Abundant Spirituality + codependency recovery + inner child healing + Love = Joy2MeULogo of Joy to You & Me Enterprises, publisher of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls Joy2MeU Home Page
This is the Newsletter of the Joy2MeU web site of codependency therapist, inner child healing pioneer, Spiritual teacher Robert Burney - who is the author of the Joyously inspirational book of Spirituality: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.
These Update Newsletters are posted online 3 or 4 times a year at about 3 or 4 month intervals - although this year it is working out that I am posting them at shorter intervals.  A short announcement e-mail is sent out notifying people - who sign up for the Joy2MeU e-mailing list - when a new Update is posted.  (Links within the text will open in a separate browser window, while most of those in right hand column will take you away from this page.)
Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update
Hello Magnificent Radiantly Beautiful Spiritual Being,

I had been hoping to get this posted by April 1st - which obviously did not happen.  I was waiting for final details to be worked out in regard to two future events I have scheduled so that I could announce them in this Update.

I am going to be making an appearance in Akron Ohio on May 9th - where I appeared 4 years ago in May.  I will be doing an afternoon workshop after speaking at a CoDA speakers meeting in the morning.

We also have finalized arrangements for an Intensive workshop aboard another cruise - this one a cruise to the Mexican Riviera at the end of November.

I have received a number of invitations to join facebook - but it is something that I just have not had the time to focus on doing as yet - not sure if I ever will.  Someone however, had now started a Facebook group for "friends of Robert Burney" for anyone who would like to have someplace to meet others who want to discuss my work.  The group is listed under headings of spirituality and codependency.

We launched two more of our new websites - one on Alcoholism and 12 Step Recovery: twelvestepmiracle.com/ and the other on Spirituality: http://www.abundantspirituality.com/  We have more ready to officially launch as soon as I find the time to proofread and do any editing or additions I want to do.  We are going to be starting a subscription area with the material that is now in Dancing in Light, as well as some material from the Joy2MeU Journal.  I discuss that below in a message that I am including as part of the Newsletter - a message that I originally sent to my Yahoo Mailing list.  You might want to read that to see if the information that is going to be on dancinginlight.com is something you would be interested in - and to see that it will mean I will no longer be selling subscriptions to Dancing in Light as it is now constituted on my site (or giving away subscriptions to the present version with a certain level of donation as I have been doing on my Spiritual_Tithes / Love Offerings / Donations to the Cause page.)

In another of those messages that I include below, I share about a wedding Susan and I attended between two people who stated at the wedding that it wouldn't be happening if it wouldn't have been for the work they did with me.  They both attended an Intensive Training Day and did inner child healing grief groups with me - and they include a special tribute to the work they did with me in those groups at the end of their wedding reception.

I do have an inner child healing grief group going right now, and was interested to run across the following quote from one of my past Newsletters - something I wrote shortly after we moved to San Diego.
"What I see as the exciting potential here in San Diego, is to continue to teach people, in these Intensive workshops, the approach that I refined doing the telephone counseling - and to be able to facilitate the grief work in person also." Joy2MeU Update November 2006
I haven't had as many as I had hoped to have, but will perhaps have the opportunity to do some more in the future. They certainly are a rewarding and transformational experience - and I get a lot of pleasure out of facilitating them.

Those 2 messages also include a discussion of our experience on the cruise in December, some changes I made with about half of my past Update Newsletters, and some processing about what is happening in our lives now.

Because I was thinking I would have this out by April 1st, I am including a story from my recovery path about my April Fools Day lesson about falling in love along with those two messages - even though I didn't get this finished by April 1st.

And last, but certainly not least, a new web page dedicated to my precious godson / step grandson Darien  Unless you are new to my site in the last few months, then you probably already know we had a real scare with his health in January.  I include the special message I sent out on January 17th to the people on my e-mail list about that experience on the page I just posted.

As I mention on that page, the idea of putting up a page in his honor had been coming up for awhile - and when he was hospitalized I decided that it was time to create this page.

I have shared in my writing in the past, that Darien is the first human being I have completely opened my heart to since my parents when I was an infant.  And because of the experience I share about in my Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy article, I not only had too much terror of intimacy to open up to a human being but hadn't even been able to open it to a pet either.  So, obviously he is very special to me. The health scare we had with him was really terrifying.

I actually quoted him in a CoDA meeting a couple of weeks ago.  One day out of nowhere he says to me, "Sometimes, you have to teach alligators manners."  It was so out of context and strange that I asked him to repeat it - and then what it meant.  He explained, "Sometimes you have alligators in your house and you have to teach them manners."  I later found out that there is actually a show by that name on the Disney Channel, but what struck me about it at the time is that it was a quite good way of talking about the need for boundaries.  Some times you have people in your life that are like alligators, and you need to teach them manners.;-)    Unfortunately, as I say in my article Setting Personal Boundaries, sometimes the people/alligators have no capacity or desire to learn manners.

