Friday, December 28, 2012

Self care

Came home after a meeting at a Buddhist center. I was feeling out of sorts and knew where to go for care-a meeting. Driving across town the beauty is that I knew a meeting would happen at a certain time and place whether I made it on time or not. This gives me great comfort knowing the rooms are there for me and anyone else. It has no requirements except a desire to stop drinking.

My friend N has been staying here for a few days. It's nice to have company in our home.
Friends can help fill in a place. She is in bad shape with her boyfriend as he has many girlfriends.
Stories are repeated over and over again. This repetition is exhausting. I learn self care and detachment.
Taking care means I don't have to listen to it.

Wow I am tired think it's time for sleep.
one step at a time

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

the 3 c's

Feeling calm tonight after a nice dinner at home. We invited Y nephew and a couple of friends.
I began cooking early this morning. Yesterday thinking of the dinner I noticed that things werent
sitting right. This made me think about how i was going to take care of myself. A few phone calls were made and things began to feel better. Taking care of myself sometimes me asking others to show up for a dinner by participating. I dont have to do it all.
They have a choice if this works or not for them. Of course if it doesn't work I can choose another plan
but it can not continue as in the past. She decided to show up and help  me with the dinner.
This works better for everyone. As I age and work a program the martyr just doesnt work for me. This role is a set up for resentments.
We can remain better friends with boundaries.

Y has not really been much better he seems more stable but in a horrible mood. This is where I get to practice my program. He can be in a  mood and I can have a choice in how I am going to take care of Dianne. It's not my job to make him feel better. There is a set up and I wont bite his bait called the blame game. In the past my self esteem was so low he could trigger me to act out also. It was ugly.

The 3 c's

We didn’t CAUSE it; we cannot CONTROL it;
We cannot CURE it.

Taking Care of myself is/ was and INSIDE job.
I am grateful for Alanon
The Holidays have been very nice despite everything.
Hp has a plan for me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Gratitude for what I have in my life. I concentrate on what is not working but I have much to be thankful for. Last night a woman came up to me and wanted money as I was pumping gas. I was upset she was asking at the wrong time with the wrong attitude…She looked drugged up and needing a fix. I wasn’t very kind to her trying to ignore the situation and get out of the station.
She walked away mentioning she just wanted  a pair of socks. I noticed she had a pair of white crews sticking out the top of her shoes.
Fortunately I went to a meeting and was able to welcome newcomers.
I hope to bring more compassion to those in need.
@Pema Chodren
In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.
In particular, to care about other people who are fearful, angry, jealous, overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish, mean —you name it— to have compassion and to care for these people, means not to run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves. In fact, one’s whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it off and hiding from it, one could open one’s heart and allow oneself to feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make us far more loving and kind.

The past couple days I have been tweaked, not as bad as in the past. Just feeling sad at others not being able to show up for me. My h is in his workaholic stage working day and night. Rude and withdrawn.
I detach with love- well try to. Today I fantasized about leaving him to pay him back for making me feel so alone. I go to meetings and share. Loving myself is difficult in these Holiday situations. 
I fear he wont show up for Xmas eve dinner at a friends home. It will not be the first time he has embarrassed me. Alanon is there to embrace me.
Tonight I will write, tomorrow I hopefully will wake up and go the Zen Center.
I am powerless and will let god work magic in my life.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Not working for me

Having compassion for myself. This simple act is difficult for me I want to be perfect.
Letting go of who I think I should be and acceptance of who I am.
Of course following an old storyline is exhausting and who wrote the script.
Tonight in mediation the talk was on many things but the focus was on sitting with yourself.
In the end trying to sit with all my feelings and not attach is freeing.
It takes time there is a restless quality to my mediation especially in the beginning.
Sitting though teaches me patience and focus. These two quality's can take anyone deeper into knowing our authentic self.

Thinking of letting my sponsor go, she is continually one hour late.
Every get together is frustrating I dont think it should be like that.
I left the meeting place last time we were to meet due to her extreme tardiness. I think it would be best
to find someone else to hold me in Alanon.
It just is not working for me.
She is not a bad person but her tardiness is troubling.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What is working

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving at a friends home. It's inspiring she has entered Alanon and I enjoy talking to her about the program. I thought we would end up being closer friends but that has not happened.
Letting go of expectations and trying acceptance.
She made a wonderful soup one side parsnips the other side pepper with a cashew cream poured over the top. It was tasty. I brought Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.
Then we had a tofu turkey which tasted like cardboard. Not sure tofu works with everything or as a good pretender. Her neighbor brought a real Turkey.
One of my old friends...we have had a difficult friendship was alone on the holidays I brought her to the dinner. My resentments began to brew thinking back to my disappointments in our friendship.
She is not a very inclusive person. But I thought it over and decided as service to bring her along.
No one should be alone on a Holiday...or almost no one.
I seem to get disappointed with women friendships. Why? Maybe I am choosing the wrong women and trying to change them into who they could be. Or they are the right women and I need to let go of who I want them to be. Either way HP has a plan for all this and I dont have to figure it out tonight.
I did have a serene peaceful feelings despite of what was not working. Lately I try to focus on what is working....

From: Courage to Change. One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II
Al-Anon Family Groups Inc. Page 2.

Turning to an alcoholic for affection and support can be like going to a hardware store for bread. Perhaps we expect a "good" parent to nurture and support our feelings, or a "loving" spouse to comfort and hold us when we are afraid, or a "caring" child to want to pitch in when we are ill or overwhelmed. While these loved ones may not meet our expectations, it is our expectations, not our loved ones, that have let us down.

Love is expressed in many ways, and those affected by alcoholism may not be able to express it the way we would like. But we can try to recognize love whenever and however it is offered. When it is not, we don't hve to feel deprived; most of us find an unfailing source of love in Al-Anon. With the encouragement and support of others, we learn to treat our needs as important and apppropriate and to treat ourselves as deserving.

