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Fun Ways to ROCK Your Sober Halloween Party

Hey everyone – we have another awesome guest post from Constance at Recoverywell.org

Fun Ways to Rock Your Sober Halloween Party

 

Photo via Pixabay

 

Halloween is right around the corner, marking the first end-of-the-year holiday that millions of people across the country celebrate, with jack-o-lanterns, loads of candy, and an astonishing variety of spooky events to host and attend. However, for people in addiction recovery, particularly those who are freshly sober, it can be hard to figure out how to spend the holiday without succumbing to temptation.

 

The truth is, as many long-time sober addicts who still love to throw a festive party will tell you, celebrating without alcohol or drugs can significantly enhance your experience of Halloween, rather than make you feel like you don’t fit into the costumed holiday scene. Yes, alcohol doesn’t have to be part of the picture. And you really can throw a sober and fun Halloween bash of your own.

 

Here are five games to consider when hosting a sober Halloween party, for a howlingly good time:

 

  1. Pumpkin Carving Contest

 

Pumpkin-carving is one of the ultimate Halloween traditions. For your alcohol-free party, buy a load of small-sized pumpkins that guests can comfortably take home with them, and set out carving knives and small festive candles on a large table ready with bowls at the ready for pumpkin guts. Have your guests carve their own Halloween-themed designs, and at the end of the evening, give out prizes for the most impressive creation. Like decorating the Christmas tree or dyeing Easter eggs, no Halloween party is complete without a nod to traditional pumpkin carving.

 

  1. Costume Contest

 

It’s the time of year when you can dress up as anyone or anything you want, and some people take the task seriously. Why not invite your friends who are dedicated costume dressers and everyone else who “dabbles” in the art to come all dressed up to the party? Sponsor a costume contest to motivate the shy and bashful to go for the ultimate prize. You can have guests nominate the best costume, collect the votes, and give out prizes to the winners. To vary up the awarding segment of your party, give out prizes for most creative costume, scariest costume, best couples costume, and so on.

 

  1. Host A Murder Mystery Dinner

 

This one is for those who want a small, more intimate kind of party. The idea here, which will require a lot of planning – be forewarned – is to conduct a murder mystery dinner. Basically, each new guest that arrives is assigned a role, and throughout the dinner, players must guess who is the killer and who is secretly the victim. Variations include a Clue kind of theme to a Pretty Little Liars set up.

 

  1. Have Everyone Tell Scary Stories

 

A familiar pastime during Halloween of years past when you were a kid, was to swap scary stories while passing around the flashlight in your friend’s basement. Such stories probably scared the daylights out of you then, which can be fun to do to others. A tradition that spans centuries, swapping ghost stories is a terrific way to generate laughs and spine-tingling reactions, while entertaining guests all around.

 

The Takeaway

 

Putting yourself out there to throw an alcohol-free Halloween bash at your home takes a bit of courage when recovery leaves you feeling sensitive to the connection in your mind between partying and consuming alcohol. However, by inviting supportive friends and people who live a 100% healthy lifestyle and don’t imbibe at all, you’re giving yourself permission to try out a new kind of festive form of celebrating without dangerous substances present.

Though different, and only if the party is organized right, you should find it comparatively fun to the alcohol-laden parties of your past. If anything, congratulate yourself on trying something new and exercising that festive side of yourself.

 

The Power of Positivity: Amy’s Story

Today’s guest post is by Constance Ray of RecoveryWell.org

“I’m so grateful to be set free from living a fear-driven life and carrying the burdens of that fear and worry. I am so thankful that I am happy the majority of the time today.” – Annette, Sobriety Advocate

Depression and addiction are serious illnesses that affect millions of people — and sometimes, they work together to make someone’s life completely

Photo credit: Pixabay

unbearable. And while it’s important to receive treatment for these conditions, whether on their own or as co-occurring disorders, the power of positive thinking can go a long way in helping people find their way back from despair. Amy, a brave addiction warrior, is proof that dancing in the rain is an effective first step in making a positive and permanent life change.