There is so much great programming on TV for kids these day - actual preschool on TV - not only teaching basics about numbers and letters and such, but also about problem solving, recycling, safety, sharing and teamwork, not lying, about all kinds of healthy behavior. Including that sometimes you have to teach alligators manners.

I will be adding things to his page periodically - kind of keeping a record of his growing up.  Hopefully I will be doing that for many, many years to come.

We are going to try to record the Intensive this weekend.  Susan is going to attend for the first time (she has always been watching Darien previously as I have mentioned in one of the messages below) and doing the filming.  Hopefully it will be of good enough quality that we can start making it available to people who can't make it to a workshop in person.
Additions to the web site since the

A page dedicated to my precious godson / step grandson Darien

A workshop in Akron Ohio on May 9th

Cruise to the Mexican Riviera November 28th.

Two new web sites launched:



A new introduction to the Alcoholism and Twelve Step Recovery index page

  A radio interview I did on Dec. 30th with a woman who has a site focused on Narcissists

In addition:

A new batch of wonderful Testimonials for the book, tapes, and web site.

 Some new testimonials added to the Telephone counseling testimonial page

Testimonials have been added  for the most recent Intensive Training Days on the Intensive Testimonial page

Intensive Training Days are scheduled for San Diego on May 24th, July 18th, September 6th, and October 11th.

New links added to the recommended Links page

New links added to my Finding CoDA Meetings page

Graphic of two hearts with an arrow through them - signifying both Love and heartbreak.
Links to past Update Newsletters for the Joy2MeU site (launched February 4, 1999) can be found on the Information index page.  - and also at the bottom of the site index page.  Links to the Newsletters of my original Joy to You & Me web site (launched February 28, 1998) can be found on the Joy to You & Me page which list pages from that site not moved to Joy2MeU.

Three new versions of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls:

e-book version

downloadable MP3 version

Amazon.com Kindle books version


April Fools Day lesson about falling in love

In the Premier edition of my Joy2MeU Journal, I shared in the Newsletter about an experience I had on April 1st 1990.  I refer to it as my April Fools Day Lesson about falling in love.  In that Newsletter I am talking about the Journal as I was conceiving it at that time - that is, a regular publication that would be published in intervals.  It turned out to be something quite different than that, as I explain on the Journal Information page.  I think that April Fools story is amusing and instructive so I include it here.

"Now about April 1st.  April fools day here in the states - I am not sure if that is just an American thing or if it is more Universal.  I also don't have any idea where it came from - just that it is a day when people play practical jokes and say "April Fools" - kind of stupid really. 

On April 1st 1990 I met a woman that felt like my soul mate.  And I knew that the fact that it was April Fools Day was no accident.  It was my Higher Power saying - now pay attention.

This was shortly after I had moved to Cambria California - which is the only area that I have ever lived or visited that really felt like "home" energetically.  I was living in a wonderful place - mostly it was wonderful because I had a hot tub.  The place itself was a very small studio apartment that was furnished with way too many things for the limited space.  But the hot tub was divine.  I could sit in the hot tub naked in the middle of the night gazing at the stars and listening to the seals barking.  It was a very short walk to a small forest that contained a meadow with what to me felt like a sacred mound. . . . . I could then walk up a forested ridge to the top of a hill - and there was the ocean.  Often when I got to the top I would see whales.  Often in the forest I encountered deer.  I Loved it.

Well, on April the first of 1990 I was walking to this mound meadow when out of this house down the street from me appeared a beautiful woman heading out for a walk herself.  We felt this immediate connection and ended up talking in the meadow on the mound for hours.  It felt wonderful and I knew that I could fall madly in love with this woman.

Now, I was aware that it was April Fools Day, so that evening when I got home I did some writing and meditating.  (I have not in this lifetime been able to do formal meditation - as in sitting - due to an experience I had in one of my Druid lifetimes.  It is an example that I use in my book of how things that I used to beat myself up and judge myself for had a very good reason underneath, on another level, that caused my resistance.  Meditation for me is basically listening to the messages coming through.  I do that in a variety of ways - including walking meditation, while I am driving, etc.)

I had gotten very clear by that time in my recovery that a bottom line for me in staying clear with myself and on my path was to stop buying into the illusion of victimization.

And before I go on with this April Fools story, I want to make clear what I mean by the illusion of victimization. . . . .

. . . . . What is dysfunctional for me is when I am feeling like a victim out of an inner child wound and listening to the Critical Parent tell me that I am a failure, loser, unlovable, etc.  That is when I start spiraling downward real fast, that is when I crash and burn.  When I am allowing that to happen (which is the natural and normal dynamics of the disease and not something to feel ashamed of - the disease gets us to trash ourselves and then turns around and tells us to beat our self up for trashing ourselves - Truly insidious and powerful.)  When I am caught in this disease dynamic (being my own perpetrator and victim) is when I create negative emotional states that I can get caught in for periods of time.  Depression, despair, self pity, resentment, etc. are not emotions but emotional states that are created by negative attitudes that I am buying into.  In each of those emotional states I am buying into the belief that I am the victim.  In order not to create negative emotional states I have to catch myself anytime I am buying into the belief that I am the victim (of myself for being flawed or defective - or others - including the Divine Plan) - and again not beat myself up for it.

