 months learning about myself and engaging in intense internal growth; sharing my experiences with others in order to shed some light on this thing we call bipolar disorder. Or for lack of a better word …. ‘waking up’.

My constant stream of thoughts and scenarios are not only false, but will never come to fruition. The ego is a liar. And it will do anything to stay alive; outside of the present moment. Prayer and meditation are ways to look within ourselves and forge the pathway that is needed to find our ‘true being’.

The ego can only survive when we think we need ‘things’ in order to be happy. Whether its food, sex, drugs or alcohol, we must be very wary not to look outside ourselves and overindulge in order to find happiness. Finding our soul mate, making a certain amount of money, getting the perfect job or achieving a certain status in society are all examples of this delusion.

All we really have is The Now.  Guilt, anxiety and worry all become obsolete when we move into the present moment …. The Now.  The ego cannot survive if we focus on living in the present moment. Our ego would want us to believe that we need to have regrets about the past or look to the future for our happiness. However when we are present, living in The Now, time fades away; giving us the ability to be joyous and free…… to accept the people for who they are. 

We must look at the tough times as opportunities to grow. Our creator never presents us with situations we can’t handle. All we need to do is take a deep breath, take the first step and thank our creator for the opportunity to feel the many emotions that accompany us on our journey.

I've learned that it’s not always the goal we should be fixated on (future). Taking the time to enjoy every step of the journey (now) is how we can stay the moment and grow.



Living the Tao ..... Again

Sometimes when we're lost, we need to loop back around and reintroduce ourselves to the Light ....The Tao ... 'The Way'.

The 17th verse of the Tao Te Ching reads as follows:

 " With the greatest leader above them, people barely know one exists.
Next comes one whom they love and praise.
Next comes one whom they fear.
Next comes one whom they despise and defy."

"When a leader trusts no one, no one trusts him."

"The great leader speaks little.
He never speaks carelessly.
He works without self-interest and leaves no trace.
When all is finished, the people say, "We did it ourselves""

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's thoughts from his book, Change Your Thoughts--Change Your Life;

      You can personalize it by substituting the words parent or teacher for leader. 1st you must stay in the background and become an astute observer of what's taking place; then ask yourself how, without interfering, you can create an environment that will help everyone act responsibly.Whatever your decision, you'll be well aware of the need to create an environment where everyone will be able to say,"We fixed it ourselves without the need for any interference from anyone--we really don't need a supervisor."

    This approach involves suspending your desire to be seen as a strong authority figure.Truly inspiring leaders get results by their own example: encourage others to be responsible and do the right thing, but not by proclaiming and bragging about their impeachable management. They create space for others to be inspired and to achieve their own greatness. When the time comes for receiving accolades, they dissolve in the background, wanting everyone else to feel that their accomplishments arose from their own leadership qualities.

   The supreme Taoist leader always leaves people to choose and pursue their own way of life, their own conception of the good. The view of a self-styled authoritarian is not the way enlightened leaders see themselves; rather, they raise the energy of an environment through a viewpoint that elevates lower inclinations.
In this verse, the Tao offers 3 other ways of choosing to be a leader.

1. To make a difference in the lives of others, resolving conflicts through love. By being an instrument of love and making an effort to praise others, this leader stays in harmony w the Tao. The draw back is that using the approval and affection of a leader for motivation means turning control of one's life over to that leader.

2. The ineffectiveness of fear as a leadership style: if I can get you to do as I desire by using a weapon, then you'll only behave in these ways as long as I have the power to threaten you. When I leave, my influence over you departs as well.

      Studies have shown that students in the setting of teachers who were considered strict disciplinarians, they were well behaved when the feared individual was in the room, yet when she or he departed, the classroom turned chaotic. The opposite was true of instructors who viewed education as an opportunity to praise and encourage students: their presence or absence had almost no noticeable impact. This is a great thing to keep in mind if you're a mother or father!

3. Least effective means for managing others is to use tactics that will encourage them to despise you, for the moment they leave your sight, they'll defy all that you say and stand for. Children who despise a parent tend to emulate the hateful tactics to which they were subjected, or they detach themselves completely from that dictatorial parent and spend years attempting to heal the scars from the terrible treatment.

