It has been awhile - almost 2 months since my last update.
I have been immersed in redesigning the Joy2MeU web site. What a project!
Probably took several hundred hours over the last six weeks. And, as
is not at all unusual on my Spiritual path, it turned out the goal of the
project was quite different then what I had in mind. The Universe has
this way of tricking me into going where I need to go by letting me think
I am going where I want to go. Sure is a good thing I have gotten
so good at letting go.
More on that later - first about the changes.
I have completely redesigned http://Joy2MeU.com
making the pages smaller; adding contact information and a privacy
statement on every page; incorporating a left hand margin with navigational
links; and consolidating the pages of the web site into categories.
You will now find on the Home page, that instead of having links to 60 some
pages, there are links to 8 pages that are index pages for different topics.
These index pages of different topic categories are:
Codependence Pages Index - 7 Pages that explain
my belief system about the condition of Codependence.
Each of the index pages contains some information as an introduction to
that category (including some previously unpublished stuff); along with links
to, a description of, and quote from, each page. I think it will be
really helpful in letting readers decide which pages they want to read.
Inner Child Healing Pages Index - 12 pages that
focus on the Process / emotional healing / inner child / integration Work.
Spiritual Pages Index - 7 Pages that explain my Spiritual
Metaphysical Pages Index - 9 Pages that explain
some of the Metaphysical aspects of my Spiritual belief system.
Alcoholism Pages Index - 4 Pages that focus on alcoholism,
how codependence relates to alcoholism, and the principles and tools of the
twelve step process.
Miscellaneous Topics Pages Index - 19 Pages of Miscellaneous
Topics and Former Online Columns.
Romantic Relationships Pages Index - 15 Pages focused
on Romantic Relationships.
Information Pages Index - 17 Pages with various
types of information. (i.e. info about book, links page, etc.)
You can tell from this that there are more pages than before.
Besides the addition of the index pages, I have also broken longer pages
up. Any page that had more than one article or column on it was separated
into individual pages. Any of the longer web articles (the pages I have
written specifically for the site - that include links to other pages in
most cases - and show my tendency to ramble on when I am not limited by some
publication's 1000 word limit) were broken into two or three pages.
I have also added new pages. There is now an awards page
and a testimonials page. The local therapists referral page has been
posted even though I hadn't reached the minimum number of referrals that
I had been shooting for.
I also have added a "New" page - as in New stuff on the site.
It is not complete yet because I still have to write the newest online column
(the final column in the The True Nature of Love series - Twin Souls, Souls
Mates, and Kindred Spirits - which I plan to have up before Valentine's
Day.) Other pages that will be posted in the next month to six weeks
include: one on passionate commitment vs blame and victimization;
a retrospective of my experience of 1999; and a Sexuality page. The
sexuality page is one that I have been contemplating for a while. I
was moved to make a commitment to writing it by a query from a precocious
young lady in the 8th grade about my views of teenage sexuality. It
will also include thoughts on such issues as monogamy and sexual orientation.
I am also contemplating a new idea that was sparked by an e-mail
that I got a couple of days ago, having to do with setting up a procedure
that would allow individuals to invest in my book for only a fraction of
what is necessary now. More will be revealed about that (after it is
revealed to me, I will reveal it to you.)
In any case, the New page will list the latest pages added to
the site, as well as the latest links, awards, testimonials, referrals, news,
etc. I am going to move the link to the New page into the upper left
hand corner of the Site Index page so that anyone wanting to check on what
is happening can bookmark the Site Index page and tell immediately by looking
at the latest update date in the upper left hand corner if there is anything
new - and then go to the New page to see what it is.
All of the pages just mentioned: Awards; referrals; New; etc.;
can be found on the Information pages index page - or on the Site Index
While I am in that area, there are three new links this time -
actually 4. I have added a link to an Al-Anon, Ala-teen site (which
also includes a link to the official Al-Anon site) that is a great resource
for information in multiple languages and countries.
I have added another link to a New Age Metaphysical type site
called SpiritNetwork for the Age of Enlightenment, and one to an e-greeting
card site that makes a donation to feed hungry children for every card that
The two new awards we have received are The Lotus Light Award
from SpiritNetwork and The Divinity in Action award from a web site called
Amorology - which is awarded because "Through your actions, you have given
expression to your divine essence, helping others to understand and appreciate
Who They Really Are." These awards, and links to these sites, can be
found both on the Awards page and on the New page.
