I have to take a few deep breaths before I delve into the Swamp. This is such a complex and multifaceted issue that it will take many different angles and approaches for us to really see the beast for what it is.
I have alluded to this marriage in other writings, and I truly feel it deserves its due diligence. My highly advanced drawing skills depict the fundamental schism we can experience within ourselves. We have a heart that is always speaking to us, in the language of intuition, quiet inspiration, and subtle feelings that are meant to guide our lives. We have a brain that is subject to the conditioning of the world and our particular culture. While the heart remains true and open at all times, we can be susceptible to listening to and believing the brain's automatic thinking.
Starting with a poorly-drawn stereotypical depiction of male/female communication styles is just an icebreaker, I promise. As always, I want to share personal and clinical experience to shed light on real-life issues many of us have encountered. I used men and women in this example, but it certainly isn't as black and white as some people still believe. Strong and conscious communication can be applied across the board and transcends gender, sexual orientation, and cultural norms.
In talking about the controversies around cannabis, I am going to put myself out there and be as vulnerable, honest, and direct as possible. As a teenager, I began experimenting with pot at the age of 17 against my own better judgment. I was weary of all substances, including pot and alcohol but a cocktail of factors lead to taking that first toke. Peer pressure and curiosity seemed surprisingly overpowering, and I quickly found myself imbibing in a purple haze more often than was healthy.
Ironically, I am hoping that people click on this article which makes me sound pretty hypocritical right off the bat. Now that I have your attention, I hope to take you on a journey through the maze of attention-grabbing links, ads, fake news, real fake news and false promises. The end result will be the liberation of your mind and heart.
The picture above is courtesy of my wife who made this as a poster for an event we are planning in our town. Over the past 10 years, I've been working as an addiction and mental health counselor with a focus on helping people develop authentic spirituality and self-awareness. My work touches on a concept that is often talked about but thus far seldom practiced: learning to love ourselves and bringing our focus to cultivating a positive relationship with who we are, right now.