About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Deep Deep Joy!

Deep Joy.
Block FBC is the second !! block from the front. The front block is full of die hard ninja types and monks. Religious types and what have you. So I will be near all them. VERY VERY cool. I cannot WAIT.
Early bird gets a seat near the front!!
!! Excited now!!

I just LOVE this stuff. Even though most of it goes RIGHT over my head. !!! I can't WAIT. I LOVE this stuff. Don't know why. I just DO.
Anyway. Have a GREAT Friday y'all!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Karma 'Speeds up': Things coming to a head. Things coming to FRUITION.

Things coming to FRUITION.
Ripening to their inevitable outcome FASTER.

One of the things I tell people who start doing (what I consider to be GOOD) Step 11 practice. With powerful energetic Teachers. (As not all have very strong energy.)

(By the way you can empower yourself by practicing 'constant thought of others, maximum helpfulness' but that's another story.)

Here is a passage from Step 12 section of a guy from my homegroup about how we were 'taught' Step 12.
"AA Service
RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING in AA, we should start trying to adopt AN ATTITUDE OF SERVICE and a what-can-I-contribute approach IN ALL AREAS OF OUR LIVES However, for the alcoholic, it is VITAL that this should include PARTICULARLY (!!) passing on the message of AA’s programme of recovery on to suffering alcoholics.
This can take a variety of forms, direct or indirect, and can be aimed at both alcoholics who are already in AA in the AA group; and those who are outside AA and yet to stop through the Intergroup and General Service structures and even just as we go about our daily lives. The chapter Working With Others in the Big Book is the primary source for guidance here. The Twelve Traditions are invaluable to us in our consideration of how best to carry the message."
This is from the website called miseryisoptional.info

Anyway I digress. As !!! Usual.
Ok .
If you have been 'zapped' by a GOOD step 11
If you have been 'zapped' by EFFECTIVELY helping newcomers.

You effectively have generated a TON of extra 'energy'.
This has the effect of 'cooking' you FASTER.

The water reaches the boil FASTER than it would ordinarily.
Mind states change more frequently.
Insight occurs more often.
The penny drops more often.
The veil is lifted more often.
Our emotions evolve more often.
The 'furniture in our head' is rearranged more often.

NOTHING stays the same!
Its a bit of a rollercoaster ride to be honest. Hold onto your hats!

The furniture thing. Let me explain.
Its like you went to bed with all the furniture in the usual place.
Then you got up in the middle of the night to have a pee.
And none of he furniture is in the same place it was yesterday. And you keep bumping into things.
Some stuff is new and you're not sure where you got it.
Other stuff you can't find.
Other stuff you don't even notice was missing till years later.

Well that's what its like IN YOUR HEAD AND YOUR EMOTIONS when you are on a FUNCTIONING Spiritual path.
Well that's what I think anyway. No offence if you know what I mean.

Right I'll get to the point if it kills me!
Reality is in a constant state of flux and IMPERMANENCE is the Hallmark of reality.,
Everything is whirling around at the speed of light. Changing in a nano second.
Reality is very PLASTIC. Hinges on a thought, Hangs on one tiny action.
Its very fragile. Like a butterflies wing. And can change at a moments notice.

"And I'm a million different people from one day to the next"
The Verve. Bittersweet Symphony

Very true. Richard Ashcroft was more accurate than he realized.
Scary huh?
Most of us don't see this very much, because we are too busy hiding in our comfort zones and HABITUAL thinking.
Auto pilot basically. To give us the ILLUSION of stability. Heheh. No such thing!
Reality is MUCH more scary than that. MUCH more delicate and precarious. MUCH more random. Being honest with oneself of the true nature of things is not a 'comfort'. The comfort comes from ACCEPTING that this is how it is. Just making peace with it.Getting used to the sand shifting under your feet constantly.

Anyway! Before I go on for !!!!! Ever!
Increasing your ? energetic condition, by either (properly) helping others, or doing (a good) step 11 moves you CLOSER to this reality.
Its like you moved closer to the 'fire' and you can feel the 'heat' more.
Things start moving around quicker.
Synchronicity kicks in.
Things just happen at the right time.
The right people show up.
You hear what you need to hear.
You get what you need. Even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.

