M&M: Learning to been seen.

 

 

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Helping your world taste better. 

 


We do a lot of looking: we look through lenses, telescopes, television tubes…Our looking is perfected every day — but we see less and less. Never has it been more urgent to speak of seeing…
Frederick Franck, The Zen of Seeing

 

One aspect of mindfulness is the practice of seeing. For beginners, we might have someone focus on objects, with the intention of just noticing with the eyes, and that has value, however, I like to challenge my clients (and myself) to go a little deeper into “being seen.”
A reason I want to bring attention to being seen is that it seems to be what the mainstream is craving these days; to be seen. Many people are attempting to be seen in the digital world, which for most of us, has little to no value and we will still feel and be left unseen.
What we are really after.
Part of our humanness is the desire to be seen – it’s a valid human need-  and it’s important to teach people how to get what they are really after.
You want to see yourself. 
Recently (with clients), I draw my infamous stick figure on the board; I also write their name underneath.

 

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John & Susie

 

 

I ask them to look at themselves.
I usually add, “As if it wasn’t you…it’s you looking at you.”
Then I guide them into an exploration of seeing themselves.
How is John doing? _______________________________________
How is John experiening life’s dailies? ____________________
What about John pleases you? ____________________________
What do you like about John lately?_______________________
How is Susie showing up in the world?____________________
What would you like to see differently for Susie?_________
What does Susie struggle with these days?________________
Is Susie living up to her own standards of living?________
How can you help Susie?____________________
This is what we are all after; to see ourselves. To been seen for ourselves and by ourselves. In many ways, this is the only seeing that matters.
Learning to see ourselves in the midst of daily life…when we can learn to do this more, we can learn to help ourselves more. It’s a beautiful process, a beautiful practice, with nothing but immensely valuable outcomes.
Try it for yourself- enjoy!
Laura
Intent & Practice: Increase awareness of a deeper, more useful way of being seen. Practice looking at yourself in the third person.

 

 

* Laura C Meyer, MS,  is a therapeutic mindfulness instructor and founder of Live More Studio. She writes about mindfulness for addiction and mental health and believes people deserve more than the mainstream.

This website is designed as an educational experience. It is not therapy. The information acknowledges that while medication is a viable treatment option, it is not the only solution. Disclaimer

Why Calling Yourself An Addict Is Not a Good Idea.​

 

Instead of calling yourself an addict, you might simply consider that some things need to change, that you could benefit from learning a few things about yourself and about life, and you might start doing something about it. Then after some time, you would fix your life. Then you might look back and simply say, “Yeah…that was a really difficult time.” And you could do all this without giving yourself a lifetime sentence of being an “addict”.

 

 

Hi Everyone…welcome to The Studio today:)

 

Our guest today is Lera Boroditsky. Lera is a cognitive scientist, whose TED Talk has received a lot of attention.
Why all the attention? Probably because our current state of affairs seems to be in a language war — a war of ideas, thoughts, tweets, and opinions.
As I’ve been watching the vocal outrage, I’ve become fascinated with the…what some philosophers (Jacob Needleman (my fav!)) would say, and to paraphrase; “As a culture, we have been consumed with materialism for decades, when we are really starving for ideas. With that said, I agree, we seem to be starving for ideas — for new ideas — however, not all ideas are good ideas.
For over ten years, working with addiction, I have YET to meet a client for whom it was a good idea to call themselves “an addict.”
It’s a good idea for insurance companies — a good idea for professionals making money from you — a good idea to keep treatment centers open — a good idea to “keep you coming back” —but not a good idea for the individual.
It’s simply a bad idea to call oneself an addict. 
For the individual, it has more to do with understanding the science of language: language shapes the way we think, and these thoughts and perceptions create our daily life.
One of the first lessons I learned when I decided to quit smoking cigarettes is to think of myself as a “non-smoker” — this is what hypnosis does (not that I had hypnosis to quit smoking) it digs into your unconscious to reprogram thoughts such as this.
I’m not a smoker= I don’t smoke.
It makes no sense for me to tell myself I am a smoker to keep me from smoking. It makes no sense for me to tell myself I am an addict to keep me away from certain drugs or alcohol.
I’m not an alcoholic = so I don’t abuse alcohol.
I’m not an elephant tranquilizer user = I don’t overdose.
I am a non-drinker, a non-drug user = I don’t engage in such activity.
I don’t say; I am a smoker who doesn’t smoke anymore or I am a drinker who doesn’t drink anymore.
YOU ARE CONFUSING YOUR INNER SYSTEM. It’s self-defeating psychology. This type of mental programming is not a good idea.
It’s actually more true to claim oneself NOT an addict if you are not engaged in the addictive behavior.

