If you want to grow out of your current problems, you're gonna need new friends! I find them in support groups, creative ventures, dance classes, community groups, and especially in books. Here are a few favorite inspirational voices in my life.

Groups

Al-Anon
Friends and families of problem drinkers find understanding and support here. Find out how your habits, learned while trying to cope with someone else's problem, are creating problems in your family, and how to replace these with healthier ways. Group meetings vary in their approach so try several. Also, check out their affordable publications, available for order online or at meetings.

PRISM Weight Loss Program
This group provides a structured approach to teaching you about emotional issues and nutritional information, along with strategies that help you relearn how to eat properly. The program has a Christian basis, but this may be a small part or a big part of the program, depending on the group you choose.

Authors

The following writers have helped me learn what my inner circle of family and friends mostly did not know, or else, we all began learning together. These authors have written several books each. I list one or two of the more well-known titles, but peruse and you may find something that more directly suits you.

Amen, Dr. Daniel
Fix Your Brain, Fix Your Life
Dr. Amen's many books give you a glimpse into how our brain works. His approach is to consider faulty brains, in the same non-judgmental way we'd consider someone with tennis elbow, or a persistent slight limp. Brain issues are often fixable and can be the root cause of many problems in your life.

Hay, Louise
You Can Heal Your Life
Lack of self love is the root of all of our problems, Louise explains. Her sweet voice come through in her stories, affirmations and insights, like that wise, loving older sister we could all benefit from.

Katie, Byron

Loving What Is
I Need Your Love, Is it True?

Ms. Byron Katie provides four simple questions to help us unravel the rationale we use to make ourselves miserable! Listen to the audio to hear real-life examples of how this process works. This is a simple system you can apply daily to help you laugh at your serious side, and enjoy life more.

Tolle, Eckhart
The Power of Now
A New Earth

After sitting on park benches for a couple years, Mr. Tolle finally understood something that he'd been missing in his earlier life. Eckhart Tolle shares his insights about how the only time we ever have is right now. Not a big fan of self-help books? Try Guardians of Being, the book that combines pet illustrations from Mutts comic strip artist with Tolle quotes. Learning the power of now from dogs and cats might be our most direct route!

Meditation

Meditation changed my life for the better, in a profound way. Search for a practice that fits your style. There are many to choose from.

Sahaja Yoga Meditation

I walked into my first Sahaja meditation class wearing yoga pants. I thought it was a yoga class, and luckily it was much more. I like the Sahaja Yoga meditation practice, because it's free, has weekly meetings and online downloadable files I can use anytime.


Maybe, I love this class too  because the people in my local group were so caring and wonderful. And maybe I love it because it taught me that thinking is limited, and how taking a break from thinking makes life surprisingly richer and more enjoyable.


Activities

Some activities leave you feeling great. Those activities are worth pursuing! Usually, they have one or more of these things in common:

  • creative and/or calming
  • engages the body
  • requires less thought, or a different kind of thinking, than you normally do in your day


What activities might provide this bliss in your life? Perhaps you're already used to working out in the gym or spending time on a treadmill. Try adding some activities that are less directly purposeful, but may provide a freer, lighter outlook on life:

  • dancing: social dancing such as Salsa or Ballroom, go out to the club with your friends, or learn traditional dancing such as African dance
  • singing: in the shower, with a group, performing or learning a new language or traditional songs from your own or another culture
  • drumming or playing an instrument: allow your body to become another instrument, and it may bring your life in tune
  • acupuncture, massage, tapping or any variety of healing touch: allows emotional trauma to be released physically
  • yoga: uses ancient techniques to massage internal organs, maintain flexibility and calm your mind
  • nature: being in nature is healing. Proactively fit into your weekly schedule a jaunt in nature.
  • cooking: shopping for fresh vegetables and preparing them is a foundational part of enjoying life
  • artistic endeavors: every child is a painter and a sculptor. Every adult can be one too.