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 Cosmic Spirituality: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.  These Update Newsletters are posted about 5 times a year at 2 to 3 month intervals (only 4 times this year.)  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. (e-mail link below)
Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update
November 17-19, 2002

To all the Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,

Well I guess the time has come to let go of an old expectation of mine.  I have a template for the message I send out to people when they contact me to be on the e-mailing list, or when someone buys a book or tape set, that says in part, "I send out announcements about newly posted Update Newsletters once every 8 weeks or so."  In recent history I have been changing it to say 8-10, or 10-12 weeks, because reality has not matched my expectations.  The reality is, that in both 2000 and 2001 I published 5 of these Updates.  This year it has turned out to be 4.

I guess it is time to surrender to the reality that quarterly is a more accurate description for my Joy2MeU Updates - and stop feeling that I am late in getting them done.  An example of how an old belief that I haven't taken a conscious look at recently, can cause some stress in terms of me not meeting dysfunctional expectations of myself.  It hasn't caused a lot of stress, but it has been something that has nagged at me at times. 

I have so many writing projects in my mind, that I always have a slight feeling of trying to catch up.  So, this is one I am going to let go of.  I am going to start thinking of these Updates as quarterly, and then watch with interest to see if I will even come close to that time schedule in 2003 - which is going to be a year of dramatic change for me.

Onto the new and the news.

The primary news about Joy2MeU and Joy to You & Me is that - with the help of a couple of angels out there in cyberspace who believe in my work - I was able to pay for a second printing of 1500 copies of my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.  Very cool.  When the first cases of the second printing arrived I had 4 copies of the first printing left and an order waiting to be filled from Amazon.com.  Perfect timing in the Cosmic scheme of things.

The only downside is that the second printing books are a fraction of an ounce heavier than the first printing.  The first printing normally weighted 7 ounces in the envelopes I use to mail them.  That put them right at the borderline of the Postal Services rate schedule.  On occasion if I used a little more bubble wrap on certain books, they would weigh 7.1 ounces and cost $.23 more to ship.  The second printing comes in at 7.2 ounces.  So, the cost of shipping has gone up slightly.  I am not going to worry about that for now, in terms of raising the price of shipping single copies of the book in the US - or Canada, where it is $.25 higher.  But I did raise the price for shipping a single copy internationally.  I only raised it $.55, from $19.95 to $20.50 - despite the fact that shipping it to Europe went up $.70 and to the far East $.80.

I had to change all of my secure server buttons anyway to upgrade to a newer software - something I have been procrastinating on doing for some time.  I am still pretty much of a computer illiterate and my inner children get scared whenever I need to upgrade or add new software because of fear of screwing it up.  One of those fears I know I can walk through pretty easily when I choose to - but still not something I rush to do.  The Universe prodded me into doing the upgrade by having someone assault my server with dozens of bogus transactions.  There was never any threat to the security of the transactions, just someone sending bogus $1 transactions through that I had to go in and void - an inconvenience.  Undoubtedly someone who finds my beliefs offensive, and is not content just to send one of the occasional hate e-mails that I get.

Part of the good news of this upgrade, is that now there is an option to give a delivery address different from the address on the credit card.  Just in time for the Holiday Season for all of you that want to give my book as a gift to someone. ;-)

One other change I made while doing this upgrade - besides the international price for one book - is to add an option for a book and tape set sent in the US by Priority Mail.  I had previously offered this option only on the PayPal page, but added it to the regular ordering page - and lowered the price I was charging by a dollar.  The mailing cost for a book and audio tape set by First Class mail is $2.90, and the Priority price is $3.85 - so I can offer it just a dollar over the First Class rate.

Speaking of PayPal, they now offer payment options in Canadian Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling, Yen, or U.S. Dollars.  I have to make some changes to my PayPal page to incorporate the new option - and hopefully, I will do it correctly and get that page updated within a day or two of publishing this Update.

The other really good news is that Joy2MeU was reindexed by Google - the best search engine on the internet.  A bizarre accident while the site was being moved to a new server back in May had caused it to be dropped from their index.  There are now over 170 pages of the site in the Google index. 

I won't go into all the various additions and changes I have made here - they are listed in the right hand column.  But I did want to mention that in the space on the New page where I usually post the latest Awards the site has won, I now have an internet poem that is dedicated to this web site, and a link to another web page with a poem inspired by my work.  Pretty cool.  I also added a picture of myself to the New page that is more recent than the other two I have on the site.

I have not added a great deal of content to Joy2MeU since that last Update.  There are two small pages I added in conjunction with the Finding CoDA Meetings page - one with the schedule for meetings in my area on the Central Coast of California (which now includes an announcement about changes to my local meeting taking place in December), and one with an excerpt from my personal journal where I share my thoughts on the Decline of CoDA meetings in the mid to late 1990s.   And I added 4 chapters to my online book The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!

