Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25th - August 1st, 2010


The past two weeks we have discussed the need to have a purpose or mission statement, to assess on a regular basis where you are with that purpose and have suggested using a chart to keep track of your assessments. We have also discussed our values and the role they play in our purpose for recovery. We have learned how to make theses assessments or evaluations of where we currently are and decide where we desire to be, based on our values and what is important to us.

We have also discussed in posts previous what sort of things interfere with effective behavior. So this week, I wanted to give a brief overview of what some of those tendencies are, that might undermine effectiveness. As you carry on with your week, please consider the below list, and determine if there are some areas that you could target to increase the likelihood of effective behavior

  • Say 'yes' when you really want to say 'no'

  • Unconsciously generate & carry excess tension in your body - clenched jaw, furrowed brow and eyes, tight neck and shoulders

  • Stay sedentary

  • Stay too active

  • Not enough rest

  • Watch/read the news and believe it is an accurate representation of reality

  • Overbook yourself

  • Breathe shallowly

  • Unconsciously and unnecessarily tolerate minor physical discomfort - uncomfortable clothes/shoes, cold feet, hunger, irritating background noise, undesirable lighting, full bladder, poor posture

  • Make things harder or more complicated than necessary

  • Use more effort than is required for a task

  • Do too many things at once

  • Keep things bottled up inside

  • Procrastinate

  • Attempt difficult things without proper preparation or planning

  • Avoid being assertive

  • Engage in frustrating relationships

  • Become too far off-centered or balanced before attempting to correct yourself

  • Use ways of coping with stress that can potentially end up causing additional problems - drugs, alcohol, food, T.V., gambling, sex, shopping, etc.

  • Engage in self harm

Looking at this list, honestly assess yourself. When you are being ineffective, what tendencies do you notice? Do you return the call to that friend that is always gossiping, when you know you are off of base-line? Do you attempt to take back a book, when you have had very little sleep, and have been running around all day? Perhaps the book can wait? Or maybe, you can return the call to your friend, after a good night sleep?

TRY THIS: When you look at that list, in your mind's eye, think of what that scenario would look for you. Think of a "for instance" of something you have done in the past, recent or otherwise, that would fit each one of these tendencies. Become familiar with what they would look like in your life, then come up with a plan of what you would have done to not lean toward the tendency. This way the next time the scenario presents itself, you will be better able to identify it. Of course no two scenarios are the same, but this will give you an idea of what you are looking for.

A note of caution: Since you will be taking a trip down "memory" lane for this exercise, please be sure and remember, when you recall perhaps the last time you engaged in self-harm, and you ask yourself what plan you could have used to prevent the engagement, remind yourself that you are doing this recollection of the event, not to beat yourself up more, but rather to ensure relapse prevention. You are FAILING WELL; not reliving a failure. There is a difference! :)


This last Monday, July 19th, 2010 we developed our safe spaces. Understanding that these 'safe-spaces' are thought out in details of what we might, see, hear, taste, feel, and smell while there. We are practicing them this week, and we will touch bases on how that went; so if you join us in group on Monday, July 26th, 2010 at 2p.m. PDT please consider sharing yours! We will then introduce cue-controlled relaxation; which is an accessory skill to safe-space visualization. The short and fast of cue-controlled is this, we will develop clearly in our mind our safe-space and teach ourselves that through a single word, or a series of words, we will assess that safe-space and all the safe, positive body sensations that go along with it.

We are not endorsing some sort of hypnotic method here, but rather we will learn to tap into an effective use for how powerful our mind is. Most of us have felt the awesome power of our minds, but in an ineffective way. It is quite real to us how what would seem to be a  small event, can trigger all sorts of body memories, and when you are in the throes of that trigger, your mind cannot grasp a reality check. It cannot tell the difference between what is really happening in the now, or what has happened in the past, or what we have programmed ourselves to believe what will be the future. It feels real. We simply want to harness that power, and use it effectively. So that is what we will discuss on Monday, July 26th, 2010 @ 2p.m. PDT. Hope to see you all there! (For those you who are not yet a member, please join us here and sign-up. Then, come join the online group!)

MJ ~

*Click here to discuss this weeks post with the group*

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