Tag Archives: Twelve Steps

Forever Student

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Today I was a student*,
and I felt so grateful
that for once
I didn’t have to prepare the lesson.
I love it when my only job
is to be open to new learning.
I think I’ll be a student
forever.

*Today was Day 1 of Nikki Myers weekend-long Y12SR training. I am so grateful to spend the next two days with other yoga teachers who are interested in learning about sustainable recovery from addiction, and who want to apply this learning to bring value to countless beings walking the path of recovery.

No End

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Grief:
Non-linear.
Messy.
Unpredictable.
Just when I think to myself
I’ve got this, I’m better,
suddenly,
I’m back down on my knees
by the side of my bed
sobbing the Serenity Prayer
to some Higher Power
I hope exists
but whose presence
I cannot quite feel
in those moments
of deep sadness and disconnection.
I turn back to my breath.
I sigh out the deep pain,
but it keeps coming,
the tears keep coming.
Is there no end to this?

I Surrender

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I have to work hard to stay clear,
present, awake, open.
When my beautiful children mention going to dinner
to celebrate their dad’s birthday
with the other woman,
when they say her name,
I just want to vomit.
I want to stomp up and down
and scream out
THIS ISN’T FAIR.
But I’m attending two 12 step meetings
every week now,
and I know enough by now
to turn this one over to my Higher Power.
Now God, show me how to contain myself.
Show me how to be an adult.
Show me how to forgive.
Show me what to do with this sadness.
I give up.
I surrender.
Now can you take this pain away?

The Third Meeting

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I attended
a Co-Dependents Anonymous
meeting the last two Thursday evenings.
They recommend you attend 6-8 meetings
before you make a decision.
The first meeting
I saw myself as superior to everyone there.
The second meeting
I realized that I am everyone there.
I wonder what will happen
at the third meeting.

Longing for Connection

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At the outset of this blog project nearly one year ago, I found myself wanting to explore the idea of creative recovery, how to pierce through the noise of my emotional system and delve into the creative, inspired self that can be expressed outwardly as writer, artist, crafter, teacher, mother, dancer…endless expressions of this indwelling creative spirit embodied as Lorien.

As I began to move through the Twelve Steps with the idea of my creative recovery in mind, I explored the idea of addiction and experiences surrounding this theme in my life; how I perceived my family’s relationship with alcohol, with anger, with hoarding, to name a few.  I started to see how alcohol use and abuse has been normalized within my family, and how choosing not to drink made me part of a slim minority. I am glad to have found clarity though; I didn’t need their approval or support to make this choice–it just seemed like the most loving thing I could do for my body, mind, and the people around me to choose to be substance free.

Having been completely alcohol free for almost a year and a half, I find myself even more sensitive to the use of alcohol in social settings. I don’t miss it, so I’m not worried about a relapse or anything; I never considered myself an alcoholic although I have displayed some unhealthy behaviors during my adult years.

The fact of my being completely sober threw into sharp relief the behaviors of my family members who were drinking, and I found myself wishing for authentic connection with them in the absence of alcohol use.  But how to meet them where they are?  How to be loving, regardless?

Is it unrealistic of me to hope for my family members to choose sobriety?  Is it futile? I want to know them, to be present to them, to listen, but it’s challenging when they are becoming more loud and aggressive with each sip.

Anybody out there have thoughts on being the only sober one in a group of people who are under the influence?

When I Am Ready

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Earlier in the year, I decided to work through the Twelve Steps on my journey toward recovery of my creative self.  For some reason this afternoon, I remembered that project, how I sailed through the first three steps and then stalled at Step 4, which is the moral inventory.  As I continued to mull over the project, I felt the familiar accusatory feelings arising, and I noticed some pretty big players becoming louder and more visible in this head game I have set up for myself.

You never get anything done.  You are so full of ideas but have no discipline to see them through to the end.  You have so many thoughts that a moral inventory would be positively exhausting…you can’t be fixed. Just accept that you will never be fully happy, peaceful, secure–and get back to hiding your deepest feelings…they don’t mean anything anyway.”

Wow. Yikes.  Thank you emotional system for all of that helpful advice. Now it’s time to be brave and cultivate even more radical self-acceptance.  To love the neurotic thoughts, the tired body, the spirit that feels lost and alone.  And then in that space of radical self love and acceptance, now my mind is free to bask in the infinite ocean of being.

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I know what I want to let go of:
greed, pride, shame, pain, blame;
regret, procrastination, envy,
competitiveness;
resistance, fear, depression, isolation,
doubt, anger,  impatience, mistrust,
isolation, frustration, resentment, reactivity–
and any attachment to any specific
person, place, object, mental state,
outcome or experience.

I want to be free.
Show me how to let go of these qualities
and make space for this moment,
to unclutter the mind and savor
the splendor of this moment.

Meeting the hurting places with compassion,
I see that they are just another story I have told myself
And when I am ready to see the truth,
I will.