Joy to You & Me, Joy2MeU, and Joy2MeU2 Update Newsletter
This is an Update Newsletter of the Joy2MeU web site of codependency recovery / inner child healing pioneer, Spiritual teacher Robert Burney - who is the author of the Joyously inspirational book: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. This Update is being published on my Mobile Friendly Joy2MeU2.com website.
I used to post Update Newsletters regularly 3 or 4 times a year from 1999 through 2009 - and then once a year through 2012. Click to see past Update Newsletters (not mobile friendly.) My June 2018 Update on this Joy2MeU2.com mobile friendly site was the first Update I had published in over 6 years.
A short announcement e-mail is sent out notifying people - who have signed up for the Joy2MeU e-mailing list - when a new Update is posted.
Hello Magnificent Radiantly Beautiful Spiritual Beings,
When I posted my first Update in over 6 years last June, I wasn't sure when or if I would do another. Well here I am publishing another. I have some announcements about some new and interesting developments and events - and I am going to bring anyone who is interested up to date on what has been happening in my life since the Update last June in the Newsletter section of this Update below.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that it is Valentine's Day - and offer a quote from one of my articles (which also became Chapter 16 of my Romantic Relationship book.)
“We were set up to have unrealistic expectations of our self and of romance. We were set up: to make choices that would cause us to repeat dysfunctional patterns in relationships; to choose exactly the people who would repeat the emotional dynamics of abandonment, deprivation, unavailability, verbal abuse, etc.; to choose to open our hearts to people who would ignore, or stomp on, them. Often then, we learned to shut down our hearts in order to survive the emotional pain.
It is very sad. It is very sad that we have had our hearts broken. It is very sad that we have let go of getting our needs met. It is very sad that it is so hard to connect with another being in a healthy, Loving way. It is very sad that so many of us have had to shut down our hearts and lock the romantic part of us away in a deep dark place within us.
It is very sad - but it is truly tragic that we blame ourselves. We have been victimized by society's dysfunctional programming and we beat up on the victim of those forces that we were powerless over. . . .
. . . . . Make this Valentine's Day a True celebration of Love by choosing to Love and have compassion for your wounded self (own the emotional pain) at the same time you are allowing your Spiritual Self to nurture (tell your self Spiritual Truth) and protect you (tell the critical parent voice to shut up.)
Make this Valentine's Day about owning the Unconditional Love of The Universal Force for you.” - Healthy Relationships - Part 7, Valentine's Day 2000
Now the announcements of upcoming events and new developments.
I have a done an interview as part of an online event focused on Transforming Codependent Patterns starting on February 18th. There is a free interview a day for 21 days from leading experts in the field. There is more info below or you can just click here.
Workshop Morro Bay
I am excited to announce that I am doing my Intensive Training Workshop in Morro Bay on March 24th in the Garden Chapel at the Coalesce Book Store. My first book Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls was originally a talk that I first gave in June 1991 in Cambria at the Pewter Plough Playhouse and in Morro Bay in the Garden Chapel at Coalesce Book Store. So, it will be interesting to be back there almost 28 years later. Doing my workshop in the local area brought up issues for me in relationship to the 12 Traditions of AA, NA, and CoDA. I did some process writing about that in the Newsletter below.
The websites that my friend Jeff Sohler designed and launched in 2008 and 2009 are being redesigned - and should be online in a short time. They will have an updated design and will be even more mobile friendly than they have been previously. These are the sites that are getting me the highest rankings these days since my joy2meu.com is so out of date design wise.
And as I mentioned in the last Update, we are going to be offering my Intensive Training Workshop online in the very near future. Anyone who is interested, drop me an email Workshop Online so I can let you know when it is available.
This link is to a December Interview that was live streamed on YouTube and is over an hour long:
In March I will be doing an interview on Mental Health Radio - I don't have a date yet but there should be an announcement of it on my New and News pages on Joy2MeU and the New and News page on my mobile friendly landing site.
On this page of my landing site recoverycodepence.com are links to the MP3 downloads of my first book and my Intensive Training Workshop, as well as links to the audiobooks versions of my books and to interviews that I have done: Audio & Subscriptions
There is a YouTube Channel with 5 short videos taken from my Workshop Recording - and a 48 minute interview from an Online Holistic Health Summit Event YouTube Channel
21 Free Online Interviews about Transforming Codependent Patterns
Join me and 20 other experts from around the world as we speak about how to identify and transform the ways in which we operate in relationships. You will get an interview a day for over 20 days! You’ll experience influencers in psychology, neuroscience, psychobiology, epigenetics,
LGBTQ, somatic healing, addiction (and more) provide ideas, & tips on how to live from a place of safety, security, passion & connection.