When I am buying into the belief in victimization I am lying to myself (letting the disease's lies have power.)  Anytime I catch myself coming from a victim perspective I am not telling myself my Highest Truth.

Learning how to take my power back from the disease by not buying into victim illusions was probably the single most important facet of my recovery.  A big milestone in that process occurred on April 1st 1990.

And you thought I was off on a tangent again didn't you. :-)

One of the biggest areas in this culture where we are trained to come from a victim perspective is in relationship to romance.  We are taught about "falling in love" as if it were a camouflaged hole in the sidewalk that we were powerless over falling into.  Falling in love is a choice - which is what I got to get real clear on starting on that April Fools Day in 1990. 

Falling in love is a state of mind which is very different from Loving someone.  Love is a vibrational frequency that we can tune into (more on that in the article next month.)  What we learned growing up was love that was an addiction - with the other person as our drug of choice, our Higher Power.  (See Toxic Love )   Love is not something that someone else gives to us - it is something that another being can help us to remember and access.  (See Wedding Prayer or Adventure in Romance.)

I understood much of this only theoretically - and not that much - that afternoon in the meadow by the sea.  What I had gotten real clear on by that time is that buying into being a victim was disempowering and dysfunctional for me.  So that evening I got real clear with myself.  It went something like this:

"OK.  Let's look at this.  Here is a beautiful woman who feels like she might be my soul mate.  Having that powerful an emotional, energetic reaction to her could mean that she is my soul mate but it is much more likely to mean that she is unavailable in a way that is perfect for my patterns.  I have choices here.  (Empowerment is all about owning that we always have choices - Empowerment & Victimization page.)  I can run away in fear that she is a repeat of old patterns but if I do that I won't learn anything. I can choose to explore what this connection with her is - in which case I will probably get hurt.

Since getting hurt is an inevitable part of life and I definitely need to learn some lessons about romance and emotional intimacy - I think that I will explore what our connection is - but do it differently than I ever have before.  I will make a commitment to myself (our first commitment needs always to be to our self) to learn whatever lessons I need to learn from this woman and will remain alert so that I do not buy into any victim beliefs.  I am choosing to go into the emotional place that she will lead me to learn lessons about my self.  I will not buy into the belief that she is victimizing me.  When I am hurting because: she is not doing what I want her to;  when she is not opening up to the potential of how wonderful we could be together;  when she is reacting to her fears and wounds; I will always remember that I choose to venture down the path this way and that any feelings that result will be my responsibility - they will be the consequences of my choice.  They will not be her fault.  She does not have the power to hurt me unless I give it to her - and I am choosing to give her some power over my feelings.  (Article on Codependent vs Interdependent )

I also know that I do not have to give her any power over my self esteem.  How she reacts to me will not be because there is something wrong with me, or because I have done something wrong.  My self worth is not dependent on any outside source - including, and especially, someone that I am choosing to fall in love with.

I commit to myself not to beat myself up for my choices but rather to strive to have compassion for any wounds that are uncovered or new wounds that are suffered.  I will stay conscious and stay alert to the lessons that are there to be learned - and I will also have a lot of fun playing around with the energy of being in love.  I haven't let the romantic in me out to play for quite awhile and it will feel really good to dance with that wonderful vibrational high that comes from being in love.  I will keep firm boundaries with that wonderful romantic part of me in order to not build up expectations that will cause more pain than is necessary.

So, yes I choose to go where this beautiful teacher can take me and learn what I need to learn - and also to allow myself to grieve when wounds are uncovered or gauged anew.  Let's go for it!  Full speed ahead on a romantic adventure!  As a responsible adult on a Spiritual Path that is being guided home to Love."

Okay, Okay - so the above is a little advanced for where I was at that time on my path.  It is probably a more accurate depiction of where I was back in December in my latest romantic adventure.  But it is, in essence, what happened back then.  I didn't have all the words and levels of understanding that I do now - but I was clear that I needed to make a commitment to myself to not buy into the belief in victimization.  That whatever feelings resulted were my responsibility.  It was the clearest, most mature and responsible place from which I had ever embarked on a relationship adventure - and a very important milestone in my process.

That is why April 1st is an important day in my personal 'important dates' cosmology.

Okay, Okay, yes I will tell you the outcome.  She ended up marrying an old boy friend who was not capable of even saying "I love you" to her.  I commiserated with her for many hours about how unavailable he was to her and how painful that was.  And in the end she married him (for a year or so - I don't know where she is now.  I would love to get in touch with her again.)  She was a perfect actress to cast in an emotional learning experience that helped me see my pattern about being attracted to unavailable women on a new level.  I stayed true to my commitment on a level that was remarkable for where I was at in my process at the time. It was a wonderful - and very painful - opportunity for growth that I am very grateful I experienced.  I send her blessings and Love wherever she is - and Thanks. 

