I agree to be contacted by Dr. Bob Weathers
with the information I have provided.

 

Call us:
310-383-7532

Send an email:
bob@drbobweathers.com

3 months ago · · 0 comments

Empower Idaho Webinar: “Un-Shaming as Essential to Recovery”

I’m honored to be presenting the following webinar in just a few weeks, for a truly progressive organization, “Empower Idaho,” which is highly committed to educating both professionals and the public about moving through addiction to successful, sustained recovery. All are welcome to join in for the webinar, which is rooted in material from my upcoming book!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1482382251908172/

9 months ago · · 0 comments

Addiction, Shame, Relationships, & Recovery (PowerPoint Presentation & Bibliography for Orange County Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)

Please see first, directly below, the actual PowerPoint presentation (read from left to right, row by row)…then right after that, the link to a concise bibliography of resources I have found most useful in addressing addiction recovery. (Many thanks to my two hosts, President Carla Rather and event co-organizer, Ernesto Segismundo, for their graciousness and support throughout.)

 

 

Addiction Recovery Bibliography 2-23-2018

10 months ago · · 0 comments

Baby Steps

American poet, Robert Frost, taught: “The best way out is always through.”

Learning theory from psychology teaches us that the only way to truly “get over” many of our fears is to face them. (Take anything that you’re truly phobic about, and recognize that avoiding the feared situation often only serves to keep it locked in place.)

One of my fellow faculty in days gone by was Dr. Joseph Wolpe, from South Africa, who originated “systematic desensitization,” where you gradually, day by day, build within yourself the capacity to overcome all manner of inner obstacles and fears.

I like the way that Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, puts it: “Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.”

Baby steps…it’s all about baby steps.

10 months ago · · 0 comments

Vitality and the Healing of Sexes

Vitality

by D. H. Lawrence

Alas, my poor young men, do you lack vitality?
Has the shell grown too heavy for the tortoise?
Does he just squirm?
Is the frame of things too heavy for poor young wretched men?

Do they jazz and jump and wriggle
and rush about in machines
and listen to bodiless noises
and cling to their thin young women
as to the last straw
just in desperation
because their spirit can’t move?
Because their hope is pinned down by the system
and can’t even flutter?

Well well, if it is so it is so;
but remember,
the undaunted gods give vitality still to the dauntless.

And sometimes they give it as love,
ah love, sweet love,
not so easy!

But sometimes they give it as lightning.
And it’s no good wailing for love
if they only offer you lightning.
And it’s no good mooning for sloppy ease
when they’re holding out the thunderbolt for you to take.

You might as well take the lightning for once,
and feel it go through you.
You might as well accept the thunderbolt
and prepare for storms.

You’ll not get vitality any other way.

Over the past year I have engaged nearly daily in sharing with kindred souls in the Facebook group, “Journey of Integral Recovery.” All of us in this special group are openly in recovery from addictive behaviors of one kind or another, and all equally committed to a holistic, body/mind/spirit process of healing and renewal. One recurring theme which has arisen for all of us over this past year is the experience of discovering hidden gifts in having been once at the bottom, owing to addiction, and having now experienced a kind of personal resurrection into a newer, more creative, more vital life post-addiction. (Here I am using “addiction” in its original, etymological sense of “enslavement”; hence, the sense of freedom or liberation which follows on being released from “addictus.”)

I write this post right amidst the current, international wave of support catalyzing around the #MeToo movement, uniting all of whom have been subjected to sexual discrimination and harassment, most often at the hands of men. And I, myself, have made several, major life mistakes, with the injuries that accrued both tragically and inevitably, in this same vein. (For more details, I invite you to read my earlier post: “Living Amends” — http://www.drbobweathers.com/about/ .)

There is surely no single explanation that will make complete sense of what men in positions of power have done to their subordinates, most often women. But poet D.H. Lawrence here at least invites us to consider the theme of men’s collective psychologies, which too often vitiate authentic spirituality, and the hope (and morality) which may accompany it.

Instead, men are left with poor-form, addictive substitutes for real love, which degenerate over time into the many egocentric abuses currently coming to light across the planet. French revolutionary Voltaire called upon his peers to “remember the cruelties.” There will be no healing if such abuses and cruelties are any longer simply “forgiven-and-forgotten,” that is, repressed.

But healing, to make a lasting difference, must also find creative ways for men* to learn a new way of being, or “vitality.” One in which we men face our collective shadow, including our projecting onto women* our unworked-through developmental wounds, as well as our unlived potentials.