I’d like to introduce you to Cheryl Fidelman, life coach, performance artist & host of:
The TRUST YOURSELF Summit: Transform Codependent Patterns & Express Your True Self In ANY Relationship. To access these 21 free interviews click here. Beginning Feb. 18th, 2019.
List of Speakers
- Julia Kristina - Carolyn Hobbs
- Dr. Jean LaCour - Larry Heller
- Pia Johnson - Lori & Bob Hollander
- Chris Askew - Sherry Gaba
- Rosalind Sedacca - Candace Plattor
- Lisa A. Romano- Stacy Hoch
- Lila & David Tresemer - Brian Pisor
- Linda & Charlie Bloom
- Robert Burney - Darlene Lancer
- Ann Brasco - Rosemary O'Connor
I have a Holiday Sale page with special prices for my books, audio downloads, phone / Skype counseling and workshop that I have extended until the end of February. USPS has raised it's rates again, so these are probably the lowest prices that will ever be available on my books with shipping included.
I recently republished one of my blog articles on wordpress - and it noted a special price I was charging for the subscription areas of my site that was lower than what I had them at recently. So I have changed the price now on that sale page to reflect the lower price.
I have a special offer page with a reduced rate for the initial hour and a half phone counseling session - or the initial plus 2. My phone counseling (and workshop) are Life Changing. Just saying. ;-)
I hope this finds you well. You and I had a few phone sessions over a year ago. Since that time, I have stopped drinking, focused on living in abundance and have allowed the universe to guide my life. That being said, my income has doubled and is still climbing, my relationship has improved, abundance has filled my life and I find that I am much happier person. I am more confident than I've ever been and am actually excited about the future. These days, I look forward to each day and all of the possibilities that are available to me.
I was compelled to send you a gift today to express my gratitude for being such a beacon of inspiration. I am grateful for you and the gifts you have enabled me to receive and I send you joy and blessings for being a such a spiritual being." - Email received on 7/29/18
February 9th, 2019 7:28 pm:
Instead of starting back in June and telling you all what has happened since my last Update as I was envisioning, I am going to start with something that happened this week because it is indicative of the magic of living in Cambria for me. From the window that my computer sits in front of, and the window in my kitchen, I can look out at a hillside behind my house. On that hillside I often see deer and turkeys - one of the things I really love about where I live. In recent weeks I have had a little herd of 7 deer showing up back there on a regular basis. The beautiful buck below is one of those 7 - although that picture wasn't of the hillside, it was the small neighborhood the road up that hillside leads to. I say him and 6 other deer on one of the last evenings when Darien was here over Christmas vacation, when I was out walking his dog to give him a chance to take care of his business before dark. The other two pictures are of behind my house - the one with the turkeys was obviously taken before the rainy season started. In the picture below you can see how green it is now.
A January Sunset - the whales just recently started migrating past - over a month late. I did see one breach twice a week or so ago though - that is always cool.
What happened this week is that my deer herd doubled in population overnight. On Wednesday afternoon I was on a phone counseling session and stood up at my desk looking out the window at the hummingbird feeder. Suddenly deer started running down the hill from beside the house that is pictured just at the top of this picture. At first I thought something had scared them, but then I realized that they were running haphazardly - some running back and forth, some kind of going in circles. It seemed that rather than running from something, they were being frisky and playing. It was almost like they were stoned or something.
As they came down the hill I was astounded by how many there were. I counted 14 of them. I had never seen that many in one group around here before. Then yesterday I looked out and they were there again - in the picture on the left. I counted 14 again. Amazing!
Then I remembered what had happened on Tuesday afternoon. Suddenly in the afternoon I heard the raucous noise - that I recognized immediately were turkeys. The can be really loud when they are agitated - and they often seem to squabble among themselves. I went out on the deck and the 7 deer whom I had seen earlier laying around in the meadow were running away. The turkeys were stampeding right into the deer. I think the turkeys were upset that the deer were in their way.
