Monday, January 31, 2011

Just fine

Wonderful meeting tonight, it was on step five. Admitted to God to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Recently I met with my sponsor to go over more step work from Blue Print for Progress ...I chose a bakery in a city outside town. The pastries were horrible, the setting was uncomfortable with bad tables and I felt my sponsor was not paying attention. I wanted more from my heart felt share it just wasn't turning out the way I thought it should.
Nothing seemed right I made a poor choice again and added some fuel to self hatred.
It has appeared to me time and again in retrospect the share it sometimes not the entire message. The whole experience often has many lessons if I can look at the entire event.

Now when I look back at this day it seems to represent my views of myself. I just cant get it right my best is not good enough. When I can practice loving kindness toward myself it is just the way it was supposed to be. I don't have to give fuel to the fire of my self hatred. My life is just fine in fact pretty damn good.
Having a sponsor has meant alot of my recovery. She calls me back when I phone in fact often answers the phone when I call her. She has heard quite a bit of my past and knows me very well but hasn't left yet. The program is incredible in its workings and healing of past wounds.
Tonight my feelings again toward the group were full of a settled D. It reminded me of old days in my youth when my inner self was not as troubled. There was a self love I had in those days before my young adulthood years. I am learning a more loving way of seeing myself.

" If no one knows us as we really are, we run the risk of making ourselves victims of our own self hatred. If we can be loved by somebody who sees us as we are, we will then be able to accept ourselves. Others rarely think we're as bad as we think we are."

Thursday, January 27, 2011


This week we received news of our brother in laws passing. He had a very serious drug problem paired with a very public job. Peoples lives were put in his hands. I remember once going into my in laws bathroom, blood was splattered over the mirror from his last injection.
My sister in law acted like nothing unusual was happening. The dinner party went on and she shined up the mirror. She assured me he was not an addict. I used to push her to wake up to his addiction. Alanon has helped me to keep the focus on myself.

He died from his addictive behavior. After major back surgery two days later he was back at work.
This choice he made was insanity at it's peak. His work is at hospitals where he contracted a staph infection that took him down.

Loving and caring for an addict is difficult, many times I felt ashamed of his behavior.
His addiction had a strong hold and it did not let go for one second.

Rest in Peace dear I
Tonight and always

I have a program that will always be there for me
HP is there for the world and it's people
My life is a gift i choose to live it to the best of my ability

Monday, January 24, 2011


Worked hard today and also enjoyed my meditation meeting. I have trouble trusting groups so it has taken me a while to feel safe at the Zen Center. I am not alone with
this feeling of not being a joiner many people in the program also experience the disconnect with groups. For some reason I didn't feel like running out right after the meeting ended but stayed for fellowship. Why this shift happened I am not sure. I don't have to know the reason but can stay in some gratitude tonight.

The share was on the fourth step. Learning through the steps how to love and appreciate my life is rewarding in so many ways.

I have also committed to studying Buddhism deeper with a teacher. L has been in recovery for over twenty five years and a Buddhist since 1975. Studying Buddhism did not keep her sober though she needed a program. I had asked her to be my sponsor and was declined. I did not give up it took another year so I asked again recently she agreed. Our first book to study is Pema Chodron's No Time to Loose.

HP has given me many gifts tonight i am enjoying this moment

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beautiful day sunny but mild. I love the city this time of year.
Grateful for some of my choices that with the help of the program.
I want to give credit for adding up some serenity in my life. It feels good, solid and peaceful tonight as I listen to my favorite radio station.

I have challenges in my day such as care-taking a friend. As I have mentioned this acquatiance is almost homeless. She coach surfs to pay for her storage unit full of antiques. We have decided not to let her move into our home. I call her but detach with love. She asks me to help her find a room, etc etc and some days I extend help. Today was difficult she is desperate but still doing the same behaviors but expecting different results. I offered advice today, " Stay here and get a job don't move again" ...and more was said she moves every 6 months up and down the coast
Oops I got involved beyond what I feel comfortable. I can feel resentment taking hold here between us. I don't have to take responsibility for other peoples choices. They have their own HP to help them make their decisions.

