Most of you who have been reading here or read the book know that I suggest (strongly) mindfulness meditation. I first came upon this technique at a Stephen and Ondrea Levine weekend conference and it made a huge difference in my life.
I highly recommend whatever Levine CDs or MP3s you can get your hands on. They are fantastic. Their teachings are steeped in Eastern philosophy and the mindfulness is not original to them, but so effective. SO SO effective. I urge everyone to explore mindfulness meditation at some point in their process. It’s so healing
The Levine grief writings and audio have healed me in so many ways, so many times (I downloaded the grief one after Michael died and found that it was the same conference that I had been to so many years ago and fell asleep to the grief meditation every single night for well over a month. Very healing). Stephen and Ondrea are both in poor health and no longer teach and I consider it a privilege to have attended their conference and workshops many years ago. They are truly gifted teachers and made a HUGE difference in my life. My private coaching clients have almost all read his books at my suggestion and also practice meditation. Don’t pre-judge meditation as some hippie crap thing. It’s an extraordinary way to center yourself and calm you in the rest of your life.
Anyway, yesterday I was reading these articles on someone named Alan Marlatt who used mindful meditation to help alcoholics and drug addicts not relapse. This is not a new concept as I used this at an alcohol and drug treatment center when I was just an intern, but this person has sort of made this his niche, which is good. The 11th step of the 12 Steps is “sought through prayer and meditation” but most recovering people have NO idea how to do the meditation. Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, said that AA is “a spiritual kindergarten” (in As Bill Sees It) and that everyone needs to find what works for them in achieving a spiritual life (an implicit nod to outside resources). But many recovering people are hesitant to go outside the framework of the 12 steps, which is probably good in the first year or so. But meditation IS in the framework of the 12 steps but most of the literature does not cover HOW to meditate, so it’s good to go find out how to do it if you are recovering from substance abuse.
But I digress. I have likened the urge to contact your ex to an alcohol or drug (esp nicotine) addiction. I suggest meditation and visualization here and in the book. It helped me greatly in not just fighting destructive urges but also being calm and centered in general. In today’s “can’t go one minute without contacting someone” I think that meditation, uninterrupted, is a MUST at least once a week, better if you can do it once a day and any time you have an urge to contact.
So, when I first read these articles on this person I thought, “Oh duh.” But then I reigned in my snarky judgmental side and really started to read about what he is doing and I think it’s great and aligns perfectly with what I teach and what I have been taught.
So I am providing a link to his technique on how to “urge surf” which I think will work WONDERS for NC. The article is really for counselors and therapists but I think it teaches the technique well. Also if you do get the Levine meditations you will see that it aligns perfectly with this technique (or this technique aligns perfectly with their teaching). I also suggest you explore, on your own, mindfulness meditation and urge surfing. Find the articles/techniques that speak to you.
Enjoy and keep building that meditation practice. It’s important!