 

***

 

Amy started struggling with mental health issues when she was just a little girl.

 

“From a young age, I started having panic attacks,” she said. “I was in and out of the doctors’ offices, and eventually diagnosed with depression and panic disorder.”

 

Though her parents worked hard to get her the help she needed, she still suffered some dark times during her adolescence.

 

“I experienced quite a bit of childhood trauma growing up. My parents divorced when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and that’s around the time I started drinking. It was also around that time I started having suicidal thoughts.”

 

She continued, “By the time I was 16, I was experiencing constant panic attacks and was unable to breathe and unable to cope. I was drinking, but hadn’t started using drugs yet. I was kicked out of my mom’s house, and instead of going to live with my dad, I moved in with drug dealers.”

 

When she was 18, she underwent open-heart surgery to treat a life-threatening medical condition.

 

“I was so excited to have the surgery because I thought it was really going to help me — so I could breathe normally, be better at sports, and have less anxiety,” she remembered.

 

Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way she hoped.

 

“What no one had told me was that surgery can significantly worsen depression,” she explained. “I couldn’t do the things I normally did to cope with it, like sports or driving. By the time I left the hospital, I was severely addicted to morphine. Everything went quickly downhill after my open-heart surgery, and I turned to pain medication.”

 

Amy continued to try to live a normal life — at that point, she didn’t yet realize that she was addicted. She moved from Chicago to New Orleans for college and completed her freshman year. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep the momentum going, and soon found herself homeless on the streets of New Orleans.

 

“During that time, I experienced more trauma. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Things got really bad. I was down to about 80 pounds, and I crossed just about every line I had ever established in my life,” she said.

 

She was in and out of counseling, but it wasn’t until a friend connected her with a man who worked in an outpatient treatment program that she got the help she really needed — including the power of positive thinking.

 

She said, “That man, his wife and his family came to meet me on a 12-step call, and I went to a meeting with them. Immediately afterwards, I went out drinking; but the next day, [which was] Mardi Gras when I was 21 years old, I got a sponsor.

 

“Before I went to to that meeting, for the first time in my life, I actually wanted to live,” she continued. “While I was there, I saw people who were truly happy. The family that took me to that meeting — they saved my life. I felt a sense of community I had never experienced.”

 

Now, with over three and a half years of sobriety under her belt, Amy works tirelessly to ensure that others who are struggling the way she once did practice positivity and other body- and mind-healthy habits in their everyday lives.

 

“I am now the regional coordinator for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network … I bring public education to topics like suicide, substance abuse and mental illness,” she beamed.

 

She shares her story whenever she can in order to help others.

 

She noted, “I realized I couldn’t do what I was doing for a living without expressing myself and my story. Part of my self-care today involves having people around me who are aware of my past and what I’m doing. When I speak with groups, I start up conversations about mental illness, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.”

 

Although Amy worked for years to achieve everything she has accomplished today, she couldn’t truly battle her demons until she committed to having a changed perspective — one that allowed her to view things in a positive way.

 

“The first step is to want it — to really want it. I wish that wasn’t always the case, but it is.”

 

If you are struggling with a mental health condition like addiction, depression or anxiety, know that there is always help available for you. You can overcome any obstacle life throws at you — but as Amy proves, you have to want it, and embrace your strength with hope and positivity.

 

As she said, “It’s so important to have … a willingness to keep walking. No matter how small the step, keep moving forward. It’s all about daily action.”

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Gratitude

Today’s guest post is by Luke Goodwin

 

GRATITUDE

 

For me, this is one of the most powerful things that can influence every single area of your life and something that has completely transformed my way of thinking and also the way I conduct myself.