In the past I took care of others at the expense of my own well being. If I took care of them they would take care of me. But it just didn't seem to work out how I thought it should be...

Pema Chödrön's March 2005 article, The Answer to Anger and Aggression is Patience.

The following passage from the article made me think about the many things I hold onto past the point of usefulness--certain ways of doing things, beliefs about myself and others, even my perspective on the world--and how liberating it can be when I let go and open myself up to alternatives. But Chödrön also provides a healthy reminder that it takes patient effort to explore and understand these things, and that sometimes it's best to focus on small ones before addressing big ones:

[W]henever there is pain of any kind--the pain of aggression, grieving, loss, irritation, resentment, jealousy, indigestion, physical pain--if you really look into that, you can find out for yourself that behind the pain there is always something we are attached to. There is always something we're holding on to...

...After a while it seems like almost every moment of your life you're there, at a point where you realize you actually have a choice. You have a choice whether to open or close, whether to hold on or let go, whether to harden or soften...

It requires enormous patience even to be curious enough to look, to investigate. And then when you realize you have a choice, and that there’s actually something there that you’re attached to, it requires great patience to keep going into it. Because you will want to go into denial, to shut down. You’re going to say to yourself, "I don't want to see this." You'll be afraid, because even if you're starting to get close to it, the thought of letting go is usually very frightening. You may feel that you're going to die, or that something is going to die. And you will be right. If you let go, something will die. But it's something that needs to die and you will benefit greatly from its death.

On the other hand, sometimes it's easy to let go. If you make this journey of looking to see if there's something you’re holding on to, often it's going to be just a little thing. Once when I was stuck with something huge, Trungpa Rinpoche gave me some advice. He said, "It's too big; you can't let go of it yet, so practice with the little ones. Just start noticing all the little ways you hold when it’s actually pretty easy and just get the hang of letting go."

That was extremely good advice. You don't have to do the big one, because usually you can't. It's too threatening. It may even be too harsh to let go right then and there, on the spot. But even with small things, you may—perhaps just intellectually—begin to see that letting go can bring a sense of enormous relief, relaxation and connection with the softness and tenderness of the genuine heart. True joy comes from that.

For My Life in the Program guided by my HP
Being able to stay in the moment and feel the beautiful day today

San Francisco

Monday, January 17, 2011

Loving Kindness

Loving-ZKindness Meditation - by Ven. Pannyavaro

Loving-kindness meditation can be brought in to support the practice of insight meditation to help keep the mind open and sweet. It provides the essential balance to support Insight meditation practice.

It is a fact of life that many people are troubled by difficult emotional states in the pressured societies we live in, but do little in terms of developing skills to deal with them. Yet even when the mind goes sour it is within most people's capacity to arouse positive feelings to sweeten it. Loving-kindness is a meditation practice taught by the Buddha to develop the mental habit of selfless or altruistic love. In the Dhammapada can be found the saying: "Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness."

Loving-kindness is a meditation practice, which brings about positive attitudinal changes as it systematically develops the quality of 'loving-acceptance'. It acts, as it were, as a form of self-psychotherapy, a way of healing the troubled mind to free it from its pain and confusion. Of all Buddhist meditations, loving-kindness has the immediate benefit of sweetening and changing old habituated negative patterns of mind.

Four types of persons to develop loving-kindness towards:

    • a respected, beloved person — such as a spiritual teacher;

    • a dearly beloved — a close family member or friend;

    • a neutral person — somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards,
      e.g. person who serves you in a shop;

    • a hostile person — someone you are currently having difficulty with.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let go and laugh

I am tired tonight a friend came from Germany to stay for a few days. We had such a nice time together. We met a few years ago in an airport in the middle east. After all these years apart we still connected on my levels. She asked how I was doing and I spoke of my difficult holidays and getting caught in the spin of trying to run from my feelings.
My feelings. I become frightened of going into the dark forest, getting lost and not being able to find my way out. Fear takes over my life it feels as if I am lost without a map. ..oh slippery slime

My friend seemed to understand my holiday madness although she doesn't work a program. I sat and listened to her describe feelings of being an outsider not fitting in. We shared our holiday stories and laughed at the end of it. It is a mystery many things I wont understand in my life.
This is where I turn it over to the unknown and let go.