Not in your vocabulary.

What if the word “addiction” or “addict” was not in our vocabulary? (as noted in Lera’s talk about certain cultures not having specific words to reference)
Or as Lera’s explains at the beginning of the talk: what if you never had the thought…that you were an addict?
Someone “gave” you that thought.
Think about this.
Think about it to such a degree that you would have to use different words to define your experience — and when my clients do this, we usually end up with just that: an experience.

Instead of calling yourself an addict, you might simply consider that some things need to change, that you could benefit from learning a few things about yourself and about life, and you might start doing something about it. Then after some time, you would fix your life. Then you might look back and simply say, “Yeah…that was a really difficult time.” And you could do all this without giving yourself a lifetime sentence of being an “addict”. 

If you are no longer engaged in unskillful behaviors, how useful is it to give yourself an identity or an attachment to that which no longer exists?
It’s just not a good idea.
NOT to mention that biologically your cells regenerate, thus at some point in time, it becomes a biological lie that you are “an addict”.

Intention vs Punishment

As you can hear from Lera’s discussion on language, when we attach individual blame to the language of “I” or “them” “he or she”, without taking into account human intention…well, again, it’s just not a good idea to use language in this context.
This is an example of using language that is not useful and can cause harm. It’s not useful to say, “I am an addict, or “he/she is an addict,” and ethically speaking on a human dignity level, actually causes harm.
To understand and use language that supports a change to the intentions underneath the addictive behavior is more helpful, wise, and sustainable, whether individually, in groups, or in society.
Much of my work in addiction is to throw elements of blame, punishment, shame, and labels out the window in order to not only meet the intention underneath the unskillful behavior but to actually meet the human underneath.
Then….the work is more about cleaning up that intention, increasing human dignity, and to stop punishing ourselves with language.
It’s simply not useful to repeat: “I am an addict”, it’s not helpful language — what is more helpful is acknowledging there is some unskillful, unwise, not useful behavior going on, and to meet the behavior accordingly.
Enjoy Lera’s talk. May you find some useful wisdom for yourself.
Laura 

 

Intent & Practice: increase awareness to the science of language & practice playing with the idea of not having the words addict or addiction in your vocabulary. What would be different for you?

 

 

 

 

* Laura C Meyer, MS,  is a therapeutic mindfulness instructor and founder of Live More Studio. She writes about mindfulness for addiction and mental health and believes people deserve more than the mainstream.

This website is designed as an educational experience. It is not therapy. The information acknowledges that while medication is a viable treatment option, it is not the only solution. Disclaimer

 

UnWeaving Ourselves From Addictions.

 

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Can you see prison bars in this weaving loom?

 


 

We weave our addictions into a pattern. 
They become the pattern of our lives. 

 

The addictions we create.
With our yes’s and our no’s.

 

These yes’s and no’s become the fabric of our lives.
They are that which we weave.

 

The first yes.
The second yes.
The yes to drugs, alcohol, and various distractions.

 

The first no.
The second no.
The no to being with ourselves just as we are.
The no to our discomforts, angst, and pain.

 

We continue the yes’s and no’s.

 

Weaving and weaving
the fabric of our lives.

 

The fabric grows.

 

We keep weaving the yes’s.
The yes to alcohol.
The yes to drugs.
The yes to distractions.

 

The fabric starts to cover our life.
It’s all we can see now.
It begins to smother us.

 

What we once started weaving
is now trying to kill us.
We have lost ourselves. 

 

We can’t breathe
and we keep weaving more yes’s and more no’s
trapped and imprisoned
by our choices of the YES and the NO.

