Addictions is nothing new to the human race. In the past, when thinking of addictions, most people think of people have an addiction to drugs, sex or alcohol. In today's digital world, humans are experiencing various forms of addictions like never before, which have created many to become emotional high addicts. Once high, you need more and more of the source in order to fulfill the hormonal flow going on in the brain.
As mentioned in a former blog post, Is Love the Most Powerful Force on the Planet?, in the past, our ancestors only experienced highs from procreation, sex and child birth.
The sad and scary part of today's addictions, is that many of these addictions are warping man's minds, creating real-life monsters, psychopaths, zombies out of many people's souls.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is, "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death."
It is common for people to have more than one addiction today. In fact, some people trade in one addiction for another. I had a Dietician friend who worked in a bariatric clinic and had "arguments" with the doctors as she expressed this is a psychological, and not just an addiction to bad food. She found that post surgery, many of these people traded in their food addiction for gambling, alcohol, smoking or some other negative habit/addiction. Another example is that research has found that people who have sex or love addictions or trauma, also have eating issues / addictions.
The point is that many issues root to a spiritual and psychological warfare.
Here are some addictions that plague the modern man's soul that goes beyond drugs, gambling, sex and alcohol abuse.
"Gaming disorder" is a serious issue today, especially amongst techies. Introduced in the 1970's, games today are far from the origins of the "Oregon Trail." Today gaming addiction is seen on the same level as gambling. Now that games are available 24/7, most people are hooked, playing for hours everyday instead of once at the arcades.
Research is still trying to figure out as most believe gaming addiction is a type of impulse control disorder. Some have the thrill of winning which releases dopamine, a brain chemical that elevates mood and provides a rush of energy. Many question what games do the subconscious mind as most games today are violent and include mass killing. Games "encourage" a sedentary lifestyle, which further isolates people from humans. Some people can play games and never be addicted, but most people fall into the rabbit hole and get lost in, or addicted to, a virtual reality.
Porn is one of the major issues today, which affects more men than women. Today's porn is nothing like it was 20-40 years ago. For many, watching porn starts off as innocent but can eventually lead to a "dangerous" place mentally and socially.
Porn has four stages as noted from Diagnosing and Treating Pornography Addiction. Dr. Victor Cline provides a model of pornography addiction with 4 progressive steps:
When the final sexual fluids are released, the body secretes serotonin, which promotes relaxation and calmness. Overall, porn hijacks the brain and short-circuits the system.
We all dream of falling in love with Mr. or Mrs. Right. Some people, like adrenaline and outdoor junkies, have an addiction of falling in love. They love the high one gets from the initial stages of romance, but once the honeymoon phase wears off, they discard the relationship, in search for the next perfect person. Some love addicts put their partner on a pedestal and put more energy and attention towards them than themselves.
At the core, many love addicts have this fantasy that their partner will rescue them, and provide them unconditional attention at all times, resolving any issues or problems they have. When in love, love encompasses their entire existence. They have a fear of being alone or rejected. The excitement of new love, triggers the release of these neurotransmitters, stimulating the brain’s reward system. Most love addicts have issues from childhood trauma or a lack of love from their youth, which needs to be resolved. Some of this I believe has been programmed in our heads from chronic Disney fairy tales from our youth.
Consumerism was a great experiment, and guess what it worked. In today's decadent society, many people are addicted to shopping and finding something new. Compulsive shoppers experience a euphoria when purchasing new goods. However, like the hedonic treadmill, the euphoria wears off, but needs to be refilled with buying something else. Endorphins are released, which blots out discomfort.
It is said that compulsive spending or shopping affects about six percent, or 17 million people, of the US population. One root of the problem is the lack of control one has in their life or on their impulses.
Believe it or not, exercise can be addictive. There is a reason runners get addicted to running because of the "runner's high." There is a tipping point, when healthy exercise turns into an obsession for whatever reason. Some may exercise hours per day because they fear getting fat, or want to lose weight because they think they're fat. Some exercise because of control in their life where others use exercise as a replacement to some other addiction.
