Friday, December 26, 2014


Oh the Holidays are almost over and a new year born...So far things are pretty smooth sailing.
I caught a flu so laying low today but grateful for the gifts of the program.
One day at a time I get to show up for my life. Precious human life that is so brief and dynamic.

One thing I teach: suffering and the end of suffering. It is just Ill and the ceasing of Ill that I proclaim.
--The Buddha {2}
One of the most important questions all belief systems seek to address is: What is the purpose of life? And virtually all religions propose a way of life that will lead to salvation, liberation, satisfaction, or happiness. Buddhism is no exception.
In Buddhism, the primary purpose of life is to end suffering. The Buddha taught that humans suffer because we continually strive after things that do not give lasting happiness. We desperately try to hold on to things - friends, health, material things - that do not last, and this causes sorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday time

Sunny clear crisp morning the Holiday days are here almost. I can feel a little twinge of the loneliness creeping up on me, concentrating on the friends who have left me out of their plans. It is growing up in an alcoholic home the feelings I cant invite anyone over you never know what will happen, plans are broken, your needs are not valid...the family must survive. But despite this today I have a choice in how to deal with it all including the old recordings that run in my head. My choice is to focus on my spiritual side to remember the program is always there for me nurturing me and others. No matter what happens there will be a meeting tonight and tomorrow somewhere near me. I believe this community has kept me going in life more than anything. Then I reach out to others and share my experience strength and hope.

No longer is there a sense of hopelessness no longer must I depend upon my own unsteady will power....

Going back to the steps one two and three..from Alateen.

Some of my anticipated concerns regarding family drinking did occur; however, I observed that my reactions have changed. I repeated the first three Steps to myself often, recognizing that I am powerless over the choices family members make. The old anxiety is the “unmanageable” part of my life. Moving on to Step Two, I turned my life over to my Higher Power and asked Him to restore me to sanity. Recalling the first three Steps gave me a sense of peace and comfort. In addition, I did attend a meeting, which was like food for my soul.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The search for self

The morning is cool and grey starting to feel like fall. Waking up used to be
filled with self hatred and now my life has shifted I see the day with more kindness toward myself.
Mondays meeting was inspiring filled shares of honesty which touches and inspires me.
This is what works for me about the program the search for self using the program as a guide.
Going into myself without a guide would be very dangerous. I have generations behind me
of alcoholics and alanonics to prop up the alcoholics. Forgiving myself is the first key and reaching out to others who are still suffering...Giving it away to keep it.
Getting a sponsor who is there for me and offers me guidance without it being advice....
Working the steps so I dont get stuck in the problem. I can focus on what is not working in my life instead of what is working.

Well today is a day that I get to show up for myself with this life and I can start over at anytime when things arent working.....
I like the idea as life being a work of art.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Taking care of buisness

Sunday cool the sun is peeking out under the fog, soon it will cover the day with strong fall light.
Grateful that I am sober alive with some clear thoughts. My muddy thinking is waiting to come forward but today the intention is here with me now unveiling serenity.

My Y turned 60 yesterday sweet slow day, remembering back to when we were kids dating.
He was the man for me despite all the warning signs. The top student in his class but so full of rage. Our relationship has been my sanctifier, dharma gate, I was forced to look into myself. No choice.  Y is a good man and I am a good woman but we got some troubles sometimes. Alot of the time
it would be great if he was someone who i want him to be, but that is not how it works.
Letting go of expectations and taking care of my business cause I got business to mind for today.