But IN ADDITION to that.
Things that 'aren't quite right'.
Guess what happens to them?
Like I said before.
First you get a pebble.
Then you get a Brick.
Then you get a BOULDER!

Well when you are 'tuned in' and the spiritual path is 'working'
The Boulder comes FASTER

Its the law of consequences. Or Karma.
Karma is just another word for the 'fruition' of ones actions.

If I eat a cake every day. Eventually I will get fat. That's a KARMIC CONSEQUENCE of that action.
So don't think I'm being vague here. I'm not. I just like using the word karma to describe this thing. Its the same as consequence.

Why does the boulder come faster?
Well its like God decided to put you in th 'A' Stream instead of the usual 'D' stream.
See. You are no longer a Spiritual 'Nancy', so God figures he can 'up the stakes' with you a bit.
So its cool really. Means you have 'upped' a grade. Well that's how I see it.

By the way, this is NOT to be confused with people who experience CRISIS after CRISIS because their lives are hopelessly unmanageable. This has an ENTIRELY different quality to it.
This will ONLY happen to people who are SINCERELY trying to help others OR doing a GOOD step 11.
Meaning, if you are just some sort of a git, and make crummy choices, then yeah, the s*it WILL hit the fan. But that's not the same thing.
This has MUCH more of a flavor of SYNCHRONICITY about it.
So no. If you are not sincere, or your motives are ego feeding rather than to be of service, then its a different ball of wax.

I don't have time to give examples.
Heres one.
Sometimes the karmic consequence occurs SECONDS after the thought occurs.
I used to ALWAYS ALWAYS pay my travel fares.
One day for some ? Reason I forgot to buy more bus tickets.
THE MOMENT I realized I didn't have a travel pass that included the current day. (It had expired)
THE THOUGHT OCCURRED TO ME that I could just stay in the bus and not buy a new ticket before I got off.
The bus journey was 5 minutes tops.
I was tempted to not pay.
THE MOMENT I thought. Yeah why not. I'm only going to be on the bus for a few more minutes. Its too much hassle to get off the bus and get a new one. Ill be late for work anyway if I do. What the hell, I'll get a new pass when I get off later in the day.

A ticket inspector got on. And started checking tickets.
As the bus was waiting to go off. I HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO GET OFF THE BUS and buy a new one or else stay on and get a 10 pound fine. Or whatever it is that these guys do. Gawd knows.
Ok. To put this in context.
I went to that job for nearly ? 5 years.
Every day I got the bus 2-3 stops on the way there. 5 days a week.
Guess how often I saw a ticket inspector on the Bus during those 5 years?
Guess how often I THOUGHT about not paying my fare over those 5 years?
How much Step 11 was I doing then?
LOADS. With really cool people.

So there you go. Too long as usual! No change there!
I will have to do some more examples on another post.

There are plenty other examples. But I quite like that one. It was REALLY fast.
The boomerang came back WITHIN SECONDS.
So yeah. You have to stay on your toes if you plan on 'growing along spiritual lines'
Well that's what I think anyway.

Basically its all about MOTIVE.
So make yours 'For the benefit of all sentient beings' which is just another way of saying 'Maximum helpfulness'. Or "The greatest good for the greatest number'.
Its the BEST motive money can buy. If you ask me.

Anyway. Have a GREAT Thursday.
Sorry if that sounds a bit freaky or odd. Its just the mood I am in today. Whatever.
Please IGNORE it if it does your head in. Or ? it doesn't agree with you for some other reason.
See y'all!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Inspirational speech by Steve Jobs: Don't let the NOISE of OTHER'S OPINIONS drown out your OWN inner voice

"Your time is LIMITED.
Don't be trapped by DOGMA.
which is living with the results of OTHER PEOPLE'S THINKING.


And MOST important,

They somehow ALREADY KNOW what you TRULY WANT to BECOME.

EVERYTHING else is secondary."

~Steve Jobs: From the speech he gives to College Graduates on You Tube.