            Instead of believing that you know what's best for others, trust that they know what's best for themselves.  Allow others to share their thoughts about the path they see for themselves. Let your position be known, but also convey that you trust them to make the right choice. Then step back and peacefully believe that the way you look at this situation will change. Offer praise when those if your charge are making their own decisions, even when their behavior may conflict with yours. Trust yourself to give the best response by not seeing yourself as knowing what's right. "When a leader trusts no one, no one trusts him."

Very powerful..........



Prisoners of Our Past

        I rented a very powerful movie a couple nights ago. The backdrop for this documentary is disturbing and definitely not for everyone. Unfathomable as it sounds,  'Forgiving Dr Mengele'  is about Holocaust survivor Eva Kor's courageous mission to tell her story and forgive the Nazis( and eventually Dr Joseph Mengele) for all of their wrongdoings at Auschwitz before/ during World War II.

     Known as Dr Death, Joseph Mengele was the most twisted of Hitler's SS death squad. Under the guise of 'research', Joseph Mengele separated all the identical twins and conducted series of  intrusive and unforgivable tests that lasted for months at a time. Most didn't survive.  Eva Kor, the ultimate survivor, and a select few of the 'Mengele Twins' lived to tell the tale. Living on no more than crumbs and contaminated water, Eva said her prayers daily and  'scolded others for dieing' as she to refusing to give up. The rest is history.

          "We might not live in the past, but the past lives in us" 
                                                     - Samual Pisal
                                                      Holocaust Survivor

       I was so moved by Eva Kor's drive and inner strength. Number one, to actually live through that harrowing experience is mind blowing. But to have to guts(and wisdom) to actually know that the path to inner peace is to accept and move on from life's trials and tribulations. To not allow our enemies to live 'rent free' in our forgive(but not forget) and 'let go' of our past is daunting. She was quoted as saying  "revenge has never been known to heal anyone". All I can say is "Wow".

      As she walks us through the history of her experience at Auschwitz, Eva's method of recovery stemmed from her desire to 'not be a prisoner ever again'. Forgiving those who've harmed her most, Eva took this thought to a whole new level and  killed all her demons with kindness. This story  has made me re-think my position on recovery( Full recovery is only achieved when family members show true remorse).

    I still believe that true remorse will undoubtedly assist those in the process of recovery. But  if those that hurt us are gone and/or not reachable, we have to find a way to slience our 'unquiet minds' and refuse to be prisoners of our past. Forgiveness is the answer. And I'd like to thank Eva Kor for reminding me of this.


Indigo Children, Mental Health and our Quest for Light

        The following is an email  I received recently from a dear friend of mine. She really sheds some light on my journey. I've been spinning my wheels for years. Trying to find myself.  Always searching.......for The Light.

      "I still ......haven't found ....what I'm looking  for" - Bono

      Well, I finally found it. And it turns out I had it the whole time.

      I've rediscovered my passion and I know my purpose is to make a difference.

      All I can say is 'Wow'


     Are you aware of Indigo people? I think that this is something I should bring to your attention, just in case you aren’t aware. It's time.

    The Indigo life is no bed of roses. If you have read some of the particular traits of Indigo people, you have learned that we have quite a bit stacked against us in our early lives. In fact, we are classic late bloomers, and because of this, Indigo youth have a very high amount of difficulty assimilating into the mainstream. This is mostly because the mainstream caters to the average mind and intellect, and most Indigos are far from average. This can result in the flaring of depression, and also the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Sometimes it leads to suicide. Misdiagnosis of ADD/ADHD and other ‘new age’ illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder add to the confusion, and the youngster is often drugged into submission at a point of life where they need to develop their minds the most.

Adults often don’t have it much better. Because of a lack of adult mentors and guidance, the adult Indigo person often finds themselves adrift, alienated, and at odds with their lives and desires. Their particular Gifts can manifest themselves in very frightening ways, and the great physical and mental changes that their prime begins to bring to them can frighten them into paralyzing panic attacks.

    The Indigo passages are particularly rough and difficult for a reason. They burn away the dross and lassitude and inner ignorance and fear and temper us for strength in our true work here. The personal victory over our problems in our personal lives and our discovery and use of the unique Indigo gifts we have gives us the depth of experience to weather the difficulties the entire world faces. With our own rough passages behind us, our job is to assume a role of mentor and quiet leadership for those who also seek Light. All the pain and suffering is our ‘been there, done that, here’s what I did to get past it’ card. And it teaches us perseverance and gives us a depth of inner reserve that will be needed in the difficult days to come.

   The current war is one obvious symptom of the great spiritual rot that has been growing in the world for the last half century. In spite of incredible technological advances and breakthroughs, people have sunk into incredible depths of helplessness, physical and spiritual poverty, ignorance, fear, and religious fanaticism. Others have taken the opportunity of the general indifference to their governments and communities to seize and consolidate power, squashing all competition and dissent. The gap between the rich and poor – in both material and spiritual matters- has become enormous. Miscommunication and disinformation is rife, and Truth is a rare and fleeting thing. Everything has its particular ‘spin’, and the absurd is now normal. We have great technological tools and incredible scientific advances, but they are being put to horrible use. Good ideas are being buried under piles of litigation. A great cloud of fear-filled darkness is enveloping our world. A tiny number of power- addled people is steering the great mass of humanity and its world into darkness and spiritual slavery.

    What is the Indigo purpose? Our purpose is to anchor small, but growing points of Light, Life, and Love into these growing spots of darkness- to provide a place and means of hope, awakening, and insight which will begin to dissipate the darkness. This is done in a natural and subtly quiet way, not by forceful preaching or screaming in the streets. Indigos must use our natural Gifts and our particular places in our communities to establish and anchor the Light, and do it in such a way that the community we serve believes that they did it on their own. (They may eventually discover the Lightworker in their midst, but they will have to look carefully!) Our strength will give strength to those who feel hopeless, and Awaken them, permitting them to shine their own Light into the darkness. Person by person, soul by soul, light by light, the vast majority of people will outstrip the spiritual darkness and turn this world around. Fear will be replaced by love and tolerance. Ignorance will be replaced by knowledge. Lassitude will be replaced by action. Dogma will be replaced by direct understanding. Balance will be restored to both humanity and the planet. We will become true spiritual peers, not the ‘us’ and ‘them’ of the old ways. When a critical turnover point is reached in the relighting of our world, our awareness of this planet as a living, conscious being will become more commonplace. People calling themselves Earth Talkers will appear, speaking for the local areas, directing the inhabitants to utilize the land in an optimal way. As people Awaken, they will become more attuned to the Greater World- our local Cosmos- the sun, moon and planets, and learn to work with their cycles of energy to heal both themselves and the planet.

     We will continue to evolve. Some Indigo people are undergoing another passage into the next octave of awareness- what the New Agers call "Crystal", but also known as Octarine. These people will have the ability to see the vast array of thoughts, dreams, wishes and needs of humanity, and to pop in and out of various dimensions at will to help work on these needs. They have highly developed and directed minds- and are capable of sensing more than one universe or dimension at a time. This enables them to be in more than one place at once, and help to direct Light to places most badly in need of it. They use dreams of hope and love as well as serendipitous solutions to help anchor the Light, and give positive visions to those whose word would propagate the Light thus established. They help to sow and establish hope and catalyze the ability to overcome difficulty. They tighten the light bulb in its socket.

     This breakover to Light will begin slowly, but as it propagates into the world, will pick up speed and flash into reality, overturning the darkness in a dramatic manner. The old oppressors will try to keep their stranglehold on the planet, but in turn will also realize the Light will heal them as well. In letting go of the old way of imbalance, they help to return the world to stability, peace, and balance.

    This is our purpose. This is our mission. This is why we have been run through the grinder. Now that you have an idea of the Big Picture, you can begin to see a way to make it happen. It is a change of mind, a change of heart, and an opening to our greater potential as human beings. It can be done without the weapons, terror, death, and suffering of the Darkness. It is happening now, and you are part of it.
   Stay strong - AP

For those interested in more information on Indigo Children, I highly suggest .........

And (regarding Indigo Behavioral Disorders) .........

                             And And .........

                                One - UG


Our Pain is Self-Chosen

"Our Pain Self-Chosen "

- Layne Staley
Lead singer of Alice in Chains/Mad Season

Layne was a graduate of my unit at Hazelden right before he completed the Mad Season self titled album. The autographed CD was framed on the wall for all of us to see. Already in my collection, I listened to it daily and learned to embrace the fact that I'm not in this battle alone. That was 2000. Layne lost his battle 4.20.2002.

We have a choice. We have to fight. Make that choice to get better. In order to survive, we need to keep moving. Make that effort to keep going. Because in the end, our pain IS self-chosen.