Friday, October 24, 2014


Running through the internet I came acorss some dive bar photos. Looking at these brought me back to my younger days waiting for my father in the car while he got a drink...for a second
My father was an intelligent man, creative and a free thinker-- but suffered with the disease.
He ended up getting sober at the end of his life...miracle
Eventually he stopped going to meetings, I asked him why he stopped going.
His reply saddened me,"I don't deserve their kindness." His reply made a big impact on me keeping me going back despite what the voices inside were saying. I deserve kindness, love and all the other gifts the program has to offer.
Keeping the program alive by reaching out today...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Letting Go

The most loving from of detachment is forgiveness, just finished reading my Courage to Change.
It is one of my more difficult character defects letting go of how I want things to be through my will. Things should be done my way and I will teach them how it is supposed to be...This was my job as a child to monitor everyone, give them direction. My needs we not important.  I was taking care of others at the expense of myself at a very young age. I was worried about my brothers and sisters they had no direction. As I aged my care taking became a career, managing projects not taking care of myself. Friends would call me any time of day and night going into great detail regarding their problems. I listened offering my advice but I began to get angry. They never asked how I was doing. When was it going to be my turn to be heard? The turn never came because I didn't know how to take care of myself. Taking care of myself means going inside to listen, to stop doing, not being always available. 
My resentments against others dwindle also when I cease to become HP.  Forgiving myself for my humaness allows me to forgive others. Everyone has their own HP. Letting go of how I want the outcome to look like. Letting go of taking care of others oftentimes they aren't asking for the help anyway these days. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Plan

Today I am here in this life, present and ready for the day to unfold. I feel lucky working for myself out of my home. It does have challenges, fears I cant complete my jobs. But I reach out to those in my field and go to meetings and make program calls. The program has taught me I can't do it alone, no one is really doing it alone. We are social beings and learning to love and care for myself has moved me to love and help others. The important message for me is to let go also of what the outcome should look like. Attachments letting go---detaching with love
More is revealed and more will be revealed if I can have an open mind and the ability to be present.
Looking into my blog there are many I's...guess it's a diary for me really anonymously.
When I first started writing there was alot of pain in my life, it has opened up and moved out into
a broader deeper vision. This too shall pass about sums up pain for me today. Doing the footwork and trusting HP has a plan for me and everyone else in the universe.

Friday, October 3, 2014

tool chest

Beautiful day here!
Our summer has arrived the beaches are warm people are out walking the edge of the water.
As soon as it is possible I too am going down to walk. Grateful for my life.
More will be revealed --- there is a tool chest for my support.
Just for today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


From the Asian Muse -- Buddha's birth

Woke up to calm mind. My brother just left after being here for a day. Things went smooth no quarrels like in the past. This is one of the gifts of the program. I am more comfortable with who I am things come and go. Feelings aren't facts sometimes there are things said and I don't have to attach to the bait as in the past. What is the bait for me? It can be many things that I perceive in the moment, controlling how I want things, situations, people around me to appear. I sit with thoughts and let them rest before I comment most of the time.... Life goes on people come and go so do thoughts in my mind.

Last night I attended a funeral of my husbands best friend. He was going through some deep financial shifts in his life. One of his joys was his home in a wonderful area close to his friends. He was having to sell it to pay off his debts. He did not see the sell of his home passing away one morning they say peacefully. He was 60 years old. They had a large buffet filled with many fine dishes and friends. He would have loved the gathering. S was a lover of fine food and conversation but also a lonely and sad man driven with compulsion. I smile thinking of him, he tried his best in life. 

Remember me.
I will be with you in the grave
on the night you leave behind
your shop and your family.
When you hear my soft voice
echoing in your tomb,
you will realize
that you were never hidden from my eyes.
I am the pure awareness within your heart,
with you during joy and celebration,
suffering and despair.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

If I take the time

Today grateful that I wake up healthy no migraine! Living near a museum I get the chance to visit the exhibits on a regular basis. The building sits on a golf course that used to be a graveyard....bodies are still dug up on a regular basis. But what is viewed by the world is a large green playground for the golfers. It is important for me to remember not to compare my insides to other peoples outsides there is always another story under the smiles.
Life has many lessons to offer if I can take the time to listen and then to have compassion for myself and others.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Just for today

I am grateful
That I wake up to my life. I have spiritual practice, showing up and being present in Alanon.
My H although difficult as it is, we are together and trying our best.
 Today I am turning it over to HP there is a plan in the universe, trusting it will all work out...I am not in control.
Just for Today

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I’m not responsible for the way another feels.