Marketers and modern day boxed foods have done a GREAT job at controlling the US population. Some people have a poor palate addicted to salt and sugar, but most have emotional eating issues. These issues lead to consuming high amounts of comfort food or actual eating disorders themselves. Whatever the root cause of the issue is, the brain is affected by emotional eating disorders / impulses.
The American Addiction Center states, "The brain is designed to react to a specific amount of dopamine, researchers say, and when it is provided with a dopamine signal that is too big, changes can result. The brain can turn off dopamine receptors, to muffle the next overeating onslaught, and that means people might eat even more during the next session. Dopamine feels good, and a rush feels wonderful. People who want that rush might need to eat more to get it.
This is the same cycle of dopamine flood and response seen in people who take drugs like heroin or OxyContin. These people also need to take in more to feel the same rush, and these people find it hard to stop taking drugs. Similarly, people with a long history of overeating might also find it hard to stop, due to the brain’s changes. These people are not making the choice to overeat. They are dealing with damaged brain cells."
This is a tough addiction to identify because some people are born to work and make a difference in this world. Some people's lives and identity revolves around work. They don't have hobbies and everything else in life is secondary. Some work so much because they are security junkies. Some workaholics are perfectionists and are their toughest critics. When work controls the life of someone, it is important to step back and analyze how your job affects your life.
Have you suffered from addiction? Do you know of any "uncommon" addictions that are becoming more common in today's digital age? In college, I suffered from exercise and some form of food addiction, which is in part the reason why I wrote, "Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus." so people can heal, discover pieces of their psychology and find the connection to their spirit all while enjoying this crazy thing we call life.
Is your mind playing tricks on you? Or are you really, truly receiving a message from God? First in order to understand where I am going with this post, we must read the "Parable of the Flood," story.
A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
Often times we have thoughts in our heads, or prayers to God that we may not realize is truly be heard from the unforeseen world. The key to understanding signs is to know whether the sign comes from the light or the dark. So many people experience synchronicities, which they believe are messages from God. I agree, but at certain times of my life, I experienced these synchronicities that I believe rooted from darkness.
When logically analyzing the messages, you have to see what you are experiencing and how your intuition reacts to that experience. Some people with karmic bonds will experience synchronicities, but this situation or experience is merely a test to see in what direction of life you'll go into. Some karmic bonds are invitations to do shadow work, and though signs were there, that person or experience is not for your higher good. The "sign" is to walk away, bless, forgive and let go.
Signs come in many shapes, sizes, directions, thoughts and feelings. Mystical and religious people have different view points on signs. I've known many Christian people who say signs from animals or nature are mere coincidences meanwhile other philosophies believe nature communicates to humans and are messengers from God.
We live in a logical world, and most people can handle logical signs from God. If people had visions of spirit beings they would most likely freak out, not able to handle the intensity.
So many people crave divine signs or experiences that is so "explosive" it looks like it comes out of a Hollywood movie. It doesn't work like that.
I will share one story. A person I knew was financially struggling. She kept having conversations and worries stir in her brain about needing help. Low and behold, within hours someone comes to her door and provides a bag of pet food as this woman knew she was strapped for cash.
Was this a sign from God? Absolutely. We must be grateful for each and every gift from the divine. A million dollars or a winning lottery ticket just doesn't pop into our lives. In my analysis, that sign is a message from God saying that you've been heard, and I will take care of you.
Maybe your soul is crying inside from overworking, and then you keep seeing the words or advertisements about Yosemite, and you've always wanted to visit that park. Maybe its a sign to take a break and book a vacation. Or put your soul's desires first by visiting the park, which is your dream.
One client once lived in Hawaii. His aunt has been ill. One evening in Seattle there was a double rainbow that lasted over an hour. He got the inkling that his aunt just died because this was a sign in Hawaiian culture about rainbows being a bridge to heaven. Later that evening he got a call that his aunt indeed passed away that day.
Signs are signs. They are guiders, but are not strict rules. Some signs are prophetic, others are just divine messages trying to guide you into a certain direction in life. If something is meant to happen, it will.
