032 – Can Art Help Heal PTSD?


Rice Terrace by amenic181 FDPIn today’s episode:

–        Art Therapy, what is it?
–        Finding healthy ways to express the darkness
–        Some ideas…
–        Words
–        Photography
–        Is it a good fit?

Art Therapy, what is it?

Just at the mention of the word therapy some people want to change the subject.  In the past when I have thought of art therapy I pictured people sitting around finger painting or creating an oddly shaped clay pot.  Apparently there are much more imaginative possibilities.  Please stick with me.  What I am discussing hear can be formal or informal.

People have been expressing themselves and working through problems using art for a long time.  Recently there have been effort to formalize a therapeutic method to help people with PTSD.  It is usually combined with other traditional therapeutic methods.  I think these are worthy efforts.

In a general sense, it is tapping into the creative parts of our brain to express ideas and concepts in a context that can help lead to growth and healing.  This is not a textbook definition, but it works for me.

Art can also be therapeutic in this consumption.  Reading a story, looking at an image, listening to a song can all be part of our own healing process.

Finding Healthy Ways to Express the Darkness

Whatever is on the inside seems to find its way out—even if we think we are hiding it.  Part, but certainly not all, of PTSD is attempting to integrate these “dark” experiences into the reality of our lives.  We can try and hid from these things.  This hiding can be a temporary coping mechanism we use to get through a crisis.  But at some point we need to deal with and integrate these memories.

Some ideas:

–        Music
–        Painting/Drawing
–        Photography
–        Poetry
–        Journaling
–        Writing Stories
–        Autobiography
–        Video

Finding expression for what is going on inside.  In art, of any form, we can capture and express ideas of both beauty and tragedy.


Some can find release in word.  Poetry, stories, journaling, and song writing can be good options to explore.  Fictional stories can be a way of expressing deeper realities.


Many of us are deeply moved by what we see.  A photograph can instantly move us emotionally.  There is a difference between a selfie or a quick snapshot and a photograph that has the power touch us deep in our soul.

My Chrome Cast TV device displays some of the best photography from around the world that I have ever seen.  The 1080p HD television comes alive with seen from around the world. A few sunsets are included in the rotation.  For a moment my TV is transformed in to a tool of tranquility.

The same is true with other emotions.  Have you ever seen a photographic essay of a tragic historic event?  The phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand word” holds truth.  The empty loneliness in the eyes of an orphaned child; or the terror in the eyes of a mother holder her dead child can move us to tears—maybe even action.

Not only can looking at images have a power affect.  For some, capturing images can also be a sources of healing.

Is art a good fit for your recovery?

I do not consider myself to be “artistic”.  Yet I have at times greatly benefited from the creative efforts of other people.  I have also benefited from expressing myself artistically.  Perhaps I have not made full us of these areas of my brain to aid in my own post-traumatic growth process.

How about you?  Perhaps consider giving some kind of artistic express a chance.

How has art, in any form, positively impacted any part of your recovery?


Photo courtesy amenic181 on FreeDigitalPhoto.net

031 – Resolving Unresolved Guilt


Unresolved guilt and shame can quietly suck the life out of us.  It can be a silent killer of our hope, relationships, and even life itself.

Until this point in our series we have mostly dealt with the trauma of the actions others have had on us.  The injuries we endured.  But there can be another side of Post-Traumatic Stress.  The side that is tied to our own actions or inaction.

Today we dedicate this episode to this topic and all who are carrying a heavy burden of guilt or shame.  There is hope!

Psychology can try to resolve these issues.  Scientist can explain some of the neurochemicals involved.  However, there is more.

Today I am sharing as a Christian that has experienced the mercy of God in my own life.  I am sharing from my heart as a chaplain, pastor and priest.

People experience guilt for things done and sometimes things left undone.  It can be powerful and if left unresolved can lead us down an even darker path.

We may have done things we dare not speak of to others.  Things that violate our internal sense of right and wrong.  Things that haunt us in our sleep.  Things that are slowly torturing and twisting our souls.

As it is hidden it grows and takes on a life of its own.  We can lose perspective and may things irrational thoughts about our actions.