So, I realized that the deer must have called in reinforcements so that the turkeys couldn't bully them again. ;-)
February 10th, 2019 7:31 pm:
The picture of Darien and his dog Hunter was taken with them standing on top of the rock that I sit on when I do my daily prayers and affirmations. It is a pretty cool picture, even if I do say so myself. ;-)
He ended up staying most of the summer with me - which was great. We went to a circus and to a Renaissance Fair. Also to the Midstate Fair in Paso Robles. We took 2 walks on the Ranch almost every day - and Darien loved to climb down the bluffs to the tide pools on the rocks below, where he collected driftwood pieces. There are a bunch in in my driveway now.
The last day we walked while he was here for the summer, we spotted a fox. I saw that fox 3 times in the next week - but haven't seen him since then. There was a mountain lion killed by a car less than a mile from my house - and a friend had a bear run across Hiway 46 in front of her on the way to Paso. I saw a raccoon two days ago - and yesterday there were over a dozen otters offshore, and a huge Elephant Seal with the weird nose swimming past. We did go visit the Elephant Seals again while D was here. So, lots of wildlife here. Cooleyo, as Darien would say. ;-)
Darien with some of his driftwood sticks that he liked to collect. At the Renaissance Fair honing his archery. And fireworks over the beach on the 4th of July. I had him try on some different hats in a store here in town.
A burrowing owl that recently moved into a burrow near my prayer rock. Among the wildlife here are a lot of birds - and they have gatherings for reasons I don't understand. A whole bunch of vultures in the air for some reason. A gathering of sea gulls on the rocks where Darien likes to climb. Another picture of Dariens's climbing rocks - and very low tide. And one day there were 19 egrets that I could see while standing near my rock.
Dolphins swimming past - and a boy and his dog at the dog park. Driving to the Ranch I often see deer - and have to watch out that they don't cross the road in front of me. The 3 deer below and the buck and doe beside it, are in the same lot. That shows again the difference between the Rainy Season and the dry.
The weasel that I included a picture of in the last Update - peaking out of a hole. That was one of the last days Darien was here in the summer - and he and I stood there and watch the little fellow pop up again and again. He is obviously a very curious little fellow. A month or two later I saw him duck under the board walk near my rock and I just stood there and waited for him, knowing he was curious. Sure enough, he peaked out and then came out heading right towards me - until he suddenly realized that I was there.
Whales Breaching on my Anniversary
This is what I posted on Facebook last year on the one year anniversary of moving into my apartment in Cambria.
Robert Burney shared a post — feeling blessed August 19, 2018 ·
On August 18th last year I moved into my new apartment in Cambria. The next morning I was greeted by my new neighbors in this picture. Today when I went for my walk on the Ranch the Universe arranged for a party for my 1 year anniversary. Multiple whales were breaching. There were two side by side that breached at least 4 times as I was watching - and others were breaching farther out. I have never seen anything like it. It was an awesome miracle to celebrate my one year anniversary. If anyone wants to check out the story of me moving back here, you can find it here: Update June 2018
The beautiful dog with 2 different colored eyes is Hunter. The pic beside him is what my back seat looks like after he has been riding in it for more than a few days. Lots of shedding in my apartment also. ;-)
This is Darien, a teenager! Sitting on the front porch of his house in Tracy. And at his 14th Birthday party. I went up there and took him and some friends to a computer gaming place and then to Round Table pizza for his birthday in November.
He was at my place for Christmas this year. That is him at the Cambria Christmas Market which is only a block from my place. That our Christmas Tree. Having white hair all over, I didn't want add pine needles to it. We went to 4 movies while he was here.
Darien has made the Honor Role for the last two quarters - and got an Exemplary Character award at the last Honor Role ceremony at his Middle School. I am so proud of him. He was having a really hard time focusing when he first started in that school - it was his 5th school going into the 7th grade in 2017. He has gotten much better at having boundaries with himself about getting his homework done - and paying attention in class. He is such a cool kid. I Love him sooo much!
My Workshop in Morro Bay (and the 12 Traditions)
Several months ago, someone in San Luis Obispo who had found me on Facebook asked if I would do one of my workshops locally. I replied to her that I was reluctant to do that because I couldn't promote myself to any of the people that I know from 12 step meetings because of the 12 Traditions.
I got to thinking about that, and realized that perhaps I have gone overboard over the years in trying to respect the Traditions. There is actually one Tradition that I break regularly - and I have a statement on my website stating why I break with that Tradition.
"Although my book and articles make reference to Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles and Twelve Step program of A.A., this does not mean that A.A. has reviewed or approved the contents of this writing, nor that A.A. agrees with the views expressed herein. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of this material in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but address other problems, or in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.