I had to kind of smile at myself as I wrote above that "we" had
received two new awards. There is nobody here but me. But it
is we, because it is me and my Higher Self. As any of you who
have read the beginning of my Trilogy know, in that Mystical Fable my Higher
Self appeared to me as a Unicorn that galloped off a picture on my desk
one snowy night in Taos New Mexico in January of 1989. He/She
made very clear at that time that "we" were doing the writing not I/me.
Which brings me to "The Universe has this way of tricking me into
going where I need to go by letting me think I am going where I want to
I embarked on this redesign project specifically to try to remedy
things about my web site that I thought was keeping me from getting listed
in Yahoo. Yahoo has 30 % of the web traffic while the next most important
busy search engine/directory has less than 10%. So, I think that getting
listed in Yahoo will be the next level that the web site needs to go to
in order to be accessible to as many people as possible.
One of the big things that those who decide what is important
in web site design (whoever that may be) emphasis is ease of site navigation.
This translates in the experts terms into never having so much text that
the reader will ever be out of site of a link to go elsewhere if they want
to. This seems pretty silly to me, since one can always use the Back
button to leave a page or go to one of the pages you have previously been
at (in Netscape you can do this by going to "Go" on the pull down menu at
the top of the browser - in Explorer it is "File.")
But standards are set based on people having a very short attention
span. There is certainly some truth in that since I know I get real
impatient with pages that download slowly. That is why I have some
text, usually quotes from the page, at the top of every one of my pages -
they appear immediately and give you something to read (which is hopefully
attention getting) while the rest of the page is downloading.
One of the criteria I was trying to meet with my new design was
to add links on the side of the page - thus the border. I did this
on every page with a link to the home page and the sight index page - and
also added links to all the index pages along the side of any page that was
larger than a certain size.
However, after viewing a smaller version of my site that is going
to be a part of a new health portal - one in which they took my pages and
fitted them into their design - I can see that I probably haven't gone far
enough with my design. (I can not give out the address to this new
portal yet because it has not been opened to the general public - it is supposed
to make it's appearance later this month and I will include it on the New
page when I can.)
I use a pretty primitive web design program and will probably
need to get into frames (which have the navigational links at the top or
bottom or side present all the time while the page loads within the frame)
instead of the tables that I use now. I am not going to go into what
all that means - except to say that I am still pretty much of a computer
illiterate and in order to design at the next level would have to put a lot
of time and energy into learning new stuff. I would rather put my time
and energy into my writing - finishing my next books and my Joy2MeU Journal
(which I am way behind on in the schedule that I had in mind - oh well.)
So, I have just put several hundred hours into a redesign that
is probably not going to accomplish what I had hoped for. Wasted time?
- certainly not. A disappointment yes, but everything happens for
a reason. I just did not understand what the real reasons were - and
probably still don't understand all of them. But I do understand some
One of the things that was real important for me early in recovery
was to get honest with myself about my expectations - about my motives and
hidden agendas. Since I was trained to be an emotionally and intellectually
dishonest codependent, I always told myself I was doing whatever I was doing
for other people. Because I was a nice guy - not because I wanted
anything from you. Right!
As I talk about in the The True Nature of Love - Energetic Clarity
part 2 I had to get honest with myself about my selfishness. I had
to own that there was no such thing as unselfishness and everything I do
has a payoff. That was necessary for me to stop the dishonesty of buying
into the belief that I was a victim. In order for me to start owning
my power to make choices and take responsibility for being a co-creator in
my life, I needed to start being rigorously honest with myself about my motives
and expectations. It was a very important and vital step in my growth
However, one of the things that I have learned about the growth
process is that things keep getting different. After I have focused
on certain issues and learned the lessons of one level, there comes a time
for a paradigm shift that changes my perspective of things. In this
case, the shift involved realizing that - though it will always be important
and vital for me to be honest with myself about my motives - that in the
larger picture my motives do not really matter.
The Universe, my Higher Power, gives me whatever motives - dangles
whatever carrots - it will take to get me moving in the direction it wants
me to move in. Then down the road a ways it is like "Oh, well that
is not really what this is about." That is an important part of why
it is so important to keep practicing letting go. I have to continually
let go of my picture of how I think things need to be. I may be a co-creator
here, but I am not writing the script.
Recovery is a dance of balance. As I talk about in Energetic Clarity:
"And once again here, I want to make the point that clarity with
our self is not an absolute destination. This healing is a gradual process
of finding a sense of balance - a sense of what clarity feels like, so that
we can look for and recognize when we have it and when we do not.
In order to do that it is vital to learn how to be emotionally honest with
ourselves so that we can be discerning in our relationship with our own mental
and emotional process. Through that honesty we will achieve some energetic
clarity as well.