Todays Reminder
Today the alcoholic may or may not be able to give us what we desire and no one person will ever offer all that we require. If we stop insisting that our needs be met according to our will, we may discover that all the love and support we need is already at our fingertips.

"In Al-Anon I discover in myself the power to throw new light on a seemingly hopeless situation. I learn I must use this power, not to change the alcoholic, over whom I am powerless, but to overcome my own distorted ideas and attitudes.
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon

Please share on expectations or anything else that is on your mind this week.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Silent Light

1. For not always having to give advice -
2. Ability to follow through
3. Listen mindfully
4. That I can also speak up
5. For coconut water

Saturday, November 10, 2012


1. HP has my best interest in mind
2. I can step back and not react sometimes
3. For the walks along the ocean
4. interest in life
5. ability to reach out

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Buddha nature

1. I have patience
2. My feelings don't get hurt so much as in the past
3. My well being does not rest in what others think of me today
4. No migraines this week
5. Everyone has Buddha nature

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


1. For my life it is full
2. ability to forgive
3. relationship with mom changing 
4. nothing remains the same
5. Soup is comforting

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sitting with myself

Reading from Beyond Happiness grasping the chapter on meditation.
Using Meditation to chase happiness is again trying to change our life to suit us...
which for me means to only hold the good times to run from the negative feeling which will inevitably undermine a deeper happiness of true contentment.
Sitting with myself helps calm my mind and body. The intention of sitting is to be fully present with the moment whatever you are experiencing.
Stillness and observation.

I have compassion for myself.

May all beings be happy

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Detaching again

Tonight feeling comfortable and enjoying reading blogs. Had a trigger today with a friend. One area I am working on is choosing friendships that can show up. I do understand my chooser is broken although I do love my friends despite it all. I dont want my friends to feel left out and invite them to events despite it being the wrong thing to do sometimes. One friend is bottoming out with her untreated Alanon behavior. She looks like a addicted homeless person living on the streets. Her clothing is dirty and torn and this is what she wears to work.
What happened? Sad really she doesn't have an idea of how she looks I guess. Well.. I invited her to an art event that another friend and I go to regularly. I told C it is a dress up event scared she would show up in her dirty clothes which she does quite regularly....She declined the offer to attend the event with me. Instead of feeling relieved I felt like I had been rejected. Set up for victim feelings.

 I wasn't true to my offer in some ways I made it so she would decline.
There was an attachment to how I want C to be in the world. C is where she is right now and it is not a pretty sight to watch your friend bottoming out in Alanon. She is too busy taking care of her Alcoholic boyfriend.
How do I take care of myself in this situation?
Detach with love
Remember that you are powerless over others. This is such an important thing to remember if you want to improve your relationships (or just live a positive life in general). No matter what you would like to believe, you have zero control over others. Realize this and you will free yourself from a lot of mental anguish. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

For today

1. For my perseverance
2. The buddha nature lies within all
3. That for the most part I am pretty healthy
4. Life has surprises
5. Just for today I dont have to take a drink

Friday, October 19, 2012



1. Spiritual life
2. ability to travel
3. Migraines are doing better
4. My Program
5. for the sun

Saturday, October 13, 2012


1. Hiking
2. Hiking near the ocean
3. Hiking near the ocean with good friends
4. Hiking near the ocean with good friends and warm sun
5. Nightfall and rest

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I am worthy of love

Rainy night hopped into my car for and Alanon meeting. Not many ladies showed up but the meeting gave me comfort despite the down turned mouths. I often think the meeting is  a safe place to talk of my secrets, some of these hidden places are filled with grief. They pour out in small streams using the program language, 12 steps, and tears. It is a relief to have such a space to feel safe and held.

Woke up this morning with some spin of my unworthiness. These are not new feelings they are old old places when I was a kid. Why couldn't I make everyone's life better it must be my fault. I am unworthy and I thrashed myself with deep cerebral jabs.
Today it left and I tried to detach with love.
Loving myself in my discomfort. HP has a plan.

Despite this small set back my life seems pretty good.

1. For my life
2. forgiveness for my character defects
3. working a program to the best of my ability
4. I dont have to figure it all out
5. carrot soup with ginger and a splash of cream

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


1. I can accept my life at times
2. for birds
3. for bird feeders
4. old people that still cuss we are talking 80 year olds
5. my program it has given me my life back

Monday, October 8, 2012


1. Able to forgive
2. Willingness
3. Detaching from an outcome after setting an intention
4. My new haircut
5. sense of humor

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


1. For life
2. ability to sleep well
3. can appreciate simple pleasures
4.  things change
5. my buddhist teacher L

Monday, October 1, 2012


Critical mass. I used to support this movement but this last ride was an attack on me personally that left me almost in tears. As I was crossing one part of the city a bike blocked my path which caused me to be frozen.
The group then surrounded my car screaming and pounding on my vehicle. One particular fella decided to attack me personally with horrible words. At first I got angry and shouted back but then I noticed it fed the crowd. They felt justified to rage against me, a driver.
I was able to step back and breathe thinking of what I could do to take care of myself in this situation. Taking photos of the group was my next move, and then smiling as I did this and remaining calm. They tried the old technique but realized I was not going to react and they then left for the next victim.
It was a horrible experience but I learned a valuable tool of not reacting despite what was happening.
My reaction was also a part of the experience and I could remove myself from their rage.
Tonight I will try to do Metta practice around this person who threw cruel words toward me.
This does not mean I wont follow through with turning this one man into the police. I am not sure what actions I will take next but not turning him in could do him harm also.

1. Spiritual practice
2. Ability to take care of myself in all situations
3. I dont have to do it alone
4. HP has a plan
5. Warm days near the ocean

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Beautiful day, sunny golden rays of autumn. Met up with a couple of friends to attend a series of concerts free to the public. Incredible gift to everyone!
One particular Quartet Kronos was my favorite. They never seem to amaze me with their choices of music.