"What you don’t have. You don’t need it now
What you don’t know, you can feel it somehow"
~U2 Beautiful Day.

I love this speech. Its great for those of you that are struggling with career issues, but its also just great for a bunch of other reasons. I LOVE what he says about intuition, and trying to not be BULLIED into conforming to other peoples viewpoints. Or redundant social norms.
Having said that, this applies AFTER step 9 as opposed to before really. But to some extent, you NEED to be able to use your intuition a BIT beforehand. If something smells a bit 'suss', then it may very well be just that.

"Common sense would thus become uncommon sense."
Chapter 1. Bill's Story p13

"We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense."
Chapter 6. Into Action p85

"We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while."
Chapter 6. Into Action p86

"We will intuitively know how to handle situations
which used to baffle us."
Chapter 6. Into Action p83

"I was to test my thinking
by the new God-consciousness within."
Chapter 1. Bill's Story page p13

"We ask God to direct our thinking."
Chapter 6. Into Action p86

"Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane"
Chapter 6. Into Action p86

"We ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought."
Chapter 6. Into Action p86

"We have entered the world of the Spirit."
Chapter 6. Into Action p84

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

15th Century Statue of the Bodhisattva Vajrasattva in Room 33 of the British Museum

This is something for those that are planning on taking the The Vajrasattva Initiation in Nottingham, May 2008 with the Dalia Lama
I find it helpful to 'get to know' the ? Deities in question before I take an initiation. I was drawn to this statue the other day before I heard that the Dalai Lama was doing an initiation next year in May 2008. I nipped in toady in passing to see if there were any Vajrasattva statues in the museum and sure enough. There he/she/it was!!
Cool. Anyway Pictures work for me, so here is a pic of the 15th Century Statue from Nepal. The words underneath are the short form Mantra, which invokes the Deity. But you may be required to have an initiation before you actually use it. (!) Not sure. Haven't done my research yet. Some you do, some you don't. It is always wise to repeat these things respectfully, and that your motive for using them always be 'For the good of all sentient beings'. As opposed to some other motive.
Whatever. Hope you find the picture helpful, if you plan on attending next year. I just did it to help me get to know ? It better.

Its a really lovely statue. So many beautiful artifacts in Room 33..I LOVE that this stuff is so OLD. Real 'Tomb Raider' stuff..Worth a visit.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Total Lunar Eclipse visible in the US at 4am Tuesday morning

Hey I feel pretty weird at the best of times, but the full moon makes me feel even more peculiar! So that's why I've been feeling a bit spaced out today. Moon is 99% full. Due to eclipse pretty soon. Except I won't be able to see it from here, but you guys in the US will
Here's a video explaining what happens and at what time. Pretty cool as it happens. But I love all that 'planet' stuff. Right I'm off. Hope you catch a glimpse of it. There will be plenty of info on this if you google lunar eclipse. See y'all..

Death: "Birth and Death are Just a Game of Hide and Seek" by Thich Nhat Hanh

This refers to a video called Birth and Death are Just a Game of Hide and Seek in my sidebar of a talk by hich Nhat Hanh in Sept 2005. I do not know how to post videos from google video so I'm including a link instead.

For those of you that feel ? Like something has been 'taken away' so to speak when a person dies, this video may help. I am of the belief that Thich Nhat Hanh has a better grasp of the nature of reality than most, so yes I know what he says might sound a bit odd, but he is very good at explaining these things in almost childlike terms. There is no real need to understand it in its infinite complexity. You just need a rough idea of how the dang thing works. That's all. HOW it works isn't necessary to know.

What he describes isn't as simple as reincarnation, if that's what you're thinking. For a start that would rely on the concept of a separate self. To a degree. He describes it much better than I ever could but basically he describes the inter connectedness of ALL things. Which is just another way of describing Non Duality. Which is the concept of only one 'person', as opposed to lots of separate selves. He describes the web of connections that connect us all. To everything and everybody. All the time. Whether we like it or not. The connections don't just exist in the present, they go back in time. Forward too probably. Gawd knows. So basically we are knitted into this fine web of connections to EVERYTHING.