 

Each day, I utilise something called ‘The Miracle Morning’ and within this I have added in an exercise called ‘priming’ by the one and only Tony Robbins. Priming is something that has completely opened my mind, allows me to channel my thoughts, create energy and positivity. While I am doing this priming exercise, which lasts for 14 minutes, there is a part of it that focuses on gratitude, and I cannot put a measurement on how much this has affected me. I didn’t drastically notice immediate changes, but they were happening daily, just really small minor changes in my thinking, but over time, when I look back at my journal entries and how I used to conduct myself, I have realised how much, just spending a small amount of time being grateful, has impacted my life. It allows you to see yourself, other people and the world in a completely different light. It allows you to see solutions and not problems, it allows you to see obstacles as a way of improving not failing and it allows you to enjoy life, complain less, and be positive.

 

I used to be one of those people that would moan about 5 minutes of traffic, moan that someone didn’t arrive on time, moan about a lot of things, and I wondered why my life wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to go in, and that was due to my thought process and way of thinking. I was very negative, thought I was unlucky, and made bad decisions. Now all of those have completely flipped. I now think positively, generate amazing results, think clearly, work efficiently and have so much more energy.

 

I urge everyone, to practice being grateful, because then it will become an automatic process in your mind. Imagine this, if you are genuinely grateful to have a family, kids, partner, job, LIFE, do you think you would complain about half of the things you currently complain about? Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, I still huff and puff now and again, but this has dramatically reduced since taking the time out to be grateful. I used to allow myself to get wound up when my kids misbehaved, which occasionally I still do, after all, we are human. But when I spent every single day being grateful that I am able to be a father, getting wound up over silly things reduced. I used to allow myself to let setbacks and obstacles completely swallow and drown me, and change my thinking into negativity, but when I spent every day being grateful that I have a life, and being grateful that I can even experience these challenges because they are developing my attributes and personality, I now see setbacks and obstacles as strengthening by character and giving me room for improvement. I used to moan that I had a bad day in business, and that I didn’t earn enough money, but when I spent each day feeling grateful for the fact that I am self employed and don’t have to commute, answer to a boss or line someone else’s pockets, it made me see those bad days as development. I am not criticising anyone that is employed here, I am merely stating the fact that for me, those were fundamental reasons why I made the decision to be an entrepreneur.

 

Each day, I would recommend taking time out to practice being grateful, it WILL transform your life. You could try the Tony Robbins priming exercise like I do, if not, simply take 5 minutes out of your day, go somewhere quiet with no distractions and completely zone in on what you are grateful for. This does take practice, and it takes commitment and consistency, it doesn’t happen overnight. For me, at first, I allowed other thoughts to enter my head whilst I was thinking about what I am grateful for, and my mind wondered, but over time, I became better and better and now I can completely zone in and be focus 100% on being grateful. When you do spend time being grateful, don’t worry about what you are thinking about, it could be something huge or it could be something really small, what matters is, how does it make you feel? Sometimes, I think about holding my little boy’s hand when I drop him off at nursery, or cuddling my daughter when I get back from the gym, but for me, it makes me smile when I think about these things. Now, I have spent so much time being grateful for things, I can think about broader things such as being grateful for having a life, and that the possibility for me even existing is so small, I am very very fortunate to even be here, living on this earth today. I sometimes imagine myself hovering above the earth, looking down on it and being blown away at how stunning it looks, and that underneath the atmosphere, are so many amazing miracles to be cherished. That somewhere on that earth is me, living an life. I am extremely grateful for that.

 

I wanted to keep this fairly short, because I think sometimes, things can be over complicated when it doesn’t need to be, and ultimately being grateful is a very simple thing in essence, but it does need to be done consistently in order for it to influence your life. I would love for people to read this, take my advice and get in touch with me and let me know how it has influenced you, no matter how big or small. I take great joy in providing content and value to people, and if it only affects one person, it genuinely makes me happy.

 

Feel free to link up with me on Facebook, I would love to hear your feedback.