Remember the divine has no timeline. Some signs and synchronicities occur for years before something actually cultivates.
You must check with your intuition and see what feelings arise when the signs come. Just don't miss the boat because you are expecting something that originates from a fantasy.
People who do not have a spiritual foundation do not understand the purpose of our souls being here on earth. Most people think of planet earth as a playground to enjoy life an in the material world. Now this is not to say that we shouldn't have fun in life, but we are here to grow and evolve our souls. Every soul has a mission and chooses it's life in order to grow, evolve and conquer hardships. But the main reason for our soul is to understand love.
Our souls are here to understand how to give and receive love and learn how to forgive themselves & forgive others.
Each and every soul has a different mission in life. Many forms of spirituality speak that love is the main reason for us being here. We are here to understand love from various angles and lenses. We need to love ourselves (not to the point of narcissism). We need to let people in to show us love. We need to share our love with others. We need to love our home and our planet.
The Bible contains great wealth of information and speaks of love 64 times.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. - 1 John 4:8
God loves his children. And we are children of God. God is love. And love is a complex energy. There is a light and dark side of love. All of God's love comes from the light, which also includes understanding forgiveness.
When you know, understand and experience love, you know God. We often equate love to romance, which is where we learn most of our lessons, but love is a relationship of all kinds. And this is why community and the family nucleus is so powerful.
In today's world of independence, we see people trying to receive love in many forms. Throughout my time of being single post divorce, I notice so many people bury themselves in work, projects, school or additional hobbies to receive some form of love and acceptance.
Love, like anything in life, is a choice. You can choose to give love, and be open to receiving it. Love is selfless and should not have expectations, though reciprocity is necessary for long term growth.
Planet earth is a ghetto, and we will endear many hardships in this fallen world. One of the greatest forms of love is through forgiveness of other people's actions and to release feelings of anxiety, revenge and vengeance against the other person.
In this digital age, and age of social isolation, it is easy to find acceptance and fulfillment through online communities, artificial intelligence and pornography.
Nothing is stronger than the human emotion, and nothing can replace real life intimacy physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual intimacy.
Knowing love is knowing yourself and having awareness of your actions and what affects you. Knowing love is respecting everything on this planet from the earth to animals. Knowing love is understanding we are here to serve and uplift ourselves and humanity.
God is love. He wants you to love Him, and trust in Him. He also wants you to spread love on the planet. Love yourself. Love your home. Love your parents and others even if they disappointed you.
Some research states that it takes men 8.2 seconds to fall in love. The heart has no limit in its capacity of unconditional love, but we must also use our head in order for that to not be taken advantage of, or our kindness used against us.
What do you think about love? Let's Connect! Check out my other YouTube videos!
The corporate candy and confectionary companies have disconnected us to the true meaning of our holidays. Today, sweeties around America spend boat loads of cash on Hallmark cards and fancy dinners without ever questioning where Valentine's Day actually comes from.
If you've followed me for sometime, you know I see repetitive numbers. For years, the number 214 has been a part of my daily existence. Many moons ago, a spiritual person told me that part of my mission in life is to understand various forms of love, and that I would help people in this life in love. I remember crying in my counselor's office during the dark times of my divorce telling her, "I feel like God put me through this to understand the pain and anguish of the heart and that I needed to experience divorce to understand the power of love."
So today, on 2/14, I encourage everyone to "root" to the real reasons on why Valentine's Day exists.