Since we dare not speak of it, we may not see a good way to deal with it—let alone resolve the conflict.  This can be a source of isolation.  It can turn into anger, hatred, fear and self-loathing.  We may seek to quiet the guilt with alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other destructive behavior.

Part of the solution is to bring it to light.  But, how?  With who?  In some cases, if certain people found out, there may even be legal ramifications.  Another may think, “If people know what I did…they would hate me…think bad of me…

Consider the story of King David in the Bible.  He took the Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers on the front lines and got her pregnant.  He called Uriah home so that he would spend time with her to cover up his betrayal and indiscretion.  However, Uriah was so dedicated that he refused to stay with his wife.  Then David sent Uriah back to the front and give the order that Uriah should be abandoned to be killed by the enemy.  Wow!  Who could come back from that?

From this we end up seeing a man who turns back to God.  This is repentance, change, captured in Psalm 51.

Most of us probably cannot relate to King David for the specifics of what he did.  We may, however, be able to relate to doing something that at another time we would find unthinkable.

In war unthinkable things may be done.  Taking the life of another, even when justified by the rules of war, leaves a scar on the soul.  A much worse scar may be left if things that go beyond that are done by us or those around us.

In many Christian traditions there is something called confession (or reconciliation).  I prefer the term reconciliation.  In these traditions it is considered a “sacrament”.  These are moments and situations where God and interacts with us in a special and sacred way.  For these traditions, including my own, things confessed in this context are absolutely sealed.

Penance, as part of reconciliation, is not about earning forgiveness.  It is not about atoning for our sins.  Rather, it is about taking actions to help our heart and mind conform to who we are created to be.

Consider the Apostle Paul.  He once went about arresting, trying and voting to have followers of Jesus Christ executed for their faith.  Then Paul, then called Saul, encountered this same Jesus and his life was radically transformed.  Paul became the writer of most of what we call the New Testament part of the Bible.

I often hear the claim that people do not change.  Perhaps this is true.  At least part true.  We may not be able to change on our own; but God working in us can transform us from what we were to what we were created to be.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici on freedigitalphotos.net

030 – Can EMDR Help Speed My Recovery?


ColorHeadBrain by Salvatore Vuono FDPIn today’s episode:

  • Don’t Give Up!
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Don’t Give Up!

No matter what you have done.  No matter what others have done to you.  Don’t give up!  Good can come from bad.  But we need to keep going until we see it happen.  If we give up we may never see that good can come for the terrible stuff we have suffered.

Don’t give up on others.  This does not mean that we ignore what others do.  We should keep the door open for change—in ourselves and others.

We must have healthy boundaries.  Other people may never decide to go with us down a road that leads to a healthy and victorious life.  That is there choice.

As we move forward in our recovery they may choose to join us.  No matter what they choose we need to keep moving forward.  Keep learning.  Keep adding tools to our arsenal to combat PTSD.

EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

A therapeutic technique that aids in the integration of painful memories and emotions.  It was developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s.

Bilateral sensory input: eyes, sound and/or tap

It involves eye movement from left to right.  It can also include left and right hand touch or sounds in the left and right ears.

When we experience traumatic memories they also manifest in our bodies.  The therapist helps the client become aware of the thought, emotions and the effect these thought and emotions are having on their bodies.  They are then guided into integrating these sensations with a wider understanding of the experience, coping techniques, and life—including positive emotions.

Is it effective?

Many studies, most with small numbers of people, have reported positive outcomes.  The Veterans Administration (VA) and the military support the use of EMDR.

How does it work?

No one really knows.  There are only theories.  By having the client recall the disturbing memory it is similar to prolonged exposer therapy.  However, EMDR does not necessarily last a long time.  The eyes darting from one side to the other seems to dampen emotional response.  Perhaps this helps the client deal with the memories utilizing more thinking areas of the brain.

Question: Have you experienced EMDR?  Was the experience helpful?  If so, how?  Thank you for sharing!

Resources on EMDR


029 – Three Way YOU Can Change the World


IdeaActionChange by David Castillo Dominici FDPWe may never directly change the course of human events.  However, we can change someone’s world.  We can impact the individuals that are in our lives.  We can influence our coworkers, neighbors, friends, family members, and even strangers we meet.

