"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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Women's Empowerment

In preparing for a presentation later this year, I am organizing my thoughts around Women's Empowerment and the stages of empowerment that women go through when dealing with addictive dynamics in their own lives and in their relationships. I am organizing the presentation on Women's Empowerment into Five Stages.

After the denial is broken and help is sought, one begins to see the connections between their family of origin set-ups for cosex addiction and codependency and how these dis-eased and dysfunctional dynamics have been recreated in present day relationships. Hitting a bottom is stage one. Seeing past and present day relationships honestly is stage two. This requires courageous self-honesty and the development of a support system.

Once these connections and the threads of generational dynamics are acknowledged, a woman learns new behaviors. There is the practice of saying "no" and learning boundaries. There is an increased awareness of her own wants and needs and an advocation on her own behalf. As self-care becomes a habit, there is the possibility that conflict may occur in relationships with others and an intensified commitment to one's own desires and wants must occur. This is a threshold of intense difficulty for more women as we have been conditioned in both our families and societies to put others first and give, give, give and give more to our partners, friends, parents, children, churches, etc. We must be willing to walk through the disapproval of others and our own "disapproving" voices inside in order to break free from the bondage of this codependent conditioning.

Stage three is practicing these new behaviors and taking the risk to implement our behavior changes in our lives. At this stage, it is essential to have support. As stated above, we may have "trained" people in our lives to believe we would put their needs and wants above our own and now this changes.

Stage four can be even more intense. In this stage, our integrity and relationship with self deepens. We continue on a consistent basis to put ourselves and our own self-care above ALL ELSE. It is not a passing fad, but it is becoming a way of life. Trust in the process, our Spiritual Source and ourselves is essential here as there will be relationships in our lives that change, grow and even end. We must be willing to allow this process to happen because as our own self-esteem grows and we mature spiritually and emotionally, there may be people in our lives that are threatened and jealous or who simply do not know how to interact with us outside of commiserating and complaining. We no longer spend our time in conversations that involve gossip or see ourselves as victims. We have begun to see our life's circumstances as choices we make. As we honor ourselves first and allow these relationships to settle as they may, new relationships will come into our hearts and spirits. As we trust in the process, our spiritual source and ourselves there will be soul partners who are able to meet us, honor us and hold us in high esteem as we journey together in continued spiritual and emotional maturity.

The last stage of Women's Empowerment is Service, Spirituality and Passion! As we continue bold self-care, we no longer have our energy tied into addictive and draining dynamics with others. We are freed up intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and energetically. We are now consistently connected to our authentic selves and our passions and deepest desires rise to the surface. We pursue our dreams, discover our deepest passions and begin to put our time and energy in these areas of our lives. In our joy and authentic connection with life's abundance, we give back to others. The service may come in the form of mentoring, giving from fullness within to our own families, pursuing the professions that we always wanted, etc.

Each stage requires us to show up with honesty, willingness and trust. The good news is our Spiritual Source and other soul partners will emerge at just the time we need and want them. The greater news is that our relationships with ourselves and others will deepen in love, trust and honor. We will journey together in authentic service enjoying the abundance available and making a difference in the lives of others.

Blessing to all on this journey,


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ancestral Healing

When we follow the inner calling on our spiritual path, we influence ancestors of old and of generations to come.

The work that we do as women and men in our addictions and family of origin dynamics will affect generations of old and generations to come. We are transforming our family tree. It is work that we are doing for our mothers and grandmothers and great grandmothers and great, great grandfathers as well as for our children, grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.

Addictive dynamics are passed from generation to generation and we know that this dis-ease of addiction is cunning, powerful and baffling. The pulls of the old learned behaviors of gossip, triangulation, stuffing our feelings, denying our wants, using substances to medicate, raging and staying silent are some of the strongest impulses we have.

This is why we must create personal and professional circles of support, partnerships and containers that are able to encourage, empower and hold with us the intention for healing, transformation and a new way of living.

After having been in 12 step recovery and circles of personal and spiritual healing and empowerment for over twenty years, I wonder if I will always need and want these resources and recovery circles, mentors, counselors, coaches, etc., in my life. I have a fantasy of arriving some day and not wanting or needing them any more.

Today I acknowledge, however, what a blessing my mentors and partners in healing and recovery circles are to me. Doing ancestral healing and choosing to transform addictive dynamics is a good portion of my soul's work to do here. To keep this intention alive and inspired within me, I must continue to create healing circles and relationships with others on the path who will stand with me in times of trouble and despair, holding the intention for service when I am unable to do so. These structures will also be there when I come up against the old, internal messages with the magnetic pull to addictive beliefs and behaviors. I will need the containers with a higher purpose to place my weary spirit and aching heart.

Ancestral healing is not for the weak of mind, heart or spirit. It is for those with a Higher Calling and who are willing to receive the courage and desire for the internal battle and the external pressures of living our soul's purpose. Breaking the addictive dynamics that have helped our families to survive for centuries takes this kind of bold, persistent intention. Our Spirits become a force to be reckoned with and we must commit to continued evolvement in our consciousness and personal power.

Breathing deeping and calling in our spiritual resources, as well as creating empowerment circles with professional and personal connections are a necessary practice for ancestral healing.

Blessings on your journey,