"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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Self-Esteem and Spirituality

In my daily prayer and meditation practice, I receive comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Often my Higher Power and Spiritual Guides tell me over and over again that they are with me and that whatever I am called to walk through, I need not walk through it, alone.

In 12 step recovery, we learn to live a spiritual program. Whatever the addiction that we are dealing with, we learn it's not about the money or the relationship or the food or the alcohol or the sex. It is a spiritual program and requires a spiritual solution.

Here are just a few ways to build our spiritual resources and deepen our own spiritual intelligence:

1) Honor what comforts and nourishes you. Some of us need quiet time to be filled up. Some of us are filled up in our connection and interactions with others friends in program or with similar spiritual practices and beliefs. It is necessary for us to pay attention to what fulfills us and nourishes our spirits and then to welcome these practices regularly.

2) Develop a daily ceremony symbolizing your spiritual program. This might be taking 5 minutes to breathe deeply and connect with ourselves. Perhaps the ceremony might be reading spiritual material or a daily meditation. It could simply be lighting a candle or burning some sage.

3) One of the greatest practices for enhancing our spiritual program is bold self-care. When we take good care of our bodies, our emotional selves, our social and intellectual selves, we build a trust and love within. Our self esteem will begin to flourish and deepen and grow. This is important as it will enhance our spiritual connection. When we love ourselves with regular self-care and begin to believe that we deserve these loving actions regularly, we increase our capacity to receive. Our Higher Power and the Divine Creator can only bless and give to us what we allow ourselves to receive. Enhancing our capacity to receive abundance through increasing our self-esteem and our belief that we really deserve the blessings mean we will receive more. What we receive, we are then able to give to others as well.

These are just a few examples of how to deepen and enhance our spiritual connection. It is good to honor our individual expression of spirituality. Developing a regular discipline of allowing ourselves this blessing enhances everyone whose life we touch.

With love,


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Doing it differently

One of the things that makes changing our behavior so challenging is that we get used to things a certain way, even our misery. It's predictable. We can count on it. As adults who bring with them some dysfunctional behavior from addictive family systems, predictability and knowing what we can count on does, in and of itself, create stability. So, taking the risk of "doing it differently" with our behavior, the only behavior we can really change, takes courage. It also requires that we willingly step into the unknown and trust the process of our recovery and trust our Higher Power.

Our recovery and healing is, as we say, a spiritual program requiring spiritual discipline, so this is in keeping with our commitments for emotional maturity.

Here are a couple of reminders as we venture into the unknown of changing our behavior:

1. Keep in mind that we can only control ourselves, our choices and our behavior. Whatever we may or may not do, it may or may not evoke or inspire change in our partners or other relationships.

2. Support is an important cog in the recovery and healing commitment that we have. Check in with someone and get another mature person's detached perspective before making this change in behavior. Follow up with them and check in after the behavior has taken place. How did it go? What were your feelings? How did you take care of yourself? This is called bookending and it a great practice when taking difficult actions or practicing new behaviors.

3. Pray. Re-member that this is a spiritual program and a spiritual process. Taking the action and letting go of the result is a good practice. Ask your Higher Power/Spiritual Source to guide you and continue to pray for the highest good to come out of the action you have taken, both for yourself and anyone else involved.

4. Be willing to be uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortable. Leaving the familiar dynamics/reactivity we carry within ourselves and that we create with others is uncomfortable. Even when we are not getting the results we want from our behavior, trying new behavior is uncomfortable. And often, it is scary for the people in our lives as well, so be willing to be uncomfortable when and if others resist our new behaviors.

New habits take time. Recovery takes time. Re-creating our family tree takes time. Learning new behaviors take time as well.

Be kind. Be patient. Have compassion and understanding for yourself and remember to forgive when you revert to the old ways of doing it.

Love and blessings,


Monday, January 4, 2010

Making Manifest through Bold Self-Care

My maternal grandmother was born in Italy on the 6th of January; the feast of the Epiphany. This is a holy day in which Jesus Christ was made manifest and visited by The Three Kings. It is a time that celebrates God made manifest in this human being, Jesus.

While I am not active in the Catholic Church today, I have deep appreciation for the connection and resonance of ritual, ceremony and an honoring of the ancient that I learned growing up in the Church. On this coming feast day, I honor my ancestors, especially my grandmother, my Nona. More symbolically, I reflect upon and honor the ways in which I am called to make manifest the Divine in my world. How can I more purposefully make a difference in the lives of others? Where am I called to share my gifts and express my soul's purpose to be of service?

As the new year begins, it is a good time for me to recommit to practices that nourish and comfort me. Bold self-care has been a theme in the past year and this year it will remain a priority. As I nourish and care for self first, I am filled from within able to give more authentically to others. As I honor my passions and what inspires and enlivens my spirit, I honor the Divine's whispering to me. This is the most profound path for making a difference in the world. We must begin by honoring our passions from within and tending to our own spiritual practices and divine connections. From this place, we make manifest the Divine in our world and in our relationships with others.

I really believe this. As we follow the energy that honors us, blesses us, inspires us and calls forth our passions from deep within, we are honoring the Divine and our unique calling in the world.

As the New Year unfolds, I invite and encourage a commitment from all that we honor and nourish and care for ourselves above all us. As we do, we can trust that we give to others from fullness and out of an authentic care and love. When we connect with our passions from within, we also find our purpose and divine destiny.

May the year be filled with great self-love, forgiveness for the ways we fall short of our own expectations and the courage to honor that which inspires us from deep within as we make manifest the Divine in our own lives and the lives of others.

Blessings in the coming year,