What do we mean by Transformation? Find out inside!
A couple of years ago, and then again during the start of the pandemic, I noticed that something happened and I had an anxiety reaction. My heart rate quickened. My voice went from speaking to yelling. My level of upset shook me up and that energy impacted the people around me in a far less positive way than I would prefer.
As a teacher of the BALM, I chose to look within.
What happened was not overly dangerous nor was it unmanageable. But I reacted to it the way I used to react to everything in my family – with angst, upset, and a loud yell or scream – before I had the BALM.
So I looked at my practice and asked myself these questions:
- What is your daily mindfulness practice like?
- How often do you make breathing deeply and slowly throughout the day part of your daily way of life?
- How do you see yourself in relationship to others? as their controller? savior? as someone with their answers? or as another person on a journey, learning as you go?
These three questions told me a lot.
During both times, one right after a move and one in early 2020, I had not been meditating as often as I had been before. In the midst of great stress, I had reduced my quiet time to a few moments of mumbled prayers rather than the 20-40 minutes of morning silence and inspirational readings and prayers that had previously sustained me. And that reduction in time was not sudden. In both cases, I had been sitting for less and less time over many months, busy with my work, worrying about the challenges of the day, and busy with work and family responsibilities.
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And then there is breathing – whereas 4-4-8 had been something I did several times a day – 3 times intentionally to bring my breath and mood to peace and almost automatically when things bugged me, I had been less inclined to rely on inner calm to create my mood and more on the outer occurrences of my life and world to do so. As we learn in BALM, an outer circumstance or event that rules an inner focus can spell disaster!
Finally, though I had learned quite powerfully over the years that I am on my journey and others are on theirs, I had been coming back to a control mode with family members, not walking humbly on my path, but feeling I had answers that needed to be listened to and followed. Not only does that not work, it is not healthy for me or others.
All of these: a daily meditation practice, a regular reliance on deep and conscious breathing, and the view of myself in relationship as a fellow journeyer rather than as one who knows more and must share it, grow out of a willingness to take step one of the BALM, “Be the peace you wish to see in the world” and live from that perspective.
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One day at a time, one moment at a time, I brought a mindful perspective back into my life and, if you are similarly challenged, particularly in these challenging times, I invite you to do the same.
If you are the family member of someone who struggles with substance use disorder or other disordered behaviors, your willingness to put your inner peace first can contribute to saving your loved one’s life more than any sense of mission to do so.
How is your spiritual practice today?
I invite you to bring the BALM back into your life full force as I do so in mine.
Yes, we are busy people.
And, we know too much about how important our contribution to a loved one’s recovery is to turn back now.
Today’s video takes a look at the transformation that comes about in family members when they work the 7 steps to Be A Loving Mirror, the title of which is “What Do We Mean by Transformation?”
This is a question that comes up often when we tell people that transformation is fundamental to the Be A Loving Mirror Family Recovery Method. And, transformation is what the upcoming online 7 Steps Retreat will be all about!
In the meantime:
Be A Loving Mirror!