Balmy morning feeling slight anxiety but nothing like the past. Today is a new day full of it's own experiences I can start over at any time also if the need arises. Love this saying from the program.
I may go for a walk along the beach or drive to swim where the sun is shining.
Lately my work has taken over my life. I have to teach this week, shoot, work on my own project my life is full. But due to this schedule my meetings have been limited. This requires me to reach out to my sponsor and others in the program to have a meeting of sorts.

H has crossed a boundary one where we have ongoing problems...His attitude in the car when he drives. How do I deal with it? Waiting till things cool down between us. Detaching with love.
Remembering there are parts of my life that are working. I don't have to be consumed with his actions.
I am powerless over his attitude but what I do have choices that I can make in my own life.

“I’m not responsible for the way another feels.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Feeling pretty good

Today I woke up feeling pretty good, no obsessions. Before the program I would wake up
with swirling obsessions on things I had done wrong in my life. It was painful to attach and witness this  negative self talk. One tool I have learned is feelings aren't facts, I have a choice in how to deal with situations including my own negative programming. Sitting in the rooms and witnessing others being honest with themselves has helped relieve thinking I am the only one that thinks this way,
having a sponsor who knows my deepest self, being of service to others, and working the steps.
Having a HP of my understanding helps to turn it over, I dont have to do it alone.
Still there are moments when I feel so alone and forgotten usually during the Holidays.
Sitting in meditation has guided me to learn acceptance and patience toward myself and others.
Some of my early day sits were very challenging watching my brian spin around and want to take me down a dusty path. Giving up the victim role.
For today I am fine just where I am at. I have tools from the program.
Taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Live in the present

Today waking up to a foggy morning. I feel a slight migraine hope it will pass. How do I take care of myself in this situation? Learning to notice how I feel is changing how I lived most of my life.
In the past I ignored alot of things to keep going. In some ways this benefited me I was a Alanonic child worrying taking care of others at my expense, afraid of the future, thinking I had all the answers.
But my health has taken me and screamed Hello we are here, noticing but not in an ego driven way.
I like what Buddhists say we are already enlightened it's here within everyone.
The day is stretching and it's time to begin my work. Nice to place a few words out there for

Just For Today: The slogan, “Just For Today” tells us that things are more manageable when we deal with and live in the present. Things that seem way too difficult to manage long term may seem more manageable if we deal with them just for today. We can move forward in small steps rather than be overwhelmed by trying to change everything at one time. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Character Defect List

Posting this list again so helpful to have it in front of me!

Lydia’s Character Defect 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, July 25, 2014

I will try a different path

Getting ready for work. Appreciate my new part time jobs. Life is full some parts are working some are not...I try to focus on what is working as my brain wants to focus on what is not working and take me into the Alanon storyline. Just for today I will try a different path.
Reaching out to others in the program is part of my recovery.
My sponsor is there for me and most of all I am learning to be there for myself.
HP is waiting in the wings for us all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Feeling tired today my new teaching job is till 10p. After all the excitement I often can't get to sleep
Last night I had an incredible dream. I was in a Indian Hippie restaurant wanting to leave but couldn't more events kept happening. My phone kept disappearing and I needed to make a call to Jan. It was frustrating but the people surrounding me were well intentioned. Eventually a conflict occurred between me and a group of women. They were practicing peace but were ready to do physical harm. I tried to leave to protect myself but events again got in the way.
Looking for support I enlisted one of the head gurus. She guided me and things settled down.

This dream says alot I have some support and opposing forces within me. Looking to the spiritual aspect like the program, it can help guide me. Things will settle in the end.

