If you have ever told yourself that tomorrow will be different, you are not alone. If you have ever failed to stop a behavior, again, that left you feeling weak and defeated, you are definitely not alone. And you may be wrestling with something that is difficult to shift through dint of willpower alone.
My definition of an addiction is “any behavior that you continue to do despite the fact that it brings negative consequences into your life.”
If you are struggling with addiction, then you have an addiction story, according to the noted yogi, author and addiction recovery expert Tommy Rosen. The reasoning you use to justify why you are not changing your behaviors is your addiction story.
I told myself for years that my self-harming behavior and thoughts were “not that bad” compared to others and it wasn’t like I was on the streets, out of control, sponging off others, or … any of the other things we tell ourselves to justify the status quo. Yet, I was not happy about certain things and I was not able to change my story.
To move beyond addiction, I had to see through the illusions of my story and create a new tale — one of liberation and freedom from the false belief that I could do nothing to change my state. To enact lasting change, I had to see and experience new ways.
Training with Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur, N.D. and Dr. Gabor Mate, M.D. introduced me to tools allowing me to write inspiring new chapters in the ongoing story of my life. Because the body and brain function via interconnected systems governing hormones, digestion, respiration, immune function — and this all interplays with our emotional resilience and well being, I have found it helpful to work with addictive thoughts and behaviors by optimizing physical functioning of the body and mind via the tools of yoga: physical movement and rhythmic breathing combined with mental focus and sound vibration.
The way in starts with the physical body. As physiology and biochemistry shift and awareness increases, the mental story line can be re-written.