My friends are struggling in their marriage. Most of the time when I ask M how she is doing the reply is,"I am leaving, cant take it any longer." Makes me sad I know my friend L is trying so hard. He loves his wife and daughter but struggles with his demons. I am not sure if he will find anyone better than his current wife.
Letting go but feeling sad a little regarding their situation.
I cant fix it for them.

My own marriage has it's challenges these days. My Y is working again non stop. I go to events on my own he never can show up. I try to detach and not take it personally. He is a sick person. Keep the focus on myself I am powerless over Y. HP has a plan and I am not God.

1. My precious life
2. Willingness to look at my life in an honest fashion.
3. Pray for willingness when I dont have willingness
4. Health
5. Positive outlook

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More on Happiness and stuff

More on Happiness. Getting home from a rigorous Pilates class tonight. The instructor is from Iran. He gives such a great deal on the reformer machines.
Well still wanting to talk more on my Happiness class. What makes me happy is learning to take care of myself so I don't have the expectation that others will take care of me. You see it's a carni ride my game from the past. I sacrificed for others and then expected the same toward me. And around and around it went....
resentments were my payoff and the story of victimhood. Painful to think of this game I learned and then took on in my life.
Taking care of myself also means not having to listen non stop to sick Alanon conversations. Learning how to set boundaries in a caring loving manner. My friend T has broken up with her boyfriend M. So her calls are non stop what a creep M is and then repeat the process again. I can't participate in bad mouthing with her as I did in the past. This is an addictive pattern that I find unkind and feeding someones addiction. As bad as he may have been in the past she has also gone back to this fella. The last phone call I told her I had to get off the phone and back to work.
Feeling my emotions and not trying to fix her. This is real recovery for me. Live and let live.
I think that also I made myself too available in the past. Why? They needed me so they would be there for me. Fucked up thinking. again expectations attached there. Today letting HP take me into it's moment by moment knowledge love and acceptance.

1. For recovery and showing up in my life
2. Loving without expectations
3. that I didnt get a migraine today
4. worked well with by B partner
5. practice of patience is what I try to let sink in

More on Happiness

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Signed up for a second series at the Zen Center for the Happiness Class. I enjoy reaching out of my life to take classes. The title again bugs the crap out of me for some reason. Guess it seems we are so forced to feel good all the time with drugs, shopping, dating it's all a commodity. Although I bah humbug the title I am greatly intrigued to find out more on how people attain this illusive quality within themselves.
I feel with the program and my spiritual path things are much smoother and less jagged around the edges.
Good news for me as before recovery I was in a bad way emotionally.
Gratitude for
1. My recovery
2. Spiritual connection
3. Loving partner
4. Enjoy good friends
5. Generally enjoy my life

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. 

More to follow around Happiness

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Having to write about vows in my life for a class. What comes to mind is my vow not to drink just for today.
Out of this intention many wheels are set to motion.
12 steps
reaching out to others who are still suffering
From one intention flows another life. This life is precious and I am grateful I get to show up for myelf just for today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"take a step back"

Long day today very tired tonight. On my way to a meeting I turned around and went home to rest instead.
This was taking care of myself. In the past I treated meetings as compulsively as I did everything else in my life. This is how I still have to do it sometimes even today I go and go and don't stop. When I sit with myself in meditation my mind has an edge filled with anxiety. It is comforting to be able to see my spin and not get caught in the struggle.
Feeling ok to let go and trust HP has a plan for me tonight

The second way we addressed her anxiety was to deal with those scary thoughts and to recognize that they were just thoughts. She was able to "take a step back" and witness the process of thinking. This is often very helpful to clients (and to anyone else): recognizing that thoughts are thoughts and then not particularly "buying them." Especially pernicious for Claire were habitual self-critical thoughts: "I shouldn't be such a baby; pull yourself together!" Most of the time we believe that our thoughts are a true representation of reality. Buddhism teaches us to question that. So, Claire watched as thoughts arose and dissolved and practiced not getting caught up in them. This brought some relief as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Alanon to guide me

Today was beautiful despite my difficult day with my H. He woke up with a terrible, rude attitude and it has continued into night. I work my program detach with love and keep the focus on what D needs to take care of herself. This is beautiful when I can work it. HP has plans and love for us both.

Talking on the phone today I had an awakening from a friend in Alanon. She mentioned her cancer is needing more chemotherapy. This can not be good. Such a young vibrant woman battling with mature issues.
My wake up is I am healthy despite some of my mental failings. I have Alanon to guide me.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Precious life

The niece has left along with another nephew. She stayed for a couple of weeks in my office, my private retreat...With a few boundaries I set for myself things worked out pretty well. I tried to keep my meeting schedule, kept myself out of her business and remained engaged in a schedule. For a woman such as myself enmeshment happened when I got close to others. The big challenge was minding my own buisness. After her surgery I took care of her for a couple of days making delicious soups, sandwiches and drinks. She loved this care and at times I enjoyed being of service to another.
But then after a few days I could feel a resentment brewing so I would leave my home to go to work or a meeting. It doesnt mean I am selfish to take care of myself. This is what I believed in the past taking care of me was secondary taking care of others was my first job.  I do care for others just not at the expense of my own care. My niece is a pretty smart young woman she has her whole life ahead of her.

Gratitude: For this precious human life I was given, learning to appreciate it and love myself and others.

Taking Care of Ourselves

Posted on 07/25/08, 03:00 am
From "Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie:

We often refer to recover from codependency and adult child issues as "self care". Self-care is not, as some may think a spin-off of the "me generation." It isn't self-indulgence. It isn't selfishness - in the negative interpretation of that word.

We're learning to take care of ourselves, instead of obsessively focusing on another person. We're learning self-responsibility, instead of feeling excessively responsible for others. Self-care also means tending to our true responsibilities to others; we do this better when we're not feeling overly responsible.

Self-care sometimes means "me first" but usually "me too". It means we are responsible for ourselves and can choose to no longer be victims.

Self-care means learning to love the person we're responsible for taking care of - ourselves. We do not do this to hibernate in a cocoon of isolations and self-indulgence; we do it so we can better love others and learn to let them love us.

