3-17-2001To all the Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Although you probably won't be reading this on St. Patty's - even though I plan on posting it on the 17th. It may take me several days to sort out and add all the new addresses to my mailing list and get my announcement about this Update sent out .
As I was thinking about writing this a memory from my childhood came up. Not a new one - something that I had pretty much remembered all along. And not a traumatic one - just a fragment of memory of something I thought when I was probably 8 or 9. I remember thinking as a kid, that I felt sorry for my mother because she was only half Irish, while I was all Irish. Where such a notion came from I have no idea. And where the idea that it was so cool to be Irish came from I don't know. I don't remember a book or movie or anything that might have impacted me greatly and caused me to consider being Irish cool. Interesting.
Yesterday, March 16th was actually the important date to me. It was on March 16th, 1988 that I entered the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona. I spent 30 days there in the inpatient treatment program for codependency. The clinical diagnosis was depression - but codependency was why I went there. It was the most incredible, wonderful gift I ever gave myself. Actually the Universe gave me the gift - I was just open enough to pay attention and follow where I was led. I gave myself the gift of being willing to do whatever it took to start learning how to live life in a way that worked better than what I had been experiencing.
That 30 days in the desert has been on my mind, not just because of this anniversary, but because I spent most of the month of February working on writing new articles of my Joy2MeU Journal. One of the features of that online publication is a series of articles on my spiritual path, the history of my recovery dance. Part of that series of articles, is the story of how perfectly my path unfolded to lead me to Sierra Tucson. That series within a series is called: 30 Days in the Desert - Falling Apart and Breaking Through. It covers the last 6 or 8 months prior to going into treatment - from the time I got willing to do the emotional healing through to the end of the 30 day treatment program. As happens so often with me, what I thought would be one or two articles has now turned into at least 4. Last month I wrote the third one which took me up through confronting my mother in the first full week in treatment. (Ironically enough, my parents are flying into the area for a visit on the afternoon of the 16th. Not sure what that means but More Will Be Revealed.)
I was working as a therapist in treatment centers in the Los Angeles area at that time. As I was breaking through to my core level grief it became impossible for me to keep it together at work. On several Fridays (which was the family night) in a row, I would start crying uncontrollably - heaving sobs, snot running out of my nose, tears pouring down my cheeks: deep grief work - in the afternoon prior to the patients arriving at 6 pm for the evening program. I had what society calls a nervous breakdown - and what I call an emotional breakthrough. It was Truly an intense and important time for me.
"I drove to Tucson and on March 16th 1988 checked into the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center. I was way beyond terrified. I had no idea what was going to happen to me.
As I was processing into the center, I suddenly heard a great screaming and wailing coming from the next room. When I looked in there I saw a man, surrounded by people giving him support, wailing and screaming and moaning in pain. I said a little prayer that I would be able to release what was inside of me to that extent.It is so important for me to remember periodically where I have come from, and how much my life has changed. It has been an incredible adventure in the 13 years since then - and it is important to remember all of the astonishing miracles that have manifested in my life. It took a series of miracles to get me to that treatment program - and miracles have been the norm in my life ever since.
So, I am just taking a moment here to stop and honor a milestone in my recovery that transformed my life. Thank you God / Goddess / Great Spirit / Universal Source! Thank you Bubba. (Bubba comes from my Trilogy and is what I call my Higher Self.)
In an interesting coincidence, one of the two new links I added last month was to The Meadows Treatment Center in Wickenburg Arizona. I was prompted to add that link after receiving an email from one of my first phone counseling clients about a wonderful week long workshop she had attended there. It just had not occurred to me before to add a link to their site. I didn't consciously think about rather my addition of that link had anything to do with the story I had so recently written for my Journal. Obviously, the timing was perfect, for whatever reason.
In 1988, the treatment - even the concept of codependence - was very new. Codependence treatment modeled after the Disease concept treatment of alcoholism, was pioneered in Arizona at The Meadows and Sierra Tucson. The Meadows is the treatment center of Pia Melody, one of the early pioneers in developing the concept of codependence - and was more well known than Sierra Tucson at that time. The reason I ended up going to Sierra Tucson instead of The Meadows was because the first person I spoke to at Sierra Tucson seemed more compassionate and in tune with what I was looking for than the first person I talked to when I called The Meadows. It is minor details such as this that have led me to take one fork of the path instead of another - and it was perfect that I went to Sierra Tucson.
Sierra Tucson is still in operation as far as I know, and I am sure must have a web site - but I haven't ever investigated it, and have no plans to add a link to it. At the time I went to Sierra Tucson, it was a small treatment center that was in the midst of a major expansion. It was an excellent treatment center. The expansion it made however came at just the time that insurance companies were gutting the effectiveness of treatment programs. 30 day treatment programs are very powerful healing experiences. I went through one when I got sober in 1984, and again in 1988. In this capitalistic, cost cutting, bottom line driven economy, insurance companies have done everything they can to cut costs - which has undercut the effectiveness of treatment programs. They have made it very difficult for treatment programs to survive - and to survive with a measure of integrity. I believe that the Sierra Tucson program has gotten very diluted over the years. I don't have first hand knowledge of that, but have heard various things over the years - and think it is an obvious consequence of the management decisions that were being made at the time I was there. (I really do not know what is happening at Sierra Tucson these days - and decided that I didn't really want to be negative about it here, the place did save my life. So, I am adding a link to their web site here so anyone who wants to can check it out - it may still be a wonderful place. Sierra Tucson.)
The Meadows on the other hand has adapted to the changes better than any place that I know of. Part of the way they have adapted is with their week long intensive programs - and seminars given around the country by the leading people in the field. Associated with the program now, are such people as John Bradshaw and Claudia Black. I almost went to work at The Meadows back in 93 or 94 - but decided to turn down financial security and focus on getting my book published instead. Another one of those forks in the road.
Anyway, about this Update. Since I spent most of February working on my Journal, I haven't made as many additions to the web site since the last Update as I seem to normally. The newest page is called Setting Personal Boundaries - and is a continuation of the series of articles on Emotional Honesty & Emotional Responsibility. It actually probably should have been the first article in the series instead of the third, because it deals with setting boundaries on a vary basic level for those new to the process. The more advanced levels that I did cover in the first two articles may have been Greek to some people who are brand new to this recovery business. Oh well, this is how it unfolded. I think it is really a very good article.
There will be at least two more articles in this series, since there are still so many facets and levels that I want to discuss and haven't gotten to yet. Once again an article has turned into a whole series for me. This is beginning to be a pretty strong pattern.
The other article I added is called New Age Misinterpretations of Metaphysical Truth. This page is actually an outgrowth of the news addendum that I wrote to the July Update - and contains an excerpt from that page. My Update newsletters are blocked from being indexed by the search engines because I prefer people to start with one of my content pages rather than a page that contains personal information about me and my process. Since my Update Newsletters include personal processing, I have blocked the search engines from adding them to their data bases. Any page that a search engine indexes is potentially the first page someone will look at when first visiting the site - and because of that I prefer that people encounter my ideas and knowledge first before they realize how human I am. ;-)
The idea of doing a web page based on what I had written in that news addendum had been coming to mind ever since I first posted the page. An e-mail inquiry that I got sparked the idea once again - and I decided it was an idea whose time had come. I see a lot of well known and not so well known "experts" out there disseminating information that I believe is not only inaccurate - but can sometimes be communicated in a shaming manner. I wanted to make a statement to bring these misinterpretations to Light - and to make my views available to anyone who is interested through the search engines.
Speaking of search engines, I have removed my old site search engine and replaced it with two new ones. I explain why I did that, and what benefits each those two search engines brings to the site, on the site search pages and the Information page. The old search engine was from NetMind who also supplied the page change notification service at the bottom of the New page. I will be removing it several days after posting these latest changes so that those of you who are signed up with the service will get notification of this latest change.
I have added some new testimonials at the bottom of the New page, as well as a new book store that has stocked the book - this one in Wisconsin.
I have also added a new feature dreamed up by Amazon.com called the Amazon Honor System. They have created this service as a way that people could show support for web sites that provide valuable and unique content. By clicking on the link that I have added to some of the pages, you can go to a page on the Amazon.com site and make a contribution of between $1 and $50 towards maintenance of the site.
As I say on the paypage, which clicking on the link will take you to, I had some real misgivings about signing up for this service. My site is here to spread the message, contribute towards the Transformational Healing Movement that has started on this planet, and settle all the nasty Karma I sowed in past lives. Here is a couple of quotes from my book that I don't think I have shared anyplace else on the site:
I share my Truth and myself, as a Joyous expression of my Spiritual Being, because it is what I need to do for me. Giving and receiving is what keeps the healing energy flowing for me. I have learned that through giving of what I have received I am healing me.
This is my way of standing up for my Truth, and of honoring "All My Relations," which is a Native American term that refers to the Great Spirit whose essence is present in everyone and everything. We are all related to everyone and everything.
