"Pletcher and Bartolameolli are undisputed experts on the subject of co-sex addiction.  They know more about it than anyone I know and have presented  an expose that with great clarity supersedes anything I have read before."

– John Bradshaw

Friday, June 26, 2009

Breaking Relationship Patterns of Addiction and Disease

Recently I realized how truly difficult it is to separate ourselves from the issues and wounds that occur in our growing up with our family of origins, educational and religious institutions. To really detach enough to get a clear view of the system from which we come and to see the influence of the individual relationships within that system takes great courage and willingness to grow and mature. I think those who do this with intention to see clearly, individuate and honestly mature spiritually, are a small and rare percentage of people. The pull to do what was taught to us both consciously and unconsciously is so strong and imbedded in who we are. These pulls of dysfunctional and automatic behavior also keep us connected, albeit unhealthily, to the people we first loved in our lives. Venturing into the unknown of highly functional and individuated relating with others is most often an unknown we choose not to explore.

In our cosex addiction, when we give ourselves over to a relationship or relationships as a way to fill our own emptiness within, it is especially challenging. Challenging because our relationships with others are our connection to ourselves. We are mothers, daughters, friends, wives, sisters, parents, colleagues and collaborators in relationship to other people. We must be willing to temporarily lose our identities as we learn new ways to respond and behave in relationships with others.

As women, we have an innate sense of community and desire to cooperate and co-create. To actually break away from these early relationships~our mothers, fathers, siblings, cousins, institutions, churches, marriages, etc.~and honestly look at them with a detached set of eyes and a willingness to see the dysfunction and dynamic honestly is the greatest act of bravery and self-love. I think it actually only rarely happens. Those with primary addictions of alcohol, food, sex, spending, etc., have it easy compared to those of us whose primary addictive dynamics occur in how we behave in relationships with others.

I also believe that those with the courage to individuate from these learned dynamics and choose new behaviors reap the most profound results. Those willing to do this most challenging work of individuating from the original family dynamics and institutions are the true healers and shamans of our time. The most effortful internal work results in the deepest service and healing on the planet. I believe this. It is a responsibility that is to be honored and respected due to the courage, spiritual discipline and determination required.

Doing this family of origin and individuation work for those of us with a cosex addiction begins with stepping back and detaching from our original families and relationships. This stepping back allows us to see with new eyes. We must also welcome objective perspectives to assist us in seeing these dynamics with clarity and honesty. We can not do this alone and those who support us must have no attachment to the system or attachment to our perspective other than that we see it honestly and clearly. These allies must have learned to have their own strong boundaries and be willing to hold us accountable even when we do not want to be.

Next, we must risk practicing new behaviors with others in such a way that we see our own default patterns of people pleasing, approval seeking, care taking, blaming, judging, criticizing, etc., as our ways of coping with fear and shame. We must own that these behaviors are the only way we know to behave in relationship to others. Here it will be easy to blame others, but for the purpose of growing and seeing ourselves clearly, we must keep the focus on our own behavior. How do we react? Where do we blame someone else? How is our original relationships with our mothers, fathers, siblings, early and young adulthood relationships repeating through our own reactions and default patterns of behavior and belief.? How are we attracting these familiar dynamics in our own lives? This is an important junction in our own maturation in relationship with ourselves and others.

Last but not least, we must nourish and nurture our spiritual practice. Developing a relationship with a Higher Power/Spirit Guides/God/Creator/Goddess, etc., whatever we choose to call this Spiritual Entity is essential. On our own, we can not change these energetic, ancestral dynamics within us. We must have awareness of them, consciously choose to surrender them and then receive Spiritual Healing and Transformation.

Each stage of this individuation and initiation into conscious and highly functioning, loving relationships has its own challenges. We will make mistakes along the way. If our spiritual practice remains consistent, we will learn self-forgiveness, renewed awareness and will welcome healing and holy transformation. Our spiritual resources become the most honored place of learning and growing and through this connection we begin to see ourselves and our relationships with others clearly and honestly. This level of rigorous self-honesty is most difficult but as our primary source of support and alliance deepens and our Spiritual Connection is our priority, we learn to relax into self love and acceptance. We bring our darkest and most shameful behaviors, thoughts and reactions to a merciful and compassion Resource. Transformation happens.

We learn to love our darkness and most hidden characteristics in the presence of Light and Abundant Love. From here, we learn the most profound forgiveness, compassion and understanding for others.