Self-care isn't selfish; it's self-esteem.

Prayer for the day: Today, God, help me love myself. Help me let go of feeling excessively responsible for those around me. Show me what I need to do to take care of myself and be appropriately responsible to others.

It seems like a common theme in some of the posts lately are taking care of ourselves, and I know it's a common thought in my mind lately so I thought I would sharing this reading with everyone.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Feeling uneasy tonight. Think it is time to take care of Dianne and let the niece take care of herself now.
She is meeting up with friends. My husband is still taking her around town although he is soooo behind with work. I am feeling old feelings coming up that are not sitting pretty in my life.
Y takes care of others at my expense. This reminds me of my childhood family setting.
There would only be so much to go around and the alcoholic father was the mess to be taken care of.
My mother was flirting with her lovers Lies to my father so she could meet them.
I waited for my turn which never came. This left me feeling alone and unlovable.

This means I am feeling out of sorts with D. What do I need to do to take care of me in this situation.
I might need to go out of town camping, swimming or hiking. There is a great place out of town that I enjoy.
Y can take care of his niece and I don't have to wait and watch for my turn to happen.
Detach with love.
Sit by a stream and listen to nature which is healing and loving to me.

Detachment with love means caring enough about others to allow them to learn from their mistakes. It also means being responsible for our own welfare and making decisions without ulterior motives-the desire to control others.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Self Care

Today was covered in fog I woke up to a sore throat. Yesterday around 4:00 pm I decided to walk to a restaurant which is quite a hike 3 miles away...I stopped at a Korean hot pepper shop. The store was covered in hot sauces from around the planet. Walking always renews my interest in my neighborhood.
There are many treasures that lie hidden away from car vision.
Multitudes of fresh Chinese groceries line the street as I continued I bought some fresh lychees.
I love the inner white juicy fruit surrounded by the red shell.
More stores and then bang a sore throat. The dinner went well but I could feel there was a cold brewing inside.
So today I scheduled an acupuncture treatment to boost my immune. At the end of the session I downed my Chinese herbs with a glass of water. Next stop at the co-op for zinc lozenges and sprays for the throat.
It's nice to take care of myself and not ignore the symptoms. In the past I often would ignore the symptoms thinking that it would just fade away. But the fact is it didn't just disappear it usually got worse.
Where did I come up with this self care?

I find it interesting that my sore throat comes with the arrival of my husbands niece. She is scheduled to have surgery this week and is staying with us for her care. I sympathize with her situation.
Learning to care for others and to care for myself is challenging. I was taught to sacrifice it all for the good of my mother. This has led to brewing some serious resentments.

So today I have a sore throat learning to take care of D. I also can care for N but not in an obsessive manner...

Learn to give from my overflow rather that from my reserve. This is self care, we learn to let go of burdens we were never meant to carry. Learn to ask, “What is the best thing for me?”

We're learning to take care of ourselves, instead of obsessively focusing on another person. We're learning self-responsibility, instead of feeling excessively responsible for others. Self-care also means tending to our true responsibilities to others; we do this better when we're not feeling overly responsible.

Monday, August 13, 2012

List of Character Defects

List of Character Defects for 12 Step Recovery Work
Here’s a list I found of possible character defects to consider while doing stepwork. It’s by Lydia at her recovery blog:  Don’t Drink and Don’t Die
Lydia’s Character Defect List visit her site for updated versions of this list)
  • anger, hatred
  • anxiety – Not as a clinical diagnosis, but as a general way of viewing things with an eye toward what is wrong, what might be wrong, what has been wrong or what is going to be wrong. Excessive worry, especially about things I cannot change.
  • arrogance – Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.
  • closed mindedness – Contempt prior to investigation. Disregarding things and ideas just because they are new and unknown. Being unwilling to try things or follow suggestions. Failing to remain teachable.  Having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments.
  • dependency, over dependency, co dependency – Relying on others to provide for us what we ought to provide for ourselves. Feeling we must be in a relationship, or must hold on to others who want to move on. Letting others control us to an extreme due to our fear of being alone, abandoned, or independent.
  • depression, pessimism – Not as a clinical condition, but as a way to generally see the dark side of things.
  • dishonesty – Sins of omission and commission. Telling lies, hiding things, telling half truths or pretending something is so that isn’t. Withholding important information. Adding untrue details to stories and situations.  Stealing, cheating, taking things that aren’t ours and that we aren’t entitled to.
  • controlling attitude toward people, places and things – Trying to control others by manipulation, bribery, punishment, withholding things or tricking them into acting as we wish, even when we believe it is in their best interest to do so. Failing to be equal partners with others and to consider their knowledge and opinions.
  • fear
  • gluttony, greed - Wanting and taking too much: food, sex, time, money, comfort, leisure, material possessions, attention, security.  Acquiring things (material things, relationships, attention) at the expense of others.
  • gossiping – Speaking or writing about others in a negative manner, especially to get them in trouble or to feel superior to them and bond with someone else against the target of the gossip.  When I find myself talking about someone, I must pause and check out why I am mentioning their name.
  • humility, a lack of humility – Feeling better than and worse than others, and being self centered.
  • impatience – Being frustrated by waiting, wanting often to be some time in the future, wanting something to change or improve rather than accepting it as it is.
  • intolerance – Not accepting people or things for who or what they are.
  • inventory taking, being judgmental – Noticing and listing, out loud or to ourselves, the faults of others.
  • jealousy and envy – Wanting what others have, feeling we don’t have enough or deserve more, wishing we had what others do instead of them. This applies to material possessions like houses, cars, money and such. It also applies to nonmaterial things like relationships, a nice family, children, parents, friends and partners, and fulfilling work relationships. We can envy others their looks and physical appearance, their talents and physical abilities or attributes such as thinness, tallness, sports ability or musical talent.
  • laziness, procrastination, sloth – Not doing as much as is reasonable for us to do. Putting things off repeatedly. Not carrying our own load as much as we are able. Letting others provide things for us that we ought to get for ourselves.
  • perfectionism – Expecting or demanding too much from ourselves or others. Treating things that aren’t perfect as not good enough. Not recognizing a good try or progress.
  • prejudice – Pre-judging people based on a group they belong to. Negative feelings about someone based on their religion, race, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, accent, politics, economic status, physical characteristics like height, weight, hair style, clothing style, physical fitness.
  • rationalization, minimizing and justifying, self-justification – Saying and/or believing I had good motives for bad behavior.  Saying that I did bad things for good reasons, or that what I did really wasn’t that bad.
  • resentment – The feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.
  • rigidity and fear of change
  • self centeredness, selfishness – Spending excessive time thinking about myself. Considering myself first in situations. Not having enough regard for others or thinking about how circumstances hurt or help others. Thinking about what I can get out of situations and people, what’s in it for me? Spending too much time considering my appearance, acquiring things for myself, pampering myself, indulging myself.
  • self pity

