Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wellness Recovery Garden (Goals)

Wellness-Recovery Garden or How To Organize Your Life Goals

The Wellness Garden is a concept of recovery I am developing as a way to plan, organize and grow your life just as you would a beautiful garden. The Wellness Recovery Personalized Plan above is a plan that you can get started on now as a reminder of how to live your recovery in your daily life and signs to watch out for with recovery strategies thought out before hand when you are in a good mood so that when you are upset you don’t need to think about it, you just review your plan. It is a tool to help you stay on track, and get back on track faster. It’s a way to live recovery not just use it when you are in crisis.

The Wellness Garden is a larger concept. It divides your life into ten major areas. In each area you would rate how happy or satisfied you are with that area, what you would like to change for the better in that area and what state of mind you’d like to be in relation to that area. The concept of the Garden is that you will be planting and cultivating and later harvesting your fruits in each area according to the seasons and weather changes of your life, as well as maintaining your garden like pulling your weeds and creating boundaries so predators do not get in to steal your fruits or ruin your hard work leaving you to clean up the mess.

The Wellnss Garden is not a traditional “Goal Setting” activity, although you may set goals in some areas in your life garden. It’s more about your growth and staying as well as you can over time. It is about choosing your values and principles that you want to follow in each area of your life and what state of mind you want to be in when you are called on to act in an area of your life. So here we are looking at what psychologists would call meta-goals. The word meta means what is behind, above or below the thing it is describing. So for example if you set a goal to save $50 per month in your Financial area. You would ask yourself what is the benefit of doing so, what is the essence behind that goal, how will that make you feel when you have accomplished that goal? You may answer that you will feel more secure with money in the bank, or proud of yourself for following your plan, or empowered to buy something you have been wanting. So the goal activity, saving the $50 each month, is an action, a strategy, an item you can put into your calendar on paydays. But the state of mind, the essence and the principles behind that goal are security, empowerment and self-reliance and pride.

So the Financial area of your life is like a section of your garden. You want to describe it so that when you step into that area you will be triggering your state of mind of self-reliance. As you are working on that area of your garden in life over the months you want to be following the principle (a principle is something you value) of empowerment. Being empowered is something of value to you, it makes you feel good, strong, independent and able. It also grows, it builds on itself and expands so that over time you can look back at what you have accomplished and you have history now, you have your own results as proof that you are empowered and you can transfer that skill into any other area of your life. You can use it as evidence of your value as a person who has increased her motivation and watched her actions grow something of value. The essence of that section of your garden, the benefits or fruits of your labors is that over a year’s time you will have $600 in the bank - and that is a proactive, self-motivating energy. It is not something you do out of the force of your will or out of the sense of deprivation, or fear. Your own reason that you want it is motivating enough so that each time you tend to that part of your garden you feel a sense of satisfaction, even inspiration and excitement. You tend to that garden with loving care and as you watch that garden grow you will know it is because of how you took care of your garden. Now that is what I call a self-fulfilling activity. Satisfaction that came from within which empowers you to stop looking for it outside of yourself.

This will be an ongoing project that is designed to be fun, inspiring and exciting. It will include your tool shed, your resources, your power source where you recharge your batteries, it will include an idea basket, it will include weeds you must pull out on a regular basis or blocks that you need to remove, areas you need to expand, plans for unforeseeable bad weather, your support people and helpers along the way, what you want to share from your garden. It will include how to develop your Life Purpose Statement and how to align your life areas with that purpose.

You will identify your skills and abilities and what areas you need help in or need to learn more about. You will improve how you identify exactly what you want so you know which seeds to plant. You will learn your values and what is really important to you and what is really behind your goals, what benefits and essences and states of mind and feeling are you really looking for. You will learn how to identify your needs. You will learn what you must do in order to make each area healthy and successful and bring you the most fulfillment. You will learn how to flow with the cycles of life, death and rebirth. You will learn to relax in your garden and learn how to increase self-care and self-love for the garden is you and you will blossom. The Wellness Garden is a way to incorporate all the various aspects of recovery, self-care, growth and wellness that one needs to cultivate all in one fun, organized project. You will learn as you grow.

So begin to think of your life as a garden and what a wellness garden might look like for you in each area of your life. I sectioned off the garden into ten areas, they may not all pertain to your life (for example parenting if you don’t have kids) or you may want to add your own unique areas. It is your garden. These are only suggestions to get you started.