It was a perfect chapter in the unfolding of my life story.

So that is the story of April 1st . . . " - April 2nd 1999 Newsletter in Preview issue of Joy2MeU Journal

Learning to take responsibility for our emotions as we are learning to be emotionally honest with ourselves is a vital part of codependency recovery.  I have a five article series that focuses on just that.  Emotional Honesty and Emotional Responsibility

Some processing I have shared since my last Update

Here are two messages I sent to my Yahoo mailing list in recent months.  My yahoo mailing list is for anyone who is interested to getting more frequent updates than my Update Newsletters : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Joy_2_Me_U/join   (I am adding some comments now in this color to update or clarify references I made in these two messages.)

Thu Feb 5, 2009 11:36 am "News from the Joy2MeU front"
Hello Joy to Me U list,

I just updated the copyright notice on 27 of my Update Newsletter pages - up through June 2003.  I also removed the code that blocked search engines from indexing those pages.  I had blocked them at the time because there was some very personal processing I was doing in some of those Newsletters - and also some more far out metaphysical stuff I was sharing.  I have done more personal processing and metaphysical writing in the years since that are not blocked from the search engines - as over the years I got more comfortable with sharing at an intimate or metaphysical level publicly in those Newsletters - so there wasn't really much need to keep those protected any more.  And normally people don't read my Newsletters unless they appreciate my writing both style wise, and content wise.

The main reason I went through and unblocked those pages however, is that when I am answering e-mails from people, or sometimes when I do get a rare chance to do some writing now days, I sometimes can't find things I have written about.  When I am looking for something that I know I have written about in the vastness of my website, I do a search of my own site for certain keywords.  And the ones that were blocked couldn't be found then - which was frustrating since I remembered clearly writing about such and such, but couldn't find it.  So, now I will be able to find things in my own site better.;-) 

There is actually a lot of really good stuff in the processing that I have done over the years for those Newsletters - and I was reminded of that as I went though them to take out the code and update the copyright. You might very well find value in the sharing in them - especially: October 2000 + Part 2;  May 2001 + 3 newsletter pages;  January 2002 + 2 newsletter pages;  August 2002:   November 2002:   June 2003 + 2 newsletter pages. All of the Updates are listed at the bottom of the site index page and anyone who wanted to trace the evolution of this site - as well as my personal recovery process over those years - would find reading them through interesting and valuable.

I also wanted to give you folks on this list a heads up about something that is going to be happening in the not too distant future.  We are preparing a site for the material that is in the password protected sections of my site that are pay to view:  The Joy2MeU Journal http://Joy2MeU.com/Journal.html and Dancing in Light http://Joy2MeU.com/Codependency_Recovery.htm  My partner Jeff was recently able to get the web address: http://dancinginlight.com/ so are setting up the site to hold the information that is presently in the Dancing in Light section of my site - and we are going to be adding several works from the Joy2MeU Journal, including the my unfinished book: The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 - "In The Beginning . ." (subtitled: A Magical, Mystical, Spiritual Fable - which you can read the first few chapters of here http://joy2meu.com/Journal_1/Trilogy.htm );  and The Story of my Spiritual Path / Recovery from getting sober to going through a treatment program for codependency in 1988 in my fifth year of sobriety.  (The first chapter in that story is here: http://joy2meu.com/Journal_1/JoyStory.htm)

Due to the primitive site building program I use, and how complicated it would have been to sell time limited subscriptions to those sections of the site - I have sold them over the years as open ended.  Everyone who purchased a subscription (or got one or both for having made a donation - something that is still possible Love Offerings page ) got the same username and password - and basically a life time subscription to the two sections of my site.  With the new sites that are going up around RobertBurneyLive.com we now have the capacity to sell time limited (and selected content) subscriptions.  So that is what we are going to be doing when we get the site up and running.  I will no longer be selling the subscriptions to Dancing in Light on my site - and will not be offering them as part of the special offers I have on some of the main pages (Home page, site index page, New & news page, etc.)  The people who already have subscriptions will still be able to access that section of my site, but I won't be selling new ones through Joy2MeU.com  (Not sure if I will keep offering them for Donations or not - have to think about that.)

Some of the articles that are part of Dancing in Light are still available on the regular Joy2MeU site - sort of like an introduction to the one series of articles and two online books in that section.  I think I will leave the first article of the True Nature of Love series on the site (The True Nature of Love - what Love is not) - but all the rest will no longer be fully available.  I thought you might like a heads up so you could check them out before they are taken off the site.  Those articles are:   The True Nature of Love - part 2, Love as Freedom and the first two chapters of the online book Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light  Book 2 A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life (the following are their original titles) The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! and The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! Part 2 Love & Romance, Marriage and Divorce and the first chapter of my online book about the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001: Attack on America - A Spiritual Healing Perspective.

