◀ All Blog Posts

Breaking Addiction

By Energetic Elevation

FRI SEP 06, 2019

by Mindy Schulke

I. The Cause

Once upon a time, you were without power because you were young and dependent on others; or because you felt you needed something from someone who had power; or because you were out-numbered, out-smarted, or out-muscled. At some point, they wielded their power over you in a way which wounded you, hurt you, or terrorized you.. They damaged your confidence in your own power. You experienced trauma.

You had no skills for the aftermath of the trauma, no knowledge on how to release it. That trauma became part of your system of energy. If this trauma got triggered or tried to come up for release, you felt similar to how you felt when it first occurred, a feeling that perhaps could be described as feeling frozen inside an overwhelming dark energy. When your energy of trauma re-surfaced, you did not progress beyond that reaction of feeling frozen. This repeated reaction became a hole in your maturity. This repeated reaction created a breach in your potential of infinite powerfulness.

The unreleased energy from trauma became a monster inside of you with a life of its own, sometimes surfacing for air, tapping you on the shoulder, hanging over your head, gnawing at your heart or your gut or your nerves, waking you up in the middle of the night, or choreographing nightmares. You discovered things that soothed the monster. You ate comfort foods and rich desserts. You drank alcohol. You went shopping. You sought solice in pornography, sexual acts, or gambling. You slept too much. You cut your flesh or smoked marijuana or repeatedly washed your hands. In these ways, you attempted to manage this energy of trauma with activities that made you feel differently than how the trauma monster made you feel. No one ever taught you what to do otherwise. These adaptive activities sort of worked for a while: they helped you stuff the trauma monster away. But these activities started to produce unwanted consequences. When you tried to stop, you found these activities had more power over you than the you had over them. The consequences started hurting you as much as the original trauma hurt you. And your actions began hurting people around you. You had become an addict.

II. Recognizing Addictions

An addiction is a repeated unnecessary action that you are not able to permanently refrain from and which often comes with undesirable consequences. Addiction is self-enslavement.

Certain addictions are socially recognized as addictions such as alcoholism or sexoholism. But the unrecognized addictions are harder to break because they require an extra step in the beginning: the addict must become aware that they have an addiction. What are addictions that are not typically recognized? These are ones that people might describe as your personality quirks. These are things like pouting to get your way, talking to much to get attention, over-extending yourself to feel important, re-doing things until they are perfect, or chronic reading to avoid intimacy with other humans. Fanatic beliefs and obsessive thoughts are also signs of addiction. Watching television and gaming are some other forms of “accepted” addictions.

III. What Doesn’t Work

Addictions and bad habits are not things you can conquer with will power. Depriving yourself of what soothes your trauma monster usually results in the eventual reactivation of the activity in a magnified way. This happens when your will power runs out of energy which it will because of the cyclic nature of existence.

Will power coupled with a compelling motivation results in a higher probability of breaking addiction. And this combination does work out for some people but not for the majority of addicts. For permanent release of addictions, you must work to neutralize the underlying cause. You must face your trauma monster and then befriend it.

IV. The First Step

Stop all self-loathing over your addiction. Loathing yourself for addictive actions adds a problem on top of the problems of addiction and the original problem of trauma. You feel self-hatred because you experienced powerlessness: you feel you should have done something to prevent the trauma. And now you are powerless over your addiction and you added that to your self-hatred.

Why hate yourself for your times of powerlessness? Is any of us born perfect with all the knowledge and skills and quick-reactive thinking to respond perfectly in every situation that befalls us? We are all humans with varying degrees of skills in various situations. Admit that you are not perfect. Admit that you have weaknesses, areas of immaturity, and broken parts: all humans do.