January 8, 2005 - a message from Robert.
I included the above disclaimer in my book - and on any of the pages of my site where I am writing directly about AA or the twelve steps - out of respect for Alcoholics Anonymous. However, it is the black and white thinking of codependency that causes many in AA to be rigid and closed minded - to insist for instance, that drugs not be discussed in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (alcohol is of course a drug.) Since many of the people who started CoDependents Anonymous came from AA, there is a certain level of black and white thinking that sometimes comes up in CoDA business meetings and affairs. Because of this type of right and wrong / black and white thinking, I included this note at the bottom of the page in one of the articles in my series on The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process.
"I am inserting a note here for anyone who feels offended by what they see as a violation of the Eleventh Tradition of AA's Twelve Traditions. The 11th Tradition of AA is:
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
I routinely break my own anonymity in regard to the fact that I am a recovering alcoholic / addict and codependent because I do not believe I would be alive today if Betty Ford had not broken her anonymity in the late 1970s and brought the subject of alcoholism out of the closet into public view. She is one of the people I dedicated my book to because I believe that I personally owe her a debt of gratitude for her courage and honesty. Breaking my own anonymity is one way that I carry the message of hope that saved my life. Anyone whose black and white thinking is causing them to rigidly interpret the Twelve Steps and Traditions enough to be offended, desperately needs to get into codependency recovery in my opinion." - Robert Burney 2/10/04 The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process Steps 10 thru 12 - The Maintenance Steps Part 1"
So, I haven't had any problem with breaking the 11th Tradition because I think it is my right to break my own anonymity - no one else's of course, but my own.
But I have gone out of my way over the years to not promote myself in 12 Step meetings. In the early years of CoDA there were some horror stories about therapists starting CoDA meetings and getting people to sign up for a phone list - and then trying to recruit them as clients. That is, of course, inappropriate and a violation of not only the Traditions but of professional ethics.
So, I ended up going to the other extreme. I have gone to CoDA meetings for years with people who didn't ever know I had written books about codependence or did codependency recovery counseling. This was before social media of course. Now days, since I am on Facebook, people who I know in meetings can find out easily - but I never talk in meetings about my books or what I do.
The black and white thinking that I mention in the quote above, actually had a lot to do with the decline of Co-Dependents Anonymous over the years. Here is a quote from a page on my site about that decline.
"In the early to mid 90s, codependence was the hot buzz word and people were flocking to CoDA meetings. CoDA - Co-Dependents Anonymous - began in the fall of 1986 in Phoenix Arizona. By the time I went to Treatment (30 days in the Desert) in spring of 1988 there were between 15 and 20 CoDA meetings in the state of California. (All the meetings were listed on 1 side of one sheet of paper. LA County where I lived at the time, had 3 meetings.) When I moved from the Central Coast back to Taos in the summer of 1992, there were 18 meetings a week in San Luis Obispo county alone - 3 in Cambria which I had started. When I moved back to the Central Coast in late 1995 there were only 3 meetings in SLO county. Now there is one." The decline of CoDA
I count my conscious codependency recovery as having begun on June 3rd, 1986 - so actually 3 or 4 months before the first meeting of CoDA in Phoenix. It was very sad to me to see the decline of CoDA, because it is - in my opinion - the 12 step program that is closest to focusing on the core wounding.
"Another problem with CoDA was that it adapted most of it's literature almost word for word from AA - which left it with a version of the 12 steps that isn't really too accurate in describing the process of codependence recovery - as well as other literature which didn't really apply. The thing that AA had going for it when it first started, and still does, is that it deals with a black and white issue. You drink or you don't drink. Codependence recovery is not black and white - and in fact, is a lot about getting away from black and white thinking. This is an inherent difficulty in structuring the program. People with time in recovery in other programs came into CoDA and wanted to make it just as rigid as the programs they came from. People who had no clue what recovery was about when they first came to CoDA, were looking for someone to tell them how to do it "right." As CoDA grew the controllers won out and made it more rigid. I passed up the opportunity to have my story in the CoDA Big Book because I was so unhappy with how things were evolving.