In this episode:

  • What is influence?
  • How can I influence others?
  • How does this relate to PTSD and recovery?
  • Three ways you can change the world: Listen, Share, and Encourage.

What is influence?

Influence: the power to change or affect someone or something : the power to cause change without forcing them to happen[1]

How can I influence others?

We have the power to influence others.  You might say, “I am not that smart.”, or “I don’t have that much experience.”  We do not have to have all the solutions to their problems.  Rather, it starts with a willingness to listen, share and encourage.

How does this relate to PTSD and recovery?

Part of the RESTORE process we follow is the second “R” of RESTO”R”E – Reaching Out to Others.  At some point our own growth seems to stagnate if we only focus on our own growth.  Reaching out to others is a valuable tool that will not only benefit our lives but it will also benefit those around us.

This can seem complicated at first glance.  It is, if you take the position that you have to have the answers.  You do not have to have the answers!  Below is a simple way to get started helping people along their journey toward wholeness.

Three ways YOU can begin to change the world.


Listening is more than hearing someone.  Listening does not have to involve solving their problem.  Sometimes people just need to express their thoughts and ideas.

Here are some listening skill tips:

  • Eye contact: not constant but for a few seconds at a time. Too much may be threatening.  None at all makes you seem totally disconnected.  Each situation may be a little different.  Don’t force it.  The person you are listening too may not be comfortable with too much eye contact.
  • Be present: resist the temptation to check your phone, text, clocks, etc.
  • Focus on what they are saying, not your response.   You may hear things that are disturbing.  Remember that you are not sitting as a judge over their story.  Let them talk.  At the same time if it is too much for you to handle, speak up.
  • Let them talk…don’t interrupt. At this moment it is about them, not what you think about whatever it is they are saying.
  • Ask clarifying questions when necessary. It is OK to ask a clarifying question if you don’t understand something.  It is best to wait for the speaker to pause before asking the question.
  • Provide feedback: A few well placed “un huh”, oh, wow, or whatever might be appropriate lets the speaking know you are engaged.
  • Some silence is OK.
  • Resist the temptation to solve their problem. They may ask you for advice and you are free to give it.  But advice is not the point of listening.  The point is to listen and then, perhaps advise.
  • It is ok to admit you do not have a solution.
  • It is ok to acknowledge the difficulty of their struggle.
  • It is ok to acknowledge their strength and fortitude that is expressed in their story.
  • It is ok to thank them for their service and sacrifice.


  • Third party resources such as books, blogs, podcasts, stories about others
  • Personal experiences with the third party resources. What would be more affective, “This is a book about X and it has helped people with X”, or “I read this book about X and it changed my life.”  Which podcast episode, blog post, book, resource has led to a positive change in your own life.
  • Your personal successes. Even if you only have little successes.  Share what you have done and are doing.

Encourage them to:

  • keep fighting, keep searching for answers, keep moving forward
  • read, listen, participate
  • Seek help and additional resources
  • Utilize the resources they already have

Listening Resources

Question: What resources have help you on your journey toward recovery?  What episodes/topics from our podcast were most helpful?

Image courtesy of David Castillo on freedigitalphotos.net

 [1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/influence

028 – The Impact of PTSD on the Family


CouplePorblems David Castillo Dominici FDPThe Impact of PTSD on the Family

In this episode we discuss:

  • Secondary traumatization
  • Ways families respond to stress (and Post-Traumatic Stress)
  • Two key areas of stress for the family
  • Resources for the family

The family’s response to increased stress: (In part based on Kerr & Bowen, 1988)

  1. Grow distant from each other
  2. One will take on the traditional role of another member of the family.
  3. An individual may sacrifice themselves for the sake of “peace”
  4. Conflict
  5. Adapt, bond together and grow

Two significant problem areas the anger outbursts and emotional numbing

Anger outbursts 

  • May be verbal or physical
  • Not necessarily directed at spouse or children
  • Aggression may have been adaptive and appropriate during war
  • Fear and guilt both past and present are foundations of anger
  • May lead to the family members developing maladaptive coping skills
  • See more an anger in “Healing The Wounds of War” episodes: 1314, and 15)

Emotional Numbing

  • Isolation for social situations and from family members
  • My become more withdrawn after anger outburst – fear of again losing control
  • Seems unable to experience the good emotions
  • Fears experiencing the “bad” emotions associated with the past
  • May adopt an authoritarian way of dealing with family members

Survivor guilt can make it difficult to connect with family.