Prayer to St. Valentine:
Friday August 31
2 pm check in
4:00-6:00 pm Opening circle & light yoga practice
6:00 pm Dinner
Saturday September 1
7:30 am Breakfast, journaling
8:30-10:30 am Yoga practice focused on the Water Element
10:30 am- 12 pm Walk & meditation, free time
12 pm- Lunch (Water Element)
Free time with options for walking, kayaking, sauna
4:00-6:00 pm Yoga practice focused on the Wood Element
6:00 pm Dinner (Wood Element)
Sunday September 2
7:30 am Breakfast, journaling
8:30-10:30 am Yoga practice focused on the Fire Element
10:30 am- 12 pm Walk & meditation, free time
12 pm- Lunch (Fire Element)
Free time with options for walking, kayaking, sauna
4:00-6:00 pm Yoga practice focused on the Earth Element
6:00 pm Dinner (Earth Element)
Monday September 3
7:30 am Breakfast, journaling
8:30-10:30 am Yoga practice focused on the Metal Element
12 pm Checkout
Lunch to go (Metal Element)
Your body houses your suppressed thoughts & emotions. Clearing emotional energy is so important for a healthier you. The work will center around our Shadow Self, finding awareness and acceptance of our sometimes unconscious patterns. This allows us to develop a good relationship with our inner child and become the best version of ourselves.
It takes courage to cultivate/nurture the Self & I'm honored to partner with you on your healing journey!
Ladies- you are Unique! You are Amazing! You are Loved! You are a Superwoman! You give so much of yourself to others- isn’t it your time now? What is holding you back? Step into your Power! Join us!
Water Element- transform Fear & Shame into Courage & Trust
Wood Element- transform Anger & Frustration into Forgiveness & Patience
Fire Element- transform Panic, Anxiety, & Hurt into Joy & Openness
Earth Element- transform Worry & Over-thinking into Contentment & Presence.
Metal Element- transform Grief, Sadness, & Depression into Acceptance & Freedom
Imagine the abundance of new friendships with like minded women who are on the same path. See what the results of doing your inner work could bring to your life in the coming months and years!
Where are your beliefs and patterns preventing you from living the life you deserve? This retreat is life changing. Find new awareness and compassion for yourself as you learn to live from a space of love.
On this journey, you will:
If you’ve been running nonstop these days and your body, mind or soul are run down, then this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Unplug & unwind. Find balance as you recharge your Soul's battery.
After all, there’s no way you can dream bigger and support others if you don’t amplify your soul-care first!
Time to yourself within the support of the group is guaranteed to shake your soul free and rejuvenate you.
This journey is for you if...
Nectar Yoga B&B , named one of the top 5 retreats in British Columbia, is a delightful sanctuary. It is nestled away in the woods, a space of healing and solitude, a place for transformation.
Nectar Yoga, an eco- friendly B&B, is just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver.
Daily yoga practices will be in their beautiful geodesic, heated yoga dome, with a view of nature. This small space allows for greater intimacy and group connection.
Their accommodations provide a space for relaxation, without letting go of the comforts of home.
Nectar Loft- Modern beach style cottage furnished with local decor, kitchenette, fridge, sleeping loft & pull out sofa bed, outside deck
Forest Cottage- West Coast beach style cottage, outdoor shower, forest view seating area, mini fridge, private deck *SOLD OUT
Garden Suite- Nautical themed room located in the lower level of the main house, open planned room with separate entry, private bathroom, mini fridge, garden view
Main House- Master bedroom has a sleeping loft and a detached bathroom on the upper floor. Guest room has 2 single beds and a detached bathroom on the main floor
*All accommodations are double occupancy
*Photos courtesy of Nectar Yoga B & B
-3 nights accommodation at the lovely Nectar Yoga B & B- double occupancy
-9 delicious vegan meals (freshly prepared on site)
-Full Yoga Immersion programming (a total of six- 2 hour yoga classes, energy activations and pranayama, guided journaling, deep conversations, teachings on the 5 Elements and corresponding emotions)
-Individual 30-minute Reiki session
-Use of yoga props, cleaning fees & taxes, water & tea
-Private Facebook group
-Gift bag with self care items
Not included: Transportation to & from the retreat site, ferry costs, insurance (personal, medical, trip cancellation)
optional: in room massage (book in advance), Finnish sauna experience ($25 for up to 3 people), tarot reading, scooter rental, bike or kayak rental
What to bring: Your openness to explore, learn, and let go of anything holding you back.
