Archive for June, 2009

The Unfamiliar

 kyoto-garden-v-050_2

The familiar is what has not been working for us for years.  It’s what the child in us came up with or saw demonstrated as a survival technique – to protect us.   In many cases it has been unhelpful.  And we can be grateful it got us this far.

When we come to 12 Step programs we commence leaving our comfort zones to explore new territory.  New ways of being.  It’s the unfamiliar.  Not bad, not good – just unfamiliar.  Yes, it takes some courage and some perserverence because it doesn’t feel comfortable – at first –  to go to this place.  As we allow ourselves to linger in this new territory, we become aclimated to these more helpful ways of being.  For example, being without doing.

While on the outside we don’t see the tangible results from doing that we’re used to acculating to make us feel okay, and that we previously used to  justify our existence, something just as important or more important is happening.  We are allowing processing to happen internally.  When we allow ourselves to just be and feel our feelings, we are actually pushing through to the other side.  All the outer doing we once crammed in just kept us from experiencing those feelings and being a full “human BEING.”  Intead, we now allow the internal part of ourselves to go to work when we sit and watch nature, or meditate.  Something is happening.  It’s important – probably more important than all the rushing around ever was.  We are becoming who God meant for us to be – the Spirit we came here as.

     – If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am safe.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  By grace I live.  By grace I am released.  There is no cruelty in God and none in me

Practice – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  By grace I live.  By grace I am released.   God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  There is no cruelty in God and none in me.   God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Leave a comment »

Be Without Doing

water-lily

My first year in the program a friend told me that I could learn to be without doing.  I had no idea what this meant at the time.  For years I’d been running around doing, doing, doing – especially for everyone else.  It’s what made me think I had a reason for being.  It also kept me from feeling me feelings and certainly helped me avoid looking at myself.  What’s more, when I needed help there was no one there to help me.

Since then, the concept of being without doing is clearer to me.  It means to take care of myself, slow down, sit and meditate, breath, go out and lay on the lawn, get up a little earlier so I can just sit outside in the summer and watch the planet – the birds, the squirrels, the chipmunk, the lady bugs, the plants growing, the trees waving in the wind.  It means saying no comfortably, discerning when things are none of my business, crying when I’m sad, calling another member of 12 Step programs when I’m scared, making time for me.  It’s a much nicer pace of life.  There is no guilt about just being during my day in between the activities which are necessary in order for me to be responsible and accountable for myself and my well being.  It fits in quite nicely and makes me more productive when there are things to do. 

It wasn’t comfortable to do this at first.  That’s pretty normal for new behaviors.  Now it comes easily and as I take better care of me, there is more of me available to be of service to God and others.  And I have the discernment, thanks to years of practice, of how much of my time can be spent in service and keep me healthy at the same time.  If ever I run into questions about it, I just call my sponsor and we walk through the pros and cons and come out on the other side with a reasonable decision.  It’s another way to ” Keep It Simple.”

     – If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I love and accept myself.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  There is one life, and that I share with God.  Your grace is given me.  I claim it now

Practice – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  There is one life, and that I share with God.   God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  Your grace is given me,.  I claim it now.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Leave a comment »

Persistence Pays

growing-sprouts-like-peas

A loved one says my persistence is one of my best qualities.  It isn’t always easy.

Last night I planted again – for the third time.  I’m commited to learning from my mistakes in the garden and in life.  The first planting I didn’t water enough, and only a few rows came up.  The second planting there was enough water, but I needed to till up the soil so the seeds could more easily grab onto the soil during germination.

This third planting should give the seeds all of the right conditions to germinate.  I made sure the soil was well tilled, the weeds pulled and – Thank You God – it rained last night after I planted.  Perfect.  Unless there’s something else I need to learn.  Just like practicing new actions and behaviors as we work through the 12 Steps and go forward.  Today is beautiful and sunny – what more could seeds want?  I feel both excitement and a little fear.  And, I persist because other members, and my own experience remind me that it works, in all areas of my life.

     – If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am making progress.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  There is no death.  The Son of God is here.  Now are we one with Him Who is our Source

Practice – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  There is no death.  The Son of God is here.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

 

Leave a comment »

More Meetings

hammock

When facing particularly challenging situations meetings can make a big difference.

A few years ago I increased my meeting attendence per week.  Some weeks I went to 6-8 meetings and it helped me get through the real life situation that could have thrown me into a tail spin.  Reacting came easier than responding due to the level of stress at the time.