Here is to venturing into the darkness and light together,

With love,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Intention and Service

Recently, I had the experience of feeling nervous about an event and wondering how it was going to go. It was a last minute engagement. I learned many years ago about the power of intention and so while I was aware of my nervousness, I remembered that I could prayer about it, practice the first three steps, release the nervousness and create a powerful intention for my time with this event. My intention was to be present and available for anyone that wanted/needed some healing for the evening.

There was a miraculous outcome with this intention at the event. There was someone there who had the intention of receiving and welcoming healing that day. My presence assisted in creating the container for this. There is great healing in simply listening powerfully to someone and in sharing my experience. We were both reminded of the profound impact we each have in setting an intention and being open to have the Universe move to meet the request.

How does this relate to Co-Sex Addiction or any addiction and recovery from addiction? The answer is simple. I believe that when we work a program with intention around the healing and empowerment of any addictive behavior, it is the spiritual program that works us in real ways. As we heal from our dis-ease and transform our addictive behaviors, we have energy available for authentic connection to life and all its possibilities. We free up the energy wrapped in our addiction and addictive thinking and behaving. We then return to our original spiritual intention of service to others and have the free attention with internal and external resources to live this service in our lives. Utilizing the 12 steps helps us remember our spiritual intention and commitment to service and keeps our dis-ease and addictive behavior in remission.

Being of service is my primary, daily prayer in my meditation practice. I simply sit for a bit, journal and then set an intention for the day. Sometimes the intention is for a particular outcome for a project or event. Sometimes the intention focuses on a relationship or business collaboration. The intention may be big or small depending on what is troubling me or in front of me to do that day. When I do this, my energy and time is focused on what I want to accomplish, how I want to co-create a result and align with this intention for a positive consequence. It is deliberate in that I choose how to align and channel my time, energy and focus. We spend so much time worrying about the outcomes in our lives and/or gossiping about and blaming others as a way to avoid dealing with our own insecurities. The practice of creating an intention based on service and then offering our actions and behaviors in alignment with this can seem simply and perhaps easy, but my experience is that it produces miraculous results.

Our addictions are simply an unexpected path to our spiritual connection with the divine. They teach us to go within and be of service to others.

My encouragement to you is to practice setting an intention for a positive outcome for an event, relationship and/or project and then keep your energy focused on actions that support that outcome. Remember the great power of intention and ask others to hold this intention with you for the good of all involved. Pay attention to how things unfold and what synchronicities occur as you hold this intention and enroll the thoughtfulness and prayerfulness of others.

With this practice, we develop further trust and discipline in the orderly workings of the Spiritual World. We learn to welcome the abundant resources of the Universe and use all that comes to you in service for the highest good of all involved.

Blessings and love,


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Authentic Gratitude

    When I first began my personal journey of recovery and healing from my own addictions and addictive behavior, I heard people in my support circles speaking about gratitude. Often, I would feel annoyed thinking that they were just in denial and not dealing with the real issues. My own Co-Sex Addiction was devastating and coming out of denial and into reality was painful. How could people feel gratitude when dealing with their own character flaws and losses from childhood? At times I also judged that they were feigning gratitude as a way to avoid the real pain they were feeling. It took me time to experience authentic gratitude for myself. Slowly, I began to feel some gratitude as I started to experience my own authentic feelings. I'd have moments of deep grief and moments of ecstatic joy. Overtime, these emotions balanced out, but initially it was an up and down journey. 

    Today, while it can still be challenging at times, I do create intentional attention to gratitude. I notice the people that honor and bless me. I notice the ways in which synchronicity guides my life and I spend time each day in prayer and meditation. I appreciate the gifts that come my way. When I presence myself to my own Soul Partnerships and Spirit Guides, gratitude is inevitable. I guess in spite of myself, I feel gratitude more and more each day.

    While there is a season and time for everything, including authentic grief, I think there is a season and time for gratitude as well. Allowing ourselves moments of authentic grief, also allows us moments of authentic gratitude. 

    Today I encourage you to breathe deeply and simply connect with what is going on inside your body, mind and spirit. Allow yourself to simply be with whatever is there be it gratitude, joy, fear, sadness, etc. Just practice being with whatever is there and inviting your own Spirit Guides and Divine Source to be there with you. As you begin to really anchor and trust the foundation of this Spiritual Connection, you will also begin to connect authentically with yourself. This connection to self and your own divine source welcomes authentic grief which in turn will lead you to the experience of authentic gratitude. 

Blessings on your journey,