The first step to breaking an addiction is to peel back the last layer, the layer where you have self-hatred for your addiction. Counteract this by gratitude for your addiction. Do the following exercise:

Step 1: Place one hand on your heart and the other hand on your belly. Close your eyes but focus them at the point between your eyebrows. Take 3 deep mindful breaths. Now focus on the part of the body that is taking the brunt of your addiction such as your mouth, liver, prostrate gland, or nervous system — whatever is getting over-worked during addictive activities. Visualize that part of your body. Thank that part of you for taking the brunt of your addiction, for shielding the rest of yourself from the trauma. Then tell that part of your body how much you love it because it is over-loaded trying to help you survive. It is trying to save you from the pain of your trauma. Love yourself for being resourceful enough to survive trauma.

IV. The Road to Self-Sovereignty

After that first step, how do you undo the rest of the layers of addiction? Have you heard this quote going around, “Change your habit, change your life?” I challenge that with this statement, “Change your internal life and your habit will fall away.”

You change your internal life by working on your internal self. What is this internal work? Internal work is also known as spiritual work. I call it the road to inner peace. On this road, you get to know yourself deeply and understand what makes you tick, why you react to situations the way you do, and why you hate some things and love others. You bring your buried trauma to the surface for examination and neutralization. The road to inner peace is also known for healing physical problems, ailments, and diseases. It’s a road where miracles happen. This road is also the road to self-love. This is the road where you get your power back.

Although inner work is hard work at first, after initial breakthroughs, your system starts to crave the respite it’s finding from the trauma monster within. This craving is incentive to keep going. You will work hard on the road to inner peace and you will still do addictive things: that is normal. It’s like learning to read, its a process.

Step 2: Write this on a notecard and carry it around with you, “I am in the process of releasing my addictions.” When you slip up and indulge your addiction, say to yourself, “That’s OK. I am not perfect. This is a process.”

Step 3: Now add two more statements to your notecard: “I am in the process of fully understanding myself.. I am in the process of fully loving myself.”

Even if you do not get to the end of the road to complete inner peace, every step you take benefits your life and those around you.

V. Activites on the Road to Inner Peace

Below is a list of activities which lead to inner peace. The list is not comprehensive but instead, things I have first hand experience with as activities which lead to inner peace. The more activities you perform on the list, the more angles and dimensions you will be using to break free of your trauma. Also, some activities may be better suited than others for your issues and your personality.

Step 4: do any number of the activities below. Try as many activities as you can as part of the journey of getting to know and love yourself.

