Newsletter 14: How do you Avoid the Void?

In my last newsletter, I disclosed that I was in the process of freeing myself of my addiction to nicotine, and I’m happy to say that I’ve now been “smober” for over 110 days (and have NOT smoked over 4400 cigarettes!!)… wow!! and, best of all, I’m now beginning to experience the many benefits that come from returning to “normal breathing” after over 40 years of suffocating myself while allowing myself to be victimized by this disgusting habit. And, as always, I’ve used this experience as a way to explore the deeper impact that this addiction had on my reality, at every level, and my intention is to share my insights here in hopes that others might benefit from my experiences. You are probably wondering what all this has to do with the Void (as mentioned in the title, above)… please be patient as I try to bring a little clarity to all this…

My Premise is…

that there is a void or emptiness to life that we are all aware of, at least at the periphery of our ‘normal’ existence, that each of tries desperately to avoid.Image result for addictionMostly, we aren’t even consciously aware that this void is there because we are so busy with our day-to-day lives that we don’t notice it, but when we do touch upon it, usually as a form of a ‘negative’ feeling, there is a natural drive to not be in it… to move away from it in some way. We use all kind of ways to repress, suppress, deny or project these ‘uncomfortable feelings’… we’ll do almost anything to feel better. One of our favorite “tools” to free ourselves of this discomfort is the use of some sort of addictive substance or behavior.

What is Addiction?

I’m going to guess that most of you believe you have a pretty good idea of what an addiction is, and there are probably quite a few who have dealt with some form of it, either in yourself or in someone you knew. My contention is that almost everyone has some form of addiction, which I define as anything that is used to avoid, suppress or get rid of any uncomfortable or unwanted feelings or thoughts. I call it the “back-door” we all use to make ourselves feel better, and although it is pretty easy to identify the “normal and accepted” habits and substances (drugs, alcohol, nicotine, overeating, overworking, etc.), I’m also including many other habit patterns and repetitive, compulsive, and self-limiting belief structures that serve to numb us out to “what is”, especially when “what is” becomes the empty and meaningless wasteland I call the VOID.

What is the Void?

OK, so this brings us to the whole point of this discussion… when I quit smoking, I ran head-on into the same situation that everyone who stops any addictive behavior runs into: the VOID. It’s that dreaded feeling of emptiness and the associated anxiety that comes about as you go through the many phases of withdrawal and recovery, as your mind and body begins to adjust to living without the ‘crutch’. For many, this pain and suffering eventually leads either to relapse, or the substitution of any substance or habit that brings about some sort of relief. Now, I’m sure many of you are saying to yourselves: “what’s wrong with doing something to make myself feel better?” Well, maybe nothing… but, I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t do anything to change the feelings I was experiencing… my question was: “is there a deeper source of joy and happiness that will appear if I don’t do anything to change or modify my present situation?”.

So, What happened?

Well… “I” died! And, I can attest to the fact that, contrary to what most us believe about the “horrors of the void”, it is actually the gateway to a whole new world that manifests in place of what is lost as we let go of the illusion we’ve all thought was so “real”. Of course, most of the “New Age” paradigms promise that “if you do this (whatever this is) you’ll get what you want, and then you will be happy”, so my “theory” may not sound very appealing, plus I’m not promising any instant gratification or any other “quick fix”…. the TRUTH that you’ll uncover by playing this game will only come to you as a result of a willingness to participate in a long-term soul-searching inquiry, devoid of any manufactured or imagined “pleasantries”.

So, don’t take my word for it… in fact, don’t believe what anyone has to say about this… you MUST see IT for yourself, and then you will KNOW!!Image result for be present to what is

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ECAP Tip of the Month: One of the safest ways to explore the Void, and it’s effects on your life, is to spend some time doing the Presence Breathing Technique (PBT) which is defined here. This is a gentle and effective way to get in touch with your inner wisdom by establishing a more intimate relationship with your authentic Self. Of course, if you really want to explore this whole “realm”, you can always set up a free appointment with me! (See info below)

Contact Info: If you want to contact me, set up a free intro session, subscribe to my newsletter, or view an archive of past newsletters, and audio files of past teleconferences , you can visit my website at: BeyondBeliefCoaching.com. If you would like to read or comment on this, or past newsletters, or if you want to peruse my other brilliant offerings, you can visit my blog at Frankly Speaking.

Miscellaneous: One project I’m working on is to present a live video online workshop to explore and explain how to use the ECAP, and the material from Greg’s books, to get the results you are looking for. This will be a free webinar, and will be archived on YouTube as a resource for anyone who wants to know more about playing the game of “Grow A Greater You”… further details will be included in future editions of this newsletter and on Greg’s site.

Also, I am collecting input from my clients, my subscribers, and from anyone else interested in taking part in a journey to explore how we all might take this process to the next level. I will be sharing more information about this as it unfolds, but for now, please feel free to contact me about this (or any other point of interest) if you are so moved.

Quote of the Week: All that is necessary to awaken to yourself as the radiant emptiness of spirit is to stop seeking something more or better or different, and to turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are.” ~ Adyashanti

NAMASTE!!

Newsletter 13: What happened to January? And February?

The only way I can start this newsletter is to offer my deepest apology to everyone for being so late with this edition… my commitment has been to publish these newsletters on a monthly basis, and this one was due out in January! So, I’m 2 months late, and I really don’t have a good excuse for the delay other than to say that, since the first of the year, my life has been in constant upheaval… let me explain a bit:

Ahhh… The Smoke is Beginning to Clear!

