Sunday, January 29, 2012


Feelings aren't facts.
Today I woke up to a beautiful day. But I felt so out of sorts I wanted someone to help me get through it...I found the perfect person to disappoint me to set up the expectation...Y my husband and begin the resentment. This is my disease.

We have large shrubs that need chopping, I wanted help at that second. He did not want to help me. Bingo My feelings began. One overwhelming feeling was loneliness, disappointment and then the run began...wanting to escape. This was my childhood coping mechanism the need to run from the home, run from me, run from them, run from society. So I took a walk and as it progressed a realization occurred. How do I take care of me ? What would make me feel nurtured?
The fact is sometimes I really don't know what I could do to take care of me.
Odd really I have alot of hobbies, friends, etc. but these are just filler.
Sitting with myself in meditation gives me the most serenity. Accepting me just where I am in all my humanness. The program is what has given me freedom.
Tremendous gratitude for this life and the ability to recognize it.

Gratitude List
1st Column: What are you grateful for in the relationship with yourself?

One thing every day for 90 days.
Sample: In my relationship with myself I am grateful for my health..

2nd Column: What are you grateful for in the relationship with my addict in recovery.
One thing every day for 90 days.
Sample: In my relationship with Sam I am grateful that he is in AA.

3rd Column: What are you grateful for in general?

Five things every day for 90 days.
Sample: Today I am grateful for having God in my life.
Today I am grateful for my Al-Anon program.
Today I am grateful for my life.
Today I am grateful for my family.
Today I am grateful for my serenity.

Do this exercise every day for 90 days. After 90 days you will have a list of 630 things that you are indeed grateful for and you will also have started to really appreciate everything in your life. Never duplicate anything. I guarantee that you will feel a shift in your behaviors and attitudes.

Gratitude makes us more patient, kinder and humble people.

It’s my experience that gratitude helped me to finally do my third step and that is to surrender my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood him.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


In the past many of us learned to make choices strictly on the basis of our feelings, as if feelings were facts.
Part of Alanon recovery involves learning that feelings arent facts. I am a complex fascinating human being with a wide range
of emotions, experiences and thoughts. There is more to my identity than one feeling or another, one problem or another. I am a wealth of contradictions. I can value all of my feelings without letting them dictate my actions.

Today I can feel anger toward someone and still love them. I can feel afraid of new experiences, yet move forward through them.
I can survive being hurt without giving up on love. And I can experience sadness and still be confident that I will be happy again.

This reading says so much to me. Alanon allows me to experience a new freedom and happiness.
In the past feelings meant so much to me although I was frozen and could not feel most of them. It has taken years to unearth how I feel in some areas. Slowly more is revealed.

I am alive, I have this precious human life. I am not going to waste it. Dalai Lama

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Nice walk along the ocean again tonight. We have sunny days here almost swimsuit weather. The sunsets linger spreading orange across the sky. Walked right near the edge where the water and beach meet. Felt at peace with myself. Trying to focus on what is working in my life.

Came home to get ready for a storytelling event. Got dressed plopped in my car drove downtown to be told it was sold out. Oh well there is always plenty of things to do here at night. I drove to a new non profit cafe, ate a lovely pear and blueberry galette. An old time bluegrass band played in the corner. Things just worked out well tonight.

I have picked up "The Joy of Living." The author Rinpoche Yonguey has done extensive research on happiness. Transforming obstacles into of it's side lines. There is often a gap between thoughts, that gap is the experience of the complete openness of natural mind. It's all material for supporting out meditation.

Feeling at ease
nice feeling

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Showing up

Wonderful day today went to GG center for a dharma talk by RB.
The morning light was golden along the ocean with clouds of pollen filling the air.
We desperately need rain on the West Coast.

An old classmate contacted me asking for a ride to the center. S-C is such a lovely woman an accomplished international artist. As the day progressed she thanked me several times for encouraging her to attend the meditation talks. I was able to hear it and take in the compliment. It had been thirty years since she attended this speakers lectures. Today I could be present for myself. The talk was rich, wide and funny.

This is the program working for me. I have gratitude for my willingness to show up for this precious human life.