Remember each Gardener needs to eat GRAPES every day to stay healthy and well and in the best possible shape and state to be able to tend to her garden. What are GRAPES? Well, you’ve no doubt heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. It’s like that, only it stands for the daily wellness actions you need to do to stay healthy and like grapes turn into wine and wine over time gets better and more valuable, so will you. So try and choose activities each day that include:

Gentle with self

Sometimes I combine 2 or 3 of them into one activity like taking a walk with a friend and I’ve done my exercise and my social activity. Or pleasure, relaxation and gentleness by taking an extra nice bubble bath with aromatherapy candles and guided meditation CDs to listen to for half hour. Accomplishment can be anything big or small, 15 minutes of organizing the closet, saving that $50 a month on payday, making a healthy meal instead of grabbing fast food, talking a class, smiling at people wherever you go that day, meeting a deadline, completing a chore, accomplishing something that challenged you, overcoming a fear, sticking up for yourself. You get the idea. This not only helps you get things done so they don’t build up, but it helps increase your self-esteem and reminds you to be good to yourself. Actually the GRAPES idea was designed to prevent depression, which it does. But even if you don’t have depression, it does support wellness and that is the goal here.

The Ten Areas of Life are:

1. Personal/Spiritual
2. Parenting
3. Physical Health
4. Mental/Emotional Health
5. Financial
6. Career/Work
7. Social Life and Fun
8. Love Life
9. Household environment
10. Your Purpose/Dream in Life

For each area, write down what it looks like now and how you want it to look like.
For each area, when you think of your goal and taking actions to get there, write down what state of mind you want to be in when you're working on that area.
For each area, check back in monthly or quarterly to see your progress and if your goal has changed or evolved. If there were problems or you're not meeting your goal, take a look at your actions and start brainstorming what actions you can begin today, one step at a time, to move toward it. It's like a target; you got to aim at it and move toward it to get good at hitting it.

Happy Gardening!!!
JP Bailey, MA

Energy Psychology Essay

Energy Psychology

Energy Psychology is the child born from the marriage of Eastern Medicine and Western Psychology. Although there are several methods and protocols out there, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is Energy Psychology 101.

The most common Energy Psychology technique, EFT or “Emotional Freedom Techniques” is the most common because it’s very simple and straightforward and easy to learn. At you will find the free 80 page easy- to-read manual. We use several methods, but we always start out with EFT to start you off with the basics and start Tapping your distress away tonight. Here is a basic explanation of how and why it works so good at reducing or eliminating emotional distress within minutes.

In acupuncture there are certain spots on the body called Meridian End Points. They literally are the last points of where each Meridian pathway ends. When measured with scientific equipment, these special points have less electromagnetic resistance than other random spots on the body. When an acupuncturist places tiny, hollow needles in these points, the energy flow of that point’s meridian is increased which leads to health, healing and pain relief.

A Meridian is the pathway that energy flows along, like veins. They start at a specific place, run through the body, are connected to its organs, and end at a certain Point. We “Tap” on each Meridian’s End Point. There are 12 main Meridians: Bladder (EB), Gallbladder (SE), Stomach (UE), Central (UN), Governing (CH), Kidney (CB), Liver (UA), Lung (TH), Large Intestine (FF), Reproductive (MF), Heart (LF) and Small Intestine (KC). And the Triple Warmer (gamut spot) Meridian that governs the pituitary, thymus and thyroid glands.

These points are located on the face, torso and hands. In Energy Psychology they are named according to the place on the body where they can be located. For example the Eyebrow point is located near the nose right where the eyebrow begins. These points also have acupuncture and Chinese names. For Energy Psychology we name them according to their location and give each a two-letter abbreviation. (Eyebrow is EB).

“Tapping” on these points with our fingers while mentally processing or emotionally feeling a specific issue, problem or distress does two things. One, like acupressure and patting a crying baby, we are calming the body down; we literally are deactivating the nervous system’s “Fight or Flight” response and activating the body’s Calming Reflex. Secondly we are clearing the emotional and mental upset by stimulating the energy to flow through the meridians and clear out the blocked energy, like flushing water to clear a drain.

With some Energy Psychology protocols certain eye-movements and left-right brain activities are used to help both hemispheres of the brain communicate and process memories. Eye-movements relate to where memories are stored, for example looking up when thinking up something, looking down when remembering something. Stimulating the brain via the eyes (which are actually part of the brain, not just connected to the brain), helps thoughts and feeling process much faster. Once they are processed properly they are resolved. Resolved issues are issues that have been reprocessed and are not upsetting anymore. Unresolved emotional issues are said to be blocks in the body’s energy system.

This is how Energy Psychology relieves negative emotions and stress. Stress is actually produced in the body’s Nervous System which connects the brain and its neuro-chemistry to the spine and its nerves. The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic functions of the nervous system are what regulate the brain, glands and organs to produce adrenaline and other activities that increase heart rate, breathing, constrict blood flow and the like in order to help the body survive a possible threat to its safety. When the threat is over the body’s Calming Response is then in activated, calming the heart, lungs and nerves back down and invokes a sense of well-being. Unresolved issues are upsetting memories that are unresolved emotionally and are stuck in the Stress Response which didn’t get to finish processing an event to get to the Calming Response. Being stuck they are easily triggered and cause distress when reminded of the upsetting event.