I do this in honor and service to my belief that the ultimate, eternal, blessed Truth is that we are all ONE. That we are all perfect parts of the ONENESS of ALL THAT IS - which is the Universal Creative God-Force.
I share as an expression of Love, as an act of Karmic settlement, and with hope that sharing the Joy that I have found in my Truth will remind you of the Truth which exists within you. Of the Truth of who you Truly are, and why you are here.
I spent most of my life wanting to die because I thought that was the only way I would ever find any peace. I have peace in my heart today, even when I am feeling that God has abandoned and betrayed me, because on a deeper level I know that there is a Loving, Divine plan unfolding.
I enjoy being alive today, in the moment, most of the time.
I am not only glad that I was born, I am overwhelmingly grateful to have the opportunity to be alive at this time in history. And to have the honor and privilege of being a part of this Healing Movement.
This is a Truly Joyous time to be in body!
Of course, one of the reasons that I have the honor and privilege of carrying this Joyous message in this lifetime is because of my Karmic debts from other lifetimes.
Possibly one of the reasons that you are reading this is because I, personally, owe you a Karmic debt. Maybe I gouged out your eyes when I was a Roman legionnaire or a Viking or something, and now I am repaying that debt by helping you to see more clearly in this lifetime.
(Quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)
Sharing my experience, strength, and hope is a vital part of my recovery process - of what I need to do for me. I will not ever ask people to pay for reading what is on my site. I do publish the Joy2MeU Journal to which people have to subscribe - and I started to do that because I needed to take care of myself by utilizing the assets that I had, which are my future books. But my site has probably a quarter of a million words in articles that are free to anyone on the internet. I cannot foresee anything happening that will ever change that. It is my intention never to change that.
I decided to go ahead and try out this Amazon Honor System as part of my recovery process of being open to receive - of healing my core shame issues about feeling unworthy and unlovable. Things are better than they have been for years. Between book sales and telephone counseling, more financial abundance is flowing into my life now. I still am not usually sure if there will be enough to pay the rent until fairly late in the month - and I get in debt a little farther every month - but I have great faith that the Universe will provide. I added this Amazon service to the site as a demonstration of my willingness to receive financial support in whatever form the Universe chooses to manifest it. I am not asking any of you to contribute. I am merely demonstrating my willingness and openness by making this opportunity for affirmation available. Who knows, maybe you owe me some Karmic Settlement. ;-)
The final thing is that I have almost completed the minor redesign project I needed to do on the whole site. This included adding 2001 to the copyright notice on the bottom of the page, and adding Joy to You & Me Enterprises to the right hand column on all the pages - in alignment with perhaps someday getting listed in Yahoo as I mentioned in an earlier Update. I also needed to change the font I was using for the Welcome to a page of Joy2MeU heading in the right column. I discovered that the particular font I was using was causing the right column to be about twice the size I wanted when viewed in Explorer browsers. I added a while back - but don't think I ever mentioned it in an Update - the following clarification on certain pages:
These pages are designed to be viewed with a normal size 12 point font. If the type looks large and the pages out of balance it could be the setting in your browser (Explorer usually comes set at 16 point.) In Netscape the setting is in: Preferences (under Edit); Appearance; Fonts: Variable width font. In Explorer Preferences (under Edit); Language/Fonts.Different browsers make pages look very different, so I wanted to explain what was happening in case the way the site was appearing was out of balance and distracting - so you all would know why and how to fix it if you wanted.
The other thing I did was change to a new version of the logo for the site. Unfortunately I decided to do that after I had already changed 50 or 60 pages, so there are really two different versions of the new logo. One that appears on the home page and site index page and certain others - and a slightly different one that appears on most of the pages. This was due to the reality that to make use of the same one on all of the pages, I would have had to change all of the pages I had already uploaded - to change the size of the graphic in the page coding - and I was not willing to do that. As it is, I had to upload probably over 200 pages - counting the ones that I had to repeat because they weren't completely uploaded on the first try.
So, except for a couple of odd pages, I am done with that redesign work. Now it is time to get to work on taxes. Not something I have been looking forward to. This next week I am going to be spending some time with my parents. And the following week I am on call for jury duty. The Universe has an interesting sense of humor sometimes.
I have not made any changes to the Joy to You & Me site on silcom.com for quite awhile - and am not sure when I will. I do need to take the translation program off of the home page - the supplier, Go.com, has ended business as it had been doing it and the translation program no longer works. I will look for a new one when I get some time.
I hope you all are being kind to your selves and finding some moments of Joy in your days.