I've been clutching onto Jody Shield's new book Life Tonic for the past few weeks taking it everywhere I go. It's in tatters, covered in my scrawl and pink highlighter. It's not getting old yet. In fact I've just bought it on audible. 8 hours and 8 minutes of pure healing. It really is the modern tool-kit to everything. I recommended to anyone (female or male) feeling overwhelmed, tired with life weighing you down and stuck on the same old repeating patterns. For me it goes back to the very core. You travel straight back to your childhood and start to understand why you do what you do in your adulthood with tools to change your patterns.
Extract from Life Tonic (Chapter: Masters of Avoidance)
We all have baggage from our past. It doesn't matter if your childhood was delightful and loving or utterly horrific: each one of us has experienced suffering in some way. It's part of the human experience. The question now is; what do we do about it?
The answer; we find a remedy. Of which, there are several different options available to us. However, the easiest option in life is to avoid the baggage one way or another, and most of us do this. It's easier than confronting the pain, so why wouldn't we?
We live in a fast-paced, workaholic society full of material possessions and chemical substances than can help us numb our pain. We have medicine to mask every kind of symptom, remedies to help us escape from everyday reality and, for a while at least, we can completely avoid our pain if we choose.
'We excel in avoidance. Dodging our baggage is much easier than facing it.'
Why? Because if we face our baggage, we have to confront our pain. And why on earth would we want to do that? The most effective avoidance is through addictions which offer a quick fix to plaster over pain from the past.
I bet you £50 that when I mentioned addiction, you immediately though of hard drugs and homeless people, completely discounting yourself in the process. But there are lots of different types of addiction; shopping (online or in shops), gambling, love, alcohol, drugs, computer games, social media. Addiction can be whatever is easily available to us, anything that offers us a short-term fix or temporary high.
The first step is to become aware, and bring the mindless numbing into the light.
Grab your notebook and do some free writing:
What might your addiction be?
How are you escaping yourself?
What can't you live without?
What are you doing that helps you cope with your hectic lifestyle?
How often do you have a 'blow-out?'
Be honest with yourself.
To buy Life Tonic as a paperback or audio click here.