  1. Yoga: Any form of yoga coaxes your body out of the shape it made in response to trauma. Yoga also quiets the chatter in the mind and builds a strong connection between your body and your mind. When you endure trauma, your mind disconnects from your physical body to some degree: yoga restores this connection. Being in your body and not your mind is the cornerstone to inner peace. Yoga is my number one activity on the road to inner peace.
  2. Kundalini yoga: Of all yoga I have done, Kundalini Yoga is the most transformative. During class, you will hold poses or repeat movements which re-arrange your energetic system. You will also perform breath work and meditation. Each class focuses on an aspect of the human system such as strengthening will power, detoxing the liver, or releasing fear. Every class is somewhat wildly different from the next class. If kundalini yoga is not available in your area, there are online videos for performing the Kundalini kriyas As taught by Yogi Bhajan.
  3. Meditation: Meditation quiets the chatter mind and builds a safe space for you to examine yourself. It also builds a spaciousness where new and wonderful things can happen. Here is a link to my blog on simple instructions for a 30 second meditation.
  4. Eckhart Tolle books or You Tube videos: Eckhart Tolle is the most prominent spiritual teacher of our time, Eckhart Tolle saved my life. I listened to his audio books in my car for years. I did not always understand what he said but I let the CD’s play over and over and I got a better understanding of a statement each time I heard it. See my recommended reading list here.
  5. Breathe work (pranayama): Concentrating on the breath and exercising it in patterns is the gateway to connecting the mind and body. Pranya is your life force. Breath work increases pranya. The quality of your breath correlates to the quality of your life. Get to know your breath! Find some techniques here.
  6. VortexHealing®: This particular form of energy healing is vast in the techniques it encompasses and the issues it can eliminate or improve. I have never left a VortexHealing® session without noticeable self-improvement — sometimes small and sometimes huge. Some sessions were life-changing for me. These sessions are performed in person or from a distance. See my offerings here or email me and I can advise you on a certified practitioner in your area. mindy.schulke@gmail.com
  7. Spiritual Counselling: A spiritual advisor can help steer you into places that aid you on your road to inner peace. They are especially good at exposing you to your blind spots. See my offerings here.
  8. Byron Katie’s”The Work”: Byron Katie, a well-known spiritual teacher, invented the “thought turn-around technique“ known as The Work. I have used her Judge Your Neighbor worksheet and had several spiritual break throughs using them. The worksheet helps you push through any limiting belief that is frozen in your mind. You unravel your frozen beliefs with her work, re-phrase them, shake up your thought system, and give your mind freedom to start choosing new angles to look at events from. Byron Katie also holds workshops and she has lot of information on her website here.
  9. Buddhist classes: Attend a monastery and soak up the teachings of The Buddha. You do not have to become Buddhist but instead just attend with the intention of learning compassionate concepts from Buddhist teachings. You will find more compassion for yourself in these teachings. In my city, a Tibetan Monastery provides free teachings to the public twice a week. Just entering the monastery changes my energy system: the place is so serene it instantly takes all my worries away.
  10. Past-life regression with a certified practitioner: An important piece of the trauma monster is that some trauma in your system is from past lives. Trauma in this life may be adding to an unhealed past life trauma in order to “amp” it up so that you are forced to deal with it because the suffering has become unbearable.
  11. Vipassana meditation: This is a special technique which aids in awareness of your reactions to things, teaches you to connect to your body, and helps you stop reacting in a knee-jerk fashion. I listened to the audio version of this book, The Art of Living, but there are also Vipassana Meditation retreats. See my reading list here.
  12. Archetypal work: Archetypes are a universal concept exposed by the famous psychiatrist Carl Jung. Examining your personal archetypal patterns aids in self-understanding. You can start to understand behavioral patterns in yourself and become aware of patterns you had not even noticed before. I had several aha moments during Robert Ohotto‘s on-line seminars: he teaches spiritual conceprs with a heavy focus on archetypes. Caroline Myss, another prominent spiritual teacher, provides archetypal work and definitions here. Read through her archetypes and pick out 5-12 which you think define you. Then thoroughly examine your archetypes, both the light and the shadow sides, and contemplate how you see them playing out in your behavior.
  13. Journalling: On the road to inner peace, keeping a journal will deepen the healing. Write about your experiences with these new activities you are trying. Write about your break throughs and your daily emotions. Write about your dreams and perhaps as you write, the dreams will provide insight into your psyche or give you healing messages.
  14. ”I am in the process ...” card: Take out your “I am in the process ...” notecard and read it often, Re-write It occasionally. Add anything you want to your notecard but keep the sentences positive. For instance, don’t state “I am in the process of not eating junk food.” But instead, “I am in the process of fueling my body with nurturing food.” Write your “I am in the process ...” sentences over and over on a paper.
  15. Food nurturing: Part of taking care of your inner self is providing your physical body with nurturing foods. See my two part blog here and here for two simple steps to healthier eating.
  16. Devotional prayer: Pray to the universe or divine beings. This makes you aware of higher powers that available for inspiration and help. I keep a puja table with a statue of Hanuman; a few cherished stones; and framed photos of some angels, Jesus, and The Buddha. I say prayers of gratitude in front of my puja table and ask for help with issues that I am working on.

VI Other Activites on the Road to Inner Peace

These are methods which I have limited experience with but I have analyzed them enough to recommend them as methods of internal work:

  1. Aikido
  2. Qigong
  3. Traditional psychotherapy to release limiting beliefs
  4. Spiritual workshops such as forgiveness or intimacy workshops
  5. Spiritual retreats

—————————————————————————————————-

If you have questions about this article or questions about how this article applies to your own personal situation, please email me at mindy.schulke@gmail.com.

For more articles like this one, subscribe to my monthly newsletter here.

For Spiritual Therapy or VortexHealing® sessions: see my offerings here.

Namaste, Mindy Schulke