In relation to people who have 'passed' this is relevant in that the connection is no less 'valid' due to the fact the person has passed. So basically we need never be alone again. And our loved ones are only a thought away. Well that's how I see it.

We cannot separate ourselves from them any more than we can separate ourselves from ourselves. Why? Because they ARE ourselves. Another leaf on the same tree, so to speak. We have no choice other than to be knitted together for all eternity. Whether we feel it or not. Whether we believe it or not.

Whatever. Now I'm just talking out of my a*se. So I'd better ! shut up. See I sounds like s*ite when I say it, but Thich Nhat Hanh, on the other hand, makes it sound terribly ordinary. Which is why he teaches all over the world, and I don't. Easy really!

But yes, I saw him do a very similar lecture in Scotland a couple of years ago. It blew me away. I have profound issues with death as I've been dealing with it since I was ? 4 or something. Basically I am programmed to expect death. Mine, or anyone else's I hold dear, or rely upon. Anything I love and value. I expect them to die, or for circumstances to 'take them away'. So this was a very powerful talk for me. It showed me I could never be separated from the most special people I have grown to love and value in this lifetime. Which was a wonderful gift from Thich Nhat Hanh. Like I say, Its not quite as simple as ? 'simple' reincarnation. More a continuum of connections that never 'disappears' as such, but manifests in an ever changing forms, and exists in states that have no intrinsic 'form' or 'shape'. Its just 'there', wherever 'there' is. But like I say. He sees it a DANG site better than I do, so listen to HIS version, not mine.

There is a pretty dull intro (in my opinion) by a woman host. I always skip the intro and go straight to the lecture. I have no patience!

Look I know this stuff seems WEIRD, but try to take it on trust that, that's really how it is, out there in the ether. (If you want to that is). I accept this stuff as reality. That's my choice, but I have come to believe that it is true.

Right I'm off then. Hope that's not too morose for you!

Dalai Lama: Vajrasattva Initiation and Bodhisattva Vow. Nottingham Sat 24th-Wed 28th May 2008

Amazing. His Holiness will be teaching in Nottingham in May 2008.. Thanks Johno for emailing me about it.

Regarding tickets. Floor seats are better (usually) as they can be closer to the stage.
Regarding hotels. I think the Nottingham Central Travelodge looks sufficient. 55 quid for a family room that can sleep three if you want ! it to. Starts early on Saturday morning. So book Sat, Sun, Mon and Tues night for the whole event.

There are two main events so to speak.
The Bodhisattva Vow.
The ceremony for engendering the Heart of Awakening - or bodhicitta. To generate the aspiration to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings and to enrol on the spiritual career of a Bodhisattva. Cool!

The Vajrasattva Initiation. Wednesday morning 28th May 08.
Vajrasattva is the buddha of purification. The meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva is considered supreme among all practices for the purification of all the accumulated negativities, illness and obscurations that are not inherently part of our true nature. A Sharp Weapon for the Total Elimination of Inner Darkness Caused by the Delusions and Distorted Emotions. Even better!

And some pretty !!! dense teachings, I would imagine. Not easy to grasp with the limits of the human mind. Unless you have many lifetimes of accumulated wisdom to draw from, and an above !!! Average mind. (Neither of which I have..)

General information on the Vajrasattva deity.

Nice old pic of the deity.

Downloadable Recording of the 100 syllable Vajrasattva Mantra sung by Khenchen Rinpoche

Recording of the 100 syllable Vajrasattva Mantra sung by Ven. Geshe Dakpa Topgyal.

Downloadable video of the 100 syllable Vajrasattva Mantra sung by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Vajrasattva Invocation Mantra



The 100 syllable Vajrasattva Mantra
-as described in Geshe Topgyal's: A Guide to Daily Vajrasattva Purification Practice and The Practice of the 35 Purification Buddhas - A Sharp Weapon for the Total Elimination of Inner Darkness Caused by the Delusions and Distorted Emotions)

OM Banza Sato Samaya
Manu Palaya
Banza Sato Teno Per
Thi Kya Dri Dro Mey Bhawa
Suto Kyo Yo Mey Bhawa
Supo Kyo Yo Mey Bhawa:
Anu Rakto Mey Bhawa
Sawa Siti Mey Tra ya Tsa
Sawa Kama Sutsa Mey
Tsi Tam Shri Yam Kuru Hung
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha Hoe Bha Gha Wana
Sava Tathagata
Banza Ma Mey Mun Zha
Bhan Zhi Bhawa
Maha Samaya Sato

See you there!