I think the contents of these chapters is pretty special - I am quite happy with them.  The ones I added previously Chapter 7 Multiple levels of selfishness, Chapter 8 Codependents as Emotional Vampires, Chapter 9  Codependency = Emotional Anorexia, are joined by Chapter 10 Normal Families are Dysfunctional, which I am publishing at the same time I publish this Update.  Among the wonderful new testimonials that I just added to the Testimonials page is this one which was written in response to the Emotional Anorexic chapter.

"Your insight on being emotionally separate, yet Spiritually connected was the single most creative, original perspective I have ever received. This is a radically (down to the root) novel concept for me. You have cracked the cosmic egg!  Robert, you are a metaphysical Stephen Hawking. Thank you."
A metaphysical Stephen Hawking.  I like that. ;-)  I believe there is some Truth in that statement.

The reason that I haven't added more content is three fold. One has to do with the propensity my writing has to flow out of the stream I was heading down into a different, but intimately interrelated branch.  I wrote quite a bit more for this online book in the time since the last Update than I have published so far.   Goddess only knows how many chapters I am going to end up including in this work.  There are so many facets to any topic / issue I am talking about that there are always a variety of directions that the writing can spin off into.  Here is a paragraph that I wrote for an as yet unpublished chapter - that may be Chapter 12, or ??.

"One of the reasons that the articles I write here on my web site get so long is that I am attempting to explain multi-dimensional phenomena.  I go back and forth between describing the dynamics of the process on a theoretical level, and attempting to give practical, down to earth examples of how it looks and manifests in day to day life.  I alternate between spiritual / metaphysical levels and personal internal dynamics - while also trying to shed light on all the levels in between, especially interpersonal / relating to others.  I attempt to use examples and metaphors that are powerful enough to help you break out of limiting definitions and perspectives - and then feel a need to reassert how important it is to stop blaming ourselves so that you don't buy into the critical parent voice within you shaming you for the awareness you are gaining."

There were two branches of the stream of writing competing to be Chapter 10 - each of which involved at least one more chapter following it.  And there was a third chapter that could have been 10 as well.  I ended up following the branch that stayed on the more mundane, down to earth level and leaving the branch that spiraled off into focusing more on metaphysical levels for later.  How that will unfold will be revealed after I return from my annual Thanksgiving trip to visit my parents and my son in Phoenix.  I have a slim hope that I can get Chapter 11 posted before I leave on the morning of the 24th.  We shall see how that unfolds also. 

Additions to the web site since the August Update include 4 more Chapters of the online book:

There are now 10 Chapters published of the online book in progress:
The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!
Chapter 2: Romantic Relationships
Chapter 3: Emotional Honesty
Chapter 4: false self image
Chapter 5: Pavlov's Dog
Chapter 6: self worth & ego strength

Chapter 7: Multiple levels of selfish

Chapter 8: Codependents as emotional vampires

Chapter 9:  Codependency = Emotional Anorexia

Chapter 10 Normal Families are Dysfunctional

Two new pages have been added in conjunction with the Finding CoDA meetings page - one with the schedule for meetings in my area on the Central Coast of California, and one with an excerpt from my personal journal where I share my thoughts on the Decline of CoDA meetings in the mid to late 1990s.

Special links here to a couple of articles from past that can be helpful reading at Holiday time:


In addition:

New links were added in September and November to the Recommended Links page.

Two new Phone Counseling Testimonials

The list of book stores that have recently stocked The Dance is now on it's own page the Bookstores page

Three new resources in Michigan Texas and Arizona have been added to the Referral to local Therapist / Counselors page.

So many heart felt and touching testimonials for the book, tapes, and web site keep pouring in, that I added new batches in September and November.

Changes on the New Page:

In the space where I usually display the latest award won by the site you will find a Poem dedicated to Joy2MeU.com - and a more recently added link to a second poem dedicated to my writing. ;-) I also added a more recent picture of myself than the ones already on the site.  Links to a special book for recovering codependents through Amazon.com, Hazelden, and the new Canadian Amazon.ca - and at the same time as this Update links to Amazon.com for the Holiday shopping season.

Most Recent articles published on my Suite101 page
 July 2002
Serenity - Accepting the things we cannot change
August 2002
Intellectual Discernment - focused within
September 2002
Emotional Discernment - taking power away from the fear
October 2002
 Intellectual Discernment - shutting up the critical voice

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.  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.

Magnificent Unicorn that was designed for the cover of Joy2MeU Journal.


There is an acronym in Alcoholics Anonymous, that like so many of the little sayings / acronyms / aphorisms of recovery carry great Truth and can be invaluable tools in helping us to keep from swinging too far out of balance in reaction to life.  This acronym is HALT.  It stands for:  Hungry Angry Lonely Tired.  When we have any of these conditions going on - and especially if we have two or more of them happening simultaneously - we are more impatient than normal, more emotionally vulnerable, and are much more vulnerable to our codependency.  These kinds of physical and emotional conditions weaken our defenses, magnify and distort our emotional reactions, and make it much harder to keep from slipping into the old ruts of black and white thinking. (Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 1)  They sap our energy, cause us to lose focus, and make it much more important to put some energy into maintaining internal boundaries with the critical parent voice and the emotional triggers from our childhood so we don't slip back into a victim perspective.  We are more emotionally volatile at these times and much more reactive with the people in our lives.