 

https://www.facebook.com/luke.goodwin.142

You are the Greatest Treasure

You are The Greatest Treasure.

by Jafree Ozwald

Even after you have received all the fame, fortune and glory that you have been seeking for lifetimes, this ego may still
try to continue its habitual search for more, more, more!
Why are you still looking for riches outside yourself  when you  are the greatest goldmine in the entire Universe!

Yes, you are…

So embrace this wonderful sacred truth and allow yourself to discover the greatest treasure is not outside of your body, it is already within you.

Keep digging deep into the core essence of ,  and very very soon you will strike it rich!
Click Here to Become a Super Manifesting Magnet Now!

An Enlightened Message for Your Soul

You can choose to be happy right now.

by Jafree Ozwald

No matter if you are super rich or dirt poor,
forever young or old as the Sun,
happiness is ALWAYS a choice you can
make and a chance you can take, right now!

Make up your mind today to explore
what being happy FEELS like.
Just as an experiment to prove to yourself
that you can simply choose it as an experience.

When you feel the good vibration
you empower yourself with this awesome self loving paradigm.
You can see it is tons easier to manifest anything you want,
need and desire in life, no matter what happens
or does not happen in your outer world.

Your life is designed to be a super rich and
enlightening journey overflowing with jubilation!
Today is your day to explore your your natural ability
to make choices which catapult you instantly into living a life of bliss!

Click Here to Become a Super Manifesting Magnet Now!

 

 

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What Follows YOUR I Am?

I just read an amazing article at YourTango.com – here is a brief snippit of it and a link to the complete article – it’s really good, I suggest you check it out, and more importantly – change your I Am statements.

by RJ Banks

It’s all about the law of attraction.

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

“I’m so broke.”

“I’m so tired.”

“I’m so stupid,”

And the list goes on…

Whether you know it or not, or like it or not, you’re reciting affirmations for your subconscious mind to program your beliefs about yourself and your life. Unfortunately, negative affirmations are just as effective in our lives as positive affirmations…….  Continue reading HERE

Become a Super Manifestor

Are you ready to stop working sooooo hard to pay your bills
each month and learn how to manifest true financial freedom in your life?

My friend Jafree, founder and creator of the Enlightened Beings web portal
has discovered the the proven steps and secrets for manifesting
supermanifestoranything and everything that you desire.

He has put together an online Super Manifesting Program
that is 100% guaranteed to dramatically improve your
manifesting abilities in 90 days or less!

Already there have been tens of thousands of people from 65+ countries
around the world who have experienced Extraordinary Real Life Results
simply from following his simple manifesting technology.

It truly is amazing and works every time with everyone who does it.
We know you’ll be joyfully surprised with the many positive results you’ll receive…

Click Here to Instantly Download Everything INSIDE Jafree’s Super Manifesting Program Now!

Enjoy the journey!

A Special Offer from Lissa Coffey

Hey everyone, I wanted to share a really generous offer from my friend Lissa Coffey

Do you look into the mirror and wish you could see a more appealing version of you?
Have you ever wanted to be that dynamic personality whose very presence radiates positivity and attracts more love and respect?
Do you feel you’ve lost the connection with your partner in daily bickering and the sense of ‘not being understood’?
Do you feel that at the end of the day, you are so drained out and stressed, that you have no energy or space in your life for yourself?
Do you want to drain away the rest of your life like that too?

Are you seriously still thinking about the ideal life that you should be living?
Stop thinking now and do something about it!

Whoever made you think that a healthy, perfect, happy life, full of positivity is difficult, probably wasn’t lucky enough to come across the right way to get out of his own problems!

NO- heavy exercise regime
NO- crash diets
NO- pills/artificial stimulants
NO- medication/complex procedures
NO- Difficult to reach ‘Ashrams’ or expensive Spa Centers
NO- Extra Expense, in fact, it will help you reduce unnecessary and even damaging expenditure on the wrong kind of foods, diet plans and medical bills!