And still CoDA meetings were a most important part of my recovery. I wish there were more available to attend now. I hope that someday there is a renaissance of CoDA . . . . ." - The decline of Co-Dependents Anonymous in the late 1990s
When I moved to San Diego in 2006, I got to see the horror of rigid black and white controlling codependent thinking manifested in San Diego CoDA. I started a meeting in Encinitas where we were living after moving there. In that meeting, we used Melody Beattie's The Language of Letting Go (an absolutely phenomenal daily meditation book that I think everyone in recovery should have) as part of the format of the meeting - as had most of the CoDA meetings in the country in the first 15 years or so of CoDA. The CoDA Big Book and 12 x 12 workbooks were not around for the first dozen or so years of CoDA.
A young woman who came to our meeting one night was horrified that we were using non conference approved literature. It turned out that her sponsor - who was sponsoring dozens of people in San Diego CoDA - had been the head of the central committee for some years, and had taught people to be terrified of anyone using non conference materials. She was from Al-Anon and had brought that programs rigidity about any outside literature into CoDA. The Central Committee then threatened to take our meeting off the CoDA meeting schedule if we didn't conform to their interpretations of the Traditions. We didn't and subsequently they did take our meeting off the schedule.
It turned out that in their rigid interpretation, it was not even acceptable to say Melody Beattie's name in a meeting. Or John Bradshaw or Pia Melody or any of the pioneers of the movement. That was bad enough, but what was even more horrifying, is they had decreed that laughter was not okay in meetings - because some newcomer might take offense. Laughter - the laughter of recognition and identification - has always been one of the most important components of 12 step meetings for me. I couldn't even image meetings without laughter prior to the experience in San Diego. They also had decreed that hugs were not allowed.
In 2013 when I moved to Fallbrook, and found CoDA meetings in Temecula (which is in Riverside County) where they hugged and laughed - I was so grateful and Joy-filled. It was such a relief to find some healthy CoDA meetings.
In case you are wondering, there are now 2 CoDA meetings in San Luis Obispo County - one that I started in Cambria. We laugh a lot and hug whenever appropriate.
As I said, I realized that I had gone overboard the other way in years past - and actually deprived people who I cared about, that I was going to meetings with, the opportunity to take advantage of the knowledge and wisdom that I have acquired over the years in my attempt to respect the Traditions.
So, I set the date for this workshop in Morro Bay for March 24th. And I am going to let some of the people in meetings - the ones who I think would be interested - know about that workshop. I am not going to announce it - or talk about it - in meetings, but I will hand flyers to people in both of the meetings that I go to (the other meeting in the county is in San Luis Obispo on Monday evenings.) I will let them know before or after or outside the meetings.
I was not sure what I should charge for this workshop, because of the fact that it is local and thus has much less overhead for me - but also because it is people I know here locally. This paragraph is what I decided, and is on the web page with info about the workshop.
"When offering this workshop in other areas - in San Diego when I was living down there, and the Bay Area (am offering it in Gilroy Feb. 16th and April 27th) I charged $150 in recent years - with reduced rates for those that sign up early. I have also done versions of it in British Columbia, Ontario, and the island of Ibiza in Spain - and shorter versions in Boston and Akron Ohio. Since this is my home territory and I don't have as much overhead cost for this workshop - and I want to make it affordable for people in this area, most of whom don't know about my websites or books - I was trying to figure out what I should charge. What I have decided, since the seating is limited in the Chapel, is that I am going to ask for a seat deposit of $25 - and then ask for a Love Offering of $10 to $50 at the end of the workshop for those who have found it valuable, and can afford to make a Love Offering." - An Empowering and Life Changing Workshop in Morro Bay
Hopefully, I have found a balance in the gray area in this conundrum about the Traditions. If anyone is offended - as I say above - I think you really need some codependency recovery. ;-) - Robert 2/11/2019
My life today
I am so grateful for my life today. It has been such an incredible adventure. I just celebrated 35 years clean and sober on January 3rd. What a mind boggling achievement!!!! One day at a time. When I got sober, I couldn't imagine not drinking and using for a year.
"I couldn't conceive of staying clean and sober for a year. I couldn't remember the last time I had gone for more than 3 days without something - drugs or alcohol - to take the edge off. . . . .
Anyway, I couldn't imagine a year sober - and at the same time, I saw people who made it to a year and then drank again. I was afraid of making it a goal to get to a year - because it was such a long time away, and also because I didn't want to set myself up to feel like if I got there I had it made. So, I decided to make my goal to reach 100 days - which was an impossibly long period for me at that point. And then once I got to 100 days, I made my next goal 1000 days. I would mention when I took my birthday cake after I reached 1000 days that my next goal was 10,000 days. It seemed like an unfathomably distant goal. Well, some time this year - in May I think - I passed 10,000 days clean and sober. Mind boggling! Talk about a miracle!!" - MY SOBRIETY DATE: JANUARY 3RD, 1984
The next milestone I am coming up on is 13000 days now. Such a miracle!