”[i} And in his book Being Upright, the Zen priest Tenshin Reb Anderson employs the same verb to describe the practice of zazen:

For a sentient being to practice the ultimate good means not to move. How do you realize not moving? By fully settling into all aspects of your experience: your feelings and your perceptions. Not moving means to be fully congruent with yourself. You go down to the bottom of your experience, as all Buddha ancestors have done, and enter the proverbial green dragon’s cave. Graciously and gently, you encourage yourself to fully inhabit your body, speech, and thought. You may even command yourself to be obedient to yourself, and to come all the way in and sit down.[ii]

“Although no one issues the invitation,” Anderson further explains, we “invite the self into the self.” As both “host and guest of the self,” we fully inhabit our experience.

Time to do some work before I go to bed.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Listening to Tom Waits he reminds me of some of the characters that my Dad would drink with at his bar, The Corner Club. One of the lines he mentioned made me laugh at this crazy life. " Watched a pimp feedin ice cream to a dog," Tom Waits sings.
Glad I can laugh at life. Still have of memories floating from the Holidays past and present and I unfortunately attach to some of them. Working the steps, letting go.
What do I choose to focus on? Laughing at it all right now.

Last night I attended a great 12 step Buddhist meeting focused on suffering. Everything can be an opportunity for growth. Watching... suffering... using it as a lesson. I can sometimes drown in my suffering, there is my fear swirling into a whirlpool down stream. Listening to C eloquently unravel this feeling was a relief. When you live a life of practice everything is grist for the mill. This is so beautiful that I have choices and so does everyone else who works a program.

My sponsees have been calling, texting and emailing. They couldn't call when the problem was fresh, during the holidays. This is a disease of isolation.
I too find that when it gets bad I want to retreat into my disease model. When I reach out this helps shift the patterns. The old voices go something like this, No one will understand, I am alone,and so on and so on...

Feeling good tonight.Just for tonight............

9th & Hennepin

Well, it's 9th and Hennepin
All the donuts have names that sound like prostitutes
And the moon's teeth marks are on the sky
Like a tarp thrown all over this
And the broken umbrellas are like dead birds
And the steam comes out of the grill
Like the whole goddam town is ready to blow
And the bricks(3) are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos
And everyone is behaving like dogs

And the horses are coming down Violin Road
And Dutch is dead on his feet(4)
And all the rooms they smell like diesel
And you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept there
And I'm lost in the window
And I hide in the stairway
And I hang in the curtain
And I sleep in your hat

And no one brings anything small into a bar

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Loving compassion

"Hatred will never cease by Hatred." a well known phrase by the Buddha

Met with an old friend today she has given me troubles over the years.
Maybe this was the lesson she passed on by forcing me to look deeper at myself.
Opportunities for growth changing my victim attitude.

Today I had a deep chat with her regarding our friendship. I feel that at times I play the game and discount our friendship during the Holidays. This does not feel right to me working a program and trying to continue with right actions.

She mentioned she does not feel comfortable being around me when I dont drink.
I understood this but felt it this view was a cop out on other behaviors than were being acknowledged. I changed the game today talking about my feelings in a loving compassionate way.

It was enlightening she did not know how to react when I moved the perspective.
The plan is she is a perpetrator and I am the victim and vice versa. The board game is old and tiring for me today. Loving us both in an uncomfortable place feels ok for tonight.

The three roles of the Drama Triangle are the three main positions that unhappy families play as described by transactional therapist, Stephen Karpman in 1968. The three roles are Perpetrator, rescuer and Victim that operate to keep people in the illusion of power. The roles incorporate learned patterns of habit and control mechanisms that bond people together in sick ways. They are symbiotic, destructive behaviors that affect all members of the family.

Karpman drew these roles on an inverted triangle with the Persecutor (whose behavior ranges from the dominant one to the abuser in the family) and the Rescuer at the upper end of the triangle and the Victim at the bottom. The two positions at the top are considered the “one-up” positions where the people feel superior while the Victim is at the “one-down” position feeing looked down on and helplessness. The positions often shift as people change emotions to protect the ego which feels threatened. The Victim may become angry at the injustice of being persecuted, thereby shifting into the Perpetrator role. The Abuser may become tired with his angry barrage then feel guilty and shift into the rescuing role.

These roles are unconscious scripts of how unhealthy family life is played out that keep people disconnected from true intimacy. They manifest in behaviors that people engage in to distance and disconnect from each other. They are the ways people attempt to stay safe, feel important and stroke their own egos. Participating in the drama of the triangle keeps people stuck in lies, blame and shame, unhealthy secrets, “shoulds” and addictions to crisis, chaos and manipulation.