Just stopping and asking ourselves if there is some reason we are feeling the way we are feeling that may have to do with such conditions can be a very valuable aid in not setting ourselves up to overreact to other people and life events.

I have my own version of this acronym, which includes a few more conditions that I know greatly affect us - and that are important to pay attention to.

My version of this is HALTSHH - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Sick Hurt Hormonal.  These are all times when it is important to be patient and kind and nurturing to ourselves.  Times when we need to pay some attention to those conditions and not judge what we are feeling or where we are at - because we are not seeing reality very clearly when we have such things impacting us emotionally.

An injury, an infection, and a BIG surprise

The other two reasons that I haven't added more content have to do with my life, my process, and a couple of life events on my path - including SH.

The H occurred in early September, when I injured my leg.  I hate used to hate being hurt or sick.  In recovery I realized that there were reasons on different levels for that reaction - including some that were directly related to specific childhood issues.  One of the general type reasons - that it was important for me to get aware of - was that when I was sick or injured it made me feel powerless.  Realizing that made me more aware of the illusion of power that I have when I am physically healthy and don't have to be conscious of my body.   My body has always been something that I take for granted until some part of it isn't working properly.  One of the gifts of this leg injury, is that I got to see what a wonderful level of acceptance I have integrated into my emotional relationship with life and life events so that I no longer "hate" such life events.  I don't like them certainly, they do not make me happy, but I accept what happens without creating a victim state of suffering and blame in reaction to life events.  Life events are opportunities for growth - not punishment for being unworthy or screwing up, as my inner child reactions always told me.  Fertilizer happens.

"It has been a wonderful opportunity to see how much I have changed the intellectual paradigm that is defining life for me.  It has given me wonderful opportunities to practice patience and take things in small steps - both literally and figuratively.  It has been a revelation to see that my inner children have not been involved in coping with this life event.  Really cool."
Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul - Dance 15 October 5, 2002
The trauma to my leg wiped me out physically so that I couldn't write.  I didn't have the energy, or ability to focus, that I need for my writing - I was needing to take several naps a day and just take things real slowly.  Between the depletion of energy that came from that injury, and a chronic sinus infection that flared up when my immune system was depleted, I lost almost a month of writing time.  I just didn't have the energy to be able to focus and write - another wonderful opportunity to practice patience, and acceptance, and surrendering to my Higher Power's plan.

Then, in part because of the injury and insights that came from it, I needed to write for my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal.  The processing I had done in that personal journal in June - and the events that Universe brought my way in early July to stimulate my process - continued into other levels in both early October, and then for a period of several weeks in late October and early November.  I have added 5 pages to that personal journal since early October.

(As I am writing this, I was realizing that 4 chapters of the online book, plus the 5 pages in my journal - given that my average web article pages are in the range of 7,000 to 8,000 words - means that I only added about 60,000 or 70,000 words of new writing to the site since the beginning of August.  Only!?!  Those old tapes about not being productive enough sure don't have as much power as they used to - but they are still there running subtly in the background.)

The journal processing was perfect for the unfolding mosaic of my recovery journey - as usual.  The areas of my issues that I was uncovering and discovering new levels of, led me to be writing about some specific issues on a day that I got some earthshaking news.  Earthshaking in my life anyway. 

Writing that last line caused me to look back to past writing where I have used an analogy about earthquakes to give some perspective on the progress I have made in my process - to try to convey how much different my experience of life and life events is, compared to what it used to be - due to my recovery.  I actually found two instances - one that I had forgotten about.

"I was trying to control my life because I was afraid that I wouldn't get the things done that I thought I needed to get done to take care of myself, to meet my needs.  I was afraid of the unknown future, so I had designed my own agenda, and then was getting angry and frustrated that I could not meet my own agenda.

Because I was judging myself and impatient with myself, the rebel within me was rebelling through procrastinating.  I was then judging myself for my procrastination - and then turning around and shaming myself for judging myself for my procrastination.  (I stopped judging and shaming myself in gross ways years ago - i.e. I don't call myself names like stupid or loser or whatever - but the disease dynamic still kicks in on much subtler levels.  As we make progress in treating ourselves better in recovery, the disease gets more subtle and cunning.  This recent judgment/shame upheaval would be like a 3.0 earthquake vs what used to be a 9.0 earthquake.)"

The Recovery Process for inner child healing - through the fear
"That is what is so wonderful about the inner child work.  I was able to greatly decrease the power I was giving to my feelings by changing the subconscious programming that had set me up to feel like a victim.  My car breaking down is a wonderful example of that.  I have programmed myself to now see the silver lining to life events such as car breakdowns.  I was grateful that it happened when and where it did instead of when and where it could have.

