Addiction - "Find your nature, and be nice to yourself" - Gabor Mate

"My definition of addiction is any behaviour that gives you temporary relief, temporary pleasure, but in the long term causes harm, has some negative consequences and you can't give it up, despite those negative consequences." - Gabor Mate

"There are many many addictions, yes there's the addiction to drugs, but there's also the addiction to consumerism, the addiction to sex, to the internet, to shopping, to food."

Canadian physician Gabor Maté is a specialist in terminal illnesses, chemical dependents, and HIV positive patients.

Dr. Maté is a renowned author of books and columnist known for his knowledge about attention deficit disorder, stress, chronic illness and parental relations.

His theme at TEDxRio+20 was addiction -- from drugs to power. From the lack of love to the desire to escape oneself, from susceptibility of the being to interior power -- nothing escapes.

And he risks a generic and generous prescription:
"Find your nature and be nice to yourself."
- Gabor Mate

Compassionate Inquiry is a psychotherapeutic method developed by Dr. Gabor Maté that reveals what lies beneath the appearance we present to the world.

Using Compassionate Inquiry, the therapist unveils the level of consciousness, mental climate, hidden assumptions, implicit memories and body states that form the real message that words both express and conceal.

Through Compassionate Inquiry, the client can recognize the unconscious dynamics that run their lives and how to liberate themselves from them.

Dr Gabor

Marriage Minute - Pay Attention to Your Relationship

Small things make a difference in relationships.

Little things add up over time...

Getting Right With Yourself

"Getting right with yourself is to start being a healthy parent to yourself. Having a healthy parent onboard means you are treating yourself with compassion and making sense of the world. The definition of the healthy parent ego, or voice is called the Nurturing, Structuring Parent." John Skandalis

After yoga most weeks we have a coffee and chat. I brought up the question of why we tend to attract the same types of partners into our lives, one after the other. I posed the question, 'do you think once we get right with ourselves then we stop attracting partners who are similar to the one's before?'

One person asked, 'what does it mean to get right with yourself?'

It's an interesting question isn't it... what does the question bring up for you?

John Scandalis suggests...

So, the idea of getting right with yourself means learning how to have compassion for your shortcomings and not judge yourself unduly. Another way to look at it is being a good parent to yourself. We treat, or parent ourselves, the way we were treated by our parents. This if often in a judgmental and critical way.

Attracting the same type of partner over and over who treats you less than.

I often have people attending for counselling wondering why they find themselves attracting partners who display the same types of behaviour - whether they cheat, treat you badly, don't listen, are never there for you, and find yourself again on the merry-go-round from hell, again and again. Have you wondered why this happens?

A study from the University of Toronto finds that people typically date a similar type of person, and usually gravitate towards this type no matter the circumstances.

"The degree of consistency from one relationship to the next suggests that people may indeed have a 'type'," says MacDonald. "And though our data do not make clear why people's partners exhibit similar personalities, it is noteworthy that we found partner similarity above and beyond similarity to oneself."

Can it be that they mirror the beliefs that you hold deep in the unconscious? Perhaps you meet a person who is good with words, and as a child growing up, you didn't hear words of encouragement. So you look for a partner who can give you that. However, in the process, you miss their behaviours.

Tina B. Tessina PhD, in her book, Dr Romance's Finding Love Today says...

“When you’re operating within old, familiar patterns, you don’t need to think about what you’re doing. Your body is wired to do familiar things without having to think about them. This leaves your mind free to wander and to de-stress,” Tessina explains.

When it comes to buying groceries, this mental shortcut can be extremely convenient, but in relationships, they may not always be a good thing.

For example, if you grow up around violent people, addicts, or those who are emotionally unavailable, as an adult, you will already know how to deal with them, so they feel familiar, she says. “It’s comforting in an irrational way.”

So when you find yourself in a pattern of attracting similar people in relationships, reach out to someone you can talk to, and investigate ways to leave that old merry-go-round that really isn't so merry.

The Power of Deep Listening

A cartoon to start us off...

There's a couple sitting together watching TV, and she turns to him and says 'you know you only hear the things you want to hear'. He responds, 'a beer sounds lovely, thank you'.

The first of a two part series from Tara Brach.

What will help us humans evolve beyond our separate realities, that end up creating so much distrust, and fear and violence? What will bridge the divides?

Listening deeply is the gateway to realizing connection. It’s what allows us to move through life with a wise, loving and healing presence.

These two talks explore our blocks to true listening, and offer teachings and practices that can directly cultivate this invaluable capacity.