Friday, August 10, 2012


Let there be no gossip...I have been paying attention to this character defect that I practice. Why do I feel this need to continue some behavior I find troubling.  To connect with others? When I developed this bad habit probably began in my early childhood. I was shy and felt
uncomfortable talking to people. So it was a safe topic I guess? My grandmother who lived in our home would talk about my Mother, her daughter. It wasn't a good modeling this talking of others.
 I didn't like it when she talked about my Mom. I took this quality on as an adult and it troubles me.
Turning it over tonight but becoming mindful of this defect of character.

The Buddhist Guide to Gossip

Nancy Baker

So why do we talk about others’ errors and faults? What’s in it for us? Well, probably a number of things. Sometimes there’s the need for reassurance that I’m right. Or that I’m good. Or that I’m at least not like that, whatever “that” may be. It can also be a way of avoiding what I imagine will be a confrontation. It’s an avoidance of telling the truth, of putting truth where it belongs. So in speaking about as opposed to speaking to someone, we’re failing to honor this precept. And that’s often what we do. We’re afraid. Also motivating us is the need to get someone over to my side about an issue. Most striking of all is the unconscious desire for intimacy with the one to whom I am speaking. But this is a delusion, since it is nothing but false intimacy. In fact, it’s amazing to think that we actually use speaking about the faults of others in order to feel connected. Notice the contradiction, the delusion, here: We use, and even create, separation from one thing or person to overcome separation from another! We are afraid of genuine contact, so we find something or someone to complain about or gossip about. It occurs to me that the “expounding upon” the errors and faults of others in one of the translations mentioned above is part of this. It means telling stories about, analyzing, enjoying being very “perceptive” with another at someone else’s expense, as if this shared enterprise brings us closer together.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

take what you like and leave the rest

Tired tonight sitting in bed reading blogs feels comforting. Big day today reorganizing my office. I hired someone from Alanon to help clean and organize. She arrived on time, really did a great job!
The one problem is she talked constantly all day long without stopping. I dont think she listened to one response all day. But I kept her moving through the day and she went to great lengths to help me.
It's just that non stop chatter is exhausting I feel life is being sucked out of me.

Despite what wasnt working today I walk into my office and it shines. I mean literally it is spotless.
I set an intention  which worked for me today. Take what I like and leave the rest.

It was nice having help learning to accept others flaws and gifts are ways I can better love myself in all my imperfections.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I feel comfortable tonight. Sitting reading blogs ...Went to an art opening today across the bridge full of promising artists and curious viewers. I enjoyed talking to a cartoon artist reading a piece he is creating for CNN. I am outraged about Guantanamo Bay he agreed. It saddens me to have this horror happening today committed by our country.

I ended the day attending a meditation meeting. Eugene Cash spoke of watching our experience by labeling
our experiences - pleasant, unpleasant, neutral. Watching  but not attaching to thoughts, this is freedom to me.

 vijja or the insight knowledge is knowing the pleasant and neutral and unpleasant as they are. We're not asking for partial sensitivity any more, or for the best of the sensory experiences, but we are opening towards total sensitivity which includes all possibilities for pain, ugliness, unpleasantness. Avijja says: 'I don't want to lose my looks; I don't want to have any unpleasant experiences; I want to be happy'. That's avijja. Vijja says: 'There is suffering; there is the origin and the cessation, and there is the way out of suffering.'

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Just for today

Because all beings are fundamentally Buddha Nature, all beings may realize enlightenment.

I find this comforting to realize we are perfect just as we are right now. Within me I am Buddha within all beings there is Buddha nature.  

Last night in the meeting the talk was on setting an intention. This I practice pretty much throughout the day in my program. Just for today I wont drink I will try to my best ability to show up for my precious human life. There are many forms that try to detour me along the way to sobriety. 
They appear but I dont have to invite them in for tea or go and have a drink over the voices.
One appearance that happens for me these days is the voice of " there is something else that I should be doing instead of being there for myself in a meeting." But I show up anyway despite the voices.
This is my addict trying to pull me down. A woman mentioned addicts being
Irritable, restless and ill at ease. This pretty much fits the description of myself at times.
Being of service to others also helps me and others. To keep it you have to give it away freely.

Gratitude for having choices in my life today

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You just don't understand

Finished a dinner after a wedding rehearsal for my friend. It was wonderful to be present to the anarchy
of her planning without trying to change it to make it right for me. Weddings can be so overly planed with it all being just so right ...then months later it turns out so wrong. I like things to be shaken up with room for free edges. The wedding planner came disguised as Church representive. She looked at my friend the bride informing her with tight lips " this is all very important things need to be planned. You just don't seem to understand."
I can laugh about it now but I also got caught up in her world. That is right it all needs to be perfectly planed.
And then I get to step  back and mess it up so life can unfold in it's own zany way.
Alanon has allowed me to let go and let god and especially to laugh.
Tomorrow I wear a bridesmaid dress in my 50's.
Gratitude for the incredible wonderful wacky life

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sometimes quickly

Day spent with an old friend from NY. She moved four years ago I still miss her presence.
We ate dinner and spoke of life. It is nice that I didn't feel enmeshed with her but could have my place and she could have her place.
As I have learned to keep the focus on myself I am paying more attention to my thoughts and feelings.
In the past I would merge with the individual thinking of their well being over my own and then get a good resentment brewing. They were supposed to take care of me when the occasion arose. They just never seemed to pay me back the way I wanted.