I still experience some victim feelings about it, but I do not allow the victim feelings - or the shame and judgment of the disease - to define how I relate to this life event.  This means that I am not generating a bunch of negative feelings about the illusion that something bad has happened to me.  I don't allow the critical parent voice in my head to beat me up and/or create a lot of self righteous indignation (victim feelings) within me about how I deserve to be treated better by my Higher Power after all the work I have done - and all of the people that have been helped by my work.  I have done enough inner child work that my inner child no longer reacts from the wounded space of feeling like I am being punished because something is wrong with me - or I have done something wrong by not being perfect.

So my emotional response to such life events now as opposed to in the past, is like the difference between an earthquake that is a 3. on the Richter Scale - and causes a little shaking - to one that is like an 8. and feels like a threat to destroy my whole world.  We are talking major difference here. ;-)"

Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul Dance 11 June 2002
I had mentioned in some writing I did in May for my Future Publications page, that I felt some major, dramatic change was going to be taking place in my life this fall - and that it would change my life in a way that would severely limit my time to write.  Well, what happened is I found out about a dramatic change that is going to happen next year.  Next year my son is going to be coming to live with me.

For someone who has lived alone for all but 3 years in that last 3 decades, I think that becoming the primary, single parent to a 13 year old boy qualifies as a major, dramatic life change.  Another wonderful opportunity for growth - to practice patience, and acceptance, and surrendering to my Higher Power's plan.  ;-)

This is probably not going to happen until after the end of the school year - unless the Universe manifests a major chunk of money that makes it possible for me to make the transition by January.  When it happens, this change will severely limit my time to both do phone counseling and write.   Since all of my income comes through sales - of either the book and tapes, etc., or phone counseling - I have no guaranteed income.  It is all right for me to live day to day with no guarantee that I will be able to pay the rent - with no security other than faith in the process - by myself.  But with my son in my life I will need to consider getting some kind of job with some guaranteed income.

One of those more will be revealed things.  If I think about the details - finding the money to move to a bigger place and all the expense involved in that, feeding a voracious teenager, the complete restructuring of my life, losing time to write, etc., - it is very terrifying.  When I think about the responsibility of being a hands on parent, and trying to carve out a healthy relationship with him given both my history and his, I feel petrified.  Luckily I don't have to know how those details are going to work out today.  I get to practice letting go of the future while doing my best to plant any seeds I need to make the transition.

The fear flutters in my gut just writing that last paragraph. ;-)

They say that God made the world round so we can't see too far over the horizon.  The details about how those events over the horizon are going to work out are not my business today.  If I am putting all my energy into figuring out how I am going to cross the mountain way off in the distance, then I am liable to step into a hole that is directly in front of me on my path today.  (Could cause me to hurt my leg ;-)  I need to keep an eye on the horizon so that I can make any adjustments to my heading that I need to make - but most of my attention and energy needs to be focused on what is in front of me to do and experience in my life today.  I want to be present for my life today and be able to enjoy the scenery that is part of the texture of my journey today.  In my codependency, my fear and shame driven relationship with life caused me to be incapable of being present in the moment because I was focused on the future or the past.  One of the gifts of my recovery is the ability to be here today, to be available for moments of happiness and Joy no matter how many frightening unknowns are looming on the horizon - no matter how impossible it looks to me for me to ever get there.

I haven't reached a point in my journey from which it is possible to see the details of how this transition is going to unfold.  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.

"Worry - which is negative fantasizing - is a reaction to fear of the unknown which creates more fear, which creates more worry, which creates more fear, etc.  This fear is not a normal human fear of the unknown.  It is codependent fear:  a distorted, magnified, virulent, mutated species of fear caused by the poisonous combination of a false belief that being human is shameful with a polarized (black and white, right and wrong) perspective of life.  This self perpetuating, self destructive type of obsessive thinking feeds not only on fear, but on shaming ourselves for feeling the fear. 

The disease of codependency is a dysfunctional emotional defense system adapted by our egos to help us survive. The polarized perspective of life we were programmed with in early childhood, causes us to be afraid of making a mistake, of doing life "wrong."  At the core of our being, we feel unlovable and unworthy - because our parents felt unlovable and unworthy - and we spend great amounts of energy trying to keep our shameful defectiveness a secret.  We feel that, if we were perfect like we "should" be, we would not feel fear and confusion, and would have reached "happily ever after" by now.  So, we shame ourselves for feeling fear, which adds gasoline to the inferno of fear that is driving us.  The shame and fear that drive obsession becomes so painful and 'crazy making' that at some point we have to find some way to shut down our minds for a little while - drugs or alcohol or food or sleep or television, etc. 

It is a very dysfunctional, and sad, way to relate to life.  The fear we are empowering is about the future - the shame is about the past.  We are not capable of being in the now and enjoying life because we are caught up in trauma melodramas about things which have not yet happened - or wallowing in orgies of self recrimination about the past, which can not be changed.  Codependents do not really live life - we endure, we survive, we persevere."

