Sunday, April 21, 2013

Warning Signs of Addiction, by Maria Khalifé

A moderate addiction to money may not always be hurtful; but when taken in excess it is nearly always bad for the health. ~ Clarence Day


Originally, addiction meant “devotion to” something good. Today, the meaning has changed to be the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.


Addiction, in its broadest sense, can include enslavement to watching Soap Operas, drinking too much coffee, eating too much sugar, spending too many hours at work, obsessive dieting or exercising or shopping, too much sex or having an urgent need to always being in a relationship in addition to substance abuse.

When an individual is addicted, he will set common sense aside in favor of his addiction of choice.


Looking to something outside of ourselves to feel good is the reverse to looking inside ourselves to feel good. The latter is correct. The first is addiction. If something (a drug, a hot fudge sundae) makes us feel good, our brain releases chemicals. Feeling “high” as a result begins to be strongly anticipated, and pursuing this “high” makes us begin to avoid those who love us (parents, friends, even spouses.) Addicts begin to lie and cheat to obtain whatever it is that makes them high and some have said they get a strong “high” just from stealing to get the drug than they did when they ingested it. Here are some more warning signs of addiction:
  • Overly dramatized moodiness
  • Reversal of personal habits
  • Disinterested in things formerly interested inm new group of friends (with bad habits), problems with finances and the law, unexcused absences from work, vulgarity or profanity used, often keeping themselves hidden from others.

If you consider the four main elements in an individual’s life (physical, mental, emotional, and social) you will see these behaviors rampant in those who are typically addicted:
  • A genetic inclination due to history of addiction with an extreme sensitivity to drugs.
  • A psychological tendency toward low self-esteem or a history of depression and feeling like a victim.
  • An overwhelming sense of strong emotions, like grief or anger.
  • A feeling of aloneness in the midst of many family members or work associates.
ARE YOU ADDICTED? – Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you’re an addict in any way. Honesty is strongly suggested.
  • Others have told you you’re an addict. Can you stop that behavior for a day, a week, forever?
  • Do you become uncomfortable at the thought of not doing the behavior others call your addiction?
  • Would you somehow feel “less than” if you didn’t do that behavior?
  • Have you tried stopping that behavior in the past unsuccessfully?
  • Have you lost friends or alienated family members because you won’t stop that behavior?

Deep down inside you, would you prefer to keep doing the behavior? If there is any behavior you cannot (or will not) set aside, then this behavior controls you and not the other way around. If you’ve tried to break away from the behavior unsuccessfully but keep returning to it, it’s an addiction. When you are an addict, this is the cycle you’re going to repeat: feeling good, a loss of control, repetition and then a feeling of denial.


The first rule for getting healthy is to admit you have a problem (look strongly at those Warning Signs of Addiction) and find a professional to help you. This person will help you to see what changes are necessary to break your habits. You’ll be working to develop new behaviors where the old ones were and you’ll have a plan of action with due dates on it to keep you on track. Recovery takes time so exercise patience – a lot of patience – and keep track of every forward step you take. If you fall off the wagon, forgive yourself and get back on.

Your individuality is blessed. Paying attention to the warning signs of addiction and cleaning up your addiction will strengthen your character and put you back on the road toward greater success. Wishing you well on your journey!

  1. I will admit to being addicted if I am. If I am not, I will be grateful.
  2. I’ll be in control over what now controls me.
  3. I will clean up my addiction and thus, strengthen my character.

Forgiving Someone, by Maria Khalifé

We are frequently quick to brush away an insult, hurt or harsh words with a flick of our wrist and dismiss it with casual words like “That’s okay,” or “Not a problem.” Forgiving someone is more than just a reaction.

In actuality, those seemingly casual words may be carrying along two messages:
  • I forgive you.
  • It’s okay for you to hurt me repeatedly because I’ll just dismiss it.
As much as we wish this wouldn’t happen to us, we seem to be affected by the words and the actions of other people.  They can tell immediately by the look on your face how you are reacting to their words and their actions. There isn’t one of us who wants others to know that we have hurt feelings, so we try to move away from them as rapidly as we can.  Sometimes our “That’s okay,” or “Not a problem,” is an avoidance technique:  we brush aside our own feelings because even we don’t want to feel them.

We use our “That’s okay,” or “Not a problem,” to quickly deflect our friends apologies which then gives them permission for the behavior to happen again.  It’s subtle, I know, but it’s worth a good look to see if you are operating with this modus.

One of the first things that therapists recommend when you are trying to get a grip on your one wonderful life is to sit with your feelings.  To feel whatever it is you feel.  If you are not consciously aware of what is happening, you can do nothing to change it!

This brushing away of negative emotions is a dismissal of our own feelings.  They come because they bear great gifts.  They tell us if we are hurt.  We cannot change feeling hurt until we can admit that we are hurt.  These negative emotions are a dismissal of the negative input of others.  Dismissal carries the message “It’s okay if you hurt me.” As I said, it’s subtle, but it truly deserves your attention if you want your life and its experience to improve.  Forgiving someone graciously is what is needed.

