I live in a childlike wonder as new ideas continue to be born through me. In this sparkling, twinkling season of lights, I am illuminated from within. I see the glimmering beautiful outer world illuminated all around me. I let this month cap this amazing year even as it leaves one last unwrapped gift to be opened to reveal a fresh new page and a brand new year about to begin.
Recently, I wanted to take my gratitude process a bit further. Knowing the wonderful, creative force gratitude is in my life, I decided that I wanted to be grateful for everything – not just the “good” stuff. I wanted to include things that fall into the “challenge” category – a work situation gone sour, a financial struggle, a broken heart. Honestly, it has not been easy to summon up gratitude for these types of things. I do, however, have two tools that I have found helpful…
By now, I’ve gotten much better at remembering that I am not running the show. But along with not running the show, I must also remember not to let the show run me. I can control the energy with which I approach and relate to the holidays. I can set boundaries and act upon my highest intentions for the outcome I wish to create. And then not be attached to that outcome, and simply show up in my best and highest and most present self.
It has been said, you can’t be envious when you are grateful. Anger has no foothold when you approach life with a heart of thanksgiving. You tend to be happier. It has even been said that gratitude is the antidote to fear. When you have gratitude in your life, you have a good foothold on what is important. It shouldn’t surprise us then to find that a spirit of thanksgiving in our outlook, life, and overall attitude is essential in addiction recovery.
Lately I’ve noticed attendance is kind of low at my regular meetings. It’s summer, and people are vacationing, and I find myself wondering, are my sober sisters and brothers attending meetings wherever they are? I don’t mean this in an inventory-taking kind of way; rather, I am genuinely interested. I love finding meetings when I travel to other cities––or even countries. Today’s guest post talks about attending AA meetings no matter where you are.
So much symbolism in this holiday, and at this time of year for those of us in recovery. Long days to live life to the fullest… Independence Day for our country – it’s a birthday – take a chip, USA. Some of the freedoms we hold dear in recovery are ideals, concepts, and things we strive for – which is also true for us as a country… progress not perfection. But today and this month, let’s honor the freedoms we have created for ourselves – and that is MUCH to celebrate!
Back in the day, you loved to party. Whether you got drunk or high, it was how you had fun. Well, not really. It took you a while to realize it, but substance abuse was an attempt to run away from problems, and it wasn’t very successful. Eventually, you realized you wanted (and needed) to stay sober. After some hard work, you managed it. You began your new life in addiction recovery, and you’re rightfully proud of what you’ve accomplished. But then you hear about the party. It sounds fun and repulsive at the same time. Can you have a social life while in addiction recovery?
A sober summer can be stress-free and enjoyable… if you manage it right. I got sober in May in the gorgeous beach town of Encinitas, California. It was glorious, summer-like weather year-round and surfers, yoginis and healthy vegans populated the landscape. Enjoying my first sober summer was pretty stress-free—in most regards. Besides the crying, agitation, anxiety, not sleeping or oversleeping, I was able to be sober and hang out with my sober pals, and it sure did make that first sober summer enjoyable.