There is still a lot of work to be done, as I have to go through and review everything - and do some editing - so it won't be until towards the end of this month at the earliest (and that is probably being optimistic.) It was being overly optimistic as I haven't gotten to that yet - next target is before the end of April.

I had to figure out my sales for last year for state sales tax by the end of January.  The effects of the economic situation in the country was clearly visible.  I sold less than half the number of books through my website in the 4th quarter of the year as I did in the first quarter.  I have mentioned previously that I have lost about 15 phone counseling clients who couldn't afford to continue in the last couple of months - so things are pretty grim.  Susan, who was working 3 part time jobs in addition to her real estate business, has now gone to work for her father since real estate is so dead in this part of the country.  That involves her making a 40 mile drive up into Orange County 4 days a week - and having to get up real early in the morning and to bed early at night.  Her salary will really help, and hopefully she will also be making some commissions - but we are so far behind that I just paid the last part of January rent and am now working on February.  The landlord is being very patient thankfully.

Darien is still not 100% healthy.  We took him to the doctor yesterday to be safe.  He doesn't have the infection in his neck that he had, but he still has a nasty cough and has some ring worm that we started treating early enough it doesn't look like is going to be a big problem.   We had to keep him out of school one day last week because he had thrown up two nights in a row and had a fever in the morning.  I started to keep him home on Monday this week, because when we got out to the car to go to school he said he felt like throwing up.  He hadn't indicated he wasn't feeling well up to that point, so I hunched down to talk to him about it.  When he was smaller and got really upset, he would sometimes work himself into such a frenzy that he would cause himself to throw up.  I was a little worried that he might be coming up with an excuse to not go to school since he had been able to stay home one day the previous week.  He looked at me and said, "I want to go to school, but I want to throw up at home."  A very understandable sentiment - and you can imagine what kind of feelings that brought up for me.  I took him back in the house and he didn't throw up - and within a half hour was showing all kinds of energy again.  So, I ended up taking him to school that day.

During the time he is in school - basically 9 until 3 - is the time I have to get things done.  Then and early in the morning or late at night.  (Last night - with the help of a tooth ache - I stayed up until about 2 working on this.)  My mornings are centered around getting him dressed and ready and off to school - and once he gets home in the afternoon it is hard to do anything that takes very much concentration and focus because he wants attention and help with various things.  Or he wants to be on my computer playing games - which means I can't be on my computer.  The other day he changed the screen saver on my computer - 4 years old, and he is finding things on my computer that I didn't know were there.  I used to have more time in the afternoon or evening to get some things done before Susan started this job - but now she isn't here near as much and is often pretty tired when she is.

I have actually been concerned since shortly after we moved into the house we are living in, that there may be some environmental factors involved here.  A client told me about how she and her daughter were sick a lot after moving into a house until they had the carpets changed - and all three of us (Susan, Darien, and I) seemed to develop a cough after we had been here a little while.  The place is also too small for us - and Darien is getting to an age when he needs his own room.  Most of the time now he and I sleep on the couch in the living room - even though his Dad sent him a racing car bed for Christmas that takes up a chunk of our living room space.  He doesn't really like to sleep on it though.  After we moved here we realized that he had gotten too big to sleep in his old car seat in our room or in bed with us as he had when we lived up north and the only other bedrooms were on the other side of the large house we were living in, so we ended up with him sometimes sleeping with me on the couch and sometimes with Susan in the bedroom - until he fell off her bed one night.  (The other factor involved in these sleeping arrangements is that Susan has some kind of super sensitive hearing and says that I make way too much noise in my sleep - claims I snore and such.  Not true I am sure;-)

So, this little man takes up a lot of time and energy.  And Susan and I don't get much time alone together because we don't have anyone reliable to babysit him.  But he does bring us so much Joy.  He is such a sweet and precocious little man.  One day as I was helping him to figure out how to play a game on the computer, I made some reference to how it was loading very slowly - and he said to me, "You have to have patience.  Patience is when you have to wait."  He was really cute at Christmas.  A friend who has been a real life saver the last couple of years for the second year in a row sent a big box full of individually wrapped presents for him.  That has allowed us to let him open those gifts and some he has gotten from other people on Christmas Eve and the 4 or 5 things we have gotten him on Christmas morning.  This year as we were going to bed on Christmas Eve, he said, "I have so many presents.  Tell Santa Clause I don't need any more."  Of course, he changed his mind the next morning when there were more presents to unwrap.  Later on Christmas Day, he said, "I have so many choices."

So even though things are really a challenge financial now - and with our living space and car situation and my dental problems (a sure sign the economy is bad is that the dentist I saw last fall about some major work I need done called to offer $500 off the price) and all - this is still such a Joyous time because of my precious little god son, step grandson Darien.   In April it will be 3 years since Susan and I got custody of him - and it has been a time of Light and Love and Joy because he is such a beautiful Spiritual Being.

