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Relinquishing Substance Use-Abuse by Susan Kramer Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Photo credit Susan Kramer

Text and photo copyright 1999-2011 Susan Kramer
Santa Barbara, California USA
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Published by Creations in Consciousness


1. Introduction
2. Alcohol
3. Mood-altering; Mind-bending Drugs
4. Using Will Power
5. Consider; Discriminate; Integrate
6. Growing in Self-knowledge
7. Summary

1. Introduction

We were created
to put substances into our body
for sustenance, growth, repair—
All we consume
affecting our functioning variously

'Visualize a plate of food.' Six hours after consuming, the food will have been converted into the format of parts of our body and energy to fuel our body. An amazing process.

If we consume substances that our body can not assimilate usefully, the body-mind organism is thrown off its natural harmonious chemical balance. We become aware of the discord by the unpleasant symptoms that we feel. This is a built-in safeguard system alerting us to change our ways, or suffer further.

We perceive imbalance as: feeling agitated; the inability to think logically; loss of desire to resolve daily or backlogged conflicts; pains and aches that are not from injuries; feelings of sluggishness in digestion, circulation, respiration; and lack of vitality.

If every system in the body
was allowed to function normally
because it was treated with respect, care, and consciousness
our built-in intelligent guidance system
could rebuild, fight off and rejuvenate
when a life-threatening virus or germ invaded
Our fort—our body—would be ready
well-stocked with natural healthy defenses
All substances carried in air, water, food
and other chemical compounds
affect our body-mind system

Why do we take in that which upsets our natural balance? Mostly, because we are unaware of the natural results of our actions. We may think a certain substance will put us in a state of altered consciousness, and that this altering will make us feel right, because we were not feeling right beforehand.

Putting our body more out of balance
through substance abuse
just adds to its imbalance and discord

2. Alcohol

Alcohol deadens the senses—never helps resolve any conflict in the mind. Alcohol affects and breaks down bodily systems as the body does not use it as nourishment, but treats it as a foreign invader and works hard to filter it out of the body. Eventually the body's own systems break down through overwork and then succumb to the poison and die.

3. Mood-altering; Mind-bending Drugs

Mood-altering and mind-bending drugs alter the natural balance in a way that causes us to lose contact with our higher intuitive center's link with normal bodily functions. This integration is broken down and we are left feeling that something is not quite right. A good thing, too, or we might think that all was functioning normally.

Mind-bending drugs affect the nervous system and brain cells. Our built-in computer systems suffer malfunctions and we are then unable to relate as well or efficiently in our desired activities and interpersonal communications. We may think that we are getting more insight about life, but instead we are having more experience with a malfunctioning mind-brain computer operation.

If we desire to experience all that life has to offer, we need to keep all our bodily systems in balance, in harmony with the way they were created to function. Then we have the best chance of experiencing the transcendent qualities that are made up of finer than matter particles—bliss and joy self-sustained and continuously manifesting from an inner non-physical mental plane brought up to our consciousness when we have caring and loving feelings.

We intuitively feel our links with all creation
Links that will never be seen with a microscope
till we allow our mind and body to function
in its state of natural harmony
we are clouded to perceiving
through our transcendent senses—
Finer perceptions becoming more visible
through clarity of mind

4. Using Will Power

When we exert our will power for the most conscious good, we take positive command of our life. Will power to follow through on what we know is best takes courage and energy—energy available to us through positive thinking and affirming our will.

We are happiest and feel best about ourselves when we are fulfilling the needs of daily living in a positive way, doing something creative, and having loving relationships.

Will-power is developed by setting goals and then fulfilling them on time. By forming this habit we control our mind and its impulses—we are not letting our mind control us.

The usefulness of controlling our mind means that we can remain easeful in seeming difficulties—that through using our positive clear thinking and acting for the most conscious good, a workable solution to any problem is created.

We assume positive control over our mind by using our willpower to affirm and carry out the highest good in each moment.

Positive attitudes
Energetic will power
Mastery of mind

5. Consider; Discriminate; Integrate

To wisely pick out upgraded habits and patterns of behavior we need to consider all possibilities, discriminate to decide which choice is for the highest good of the situation and integrate the choice into daily living.

This three-part process is a prudent way to make and implement positive decisions—positive changes in habits. The better we understand ourselves and follow our conscience, the more conscious control we have in our lives. As we expand in consciousness we realize that happiness—the feeling of limitlessness—is really ours within—the reality of who we are while living on earth.

After considering options, we discriminate by looking over the choices carefully—asking ourselves what is best for us now and in the long run. Then it is up to us to use our willpower to integrate this choice into daily living.

Information from our growing awareness is useful
only if we apply it to living
Let's choose, use daily
that which expresses, expands awareness

6. Growing in Self-knowledge

As we grow to understand ourselves—what motivates our personal behavior—we continue to upgrade our habits.

Self-knowledge is knowing
and being able to draw
from our inner Source

Self-knowledge forms the foundation for building a happy and fulfilling life. When our actions are in-line with the highest good we are contributing to our sense of wholeness and well-being—as a house built upon a foundation with straight and true lumber creates a framework that perfectly supports its visible coverings.

By our actions we are known
With the insight of Self-knowledge
we can create beautiful actions

Self-knowledge is like drinking from an ever-flowing spring of clarity. When we need guidance in any situation, the way that preserves our personal peace then comes to mind. It is as an open telephone line from the pervading universal cellular harmony to our conscious mind. The more we converse on this open direct line to our all-knowing Source, the more we can use and incorporate these directives reliably. After awhile, the flow becomes so integrated into our waking consciousness, that the best resolve is automatic. This is open communication in its purest sense—the ultimate application of Self-knowledge.

The best habits we can have in our life are those of practicing meditation and self-analysis combined with caring actions and ethical living—then we open and clear our line to our ever-ready Source.

brought out from within
imbues our daily actions
with truth and harmony
Habits upgraded
by our growing consciousness
instilling our lives
with ever more joy

7. Summary

1. In order to become aware of our full scope of human potential we must maintain the natural harmonious balance in our mind-body systems by avoiding taking in upsetting or distorting substances—this also includes substances that are normally good for us, but not when taken in excess.

2. Reach for resolve to conflict from a balanced state of introspection and analyses of the options presenting. Choose the option that harms no one.

3. Substitute positive activities for time previously spent in abuse and overindulgence. Positive actions include practices that keep our bodies healthy and clean; such as exercise, wholesome diet, and serviceful activities.

4. Keep the mind healthy by substituting positive attitudes for doubt, fear, and negativity. Substitute compassion for anger. And emotionally, practice feeling caring love instead of nurturing jealousy.

Substituting positive practices
for substance use—abuse
leads to awareness
of our lasting and most human qualities
Self-sustaining love, joy, and happiness—
Adding introspection
Positive attitudes
Encourages our natural selection
of useful and upgraded habits
Self-sustaining love, joy and happiness to flourish


Stan Schaap and Susan Kramer

Susan Kramer, M.A., M.Div. is an international author of more than 50 collections and 150 articles on rhythmic dance, ballet, music, philosophy, social issues, yoga and practical spirituality for children, teens, adults and those challenged, with some translations in Dutch, French, German and Spanish, and with her husband, Stan Schaap- resides in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
web site
further reading—
Radiant Yoga for Teens and Adults
Radiant Yoga for Children
Growing in Consciousness
Conquering Codependency
Anger Analyzed; Dealing with its Effects
Reclaiming Personal Power; Recovering from Addiction

Books for teaching toddlers to teens by Susan Kramer
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