 

 

Hola my dear friends, and welcome to The Studio today. 
I am feeling a bit poetic today, but more so, I want you to know that I know about this imprisoned self — and more than that —I want you to know there is a way out; an undoing of this weaving. Freedom from the smothering.
How do we free ourselves?
We can begin by unweaving — by doing the opposite with our yes’s and no’s. Start saying yes to what we are saying no to, and saying no to what we are saying yes to.
Unweave yourself and have a little patience and understanding in the process. No time is lost, if anything, look at all you have learned along the way. Just begin now. 
laura

 

* Laura C Meyer, MS,  is a therapeutic mindfulness instructor and founder of Live More Studio. She currently blogs and writes about mindfulness for addiction and mental health and believes people deserve more than the mainstream.

This website is designed as an educational experience. It is not therapy. The information acknowledges that while medication is a viable treatment option, it is not the only solution. Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Powerful Life Lesson from a Children’s Book.

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If we want the problem of addiction, anxiety, and depression to go away-

we must learn to face our problems. 

 


Hi Everyone. I am really excited about our guest today, the children’s book, What Do You Do With a Problem? 
With over 20 years of research, and in working in the field of education, mental and behavioral health, I am utterly convinced that addiction, anxiety, and depression don’t exist (don’t have to), and what does exisit…what is true…is that people don’t know what to do with a problem.

book excerpt: And the more I worried, the bigger my problem became. 

Anxiety Exposed. Unless my client had intense trauma-related anxiety, they show up to my office proclaiming to have anxiety, and when I start to inquire, it (the anxiety) always reveals itself as a past or current unresolved problem, usually a pile of unattended problems, and/or a problem they’ve created in their mind that hasn’t happened yet and will probably not happen.

book excerpt: I wished it would just disappear. I tried everything I could to hide from it. 

Enter Pills & Addiction. Client after client…when I start to inquire, it all comes down to trying to hide from a problem and trying to make the problem disappear.
Some of my clients have been trying to make problems disappear with drugs and alcohol for so long, that they aren’t addicted to anything other than avoiding problems.
My depression clients are the same: they are depressed because they don’t know how to be with a problem. They take pills to avoid problems.

book excerpt: Maybe I was making the problem bigger and scarier than it actually was. After all, my problem hadn’t swallowed me up or attacked me. 

Low self-esteem and lack of confidence are not going to attack you. Relationship and financial problems aren’t going to eat you alive. Your problems aren’t going to attack you.

book excerpt: I realized I had to face it. It was an opportunity for me to learn and to grow. To be brave. To do something. 

This is the entire process of my job. I have never (and I mean never) sat with a client whose real problem was about addiction, anxiety, or depression. It was/is about showing them the opportunity to be brave and to do something (different).
Most all my male clients who are “depressed” are depressed because they aren’t being brave.
I keep emphasizing the numbers because it’s insanely true.
I will end with this: If we want the problem of addiction, anxiety, and depression to go away- we must learn to face our problems.
Head on over to Barnes & Noble . Read it to your children! Other books in the series include: What You Do With An Idea? and What Do You Do With A Chance?
These books are a solution for our future.
 laura

 

* Laura C Meyer, MS,  is a therapeutic mindfulness instructor and founder of Live More Studio. She currently blogs and writes about mindfulness for addiction and mental health and believes people deserve more than the mainstream.

This website is designed as an educational experience. It is not therapy. The information acknowledges that while medication is a viable treatment option, it is not the only solution. Disclaimer

Leading Yourself Through American Mayhem

 

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I no longer felt stressed or angry about America’s current state of affairs. I felt empowered to change my life, to take a leadership role to influence change, and I was excited to be a part of the transition. 

Don’t make it a revolt: make it revolutionary. 

 


Hi Everyone! and welcome to The Studio, our guest today is the February issue (which I believe runs through April) of Fast Magazine, and their amazing insights on how to lead ourselves through this time of transition. 
I too have been struggling with the American mayhem of gun-control, mental health debates, black this, gender that, far left, far right, failing policies, weak legal protection, hate, protests, and all that jazz. 
I am not a hater, nor a yeller, and I don’t find much value in protesting without sustainable solutions: SO WHAT TO DO?

We are highly aware of the problems…less aware of solutions.

