Author Archives: newthoughtmama

There are a lot of folks out there who like to bad mouth the 12 steps.  They offer all kinds of way to get sober and stay sober.  I’ll admit it, I haven’t tried any of those things.  There are also all kinds of folks out there who claim to be atheist.  They also bad mouth the 12 steps.  And yet, I see they do believe in something.  Very strongly.  That isn’t atheism.  If you believe in science, you have a belief.

My book isn’t about bad mouthing the 12 steps.  It is, admittedly, a different take on the 12 steps, which I happen to adore.  I took the basic teachings of the old timers in AA, researching volumes and reams of books and pamphlets and anything else I could find.  I talked with old timers.  I studied the literature.  Then I took the wisdom of New Thought and metaphysics.

And out popped this book.  Twenty five years of study, all wrapped up and condensed into this little book.  Short read, but if you take the steps (meaning incorporate the into your life), I promise you that you will have a live more wonderful than you ever imagined.

What do I get out of this?  Not much, admittedly.  I’ll be honest here, sales of this book are not what I had hoped for.  Which I fail to understand.  And when it does sell, royalties are small.

I just want to help.  Really.  I see so many people struggling.  Some refuse to incorporate the 12 steps into their lives, for a bunch of reasons.  So they continue to live lives filled with misery.  That isn’t necessary.  Don’t struggle.  Check it out.  The book is available from me directly, or on Amazon and Balboa Press.

And......I have some offerings for you.  A workshop.  About expectations.  Yep..you know  that phrase “expectations are premeditated resentments.”  Yeah, that one.  I cringe every time I hear it.  So limiting!  Check it out, a different way to view it.  The workshop is online, and it is coming up quick, this Thursday.  Register now so I can send you the link to attend.

 

If you are anything like me, you have at least one person on your gift giving list that is difficult to buy for.  And....if you are anything like me, you know lots of 12 step people, and lots of New Thought people, maybe even a bunch who are both!  If so, I'd like to suggest a copy of my book as a gift idea.  It's affordable and presents a new way of looking at the steps that even non-12 step people love!

Order yours today on Amazon:

Or through Balboa Press:

I hope you have the most wonderful holiday season ever!

Register here!

The phrase "expectations are premeditated resentments" is very popular in 12 step circles, and just about anyone I've ever spoken to who is a member of a 12 step program believes this statement to be true.  In fact, they think it makes life easier to believe that they should not have expectations.

But in New Thought, the teaching is a bit different.  In New Thought we are taught that not only should we expect good in our lives, but we deserve it!

So which is it?

Join me for an exploratory journey to find out.

Do you believe that expectations are premeditated resentments?  I posted this question on Facebook and you would not believe the responses I received!  Obviously this is a hot topic!

So much so that I've created a workshop around it!  You should attend this workshop:

  • If you believe in the statement
  • If you believe in it but feel as if there may be some built in limitations there
  • If you don't believe in the statement
  • If you want to explore some other ways to think about things than what is "normal" for you.

The timing of this workshop is not an accident.  I purposely scheduled it for just before the holiday season because I know there are many people who tend to have some expectations about the holidays, and I know that sometimes those expectations are not met.

Plus, this workshop has a bonus:  two ways to restore or create some sacredness into your holiday season...we will explore gratitude and rebirth within us during the last portion of this workshop.

Three hours, $25....that's the commitment I am asking of you.  In return, you will get knowledge and skills that will last you a lifetime.  And you won't even have to leave the comfort of your home to attend!  Register and I will email you the link to attend the class via Zoom.  Zoom is very much like Sype, only a bit easier to use.

I hope to see you there!

Register here!

They like to say in meetings that "my best thinking got me here."  This statement is usually followed with, or preceded by, more statements that basically say that one's ideas are useless and best not considered. Or only to be considered if one's mentor or sponsor approves of it.  I used to wonder at such statements, because to me they seemed to indicate that the speaker was filled with shame and self loathing.