Resources for Family Support

  • NAMI.org (National Alliance on Mental Illness: Family-to-Family peer support) This group offers peer support for mental problems of many kinds. They offer a 12 session class at no cost.  It is not necessarily specific to PTSD, but many of the family coping skills needed cross boundaries.  Classes are offered around the country.  Check out their website for more information.
  • MilitaryOnesource.mil (for military members and their families) or you can call 800-342-9647
  • ptsd.va.gov/public/web-resources/web-families.asp (A good place to start for veterans and their family members)

More references

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici on freedigitalphoto.net

027 – 10 Tips for Better Sleep


Sleep Stuart Miles FDPSleep is extremely important for the whole body.  The brain is no exception.  When we are recovering from PTSD we need are brains firing on all cylinders.

PTSD introduces some difficult barriers to sound sleep.  Hyper-vigilance and nightmares are two obstacles that those with PTSD face.

However, a good night’s rest starts with the same foundation for both those with PTSD and the rest of the population.  Once the foundation is in place we are better equipped to deal with specific difficulties.

The foundation

Several sleep improvements list exist.  I link to a few of them below.  Here are the 10 things I have found helpful.

1. Get plenty of light.

What?  I thought dark was necessary for sleep?  Well, it is.  However, getting plenty of intense light in the morning can help set of up for sleep at night.  Daylight intensity triggers our brain to produce serotonin—an important brain chemical, especially during the day, for emotions, thinking and energy.  It is made by the same gland in the brain that produced melatonin—an important brain chemical for nighttime for rest that is produced in the dark.

2. Get plenty of physical activity.

Yes, that beloved topic…exercise! Exercise is excellent for reducing stress and balancing out brain chemicals.  It is usually best to do it early in the day or at least 4 hours before bed.  Your body needs time to cool down and recover.

3. Make sure it is dark.

Just as we need light during the day to help our brains fully function.  We need dark to help the properly function while we sleep (see above).

Experiment with getting rid of as much light as possible.  Sometimes window blinds are not enough.  Curtains over windows (or experiment with putting up a thick blanket.)  Clock radios, cell phones, cordless phones, chargers, and other electronics can also be a source of light that might affect our brain activity.

The experts also say the light from TV or computer screens can interfere with melatonin production.

4. Limit or Eliminate Caffeine

It is a stimulant.  People often report that it does not affect their sleep.  It may not may or may not affect your ability to fall asleep.  But it does affect your ability to get the proper rest your brain needs.

At the very least limit your caffeine intake to 1 or 2 servings a day.  Stop caffeinated beverages around 2 pm (about 8 hours before bed).

5. Eliminate Nicotine

It is a stimulant.  

6. Limit Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant and it can help someone fall asleep.  However, it interferes the deep, restful and restorative stages 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle.  In other word, you may fall asleep more quickly but you will not rest as soundly.

7. Watch what and when you eat.

A big meal may make you sleepy but it won’t typically give you a good night’s rest.  Digesting a heavy or spicy meal has been shown to interfere with a good night sleep.  Try eating a litter earlier in the evening.  Consider making dinner a smaller meal.  Reserve lunch for the spicy or heavy foods.

8. Limit your activity in bed.

Reserve this space for sleep and sex.  From stress to mental stimulation, E-mail, work, electronics each can disrupt our rest.

These last two may be particularly helpful for those with PTSD.

9. Meditation and deep breathing

Practice these techniques during the day.  If necessary apply them as you are trying to get your mind in a restful state around bed time.  Once learned, these can also be useful with we become overstimulated—loud noise, dream, etc.

10. Medication for nightmare reduction instead of a direct sleep aid.

If nightmares are a problem talk with your healthcare provider.  For a long time I use a medication called Prazosin.  It is an older blood pressure medication.  My provider told me that it was about 80% effective in a double blind study at reducing or eliminating nightmares in PTSD patients.

It was affective for me as well.  But be careful.  It can seriously lower your blood pressure—especially as your body adjust to the increasing dose.  So take care when you rise at night, especially to use the bathroom. 