Having once been confronted with the painful realities of the abuses, the cruelties, perpetrated to now, men must next own the wrongs we have done. And then commit to do whatever it takes, by making living amends through repairing, in relationship to women, that which is so desperately in need of healing.

“ We’ll not get vitality any other way.”

*I use “men” and “women” here in as much the psychological sense (i.e., masculine vis-a-vis feminine) as that of biological gender. Both/and.

10 months ago · · 0 comments

If: Rising to Meet Life’s Challenges

If
by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Just yesterday I had a dear friend observe: “Bob, you simply don’t give up!” (This was in reference to my apparent patience in current book-writing, in which a nearly three-year process has borne witness to three, virtually distinct and complete versions of a single book, still being birthed.)

And then this morning, Rudyard Kipling…

This verse of his has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, as with so many poems I have loved, I committed the entire piece to memory several years ago. Funny thing: where I used to have over a hundred such, most prized poems committed to memory — and deeply valued that whole process — in more recent times, I have gently laid them to rest. Which brings me to today’s meditation: managing challenges.

Any creative process demands that we find some balance between the challenges at hand and our capacity to move through them. It used to be that memorizing poetry (some of them several typed pages long!) presented a worthy challenge to me. I loved/hated digging into the memorization of each. (Let’s admit it: rote memorization presents its own, stern expectations.)

But then something shifted.

I began to feel increasingly led to create ideas from scratch, not relying on others’ thoughts so much, even those of the poets, whom I love so dearly. A more purely creative process. What I discovered over time is that the demand of creating ex nihilo (literally, out of nothing) simply did not allow for (me, at least) the mental space to continue rehearsing and reciting lengthy passages of poetry previously etched into my memory. It’s as if I had to be willing to sacrifice those precious poems-in-memory in order to clear out room for this newer creative process. And sacrifice it has been…each poem has gradually begun to fade — if not in importance or meaning, at least in ready, verbatim accessibility.

What I find now is that, when for example I am faced with having to hold in mind multiple sources of brand-new information as well as move forward in organizing, then creatively writing it all down on printed page, I do feel most of the time, thankfully, the capacity to meet so rigorous a challenge. And what does indeed seem to be true is: I don’t give up easily! (This said after multiple iterations of a single book-in-the-making…)

Closing then for now, in the spirit of Kipling’s immortal advice (intended by the way as inclusive of both sons and daughters):

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same…

If you can…watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools…

If you can…lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss…

If you can…hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If…

10 months ago · · 0 comments

Trump and #MeToo: A First Attempt at Dialogue in the Current, Polarized Atmosphere

One of the things I have privately mulled over (and grieved), in my own recovery from chemical addiction, is how my prior, substance-induced altered states tended to flatten out or reduce all the nuances or subtleties in life. If you’re seeking anesthesia (and I was, in part, not unlike many other addicts), then drugs are the ticket. But there’s a heavy price to be paid, especially if you value life’s finer shadings and connections.

So it was with interest that I perked up when reading the below article, just this past week:

“Had enough of the visceral response to the Trump era? Try a little nuance instead” by Meghan Daum, Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2018

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-daum-our-uninteresting-times-20180107-story.html

Right from the beginning, Ms. Daum (rightfully, I believe) indicts the psychologically understandable, and increasingly common, reflex of holding up my virtue/your virtue as contrasted with that of easy, visibly fallible targets like President Trump.

“During this period, virtue signaling has become blue states’ own sort of opioid addiction. Post something about toxic masculinity, white privilege or, of course, President Trump (whose name is shorthand for both) and the likes and affirmations will mete out just enough dopamine to keep you going until the next fix.”

The author’s comparison of such holier-than-thou judgment to opioid addiction certainly grabbed my attention, as did her reference to the guaranteed dopamine spike that follows on such, typically impassioned conversations.

Then she turns a more specific word of caution toward the momentous #MeToo movement:

“But if you start to feel less than sincere every time you join a #MeToo chorus, you do what humans have done for thousands of years: Get together and admit privately to feeling conflicted…[where we] turn to our closest confidants and confess to a level of cognitive dissonance and confusion we fear would alienate our followers and possibly kill our careers if we tried to put it into words.”

