Archive for November, 2010

Unexpected Pleasure

Sometimes my husband brings the whole work crew over for lunch.  The other day I made my first ever batch of chili – to raving reviews.  With the really cold weather that’s descended upon us for the holiday week, the chili was just what the men had in mind to warm up and fortify them for the afternoon shift.

The satisfaction  and great pleasure I felt from hearing their genuine appreciation was delightful to experience and a bit humbling.  So simple, yet so heart warming for me.  My goal was to create a pleasurable, satisfying experience for them – and I received the same in return without expecting it. 

I think that’s what happens for us as we learn from 12 Step Programs to get out of ourselves and think of others and how we can be of service.  The rewards are usually unexpected, and often overwhelming in their degree of humbling and overwhelm.  I am honored when the opportunity arises where I can make a positive contribution for people.  It is truly my pleasure.  Thank You God.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am thinking of others too. ”

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

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Having Fun

It’s nice to be able to have fun on a holiday.  It’s a little easier with in-laws sometimes, especially when no one is a big drinker or drama drain.  At my in-laws yesterday that was the case.  Other than the fact that my mother-in-law doesn’t really sit down at first to eat with people (just like my own mom) our Thanksgiving celebration had a different tone than it usually does with my own family. 

It was truly fun.  We ate hearty of course, talked lots and played games.  One of my brother-in-laws entertained us with numerous impressions otherwise unlike his rather sober personality, and it was actually hysterical and so good natured.  I had a wonderful time.

Speaking for myself, I am grateful for the peaceful, no drama day and the pleasure of enjoying myself.  Nothing was a big deal, and my husband and I were able to wind down at home in warmth and comfort.  Thank You Spirit for all our blessings, for our healthy family and lot’s of fun!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am choosing to have lots of fun! ”

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

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Good Cold

We’re all adjusting to the cold and snow moving in for another Winter reign.  Chilly!  Fortunately, the temperature inside is warm enough, and we are cozy and safe from the elements.  It gives me more to be grateful for, and more from which to learn about patience.

The other day the weather report announced that we just had the coldest day since last February.  The first thing that popped into my head was that mathematically that means we only have really cold weather for about one third of the year!  Yes, that is good news because up here in the north land it often seems to last longer when we’re in the throes of it all.  When I look at the facts though, it’s not so bad.  And I have plenty to keep me busy during the cabin fever season.

First on my list is to knit my husband a hat.  He will have forgotten picking the yarn color last year, and will hopefully be surprised.  I should have just enough time to complete, and put it under the tree.  And then there’s the paper clutter that’s been on hold under a table cloth, just waiting for me to dig in and release it for recycling or filing.  And I haven’t watched a movie in months – can’t wait.  I’m popcorn deprived lately.  So, good things come from the cold too – if I look for them!  That’s what 12 Step Programs have taught me to do.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am finding the good in things. ”

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

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Holidays

The holidays are coming and already people are feeling the pressure, the stress the foreboding anticipation of seeing family whom they don’t necessarily see on a regular basis.  And there’s a reason we don’t normally see them.  We may have been born into the same families but that doesn’t automatically mean we are the greatest of friends or supporters for each other.

For those of us in 12 Step Programs, we are on a path of recovery that often diverges radically from the path our family of origin has been on – and they don’t really “get it,” that we’re different and focused on maintaining a different lifestyle.  It’s been a few decades of sobriety for me and some of my relatives still ask if I want a glass of wine.  No big deal.  I don’t take it personally.  It’s their stuff that makes them ask, their discomfort with someone not drinking.  I can just politely say, “No thanks,” and move on to another topic or find some way to be of service at the gathering. 

In the meantime, my focus for Thanksgiving is on what I’m bringing for our dinner celebration – pecan pie for my husband, pumpkin pie for everyone, and sweet potatoes.  Okay, so I’m in charge of all the sweets – how usual!  It’s a pleasure for me and my husband loves my cooking.  How nice for both of us.  That fills my heart and gives me great joy.  So simple.  My focus needs to stay on what’s good about the holidays – and on being of service.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am looking for ways to be of service. ”

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

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Refocus

Yesterday my husband shared a little concern about his fear of new business disappearing.  It had crossed my mind for a second two days ago, and because I let it go, it moved on. I focused on my gratitude for today, for what is scheduled for the next few weeks, and kept my mind out of the future and on the present. 

We are blessed – and if we choose to we can goof it all up just by casting our gaze where it doesn’t belong.  We are taught by 12 Step Programs to stay in the now, in the moment and when we do that our present moment is full and peaceful and worth celebrating.  Serenity and sanity are stable in the now.  Just for today, we can remember that a Higher Power is our supplier and takes care of everything else while we attend to our daily tasks.

At lunch time today, my husband was excited to let me know that our banker was passing our name and number on to another client he works with who has more work than he can handle!  Thank You God, Thank You God, Thank You God.  And this is one more example to confirm for my husband how it works. I don’t need any more convincing.  My husband is still unsure.  He’s almost there.  This is how it works when we let go, stay in gratitude and mind our own business.  It’s what the slogan says – “Let go and let God.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am letting God handle the details. ”

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

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Self Care Season

The past three weeks have been overwhelming regarding classes, but it’s going to start winding down a bit over the next few weeks.  Thank goodness, because the holiday season is upon us now and that means family time.  Family time can lead to a number of less than positive results for many people – anxiety, frustration, disppointment, sadness or depression.  Yesterday alone, I received three alarmed calls from sponsees confused at why they were feeling so off balance and emotional.

Now is the time for increased self care.  My sponsors taught me to make lists for myself of what I can do when the holiday blues try to set in with me.  Of course H.A.L.T. works well.  Checking on whether I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired is always a great start.  Complementing this with the other things that make me feel cared for, safe and comfortable fortifies me even more.  That means a nice bubble bath, a brisk walk through the neighborhood, hot chocolate, popcorn and a movie at home, hugs, asking for support from people I can count on, time with people who love me, meditation, dark chocolate are just a few of my favorite self care choices.  Regarding the Programs that means more calls to my sponsor, more meetings and making time to be of service.

Turning to what works and keep us fit and serene makes sense.  Everything listed above helps me to stay sane and serene, so I choose to do them.  They are simple yet effective choices that help me avoid despair and suffering, and instead set a trajectory for happiness, peace and true enjoyment in my life.  At one time I didn’t know this was possible.  Now I know it is inevitable whenever I choose the tools of the Programs – they work.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am doing what works. ”

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

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Back And Forth

In relationships I’ve noticed that there can be a back and forth movement between closeness and distance for some couples.  And it’s okay. 

There was a time when this might have scared me and caused much anxiety if my husband were coming and going regarding closeness in our relationship.  Through the years, my learning has allowed me to become more comfortable with the balance between us, and the individual me.  Sometimes I choose more distance which is a pleasant surprise for both my husband and for me.  Sometimes he chooses it.  However, we can still have closeness easily.

The back and forth has been referred to as a dance between couples.  And it really is a dance of sorts.  It’s even more an adventure in the dance of intimacy and how it manifests in our daily lives.  It’s healthy to have both the closeness and the distance at times.  The degrees of each are what seem to be at issue sometimes.  And as with most things, avoiding the extremes and seeking a midground or a balance is preferable.  I’m still learning.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning what feels comfortable. ”

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

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