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. 

So, I don't know how things are going to work out.  Maybe the book will finally hit the hundredth monkey and some big publisher will want to pay me a lot of money for the reprint rights.  There are some interesting developments in regard to The Dance.  A German translation of the book is in progress, and there has been some interest in a Spanish translation.  A distributor in South Africa has expressed interest in distributing it there.  No increase in income in the foreseeable future from any of these developments - but perhaps just the beginning of a groundswell. ??

One of those things that demonstrate my Higher Power's sense of humor occurred in late October, ten days or so before I made the commitment to take my son next year.  Someone sent me an e-mail asking me if I could do some writing specifically focused on parenting.  I replied that with all the writing projects I had on the agenda there would be no time in the foreseeable future to do that.  Hah.  Before 2003 is over, I have a feeling that parenting will be one of the topics I write about.  Kind of a psychic premonition you know, a little precognition. ;-)

More will, of course, be revealed.

Oh, and I want to mention also, that I added links in the right hand column above, to two articles that are helpful at this time of year with the Holidays approaching - one on Thanksgiving and one about why Holidays can be so difficult for us codependents.   My Holiday message to you is contained in these articles.

With Wishes of Joy, Love & Abundance to Me and You,

PS.  Speaking of the Holidays, I also added a special holiday link to Amazon.com on the New Page - and just decided to include it also at the bottom of this page.  Amazon.com is now offering all kinds of clothing and shoes, so that you can get most anything there.  They have holiday gift wrapping and free shipping offers and are one of the best places online to get gifts - and if you go there through one of the links on my site, I get a small percentage of any sale. ;-)

Which reminds me that I also added a link on the New page to Amazon.ca - the new Canadian version of Amazon.   I added links on the New page to Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Hazelden for the book Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.  It is a daily meditation book that every recovering codependent will find helpful.  If you think my book might be a little too radical for someone on your gift list, but still would like to plant some seeds of recovery, this book is a good choice.

It is not possible to buy my book through either Hazelden or the Canadian version of Amazon.  Hazelden because they carry their own publications primarily, and did not respond to a communication I sent them about carrying my book.  Amazon.ca because I cannot get listed with them without a Canadian Distributor.  The Canadian Distributors that I have contacted, or who contacted me, charge a fee in the range of $125 to $200 to carry a book.  That is something that I haven't had room in my budget for - one of the many things.

This is something I wrote in May of 2001 for that Future Publications page - the situation I describe here hasn't changed since then.

"For example:  More book stores would stock the book if it was carried by a national distributor (in US and elsewhere) - these charge $150 - $200 up front to stock a book;  In order to get it carried in British books stores it requires a United Kingdom ISBN number which costs about $150;  the distributor that I do have, New Leaf, offers me a free ad in its catalog - but it would cost over $100 to get the ad made up to specs;  getting the web site listed in Yahoo costs $199;  etc., etc.  Since I am happy at this point just to have enough money for rent each month, any one of these costs is beyond my means at this time.  (My distributor New Leaf is a national distributor, but they have a minimum order of $100 - so book stores cannot just order my book from them.  I have had two national distributors that went bankrupt, and another that dropped the book due to low sales several years ago before my web site got established.)"
When I say the situation hasn't changed since that writing in May 2001, I mean that I am still happy and grateful every month to pay my rent - and still not able to afford spending a couple of hundred dollars here and there for things that would actually generate more income.  The capitalistic dilemma - it takes money to make money.

This has been one of those wonderful opportunities for growth for me - letting go of expectations and accepting my path as it has unfolded.  Being able to sell the book in Canada, and Great Britain, and Australia, and so many other places, would really help spread the message and make the book available to so many more people.   My more recent musings on that Future Publications page about my wish that I could bring the audio version out on CD, and publish some e-books with collections of articles or future books, are wishes that I need to let go of, and opportunities to (this seems to be the chorus here ;-) to practice patience, and acceptance, and surrendering to my Higher Power's plan.

I have, in fact, found what seems to be a really good resource where I could publish both e-books available through the internet, and hard copies of books (either collections, or books crafted out of all the writing I have been doing for the last 4 years) on a print on demand basis, for a pretty reasonable price.

So, I need to do the footwork, gather information, plant seeds, and then let go of the outcome.  The paradox of recovery, take action to make my dreams come true and then let go of thinking that I am not going to be okay until they manifest.

"We are on a Journey - the point is to be present for the journey, not to reach a destination.

It is important to have goals because that gives us a direction - but then we need to let go of reaching that destination, at least in the way we picture it is going to be.

That is part of the paradox of recovery.  It is very important to know that it is Ok to have dreams, to affirm and visualize our dreams coming true, to take action and plant seeds to make them possible, to open up to receiving all of the abundance of the Universe - and then we need to let go of believing that we will not be Ok until, or if, those dreams come true.  We need to let go of the future and be present today.  And know that we are Unconditionally Loved today - and every day, rather we reach our goals or not."

Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update February 2000

Breakthrough Time

This PS is turning into a whole new chapter or something - but it is just so perfect.  I am crying as I write this.  My heart is so full of Joy and Love and Gratitude that it feels as if my chest will explode.  This writing is just such a fascinating, incredible adventure for me.  The thought to add the Amazon.com link led me to start writing this PS - which has led to kind of a review of the incredible journey I have been given the blessed opportunity to experience.  I am sobbing and crying with the Joy that is flowing through me.  I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

Writing the above about the little things I haven't been able to afford to do in promoting the book, led me to looking for a quote from a past Update about the perfection of my process.

"As I have talked about previously, I resist writing because I never know exactly where it will go once I start writing.  I certainly had no plans to write a new series of articles.  I have two series already that I haven't worked on since early in 2000 - Spirituality and Sexuality.  Because of some responses I got to writing about my resistance to writing in the March Update, I ended up doing a five part (6 page) series on The Recovery Process for inner child healing - finding emotional balance.  That series was of course perfect for what I was going through in my process at the time, but it wasn't something I had planned on writing.

This latest series was not at all planned either - at least by me.  This one grew out of my latest attempts to get some visibility on the internet so that people can find my site.  I decided to give up on getting listed in Yahoo, and because of some research I had done on search engines due to some contract work I was doing for a web designer for whom I was submitting web sites, I decided to try out a pay for ranking search engine.  Yahoo now charges $199 just for the privilege of getting them to look at your web site - with no guarantees that they will list it.  Many of the other search engines and directories have followed suit.  One of the fairly recent developments on the web is search engines that give ranking according to who bids the most for individual keywords.

I had actually had an account with this search engine goto.com for some months - but only had bids of a penny for the keywords I wanted.  (Keywords are the words that you put in a search engine to find what you are looking for, i.e. codependence, or inner child healing.  Unless your web site appears in the top 30 or so in the search for keywords, people won't find your site.  It is kind of like having a phone but nobody knows the number.)  I decided to go for the top rankings in some of the keywords.  Most of the keywords I wanted did not have very high bids on them.  The one that had the highest was Spirituality - and I got a ranking in the top 3 for $ .27.  Doesn't sound like much money, does it.  However, when there are thousands of searches for Spirituality every month, and I started getting hundreds of hits - I had to back off my bid for that search term because it was getting too expensive.

In any case, it turned out that I started using goto just at a time they were expanding and becoming one of the most important searches on the net.  Their top search results are now part of almost every other search engine - including AOL, Lycos, Alta Vista, etc., and all of the multiple search search engines.  So, I started getting a lot of hits for the search terms I had bids on.

One of the terms I had bid on, because I found I could get top ranking for $ .02, was Emotional Abuse.  I started getting a lot of hits for emotional abuse.  In December, for instance, I got 592 hits from goto on that term.  The problem, I realized, was that I had never specifically written about emotional abuse.  I mention it throughout my web site and in my book - but I had not written specifically on that topic.  And I realized that a lot of the people that were finding their way to my site for that term, were new to the concept of codependency.  So, I needed to write a page to meet the needs of the people who were desperate enough to have gone to the internet to search for information on emotional abuse.

Thus the article Emotional Abuse is Heart and Soul Mutilation which I posted in early December.  When I finished the page, I was aware that I wasn't finished.  I knew that writing about emotional abuse wasn't enough, that I also needed to write about what to do about emotional abuse.

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 the 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.

Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update - 1-17-2001
One of the fears that came up for me in relationship to the mind boggling details of how I could possibly cope financially with my son coming to live with me, was that I might have to stop utilizing the pay per click service I talk about in this quote.   That service - which used to be called goto.com - is now called Overture, and they are an even more important force on the internet than they were then.  It is the one marketing thing that I make room for in my budget.  At the cost of between $200 and $250 a month, I have been getting over 3,000 new visitors to my site every month.  They kind of give me the last laugh on Yahoo, because the search results that are listed first on their search page (sponsored listings) are now from Overture.  So, I get a lot of hits from Yahoo, even though I have never been able to get listed in their directory.

The thoughts of having my son live with me and the impact that would have on my time to do phone counseling and writing, was mind boggling to me.  I often spend 12 hours a day divided between the counseling and my writing.  Having him live with me will definitely cut down on my time to do the counseling (because I am sure not going to let him just sit and watch television while I am on the phone like I had to do this past May when he was here) which will impact my income - but more importantly to me, will greatly reduce my writing time.  The fear that came up about this was increased when I realized that one of the ways I might have to create income was to stop my  Overture advertising.  Since the above quote they have raised their minimum bid, but grand fathered in old clients - and if I ever stop the service for awhile I will have to give up maybe half the terms I have now.