A friend of mine has just gone through another lay off, too.  He’s going to 3 meetings a day to keep his head out of the stinking thinking, and keeps himself busy with service work in the meantime.  He’ll have work again in the Fall.  Meanwhile, he makes calls in to his union to see if any work is surfacing and then does whatever is in front of him to do.  Prayer has also gotten both of us through these tough times.  So does the gratitude list because it refocuses us on what is good about today.  And today – the sun is out, there’s a wonderful breeze and blessings and miracles fill my life.

     – If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” All is well and so am I.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.  I am as God created me.

Practice – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  I am as God created me.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Leave a comment »

Look At Me

magnify self

Some of us come to 12 Step programs thinking we know what’s best for everyone else.

When we start working the Steps we learn that we are to look at us in ways that we aren’t used to.  This may seem selfish at first, but if we don’t shift our focus away from others and onto ourselves we can’t make progress.  So instead of doing the safe and familiar and focusing on others, we are told to keep our eyes on ourselves.  On our business, and off other people, things and situations.  We’re told the uncomfortable – they are none of our business.  Ughhhhh.

While this may come as a shock to some of us, we eventually realize that the reason we had focused so much energy and time on others is that – and this is a stunner – we didn’t want to look at ourselves.  As uncomfortable as it feels, the more we focus on looking at our part in situations, our motives, and our mistakes the more our awareness grows – and “awareness is half the solution.”  That slogan still makes me feel hopeful.  It indicates a light at the end of the tunnel, and progress already made.  Working the 12 Steps, in order, with our sponsor by looking at ourselves is courageous and humbling, and the way that we come out on the other side.  It readies us to be of maximum service to God and our fellows.

     – If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am making progress.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  I give the miracles I have received.  I am at home.  Fear is the stranger here.

Practice – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  I give the miracles I have received.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  I am at home.  Fear is the stranger here.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Leave a comment »

Use The List

helping_hands01

Asking for help is not something I came to the programs willing to do.  In my family, it was my job to have the answers, to make things okay, to make the family look good.  Asking for help didn’t look good.

It didn’t feel good either.  So, when my sponsor told me to use the phone list, I didn’t know what she was talking about.  What she meant was pick up the phone and talk to someone else in The Program.   Ask if they have a few minutes to listen.  In most cases our timing is perfect and they can listen.  Tell them what’s going on with us.  Ask if they have similar experiences.  See how they’ve handled these situations.  Use the phone list.  Share. 

When we share with others we discover we’re not alone.  We’re not the only ones dealing with certain situations.  We find that other members from our meetings have been there too.  When we call, we not only gain from the conversation, we give.  We give another member of a 12 Step program an opportunity to do God’s work.  Often, someone at a meeting says just the thing we needed to hear.  It works that way when we reach out on the phone as well.  After several years in the program, I still reach out to others in the programs as well as my sponsor every week.  I learn from all these people, and many times I figure things out for myself just by allowing me to be human and sharing while another person just listens.  What a gift.

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am willing to share.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  Into His Presence would I enter now.  Today I learn to give as I receive.

Practice – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  Into His Presence would I enter now.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  Today I learn to give as I receive.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Leave a comment »

All Talk or All Work

fragileflower-708811

A newcomer to sobriety commented about being sick of talking about the 12 Steps.  This was after a slip. 

I understand how they could think that way.  Until I stopped talking about the Steps and started doing them, actually working them with a sponsor, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.  And, I had just the excuse I wanted to blame and justify and stay in the negative place that had served me so poorly for years.  While it’s comfortable to keep doing the familiar, fear of the unknown doesn’t have to hold us back from lasting sanity and serenity.

We’re told that the 12 Step Programs are programs of action.  We can give them lip service, but until we start doing what the Steps tell us to do we don’t have lasting results.   And we never work the Steps alone.  Our sponsors take us through the Steps, one at a time, sharing their own experience, strength and hope.  When my first sponsor told me I didn’t have to like doing the Steps, I just had to do them, it freed me up to go forward no matter how I felt about what I was doing.  All I know is that working the Steps works.  Nothing else seemed to work.  Thank God I was finally willing to do what I was told for a change – like it or not.  So, keep coming back.  It works, if we work it.

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am willing to take action.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  I will step back and let him lead the way.  I will walk with God in perfect holiness.

Practice – God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  I will step back and let him lead the way.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.  I will walk with God in perfect holiness.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Leave a comment »