I LOVE it that my best thinking got me here!  My thinking got me (with a little help from my family) into treatment, which then led me to a 12 step program, which taught me a way to live that has been more rewarding than I ever dreamed possible!

My point is that you can honor your thinking and your ideas.  They are leading you to a better way of living.

Is there no exception?  Is there ever a time when your thinking is simply bad...destructive...no good, and should not even be considered?  Well, yes, actually, there is.  When I was new, my perception was warped and some of my thoughts did not serve me well.  Perhaps you can identify.  But the steps allow us to correct all of that.  I love the way those steps work in my life!  They effected a profound change in my thinking and gave me a foundation for living upon which I can build.  I build upon that foundation by living in steps 10 and 11, and when I stay there, I can know that my ideas are sound.

I can know that when I get an idea, it is from the Great Reality deep within me, and I can also know that the yes is inherently built into the idea.

Anything is possible when you live in step 10 and 11.  Even ideas which seem outlandish.

What is your latest idea?  Share it!

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Learn how to access those ideas, know that they are good ones, and act upon them by participating in the fall Creativity Retreat!  More information is here.

Buy the book here.

I was speaking with a mentor the other day about the phrase "Let Go and Let God."

I confessed to her that I had absolutely no idea how to do that but I knew what the results were when I was able to do it;  peace, absence of resentment, forgiveness, no more attempts to control.

Sounds nice right?  But how do we get there?  Especially if, like me, you are a New Thought person and have a god which is more inward directed than outward.  In other words, it isn't a god somewhere out there in the sky, but more of a "great reality deep within" kind of god.  How do you let something do something when it is a part of you?  How do you separate the action from the consciousness?

For me, this particular resentment stemmed from my own attempts to control.

Doing a 10th step definitely helped me, and following up with sharing my results with my mentor helped more.

In my book I talk about steps 6 and 7 as a process of enlarging my connection with spirit, replacing that which does not serve with something new, and asking for help.

For this particular resentment I knew that I needed to quit judging and love them unconditionally.  I began to do that and immediately began to feel better.  I also knew that I needed to keep the boundaries I had set......as I do not feel safe around the person on my resentment list, and I am continuing to do that.

Somehow, the combination of unconditional love, no judgement and taking care of my own needs so that I feel safe has resulted in that feeling of peace that I so wanted in this situation.  To me...that is letting go and letting god.

What is your experience of this phrase?

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Purchase the book at Amazon or Balboa Press, or directly from the author.

What if alcoholism were simply a message to the sufferer that it was time to move into the next greatest expression of being?

I've been reading The Spirituality of Imperfection by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketchum.  In it, they talk about the admission of powerlessness, the first step, really being about a thirst for something more in life.

We have a thirst, but we misunderstand the message, and so when we thirst, we drink instead of seeking spirituality.

What if we looked at any sort of pain or challenge in our lives as a thirst, instead of something to be ashamed of, or something to learn from?  I've long thought that any sort of pain or challenge that we experience in life is not a punishment, nor evidence of a belief that the only way to learn in life is to have challenges.  Instead, life's challenges are simply a call from our higher selves to move into a greater expression of living.

We are constantly being called to move closer to a god like state, and that is what the challenges of life are all about.  That is what the thirst really is.  It isn't telling us to drink, or do drugs, or get involved with people who need fixing, or any other sort of addiction.  That's just a manifestation of the truth:  that we are here to live our greatest lives, and any pain or challenge we experience is simply a call to move beyond that and into the next realm of being.

It is why I love the 12 steps so, because they provide us with a process to move us from unsatisfactory living to very satisfactory living indeed.

So when trouble happens, the key is not to fight it, or deny it.  The key is to embrace it and discern what the real message is.

This is why I advocate that the first step is not about admitting powerlessness.  It is about admitting that we are ready for a change.  It is about listening to the messages that our life is bringing us and heeding them.