For anyone who cares about more subtle or differentiated conversations, especially when emotions run as high as they tend to with Trump and the #MeToo movement, Ms. Daum’s introduction of “nuance” into the dialogue feels important and timely:

“Bit by bit, it’s starting to happen. The #MeToo movement is infused with obtuse rhetoric like ‘zero tolerance,’ but it has also led to a handful of more nuanced analyses about the slippery nature of sexual consent and the dangers of failing (or refusing) to distinguish male clumsiness from dangerous aggression.”

At the risk of “alienating followers,” certainly not my intention, I join her and others who wish for a spirit of genuine dialogue, for example, between women who have experienced first-hand gender subjugation, including sexual harassment, and men who “have ears to hear,” including full-on openness to becoming educated in what is entailed in being a real man, not the least of which requires men learning how truly to love. (Have we ever lived in a time more perched and ready for just that core, societal transformation?)

With that desire uppermost in mind and heart — for women’s deep healing and men learning truly to love — I gladly stand alongside Meghan Daum in proclaiming:

“#ResistanceToGroupthink. Call me a cognitive dissident. Chances are, you’re one, too.”

11 months ago · · 0 comments

How ‘Not’ to Fly, Yet Remain Creative

Flying Crooked

by Robert Graves

The butterfly, a cabbage-white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight,

Yet has – who knows as well as I? –
A just sense of how not to fly:

He lurches here and here by guess
And God and hope and hopelessness.
Even the aerobatic swift
Has not his flying-crooked gift.

To live a creative life — say, with renewed vigor in the New Year — demands that one understand what social psychology calls “idiosyncrasy credit.” For me, for you, to deviate from expectation, itself the very cornerstone of creative process, requires a fine balance of risking to be different (“idiosyncratic”), but not so different that others only reject what we create. To accomplish this latter aim, of our work, our lives, being accepted, we need to have earned “credit” first.

If our driving force is to be authentic self-expression, the goal of living creatively, let us also not forget to seek legitimacy, where there is equal emphasis given to “translating” to our intended audience what we have done as there is to attempting to “transform” the formerly predictable into something new and unexpected. “Flying” creatively includes our always keeping in mind “how not to fly.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, reigning king of creativity research, maintains that creativity requires being ever open to feedback from others, particularly those who have qualified themselves (by establishing their own idiosyncrasy credit) to provide valid and meaningful perspective on what we may be otherwise too close to for adequate self-criticism.

Imagine this: you may have a wonderful contribution to offer the world, something it dearly needs, something you are best poised to give, but if no one understands the gift, it lies sadly mute and unheard — unreceived, not because it fails in depth (its potential for constructively creative change), but rather because it fails in breadth (owing to limitations in its communicating effectively).

Let me, like the poet’s butterfly, “fly crooked,” but just the right amount of crooked, where even those who habitually fly straight might this time instead perk up and notice.

 

 

11 months ago · · 0 comments

What You Do Not Know

East Coker

by T. S. Eliot

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.

You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.

In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own.

(from The Four Quartets)

Psychology teaches me that, if I want to sustain lifelong zest and passion, I must be open to novelty. But to let go of the familiar is, as in the words of C.G. Jung, the “opus contra naturam” (literally, work against nature).

May I, in this coming New Year, open my heart and mind and soul to newness. Might I be granted courage to let go, when necessary, of what I otherwise cling to: the routine, the tried-and-true, the old standby’s.

Here’s to a New Year for us all — truly new — where we stretch into what we do not know, all for the sake of living a genuinely creative life — to become our “original face before we were born,” our birthright as unique individuals put here for one reason, to help evolve the planet!

11 months ago · · 0 comments

Saying You’re Sorry: How to Make Amends Effectively

To one and all: I recommend you to last week’s “Ask an Addiction Specialist” podcast, which addressed how to say we’re sorry in a way that truly makes a difference. Maybe a good jumping-off place for the New Year, especially with those whom we love most?

Also, today please join me as I discuss “Practicing Self-Observation” — not another bad idea as we contemplate setting resolutions for 2018! I’ll be featuring in this podcast special thank-you’s to several of those who have impacted me most in my own mindfulness practice over the past several years. Come join me today, Wednesday, December 27, at 3 pm Pacific:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskAnAddictionSpecialist/

 

Saying You're Sorry: How to Make Amends Effectively

🔔🔔Today we're discussing Saying You're Sorry: How to Make Amends EffectivelyClick interested or going on this event page so you never miss a live stream! https://www.facebook.com/events/198559984047475

Posted by Austin Armstrong on Wednesday, December 20, 2017