I am Mal Duane, Life Recovery Coach and I am grateful I am an alcoholic (twenty-five years in recovery) because it made me the woman I am today. Not many women can say that. But really, I teach women how to love themselves and release the fear that imprisons them. You see I spent twenty-five years drowning myself in alcohol because I felt different, worthless and unlovable. I was living in a dark hole with not a shred of hope or willpower left in my body. On December 30, 1988, I was dreaming and planning how I could die and quietly disappear from the prison I had put myself in.
At first I thought I was a having a massiv, nervous breakdown when I heard a different voice in my head. The voice was soft, slow and every word so deliberate. “You can’t go now; you have a great life ahead of you. It will take much work on your part and many lessons to learn. Once you have mastered those lessons, you will need to go and teach others.” My eyes scanned the room slowly just to confirm what I already knew. There was no one else there.
That was the first day of the rest of my life. I had discovered a divine voice, an awareness within me which appeared when my heart was so broken open that finally the light could come in. The nasty little egoic voice of self-condemnation was temporarily gone. (Oh indeed it does come back.) I broke the chains that had imprisoned me for years in a constant state of fear.
Here is the big question-who are you listening to? As women we listen to everyone but ourselves. What we think about ourselves is a compilation of other people’s opinions or beliefs and our own negative judgments. Over time I was able to become an observer of my thoughts through daily meditation. I realized many of my perceptions were not true. I was not my “story” but in fact just played a leading role. The script could be rewritten at any time. The past had absolutely no bearing on who I was today. Once I accepted my story, I was no longer consumed with running from it. The nasty little voice (nicknamed Louise) still comes and goes but now I know how to effectively deal with it.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Are you so caught up with your past, imprisoned by fear that you can’t experience the joy of the present moment live authentically?
Then let’s start our work together at the beginning of the life recovery process.
1. Settle into a comfy place for 30 minutes where you will not be disturbed.
2. Have a journal and pen close by. If you don’t have a journal, get one today. It is one of the greatest tools for self- discovery. It will become your book of creation.
3. Without judgment, observe what you are thinking about yourself.
4. Write down your observations, read each one 2 or 3 times. Is it absolutely true or not true? Put a little T or F next to it.
As you review these so called beliefs, you will begin to realize most of them are not yours and that some of them you acquired from your angry parents, a critical teacher or maybe the kid next door that had a really “special” name for you. My nickname as a teenager was Malnutrition. The true vision of you becomes so clouded over from the debris of life. Your job is to wipe the lenses clean. Once you begin to identify some of the baggage that you are carrying around in your head, then you can start to think about leaving it behind. In future lessons we will discuss this.
Try doing this exercise over the next several days. I would love to hear from you how you do with this exercise and any a-ha moments you may have.
Live Faithfully, Mal