When I was living in Taos after going through a 30 day treatment program for codependency in the Spring of 1988, I was really focusing on trying to figure out what was my will, and what was God's will for me. Basically what I learned was to pay attention to what got my attention and to let go of any expectations about where I was going. I found that my Higher Power would lure me in the direction I needed to go by letting me think I was going where I wanted to go - when I was actually going where I needed to go for my recovery. So, it would be like -"Come this way. See that, head in that direction - and then suddenly: 'Now we are going this way.'" Not where I thought I was going at all.
Often, the messages I got seemed absolutely insane. I would get a message - and my response would be 'Are you f***ing kidding me!'
"No way, Jose!” was my response. . . . .
This is a pattern with me and the Universe – I get a message and I say "Are you crazy – no way!" But eventually, as a message keeps getting repeated over and over, eventually I surrender and say, "OK, but you’d better take care of me."" - The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul: Miracles
The picture below is an example of one of the times I took a Leap of Faith - what I found in the Runes called the "Empty handed leap into the Void" - and agreed to an insane plan as long as my Higher Power promised to take care of me. At the end of 1994, I made a trip from Taos to the Central Coast of California to try to raise the money to publish my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls - which I had first given as a talk in June 1991 in Cambria and Morro Bay.
This line on the wall is how deep the water was on the back side of the Vets Hall in Cambria the weekend I gave my talk there.
"It rained for the first 30 days I was in California. Then after stopping for a few days, it really started to rain. . . . .
. . . . . Because of the change in place, the earliest time I could do that talk in Cambria was in March that year. I was scheduled to give it on a Sunday evening in the Veterans building here in town - which was where that congregation met.
On the Friday night before my talk the Big Cambria Flood hit. When I say it had been really raining, I was not kidding. By that weekend the ground was so saturated that a huge rain fall resulted in a flash flood in what is called the West Village of Cambria. The stores there - art galleries, real estate offices, etc., were filled with as much as 8 feet of water in some places. A story went around that may have been true, but rather it was true or not, gives some insight to what happened. The story was that the owner of a bar in the West Village had just closed up his bar and gotten into his car when the flood hit. Supposedly he had to climb out through the sun roof of his car because the water hit so fast, and was so deep, that he couldn't get out the door.
The Veterans building was on the very edge of this flood - and was not damaged. However, the electricity was out. The power company people were working on getting the power restored when I arrived for the talk that evening. Surprisingly over 30 people turned out. I did the talk to candle light and flashlights. The room was rimmed with candles - and it gave the talk a very interesting ambiance, a kind of magical, flickering, dancing, shimmering effect.
When I came to the big climax at the end of the talk - with perfect cosmic timing - the lights came on. Pretty weird and awesome experience." - The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
So, I kept being led to take leaps of faith, even though it seemed insane some of the time. And I was guided to understand that part of my mission was to be a role model that it was okay to be an imperfect human being.
"Another experience came shortly after I had started in a therapist position at an outpatient chemical dependence program in Van Nuys California in 1987. One evening in a Family Group I was talking about how grateful I was to be in recovery and I teared up from joy - I didn't cry, just teared up. The next week the Clinical Director - my supervising therapist - came marching into our office and proceeded to lecture me about getting emotional in front of the clients. This psychiatrist, who was on anti-depressants because he was suicidal over a relationship breakup, warned me to never let it happen again. . . . . .
. . . . . I was not far enough along in my recovery at that point to confront him but I do remember thinking to myself - "Then who is supposed to be the role models?"" - Inner Child Healing - Choosing a therapist or counselor with discernment
I don't actually remember volunteering to be a role model that it was okay to be emotionally vulnerable and an imperfect human being - but that was where I was led.
"I believe it is very important for me to be willing to role model that it is OK to be human. I also know that it is helpful for people to have me discuss how I apply the principles of the twelve step spiritual program in my life in a concrete way instead of just as abstract concepts. . . . .
On the Miscellaneous Topic/Former Online Columns index page of the Joy2MeU site, I quote from one of those Newsletters about the personal nature of my writing. Among the things I say in that quote are these paragraphs.
