Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Stop. Right. There.

 

Bring to mind something that evoked a feeling of gratitude in you today. Was it your breakfast? Your pet? Your partner?

 

Now bring to mind something that struck a painful nerve, a nerve of distress. What caused that pain? What feelings are associated with that pain? Are they feelings of anxiousness? Feelings of stress? Feelings of regret?

 

Now go back to the feeling of gratitude.

 

All about Porn Addiction Recovery: Highlights from My Most Recent Reddit AMA

healing from shameI often visit forums on Reddit about recovering from porn addiction. Occasionally, I’ve done AMAs as a porn addiction therapist and answered all kinds of questions about porn addiction recovery.

 

In the past, I’ve written a bit about these AMAs on the blog as I really enjoy them. You can check out my previous posts here and here.

 

On Sunday, I spent some time in one of these forums doing another AMA. I liked that I could be helpful to so many people, and we had some really great discussions. I thought I’d share the highlights with you here.

 

Are you ready? Let’s jump in.

What is Your Reset Button?

what is your reset button?What is your reset button? 

 

You know – that one thing you can reliably turn to when you’re feeling off, and you know it will give a much needed mental shift or change in perspective? 

 

As I was hiking some trails near Point Mugu the other weekend, I was reminded just how much of a reset button nature is for me. Something about the smells, the views, the sounds…they allow me to see the bigger picture of life and help me to momentarily forget about my worries and to-do lists.

 

Who couldn’t use a momentary reprieve from their problems and anxiety these days?

Why Do People Cheat? Exploring the Reasons Why Partners Have Affairs

why do people cheatInfidelity has been around since the birth of monogamy. But there’s often great confusion about why people cheat on their partners.

 

Partners I speak with who have cheated, struggling to understand their actions, wonder why they did so. Betrayed partners wish to understand how the affair happened so that they can be sure they’re never hurt again.

 

In the best case scenario in which both partners want to reconcile and save their relationship, coming to a mutual understanding of why the cheating occurred is crucial to healing.

 

Still, betrayal hurts. Badly. Understanding any experience that we have had can, in time, make that experience more bearable. That includes affairs.

 

So why do people cheat?

What is a Nice Guy? Nice Guys and Addictions (Part 2 of 2)

nice guys and addictionsIf you didn’t catch my previous post, you might be wondering, “What’s a ‘nice guy’? A “Nice Guy,” according to Dr. Robert Glover as he writes in his book No More Mr. Nice Guy, is a man who seeks the approval of others so that he can feel okay about himself. Nice Guys tend to believe that if they do everything just right, if they’re good and caring toward others, they’ll be happy, get their needs met, and live a problem-free life.

 

But as we discussed in the post, it doesn’t work out that way. In fact, nice guys tend to have a lot of problems. They have problems in their relationships, with sex, setting boundaries, taking care of themselves, and very often, with some form of compulsive behavior or addiction.

 

Why do nice guys and addictions go together like peanut butter and jelly? If you’re a nice guy, understanding the relationship between your nice guy tendencies and your addictive behavior can really help you get to “the root” of your addiction.

 

So let’s dive in.

Demystifying the Power of Porn

demystifying the power of pornHave you ever wondered why porn seems so powerful? Has this power left you feeling helpless, lost, and confused? Keep reading to begin demystifying the power of porn.

 

If your answer is yes to one or both of the above questions I can assure you that you are not alone.

 

In many ways the “power” of porn feels like this big entity out in the world that many, including you and I, are vulnerable to just fall prey to. I know I certainly used to feel this way about porn, that somehow I needed to escape the force of what felt like an emotional, spiritual, and mental gravitational pull toward momentary pleasure followed by one hundred times the emotional and relational pain it would surely cause in my life.

 

The Power of Your Breath

The Power of Your Breath

Let’s start with a riddle. 

 

What is free, has life-sustaining powers, and is happening within your body at this very moment (likely without you even being aware of it)? 

 

You guessed it…the breath! 

 

The power of your breath to help regulate your mind and body is ever-present, but it is a tool most of us do not take full advantage of. Whether you are dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, or a myriad of other concerns, you can use your breath as a free and easy tool to help yourself heal. 

What I Realized about How We Change by Going Rock Climbing

how we change

I definitely did not look like this guy yesterday. But I had great fun and enjoyed being with other climbers.

Right around St. Patrick’s Day this year, I was preparing to return to rock climbing, a favorite pastime in college. I dug out my climbing shoes and dusted off my harness. I double-checked my belay device (and that I still knew how to use it). I scrolled through the Ventura climbing gym’s hours and planned my visit.

 

And then the world shut down.

 

I’d not climbed in about 17 years. Even though I was long overdue, I figured I could wait a little longer.

 

Last week, Ventura County moved into California’s Red Tier classification for managing the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant that the local gym could reopen.

 

So yesterday, I booked my two-hour, socially-distanced slot and climbed for two hours. I realized two things:

  1. I’m definitely not 22 anymore, and
  2. The secret to being a good climber is being able to visualize your moves before you do them, which is a lot like how we change our behavior.

What Is a Nice Guy? Nice Guys and Addictions (Part 1 of 2)

what is a nice guy

Nice Guys repress their feelings and needs for the sake of others. It’s a recipe for resentment. Nice couch, though, right?

I’m writing this in the Seattle-Tacoma airport very early in the morning, preparing to board a plane to return home to the Los Angeles area. This past weekend, I participated in a professional certification workshop with Dr. Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy.

 

It was a wonderful experience. I can’t wait to do another training with him.

 

When I first read the book a few months ago, I knew that I had to do some training with him. Why?

 

In writing about “nice guys,” Dr. Glover understands well the toxic shame that many addicts, especially sex and porn addicts, struggle with on a daily basis. Many of my clients have told me that they resonate strongly with his book.

 

But what is a “nice guy”? It’s worthwhile understanding what a “nice guy” is, what they’re like, and why they’re vulnerable to addictions. Especially sexual addictions.

Can Guilt be Good? Guilt vs. Shame in Overcoming Porn Addiction

Can Guilt be Good?I grew up camping near King’s Canyon just outside of a small mountain town called Camp Nelson. My family has been camping there since my great grandmother was a little girl. The campground is filled with pine, sequoia, and other varieties of redwood trees, many of which seem to stretch over one hundred feet tall. There are two streams that meander through various campsites and eventually merge at a swimming hole near the western edge of the campground. 

 

Just beyond that swimming hole is a magical stretch of forest where thousands of ladybugs scatter the rock walls during mating season. More sequoias tower over the cliffs, some which have given way to the harsh elements of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, only to make convenient bridges and beautiful water features in the streams below.

 

My cousins and I used to follow the stream in that direction to fish and we would dream about following the stream as far as it would allow us one day. One year when we were camping we realized we had reached an age at which we actually could follow the stream as far as it would allow us, and so we did.