November 2, 2021

Tools for the Road as the Beat Goes On

And the beat goes on...and the beat goes on…
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain…
Ladadadadee….
Ladadadadie…

When that song was written in 1967, I was 10 years old and too young to realize what it was really about…

But today, at age 64, I’m all too aware of how life just keeps moving, just keeps marching forward, regardless of what is happening in any of our lives or those of the people we care about.

And yet, in the middle of the constant drum roll, the everpresent reel of news, births, illnesses, political turmoil around the world, and deaths of those we know and love, we are called upon to stop and consider how we are Be-ing in relationship with the people we love who are struggling with SUD.

You CAN be your loved one’s BEST chance at recovery, the BALM explains and then goes on to give details such as:
- Get out of denial
- Stop enabling
- Use leverage
- Set boundaries
to inspire and educate us in how to be their best chance.

So what is a person to do when the fast pace of life, with all of its work and home pressures, do their best to distract us from the opportunities we have to contribute to a loved one’s well being?

A couple of favorite tools many BALMers come back to again and again in order to lower their inner temperature and bring their attention back to learning how to practice Principle 4 and the other BALM Principles are 4-4-8 and Focus on the Task at Hand. Here’s a brief reminder of how these two tools work so you can try them on your journey.

4-4-8
This simple breathing practice removes your focus from the constant beat of upset and chaos and quickly returns
you to a state of inner peace. Here is how it works:
- Breathe in, to the count of 4.
- Hold your breath to the count of 4.
- Breathe out to the count of 8.

Do this slowly and gently to avoid hyperventilating or inner upset. When you do this, inner stillness increases and your mind begins to clear.

4-4-8 is particularly helpful when you find yourself obsessing over your loved one’s whereabouts or activities, or just when you want to use your breath to bring your mind into a peaceful state.

You can do it for 5 minutes 3 times a day in order to begin a daily peace practice and then, during the day, if something upsetting happens, you can simply return to 4-4-8 to help yourself calm down. Soon, you will find yourself ‘owning’ the practice as your default becomes calm rather than your previously upset state.

Focus on the Task at Hand
This practice is one to use when you find your mind racing at 90 miles an hour. Look at your hands. What are they doing? Washing dishes? Turning the car steering wheel?
As soon as you see what your hands are doing, move your attention to them and outloud describe what your hands are doing. (If you are in a public place, you can do this silently without even moving your lips.)

The mind can only think of one thing at a time. So, by focusing on your immediate activity, you allow the obsessive thoughts to fall to the background as you say something like, “I am now peeling the carrot. I am watching the peels slide down the sides of the sink. My right hand is carefully watching the carrot peels as they fall.”

This activity alone, when done repeatedly, can single handedly bring calm back to the mind as the terrorizing thoughts you were thinking fade away and you continue to focus on what you are doing in the moment.

Repeat this as often as it takes to make it a habit to focus on the present moments of your life.

In BALM, it all starts with peace and peace begins with a daily practice to bring the mind back to itself.. Regardless of what is going on, love is the way, peace is the path.

If you can, we will look forward to seeing you at the Memorial for Jerico on Thursday evening. If not, please send a prayer to him and his family at 9 pm ET on Thursday evening and remember everyone…

Be A Loving Mirror

Best,

Bev Buncher

About the author

Beverly Buncher, MA, PCC, CBFRLC, CTPC, known as the "Foremost Family Recovery Life Coach in the Nation", is the Founder and CEO of Family Recovery Resources, LLC, and the BALM® (Be A Loving Mirror®) Institutes for Family Recovery Coach Training and Family Recovery Education.