Friday, August 24, 2007

April was THREE on Thursday. Cool.

April is cool. Bless er. Go say Hi if you get the chance. She gets DISTINCTIONS and all that in her exams!! So I am (naturally) in awe!
Her Blog is A day in the life of Alcohol and drug Recovery

Can't stop I'm afraid..Gotta rush off to work now. See y'all..

Rest assured that my absence has NOTHING to do with either a) a fast moving truck, or b) large quantities of jack Daniels.. (or whatever it is ??? people drink these days.? .Bacardi breezers I think..)Work is BUSY and I've volunteered to help TRY get the stuff done. I dare say It won't last. 13hr days with NO breaks! Ha! Lunch is for WIMPS and all that..Hope y'all are having a GREAT sober time.. See yez later when I get a day off and I've managed to catch up with sleep..

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Learning to trust the quiet inner voice: Christina Aguilera. The Voice Within

I'm sure this might not be to everyone's !! taste, but I think this song has a great message. Just thought I'd mention it here in case you don' know it already

Perhaps its the bit about being your own best friend. Not sure. But like that it suggests relying on ones own resources when the 'outside' seems confusing. I think we understand ourselves better than ANYONE else. So I think this is a very valuable and underused resource. I don't know about you, but I can FAR TOO EASILY defer to 'outside agencies', most often people, for 'external validation'. As they call it.
For me it goes against the grain to trust my perceptions. So that's why I like this kind of stuff.
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 13, 2007

An Introduction to Step 8

The way I did it was in three columns
1st column: Whom I harmed. (People, places and things.)
2nd column: The nature of the harm
3rd column: What did it feel like being THEM on the receiving end of my harmful actions?
or harmful OMISSION of actions?
How might I have felt if that had been done to me?
But more importantly, how did THEY feel?

This is an exercise in EMPATHY.
In placing oneself in the ROLE of another.
And seeing the world through THEIR eyes.
From a position we may NEVER have inhabited previously.
You have to get inside their skin.
Walk in their shoes.
See it from THEIR perspective.
In its full unadulterated emotional and mental glory.
Its often not a pretty sight.

Its not easy.
Harm is not such an easy concept.
Sometimes we are CONVINCED we have harmed another when in fact we HAVE NOT.
Sometimes we are CONVINCED we have NOT harmed another when in fact we HAVE.
Sometimes we are CONVINCED we have NOT harmed another, bacause THEY HARMED US and we imagine that that somehow invalidates any harm we might have done them.
This is why having a sponsor is so important.

Oh yeah and I do not NOT include myself as a person I have harmed. If you had even the slightest glimples of the RAMPANT SELFISHNESS of the average alcoholic, you would know why this is so laughably irrelevant.

Your sponsor should oversee your step 8 list from the word go, IN CASE YOU ARE DOING IT ALL WRONG. If you meet your sponsor once a week at a meeting, just bring the list along so she can look it over. That's all it takes, no big deal.


Personally. I can tell if the person writing the third column doesn't give a toss about the affect their actions have had on the people who were unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of their self centeredness.

I can just 'tell' when they finally DO manage to 'crawl inside the skin' of the person they harmed. I can just 'feel it' when that happens. And I can smell indifference and BS at 100 paces.
So I am a hard person to impress in this regard.
I do not accept anything less than a SINCERE and ACCURATE ESTIMATE of the EMOTIONAL harm they INFLICTED (knowingly OR unknowingly) on those they came into contact with.