Through that energetic clarity we will be able to access Love
from the Source - and we will learn to Love and trust our Self to guide our
self through this boarding school that is life as a human."
A sense of balance - not a destination. We are on a Journey
- the point is to be present for the journey, not to reach a destination.
It is important to have goals because that gives us a direction
- but then we need to let go of reaching that destination, at least in the
way we picture it is going to be.
That is part of the paradox of recovery. It is very important
to know that it is Ok to have dreams, to affirm and visualize our dreams
coming true, to take action and plant seeds to make them possible, to open
up to receiving all of the abundance of the Universe - and then we need to
let go of believing that we will not be Ok until, or if, those dreams come
true. We need to let go of the future and be present today. And
know that we are Unconditionally Loved today - and every day, rather we reach
our goals or not.
This redesign project was a journey, a process. In the process
I was given the opportunity to review almost everything that I have written
for the last 5 years. I was able to see clearly that this is a remarkable
body of work. Much of what I (we) have written is truly brilliant.
Most of what I write about is Truth that you all already know
- I am just reminding you of that Knowing. The gift I have been given
is the ability to communicate how it is all connected, to put it in a context
that makes it clearer - to translate it into language that helps you to remember
that all of the pieces of the puzzle do fit together perfectly.
And, I think most importantly, help you to understand how to integrate
that knowing into your emotional experience of life so that you can start
Loving your self more today.
This particular journey within my Life Journey, was one more time
a rite of passage - an initiation rite into a new level of consciousness.
This particular initiation rite was individually unique to my process - but
was part of a larger level of Planetary Initiation whose dynamics were pretty
much the same for many of us. Much of the later part of 1999 was dense
and murky for people who have done a great deal of healing - and was perfect
for the Karmic settlement necessary to compliment the Planetary Consciousness
shift that was occurring. Part of the challenge was to Love ourselves
right where we are at - letting go of how it "should be," of our picture
of what we thought our life was going to look like.
It keeps getting different. As we change and grow, we need
to let go of: old ways of doing things; tools that used to work that no
longer do; people in our life who we have completed our business with; the
dreams we had about what was going to happen.
We need to be willing to let go of everything.
In my particular case: I need to let go of ever having very much
money in my life; of ever having much success for the book; of ever publishing
more books; of ever having another romantic relationships; of ever having
the kind of nurturing, comfortable space I would like to live in; of everything
that I want.
I need to let go of trying to write the script so that the Universe
can give me what I need.
It may, and often does in my experience, turn out that once I
have let go of something - let go of trying to dictate to the Universe my
idea of what I need in my life to be OK - then the Universe says "OK, now
that you have surrendered, you can have what you wanted."
Because when I let go, I also open up to receive. As long
as I am holding onto something, I am blocking the energy flow of the Universe.
I have to let go and open up in order to allow the flow.
The catch is, that the letting go has to be real. I have
to accept on a gut level that I can be happy and peaceful and fulfilled
without: money; a relationship; whatever. There is no tricking the
Universe into thinking I have let go when I am just pretending to let go
so that I can get.
And since, this Newsletter is becoming too long - I need to let
go of explaining all this stuff right now. I will talk more about
the concepts, the dynamics, and the Forces at work in the pages I will be
writing about victimization and 1999.
To get to a bottom line about this rite of passage for me is that
I need to let go of everything once more because everything is about to
change again. What that change will be I don't know. It could
be that the book is approaching the hundredth monkey point of critical mass or it could
mean that I just need to accept and be grateful for what is - and the acceptance
will cause changes in my attitudes toward what is happening.
I do know that 2000 does feel somewhat lighter and more Loving
to me already. I know that more books have sold in the last 6 months
than at any time since the first year it was out. I know that January
marked the first time that the two web sites together reached 30,000 hits
I don't know if I will ever get into Yahoo, or hear from Oprah.
And I don't need to know today.
This is the first anniversary of the launch of the Joy2MeU.com
site. The end of this month will mark the second anniversary of Joy
to You & Me site (to which I haven't made any changes at this point
- not even posting the new links. I will do that later in the month.)
So happy birthday to Joy2MeU and Joy to You & Me.
One quick thing I want to add, is that I was contacted by someone
who works at a homeless shelter in Minnesota. This lady leads groups
for the women there and was courageous enough to reach out and ask if I had
any used books on recovery or Spirituality that I would donate. I do,
but they are in storage right now in a place I probably won't get to very
soon. So, I thought I would throw it out to you all. If anyone
out there has some books they would like to donate to this homeless shelter
drop me an e-mail and I will e-mail the address for you to send them to.
Until the next time, remember to be kind to your self out of your