Like everyone else, I’ve had the usual run of personal and professional responsibilities that “had” to beImage result for image: quit smokingtaken care of (taxes, client issues, home and auto repairs, etc.), but what has really thrown me off my schedule is my decision (right after the first of the year) to finally tackle something that has been an ongoing “issue” for many years: my addiction to nicotine! I’m not going to go into all the details of how that went here (I’m writing a separate “story” about that journey on my blog, Frankly Speaking), but I will discuss how some of the aspects of that struggle has impacted this newsletter.

My Disclaimer

Before I go much further, I feel I need to dispel a myth that some of you may be holding onto: coaches (and other “people-helpers”) are already totally ‘perfect’ and don’t have all the same ‘issues’ that ‘normal people’ have… the truth is that just about everyone I know (including ME) has ‘stuff’ that they are dealing with… no one needs to be ‘fully healed’ before they can be of service to others. I was very hesitant to admit my ‘human weakness’, but have decided that it was much more important to share my journey (in hopes of being of some value to others) than to try to pretend I was without “sin”!

Okay… On with the show….

Like most people who have tried to deal with this powerful addiction, I’ve attempted to quit smoking onImage result for research quit smokingmore than a few occasions in the past, only to eventually succumb to the cravings, despite all my efforts and best intentions. This time, I wanted to really be sure to get past it and be rid of all its debilitating effects. I researched and read as much as I could about cigarettes, nicotine, and addictions in general, and even hired an “addictions coach”, which, in retrospect, was probably the number one best thing I could ever have done for myself.

Part of my Path to Recovery

My coach had me fill out some very confronting forms, which helped me to get a good look at how I was feeding my addiction… he also had me read some material that totally blew my mind (which is the root cause of my delayed newsletters… more on this later) and he strongly suggested that I join a Nicotine Anonymous 12 Step Group, which I did (after much hesitancy).

I officially had my last cigarette at midnight on Jan. 29th, and have remained nicotine free, one day at a time, ever since. Needless to say that after over 45 yrs. of continuous daily smoking (2-3 packs per day), the absence of nicotine from my system has brought about many physical improvements, but what has really affected me in the most unexpected way is how it has altered my psychological, emotional and spiritual states of being.

Some of the Results:

And, as I said earlier, I’m not going to go into ALL the ways this has shown up for me, but I will say that itImage result for joy of quit smokinghas removed many blocks that had been preventing me from fully experiencing life as it is… my consciousness was altered, and I was numbed out and intoxicated by this powerful drug, and I’m now learning to see and live life from a perspective that I had lost sight of over these past years. It is like waking up from a dream, and although I’m really enjoying it, I’m finding it somewhat challenging to adjust to this new level of perception. Almost every single activity in my life had been associated with holding a cigarette and filling my system with nicotine, and now I’m faced with the daunting task of learning to function “normally” and to deal with life on life’s terms.

And, in Conclusion

So, what has all this got to do with my coaching and our attempts at playing the game of “Grow A Greater You”? As I look back at how I’ve navigated through this ‘adventure’, I realize that the number one tool that has helped me the most is the application of all the steps in the Emotional Chart Atonement ProcessImage result for joy of quit smoking(ECAP), especially the Presence Breathing Technique (PBT). Allowing myself to be fully present to my feelings and experiences, and journaling about it as the ‘nicotine fog’ lifted, had a deeply profound effect on me, in ways that are still unfolding in my life. When I let myself be fully in the here and now with my imagined fears, they all dissipated and effortlessly dissolved… it was that simple… who would have thought?!

Because of the complexity and depth of all this, this newsletter has been particularly challenging to write, and not just because I don’t know what to say, but mostly I don’t know how to express what I’m feeling… words seem so inadequate in these situations, and I find myself helplessly stumbling around in an attempt to get this all into some kind of coherent and impactful form. Hopefully, there will be something of value for you in all this… certainly, I can’t control your experience, but my intention is that you will take something personally meaningful from what I’ve written here today… thank you for allowing me to be of service to you!

PS be sure to return to my blog to get the whole story on this… and, thank you for being here!

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Teleseminars/Archives info: On Thursday, December 11th, Greg and I hosted another teleconference, and we had a great time playing with the largest audience we’ve ever had. Thank you to everyone who participated, especially those new members from the GAGY Facebook site. Your ‘gift’ allows Greg and I to fulfill our desire to be of service to you, and for that we are extremely grateful. We are all working on ways to expand these services… thank you for your patience

You can find the archives of all the past teleseminars on my website, here. Greg also has a link to these archives on his blog site, plus a ton of other info, including a schedule of his upcoming live events and a list of his great books.

ECAP Tip of the Month: The most powerful tool each of us has in overcoming any unwanted belief orImage result for light of awarenesshabit is to bring our full awareness to the situation. By simply being fully present, in a objective, non-judgmental way, we are using the healing light of our awareness to shine away the imagined limitations that we think are preventing us from living more fully. These “old stories” can only exist in the darkness of our denial… what we resist, persists!!

Contact Info: If you want to contact me, set up a free intro session, subscribe to my newsletter, or view an archive of past newsletters, you can visit my website at: BeyondBeliefCoaching.com. If you would like to read or comment on this, or past newsletters, or if you want to peruse my other brilliant offerings, you can visit my blog at Frankly Speaking.

Miscellaneous: One project I’m working on is to present a live video online workshop to explore and explain how to use the ECAP, and the material from Greg’s books, to get the results you are looking for. This will be a free webinar, and will be archived on YouTube as a resource for anyone who wants to know more about playing the game of “Grow A Greater You”… further details will be included in future editions of this newsletter and on Greg’s site.

Also, I am collecting input from my clients, my subscribers, and from anyone else interested in taking part in a journey to explore how we all might take this process to the next level. I will be sharing more information about this as it unfolds, but for now, please feel free to contact me about this if you are so moved.

Quote of the Week: Smoking cigarettes is like stabbing yourself in the chest while believing that it feels good… FMC

NAMASTE!!