The Emotional Bank Account

All I seem to hear these days, is people talking about money, how prices have gone up, property values, and how difficult it is for young ones to start.

And that's all true, however, I rarely hear anyone talking about Relationships and how they are investing in them.

Have you ever thought about your relationship from an investment perspective?

If you're an accountant, or you have an investment mindset, you may have. The first time I heard about the concept it was when learning from The Gottman Institute.

From The Gottmans... "Did you know that the number one thing couples fight about is nothing?

After observing thousands of couples in our Love Lab for more than four decades, we discovered that most couples were not arguing about specific topics like finances, sex, parenting, or dealing with difficult in-laws.

Instead, they were fighting about a failure to emotionally connect, and likely didn’t even know it.

We realized how, instead of having productive conflict discussions about tangible issues, couples were really arguing about how one partner may not pay much attention to the other’s needs, or may not express much interest in things that their partner cares about.

While the science behind what drives couples to lose their emotional connection can be quite complex, we use a simple concept that can help couples reconnect: The Emotional Bank Account."

Who doesn't like a compliment?

When we read about how to improve our relationships, often our minds go to the partner we live with.

However, whether it is a partner, family member or friend many of the concepts are the same.

Let's look at compliments. Do you compliment more than you criticise? If so, your relationship could be heading towards trouble if it's not already.

So today, a take action challenge is to think about giving your partner or friend or family member a genuine compliment. Then take action.

Journal exercises: notice what happens when you compliment someone. Were they able to receive the compliment? Sometimes people laugh it off, or deflect, occasionally they say 'thank you'. Keep complimenting, small things make big differences in our relationsips.

Take note of when you are criticising, and when you are being criticised. Write about when it occured, the people involved, how did it feel? Do the same exercise for compliments.

Call 0408 792 747 to book a session

Plugging The Money Leaks or, Recovering a Sense of Abundance or, Being Mindful with Money.

It seems like everytime I go to the supermarket lately, I am becoming more and more aware of how high the cost of food has become, and continues to grow. With rising mortgage fees and the cost of living, we need to put more focus on our spending than ever before.

I was chatting with a friend who is struggling financially, on the age pension, and was complaining that she can't afford to take holidays. Yet I notice that she spends money on things that don't give her any benefits, like her ATM fees.

So I suggested that we sit down together and explore where her money leaks were. We all have them, an app we no longer use, a gym membership that we pay for and never attend. A website we've joined and forgot to cancel the subscription to. That extra treat at the cafe.

For me it was when I first started learning Hypnosis. I thought I'd paid for a course, and a few months later realised that I'd been paying a subscription. It may be buying food you never eat and throw away, or paying too much for a phone or internet contract. If you think about it, something will come to mind.

Perhaps you'd like to go on a cruise with that money

Anyway, Susan and I worked out her ATM fees alone were costing her over $300 per year. Now when you're on a pension, that's a lot of money, going nowhere. She said that she couldn't change that habit as if she had the money in her purse that she'd spend it.

More recently she discovered a money leak where she'd been paying out $18 a month each month to a photo designing app that she'd never used. The money was coming out of her PayPal account. The money counting exercise from The Artist's Way came to my mind, and I shared it with her.

(Susan has given her permission to share her story here, not her real name.)

Counting, An Exercise from The Artist's Way - Week 6 on Recovering a Sense of Abundance.

This week Julia Cameron suggests a counting exercise. Buy a small notepad and write down every cent you spend. It doesn't matter what it is for, how tiny the purchase, how petty the amount. Petty cash is still cash. We fritter away cash on things we don't cherish and deny ourselves those things that we do. For many of us, counting is a necessary prelude to learning creative luxury.

"Some years ago, when I was paying off my mortgage, I damaged my hands and couldn't work for a while. Budgeting suddenly became very, very important.

I started to pay attention to where I was spending little amounts of money. It turned out that when I stopped spending money on small amounts, it became so much easier to save. When I sat down and worked out where my money was being spent, I decided to stop paying out money on media style movie programs.

I worked out that over the years, I had paid out thousands of dollars. That really got me starting to think about where I was directing my money and what was more important to me. So Week 6 on The Artist's Way was a reflection on some of those times for me, and a rethink about my finances and what I want to be doing with my money and my abundance."

So this week, I invite you to think about your money leaks... get a notepad, and jot down where you're spending money, and then consider if it's where you really want to direct your money. If it is, fine, if not, then perhaps you could take action to change the direction that money is flowing in.

If you would like a session to explore something in your world, give me a call today on 0408 792 747.

I offer sessions in The Artist's Way - a 12 week exploration. click here to find out more.