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How To Overcome Your Addiction In 2 Steps

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

How To Overcome Your Addiction In 2 Steps

A Simple Mantra That Really Works
Gabrielle  Bernstein
Gabrielle Bernstein More by this author
May 23, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Editor's Note: In the 2016 Hay House World Summit, Gabby Bernstein talks about why she recently started meditating more and drinking less coffee, before moving on to the broader subject of what it means to be on a spiritual path, including how to bring peace with you and consciously choose to live in the moment. Below is an excerpt or listen to the full interview here. until May 26th, 2016.

I recently had a meltdown. It was a good one. I broke down to break through, and it was beautiful. I realized that I had been chasing my life for the last decade, and while I considered myself someone who is very deeply connected spiritually and deeply committed to my path and deeply committed to meditation, it would constantly be a balancing act.

I was sort of in this space of go, go,go, go, sit, sit, sit , sit, go, go, go, go, sit, sit, sit, sit, and it was a yo-yo. And so, I think I had accepted that that was who I was.

It’s December and I'm crying in a hotel room, and saying to my husband “I have to stop chasing my life.”

So I made a commitment to myself to not chase life and not be a yo-yo with my serenity, but to have a goal of living moment to moment with more ease.

I amped up my meditations from 20 minutes to 30 minutes, beginning the day, really, not eating anything. I’ll wake up, I’ll go pee, wash my face and brush my teeth and then I go up and meditate, and that’s the routine, that’s the honest-to-God routine. 

There’s something about listening to mantra and sitting, and I’ll sit on a BioMat, just detox, and meditate for half an hour. And I can’t begin to tell you how much better I felt. 

I decided as a part of my spiritual path to give up caffeine, that was 19 days ago now.

I am a recovering addict, been sober for 10 years, and so, I liked the high that I would get from a little caffeine. The good news is, is I wasn’t overly indulging, just because my constitution probably couldn’t handle it. But even that one cup a day, when it was in the morning, it would just kind of trigger me, and send me into this weird space all day long that I’d constantly have to come down from.

So I made a commitment to get off of it, not just for physical reasons and health reasons but also for grounding reasons. And I feel it’s really enhanced my spiritual life, because let's face it, it’s a drug.

I dig coffee, I love it. I’m not going to lie to you.

I love coffee so much. I’m sad. But what can we do?

When I gave up drugs and alcohol, I made a commitment to give it up for good, of course. Sugar I’ve given up for good. Caffeine, I don’t know. I’ve got a goal right now of six months because of some physical things that I want to remediate as a result of reducing caffeine.

But I think that it would be my intention and my hope. But I’m really experiencing what a lot of addicts experience early in recovery, which is sort of like, I can’t think that far ahead, and so I have to keep it in the day. 

When I first got sober, I was really excited to say, “I’m done, I’m done, I’m done,” because I was just so beat up from it, whereas with the caffeine, I didn’t have such a low bottom here. I let go of the caffeine but I'm still in love with the coffee, so I got to keep it in the day and just take it one day at a time.

The definition of addiction would be, is your life unmanageable and are you powerless without the substance or technology or work—whatever it is—are you powerless over the addiction?

So, for instance, if you can’t wake up every day without checking your phone for your e-mails, then you’re powerless. That’s powerlessness. You go into any restaurant nowadays and you look around, and you see how many people are on their phones.

2 Simple Steps To Let It Go

Step 1:

First and foremost, you have to want it. The only way to clean up your act is to want to clean up your act. I remember two years ago, I was toasting a coffee cup with a girlfriend of mine, and I said “Let’s do it. We’re giving up our coffee,” and the next day, I had a coffee. I didn’t want it enough.

If you’re not willing to put down that drink, then you won’t.

So, the first step is to really, really want it. Also, the first step is admitting your powerlessness, admitting that your life is unmanageable, admitting that you’re powerless over the substance or the person or whatever it is, and looking at it
closely and asking yourself, “How is my life unmanageable? How am I powerless? How is this wreaking havoc in every corner?” Getting honest is step one for any change that you want to make in your life.

Step 2:

The next step is really just being willing to change. Just that slight willingness can create a radical change in your life. Willingness could lead someone to listen to my World Summit interview right now. Someone might be listening right now and thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know that I was addicted, but maybe I am. And how did I get here?” It was because a week ago, they said, “I think I need help,” and somehow, they landed on this audio, right? 

It’s beautiful how that willingness is like a silent prayer that sends a message to the universe that you’re ready for change, and all the guidance around you gives you the support to get you to the nice, beautiful change and guides and teachers that you will resonate with most.

Someone may hit that rock bottom, know they need a change, be willing to make a change, but they don’t know where to turn. 

This is the prayer that got me sober, it's the simplest prayer really, just “There has to be a better way.”

It comes before “Help me”— because some people may not believe in a power greater than themselves early in an addiction, so it's just opening up to the thought, the capacity within themselves to
even slightly believe that there is a better way.

Listen to the full hour interview with Gabby and Kristen Noel for free here until May 26th, 2016.


About Author
Gabrielle  Bernstein
Gabrielle Bernstein has been labeled by the New York Times as the next-generation guru. A motivational speaker, life coach, and author, she is expanding the lexicon for the seekers of today and tomorrow. Continue reading