“To let go of the attachments of the ego is like shedding ballast.”
Dr. David Hawkins
Over the years I have helped clients overcome almost every addiction imaginable. Food addiction. Anorexia. Bulimia. Alcoholism. Sixteen-year daily marijuana smoking. Legal and illegal drug abuse of every variety. Workaholism. And the list goes on.
One of the important factors in healing from these cases is to learn how to feed your soul at greater depths.
What do I mean by that?
If you are filling a void in your life with unhealthy activities, discover how to fulfil yourself with something far more meaningful.
Let me start by giving a mundane example.
Earlier this year I was working with a single woman who works in a large corporation. She exercises five days a week, which is great, but at night, after working a typical 12 hour day, she would find herself filling up on excess sweets.
I was always encouraging her to find something to do in the evening other than eating.
On some level, I don’t think she got it.
She thought I meant to find something to be busy with – i.e., something else to put on the “to do” list, which, in her case, was already too long – find a guy, make a lot of money, make sure she got enough exercise so she could get thinner to help with her quest to find the right guy, etc. etc. She thought I wanted her to take up knitting, which would not have actually done it in her case because she didn’t really care a flip for stitch work.
When you are actually feeding your soul, whatever activity that does it for you won’t end up on your “to do” list. It will actually be on your “want to” list, and most hopefully on “I actually long to do this” list.
At this time of year, when the weather turns colder, it’s good to reflect on what actually has been feeding your soul in the past year. If you can’t discover what that was, spend time meditating on what your soul is longing to do now.
Here are a few examples from my own life that are working right now:
Lying in my hammock. Whether I am staring of into the tops of the trees, reading a book or napping, this is my favorite place on earth.
Sitting in my hot tub. When I am super busy, I like to sit in the warm water, looking out at the birds .
Playing with my dog Belle. I am not saving the world, making money, finding the cure for cancer or helping anybody. I am just being in the present moment, watching what’s happening.
Teaching yoga and qi gong. I feel like the conductor of a beautiful orchestra, raising my baton for peace and happiness to ring out.
Sitting by the fire. I can spend hours doing nothing except adding another log every once in awhile.
Beading. I enjoy sitting with my gemstones, meditating on the person I am creating a gift for, and making something beautiful just for her.
Taking an Epsom salt bath. This is the cure for all diseases as far as I am concerned.
Hanging out at the comedy club. There are great comedians and not quite so funny ones, but each one should come with a prescription, “Laugh out loud until you stop taking yourself so seriously.”
Going to lunch with a friend. It’s not where we go that counts, it’s the company.
Reading anything by Dr. David Hawkins. I have all Dr. Hawkins books in stacks around my house. I ask for guidance and pick up the book I need to the exact paragraph that will help me at that time.
Tending my orchids. OK, if you have been to my studio, you know they really tend me, not the other way around. But I do water them.
I could go on, but here’s the bottom line: If you are not feeding your soul, you will end up feeding something else. You can read all the diet books in the world and still never get anywhere until you stumble on this truth. You can go to a religious institution with great regularity but still never find closeness to God until you make this connection. You can attend support group every night, take any kind of antidepressant or visit the world’s greatest therapists but still struggle to stop your addiction until you fill your own void.
I always say we all have to pay our mortgage (or rent, as the case may be), buy our groceries and fill the car with gas. But if all your life is about is making money, go ahead and shoot yourself.
I have had many a highly successful client whose life was just about money. Even when they achieved some measure of financial security, if they hadn’t learned how to feed the part of themselves that actually matters, they find themselves struggling with some degree of addiction.
Here are a few activities that work for others:
Sitting on the porch and smoking a pipe.
Drinking a margarita. In case you are shocked by the pipe or margarita suggestion, realize I don’t believe in perfection. It makes people neurotic, and I don’t believe in cultivating neurotic clients. Sometimes you need to stay up all night, dance until your legs get tired and speak your truth by whatever alchemical means necessary.
Watching a good football game.
Having the whole family over for a home cooked meal.
Playing a game.
Volunteering at the pet rescue.
Playing a musical instrument.