I saw a statistic on the internet the other day that 1 in 10 Americans are on Food Stamps now - 31 million people.  Pretty scary.  I don't know what the future will bring, but I do have faith that a Divine Plan is unfolding perfectly - and that More Will Be Revealed.  Hopefully that plan includes the money to pay the rent and keep the utilities on and all.  And I would sure Love to have the option of moving to a healthier living space sometime soon.

Since I need to get the review of the new Dancing in Light website done, I don't anticipate getting to any of the several writing projects on my list any time soon.  Right now, I need to focus on some actions that have the potential to create more income.  We are talking about another cruise in the fall or winter, and I will soon be announcing dates for Intensive Training seminars in July and September.  The next Intensive is on the 15th of this month (very appropriate, the day after Valentine's Day) and there are still some special offers for the Intensives as well as telephone counseling on that page that I announced in the latest special update about Darien.  And donations to the cause are always a great blessing.

One thing I have seen clearly in my 25 years in recovery is that working a spiritual program can help people get though things / times / events / situations that they never could have imagined going through.  Just keep suiting up and showing up for life today and take whatever actions you can take to plant seeds for the future without wasting a lot of time worrying about the future - keep focusing on finding some peace and Joy in the moment as you continue on your journey through his human life experience, one day at a time.

Joy, Peace, and Prosperity to U & Me,

Thu Mar 5, 2009 12:30 pm "Daylight Savings Time is coming"
Hello Magnificent and Powerful Spiritual Being,

Can you believe that next Sunday is already the start of Daylight Savings Time.  I welcome it - I like the daylight hours longer (or at least the illusion that they are longer than they actually are right now) - but it will feel weird doing it so early in the year.

There are some interesting things that have been happening that I wanted to share with you all.  One has to do with a wedding Susan and I went to last Saturday.  It was a wedding for two people who did two of my inner child healing grief groups last year.  I started working with the man in April or so, and he signed up to come to my May Intensive.  The relationship they were in was not going well - and they broke up.  But then I suggested to the guy that he ask the woman to come to the May Intensive also - telling him that the only way it could possibly work out between them was if they both were working on not letting their reactions out of their inner child wounds get in the way so much.  At the last moment she did decide to come.

After attending the Intensive, they both were willing to do the grief group.  Even though she wasn't willing to get back into the relationship at that time, she was willing to start working on her childhood issues.  She is a psychologist - and like too many people with lots of credentials did not really know anything about codependency.  I actually started the group on my 22nd CoDA birthday - and mentioned in one of my messages to this list.

"June 3rd, 2008 3:49 am    Today is my 22nd CoDA birthday. . . .

I have an inner child healing grief group starting tonight.  Some
people in the last Intensive wanted to do it badly - and one of the
people offered the use of her home after I explained the problem with
renting appropriate space.  I actually did these groups in peoples
homes for years on the Central Coast when I was living in Cambria.
Someone's home is actually a much more intimate space to have the
groups than an office.  Perhaps that will be something that I can
pursue doing more of in the future. . . .

June 4th  10:28 am.
I am stealing a few moments here this morning to try to get more of
this written.  The group went well last night - except one of the
people who was supposed to show up didn't.  (7-20 - So, what we ended
up doing is having Susan participate in several of the groups with the
two people who were committed to it.   She got so much out of doing
the grief group a year ago - became much more emotionally available
because of it - and was able to be a good role model for them as to
what the process was about.  Unfortunately because of our challenges
with getting a baby sitter for Darien, she wasn't able to go to the
last 2 - but that ended up seeming to be a perfect part of the Divine
Plan also, as the 2 people in the group were able to focus on their
relationship.  I am going to be meeting with them on an ongoing basis,
as they were so happy with the major progress they have made during
the time of the group.  I don't anticipate getting any more groups going any time in the near future.)" - Joy_2_Me_U@yahoogroups.com Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:57 am

They did continue to do another 5 sessions after that first round of 5.  And the result was that they got married last Saturday.  It was a beautiful, outdoor, seaside, ceremony performed by a Sufi minister.  And towards the end of the reception they had something special planned just for me.  The man had mentioned that to me prior to the Wedding, but hadn't said what it was. During the reception, the bride gave away what the surprise was.  And later I realized that it actually was really very appropriate.  During the reception Susan got to speculating on what the turning point for them in their relationship was.  She remembered that at one group, he was really angry, stomping around, about to walk out - and that she was completely shut down and stone faced, in full defensive posture.  Susan was saying she couldn't remember what I had done to get them past that.  I couldn't either for a while - and then I did remember.

So, towards the end of the reception they had Susan and I come to the front of the bandstand where the MC had been spinning records for people to dance to.  The groom took the microphone and announced that all the people in the wedding should come to the dance floor and form a circle.  Then he told them that I was an author and therapist - and that he and his bride had done some work with me last year.  He stated - with her nodding away beside him - that the only reason they were there getting married that day was because of the work they had done with me. And then he said that there some really hard and painful moments in doing that work but that one thing that kept them going was the way I ended the group.  He then told them that I always ended the group with doing the Hokey Pokey - and that it was impossible to stay angry while doing the Hokey Pokey.  

