Posts tagged 12 Steps

Birthday Blessing

Today is my husband’s birthday.  Last year, it was unclear whether he’d survive the month.  All we could do was let go and turn him over to our Higher Power to see him through his dark night of the soul.

His birthday this year is one of sobriety, sanity, and a Spring day just perfect to play outside.  The sun is shining, we have dinner plans for tonight, and he seems to be enjoying the morning.  Things aren’t perfect.  He’s still working through a healing process.  The point is, that like all the rest of us he too, is making progress.  And he’s alive!  That’s what I’m celebrating.  The rest is just icing on the cake. 

So today I celebrate his progress, his life, the opportunity to enjoy his presence in my life, and the simple fact that he’s alive.  So simple.  He’s a miracle.  Really, with so many devastating things happening in the world I have nothing to complain about, and so very much to be grateful for – every day.  And I am grateful for my husband.  Thank You God!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am grateful for the miracles in my life.”

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

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Last Minute

Many of us play this game with deadlines and tasks we need to accomplish.  I’ve done it with taxes and some other musts in my life.  An acquaintance once told me they were the best procrastinator on the planet.  They sounded proud of this quality.  It doesn’t make me feel proud.  It makes me feel embarrassed and uncomfortable when my choice is to wait until the last minute on important tasks. 

And it is my choice.  Somewhere in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous procrastinating is described as sloth.  Eeuw!  I don’t like attaching that description to my behavior, but it is true.  And procrastination is a symptom of something more basic and simple.  When reduced to it’s primary motivation, fear comes up the resounding cause of the symptom.  Fear of not doing it right, or not finishing in time, or not feeling deserving of taking care of myself, or not thinking I’m worthy of success.  It’s all an illusion.  Just an emotion.  It’s NOT reality.  Fear doesn’t have to win out. 

It’s so simple to muster the motivation.  Calling another program member and sharing briefly about it sometimes frees me up to get going.  Otherwise it’s like a secret that can fester inside of me.  I don’t need secrets.  They distract me and waste my life energy.  My experience is that if I just do one part of the task, no matter how I feel about it, the fear seems to be less significant, or it goes away completely in a few minutes.  Then I’m restored to a state of serenity and competence again.  Getting into action is all it takes.  We don’t have to want to do it.  We don’t have to like it.  We just have to do it.  The feelings always change for me when my actions are in process, and my focus is in the moment.   It takes so much less energy to just stay in the moment and get into action, get busy.  It feels good.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am getting things done! ”

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

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What Works

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A loved one recently connected with us after going through treatment and living in a sober house.  At times, it’s been a challenge to stay in a place of sanity and serenity since they reconnected.

It’s helping me to focus on what works.  There’s so much out of our control with this person – we’re doing what works and it’s helping.  A gratitude list helps.  Calling people and talking about frustrations, hurts and sadness helps.  Going to more meetings helps.  Getting into action is making a big difference for me.  As I channel  my frustration and sadness into decluttering, I’m accomplishing something that benefits all of us.  Less clutter helps me feel more sane and serene.  It also helps me process the feelings that come up regarding my loved one.  I can stop in the midst of sorting, have a good cry, blow my nose and press on. 

I’m feeling my feelings, eliminating clutter inside my head and my heart as well as in our home.  It doesn’t feel so great going through it, but experience has taught me that pushing through to the other side of the feelings, rather than using or keeping busy to avoid them, really works.  I grow.  I feel better, eventually.  And I always survive it no matter how out of control I feel – picking up the phone to connect with another member of a 12 Step program helps immensely.  We never have to be alone as we’re processing through uncomfortable feelings.  It’s a “we” program.  We have access to something that most people on the planet don’t know is available.  And I’ve been blessed to call upon the aid of 12 Step members when traveling many times – they have always responded with a welcome response, ready to be of service when I call.  That’s what works.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I am doing the next right thing to do.”

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

Course In Miracles Lesson –  Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

Practice – Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

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Inspiration

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I’ve noticed again that my sponsees are giving me a great gift without initially knowing it. 

When they tell me about the miracles that are happening in their lives simply because they are working the Steps and doing what is in front of them to do – they inspire me.  Hearing about their miracles continues to remind me that miracles are just around the corner.  In the next phone call.  In the greeting of my husband after a long absence.  In the job opportunity that presents itself seemingly out of nowhere. 

When we sponsor, it seems we receive so much more than we share with sponsees.  We are able to see one or more examples, on a daily basis of how well the program works when we work it.  And, how our Higher Power answers our request for what their will is for us as well as the strength and power to carry it out.  We have no opportunity to forget how it works, and we will find ourselves consistently inspired by these daily servings to stay focused on what works, what’s right and what’s good about today.  This is one more way the programs work and it’s important to share that with our sponsees.  Thank You God.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I receive miracles daily.”

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

Course In Miracles Lesson –  I place the future in the hands of God.

Practice – I place the future in the hands of God.

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More On Surrender and Feelings

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I’m getting reminders of the power in surrender.  When we have courage and feel the feelings, painful though they may be, we allow ourselves to push through to the other side and we are stronger for it.

Douglas Bloch,in his book “Listening To Your InnerVoice,” says “You are like a diamond that is continually being polished and perfected. As this purification proceeds, old thought forms and negative patterns rise to the surface to be released. Past unfinished business must be completed. Old traumas that have been stored in the body ask to be discharged.”

This is so true for us all and a lovely way to see how the process works. We become more as God created us with each resurfacing of the past traumas and each polishing as we feel and push through the feelings. It can feel just awful, but it’s only temporary – “this too shall pass” – and then we are free of that layer and we can move forward unencumbered. It’s the only way to get to the other side, to push through the feelings. I’ve had my own to push through recently. In between feeling them, I did all sorts of decluttering – taking breaks to have some good cries. Otherwise, I was in much gratitude and positive. which seems to be in direct opposition to my other feelings, but there you have it. Guess I’ve been kind of like a bouncing ball of emotion lately. What I can appreciate is that the ball keeps moving and doesn’t stay stuck in the sadness or hurt for too long.  And that’s how it works – “One day at a time.”

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I feel my feelings and heal.”

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

Course In Miracles Lesson – All things are lessons God would have me learn.  Forgive and I will see this differently.

Practice – All things are lessons God would have me learn.  Forgive and you will see this differently.  I forgive and this will disappear.

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Affirmations

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What are affirmations and why say them?  I was introduced to affirmations years ago by a woman in the program who taught me how important what I say can be in how my day goes.  She had read about them in Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Body.”  They were also presented to me in a self esteem and assertiveness class that was part of the family program I attended.  I was working on having a more positive attitude and that included speaking more positively.

Affirmations are statements that affirm what we believe about ourselves or life in general.  Before the programs, my affirmations were often negative as learned from my family and false beliefs about life garnered from unpleasant experiences.  When I started learning about Louise Hay’s affirmations, I saw that they were all positive in words and focus.  While they may have felt uncomfortable to say at first, they grew on me and often made me feel better.  The most difficult affirmation for me to say at the time was, “I am worthwhile without proof.”  I was asked to say it while looking at myself in a mirror.  Ugh!  Initially, it made me cringe to do it.  But I perservered and little by little I started believing it.  And my new behaviors supported the affirmation.

Now I say affirmations daily.  My favorite is, ” I am completely loveable.”  It always makes me smile and it does influence my attitude and how I show up in life.  Whenever I notice a less than positive attitude cropping up in my speech or behavior, a quick affirmation can blow it away like a feather and replace it with a sunny disposition.  Or I pop in Louise’s new movie “You Can Heal Your Life,” – it’s great.  I feel happy and look happy.  People smile at me because I’m smiling at them – even when I don’t mean it at first.  Affirmations change me for the better, and help me be of maximum service to God. 

To purchase Louise Hay’s Books and Movie see – Links I Like  

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Affirmation for the Day – ” Life supports me.”

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

Course In Miracles Lesson – I loose the world from all I thought it was.

Practice –  I loose the world from all I thought it was and choose my own reality instead.  I who remain as God created me  would loose the world from all I thought it was.  For I am real because the world I see is not, and I would know my own reality.

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Progress

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Progress is marked not by comparing ourselves to others, but rather by comparing ourselves to ourselves and how far we’ve come.  Before the program, “we compared our insides to other people’s outsides.”  Can’t remember the page that’s on in the Big Book.  I sponsor some incredible women all sent to me recently by God to keep my focus off my challenges and on being of service.  Their courage is inspiring daily, and they’re learning to mark their progress the same way that my sponsor and other women taught me to mark it.  

Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we take time to see how far we’ve come in the time we’ve been doing the work.  We all deserve acknowledgement for the progress made, the awareness developed, the courage demonstrated and the changes accomplished in how we practice the principles in all our affairs. 

When people took the time to point out to me how far I’d come, and how much my behavior had changed it was hard for me to accept at first.  I didn’t feel worthy of the compliment.  Yet, I couldn’t dismiss their point.  The program was working in my life.  Each day brought new opportunities for growth, allowing  me to apply the principles and see them work.  My life was easier, less stressful.   And instead of fearing or dreading the day ahead,  a little peace and at times anticipation crept into my attitude toward the day.   Now, I feel excitement some mornings.  Every day I’m grateful for … the cat perched on my lap as I write this, today’s weather forecast – warm, for the opportunity to share what people teach me in the program, and for the progress I make each day in what is before me to do.

As I mentioned, at first others pointed out my progress, but now I can take note of it myself in most cases and give myself a pat on the back.  I deserve it for doing the work.  And I remember that God is my provider. It’s okay to give ourselves positive feedback, and it’s a good example for others. 

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Affirmation for the Day – “Life supports me!”

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

Course In Miracles Lesson – I seek but what belongs to me in truth, and joy and peace are my inheritance.

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