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Spiritual Steps to Recovery

Here is a direct link to the counseling CEU class

~ Define spirituality
~ Explore why the following spiritual principles are important to recovery and how to develop them
~ Honesty
~ Hope
~ Faith
~ Courage and Willingness
~ Discipline
Define Spirituality
~ Spirituality can be thought of as:
~ Spontaneous joy and wonder and a sense of fascination, mystery, awe and delight at the universe.
~ Recognition of connectedness between all things.
~ Honesty builds trust
~ Dishonesty with self causes many people to
~ Deny or ignore their own needs, wants and feelings
~ Stop trusting their instincts
~ Dishonesty with others creates relationships based on false principles and destroys trust.
~ To please self
~ To please others
~ Activity:
~ How does dishonesty affect you, your relationships and your environment?
~ How does honesty affect you, your relationships and your environment?


Honesty With Yourself
~ Get honest about what you need want and feel through mindfulness
~ Activity: Keep track of these things 3 times a day for a week
~ What did you learn about yourself?
~ What do you need to start doing differently to meet your needs?
~ Get honest about the reasons you are not honest
~ Activity: Think of 3 times you were not honest with yourself and 3 times you were not honest with someone else
~ Why were you dishonest?
~ What past experiences made you think dishonesty was a better choice?
Honesty With Yourself
~ Eliminate excuses
~ Justifying your own behaviors
~ To yourself often avoids addressing the real issue
~ To others to elicit sympathy often also leads to a loss of respect and still avoids addressing the real issue
~ Justifying other’s behaviors
~ To yourself may minimize feelings of anger or anxiety but may cause you to miss signs of an unhealthy relationship
Honesty With Yourself
~ Eliminate excuses
~ Activity
~ Be mindful for a week of how often you make excuses
~ Why did you do it?
~ What would have happened if you were honest?
~ Is this based on facts or feelings?
~ How likely is this?
~ Is this prediction based on the present or past experiences with others?
~ How can you deal with rejection or someone getting mad if it happens?

~ Deal effectively with conflict
~ Avoidance of conflict can lead to ignoring your feelings and needs
~ Why do you avoid conflict?
~ Do you avoid conflict only with certain people?
~ What needs to change so you can effectively deal with conflict?
~ What would it look like to successfully resolve a conflict
~ Mentally rehearse this prior to the situation.
~ Deal effectively with conflict
~ Ineffectively dealing with conflict can take the form of:
~ Seeing only how you are right
~ Seeing only how the other person is wrong (ignoring their perspectives and feelings)
~ Activity
~ Think about situations in your life in which there is conflict.
~ What are your feelings and needs in the situation?
~ In what ways are you right?
~ What might the other person’s perspective be?
~ In what ways is the other person right?
~ How can you create a win-win?
~ Develop Self-Esteem
~ Many times fear of rejection or someone getting mad at you will keep you from being honest.
~ You: “It really disappointed me when you broke your promise.”
~ Fear of rejection—If I tell her this she will think I am being stupid or get mad at me.
~ Activity
~ Think about 3 times when you were not honest with someone for fear of rejection.
~ How likely is it that they would have rejected you?
~ How did it affect your relationship because you failed to address it?
~ How did it affect you and your self-esteem because you didn’t address it?
~ Develop Self-Esteem
~ A powerful internal critic may also keep you from being honest with yourself about your needs.
~ You: “I really need to take a break.”
~ Internal Critic: “You are so lazy.”
~ Fear of rejection: I am not lovable if I take a break
~ Identify your strengths
~ Stop trying to control the uncontrollable
~ Activity: Identify 3 things that caused you distress in the last week.
~ What parts were within your control?
~ What did you do well?
~ What could you have done differently?
~ What parts were out of your control?
~ How can you accept that?
~ Be mindful of yourself and your intentions
~ Give yourself permission
~ To have needs and wants
~ To make mistakes
~ Make a commitment to honesty, even when it is hard (Explore the benefits of honesty)
~ Think before you speak
~ Consider the long-term consequences
~ Make your actions match your words
~ Be consistent
~ Be open to feedback
~ Honesty about what you need may change if the information changes
~ I need to stay in this relationship or I will be alone forever.