"The thing that was the most damaging to us was the role modeling of the emotionally crippled adults we grew up around - the role modeling is what taught us the dysfunctional definitions of who we are as emotional beings. It is vitally important, in my opinion, that we have some beings who are willing to role model what emotionally healthy behavior is - which includes being emotionally vulnerable at times.
Traditional therapy/counseling in this society is set up as a one up-one down situation - that is the therapist is set up as the expert who treats the poor unfortunate patient. I happen to agree with something Ram Dass once said about this - "If you meet a therapist who thinks you are the patient - run! . . . .
. . . . . . I am in process just as my clients are - just as we all are. There is no hierarchy as far as I am concerned - just one wounded person/Magnificent Spiritual Being sharing what has worked for me with another wounded person/Magnificent Spiritual Being. I am doing what I need to do for myself, to heal myself - it doesn't have to do with anyone else - that it helps other people is just a bonus (and an opportunity to settle Karma)."" - Sharing Experience, Strength, and Hope - My Recovery Process
And the last part is important. In recovery, working on healing our selves is a way we are settling karma.
""Of course, one of the reasons that I have the honor and privilege of carrying this Joyous message in this lifetime is because of my Karmic debts from other lifetimes.
Possibly one of the reasons that you are reading this is because I, personally, owe you a Karmic debt. Maybe I gouged out your eyes when I was a Roman legionnaire or a Viking or something, and now I am repaying that debt by helping you to see more clearly in this lifetime."
Obviously I have a lot of Karmic debt to settle. That is why I was assigned (volunteered for ???) for the mission which has been my path in this lifetime.
I do what I do because it is what I need to do to heal me. I follow my path in my quest to reconnect with my Source because it is what my soul longs for. I stand up in public - or write in the book or on the internet - because standing up in public and taking responsibility for owning and speaking my Truth is what I need to do to heal my wounds and settle my Karma." - Joy2MeU Update Newsletter August 2001
Part of being willing to be vulnerable and be a role model that it is okay to be imperfect, was to be willing to ask for help in my recovery. So, many people have thanked me for demonstrating that it is not only okay, it is a vital part of recovery to be willing to ask for help.
"When I was in treatment getting sober I was in a city I hadn't lived in for 20 years. I had no car and was going to be living with my brother who lived on the outskirts of the city when I got out of treatment. I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to make it to meetings and went in to talk to my counselor about it. He said, "You ask for rides." "Oh no," I said. "You don't understand I never ask anybody for anything." "Well," he said, "that is what working the third step is all about." "Asking for rides?!?!" I said incredulously.” - Working the Third Step
I got to demonstrate that it was okay to ask for help again last year on my 70th birthday. l still feel some guilt and shame about asking for help, but it is something that I have had to surrender to over and over in my recovery. My path has been an abnormal one to say the least. I live month to month. Every month I am very grateful to be able to pay the rent. There was a great response to my appeal for help for my birthday.
"July 30th, 2018 - I have had a really wonderful response to my request. Over a dozen people made donations and another dozen made purchases. It wasn't enough to address the dental or car issues, but definitely enough to help me through a very tight and stressful time. I am so grateful for all the people who were supportive - the support that sent money my way and the words and prayers of support as well. I am very, very grateful!!!!!" - Special Birthday Sale in honor of Robert's 70th (Egad!!) Birthday!!!
The huge gift in my recovery is that I have learned to be present in the moment and open to accessing Joy in spite of not knowing what is going to happen tomorrow.
"I didn't have to live in fear and make myself crazy about something that didn't happen” . October 29, 2013 at 1:31pm (I originally wrote this as a note on Facebook)
Yesterday I got the results of a biopsy and it was negative – great news! What was also really great is that in the 10 days between the time the biopsy was taken and when I got the results, I didn't have to live in fear and make myself crazy about something that didn’t happen. That is because of my recovery and having had the blessing of learning how to set internal boundaries emotionally and mentally so I can keep letting go of the outcome, of things I can't control. In the past, waiting for an outcome that was important to me – like the results of this biopsy – would have been excruciating. I am so grateful for my recovery. For having learned how to have the ability to let go of my fear in the moment and say to myself that is about the future, I don’t need to know that today.