YES- the correct exercise that will work particularly for you
YES-perfectly balanced diet to suit the nature of your body specifically
YES-guide to consuming the foods right for you that would help your individual system naturally
YES-easy everyday practices to follow which will bring your life in order
YES-no-expense relief and benefits from the comfort of your home

How on earth is it possible?!
Find out here!

Wishing you holistic health and happiness,
Lissa Coffey,
Author, Ayurveda Expert, Lifestyle & Relationship Expert, Certified Chopra Centre Instructor, Corporate Spokesperson

 

PS: NO CRASH DIET PLANS, NOT MEDICATION, NOT MERELY A GUIDE BOOK! IN FACT IT IS NOTHING LIKE YOU HAVE EVER SEEN BEFORE! CHECK OUT THIS UNIQUE GAMUT OF BENEFITS FOR YOURSELF HERE!

Don’t Worry Be Happy

by Chris Cade

 

Easier said than done, right?

Well a while back week on Facebook, I saw a really interesting picture titled “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” It got me to wondering:

Could it really be that simple to stop worrying?

Just look at a picture and make worries go away?

Probably not that simple. However, the premise was solid. I knew this to be true for me because it was a visual representation of a technique I’ve used for years to minimize worrying.

After you’ve looked at it, I’d like to briefly expand on the real essence of what it’s saying…

…………….

………….

……….

……..

…..

..

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Okay, now that you’ve seen the picture let’s explore a little bit further. 🙂

At its essence, the picture is showing us that worry doesn’t actually help us. It suggests that there’s absolutely no situation in life that is improved simply by worrying. If you really reflect on this, I think you’ll find it to be true in your own life. I know I have in mine.

Still, when life is really difficult it can feel almost impossible not to worry. In fact, I worry every day and it’s not even necessarily about “huge” things. Nor is it necessarily “huge” worries. However, I notice those often unconscious thought patterns that include worry.

For each of us it looks different. It could be worry about finances or paying rent. It could be about your health or difficulties at work. The worry might be related to relationship challenges with friends, family, or romantic partners.

Sometimes it’s big (like when it’s tied to our physical survival). Sometimes the worry is smaller, like having forgotten to buy something at the store that you wanted or needed, or a concern that something you said might be misinterpreted.

No matter what it is though, worrying never helps the situation. Worrying may alert you to a situation that isn’t optimal, and in this way worry has some limited value. It can be a brief signal that something isn’t fitting quite right. However, the thing to remember is this:

For every moment you unnecessarily worry about a problem, that’s one moment you’re not doing something about the problem. Or at the very least, it’s a moment that you’re not enjoying life independent of the problem.

In any given moment, you have the choice either to worry about a problem, solve the problem, or ignore the problem.

Clearly worrying doesn’t work, otherwise the people who worry the most would have solved the most problems…. and ultimately become happiest because they don’t have any problems. 🙂

Solving the problem is usually the best solution. It alleviates the worry and makes space for greater things in life to unfold.

And there’s even an upside to ignoring problems (at least temporarily). If you can’t fix it and worrying about it won’t help, you might as well enjoy the moment. Do something fun, relaxing, engaging, and preferably something that takes your mind off of the problem. I find that I do some of my best writing when I’ve recently been worrying about a problem.

The reason is simple: Even when you do “nothing” and just “enjoy” yourself, you’re still doing SOMETHING about the worrying. You’re releasing yourself, at least temporarily from the worrying.

This break often gives your subconscious mind time to explore and find solutions to the problem that your conscious mind just doesn’t seem to grasp. Granted, I’m not saying that pure distraction is the best way to go all the time, and definitely not for extended periods of time. That just becomes denial, and denial serves nobody.

However, a brief break from worry can sometimes mean the difference between a great solution… and well… more worry.

Which circles us back to the original question:

Could it really be that easy to stop worrying?

