Episode 22: The Art of Practice Returning Again and Again

The Journey of Integral Recovery Podcast

Jul 21
Episdoe 22: The Art of Practice - Returning Again and Again

Episode 22:
The Art of Practice
Returning Again and Again
Anonymity and the Stigma of Addiction

The map is not the territory. A theoretical understanding will only get us so far.

Integral Recovery, much like our lives, and our addictions, is about what we do. Waking up, growing up, cleaning up, and showing up are practices. This is where the rubber meets the road and we begin to dig deep and do the work.

By cultivating the right mindset, approaching the challenges of our daily practice as an opportunity to grow, to strengthen characters, our minds, our bodies, our spirits, and our hearts, we lean into our recovery and our lives with newfound zeal. We rediscover our freedom. We find self-reinforcing joy in stretching ourselves and reaching ever-higher vistas on the unfolding spiral of evolution. And we begin to gain a sense of purpose and fulfillment that previously eluded us as do the work of healing and transformation and discover (or rediscover) what each of us can bring to the world.

No, practice isn’t always easy. Practice isn’t always fun. There will days when you can’t seem to muster up the energy to do what you’ve told yourself you’d do…And besides, Netflix is autoplaying the next episode…

There will days, too, when you stretch yourself and fall short…days when your best doesn’t seem good enough and you begin to question your resolve. You slip into old patterns; worn-out emotional tapes and thought loops that are no longer serving you.

These are the days when practice matters most.

So we learn to practice self-compassion and self-forgiveness. And we learn when and how to give ourselves a firm nudge and get into action, even when we’re afraid, tired, angry, or depressed.

Showing up means acting despite our resistance. Even when we’re not at our best, we learn to give ourselves permission to be imperfect as we reach toward increasing levels of wholeness, contribution, and growth. And in doing so, we see that taking even an imperfect action, a small step forward, begins to shift our hearts and minds.

When we show up day after day, week after week, year after year, practice become its own reward – an end in and of itself; an essential component of our character. Our unfolding growth, cultivated through daily practice, helps us transcend our internalized shame.

But we have to stick with it. We have to do the work.

The way we show up in the world – the people we are, not the people we were – begins to shift the societal conversation and lift the stigma of addiction. By continuing to show up in our own lives, we can play an integral role in alleviating suffering – our society’s, our world’s, and not least of all, our own.


Episode Resources:
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
Profound Meditation Program
Stealing Flow: Complete Brainwave Suite for Flow State Mastery (by iAwake Technologies and Douglas Prater)
Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction (SUNY series in Integral Theory)
Deep Recovery – a guided meditation from iAwake Technologies

In this episode:

[2:30] The importance of continuing to review the AQAL map as our understanding of ourselves and our world, and therefore our interpretation of the map, continue to unfold and develop. Integral Recovery, in a nutshell, is the map and the practice
[4:25] The practice-oriented approach of the community and its importance to ongoing recovery practice, finding accountability partners, coaching, and more
[6:49] Anonymity and the shame and stigma surrounding recovery. We have to take responsibility for ourselves, because we all have issues and we all have to work on ourselves.
[9:31] Dr. Bob’s public ownership of his journey and his past as a means to overcome shame and stigma. Turning shame and stigma on their heads by embracing the truth of our experience and learning to own our pain, our guilt, and our shortcomings
[14:37] You don’t have to be in addiction recovery to be in recovery in your life
[15:22] The importance of hope and a tale of swimming rats
[17:46] Changing the culture around going public with our addictions, sexual identities, or any other parts of ourselves that we may have fear around revealing. The courageous few who step forward begin to impact people’s perceptions and lead to a change in the conversation
[21:15] Checking in with yourself and your circumstances to do a net good to the world before revealing intimate details about your addiction. Though attitudes about addiction are changing, it’s a very personal choice that’s not right for everyone. Understanding and respecting people’s choices and respecting anonymity remains an important priority in the recovery movement
[24:40] The importance of sharing ourselves and our shadows with other human beings, even within the anonymous context of a recovery group or therapeutic relationship
[26:30] Dampening the charge of our trauma and taking away its power by getting our stories out of the shadows
[28:02] On the dangers of perfectionism and the growth mindset necessary for practice. The difference between “perfect” and “skillful” and the willingness to make mistakes as part of the growth process.
[31:07] Gently returning, over and over again. The return is the practice, whether in meditation or exercise, or any other area of life. Giving ourselves the freedom to stretch and then returning to center by recognizing the growth potential
[34:33] The importance of balancing our physical and spiritual practice in terms of time and intensity. Though both practices require a commitment of our time, the creation of vitality, energy, health, and happiness far exceed the cost of time of discipline
[35:57] Flow, like practice, are autotelic. Though difficult in the beginning, they become rewards in and of themselves, as well as being the ways that we serve the world.
[38:08] Giving ourselves permission and time and space to engage in the healthy activities that we enjoy – the importance of refilling the tank and charging our spirits.
[40:01] Our creative practices inform and infuse the other ways we show up in life – in our jobs, in our families, in our relationships

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07/14/2017, 48:23, 33.2 mb (Audio)

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