Archive for October, 2014

the half century mark

October 27th, 2014

It’s difficult to write about love without sounding too trite or cliche, but in spite of the written challenges associated with this task, I’m going to give it a try.  This past month has been an extended celebration of my reaching the half-century mark, and turning 50 has lead to an unexpected abundance of love, gratitude, nostalgia and sentiment which culminated this weekend in the actual day passing.

At the end of September I had the joyful opportunity to officially release my workbook which had been a very steep learning curve of what it means to give birth to a project of blood, sweat and tears.  Because I was surrounded by friends and family from all walks of my life, the birthday celebration had begun in an unexpected way.  Then I travelled to Washington, DC for a weekend intensive training at the National Group Psychotherapy Institute before taking the Amtrak up to Philly and New York to be with friends and family.  Both the training and the time with loved ones was full of  love and presence that filled my heart to capacity. Finally, I had some low-key celebrations back here on the West Coast this past weekend which continued to test my capacity for the love that exists in my life.

Because my day-to-day life doesn’t always make room for the abundance of shared times with loved ones, this past month has been a muscle-builder in the love and intimacy department–one in which I strive to deepen and expand.  My healing path (aka recovery) has given me a sense of more capability and competency receiving the love that is always around me.  All I have to do is remind myself that it’s always available 24/7.

swimming with the dolphins

October 15th, 2014

According to my colleague Chellie Campbell, author of The Wealthy Spirit, finding your people (aka dolphins) is a vital ingredient for abundance in our lives.  She distinguishes among sharks, tuna and dolphins which she reminds us exists within each of us and in all of our relationships.

Purposeful recovery requires purposeful connection. Sustaining dolphin-like relationships requires mutual desire and effort to cultivate and refresh meaningful connections while both parties choose to make valuable investments along the way.

This past weekend I attended a conference in Washington, DC with two of my L.A. dolphins who accompanied me on the first leg of the journey.  After the conference, I traveled down to Philly and New York to spend time with friends and family–in particular, two lifelong friends (aka dolphins) whom I’ve known since we were 13.  Because of incredible people such as this, my life continues to be more and more abundant as I feel so grateful for the love and rich history that we’ve shared these past thirty-seven years together.

capacity for love (part two)

October 4th, 2014

Love addiction is not about love–instead, it’s a relational pattern.  A so-called “love addict” is actually addicted to fantasy and/or wanting to be rescued. It’s ironic that there is often a primitive fear of authentic intimacy, yet the remedy for this broken-heartedness is about love–learning to receive love in safe, productive and open-hearted ways.

The recent advances in neuroplasticity research have shown us that what we focus on and pay attention to will expand.  In other words, if we pay too much attention to the problem, the problem will either grow or at the very least stay the same.  If we choose to focus on our inner resources  (e.g. gratitude, patience, compassion), a pathway toward love may be built.  It’s not a cookie-cutter process, but love is a muscle that requires attention, and if we shift our attention and our attitude toward the love inside of us and around us, it’s bound to open up the possibilities for greater capacity to love and be loved.


capacity for love

October 3rd, 2014

Last Saturday was the official book launch for From Now On, my project that was conceived in Italy almost 10 years ago and born this past July here in Los Angeles.  Friends, family and colleagues gathered around me as I shared a little bit of the back story behind the evolution of this creation.  As I looked around the crowded room in this Craftsman oasis (aka Clearview) in Venice, my heart was overflowing with layers of gratitude for the palpable love embracing me.

Healing addiction and trauma can be described as mending broken hearts, and learning to fully give and receive love is a gradual and tender unfolding.  As I was surrounded by the many loving hearts last weekend, I realized that celebrations are a necessary ingredient of long-term sustainable recovery, and building capacity for love little-by-little is a practice.  As I did my best to mindfully take in the joy, the love, and the celebration of the day, I noticed my heart mend just a little bit more as my capacity for love expanded in unexpected ways.