It worked for me.  While I was taking Prazosin I hardly had a nightmare. 

So why did I stop?  I experienced one of the rarer side effect, nocturnal enuresis…aka nighttime urinary incontinence or bed-wetting.

Yet I am glad I took it for a while.  It helped me get better sleep.  The better sleep helped me better deal with the underlying problems.   From time to time I still have PTSD related nightmares, but they are getting less intense and lest frequent.

Question: What has helped you get a healthy, restful and restorative night sleep?

Some Sleep Resources

Image courtacy Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net

026-Three (3) Unintended Consequences You May WANT to Experience


Dominos fall by David Castillo Dominici fdpSometimes when we think of unintended consequences we get a negative picture in mind.  In this case it is all positive.

Food and exercise will not by themselves fix PTSD.  Nevertheless, they can be powerful allies in the battle.

In March 2014 I set out on a campaign to defeat diabetes.  I made significant changes to how I lived my life.  These are some of the most significant changes:

What I put into my mouth:

I will mention a little about this below.  However, my new show, starting October 1, 2014, “Defeating Diabetes” will go into detail.  I added a lot of the healthy and removed all of the unhealthy.

In times of stress we often turn toward what we call comfort food.  Many of these foods actually make it more difficult for our brains to function.

 How looked at and thought about food:

Long term change will only happen if we change the way we think about things.  Education, advertising, and events help wire our brains.  Sometimes we need to rewire the circuits between the ears.  Those dealing with PTSD can understand the importance of rewiring the thinking patterns of the brain.  The same holds true for making other significant changes.

 My activity level:

I started with only being able to do about a 5 minute stroll.  I consistently increased time and pace and added additional activities.  It has been a long slow progress.  But if you do not start somewhere you will get nowhere.  About 80 days ago I started the original, much less intense, P90 by Tony Horton.  By the 90 day mark I should have conquered level 1-2.  Yes, it has taken all this time to be able to adequately do half of the program.  So for me it will be P180!

Three (3) unintended consequences:

When I set out to battle and defeat diabetes I was not thinking about what affect that might have on my personal struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress.  Here are three of the consequences that, in my opinion, have helped me better deal with PTSD:

1.  Better sleep

The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated.  People dealing with PTSD often find it difficult to sleep.  I am no exception.  Hyper vigilance, nightmares, and anxieties from other sources attempt to rob us of this life sustaining essential.

Changing what I ate and did during the day have significantly impacted what my mind and body can do at night.  All nightmares are not gone.  Other disturbances have not completely vanished.  But, the quality and quantity of sleep has significantly improved.  Perhaps this has helped with the second unintended consequence.

2.  Improved brain function

My thinking is clearer.  My ability to concentrate has improved.  I experience much less “brain fog”.

3.  Better mood

I am starting from a point of being much less on edge.  So when things, present or past, arise I am in a better position to address them in a healthy way.

Why have these improvements been helpful?

My theory:

  • My body has the building blocks it needs to function better and heal. I now have the minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients that my body needs to survive, heal and thrive.
  • Physical activity has been shown to have a positive effect on brain chemistry.
  • These changes have helped improve sleep and sleep helps improved the brain and body.
  • Now better able to make affective use of other tools—including therapy

Getting started: 1 and 2

  1. A good place to start is eating more greens—especially green leafy vegetables. Joel Fuhrman, MD, recommend a pound of raw and a pound of cooked every day.  That is a lot.  You do not have to start with that much.

Start with a 1/4 pound (or more) of fresh, raw vegetables.  Here is a list to pick up at the market:

  • Any combination of the following: kale, spinach, chard, collard, arugula, romaine, baby green mix, spring mix, herb mix.
  • Herbs: cilantro, parsley and dill
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Bell Peppers: green, red, yellow
  • Purple or green cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Whatever else you may like…

Make a big salad.  Add the healthiest dressing you can.  Eat the salad before your lunch or dinner.  Add in a large portion of cooked vegetables and enjoy the rest of your meal.

  1. Start getting more active. Just a little more each day.

(Check with your health care provider before starting or significantly increasing your physical activity.)

Food and exercise will not by themselves fix PTSD.  Nevertheless, they can be powerful allies in the battle.