One particular friend always wanted rides from me. In the past I would pick her up driving her around town
because I didnt want to be alone. I was trying to fill a deep hole that was going to be filled by the other person. But this just never paned out. They often didn't pay me back in a way that I wanted  so I was a victim again although they were hole fillers for me....

Today I don't expect payback the hole in my soul has been filled sometimes quickly sometimes slowly
Grateful for the program

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Old days

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Live and let live

Wonderful day made lunch for a dear friend purred carrot soup, salmon rolls with watermelon for desert.
It was delicious. We then visited the museum for a photo show. The Traina collection was a disappointment bought with D Steeles influence. Nice to get out and look at photos though despite the poor collection.
Tonight feeling content and fulfilled glad I can take in some good feelings toward myself.
The world seems just fine the way it is tonight.
Live and let live

Monday, July 2, 2012

Turning it over

Woke up feeling very negative this morning. Nothing was lifting my spirits till I went to acupuncture then things started to shift. I was feeling out of sorts with D and trying to run from myself. This has not worked in the past nor will it more than likely work in the future. 

Despite myself I made efforts by having coffee with another alcoholic. I inquired about her husbands liver transplant. She then mentioned her feelings of "no one showing up" to encourage her these past days.
Self pity I guess you might call it runs ran pent with the disease. My mind will go to who is not calling me, how they hurt me, what I did for them and they in turn hurt me. My addiction wants food to keep it alive...

One day at a time
Practicing gratitude toward what works in my life
Doing service for other newcomers
Turning it over to HP

Friday, June 29, 2012

Showing Up

The jury is finished tonight we watched over 200 films in a month.Whoa took alot out of me this year
some difficult situations and having them in my home to deal with. Despite the problems it was an incredible trip to take with the filmmakers and their vision.

I got the opportunity to practice my program by not engaging negatively with one of my jury. I tried to retain my integrity through it all. Dont know how I accomplished so much in the past without my program.
Grateful to be able to show up in my life in a positive manner...despite the downfalls.

  1. Right after I open my eyes, and before getting out of bed in the morning, I state my intention to be mindful for the day. I appreciate my intention.
  2. Right after I turn off the light at night, I do 30 seconds of loving kindness practice, wishing myself and other beings well. I appreciate myself for remembering to practice.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Let Go

Jurying a film festival takes time we have watched over 180 films. Yes it is exciting but I notice that my 
attitude is slipping a little. We meet four days a week at my home. I enjoy having a group over to be a part of the process. But I have one individual who is a difficult person. The rules state there is no texting but she continues to text after I have asked her not to. 
How to deal with this situation?
Let go a little bit of the problem and see what happens after it rests.
I reach out and discuss the problem with the other members

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to deal with suffering

Tonight I sat in meditation counting from one to ten. Then it began all over again. My mind wondered to events, places to go, problems that might occur.
Last night I dreamt of a young friend M who smokes pot everyday but is very creative.
Her designs have made her quite successful recently.
Despite her current life she still suffers from the past. Why did she come up for me in my dream?
The Addict
The past
Interesting to note these. Suffering I too run from old feelings. Or at least I used to run more from them more with alcohol and other distractions. Staying with myself through meditation is comforting. I have tools to help nurture my soul and relieve some of it's pain.
Phillip Moffit talks of suffering

Subjective vs. Objective SufferingWeek  3

There is suffering that originates from external events and the suffering you experience because of how you process those events in your own mind. It is an objective fact that your life is filled with challenges, from illness to conflict with others to the death of loved ones. But in addition to—or more accurately, in reaction to—these objective painful experiences, you also have an internal experience. Your mind is filled with a seemingly endless stream of emotions that arise in reaction to what’s going on around you. It is this subjective type of suffering that the Buddha is primarily addressing in the First Noble Truth. As you deepen your understanding of this richer and more complex meaning of dukkha, you will find opportunities for freedom and well-being that you never even knew existed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Woke up to a foggy day.  H and I took a long walk to our breakfast spot. It was nice spending time with him we are both busy these days. I am jurying a film festival for a month. Walking gives me a good idea of the neighborhood who lives where, dogs, flowers ...cracks in sidewalks. Gratitude that I am in good health and can walk.

On the way home I noticed an estate sale. I like signage that is not too professional. Large squiggly letters ..
The home was filled with lovely Japanese fabrics, crotchet tools, 70's jeans and beautiful Buddhist prayer beads. I asked the seller, had the woman passed away? Oh no, the young girls responded,"She was a victim of elder financial abuse". Saddens me when I hear this my grandmother also was a victim of this abuse.
I am glad they investigate this more than they used to in the past.
The prayer beads intrigued me I purchased a lovely set with a Buddhist image triptych and pouch for a dollar.

Later in the day I went to a meditation. The talk was on mindfulness. What is mindfulness?

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
On purpose,
in the present moment, and
Kabat-Zinn, if you haven’t heard of him, is a famous teacher of mindfulness meditation and the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Paying attention “on purpose”

First of all, mindfulness involves paying attention “on purpose”. Mindfulness involves a conscious direction of our awareness. We sometimes (me included) talk about “mindfulness” and “awareness” as if they were interchangeable terms, but that’s not a good habit to get into. I may be aware I’m irritable, but that wouldn’t mean I was being mindful of my irritability. In order to be mindful I have to be purposefully aware of myself, not just vaguely and habitually aware. Knowing that you are eating is not the same as eating mindfully.
The 12 steps has given me a full life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Getting hooked

Just got off the phone with a Alanon call. P was upset about not getting a business deal she was to blame.
There are cures to her problems and it is all out there she just hasn't been able to find the answer.
If only she had the right boyfriend, therapist, friend, etc etc....This seeking is is a good thing but it has caused considerable anxiety for me.
This pretty much sums up part of my disease. When they were handing out life guide books I was not given the manual.  I am glad I took her call it helped me look within by offering my experience, strength and hope.
Accepting and letting go is a giant tool for me. It is all grist for the mill learning more as I grow emotionally more secure within myself.