My life is pretty good despite my work load these days.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

As far as I can tell

I live near the ruins of an old military base from WW II.
It slowly is dissolving back into the earth, in my lifetime I am sure
it will still be standing but less so. Kids skate,  rolling on the edge. Some 
days I can walk there and notice the beauty of decay. Life is in constant motion.
My program has also moved slowly. I like to imagine life is shifting back into the authentic self that is
waiting for me already there, Buddha nature. 
One step at a time-- HP is there waiting to hold me when I can turn it over.
Times are good right now.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Foggy morning not feeling satisfied or happy...might need a break. It's difficult when working for yourself.
The program is there for me but I am sinking down reminds me of a few years ago. I have been working for a long time on a project and it seems the work is taxing although we are getting results now.
Putting this down on paper might be a way to put it in perspective. How do I take care of myself?
Sun maybe awfully foggy in the city.
Starting to feel no one cares including myself which is my old standby when things get down. The negative voices that can emerge in my head. Feelings aren't facts.
Make another call to my sponsor.
Work the steps
Self care nurture myself with attention by resting, walking, yoga.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A visitor just left I havent seen him in 12 years, his wife was a good friend. She was killed in a tragic accident in Berlin. It was difficult to see him. I miss A still after all these years....We had so many memories we shared, Eritrea walking the streets, hiking the mountains to a remote monastery picking up an accident victim blood spilling from his head. Laughter too smiling at the absurdity of life.
It was all there shared and then she was gone...and I had it all to myself no one to reminisce with.

Where does my program work with this? Life is many memories learning to not get stuck in just a few.
A will always be with me until I pass...She still makes me smile.
One day at a time.

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Zen 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mr Loneliness

Keeping things in the moment. Began reading a blog this morning the future tripping about being sober scared her...the addict is strong and looks for moments to weaken our program. One day at a time
is what I like to concentrate on otherwise the world is at odds for me.
Feeling a little anxious these days needing to get to a meeting. I reach out to my sponsor but she is busy. Might need to send her an email. Keeping the communication open for me is important needing to feel the community is there in meetings on the end of a phone. If I retreat Mr Loneliness is smiling at me from dark corners, self pity is in the fridge drinking my lemonade and I am at odds with the world. The big world is spinning round despite what goes on with me...HP is here also graciously inside us all
Time for work
one day at at time

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer in the city....rolling fog

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Zen of Faith

On the other end of the spectrum is Zen, which stubbornly resists belief in anything supernatural. As Master Bankei said, "My miracle is that when I'm hungry, I eat, and when I am tired, I sleep." Even so, a Zen proverb says that a Zen student must have great faith, great doubt, and great determination. A related Ch'an saying says the four prerequisites for practice are great faith, great doubt, great vow, and great vigor.
Common understanding of the words "faith" and "doubt" renders these sayings nonsensical. We define "faith" as an absence of doubt, and "doubt" as an absence of faith. We assume that, like air and water, they cannot occupy the same space. Yet a Zen student is encouraged to cultivate both.
Sensei Sevan Ross, director of the Chicago Zen Center, explained how faith and doubt work together in a dharma talk called "The Distance Between Faith and Doubt." Here's just a bit:
"Great Faith and Great Doubt are two ends of a spiritual walking stick. We grip one end with the grasp given to us by our Great Determination. We poke into the underbrush in the dark on our spiritual journey. This act is real spiritual practice -- gripping the Faith end and poking ahead with the Doubt end of the stick. If we have no Faith, we have no Doubt. If we have no Determination, we never pick up the stick in the first place."