Hope and Faith
~ Hope is the belief that things can (and will) get better.
~ The more strongly we believe in positive possibilities, the more hope there is
~ Lack of hope leads to lack of motivation. “What’s the point?”
~ Faith is the belief that:
~ If you do the right thing your hopes will be realized
~ Other people will do the right thing

~ Conduct a hope audit of your life.
~ What do you have to be grateful for in your health, work, relationships?
~ What have you done that has made a positive difference?
~ Identify 3 people who have encountered similar situations and it has worked out well.
~ Spend 20 minutes identifying all of the things you are currently hoping for.
~ Rank them in order of importance
~ Identify what you need to do to make them happen (if anything)

~ If worry is anxiety about what hasn’t happened yet, Hope is a belief that positive things will happen.
~ Think about three things that caused you anxiety over the past week
~ Instead of saying “I am worried that…” say “I hope that…”
~ How does that change your stress levels? Your outlook?
~ Practice mindfulness by identifying 3 positive things that happened each day

~ Identify things you feel discouraged or hopeless about.
~ What is the ideal resolution to the situation?
~ Relationships: Get along all the time and be completely in love
~ Opiates: Nobody is addicted to opiates anymore
~ Animals: All healthy animals have loving homes
~ What is a smaller, more manageable goal?
~ Relationships: Get along most days and have positive feelings
~ Opiates: Everyone who contacts me wanting help gets it, and the epidemic is slowed.
~ Animals: Save as many animals as I can and reduce overpopulation
~ Things you feel hopeless about…
~ What can you do to impact the situation?
~ Relationships: Be more mindful of myself, communicate effectively and honestly, make an effort to use his love language
~ Opiates: Make myself available in the community and on social networks to people wanting help, provide free, easily accessible prevention education
~ Animals: Foster, increase the number of fosters, educate about affordable S/N resources and benefits of adoption, assist in tending feral colonies.
~ What parts are out of your control?
~ How can you accept that
~ Develop a description of what you envision as a rich and meaningful life
~ State your goals in realistic terms.
~ Identify what you need to do to achieve that…
~ This week
~ This month
~ In the next 6 months
~ Monitor progress to see incremental changes & increase hope
~ Keep a log each day of your progress
~ Compare how you are doing this week with last week
~ Remember that a bad day is just that…a day…it doesn’t necessarily mean things aren’t changing.
~ Maintaining Hope
~ Set and prioritize clear and attainable goals.
~ Develop multiple strategies to reach those goals.
~ Stay motivated to use the strategies to attain the goals, even when the going gets tough.
~ Use failure as a learning experience
~ Reflect on times of success
~ Find meaning in what you do
~ Contribute value to the community
~ Invest in positive relationships

~ Courage means having the internal strength and belief that you can do things which may not be immediately rewarding or that are threatening/scary.
~ Activity
~ Reflect on what you have accomplished in the past
~ Identify your supports that can help you
~ Remind yourself that failure is always a learning opportunity
~ Willingness means being willing to actually do them.
~ Once you have the goal, the plan and the courage it is a matter of getting started.
~ Activity
~ What keeps you from getting started on tasks?
~ How can you increase your motivation?
Putting it Together
~ Get honest with yourself and others about your goals (Needs and wants for rich and meaningful life)
~ Develop hope by identifying the steps you can take to achieve your goals
~ Increase faith that you will be able to achieve your goals by reflecting on prior successes and getting feedback on your plan.
~ Muster the courage and willingness to get started
~ Regularly reflect on your actions and your progress to maintain hope and motivation

~ Honesty with self helps people
~ Be more aware of and effectively meet their needs and wants.
~ Identify roadblocks to achieving their goals
~ Honesty with others
~ Develops healthier relationships
~ Enhances trust
~ Dishonesty takes many forms including justifying, lying, or simply ignoring.
~ Many people who struggle with depression (hopelessness and helplessness) often also struggle with a lack of honesty, hope and faith.