Tonight I also met with my Buddhist teacher. I talked of my interest in possible, not sure, maybe taking a further step in my practice. I laughed at myself and my trepidation. It's ok that is where I am at and it's not such a bad thing.Could be that trust takes time to build. I walk through it all and keep showing up.

We are reading Pema Chodrons No Time to Loose.
 discussing Shenpa.

A central theme of Pema Chödrön's teachings is the Tibetan word shenpa,[10] or how we get hooked.
Somebody says a mean word to you and then something in you tightens — that's the shenpa. Then it starts to spiral into low self-esteem, or blaming them, or anger at them, denigrating yourself. And maybe if you have strong addictions, you just go right for your addiction to cover over the bad feeling that arose when that person said that mean word to you. This is a mean word that gets you, hooks you. Another mean word may not affect you but we're talking about where it touches that sore place — that's a shenpa. Someone criticizes you — they criticize your work, they criticize your appearance, they criticize your child — and, shenpa: almost co-arising.[13

Monday, May 28, 2012

trusting HP

 An  Dharma talk today from RA today very mind expanding. He is  incredibly loving person, to me anyway. He reminds me of a wonderful therapist in Seattle who was very present and loving to me.
I feel such gratitude to have found these people who have helped me in my life. G helped me to love my father.
This and sitting in the rooms listening to older fellas talk about their feelings.

The talk was on Albert Camus and the question of "Is life worth living?" Being present with pain and the tools to assist with the feelings. Not to run from the feeling but welcome it. I don't have to like pain but can tame pain like a domesticated animal.
I am dealing with feelings I have around "witnessing pain" and the affects it has had on my life. In the past I was the keeper of my mothers pain. I felt robbed of my youth hearing her pain and wanting to make it better for her. My needs were smothered her needs were more important for our family. 
My friend M from Yoga is getting ready to stop eating. I had dinner with her on Friday night, C and I brought food. She is 90 years old and talks of her life as an artist. Books of her past were brought down from the shelves as we went over her youth. 
She wants to leave the planet. I want her to continue to live in this world.
 But i do understand her wanting to have the ability to end her life when she can make this decision.
Her legs swell and become filled with fluid last time for one month. I cant talk about it much either it's too late in the night makes me sad.

This is my lesson currently a difficult one.
Witnessing her pain honoring her choice is a gate that I am dancing with. Death is not easy to witness they will be gone forever except in my memory. No one escapes trusting HP has a plan.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Less is more

Busy day filled a long walk along the ocean, bush chopping, fabric shopping, meeting with friends and ended with the viewing of the eclipse. It was lovely to watch the eclipse on a piece of paper from a pinhole view.
Our neighbor came out to walk his fathers dogs and stayed with us a while to watch the view. We noticed our shadows had double edges the light was a brilliant white.  Being present with moments allows me to pay attention to alot of details that in the past I ran from. I was always busy, running to complete a task, wanting things my has shifted

The Buddhist retreat from yesterday brought some serenity. I woke in the morning reflecting on the best way to spend my day, a friend mentioned the retreat. It was obviou,s how better to take care of myself than sit with my feelings. Running from them is not helping me grow and deepen my emotional nature.

We practiced our meditation by sitting and walking at the Zen Farm. Being quite in a room full of people is comforting, this act is not our usual conditioning. I felt rage again toward my mother. Really need to work with this hinderance I have with our relationship. We explored the 5 hindrances in Zen Buddhism.

Known as the five hindrances, they are forces in the mind that can hinder our ability to see clearly or to deeply concentrate. The hindrances are: 1) sensual desire, 2) ill will, 3) sloth and torpor, 4) anxiousness and worry, and 5) doubt. 

The hindrances operate in everyone; their presence is not a personal failing. Rather, it is useful see their occurrence as an important opportunity to investigate them. Sometimes it is wise not to quickly attempt to get rid of a hindrance but to use it as a chance to learn something. The stronger the hindrance, the more important it is to investigate it. 

I was given Anger to explore. We each commented on our feelings. A woman in the group began to annoy me to an incredibly great degree. Her personal concern felt unauthentic and forced. I felt myself wanting to teach her a lesson regarding her behavior. This action is what I also do with my mother. I try to force her to look at her poor behavior. More is revealed I hope to lessen this action I have with others.


With Metta: 
May all beings be safe. May all beings be healthy.
May all beings be happy. May all beings live with ease.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

5 hinderances

Went to a wonderful retreat today at the Zen farm. Warm weather with a cool breeze off the ocean.
L went over the five hindrances ...I was given  Anger. Still have work to do with my Mom.
Feelings have shifted it is not as charged as in the past but I still feel anger toward her.
Working my steps around the issue and trusting god has a plan for us. There is one incident that particularly infuriates me...and I continue to work on it.
One day I feel it will shift again.

Seeing my family was nice but there were times that were challenging. One night my sister and her husband wanted to go listen to music and down some shots. I love live music but have to admit when you arent drinking being around drunks is not alot of fun. They talk nonsense most of the time. I left the bar after a couple of hours  to sit in the car and watch the crowds walk by in their drunken stupor, graduation is time to celebrate.

It was Ok though most of the trip. I liked to remember "How important is it?"

Friday, May 18, 2012

Those that are still suffering

Arrived home late last night after a long wait at the airport. Rushed to fill up the car with gas,
eat a meal at a fast food restaurant (which i only do in emergencies) and drove with urgency to arrive on time for the flight home. Then the flight was delayed and delayed more and then some more time clicked on ...
I arrived safe and sound. Nothing like sleeping in your own bed mine is particularly comfy.