The MC then put on a recording of the Hokey Pokey, and about 80% of the people at the wedding enthusiastically took part.  He told me a few days later that people kept coming up to him later in the evening and mentioning it - with big smiles, saying, "You know, the Hokey Pokey is what it's all about."

That is what I remembered had broken the stalemate between them that night when he was about to walk out.  I told him that night, that he couldn't leave without doing the Hokey Pokey.

I mentioned in one of my new articles I posted in November the reason that I close my groups with the Hokey Pokey.

"The purpose of these articles is to help you learn to be a little more Loving to your self.  We are all butterflies whose minds keep telling us we are caterpillars;  Swans who still feel like ugly ducklings.  It is our codependency that causes us to keep allowing the old tapes and old wounds to define us.  Codependency Recovery is about owning who we really are by tuning into the Truth that resonates with our Spirit - even when, especially when, life is not feeling very Loving.

Life is in some ways not feeling very Loving to me right now, so I wrote these articles to remind me of who I am and why I am here in human body at this place in time.  I hope that sharing my experience, strength, and hope helps remind you of who you really are and why you are here - so that you can lighten up and enJoy today more than you would have if you hadn't read this article. 

I end all of my workshops and grief groups with two prayers.  One of them is a group Serenity Prayer.  The other is to have everyone do the Hokey Pokey.  That is a reminder to lighten up and not take this life business so personally and seriously.  We are unconditionally Loved.  We always have been, and always will be.  Each and every one of us is perfectly where we are supposed to be on our Spiritual Path - and we are being guided Home.  Love & Joy to You & Me." ~ Robert 11/9/08 The Metaphysics of Emotions - emotional energy is real

The groom was amazed that the people all knew the Hokey Pokey - but I think most Americans do (from the roller skating rink for many of us.;-)  When I was in Spain, I had to teach people there how to do it.  There is a great picture on this page of the whole group doing the Hokey Pokey in Spain.

Hokey Pokey in Ibiza

I have the first grief group since the second one I did with them last fall starting this coming Saturday.  It will be good to get one in process again.  We have just finished the 4th of 5 for this group and it looks like we might get another one started when this one is finished.  It is so rewarding and wonderful to see people evolve and blossom as fast as they can in these groups.  There is real magic in owning the wounded parts of us and starting to learn how to Love our self.

In other news, we are in the process of finalizing the plans for another cruise in December.  We really enjoyed the last cruise, but I wasn't happy with the way my Intensive Training workshop went.  Because of my ignorance of how things work on a cruise, I didn't have a plan for how to do it that took advantage of the fact that it was a cruise.  I actually did two presentations prior to doing my Intensive workshop.  One was a CoDA speakers where I told my story - and that went really great.  Another was a presentation on Alcoholism and Codependency that was designed to try to get some of the people in the cruise group who were in AA to sign up for the Intensive.  It did get one person to - but was pretty successful otherwise.  What didn't work well was the actual Intensive.  I had set it up to be like the ones I do here in San Diego - that is one day of about 6 hours or so.  Unfortunately the cruise people could not give me one room that I could use for the entire day.  So, we ended up doing the first part of it in one of the restaurants - and the second part on the opposite end of the ship in another venue (kind of a night club type room.)  When I do them here in San Diego we do 3 hours and then break for lunch - and then another 3 hours.  One of the problems on the ship was that a bunch of us went to eat in one of the  restaurants instead of one of the buffet lines.  The waiters in the rrestaurants were used to serving 7 course meals, and were in no hurry.  So, some people ended up not getting done for almost 2 hours.

The result was that I really didn't have the time to do the Intensive as I do here.  The purpose of the Intensive is to teach people my approach to developing internal boundaries - which is what I have found is the key in codependency recovery.  The internal boundaries help us to integrate intellectual knowledge and spiritual beliefs into our emotional relationship with life - which is vital to changing behavior patterns and getting past our fear of intimacy.  One of the things that people at my Intensives consistently say is the most enjoyable and valuable part of the Intensives is the personal stories that I share in demonstrating how I learned these lessons or how to apply them - and the emotional honesty that I exhibit when sharing about how my recovery has unfolded.  On the cruise I had shared some of the stories - and a lot of emotional vulnerability and honesty - in my personal sharing in the speakers meeting and at the other presentation.  Then I didn't have time to during the actually Intensive because the time was cut so short by having to move from one end of the ship to another and have such a long lunch break.  So, the information I was sharing came across as much more of an intellectual lecture than a sharing of my experience, strength, and hope.

Now that I know how cruises operate, I will do it much differently this time.  I am going to break my Intensive up into three 2 hour segments and a 2 hour follow up session I actually have decided on 4 sessions totally 10 hours - and at the end of each of the first three segments of the Intensive I will give the people assignments to work on between that session and the next session.  That will make it much more of a "work"shop - and will help the people start implementing the new tools and perspectives in their lives immediately in a way I can't do in a one day seminar.