The answer is “yes” and “no.” I learned this the hard way through my “Dark Night of the Soul.” There were days upon days, nights upon nights, when I was unable to sleep, unable to eat, and riddled with fear and anxiety. Sometimes it felt like I couldn’t stop worrying.

And every chance I had, if I could do something about the worrying I did. Sometimes it was actively working on the problems I was facing. Sometimes it was deepening into my spiritual practices like meditation, gratitude, and sending love to others. Other times I would do anything that was either so distracting -or- required such intense focus, that my conscious mind didn’t have a chance to worry.

I did my best to not stay in the space of “only worrying” for too long at a time. Even though I worried a lot… even though I worried every day… I can’t even imagine what my life would have been like if I had chosen to not do something proactively to solve the problems, or if I hadn’t allowed myself the inner freedom to distract and enjoy myself amidst the worry.

Long story short: While it isn’t easy to just “stop worrying and be happy,” there are very real and practical ways to reduce worry in your life. The first starts with recognizing that worry doesn’t actually solve the problem. It never has. It never will.

Once you truly realize that, you’ll eliminate most of your daily worries. I know this is true in my experience. I worry very little about things, even when they “go wrong.” And I don’t have to try and rationalize or convince myself “It’s for the highest good” (though I believe that to be true), I actually know it intellectually as well (which is where worry comes from).

Sure there will be extreme situations that literally force the worry out of us. I share my Dark Night of the Soul as an example of this kind of severe situation. However, the majority of worries that we carry around each day are not quite that extreme.

So next time you forget something you “should” have remembered…

Next time you’re late for an “important” meeting…

Or next time you have a relationship problem…

Take a really deep breath. Take a few deep breaths.

Then remind yourself that worrying won’t solve the problem. This reminder coupled with a few deep breaths can make a HUGE difference in reducing the worry in your life.

(Regardless of whether you worry big or have few worries at all.)

Your Partner In Living Worry Free,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

P.S. In no way am I trying to minimize pending or recently occurring disasters and highly traumatic and horrifying events. It’s never easy to handle that kind of extreme and sudden stress easily.

Still, I encourage you to take what you can from my message. Find whatever tidbits you can that will help reduce your worries even just a little bit, even just temporarily.

Every little bit makes a difference. And every difference adds up over time.

Taking Control of My Life

So Life has spun a little bit out of control for me lately.  I’m a single  parent of 2, count them, 2 high school seniors.  Between all their activities, academics, and the all encompassing college application process, as well as all the things I have on my own plate, it’s safe to say that my life has spun completely and totally out of control.  I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know how to fix it.  Last night was particularly bad for a variety of reasons, and I started out my Monday wondering if I was even going to survive this year, and if I did, would it be worth it.

Well this morning, I had an a blog post to read in my google reader – actually, we won’t even begin to discuss the amount of blog posts because I didn’t check them at all over the weekend.  However, one post from Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living .  The post was called 12 Unconventional Habits of Highly Productive People.  I was going to just ignore it because I don’t want to be highly productive – at this point, I’ll settle for keeping my head above water.  But I realized that was STUPID, I should be productive, I should be proactive, and not reactive so I decided to give it a read.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a good article and everything in it made sense.  I don’t know if I can incorporate all the suggestions into my life, but I did find one suggestion that I know I MUST incorporate into my life.  Meditation.  The authors talked about meditation and provided a great link to another blog Meditation:  What it Actually is, Why It’s Awesome and How to Actually Get Started that gave some great tips about meditation, what it is, and what it isn’t.

This is something I can incorporate into my life.  More than that, I think it’s something I NEED to incorporate into my life.  Do I think it’s a cure all and fix all for all the stress in my life – absolutely not!  What I do think is that it is a powerful and amazing tool to help me COPE with all the stress in my life.  So I’m going to give it a whirl and see how it goes.  The way I see it, things can’t get any worse than they are, and in fact, it will make things a LOT better.

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