Effective Medicine

I dispense effective medicine in every session I have with clients. This is the basis of what it looks like: * Feel your pain * Tell your truth * Consciously move onto the path of self-love and discovery

I create a sacred space for this to happen and become a conduit for this to take place. Most people who come to me are in a spiritual crisis or crisis of meaning. They have found me because I experienced a profound crisis of meaning (at a fairly young age) and they sense that mirroring of self in me. In time I found effective medicine. Later in life I trained in the healing arts and developed my unique way to dispense effective medicine. My life purpose is to communicate this medicine with others.

As I lay awake in the early morning hours this day (or would 2:30 - 5 really be late night?), I was contemplating my work and it's development and the delivery of my work to those who want effective medicine. Because I am more healer than business person, but also because I am extremely practical and analytical, the merging of helping people while simultaneously growing myself as a person in business, are an interesting intersection in my life right now. More on this as I reveal my intentions in the weeks ahead. Let me stay focused in the present for this writing.

I have been delighted to have my sister, Dawn Jepson, join me in writing at Focusing Inward. We decided that for a time we would focus on addictive patterns, the escalated form of these patterns - addiction, and how to actively heal from this rampant cultural ill. Between the two of us, we have more than fifty years of focused attention to this particular dis-ease of the world! That's an awful lot of personal experience, attention and healing.

Addictive patterns are those we employ to avoid dealing with feelings and thoughts that we don't know how to deal with or manage. One of the most popular addictive patterns today is television. Although here I date myself a bit. Television and the computer are providing the same kind of distraction today. What is the ultimate solution for dealing with feelings and thoughts that we don't know how to deal with or manage? What is the effective medicine for this illness of inner unrest? Learn the skills to address feelings and thoughts pro-actively. I like to think that this is what brought us into the energy age. This is our time for acknowledging the energetics of our being. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies are continuously moving within us. How we work with those energies is essential to our well-being.

My particular struggle with addictive patterns began early in the form of co-dependency. I wanted to save my family! Misguidedly, I hoped that if I was good enough and helpful enough, that other people's troubles would get better. Thankfully, I learned by my early thirties, that was not how life worked. People's troubles get better when they decide to do, what usually is the very difficult and painful work of self-discovery, and  then organize their lives to support a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. When they become committed to that process, with the right kind of help, they learn self-love and develop a passion for living. I walked this path of pain and struggle to find my way to self-love and passion for life. I love helping others do so as well.

How I help others is by allowing them to consider the ways their life is out of balance, unfulfilled, and/or disturbing to them. I help them state their inner truth, to acknowledge their immediate experience in its totality. Together we discover a new sense of self that makes sense of the unrest. I am not a trained doctor of western medicine, therefore I will not be writing any prescriptions. When we go for medical treatment, normally it is because the illness has presented itself in the physical body. In my understanding this happens to be the final place of presentation. My beliefs tell me that our emotional, mental and spiritual ills are working themselves out through this material plane of existence collectively. Since the last place of presentation of imbalance is the physical body, addressing emotional, mental and spiritual disturbances pro-actively is wise medicine.

The ineffective medicine of the day is addictive patterns. Addiction is the escalation of addictive patterns to the place where more intense and specific treatment is required. The addictive patterns that we have developed in our culture circumvent our deeper desires to feel our pain in bearable ways, to be seen, to be heard, and to be loved. In order to experience effective medicine, acknowledging that we desire the strength and compassion to feel our pain and that we want to be seen, heard and loved, must be accepted from within. This is the beginning. Many get here in crisis of pain.

The effective medicine that I suggest can happen in myriad of ways. There are groups to join where truth is welcome, journaling un-editedly, one-on-one help, endless self-help and philosophy books to offer new perspectives, and the internet is loaded with guidance, help and connections to make. This is a sampling of the possibilities. Each of us must choose individually how to step into a life of fulfillment and joy.

I know no way of getting around this process of effective medicine to discover a life of joy and freedom from within. Because I am constantly on the look out for the latest in self-help and healing, I will be sure to get the word out as best I can if some other more direct and effective medicine is discovered. Today I suggest -

* Feel your pain * Tell your truth * Consciously move onto the path of self-love and discovery.

Life Without Alcohol by Dawn Jepson

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I am walking through the restaurant anticipating a late afternoon antipasto and coffee with my husband. What a treat! As I am led to my table I hear the low laughter at a table near by. When I glance over I can’t help but notice the half-finished drinks on the table, the relaxed looks and smiling faces on the couple sitting there. I am filled with envy. I remember the days of “letting go” with alcohol. Quickly I push those enticing memories away and replace them with other memories - dry mouth the day after, queasy stomach …. I walk on. Getting closer to our table I look to the right and see the bar with all it’s neatly arranged bottles, see my reflection in the mirror. I also see me sitting on a stool having my first sip of an ice-cold martini. Ah, the pleasure of the bite of the alcohol, and even better, the spreading warmth and soothing calm that would wash over me. Once again, I push the image aside and replace it with one of the crusty bread dipped in fragrant oil that I am about to enjoy.

Now - another day, another challenge. It’s my day to grocery shop. I am hurrying, it is the end of the day, I am tired and hungry (all danger zones for an alcoholic). I am trying to find the raisins and of course they have been moved - again. I have to walk all the way back to the far end of the store, am willing to do this (burn those calories) as I REALLY want them for a salad.

There they are. As I turn to hurry back for check out, directly across from the raisins are the shelves of wine …. Bottle after bottle of reds, whites and bubbly. They all promise me the gift of letting down after a long day at the office. My mind starts to imagine uncorking a bottle and pouring it into a glass. At this point any glass will do, a jelly glass would work, it’s all about the relief of letting down with that wonderful soothing glass of wine. Quickly I replace the picture in my mind with my current favorite drink - Vida Coco. I love coconut milk! This refreshment is something special I look forward to - it represents the letting down at the end of a long day.

These are a sampling of the challenges of living a life without alcohol for me. In the past I might have had to call a friend so that I didn’t buy that bottle or two of wine. At the restaurant I might have had to leave, or at least talk with my husband to diffuse the emotions and thoughts that surfaced with the desire for a drink.

After many years of hard work I have learned to use my visualizations to help me.  I have used them so often they have power attached to them and can override the memories of the alcohol and it’s seductive lure, it’s siren call. Writing about this kind of self-care will follow in future posts - stayed tuned!

I have also had to make radical changes in how I live. I have learned ways to have fun other than drinking since almost all my fun and good times in the past revolved around alcohol.

Now my spiritual beliefs, rituals, and, practices have all deepened, grown and become more important in my life.

I remarried. When the time was right I moved closer to nature. I found work I love.

What is important is not so much WHAT I chose to do but the fact that I HAD to do things differently. For me it was many things. For me it was hard work sometimes and sacrifices. For me it was facing a lot of unpleasant truths and illusions. And I am still working on it all. BUT …. The joy that comes from the results of all my healthy choices, even if that joy isn’t immediate, is all worth it. Every step of the way. Every single day.

Has it all worked out perfectly? Absolutely not. Nothing is perfect. I still struggle, I search for answers and ways to live my truth more fully. I want to know the real Dawn - what she truly wants from life. After all that’s what  life is all about, I think. At least for me. Living fully and honestly and knowing myself. And loving the person I find there. I realize all this as I surrender daily to a life without alcohol.