Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update
To all the Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,Hi everybody. I hope you are finding some moments of Joy in your life adventure today. I am having a heaven of a good time myself. I have really been enjoying my life this last few months. In fact, someone in my home group here in town - which is a Narcotics Anonymous meeting - had heard me talking about how much I was enjoying life and how grateful I was, for so many weeks that she made the assumption that I was in love. She asked me on the way out of a meeting a couple of weeks ago how my relationship was going. I said, "Are you kidding me! I have been talking about how much I am enjoying life - would I be doing that if I was in a relationship?"
Interesting come back, don't you think? The reality is, that I would very much enjoy being able to explore the possibility of a healthy relationship with someone, but even in a potentially healthy relationship there would be lots of opportunities for growth that would not necessarily be enjoyable - working through issues, dealing with fear of intimacy, struggling to communicate clearly with another human being.
And of course, hearing myself reply to her question in that way, was one of the ways in which the Universe has prompted me - one of those carrot messages - to look once again at my issues relating to romantic relationships and my fear of intimacy. More on that later.
The truth is, that part of the reason that I have been enjoying life so much is because I am not out among them very much these days.
The first time a messenger came to me carrying the message, the reminder, that I was a Spiritual Being having a human experience, I got really angry. My first reaction was anger. My first thought was, "That means that I've got to be out among them."
I never wanted to be out among you-all. I always wanted to go up on a mountain and meditate my way to God. What I have learned in this healing process is that I find God through "being out among them," through my human relationships. We are here to learn to relate to each other. We are here to learn to Love ourselves and each other.
The reality of my life circumstances right now, is that I am at a stage in my journey where I am pretty isolated and insulated. I am doing a lot of writing and a lot of phone counseling - so that my life in many ways is like being in a 12 step meeting almost all of the time. It makes it real easy to maintain a conscious contact Spiritually. Having relatively little contact with other human beings, beyond the superficial, makes it much easier to stay in serenity. I don't know if you've noticed, but interacting with other people gets messy. ;-)
Like everything in life, this is a good news - bad news situation. The other side of the coin, is that I am very alone. Part of the reason I am able to focus on the good news part of the situation is because I am also dealing with some grief in relationship to the bad news perspective of it. I will be sharing later in this Newsletter about some issues that are coming up for me in relationship to being alone - and specifically relating to romantic relationships.
The really good news is how much I am able to let go of my wants that aren't being met, accept reality as it is today, and just enjoy most of the moments of my days. I know that things will change and get different sometime in the not too distant future - this too shall pass. I know that I do not have to know when or how it is going to change.
As I say in my newest article, the most important thing which I have some responsibility for, is the quality of my life experience today. And the quality of my life experience today is directly related to how quickly I am surrendering, letting go, and accepting. My latest article in the inner child healing series on Suite101 is a quick look at how this works in my process. You might want to read it right now (it is only about a 1000 words) to see what I mean. Inner Child Healing - Part 13 - Happy, Joyous, and Free
In my codependence, I would blame when I was feeling bad - either obsessing about someone else who was to blame for my being unhappy or beating myself up for being such a defective shameful loser - and when I felt good, I would hold my breath because I was sure it would be taken away. Often I would sabotage the good times myself to keep from having to endure the suspense of waiting for god to take it away because of my unworthiness.
In recovery, I have learned not to blame others or be so hard on myself when I am going through a painful growth experience. I have also learned to give myself more permission to enjoy feeling good. It is really cool to me right now, how much capacity I have to just enjoy being here today - for as many moments of today as possible. I am not as healthy as I am going to be - but I am much healthier than I ever was. I am a work in progress - and I am not the artist, not the one writing the script - so, I can relax and enjoy today. Very cool.
