Tag Archives: HABIT

Taoism and Addiction

Standard

“As I am going to study philosophy next year, I often think of how religions and other theories of life might view addiction and recovery. Is it acceptable? Is there a reason? Is there a cure? To start my regime on educating myself with the various opinions I took a look at some articles. This one is written by Elizabeth Reninger from About.com and it gives some insight on addiction using the practice of Taoism. If your interested in “The Way” (as tao the ching is translated), or are even struggling finding your Higher Power, this article may shed some light on the matter. Keep in mind, Taoism is not a religion, its a philosophy, a “way” of life.” -Love and light, Robyn

taoism

Any kind of addictive behavior makes it really difficult to conserve our “qi” — to garner a beneficial surplus of life-force energy — for the simple reason that addictive behaviors, with their corresponding mental/emotional patterns, almost universally drain our qi.

Can Taoist practice help us unwind addictions?

I would say: yes! I’ve touched on this in my essay, Addiction, Habit & Ritual — making a distinction between, on the one hand, flowing with the (seemingly repeating) patterns of the Tao, in a way that is awake and responsive; and, on the other hand, becoming a slave to the unconscious impulsive dictates of an addiction.

On a very practical level, there are ear-acupuncture protocols (NADA and ACACD) which have been hugely beneficial — in conjunction with counseling, education and group support — in resolving addictions.

Here a recovering alcoholic, in expressing how, as an atheist, he was able to make 12-step programs work for him, articulates quite beautifully the process of realigning with the rhythms of the natural world, a quintessentially Taoist approach to sanity:

“But, you might ask, if there’s nothing there, no sentient god, how do you get restored to sanity? Again, simple. A tide lifts a boat without being asked and without being sentient. Meet the conditions: place a boat on a tidal body of water. Wait. Then it happens. Be open to understanding the principles that govern your world and do your best to act in harmony with them, do your best not to waste your energy in trying to change the things you cannot change, turn your efforts to identifying and changing the things that can be changed, and the tide will lift your boat. Simple, no?”

Aligning with the elemental wisdom and rhythms of the natural world can be hugely supportive in transforming addictive behavior and perception. In doing so, we establish a perspective or view that’s in alignment with reality, and supports spontaneously “right” — healthy and harmonious — action.

In Buddhist practice, a similar notion is spoken of in terms of Samma Ditthi or Right View. The Pali word Samma was, as I understand it, originally a musical term, and points to a kind of “right” that means “attuned” — in tune with the contexts unfolding in the present moment. It’s about becoming sensitive to our surroundings, and our relationship to them, in a way that allows us then to act skillfully — rather than out of unconscious (e.g. addictive) preconceptions.

Written by Elizabeth Reninger from About.com

Advertisements

How To Break Any Bad Habit

Standard

“I just read and fell in love with this article from Mind Body Green and had to post it for you all! Enjoy!” -Love, Robyn

Learning to understand the self is a lot like stirring water in a glass. If we don’t stir, sentiments stay at the bottom of the glass and our water stays polluted.

Take a simple goal: Eat better.
For me, eating always starts with a craving. It’s rarely because I’m hungry. Usually I eat out of boredom. Or, on a deeper level, maybe loneliness.
First, the feeling. Then filling that feeling with food.
I imagine what I’m craving. Pizza. I see it. Feel it. I taste the crust and the cheese, and I know exactly where I’d go to get it. I see myself driving there and sitting in the booth eating it. (I am an extremely visual person. In this case, it’s not to my advantage.)
Then I become obsessed with this image. Inner conflict begins. Desire vs discipline, Want vs need. I start to reason with myself.  I work out hard. I deserve this. It’s not a big deal. What’s a slice? I need to get out of the house anyway.
Reasoning turns into deals. Okay, one slice but I’ll get a salad.
It’s on. The fantasy becomes a reality. I’m now actually sitting at the pizza place. And of course, I always break the deal I made with myself. Three slices and no salad. I eat until I’m stuffed. The Addict, The Liar, the Pseudo Self wins again.
On the way home, I feel guilty about myself and the pizza is never as good as I imagined it.
If I take this process and apply it to other areas of my life, is it the same? Dating? Relationships? If so, are the consequences and feelings the same?
Study patterns in your thoughts and behavior around fitness and nutrition. Chances are, they’re the same patterns you apply to other areas of your life. Maybe you maneuver in extremes: Win or lose. If so, do you apply that to work, love, etc.?  Do you use food or exercise to reward and punish yourself? If so, do you use work and relationships to reward or punish yourself?
Filtering your cloudy water means breaking patterns you believe are unhealthy. The more you are able to break unhealthy patterns, the cleaner your water will be.
Now, if you’re able to get stronger at rewiring your thoughts and behavior with food cravings and exercise habits, including all the fears you hit while working out, can you apply those new muscles to breaking patterns in other areas of your life?
I believe you can.
Image
Here’s how.
1. Know what’s triggering your behavior.
Usually it’s from a feeling.
For me, it was boredom and loneliness.
Pizza was a way of coping or numbing that feeling.
Being aware is the first step.
2. Force yourself to change that behavior.  
There will be an internal fight and it will be difficult. But this is where the road can fork. Give yourself other options. I could go on a walk. See a movie. Write. Any behavior that’s different, even if it’s only slightly more healthy. The goal is just to break it. You may not succeed in the beginning. It takes lots of practice. But eventually, if you keep at it, you’ll get stronger.
Next time I have a feeling that triggers me, I’ll walk around the block and maybe reward myself with fruit, juice, or even a protein bar instead of stuffing my face at a pizza joint.
Now, in relationships, something will trigger the same feeling. You may get into a fight and feel unheard, angry, lonely, etc. Think about your bad habit (your “pizza”) in relationships…  Is it to shut down or explode? Well, you can apply the process above to change that behavior, too .
3. Identify the feeling that triggers your behavior. 
What’s the feeling? Feeling hurt, unheard, lonely?
4. Focus on addressing that feeling. 
 
