Stepping Stones to Serenity – 1 – Episode 158

 

StonesThis is part 1 of a 4-part seminar titled “Stepping Stones to Serenity”, presented by Ellen C in 2008. This part covers steps 1 through 3.

 

Life on Purpose – Episode 156

Can you say what is your purpose? How do you decide what to do on a daily basis? What do you want to be “when you grow up”?

This episode is inspired by the book Life on Purpose.

  • How has recovery challenged me to articulate my values and my purpose?
  • What is the purpose of “purpose”?
    • Give direction and meaning to my life
    • Articulate what matters to me
  • Creating my life vs taking life for granted.
  • Live a longer and healthier life?
  • “So let’s imagine a drug that was shown to add years to your life; reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke; cut your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by more than half; help you relax during the day and sleep better at night; double your chances of staying drug- and alcohol-free after treatment; activate your natural killer cells; diminish your inflammatory cells; increase your good cholesterol; and repair your DNA. What if this imaginary drug reduced hospital stays so much that it put a dent in the national health-care crisis? Oh, and as a bonus, gave you better sex? The pharmaceutical company who made the drug would be worth billions. The inventors of the drug would receive Nobel Prizes and have institutes named for them! But it’s not a drug. It’s purpose. And it’s free. Oh, and the side effects? More friends. More happiness. Deeper engagement in life. And did I mention better sex?”
  • Eudaimonic (self-transcending) vs Hedonic (self-enhancing) pleasure.
    • Eudaimonic pleasure: Connecting with our (inner) divinity, living in harmony with it.
    • Hedonic pleasure: gratifying short-term desires.
    • How do we do this in recovery? Step 11!
  • How do I find and describe my purpose?
    • Consider my different roles? Do I have a purpose in each of those roles?
      • Community
      • Work
      • Family
      • Self
    • What do I want written on my headstone? (“Mentor, Husband and Father”? Or “Highest score in Candy Crush”?)
  • What are my values?
    • From episode 101: Integrity, Commitment, Acceptance, Love
    • How do these drive my purpose?
    • What other values might be part of my purpose?
    • What are the values of people I admire? How do they live their purposes?
  • Affirming values as a reason for behavior change enhances the ability to make that change. (Connecting to Steps 6 & 7.)
    • A positive approach to behavior change.
    • From AA Big Book: “On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.”
    • And “When we retire at night, we constructively review our day.”
  • What are my goals (based on my values)? (Statements starting with “To…”)
    • To lead others into recovery. (Community)
    • To create software that makes a difference in people’s lives. (Work)
    • To be a loving and committed husband, father, and son. (Family)
    • To be fully present and to enjoy life. (Personal)
  • Self-transcendance
    • Step 3 – Living according to my Higher Power’s will.
    • “Make the other band members look and sound good. Bring out the best in them; that’s your job.” – CHRISSIE HYNDE
    • Find a self-transcending “why” for what I do, and I will do better!
    • But also: set good boundaries!
  • Time management or Energy management?
    • It’s really about energy management.
    • Positive affirmation of values and purpose can increase energy. (also “gratitude list”)
    • But not just energy – it needs direction. Without a direction, all the energy in the world is unlikely to accomplish something.
    • Roughly two thousand years ago, the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote, “When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
  • Sources of energy
    • Positive emotions or actions.
    • Beauty
    • Doing things for myself
    • SPACE acronym:
    • Physical activity
    • Eating well
    • Sleeping well
    • Presence
    • Creativity
  • Willpower
    • “Now don’t say you can’t swear off drinking; it’s easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.” W. C. FIELDS
    • Positive energy, affirming values, and considering purpose increases will power. (Also SPACE.)
    • “ psychologists have found that willpower acts in a similar manner to a muscle: it can be depleted after mental exertion, it can be strengthened, and it can be fueled.”
  • Using and achieving purpose
    • “The life we receive is not short, but we make it so, nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it.” SENECA
    • Steps 10, 11, 12.

Upcoming topics include Step 1. 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.
Continue reading “Life on Purpose – Episode 156”

God of our Understanding – Episode 143

hope through adversityWhat did you think when you saw the word “God” in the 12 steps? Did you think you would be forced to believe in some particular religion? Or did you think you couldn’t find help because you didn’t believe in God?

Two speakers from a NA convention share their experience finding a God of their understanding. (From the Recovery Radio Network.)

Our topic for next week is the first in a series on the “gifts of Al-Anon.”

We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.

How have you found this coming true in your life? Or are you still waiting?

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.
Continue reading “God of our Understanding – Episode 143”

Made a Decision – Episode 67

20130814-130029.jpgI’ve titled today’s episode Made a Decision. I am going to relate my the story of my journey to and through Step 3, “Made a decision to turn our will and our live over to  the care of God as we understood God.” I started from unbelief, was told to “act as if”, found willingness, and eventually surrendered. But still, I must give my will over on a daily basis, because I continue to try to take it back.

  • My Story
    • What is this “God” thing of which you speak?
    • How can I turn my will and my life over to something I don’t believe in?
    • “Act as if”
    • Letting go of my loved one’s recovery (or lack thereof)
    • The meeting and the program as my HP
    • A later understanding of surrender — just going to meetings
    • Unmanageability as motivation
    • Evidence of God working in my life
    • Growing willingness
    • Surrender
    • God suggests — sometimes I listen
    • Daily practice
  • What holds me back?
    • My intellect
    • Fear (of losing control)
    • Desire for my outcome
  • What pushed me forward
    • Clear unmanageability of life
    • Seeing it work — when I listened
    • My will has often led me into trouble
  • Change requires changing — letting go of old ways — I can’t do it alone

Our topic for next week is Forgiveness. 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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let god – a guest meditation by Karla

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

 

TIMELY WIND

The eagle soars away into the sky
And yet he never plumbs the depths of space.
The four seasons give place to one another,
Yet never seem to have an end or a beginning.
When the one dry tree on the hill is blown down
By the timely wind, what can one do?

“Song of the Golden Elephant” in Mudra: Early Poems and Songs by Chögyam Trungpa, page 31

By Shambala Publications

Consciously working on my third step again “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him”, especially this morning as I put the results of my daily efforts in my Higher Power’s hands. “May your will be done”, I repeated, as I got up and carried on with my day. Especially because I am beginning to write the first article I will ever write as a professional, and I feel scared. The above excerpt from a poem eased my pain, visualizing how everything changes in an infinite continuum, a continuous loss and gain through the changing seasons of my life and the universe.

I lost the key to my gym locker this morning and I have to pay a fee I do not want to pay to replace it. I felt a sense of loss about not being able to trust myself sometimes when I am distracted. I stopped a moment, held my head with both my hands, and felt the subtle pain of loss through my body. I repeated to myself a quote from Courage to Change “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in it’s hands.” ~Richard Bach. Then I got up, did what I had to do, and carried on with my day.

Life does not go as I expect it when I let go and let god, but it goes as is best for me.  I don’t understand what gifts are wrapped withing my problems and challenges, but I trust those gifts are richer than I expect. I am willing to enjoy soaring into the sky, adapting to the ever changing seasons of life. Every time that life asks me to face my fears and myself, I want to feel my feelings and let go, one day at a time.

A meditation for March 29, 2014.

Continue reading “let god – a guest meditation by Karla”