It requires far greater honesty than you are currently exercising, or you will remain running in circular patterns of behavior.  In this cycle, without honesty interjected to stop it, you will continuously let people overstep themselves in our lives and offer pain, which we will then assume is our norm, and we will become victimized by this.

You can stop this chain of events by taking these steps:
  • Thank them for their apology. You accept that they’ve asked you to forgive them.
  • Next, you have to gently create more harmony in the relationship, by sharing how they made you feel. To honestly say “I felt like this (fill in the blank) when you said or did this (fill in the blank) gives you control.
This permits them to see what they’ve caused. This permits you to see what happened inside you.
Trust and forgiveness go hand in hand.  If your desire is to have a relationship that is spiritually deep, rewarding and fulfilling, this level of honesty will serve both parties well.

How we respond to others teaches them how they can act toward us. If we hurt, cry, and hide, this is what we teach them.  If we say “I was hurt when you said/did this (fill in the blank) we teach them that we trust them enough to bear that they’ve caused us pain and that we can forgive them for it. Learn how forgiving someone will grow an honest relationship that is positive and empowering for both involved.

Take Action Now
  1. I will consciously observe my feelings. 
  2. I will not run away from my feelings even if uncomfortable.
  3. I will simply sit with my feelings and observe them.
Original article here:

Using Your Intuitive Brain, by Lisa K.

This year create and develop your own internal guidance system.  By connecting to your intuition, honing an ability to hear your inner voice and being constantly connected to your divine guidance, your life will expand and grow in ways that will amaze you.

You may already be in tune with your intuition or perhaps you’ve had some intuitive knowing, or experience, but you don’t know how to work with it and control it so you can get more detailed information or use it when you need it. Maybe you think that you are not intuitive at all.  Well, we all are intuitive, it is a natural part of us and our brains.

Did you know that you have two brains inside your head? One is the left brain (left side) and the other is the right brain (right side).  Each side performs very different functions and it is the right side that is inherently built for intuition.  You could even say that it is our intuitive mind. The left brain is analytical, it is sequential, it processes language and is critical.  The right brain is creative, has spatial awareness, understands the whole picture and is imaginative.

We live with these two sides of our brains, as two personalities in one. We draw on the pieces of each side as we need them, and both sides work in balance and cooperation with each other. Because our society emphasizes activities that mostly use our left brains, we become left-brain dominant.  We talk, we analyze and we plan and make judgements all the time.

The right brain is said to be the part of the brain that is intuitive and, in some ways, enlightened. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist, had a stroke in her left brain and fully experienced only thinking with her right brain while conscious. She then recovered the use of her left brain fully to be able to write a book about her experience.  Coupling her knowledge as a neuroscientist and her own experiences, she has a unique view on exactly what our right brain does for us from the inside out.

She describes the right brain for herself, as well as all of us, “My right mind is all about the richness of this present moment.  It is filled with gratitude for my life and everything in it.  It is content, compassionate, nurturing and eternally optimistic…My right mind is open to the eternal flow whereby I exist as one with the universe.  It is the seat of my divine mind, the knower, the wise woman and the observer.  It is my intuition and higher consciousness.”

It is with this state of mind, or this ability of ours to think this way with our right brains, that we can fully access our intuitive powers. It is through our right brain that we connect to our Higher Self and Universal knowledge. The more we access and become aware of our right brain working for us, the easier it becomes to connect to our divine guidance.

Here are some quick and easy tips you can use to build your intuitive guidance system to get more clarity and consistency by working with your right brain.

Enjoy art.  You don’t have to create art to use your creative side.  Just by looking at a painting, or a sculpture, or even nature will engage your right brain and exercise your ability to access it. Go to the museum or just go shopping and enjoy the art around you.
Be creative! I love creating these newsletters and my website with beautiful pictures because it really does stimulate my right brain.  It also helps me connect to my heart and feelings so well.  I only choose what feels light, uplifting and right to me.
Listen to music.  Music appreciation is done with our right brains.  It doesn’t have to be any particular kind of music, just music that you particularly like!
Take an afternoon nap!  That ‘power nap’ gives our minds a rest without going into deep sleep.  That is the theta state that our minds are in which activates our right brain, and quiets the left.  It also explains why sometimes we get our epiphanies or clear answers to a problem when we nap.
Intuition is a skill we all have, great minds have used theirs to make the best strategic decisions, create amazing inventions such as coming up with the iPod and the theory of relativity.  Exercise your right brain to access your intuition, and allow yourself to see what pops up!
Lisa K. is highly sought after intuitive coach and teacher of intuitive development. As a teacher and author, Lisa shows people how to easily connect to their inner divine guidance. Lisa K. has helped thousands of people around the world through one on one coaching, online and in person workshops and her popular radio show, “Between Heaven and Earth” which presents a variety of topics on Every Day Spirituality. You can find out more about Lisa at
Article taken from Om Times: