Posts tagged Growth

New Adventure

My internship started this week and it has been such an honor to be allowed to sit in with people who are seeking help.  I feel overwhelmed and grateful for the glimpse into their lives and the struggles and challenges they’ve faced.  Their strength and fortitude are amazing.

In 12 Step meetings I also hear stories of grace, and courage and amazing strength from other members.  They show me the way with what they share, especially when it’s new territory for me.  And yes there is always some new territory through which we find our footing and grow.  Each new life experience helps me develop my frame of reference for how to live a whole, healthy, happy and balanced life.

It’s part of the process of the adventure to keep learning in life.  That’s why we keep coming back to meetings.  It really does work to continually show us new options, new awarenesses and expand our lifescape.  We are blessed to be able to access such a rich source of knowledge, experience and possibilities through the 12 Step Programs. 

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning at every meeting. ”

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

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Sharing

We have a house guest for the next three months.  I’m not used to this and the introduction phase could be going better.  It’s okay.  Nothing too out of the ordinary when new people are learning how to live together.

So I’m learning more about patience, communication, adjusting to change, what works and what doesn’t and how to learn these things as graciously as possible.  This will be an adventure for me.  And it’s important for me to breath through it all, deeply and slowly.  Yoga is a yearning for me presently.  It’s calling my name for peace, for serenity, and for grounding and sanity.  Eating enough, walking more and making adjustments for my vulnerability at this time is a good thing to do.

Meanwhile, two days down and 89 to go.  I can do it.  It’s only temporary, and there are opportunities here for me to grow.  In fact I’m looking forward to it in some ways, for the positive effect it will have on me and the thoughtfulness and tolerance it will further develop in me.  I can do it – a day at a time.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning more about how to share. ”

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

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A New Baby

Yesterday, glancing out the backyard windows some distant motion caught my eye.  Stepping outside led me to investigate further and what did I discover, but a new baby bunny.

I ran for the camera and caught a picture of the newest baby to show itself.  It was with a mother bunny and they were grazing peacefully in the lull of early evening.  Resilience came to mind.  There is always a new experience to appreciate if we keep ourselves open to it.

The site of these bunnies reinforced the hope that leads me through my days.  There are temptations for me to become discouraged by events in my life.  I choose, thanks to the Promises of the programs, to seize the hope most days.  Yes, it’s a choice.  With the support and encouragement of our sponsors we can persist and persevere on a trajectory of hope.  Life goes on, no matter what shows up to distract us.  With a little courage, and trust we can pursue the course of resilience – and we are very resilient.  Even remarkable.  Like the bunnies.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am still grateful for the bunnies.”

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

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Challenging Myself Again

12 Step programs have taught me to challenge myself on my beliefs, my thinking, my actions, and my emotions – to name a few.

Now, my Multicultural class will be refining the process even further.  My ability to be caring, empathetic, patient and understanding has expanded because of the learning shared with me through AA and Alanon over many years.  And these aspects of my being can expand to include even more awareness and sensitivity toward others in the world.  Part of the reason for my progress is my ability to be in what my therapist calls a place of “safe vulnerability.”  I like the term.  It feels strong to be in that place.  It means that I can open myself up to asking questions about people, things and situations – instead of judging them.  Which in turn, helps me develop greater understanding of those people, things and situations.  With more understanding – there is less need or desire for fear. 

Instead, I can live from a place of authentic caring, concern and acceptance of my fellow human beings and the experiences that happen throughout my life.  It does not mean that I tolerate inhumanity.  But being thoughtful, considerate and discerning about what might be influencing the activities, behaviors and reactions of other people can help me have greater appreciation and respect for our differences, as well as awareness and sensitivity of our similarities.  It seems we have more similarities.  I like noticing that aspect of our humanness.  It reinforces my optimism for the future for our world.  It makes me smile.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am willing to ask more questions.”

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

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Incremental Growth

Growth happens in such small increments that we don’t always notice it on a daily basis.  However, if we learn what to look for, even the smallest increments of personal growth can be noticed and celebrated.

In the garden, I note the number of leaves, the height or just the first appearance of the vegetables.  Each and every day there is something to acknowledge – the two new shoots of asparagas that showed up yesterday, the radish leaves nearly doubling in size in a day, the appearance of the turnips in quick unison only 4 days after planting.  In 12 Step programs we make progress on a daily basis too.  Sometimes it shows up as a big step where we try an entirely new behavior and we realize success with the help of our sponsor and others. 

At other times, our progress is smaller – smiling at a stranger, noticing we’re grateful that the sun is shining today, focusing immediately on praying for someone against whom we have resentment, or a call to our sponsor in the face of a potential argument with a loved one.  Some of these, no one can see, and only we are aware of these incremental changes in behavior and attitude.  And they are notable.  Little changes can be miracles.  Whatever we focus on grows and multiplies – it seems to be a natural law.  So being more conscious about our focus and where we direct it, is a helpful choice that can keep our incremental growth and progress persisting.  It’s worth celebrating!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am choosing to notice my progress.”

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

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Cuttings

At a meeting a few years ago, our district rep offered a cutting of Swedish Ivy to anyone who was interested – she had an ample supply.  She told us these cuttings were from a plant of Bill W. and Lois’s, one of the founders of AA and his wife, which our rep had received from the district meeting some time back.  Her one cutting had over time, and with the right conditions become a thriving, lush plant of its’ own and now she was able to pass it on with cuttings from her plant. 

And isn’t that just how the 12 Step programs work.  We start out as cuttings, placed in the fertile teachings of the program. Nurtured by listening well to the wisdom of others at weekly meetings.  With the help of our sponsors we choose to plant ourselves in the foundation of the 12 Step work where our tender roots of awareness start to take hold.  When we complete the Steps we just start to branch out, sprouting new leaves and sending tender roots into the foundation established by humbling (not humiliating) ourselves and doing what others suggest.  Little by little, as we stay on task doing what is suggested by our sponsors, and what is in front of us to do each day, we develop a firm grounding and become stronger.  Our growth starts to reach out to others in ways we never imagined as God begins to work through our words and our actions.  We find ourselves passing on the wisdom that has been shared with us, which we now know is valid from our own experience.

As I watered my Swedish Ivy the other day I realized it’s time for me to pass cuttings on to my sponsees, since I too now have a healthy plant that needs a good trimming.   The added benefit is that it will become fuller and send out many more new shoots.  The idea of passing it on again feels joyful.  It makes me feel happy to share with others what has been so freely shared with me.  That’s how the 12 Step programs work.  Pass it on.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am sharing with others. ”

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

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Growth

Harvest Basket Oct 31 08

The squash in the garden are amazing and abundant.

Each day I find squash in unexpected shapes and sizes and colors.  It’s so exciting to discover the new developments every day.  And these miracles of sustenance that came from little seeds will take us through our way too long Winter with colorful, bountiful, hearty meals.  Again, we’ll save the seeds from the best of them to plant next Spring when the soil heats up.  Next year’s garden plan is already in my head from what I learned this year.

Next year the squash will have the place of honor closer to the rest of the backyard where there will be plenty of room for them to meander and spread out happily in the sun.  They are a glorious plant variety to watch as they spread their tendrils out to secure their position for the heavy fruit they’ll produce.  They really dig in and take a stand where they choose.  Then the fruit sets and within two weeks, a full grown fruit takes the place of a delicate blossom.  They’re gorgeous.  I like to think of those of us in 12 Step programs as squash – blossoms, delicate and fragile when we first arrive and quickly bearing hearty fruits as we commit and plant ourselves in meetings, with sponsors, receiving the nourishment of the 12 Steps which produce the harvest of miracles that start happening so quickly in our lives.  As we do what’s in front of us to do with an attitude of gratitude, it’s a bountiful harvest that cycles through our lives as do the season with our gardens.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I see miracles today.”

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

Course In Miracles Lesson –  This holy instant is salvation come.

Practice – We have forgiven one another now, and so we come at last to You again.  Father, Your Son, who never left, returns to Heaven and his home.  How glad are we to have our sanity restored to us, and to remember that we all are one.

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