Have you ever experienced a positive unintended consequence?  If so, please share the good news.

(Photo by David Castillo Dominici on freedigitalphoto.net)

025 – Bitter (Not So) Sweet Sugar & PTSD


how-much-sugarWeEatIn this episode we discuss the role of sugar, our brain and recovery… Last week we learn about how running can be a tool for helping us deal with difficult memories.  One of the ways running helps is by increasing a key brain protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

The sweet white powder we call sugar is in most processed food products.  It has a powerful effect on our brain in producing a short lived pleasure response.  But it can come at great expense.  Sugar has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer and other health problems.  But what does that mean for those dealing with Post-traumatic stress?  It is estimated that Americans consume 22-32 tsp. of sugar each day!  An estimate for the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that we consume an amount equal to 31 five pound bags each year!

It has been shown to influence brain function.  In particular BDNF, a key brain protein involved in memories, is negatively impacted by sugar.  In recovering from PTSD we need all the proper neurotransmitter working as designed. Getting sugar out of your diet is not likely to cure PTSD.  But in combination with all the other tools at our disposal it could help further our progress toward victory.



Some resources for further investigation: A CBS News/60 Minutes Report (See how “addicting” sugar can be)


What Eating Too Much Sugar Does to Your Brain http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/neuronarrative/201204/what-eating-too-much-sugar-does-your-brain

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_factor

What Sugar Does to Your Brain: http://www.olsonnd.com/what-sugar-does-to-your-brain/

The Effects of Energy-Rich Diets on Discrimination Reversal Learning and on BDNF in the Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex of the Rat  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2042136/

Sugar: The Bitter Truth (The SHORT Version)


Sugar: The Bitter Truth – Dr Robert Lustig, MD, University of California http://youtu.be/dBnniua6-oM

Secrets of Sugar – CBC News


chicklet_itunesrss subscribe Are you drawn to sweets (or other carbs) when you are stress?  I am.

024 – Running Through, Not Away From, Memories

RunningTowardTarget by Master isolated images FDP

by Master isolated image on Freedigitalphoto.com

Hay, I found an instant, quick fix to post-traumatic stress… Not really.  But there are many tools we can use to grow and work toward—and achieve—success over PTSD.

One of the coping mechanisms in PTS is to avoid memories.  At times this may be necessary.  But at some point we will need to deal with our past.  We can equip ourselves with tools to help with this process.

This week we take a look at the role running can play in the recovery process. 

We will discuss:

  • The brain and body in stress (and post-traumatic stress): hormones, steroids and the body/brain connection (see Episode 001 – Post Traumatic Stress: It’s not just in your head).
  • The brain and body while running
  • How much running?  According to Dr. Otto, blood levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), increase after about 30-40 min of running.  But this is not the only benefit!
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy
  • Other benefits – besides the physical and psychological: goal achievement, causes, comradery.
  • What about those that cannot run?  Perhaps it is best if we not focus on what we can do and consider whatever we can do right now.  I share my own struggle with not being able to run or do other intense physical activity because of my lungs.


Article, “Running Back From Hell”, http://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/running-back-from-hell?page=sing

Team Red, White, and Blue – helps service members transition http://teamrwb.org/

STRONG STAR (South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience) http://delta.uthscsa.edu/strongstar/

Question:  Have you found exercise to be beneficial?  Please join the discussion.  Your experience can help or encourage others.

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023 – Can our perspective impact our progress?


Meditation and Persective owenfelthamDoes how we see and perceive the world impact our ability to move forward in our recovery?  Our mind is a powerful tool.  We can convince ourselves of a lot of things.  In this episode we explore the possibilities of how our perspective might impact our present and future actions.

“To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.  – Marcus Aurelius 

“The fear of appearances is the first symptom of impotence.” 
― Fyodor DostoyevskyCrime and Punishment

Psalm 23:4-5a  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me;  your rod and your staff— they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me  in the presence of my enemies; (NRSV)


Will we focus on the enemy that is present or the provisions?  We will focus on the dark valley or the reality of God’s presence with in in the valley?

Change our focus!  How?

Some advice form St. Paul

Changing our perspective is not denying the difficult realities.

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