So I started to write about emotional honesty and emotional responsibility. Now that was opening a real can of worms. As I have said in different places on the site, writing about an issue can be very different depending on the perspective that you are viewing that issue from. There are so many levels and layers to this recovery process, so many different facets that are separate and yet intimately interrelated - that often in workshops or therapy sessions I will find myself answering questions from a different perspective than I ever have before. As I mention in one of my articles, I can't know the answer to a question until I am asked - by myself or someone else. So, I am often stimulated to look at some issue, or some facet of an issue, from a different perspective than I have ever addressed it previously. As I have also mentioned elsewhere, there are many facets of the disease and the recovery process that I have spoken about for years, but have never written about.And the first article in that series included this statement towards the beginning of the article.
I realized that I had never really written previously - except for a line or two here and there in the middle of something else - about such issues as: the misconception of many recovering people that emotional honesty means we are supposed to be emotionally honest with all of the people in our lives; or, specifically about what our responsibilities are in relating to others.I wanted to follow up on describing the things I mentioned about being honest with, and what we are responsible for, in relating to other people. The article soon got out of control. It went into levels and layers where I had never gone before in my writing. It included writing about what we do have responsibility for - which was a topic I hadn't really addressed in detail previously. And it veered off into discussions of such subjects as healthy guilt vs unhealthy guilt, worry as a symptom of emotional dishonesty, vibrational dynamics in the growth process, and multiple facets in relationship to all kind of levels of honesty. It grew from one article to at least two - and maybe more. I had hoped to be done with it and this Update a week ago - but it kept expanding and branching out until this morning (May 22nd) when I just had to let go of finishing it in time to post it all with this update.
So, I am just going to be posting the first part of this particular discussion - which is part 4 of the series. A series within a series (which is why this one is 1 and the next one will be 2 - cute huh.) Writing about this level of recovery for me is like exploring some kind of labyrinth at times - each twist and turn I follow leads to a new perspective, to a different facet - and just when I think I am finished, I turn a corner and am headed back into the maze. I should have the second part of it posted in about a week. I certainly hope so anyway, because I have a bunch of writing I want to get to for my Journal, and several more articles for the web site that are pounding on the door of my consciousness wanting to be released. More will be revealed.
I am going to be sharing later in this Newsletter - most likely in on a separate page - the very beginning of that article because it is what led me into the processing about romantic relationships that I will be sharing. That beginning set the tone and the themes for the article, so I didn't want to change it all - but it got into some personal issues that were not really germane to the purposes of that article.
And many people may not read that article anyway. For the first time I have put a warning at the beginning of an article. It involves some quite advanced levels of the recovery process, and as such might be confusing to people who are new to the concept of recovery. There are lots of pages on my site that explain the more basic levels in ways that are hopefully far more understandable. I will put a link to the article at the bottom of this page - but beware, it is a labyrinth. I just escaped from it myself. ;-)
One of the fun things that happened in early April, was that I got a chance to be interviewed on a morning radio talk show in Jamaica. Unfortunately, I was not in Jamaica for the show - but did it by phone. It was a show called The Breakfast Club which was hosted by a lady named Beverley Manley - a former First Lady of Jamaica - and a gentleman named Anthony Abrahams - a former Rhodes Scholar and Minister of Tourism. I got an e-mail the afternoon before telling me they would very much like to talk to me the next morning as part of a discussion series on parenting - specifically focusing on the topic of 'the wounded child.'
I said sure, I would be glad to be their guest. I wasn't real happy that the interview was at 6 am my time - since that meant I had to be up really early in order to be awake and conscious enough to have a chance to really communicate. I also had no idea how my ideas would fit into whatever context they were looking at the issue from. The producer told me that I would be on for about 20 minutes and that there would also be a Jamaican psychiatrist on the show.
The show went really wonderfully, and I ended up being on for about 45 minutes. (The psychiatrist disappeared at the commercial break.) The hostess especially, was really getting into the things I was saying. It was quite a fun experience. I don't know how many people in Jamaica heard it - but I did get a few more hits on my site from there the week after. I sent the producer an e-mail asking if I could get a tape of the show because I thought it would be a good thing to put on the site - but have never heard back from him.
