Monthly Archives: March 2017

"Whenever you take an adversarial attitude towards something you give it power."  Dr. Christiane Northrup

The first step of just about any 12 step program wants us to admit that we are powerless.  For many, whether in New Thought or not, powerlessness is simply not something that is done.

New Thought teaches us that we have power over our thoughts and beliefs and emotions, and that what we think tends to manifest in our lives.

For others, powerlessness signifies some type of weakness.  How many times has the average alcoholic heard someone tell him that if he were stronger he could control his drinking?

The reality is, we do have a lot of power, but it is misplaced power.  We give power to the substance.  We give power to people in our lives.  We give our power up to all sorts of things:  possessions, jobs, busyness.  And I would venture to say that if we really stopped to take a look at what we give our power to, it would be a love/hate relationship.  We love the temporary escape the subtance provides, but hate the consequences.  We love all our possessions, but it really complicates lives.  They say busyness is a status symbol, but how come we are so tired all the time?

So we move through life living out of congruence with our true values, giving power to something we really don't believe in, because we think there is no other way.  And in the case of substance abuse, we can't fight it, because we've given all our power to it.

Eventually there comes a time when something has to give.  Something has to change.

So we go to a 12 step program and it tells us the first thing we must do is declare our powerlessness.  This goes against everything we've ever been taught, and goes against most societal value systems.  It also goes against New Thought teachings.  And because of these values and teachings, we instead create an adversarial relationship with whatever it is we are having problems with.  Instead of helping, this simply gives it more power and takes more away from us.

So now we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place.

What's a person to do then?

I advocate a different way of looking at the first step.  In my book, I've reworded it to say, "We admitted we were ready for a change in our lives."

If you find yourself unhappy, overwhelmed, consistently worried, experiencing stress related health problems, or unable to accomplish what you wish in your life, you may be ready to admit that a change is necessary.  The good news is that you get to decide what to change to!

In the next blog post, I will speak to this in more detail.  You can sign up to receive notification of new posts at the right if you are on a computer and at the bottom if you are on a device such as phone or iPad.  You can purchase the book here:!/A-New-Thought-Journey-Through-the-12-Steps-book/p/70971359/category=0


Copyrighted photograph by Image Angels Photography Services

I've been thinking.

Sometimes that gets me into trouble, but is highly productive.

Lately I've been thinking about how life sometimes just kicks us in the ass over and over again.  Those of us who have a strong foundation of the steps under our belt can usually handle such beatings with relative ease.  After all, look at where we have been, and we survived that didn't we?

But have we really handled it?  Have we really moved on?  And what is UP with the repeated beatings anyway?  This is not some sort of "the beatings will continue until morale improves" situation! Or is it?  From a New Thought perspective, the overall trend of our thinking tends to create what happens in our lives.  So....if we have had a lifetime of drama and trauma, even if we have a good foundation in recovery, what is to stop that tendency from continuing to happen?

Turns out there is a lot.  The appendix at the back of the AA text defines a spiritual awakening as a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery.  To me, that suggests that such a personality change is possible.  Inevitable if we do the work.

In New Thought we like to say that we change our thinking to change our lives, and Ernest Holmes puts it like this:  "Man’s experience is the logical outcome of his inner vision; his horizon is limited to the confines of his own consciousness. Wherever this consciousness lacks a true perspective, its outward expression will lack proper harmony. This is why we are taught to be transformed by the renewing of our minds."

And there have, and continue to be, many scientific studies that say that our brain chemistry changes because of all that early trauma and drama, but that there are things we can do to change it.

I don't know about you, but when science and spirituality both say that we can effect deep and lasting change within ourselves to live happier lives, I believe it.  And I believe that such deep and lasting change means we are no longer subject to the regular beatings, because something within us has declared, "I am done with that kind of life."  It reminds me of a tiny little awakening I once had, when I was a kid.  Someone told me that my mother was a strong woman, she could handle this.  "This" being the latest dramatic trauma.  And I remember thinking, "I do not want to grow up to be strong like that.  I don't want to be known as the person who can handle that kind of stuff."  Today, I think we can be strong...and not attract that kind of stuff into our lives, simply by doing the inner work necessary to effect deep and lasting change within us.

Then there is good old fashioned faith.  I was chatting with a person recently who was lamenting that her daughter was a tweaker (addicted to methanthetamine) and she was worried because she thought no one could ever come back from that.  She said she took a lot of comfort when speaking with another person who said, "I was a tweaker, and I came back."  This is faith.  When we haven't had the experience, but others have.  We can draw on their faith.

So, faith, inner work, action, repeat.  This is how we change our lives for the better.