Some step 12 work! on doubt

Faith and Doubt

Faith and doubt are supposed to be opposites, but the Sensei says "if we have no faith, we have no doubt." I would say, also, that true faith requires true doubt; without doubt, faith is not faith.
This kind of faith is not the same thing as certainty; it is more like trust (shraddha). This kind of doubt is not about denial and disbelief. And you can find this same understanding of faith and doubt in the writing of scholars and mystics of other religions if you look for it, even though these days we mostly hear from absolutists and dogmatists.
Faith and doubt in the religious sense are both about openness. Faith is about living in an open-hearted and courageous way and not a closed up, self-protecting way. Faith helps us overcome our fear of pain, grief and disappointment and stay open to new experience and understanding. The other kind of faith, which is a head filled up with certainty, is closed.
Pema Chodron said, "We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice." Faith is being open to what scares us.
Doubt in the religious sense acknowledges what is not understood. While it actively seeks understanding, it also accepts that understanding will never be perfect. Some Christian theologians use the word "humility" to mean about the same thing. The other kind of doubt, which causes us to fold our arms and declare that all religion is bunk, is closed.
Zen teachers talk about "beginner's mind" and "don't know mind" to describe a mind that is receptive to realization. This is the mind of faith and doubt. If we have no doubt, we have no faith. If we have no faith, we have no doubt.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Grateful for my life tonight
received a gift of the program


Beautiful morning I am tired from working yet my anxious state wont let me rest.
This is how I used to move through and still do-- my life. How do I take care of myself?

Growing up in an alcoholic home forced me to adapt to situations quickly, often putting my own feelings aside. Surrounded with forceful personalities, I learned it was easier and safer to conform to the needs of the people involved, rather than take care of my own needs.

Today I am going for a walk and turning my will and my life over to HP.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

One moment

Woke up early to a quiet soft morning...Sundays can be gentle. Decided to dance through my favorite blogs. Sad to read one of my bloggers is recovering from cancer surgery. The program will be there for us even when we cant be there for ourselves. It's important to know recovery is out there and meetings are going on, folks are ready to chat (however briefly) and recovery books are standing on my shelves.
Grateful that I have my health but it has taken me a while to learn self care. How do I care for myself?
There is a spiritual emotional caring today that means a slow morning.
Later on I may get a massage or some acupuncture.  I have some troubles with a friend that might need to be chatted more about or not....lets see how the day unfolds. Keeping it in the moment and turning it over to God. But I do have some footwork to look at before turning...
This means calling my sponsor.

The Journey Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Keep the focus on myself

It has been a while since posting although I was never a constant bloggini. But I have received many gifts from reading others blogs, despite my lack of posts. Currently keeping myself mentally and physically fit is working my program also. Today I plan to walk with J he and I spend quality time
talking to each other as we walk through the park behind our home. We are fortunate to have a large park that borders the ocean it once drew traffic through this area but the road collapsed and was not rebuilt. Things change and I am changing too. There are parts of my relationship that I still find troubling but their have been many positive shifts since working the program. I don't have to take care of J he has his HP and I have my HP. I can be happy even when J is depressed. When I also try to force an outcome our relationship does not work well. He has a resentment and I get disappointed it hasn't turned out the way I wanted it. I can concentrate my energy where I do have some--control
over my own life. This means going out for a walk and enjoying the morning.
One day at a time my life is unfolding and I am trying to be present to what is unfolding for me.
"As I continue to practice putting the focus on myself, it is a relief to see I can let go of others' problems instead of trying to solve them. Alanon is for Adult Children

Thursday, February 20, 2014


So nice to open up my blog and look at others posts. Connecting with other Alanon folks
has deepened my life. Knowing I am not alone others are out there in the world
who have gone through similar experiences is freeing for me. Why?
Isolation is a big part of the disease...I still find myself withdrawing in situations thinking they will never be able to understand someone like myself. But with Alanon's help
it is ok not everyone has to understand me as I am learning to love and understand myself.
Small steps of acceptance and compassion toward myself and then reaching into the well to
help others who are still suffering from the disease. For me this is a small act but it has wide reaching realms. A gift of working a program.

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Compassion for self and compassion for others
Acting in a people pleasing manner is not compassion for others
Incredible talk take a listen!