Your passport (if you don't live in Canada), comfortable clothes to practice yoga in, yoga mat, journal & something to write with, water bottle, walking shoes, layers for cooler evenings, bathing suit
Our delicious meals will be plant based and themed around the 5 Tastes to balance out the Elements. All meals will be freshly prepared on site by Elizabeth Kovar.
Elizabeth Kovar M.A. is an award-winning vegan fitness trainer, author of Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus and international freelance writer and fitness presenter for BOSU and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Elizabeth studied yoga in six different countries and lived abroad in Australia (twice), India and Germany. Elizabeth is the creator of her vegan food and travel blog at: www.mindbodysoul-food.com and www.lemontreetravel.com. www.elizabethkovar.com
If you have food allergies or restrictions, please let us know.
Camron Momyer will be providing guests with a 30- minute individual Reiki healing session on retreat.
"In 2011 I completed my level 3 Reiki certification with Marie Manuchehri and began to entertain the idea that I may be capable of offering energy work to other people. Then, under the mentorship of Nicole Walsh in 2014 things began to click. I began to trust my abilities as a healer and it was no longer a matter of if but when. I felt like a fish that had finally found water and had no desire to go back to dry land." Find out more about Camron & Soul Sourced Energy Healing.
Why are humans attracted to spiritual structures like a church, temple or sacred site?
The outer world (collective) mirrors much of our inner world (individual).
Your body is literally a temple, a reflection of the fusion of your inner and outer worlds.
And your inner world seeps into your outer world. The skin is the largest organ in the body. Some people are not blessed with great skin, but how many times during stressful time periods, spiritual crisis’s or with a poor diet, the skin breaks out with something. Your inner world also reflects the outer world. Your personality, how you present yourself, how you treat people and how you react in situations is your outer world that is exposed.
Though many people present a confident or a strong outer world, their inner world is suffering and crying inside. A goal is to balance both.
So why should you treat your body like a temple?
Treat your body like a temple…not a woodshed or a garage.
Energy In vs. Energy Out - this concept goes beyond what we eat, but refers to the energy we take in on all levels.
A temple is selective on what it consumes physically, emotionally, mentally and sexually. It understands the sacredness of energy and appreciates the “light from God.” It sounds like high standards but treating your body like a temple increases one’s frequency and vibratory field. It doesn’t mean one must live a boring, stifled life, but chooses to consume light, love and beauty. And beauty is inspirational.
Why do you think so many people appreciate fine art, the ballet or symphony music? Because it’s beautiful and inspires something, whether its creativity or a moment of happiness.
A woodshed or a garage is an open invitation to pretty much anything. It’s a dumping ground for a bunch of random shit – cars, tools, soil, gasoline cans – and letting too much from the outer world in may not always benefit the inner world. Although a garage has the borders of four walls, it’s an endless dumping ground, and also contains many cobwebs and doesn’t get cleaned out too much.
Do you want to be an energetic open door to other people’s garbage? The intermingling of auras and energetic bodies from darker acts in life, long term, catches up. It’s like the snow ball effect. Most people who are addicts in some area of life are usually not internally happy.
As much as pleasures of the flesh are fun and exciting, the soul usually suffers after long-term abuse of negativity, violence, substance abuse and sexual partners.
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
And this is where becoming the temple is important. I personally do not believe we can have it all. We can’t have our cake and eat it too as once the cake is gone, its gone. We will constantly be searching for the next cake, or spend countless hours baking.
Obtaining purity of the mind, body, heart and soul takes time. And if you believe in God, he is the ultimate surveillance camera. He knows what is going on in your mind heart. He will send people, situations, circumstances or experiences to help you become your own temple.
The more of a temple we become, we shine brighter with light, love, confidence and positive energy. If you look at a street light, it attracts the bugs. Why? Because darkness needs to feed off the light in order to survive but it is up to us to become bright as a light but have the capability to shield ourselves from things that no longer serve us.
We all need help along the way but it’s up to us to decide what route we want to take in life. In my opinion, becoming a temple sets us free from the many things that make our souls cry.
What do you think? Do you think we should treat our body like a temple?
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com
Follow her travels at: lemontreetravel.com