Energy Psychology is the clever use of the body’s Meridian Points and mental processing to resolve these emotional issues/memories of threats, fears, traumas and losses. After we clear the body of these blockages, you feel calm and unaffected emotionally by the incident, even when reminded of it. It feels as if it behind you now and you’re over it. Although not the first Energy Psychology method, EFT is the most commonly used method because it is structured in a very easy, common sense way than any other method. Plus you can learn it for free. EFT was created by Gary Craig in the ’80’s. You can learn more at his website

No psychology “therapy” is used to process the memories or thoughts about the problem or incident; that just occurs naturally once the energy is flowing and is cleared or unblocked. Often times the eye-movements help process thoughts as well. When you try to remember something the eyes move as if searching the mind. So moving our eyes on purpose helps process memories and thoughts. This process was discovered in the use of EMDR therapy which was the first therapy to help Vietnam Veterans recover from years of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. EMDR stands for Eye-Movement Desensitization, Reprocessing. EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro in the ’90’s

When you survive a threat your mind makes certain choices about life and how safe or unsafe it is in order to increase your chances of surviving threats in the future. Your new preferences can be geared toward exciting and inspiring goals, positive actions and healthy ways of viewing the world.

After the distress is cleared The Choices Method is then used to install or implant new choices to replace the void now left where there was once a triggering emotional memory. The Choices Method is simply tapping while saying positive statements. The term was coined by Dr. Patricia Carrington who came up with this ingenious way of using EFT for more than just clearing problems. Similar methods of constructing positive statements while tapping are used for healthy ways of viewing the world, positive actions, sports or other performance, goals, public speaking and test taking. That’s why I like to say:
Heal Your Past; Create Your Future with EFT!


Energy Medicine is a field of Eastern Medicine now used here in the West that concerns itself with Energy techniques that help the body’s physical health, as well as help the body’s energy system to increase the body’s immune strength and flow thereby helping the body to fight off infections and stress and aid in recovery.

Some energy systems in the body may be rundown or even running backwards, it feels as if the body is heavier than usual or you just don’t have enough energy to get things done. In psychological terms this resistance is called psychological reversal, a phenomenon that interferes with a person’s ability to accomplish tasks they set out to do. This is a result of mixed or conflicting desires and plans or simply the accumulation of negative thoughts that counteract ones goals. Psychological Reversal feels like resistance or self-sabotage. Performing a couple of Energy Medicine techniques can correct all that in minutes.

The most common technique is Donna Eden’s DAILY 5 MINUTE ENERGY ROUTINE, done on a daily basis. This routine of several easy to learn techniques can increase ones energy and ability to fight off stress as well as improve mood and thinking.

We could say that Eastern Medicine includes everything Eastern or Chinese in healing such as acupuncture, herbs, using heat, special massage etc. to keep the body healthy and help heal from various conditions. Acupuncture first came to the United States when President Nixon visited China in the 1970’s. After years of clinical research The World Health Organization approved acupuncture as a legitimate medical treatment.

Energy Medicine is a branch of Eastern Medicine that is the use of Energy techniques for physical health, energy and healing. for a comprehensive explanation please refer to Donna Eden’s book Energy Medicine at Donna has earned the title of the Mother of energy medicine and her husband, psychologist David Feinstein contributed significantly by bringing Energy Psychology into traditional Psychology literature. Prior to that, the book Touch for Health demonstrated many healing methods as well as Biotherapy, showing nurses and laypeople how the hands can help heal the body via the use of Energy. Another interesting branch was developing techniques like BrainGym and SmartMoves that were helping children with learning disabilities in schools.

But it wasn’t until the 1980’s in the West that Energy Psychology was born specifically for emotional issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Phobias. It is a branch of Energy Medicine that deals with emotional distress such as anxiety and depression. The founder of using eastern energy techniques with Applied Kinesiology is Dr Goodheart. Then Drs Diamond and Callahan began applying these principles specifically to emotional issues. One of Dr. Callahan’s students was Gary Craig who went on to distill and simplify the information into what we now know as Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT. There are too many contributors to list here, like Larry Nims who developed B.S.F.F. and Silvia Hartmann who developed Emotrance, and so many other EFT “cousins”. However EFT seems to be the founding Father of all other Energy or Meridian Energy Therapies. It is the simplest and easiest to use and anyone can learn it for free. The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) is an organization that supports further research and yearly conventions.

by J.P. Bailey, MA