Say Yes! to Life – Episode 155

surf!Last weekend, I drove back to the city I grew up in, to attend a memorial service for a childhood friend. As family and friends shared their memories of my friend, I reflected on the ways we say “Yes!” to life in the presence of death. This week, I am re-issuing episode 76, Loss, with a new title. The original notes for that episode follow.

What do you do when you lose someone close to you? How can I use the tools we have learned in the program to get through a loss? I was inspired to this topic by a tragic, accidental death in the past week. It brought me to reflect on the nature of loss, on how loss affects me and those close to me, and how my response to loss is so different now than it was before I came into the program. I used this outline as a guide for my musings.

  • The story.
  • How did I deal with loss in the past?
    • Stuff it
    • Ignore it
    • Numb it
    • Isolate
  • Other kinds of loss?
    • Loss of dreams
    • Loss of friendship
      • Separation and divorce
  • Fear of Loss
  • How has the program helped me to deal with loss?
    • Feel it.
    • Acceptance.
    • Gratitude for what was.
    • Grief process — acknowledge it.
    • Less guilt.
  • How to deal with loss and grief
    • Take care of self
    • Prayer
    • Ask for help
    • Talk about it
    • One Day at a Time
    • Letting go

Our topic for next week is new topic. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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Life on Life’s Terms – Episode 118

At the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.Sometimes life throws us a curve ball. How can we accept it and live life on life’s terms?

Due to some technical difficulties, the episode we had planned for this week did not come together. Instead, I’m talking about taking life on life’s terms. Or maybe it’s about acceptance. Or about Higher Power moments.

Upcoming topics include Concepts 6 (The Conference acknowledges the primary administrative responsibility of the Trustees) and 7 (The Trustees have legal rights while the rights of the Conference are traditional). How might we interpret these in our personal lives? Cara suggested the topic of “Al-Anon dreams”. Share your dreams of relapse or recovery with us, and we’ll make it a poly-voice episode. Eric thought that “laughter in recovery” would be a great topic. So do I! What do you think? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

life is – a meditation

 

life is a garden,
not a road

we enter and exit
through the same gate

wandering,
where we go matters less
than what we notice

Bokonon — Life Is…

A friend posted this to Facebook recently. I have heard many times that “life is about the journey, not the destination”. Which says to me that if I focus on where I think I am going, I often miss the beauty and the wonders along the way. And my life experience is that the destination I think I am working towards is often not where I end up, nor is it where I really want to be.

This little poem takes that idea a step further, by saying that there is not really a destination at all. I remember visiting Monet’s garden at Giverny, where he painted many of his later masterpieces. I wanted to revisit the scene of this painting and that painting. I wanted a photograph of the weeping willows over the pond, and one of the arched bridge behind the water lilies. But if I had gone, head down, to just those scenes, I would have missed so much beauty and left poorer rather than richer. Monet spent years in that same garden and did not exhaust its riches. I spent an afternoon, and while I enjoyed seeing the “famous” scenes, the garden was full of beauty, large and small, for me to notice as I wandered.

And so it can be with the garden of my life. My program helps me to notice the things that are in my life today. The practices of daily inventory, prayer, and meditation slow me down in my headlong dash into the future, and enable me to look at what I have, at what is around me, right here, right now.

A meditation for October 14, 2013.

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Tapestry – a meditation

Tapestry

 

 

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

 

Carole King — Tapestry

When I look back at my life so far, it has truly been a tapestry. The path I have taken, the experiences I have had, the troubles I have gotten through, and the growth I have experienced are not anything like I envisioned my life when I was young. The reality of my experience is infinitely richer than my imagined future. I have lived in forest and desert, in hot and cold, in city and country, and in cultures familiar and exotic. I have had happiness and despair, love and anger, accomplishment and frustration. I have known the ecstasy of love, the agony of desertion, the despair of illness, and the joy of reconciliation. I have started new phases of my life with anticipation and wonder, had them ended with rejection and disillusion. All of these are threads in my tapestry. All throughout, binding those threads together, are the people who are in, and have been in, my life. People who celebrated with me in triumph and joy, people who held me in sadness and grief, people who taught me how to live life, people whose example showed me how I could survive my troubles, and most of all, people who loved me for who I was.

Are there things in my life I would rather not have experienced? Yes! But they are part of my tapestry, and it would be the poorer for their lack. Today, I will celebrate the tapestry that is my life. I look forward to what “wondrous woven magic” the future will bring to it.

A meditation for October 4, 2013.

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Living Rich, Full Lives in Recovery – Episode 42

Does a life in recovery sound limiting? Are you unsure what activities, events, etc from your previous life will fit into your new life of recovery? Does living a rich full life sound selfish when your loved ones are still suffering from addiction? What tools have your learned that allow you to fully live your own life today? Kelli, Spencer, and Swetha try to answer these questions and others as we talk about living rich, full lives in recovery.

  • What does “living rich, full lives” mean to you?
  • Does it mean something different to you today than it did in the past?
  • What are some tools you use today to ensure that you are living life in a satisfying way?
  • How do you know when you are living a rich, full life?
  • What do you see as the spiritual aspects of a rich, full life?
  • How can changed attitudes contribute to living a rich, full life?
  • How does your life today differ from your life before recovery? Some aspects of life to consider include:
    • Activities
    • Relationships with partners, friends, family, co-workers, etc.
    • Spiritual practices
    • Emotional life
    • Intellectual life
  • Do you see your life today as rich and full? As richer and fuller than it has been in times past? What do you still want to add (or take away) to improve your life?

Our topic for next week is the 3 A’s – Awareness, Acceptance and Action.  Do you think you have to fix something as soon as you become aware of it? Do you find yourself springing into action even before you know what the problem is? Is it difficult to know if you’ve fully accepted something as a cue to take action?  Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here. We plan to record this episode on Monday, September 30 starting at 6PM EDT (2200 GMT). You can listen live and participate. Just click Listen Live at the top of the page.

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