Hadn't spent time with my family in four years. My recovery allowed me to brush off  their comments, I think it had to do with the bank of meetings under my belt. This though did not keep me from getting sucked into the whirlpool of family time slipping into days...I just get pulled into the time slide the family
I was to sacrifice myself and I did often but hated myself for the sacrifice.
The price was just too high having to turn over growing emotionally. The big topics are gardens and birds.
Nothing is mentioned too much beyond this.

All the sad, rebellious kids remind them of me. They often made these comments as they tossed back a crown royal shot often with the kids that fit in....makes me wonder really.

Tired going to bed. Praying for myself, my family and others that I dont know still suffering from the disease of alcoholism.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Heading home after many years. Leaves me with some disturbing dreams.

I walk through a large empty concrete building looking for a location for a film shoot.
It's Ok I think to myself nothing special.  I continue to walk through the space suddenly a giant man appears in the scene. I try to ignore him looking around for a good shot. Eventually I realize the giant is going to do harm to me. Running through the building I look for a safe place to take refuge. I decide to hide in a janitors closet it is the only room that has a lock on it's door. It is a very small room with janitors supplies and a toilet,
and a very small window which looks into a courtyard. The giant tries to enter but can't
I retreat in fear trying to think of how I am going to get out the situation.

This sums up how I sometimes lead my life jumping into scenes and not realizing there is danger lurking around the corner. As a child my life was filled with anxiety waiting for my Dad to come home drunk. Today with my husband I often wonder if I recreate the drama i was raised.

I have a choice so tonight I choose serenity and peace

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

let go

Getting ready for a luncheon. Driving downtown in rain and fog. I have so much to do it seems
frivolous to take time out for enjoyment. During the day I try and stay focused on my work.
When I take time off it is my life that suffers as I work for myself. I am going to let go right now and get ready. A friend has bought tickets for this luncheon and I am going to have a good time.
This is a choice I am making. Keeping it simple.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

time for rest

Feeling like nesting up in my room reading blogs. I have lemon saffron chicken cooking on the stove for an elderly friend M. She is ninety one years old and having some leg problems serious leg problems.
There is no salt in this recipe as she can not have one grain it would cause her great harm.
So what better way to enjoy food without salt than to have lemon sauce it up.
She is struggling M such a dynamic woman. She was an artist got her start in the Black Mountain College then headed out to the west after her first husband died in the War.

We met in Yoga. She had been attending the class for twenty years. I admired her determination. She was funny and could handle cussing.

The meeting tonight was serene. I went up to a new woman and introduced myself. It's important to reach out to the newcomer. This is what keeps my program alive sharing  experience strength and hope.
It feels nice to have something valuable to give to others. The only requirement is to have a relative or friend
affected by alcoholism.

I am grateful for my life. It is full and varied. Feeling a full range of feelings is freeing me one day at a time.

Tonight I will pray for M she is a wonderful lady.

Sharing this incredible bread pudding recipe from Tartine.
I believe you will enjoy this recipe yourself!

Tartine Bread Pudding

Brioche Bread Pudding Recipe
Recipe by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson from Tartine, makes 6 to 8 servings
6 brioche slices, cut 1-inch thick
8 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups whole milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
For the Caramel Sauce, makes 1-1/2 cups
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 of one vanilla bean
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 tsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
Making the Brioche Bread Pudding
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9×5-inch glass loaf pan [or an 8x8-inch glass baking pan, which worked perfectly fine].  Arrange the brioche slices on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Tartine Brioche Bread Pudding
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and salt and whisk until completely blended. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve.
Place the toasted bread slices in the prepared loaf pan, cutting the slices to fit as needed. Pour the custard evenly over the bread, filling the dish to the top. You may not be able to add all of the custard at this point. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, so that the bread can absorb the custard.
Tartine Bread Pudding
Just before baking, top off the dish with more of [leftover] custard if the previous addition has been completely absorbed. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, place in the oven, and bake the pudding for about 1 hour. To test for doneness, uncover the dish, slip a knife into the center, and push the bread aside. If the custard is still very liquid, re-cover the dish and return the pudding to the oven for another 10 minutes. If only a little liquid remains, the pudding is ready to come out of the oven. The custard will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven and it will set up as it cools.
Let the pudding cool for about 10 minutes before serving. You can serve the bread pudding by slicing it and removing each slice with an offset spatula, or by scooping it out with a serving spoon.
Tartine Bread Pudding
As I have mentioned above, the bread pudding can be served topped with seasonal fruits in delicious caramel sauce. While the bread pudding is cooling, peel and slice a couple of peaches. In a medium pan, warm the peaches together with some blueberries and raspberries or other fruits in season in Tartine’s caramel sauce (recipe below).  Top the bread pudding with the warm fruit-caramel mixture before serving.
If you have left over bread pudding, the cookbook suggests chilling it, slicing it, and frying it as you would French toast.
Tartine's Bread Pudding
Making the Caramel Sauce
Pour the cream into a small, heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the pod halves into the cream. Place over medium-high heat and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low to keep the cream warm.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, salt and corn syrup. Use a good-sized pan because the caramel will boil vigorously and the volume will increase dramatically as soon as the hot cream is added. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then let the mixture boil, without stirring, until the mixture is amber colored. Watch the sugar mixture carefully as it cooks to avoid burning the sugar. From the time the mixture started to boil, it took over 15 minutes to reach an amber color. Remove from the heat.
The mixture will continue to cook off the heat and become darker, so make sure to have the cream close by. Carefully and slowly add the cream to the sugar syrup. The mixture will boil vigorously at first. Let the mixture simmer down, and then whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Cut the butter into 1-inch chunks and add them to the caramel one at a time, whisking constantly after each addition. Then whisk the caramel periodically as it continues to cool.
Pour the caramel sauce in an airtight container such as a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. This will keep for up to a month.