So, this added fear on top of fear.  I also knew that if I need to do that I will.  I am willing to do whatever my path requires, willing to - as I said in my January Update this year - be homeless again, if that is what is in front of me.  Being homeless isn't really a viable option however with my son living with me.  Anyway, these are some of the fears that came up.

Pulling up that quote from my January 2001 Update led me to rereading the last paragraph of it - which had come to mind repeatedly while writing the online book I am writing now.  It is a perfect description for what is happening with this body of writing.  I am looking at facets and levels of the process - both the wounding and the recovery process - from perspectives that are a little different, and sometimes go a little deeper, than I have previously. 

It is also a reminder for me of how absolutely perfectly this writing and my healing process have unfolded in relationship to this web site over the past 4 years.  The Recovery Process for inner child healing - finding emotional balance series of articles followed the True Nature of Love series.  The True Nature of Love series is something I started writing in 1999 - shortly after I started my Joy2MeU Journal, and the personal journal I share in it.  I started writing both of those bodies of work while I was homeless - shortly after the end of My Adventure in Romance - Loving and losing successfully

The Emotional Honesty and Emotional Responsibility series led directly into the processing that I did about my fear of intimacy issues in the Newsletters of the May 2001 Update.  That processing led to a major breakthrough in my personal recovery process.

"One of the things that I am realizing in the processing that was set off by this latest breakthrough in my process, is that I seem to just now be reaching - on a personal level - the level of consciousness that my book was written out of.  It has been over 10 years now, since I wrote the core of what was to become Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls - over a period of 48 frenzied hours of writing, to be able to give a talk that I had scheduled months before."
Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update - August -2001
That breakthrough in consciousness on a personal level prepared me to take the risk of sharing my Truth and my beliefs with the world in a way that I had never envisioned putting my Truth out to the general public.  When the events of September 11, 2001 occurred, I almost immediately started writing and publishing Attack on America - A Spiritual Healing Perspective & Call for Higher Consciousness.  My decision in January of 2002 (Update January 2002 & 2 Newsletters) to move the bulk of that online book to the Joy2MeU Journal is what provided the spark for writing The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!

Are you seeing the pattern here?  And the thoughts (messages from my intuition) that caused me to write this PS, also caused me to look for something I remember writing about how learning to let go of the future has allowed me the freedom to be happy today no matter what my circumstances - even if I never had any money or another relationship or whatever.  I never did find the quote I was looking for - although I found something close to it on my Future Publications page.  In looking however, I came across this page from my Newsletter of November 1998 for my Joy to You & Me silcom site - something that I had written several months before Joy2MeU.com was born.  It was finding this quote and realizing the message the Universe was sending me today while I am writing this Update, that caused the explosion of Joy and Gratitude within me.  (This was also the Newsletter where I announced the publication of the articles for the Holidays - another coincidence.;-)

"Which brings me to what I wanted to talk about.  I am so incredibly grateful for this path I am on.  The miracle of the Twelve Step Recovery Program Spiritual Principles first saved my life when I was trying to kill myself - then saved my life again when my Codependence was close to killing me.  My Codependence Recovery then turned living from something which was miserable and unbearable for me into a Glorious Exciting Adventure.  I am so glad to be alive today - and have a life work that I passionately believe in, Love doing - and which brings me great Joy.  I am not sure how I am going to pay my rent next month, haven't had anything close to a Love relationship for several years, and have some health problems - but those don't matter today.  I am free to be Happy and Joyous in the moment for the majority of the moments of every day.

What I can see now is that my response to my car breaking down last month (Newsletter 10-25-98 below) broke me through to a whole new dimension of existence.  I have for years had a bumper sticker on my car that says Happy Joyous and Free - and I have had increasing tastes of what that means over the years - but now I am Truly living in a space where that is my reality most of the time.  I am Free to be Happy and Joyous in the moment most of the time because I am also free to be angry or sad or scared or hurt in the moment.  I am Free because I have let go of the "What ifs" and "If onlys" which are just my disease wanting me to feel deprived and victimized.  I am Free because I know in my heart and in my gut that I am Unconditionally Loved and I don't have to earn it.  I am Free because I know the future is not in my control - and I know that I am doing all of the seed planting and footwork that the Universe is prompting me to do.  I am Free to relax and enjoy life because the Spirit is guiding me.

Years ago I ran across a saying that I really liked and wanted to set as a goal - "Serenity is not Freedom from the Storm - Serenity is Peace Amidst the Storm."  I always thought that I had to stop the storm.  Now I can be serene and peaceful no matter what the storm brings - life events like car breakdowns, other peoples behavior which is just them dancing with their own wounds, apparent financial insecurity, that I am still doing some unhealthy behavior health wise, whatever - I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to have money, I don't have to be in a relationship, to be happy.  I am Truly Free in this moment and in most of the moments of my life for the last few weeks - this too will pass into something different at some point, but I know that once I have attained a new level, I will return to it often.  There is still going to be pain and fear and anger and hurt sometimes (a part of me just got real scared because the last time I felt something close to this good for a long period of time I got into a relationship - which was wonderful and very, very painful and a incredible gift package full of opportunities for growth - I guess if I can face burning at the stake and Heidi that I must be ready to deal with the old fear of intimacy issues again.)  Oh well, the adventure continues and keeps getting different.  I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

I guess it is pretty weird to be processing here on my computer and then sending it out for the world to read - but that is what I do.  The Truth is so powerful and wonderful and by doing the process work we get to start being allies with the Spirit where Love lives instead of with the disease where fear rules.  Fuck the fear I say - full speed ahead in the direction of Love.