My disease wants to project horror movies into the future of impending doom, financial tragedy, being along forever. Because of my recovery I don't have to get all emotionally caught up in things that haven't happened yet, in outcomes in the future which may never happen. I am very grateful that I have the tools and knowledge to not allow my childhood wounding and programming to dictate the quality of my life today." - I don’t have to know that today. I don’t have to decide that today. I can let that go for today
By being willing to do my emotional healing - and change the intellectual programming caused by growing up in an emotional dishonest and dysfunctional, Spiritually hostile (based upon belief in separation instead of connection), shame based civilization - I have learned to be able to be present in the moment and tune into the transcendent vibrational frequency that is Joy, Love, Light, Truth, and Beauty.
"It is not bad or wrong that you are an alcoholic or drug addict or workaholic or love addict or food addict or whatever – it is just an attempt to go home. We have felt lost and alone and not a part of – and we did whatever we could to try to transform that painful level of consciousness into a higher level. The problem was that those outside means of altering our consciousness are temporary, artificial, and self-destructive. When we look to outer or external sources that interfere with consciousness, to alter our consciousness, to make us feel better, we are worshipping false gods, we are giving power to the illusion – we are not owning our True Self and our own inner channel to God.
Now that does not mean there is anything wrong with outer stimulation helping us to access Love. What is dysfunctional is focusing on the outer or external as the source of the Joy. We can combine our energy with a place or a person or a group of people or an animal to form a more powerful energy field which makes it easier to access the higher vibrational Source energy. What outer or external sources can do is reflect back to us the Beauty of who we really are – that is a most powerful way of accessing the Love within ourselves.
We all can do it at times. The easiest place for many of us to access this Love energy is in nature. Watching a beautiful sunset or looking out over a magnificent landscape can make it easy to access the vibrational frequency of Love, Light, Truth, Beauty, and Joy. Small children can help many of us to tune into the Love within us. Music, or other vibrational emanations such as chanting or meditation or movement, can also facilitate this connection. Perhaps in your relationship to your dog or cat or horse, you can find the space to tune into the Love within.
What all of these things – from babies to whales to dancing – have in common is that they help us to be in the moment. It is in the moment that we can access the Love vibrational frequency within us.
It can be relatively easy to access Love and Joy in relationship with nature. It is in our relationships with other people that it gets messy." - The True Nature of Love - Part 3, Love as a Vibrational Frequency
So, is it any wonder that I love living here so much. So many moments of Joy just looking out the window - or driving to my walk. I am soooooo very very grateful for the gifts that my recovery - and being willing to follow where I am led - have brought into my life. I don't know what the future holds - and hope that I am able to live here in Cambria for the duration. I hope I can get through my 70s so that I can be here for Darien as he grows up. I am so grateful to be really Living today and enJoying it!
"We were taught that death is a great tragedy and that we should spend our lives fearing and ignoring it. We were taught to fear death and to never live life. That's backwards.
Death is a transition, a transformation, death is a milestone in the longer journey. It is not a tragedy to be feared - it is an eventuality to be accepted. What is tragedy is not enjoying living while we are here."
I just added this quote from my book - that I wrote almost 28 years ago in a writing frenzy to finish writing the talk I had scheduled. And I am sobbing and crying now with gratitude and Joy for the incredible gift that 12 step recovery has been in my life. I am so very Blessed. Thank you God/Goddess/Great Spirit!!!!!
I am going to spend a couple of days with Darien this Presidents Day weekend - after doing my workshop in Gilroy on Saturday. I just found out that some church group has rented the meeting room I use for my workshop for the rest of the year. I have another workshop scheduled in Gilroy on April 27th - and it looks like that might be the last one there. More will be revealed.
Remember that you are a Magnificent and Powerful Spiritual Being full of Light and Love - and you are perfectly where you are supposed to be on your Spiritual Path and are being guided home. Happy Valentine's Day. - Robert 2/14/19
"I freely share so much information on my site because - as I say in the article above - I believe it is my Karmic Mission in this lifetime. I want to share the Joyous message and the precious information that I have discovered - and it is what I need to do for my Recovery and Spiritual Path. It is not such a great strategy when it comes to finances however.;-) So Donations to the Cause / Love Offerings / Spiritual Tithes are always appreciated if you feel my sharing has helped you in your Healing / Recovery process and on your Spiritual Path. If my writing has helped you remember Truth that brings you some Joy and inner peace, and your Spirit moves you to send some Love back my way - there are donation links here." - Metaphysical Law: Giving and Receiving ~ Donations / Love Offering