Maybe you talk to a friend. Go for a walk. Stay and talk it out. Journal. Call your brother. Exercise? Whatever. Just make sure it’s more healthy. Know that you can do this because you did it with the eating and it will work the same.  Remember the results you got from breaking the bad eating behavior and trust that process.
If you’re afraid to do something in the box or at the gym, but you overcome that fear and by doing so, see results, that revelation – that you can overcome a fear and see results can now be applied to confronting your boyfriend, boss, or parents.  You may believe one has nothing to do with the other.  On the surface, true.  But fear is fear.  And no matter what door you go in or how you tackle it, the more you conquer it, the more you will be able to conquer it in other areas of your life.
Once you prove to yourself that you can do something you were afraid of, that PROOF – belief – will spill into other areas of thinking.
Imagine fear as the black and white image in a coloring book. The more you color, the more the fear disappears. It doesn’t matter where you start or how you do it, all that matters is that you keep coloring. And the more you color, the more that page will come to life.
So it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about eating better or facing workouts you never thought you could do. Keep stirring to get that water cloudy so that you can then break patterns – filter that water clean in all areas of your life.

Track Your Sleep with an App

Standard

“I don’t need to tell you how important sleep is or how different it can be now that your clean and sober. But I can tell you that theres a great way to record and control your sleep. With the smart phone app, Sleep Cycle,  you can keep track of what you do during the day and before you go to bed, what time you sleep, wake up and how you feel when you do. It will store the data from your sleep  and create calculated graphs and charts that show you what methods work and how well you are sleeping. This app detects when you fall asleep and when you hit REM by using motion detectors on your phone, mean while waking you up at the best time in the morning based on your peek of consciousness. You will start to feel more refreshed when you wake up and make a note of what works best to get the perfect nights rest! I have been using it for a week and I am beginning to notice quite a difference in what works and doesn’t when it comes to my sleeping habits. Check it out for yourself! It costs only $1.99, check out the description below for more information!” -Love, Robyn

Image

Description

Waking up made easy.
An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed. 
Sleep Cycle helps millions of people to wake up rested!Featured in: CNN, Wired, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The New York Times and many more.
#1 Top Paid app in Japan
#1 Top Paid app in Germany
#1 Top Paid app in France
#1 Top Paid app in Russia
#1 Top Paid app in Netherlands
#1 Top Paid app in Taiwan
#1 Top Paid app in South Korea
#1 Top Paid app in Sweden
#1 Top Paid app in Norway
…and many more.
“It just works. Period. It does exactly what it advertises which is absolutely amazing.”
– 5/5 stars on 148apps.com

Sleep cycle is continuously rated as the best smart alarm clock, Sleep Cycle is now the worlds most used intelligent alarm clock.

  • Sleep Cycle monitors your movement during sleep using the extremely sensitive accelerometer in your iPhone.
  • Sleep Cycle then finds the optimal time to wake you up during a 30 minute window that ends at your set alarm time.
  • Look at the screenshots for recommended iPhone placement.

As you sleep you go through different phases, ranging from deep sleep to light sleep. The phase you are in when your alarm goes off is critical for how tired you will feel when you wake up.

Since you move differently in bed during the different phases, Sleep Cycle can use the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement and determine which sleep phase you are in.

Sleep Cycle wakes you when you are in your lightest sleep phase.
Sleep Cycle was developed using proven sleep science and years of research and development.

MAIN FEATURES

  • Waking up made easy! Sleep Cycle analyzes your sleep and wakes you in your lightest sleep phase.
  • Detailed sleep statistics and sleep graphs for every night.
  • 15 carefully selected, high quality, alarm melodies.
  • Use iPod music as wake up sound
  • Snooze by shaking or tapping the phone lightly.
  • Customizable wake up window. From instant (regular alarm clock) up to 90 minutes.
  • Background mode – set your alarm and exit Sleep Cycle – sleep analysis will continue in the background
  • Sleep notes: see how events such as drinking coffee, eating too much or having a stressful day affect your sleep quality
  • Long term graphs: track sleep quality over time, see which days of the week you sleep best and much more
  • Export sleep data to Excel for detailed analysis

REQUIREMENTS
Ability to charge your phone by the bed
Ability to place your iPhone according to the instructions (see screenshots)