They had these really wonderful sing-songy Jamaican accents - and in fact the psychiatrist's accent was so strong I had a really hard time understanding him. Later that morning I had counseling sessions with someone who grew up in India and then someone calling from England. And a little later with someone who had grown up in Ireland. It was quite a strange auditory experience. I got up around 4:30 am and then immersed myself in these different accents one after the other. It was kind of disorienting.
I kept hoping I would hear from them again, saying that they just had to fly me to Jamaica. ;-) Oh well.
The web sites have gotten over 50,000 page views per month the last couple of months. Joy2MeU is getting about 35,000 a month, and the silcom site about 15,000. In addition, my topic area on Suite101 is getting close to 10,000 page views a month. There is really no way to be sure how many people that represents, since I have so many pages of content one person could account for 200 or so page views over a period of time - but it probably represent between 5,000 and 10,000 I would think. I am adding close to 200 people to my e-mailing list, so there are new people discovering it all the time. In addition, other web sites are asking to use my articles for content on their sites because they like what I have to say and how I say it. So, that is pretty cool. Every little bit helps to get the word out. One of these days the hundredth monkey will fall into place and then my life will really change - won't be so comfortable and insulated any more. It might get real exciting but there will definitely be bad news aspect to it also. It is such a freedom to know that I don't have to expend a lot of mental and emotional energy today on what the future may bring. More will be revealed.
Because of the increase in web site traffic this year I needed to upgrade my web hosting plan. That meant that the amount of space I am allowed for the web site increased from 10 MB to 200 MB. This made it possible for me to add the Premier issue of the Joy2MeU Journal to this site for the first time. I have had it on the silcom site since I first published it because of space limitation on my domain Joy2MeU.com.
I also found it necessary to change site search engines again only a few weeks after changing previously. The new one from FreeFind (which is in addition to the one from Google - the search engine I have been saying was the best for several years now, and which is now the number one search engine on the web) carried an unexpected benefit with it. There are a number of pages on my site that for various reasons (which I mentioned in the last Update) I block the search engines from indexing. The FreeFind search engine for some reason was able to index all of the pages, including these Updates. So, it is a good search engine for searching the Joy2MeU site .
Other additions to the site have included: 3 new links; a new phone counseling testimonial; some new testimonials for the site, book, and tapes; two new bookstores that have stocked the book; some new countries added to the list on the bottom of the New page, bringing the total to 79; the addition of the Rules for Being Human and Risking to the page with the 10 Commandments of Self Esteem; and a new award for the site. Information about all of these can be found on the New page - except for the award which you can find on the award page (the graphic was too big and was slowing down the download time for the New Page.)
A new article was added since the last Update: Choosing a therapist or counselor. In it I share insights and my opinions on this topic - including an article that I wrote for my Suite 101 page. I also made some changes in the book ordering page to add the option of ordering the bumper sticker that I mention in my book and that I have at the bottom of some of the pages of my site - World for World Peace: Heal Your Inner Child.
I am going to be making another change to the book ordering page in the very near future. Because 2001 brought an increase in postage rates on books and tapes shipped overseas - of up to and more than $2 in some cases - I am going to need to raise my prices for shipments overseas. Probably by a $1 - maybe $1.50. So, if you live overseas and have been thinking about ordering the book, you might want to do it within the next week.
I also had a promotional opportunity come up for the book that seemed like it would be a real good thing. So, I made a special offer on my investment opportunity page to see if the Universe would manifest the financial means to take advantage of it. I have had second thoughts about that particular opportunity since then, but there are many other ways out there that I could be promoting the book and the web site - and making it more available through various distributors - with some more financial abundance. This comfortable period I am experiencing is greatly helped by having enough money coming in to pay my basic bills - but there is not any excess to take advantage of some of these other promotional, advertising, or distribution opportunities. So, I am going to leave this special opportunity open for now.
To go to Part 2 of this Update click here Newsletter
Click here to go to Update for August 2001.