Awareness is the first step to change, but some of us are needing to move forward into action.
Part of the larger mayhem is not only the situation at hand but more about the stress of not knowing what to do. And for me personally, a lot of my anger arose out of my own self-anger for not doing anything.
This week, I found myself reading noteworthy solutions in the February issue of Fast Magazine; How to Lead with Optimism: 185 Inspiring Lessons For a World In Transition – upon which I no longer felt stressed or angry about America’s current state of affairs. I felt empowered to change my life, to take a leadership role to influence change, and I was excited to be a part of this American mayhem. 

Leading Yourself Through American Mayhem

Be impatient to stand still, yet patient about selecting a course of action.
Focus on The Opportunity when things fall apart. I’m not saying it’s going to feel good or be easy, but I am saying that there is an opportunity here; now.
Don’t Stand For Nothing or Everything. In Fast Magazine, the author writes that it is not the time to be shy, and quotes a verse from the musical Hamilton: “If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?”
Too many people are standing for anything and everything; not really knowing what they stand for. People are standing up for #metoo, civil rights, immigrants, gender equality, gun-rights, and so on.
In trying to feel good about doing something, we end up with too many people making noise, and fewer people creating sustainable action. 
Sustainable Action is a plan that can hold future ideas and idealistic values, but needs to be rooted in the reality of today.
Know the Problem and take the lead. Most of our American systems are outdated: our food system, education, healthcare, government, legal, even our financial system of beliefs in consuming for happiness is so old school.
You may want to choose all of them because they are all important, but you will make more of a difference if you choose the one you are most passionate about, and commit to making a change in that system.
Local Changes. Don’t be so quick to run to the White House thinking you can make changes – ask what you can start doing locally; in your own backyard. 
Unplug from the mayhem for a while and ask yourself: What is my responsibility? What do I need to do, and can I find some integrity and happiness in doing it? Can I be a role model for change? or am I feeding the mayhem?
Change is happening, and you are part of the change. You don’t have to like it, and it can be painful, but we all have to find our own way through the transition.
Go get your copy today at (my heaven on earth) aka Barnes & Noble
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* Laura C Meyer is a mindfulness instructor, mental health & addiction therapist, and founder of Live More Studio.

This website is designed as an educational experience. It is not therapy. The information acknowledges that while medication is a viable treatment option, it is not the only solution. Disclaimer

Anxiety. Pills. Skills. And Fish.

 

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Hi Everyone and welcome to The Studio!

 

Our guest today is Terri Cole.
Unknown-3 Terri is a New York-based licensed psychotherapist, and I use some of her older work (Decoding Fear) with clients in regard to anxiety, fear, and worry. 
As most of you know, I don’t buy into the medical model when it comes to telling people their brains are broken “so take this pill.”
I’ve worked with too many people who have overcome anxiety and/or stopped taking benzodiazepines. And with my own personal times of finding myself in the boxing ring with anxiety, only to find that I kicked its ass, it ran away, or we became friends…I am convinced we don’t need pills! Pills are sooo last decade. 
Pills are out. Skills are in. 
And for my male clients, we sometimes look at anxiety just as if we were in a boxing ring- it makes the obstacles of life (such as anxiety) fun- yes, fun. I didn’t say pleasurable. If we found ourselves in a boxing ring, the word pleasure wouldn’t exactly fit, but there can be a sense of fun as we are challenged to beat the opponent. 
And…I’m all about the “Teach a Man To Fish” philosophy when it comes to mental and behavioral health. 
Below is Terri’s PDF: Decoding Your Relationship to Fear. Download it. Work it. 
It’s an easy worksheet and an easy place to begin.  

 

CLICK HERE ⇒ PDF Decoding Your Relationship to Fear

 

Enjoy and I will see you soon, 
laura

 

* Laura C Meyer is a mindfulness instructor, mental health & addiction therapist, and founder of Live More Studio.

This website is designed as an educational experience. It is not therapy. The information acknowledges that while medication is a viable treatment option, it is not the only solution. Disclaimer

What If Addiction Was An Opportunity?

 

 

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What if…
What if you were to consider – to think – for a moment – that addiction was an opportunity.
What if you were not a victim? What you didn’t attach yourself to a lifetime of disease?
What if…
addiction was an opportunity to become stronger? more loving, to yourself and others? 
What if…
you entered the door of your addiction differently? If you “woke up” in the middle of your circumstances differently?
Just think about it. 
laura