I will probably be announcing the details about the next cruise before the end of the month (it includes stops in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas) - certainly to this list, but also hopefully in an Update Newsletter.   (We decided on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera leaving from San Diego on November 28th instead.  We briefly considered two cruises - the one I talk about here to the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera cruise, but decided two cruises in 3 weeks would not work well for us.)

I have had some communication with the Northern Ohio Co-Dependents Anonymous intergroup about them bring me there to speak at a convention they are having.  I spoke and did a workshop
in the Akron area almost 4 years ago - and they are wanting me to come back again.  I haven't heard from them for a week or so, so I am not sure if that is going to happen or not. It is happening as I note above.  Obviously I will let you know - but the point of mentioning it here is that it impelled me to do a Goggle search for CoDA sites for the first time in years.  As a result I have added a bunch of new links to my Finding CoDA Meetings page.  Most of them are official CoDA web sites for the areas involved including 5 different countries in Europe and Africa - but also included is a link I found for an English speaking CoDA meeting in Cozumel Mexico (where we stopped on our last cruise) and one for a site in what a friend says is the best area for recovery in the country - Hickory North Carolina - that includes the schedule for all 12 step meetings in the area.

The financial situation remains precarious here - but we keep finding enough to pay the rent (in installments - thanks to the Higher Power for a patient landlord) and keep the Utilities on. Susan's birthday is next weekend and she wants to make a trip to Cambria.  I want to also of course, since that is the place I would really rather be living - and it will be very green with whales passing by this time of year.  (It was green - and I did see the spouts of passing whales both days we were there.)  But I am not sure how we are going to afford it yet.  But then, I don't need to know how today.  I will find out what the Universe has in mind over the course of the week.;-)  Last month I worked my third step by asking a few friends for help, and was able to get some help from them (even though I know that when I ask for help I need to let go of thinking I know where it is going to come from - in this case it came from the people I asked.)  My friend in Hickory was especially helpful - and another friend who is about to come back to the Intensive next month for the 4th or 5th time sent some very timely green energy yesterday.

We are hoping to be able to film the Intensive on April 11th - so hopefully we will get something that we can use to make the experience of my Intensive available to more people.

So, that is about it for now.  Hopefully we will be making a trip up to Cambria next weekend.  More will be revealed - as I have found is always the Truth.  One of the things I say often, is that I realized I had spent most of my life before recovery worrying about decisions I never had to make - because when it became time to make the decision it was obvious what to do.   The situation had changed or new information had come in - and the days and weeks (and sometimes months) I had spent worrying about that decision were a waste of time and energy.  One of the greatest recovery tools I have learned is just to be able to say, "I don't have to decide that today" or "I don't have to know that today" - and let go of the outcome I am worried about for today.

I will include a quote here from one of my Update Newsletters about this letting go process - since it is probably something a lot of people are doing these days, worrying about the future. These are uncertain times and it is important to keep bringing your focus back into the now and doing what is in front of you today.  It is real helpful to remember, that the Hokey Pokey is what it is all about. Enjoy today as much as possible - and be grateful for all the gifts in your life today.

PS Skipping works good also, or dancing and singing silly a song (zipity do dah being my favorite) - helps one to lighten up / Lighten up.;-)

My part as a co-creator in this life experience means that I am responsible for planting seeds and gathering information and doing the footwork to prepare myself for those events on and over the horizon - but the details will not become clear until I have reached the point in my journey when I need to see them clearly.  One of the greatest stress reducers in my recovery was the insight that it wasn't doing me any good to worry about decisions that it was not yet time to make - that worry was in fact a symptom that I was in my disease trying to figure out how to control life because of my fear, and it created more fear.  A very dysfunctional dynamic - that is the essence of the condition of codependency - which prevented me from ever really living life, until recovery. . . . .

. . . I am not writing the script, am not in control of this human experience, so I need to do what I am led to do when I am led to do it - with faith that a Loving plan is unfolding.  Worry is negative fantasy.  Fear of the future does not serve me on my path today - takes away my ability to be here now.   The fear will come up certainly - just as it did when I wrote the paragraph above - but that is normal and human.  I can use my recovery tools to let go of that fear of the unknown - and have boundaries with the critical parent voice in my head which wants me to project a fantasy of impending doom, a horror movie in my mind, that will cause me to create artificial fear in my life today.  As I talked about in my August Update, I learned that 90% of the stress in my life before codependency recovery was my responsibility, something I had some control over - and I do not have to create that kind of stress in my life any more, thanks to recovery and my faith in the Great Spirit." -  November 2002 Update

  Cruise to the Mexican Riviera November 28thSacred Spiral with tale pointed left - meaning going towards Darien's Page Sacred Spiral with tale pointed left - meaning going towards workshop in Akron Ohio on May 9th

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