Kevin Griffin mentions a Korean monk has a practice called "Don't Know." In this practice
we recognize that we really dont have answers to many of lifes basic questions. Life is full of surprises. If we try to stay alert each moment is unique. God is also a mystery, any ideas about God were just thoughts. For me often my spiritual experience is difficult to put into words.
Spirituality is a feeling, the sun on my back, a bird call that I hear in my room when all is quiet.
But spirituality for me is beyond these phrases. Tao Te Ching said "The way that can be spoken is not the true Way."

Tonight writing in my blog took some thought and reflection. I opened my books and began reading from old favorites. It feels nice to stretch into the old bookshelf.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
Lao Tse

Monday, January 10, 2011

Step 2

Tonight in the meeting we discussed Step 2 Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Slowly I am coming to believe in a power greater than myself can guide me in my life. For most of my life willpower is what kept me going. As I have aged this has hindered me feeling that the world was in my control.

I sit in meditation for twenty minutes in this meeting watching my mind jump from one subject to another. With my breath I try to release let go and let god. I am not a sky God believer but I do have faith in a spiritual power. The simple act of breath is a powerful release from my thoughts.
Staying in the moment being present and not attaching to my thoughts is freeing. I am trying to have compassion with myself not self pity. I have resistance to Buddhism at times but there are many aspects that I trust. Just for today I will let go and just walk through some of my resistance. My experience has revealed that in time my practice grows deeper slowly....

1. HP is right here in this moment
2. The program keeps me sane
3. turning it over to a HP does not mean I become a doormat
4. Oranges are incredibly delicious right now

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Detach with Love

Detaching with Love
When I began to work the program in all my affairs my life changes, changed and is changing. I sometimes don't understand it all but HP has a plan I dont have to figure it out.
Recently I had a spat with my business partner. I felt my care taking of others was surrendering my serenity. E had asked for a personal favor during work hours and a resentment began to brew.
I felt anger brew within me but I continued to do the favor despite my feelings. When I arrived at the office I was angry at myself for not speaking up and my business partner for asking this favor of me. I brought up my discomfort. A fight between us took place. She left the room slamming the door but not before she informed me we would not talk further on this issue. I then informed her i would talk further on this issue if it was needed. My having to say no is not going to be comfortable to everyone.
I left the office but it wasnt like in the past when I would go into a shame spiral. The whirl I would spin into I thought of myself as God and I failed. I should control everything in the universe and would fail again and again. The disease of Alanon is progressive and I feel gratitude that I am in the rooms. Even when I cant show up for myself the program will be there for me.

In some ways my detailing the event brings up anger again. But I am able to detach from her and the event with Love.
This is a huge shift in my life. The other person doesn't have to be wrong and I don't have to build up resentments toward an avalanche when I cant speak up for myself.
Detaching with Love is responding with choice not anxiety to the situation.

Prayer is also a good tool I can use to help me with difficult situations. Praying for the well being of others during the day keeps me out of the victim role.

God meets me where I am ..If I am just willing Hp will come to me.

1. The Program
2. For my willingness to work the program
3. Ability to laugh at myself

Wonderful quote


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Step One

Step One We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Admitting I was powerless was difficult I willed myself through my life. I was going to be a success despite my family. I grew up in a alcoholic home learning to shut down emotionally at a young age. Rescuing others meant more than taking care of myself. They would take care of me eventually as time went on I believed they would recognize my sacrifice.

Today I am able to examine some of my character defects. I may be powerless in controlling others but I have choices in how I react in situations. If my partner is raging I don't have to engage.
Taking care of myself could mean walking out of a room, getting out of a car, and maybe having to cancel engagements.

Just for today I can also remember the growth I have in Alanon. I sometimes live a serene life
full of adventure and joy.