The Poison Dart, or First Things First

The Poison Dart, or First Things First   The Poison Dart parable illustrates the universal spiritual principle of First Things First: Down in the Amazon Rainforest, there was a small group of Indigenous men, sitting in a circle around the fire. They were laughing and having a good time bragging about their hunting and stealth skills. They were all really good friends and family members of the same clan. One of the men stood up from the fire, and suddenly from out of the jungle a feathered blow dart came streaming in and plucked itself right into the man’s backside! The man jumped high and let out a scream. All the other men jumped up too – they were very concerned and knew they must get the dart out right away before all the poison entered their friend. The stricken…

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The Cave of Truth

The Cave of Truth   The Cave of Truth Once upon a time, there were a few friends that hung out together. Quite by accident, one of them found a tattered old map to a place called The Cave of Truth. A couple of them had heard a vague story about the cave before, but brushed the idea off, thinking it an Urban Legend. One of them checked the Snopes website, couldn’t find it there, and the group decided to go. They felt ready for a change, and headed out. It was a pretty long journey. They had rivers to cross, and hill country to traverse. There was a dessert, lakes, pine forests, even a glacier! They worked hard – all the while carefully following the map to get to the Cave of Truth. After a really long time they…

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Zen Story of The Ghost

Spectacular view in sobriety

Zen Story of The Ghost   I work with people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are besieged by ways of thinking that destroy peace. Working in drug rehab is very rewarding. I get to comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comforted. Using a variety of techniques I challenge our guests to look at things in new ways. I love to tell them, change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. To illustrate and illumine some new angles, stories can be powerful and non-threatening tools. Here is one Zen story I use – Zen doesn’t work for everyone – but when it does – watch out! Zen koans are powerful. The Bean Counter Takashi’s jealous wife was very ill. Before the woman died, she made her husband promise that he…

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Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy?

Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy? Would you rather be right or happy? This seems like a crazy question at first doesn’t it? But is a remarkably deep question. Most people emphatically answer “Both!” And they believe they are right. The truth is, you can’t be both. Think about the many arguments that you have had, or may be actively embroiled in. Most codependents, addicts and other spiritually unwell people will attempt to prove their ‘rightness’ right into the grave. When everything changes in recovery, so does the need to ‘save face’ and be right at any cost. A person who learns to work their steps and live by spiritual principles will choose peace-of-mind and serenity, and thus emotional /physical sobriety over all else. Ask yourself, “Is this worth losing my serenity or getting drunk over? Is this worth…

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Codependency Legacy Recovery

nicotine addiction recovery

Codependency Legacy Recovery   Mom was a woman who would have given whatever she could to see others happy, and always put herself last. – Taken from an obituary column in the local newspaper. Is codependent legacy recovery possible? This little sentence says a whole lot about the behaviour of the woman who just passed. Not knowing this person, but based on this description, she was likely a people-pleaser and codependent, maybe even a long-suffering martyr. What is it like to live with someone who only wants to see others happy, and always puts themselves last? Not very genuine or mutual that’s for sure. This is what codependency and people-pleasing is all about, trying (unconsciously?) to manipulate other people with self-serving behaviour dressed up as generosity and kindness. While growing up in an unpredictable home life, people tend to find ways…

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Codependent Behavior in Action: The Kleenex Box Super Hero

Luxury Rehab at Serenity Vista

Codependent Behavior in Action: The Kleenex Box Super Hero   Codependent Behavior in Action:  The scene: A 12 Step meeting, a person sharing begins to cry, the Kleenex Box Super Hero arrives with a flourish. Recognize the scene? You may have played one of the starring roles. What is really going on here is an excellent example of unhealthy co-dependent and manipulative behaviour. What?! Let’s examine the dynamics of codependent behavior. When a person shares in a room full of 12 Step peers, they are often getting in touch with feelings that have long been buried. It can take considerable effort for a person to feel safe enough with feelings of vulnerability to really allow themselves to express their emotions. You’ve seen it, after a lot of talking, a person may begin to tear up, perhaps to really cry, or even sob.…

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Acceptance Is The Key to Recovery from Codependence

Carpe Diem Recovery

Recovery from Codependence – Acceptance is the Key to Freedom When arguing with the Universe, the Universe always wins. Often I forget where I put the key to freedom, but there it is, right in my pocket, all along. Acceptance is the key to recovery from codependence, to a life of freedom. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says it so succinctly, we’ve copied it out here for you. If you haven’t read it before, read it slowly and mindfully. If you have read it before, read it slowly and mindfully again. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on ACCEPTANCE Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person,…

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Tied Up In Illusion – Old Codependent Behaviors

Good Luck or Bad Luck

Tied Up in Illusion – Old Codependent Behaviors See if you can relate to this bovine story of stuckness illustrating codependent behaviors Here is a nice illustration of codependent behaviors: Early each morning a young boy let the cows out to pasture and in the evenings he brought them home. So that the cows didn’t roam through the night, he made sure they were each tied. One evening the boy saw a cow that had lost her rope during the day and he had nothing else with which to tie her. He couldn’t have her wandering off in the night, so he ran to ask the old man next door what he should do. The old man listened to the boy and nodded. “Son, you just pretend to tie up that cow with an imaginary rope. She’ll stay.” The boy was skeptical, but went back and tried the old man’s…

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Recovery, Unity, Service – Mandalacized

Never Too Late For Sobriety

Recovery, Unity, Service – Mandalacized The Triangle in the Circle I came across this beautiful mandala this morning, as a friend had posted it as her FB profile pic. As far as I know, this friend likely has no idea of the recovery symbol of the magnificent mandala. However, as soon as I saw this mandala, I knew I wanted to share it with my friends of Bill W. A little background information came from  I was surprised to see that the symbol representing recovery, unity, service has been officially discontinued for AA, but daily I am surprised by all the things I don’t know! The Circle and Triangle symbol has long been connected to the A.A. Fellowship. It was adopted as an official A.A. symbol at the International Convention in St. Louis in 1955, and from that point…

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