I am doing the service at a Metaphysical New Thought church tomorrow and my topic is going to be Happy Joyous and Free."

Joy to You & Me Newsletter IV  -  Newsletter for November 22, 1998
I wrote the above on November 21st 1998.  The next day at that church service, I started the relationship with the woman who gave me the opportunity to see that my worst fears in a relationship could come true and I could be okay with it.  The reason I was okay with it, is because it is the first time I did a romantic relationship without my self worth being enmeshed with my emotional reactions - the very thing I talk about in Emotional Anorexia.

I am writing this on November 19th 2002.  And I am going to now repeat the affirmation that I wrote almost 4 years ago to the day.  What I am seeing clearly - and feeling in my gut - as I write this, is that my son coming to live with me is going to be an opportunity to learn about Love in ways that would probably not be possible in any other way. 

So, I once again reaffirm my commitment to being an ally with the Spirit where Love lives instead of with the disease where fear rules.  I Joyously, with tears running down my cheeks and sobs of Joy bubbling up my throat, proclaim and declare to you;  to the Universe;  to my Higher Power;  to The God-Force, Goddess Energy, Great Spirit, Holy Mother Source Energy;  to all that is blessed and holy; Fuck the fear I say - full speed ahead in the direction of Love.

I trumpet and broadcast proudly out into the Universe:  my commitment to my recovery journey;  to my Karmic mission;  to speaking my Truth;  and say: "Bring it on Bubba baby!"  Because it is so worth it!  Every second of suffering and pain, terror and loneliness, is worth being able to access the Truth of Unconditional Love.  Amen.  So be it.  So it is.  Blessed be.

Should be interesting to see what happens now, don't you think. ;-)

Broken hearts and broken dreams lead to fear of risking - graphic with two hearts with an arrow through them.
PSS.  This is so perfect, I just couldn't help including it.  When I reread what I had just written above, and saw the word trumpet, it brought to mind the Moose totem in the Medicine Cards.  I looked up from my computer at my calendar - and guess what the picture for November is:  Moose.  The theme of Moose medicine is self esteem - of course.

Here is a quote from the Medicine Card book about the significance of Moose:

"The bellow of the male Moose can be viewed as a positive force, since it represents his willingness to "tell the world" about his feelings.

This "tell the world" trait contains a joyfulness which only comes from a sense of accomplishment.  There is no greater joy than a job well done.  This trait is therefore not a seeking of approval, but rather an enjoyment of sharing because of the spontaneous explosion of joy that comes from the deepest part of one's being."

This process is soooooo awesome!!!
Go to Update February 2003
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

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Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney is copyright 1995.  Material on Joy2MeU web site (except where otherwise noted) is copyright 1996 thru 2009 by Robert Burney  PO Box 235401 Encinitas CA 92023.
Amazon.com has now added clothing and shoes to their product line .  400 brands including Eddie Bauer, The Gap, Spiegel, Lands' End, Foot Locker, Target, Marshall Field's, eLuxury, Guess, and OshKosh B'Gosh.  You can buy most everything there now - just in time for Christmas season.  If you go through one of these links I do get a small percentage - so can't hurt to look right? ;-)
The Medicine Card (This link and the one on the graphic will take you to the page it is offered on Amazon.com) have been a very valuable tool in my recovery process.  Although I don't have permission to quote this specific quote from the Medicine card book here -  Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls from: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, copyright 1988, Bear & Co.  Reprinted by permission Bear & Co., P.O. Box 2860, Santa Fe, NM 87504. (Since the book was published they have moved to P.O. Box 3876, Gettysburg, PA 17325) "I learned that I was not a frog who needed a princess to kiss me in order to turn into a prince - that I am a prince already, and just need to learn to accept that state of Grace, that princeness."

"This age is a time for growing and learning, a time to become conscious of the True nature of the Source Energy, a time of Spiritual Awakening.  We have been given the wonder-full gift of having the ability and the tools to start integrating the Truth of a Loving Universal Force into our day-to-day experience of life.  We now have the knowledge and guidance that we need to start bringing some balance to our relationships - with ourselves and our God/Goddess, with other people and the planet - so that we can live in a way that allows us to experience some Peace and Love on our life path.

We can heal our wounded souls enough to change the dance of life from a dance of endurance and suffering to a dance that celebrates living.  We now have access to the power to transform the dance of Codependence to a dance of healing and Joy."

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Dancing with Joy here. ;-)