So the first step is about looking at our life and admitting that we are ready for a change.  That's it.  As I explain in my book, it isn't about exploring why we are ready for a change, or even about saying, "I don't want to do this anymore!"

The story is irrelevant, and affirming that we don't want something merely affirms the not wanting it.

Instead, we recognize that that we want a change, and then turn the focus of our thoughts to what we do want.  In the case of an addiction, it is then time to have some fun.  Although I realize that it doesn't often seem so at the time.

That recognition that we want change is called a moment of clarity.  For me it came one bright crisp November day as I was being driven to a treatment center.  It was Thanksgiving Day, although I did not know it at the time.  And as I was attempting to make myself look presentable (an impossibility at the time) and wondering where on earth I was going, it occurred to me that my life was not working.  My higher self said, "I don't really know what the problem is, but something has to give.  This isn't what life is about."  And because I didn't really know what the problem was, I didn't know what the solution was.  So I became open.  I was open to hearing about the problem, and I was open to hearing about the solution.

This is what spirituality is all about.  Being open to the fact that the problem might not be what our intellectual minds think it is.  And that the solution might be something different than what we usually come up with:  fix something outside of ourselves and it will all be ok.  Spirituality is about going within, and listening to the messages, and being open to consider something different.

This applies in all aspects of life, and, so far, it has stood the test of time.  I used this principle in early recover (although I didn't realize it at the time) and I use it today, many years into recovery.

So consider that the dissatisfaction, the hole inside of you, the challenges, all of it, may just be a call to move you into a greater expression of who and what you are...a beautiful expression of what some people call god.  Go there.

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"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:  http://karenlinsley.com/?page_id=1174#!/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 sometimes....it 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.

Every faith and spiritual tradition I know of advocates some sort of introspection.

In 12 steps, the inventory process tells us to go within and examine our thoughts and actions and attitudes.  This is not so we can shame and blame ourselves.  It is so we can set things right...make amends by changing those thoughts and actions.

In New Thought, we are told to change our thinking to change our life.  The Law says that all manifestation begins in thoughts and beliefs, so if we wish to change our life, the place to go is within. Again, we need to have an awareness of what is and isn't working in order to change it.

Lately I've been studying a book by the Dalai Lama called "Ethics for a New Millennium."  In it, he says that spirituality is about going within and finding and developing traits such as compassion, tolerance and unconditional love.

I'm also reading a book called "Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within us All."  That's where I got the quote for the meme.  The authors, David and Tom Kelley, say that unexamined failures limit us.

I love it when I keep getting the same message everywhere I turn!  I believe introspection to be one of the most powerful spiritual practices we can do, and yet, so many people either cannot or will not take advantage of it.

If you don't have a regular introspection practice, why not?

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Join me for a Death Valley camping retreat, April 11-14, 2017.  Details and registration here

 

"We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it."  AA textbook

"Never limit your view of life by any past experience." Ernest Holmes

Statements such as these teach us that we should not base our current lives on what happened in the past.

It is tempting, I know, to look at something that happened in the past and tell ourselves that we will never do THAT again, because look what happened!

If we do so, we limit our future.

What if instead we looked at the events of the past as stepping stones to our next greatest and highest good?

All those shitty things that happened are not something to be ashamed of.  Shame and guilt only keeps us in the problem.  Fear and attempts to prevent it from happening again only keep us in the problem.

Instead, try to view it from a different perspective.  If we look at those things as necessary for our greatest good, then we can thank them, do our grief and forgiveness work, and move on.  This is why this particular promise is stated after completion of the 10th step in the textbook.  There is work to be done before we can stop blaming ourselves for past events.

In New Thought, we are taught that God is everywhere present, all good, all the time.  This means not that we should put our heads in the sand and declare that all that bad stuff was really good.  It means that we take a look at it and glean the nuggets of wisdom from them; therein lies the good.

So...we take a good look at our past, without shame and blame and condemnation, and use it to move into our greatest good.

How has your past served you?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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