Step 8 is a TOUGH one.
You finally get to see the lacerations and tears on the heartstrings of others. That is ENTIRELY down to YOUR ACTIONS. No one else's.
Plus emotional harm always f*cks people up in some way.
For instance:
It makes them insecure
It makes them doubt themselves
It makes them think they are BAD
It makes them think no one will love them
It makes them think they are SHIT
It makes them angry and frustrated
It makes it harder for them to perform theor obligations at work
It makes them drained
It makes them more likely to lash out at those closest to them
It increases their sense of shame
It makes them preoccupied and worried
It makes them withdraw into themselves
It makes them feel like they are bleeding inside
It makes them feel like they have been stabbed in the chest
It makes them feel like they have been punched in the stomach
It makes them frightened to ever trust another person
It makes them frightened to ever trust their own judgment
It makes them think that they deserved it
It makes them think that everyone knows how shabbily they have been treated
It makes them think that being treated like SHIT was NORMAL
It makes them afraid of getting close to another human being ever again
It makes them afraid of people
It makes them expect abuse
It makes them expect shabby treatment
It makes them give up
It breaks their heart
It makes them a nervous wreck
It makes them afraid all the time
It makes them afraid of being touched
It makes them afraid of sudden movements
It makes them lose faith in human nature
It brings them down and makes them negative
It makes them think "All men/women are bastards"
It makes them think "You can't trust anyone"
It makes them think "What's the point?""
It makes them cry
It makes them sad and they don't really know why they are sad. Its all just one BIG SAD FEELING that follows them around like a ghost
It makes them think they can never be themselves because they were so cruelly rejected in the past that they believe no one could ever truly love them
It makes them believe wholeheartedly, that they are unlovable
It make them think they are 'jinxed'
It make them think people are not very nice
It makes them think they are worthless
It makes them think other people can see that they are worthless
It makes them numb, because they cant deal with the feelings
It makes them feel like they are worse then others
It makes them frightened to talk to others about what is really going on, because hey are ashamed
It makes them feel as though the rug has been pulled from under them. (Hence the choice of photo above)

All these LOVELY observations, and MORE are part of the PICTURE YOU PAINT of 'what it was like being THEM. What did I actually DO to that person REALLY?
What did I really DO to that person???
What was the END RESULT of the actions, or OMISSION to act, that ENDED UP HARMING THAT PERSON?

So yeah. That's just how I did it. Hope that helps!
Yes Step 8 is a bit FULL ON and HEAVY. But that is as it should be.
Step 9 is a whole other ball of wax. Don't even THINK about it during step 8, as it will roadblock you.

Also here is a similar note from a guy who I knew from my old home group who went through the steps the same way I did.
Here is a link to his webpage on Step 8 from the website called "Misery is Optional"

As I was agonizing as to how to explain maximum helpfulness, I 'coincidentally' bumped into the preserved remains of the founder of that philosophy

By the way. Jeremy Bentham was the philosophical founder of the maxim "The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number."

Weird story: One day I was agonizing as to how to explain maximum helpfulness, (Its not easy to explain!!) while wandering around randomly taking pictures with my mobile phone to places I had NEVER been to before. This is when I stumbled across this weird box thing. (see photo) I had no idea who Jeremy Bentham was. This box used to contain his preserved head, but contains his skeleton and clothes made up into a seated figure.
Well the upshot is. I had only inadvertently stumbled upon the physical remains of the father of the concept "The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number." (As requested in his will, his body was preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet, termed his "Auto-icon".)
How cool is that?
Heheh. That's just one of MANY coincidences that I pretty much take for granted these days. So there you go. Weird s*it is the norm when you are on a spiritual path. Well that's what I find anyway.

Some web pages about him:
Pitur eof the preserved skeleton and head
Document explaining his preserved corpse in a box.
Wikipedia page on Jeremy Bentham

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Don't flinch when a Demon shows up. Be a kind host, and their stay will be easier to endure.

I think I can be a good 'flat mate' when a demon shows up unexpectedly for a visit. The more I try to make them leave, the longer they stay. So I am the consummate host! I am very peaceful about them visiting. No matter how dark and shadowy they are. Even if they STINK! I just watch them go about the place. Sit themselves down. Help themselves to stuff in the fridge. Change the channel on the telly. I just say nothing, watch them. TRY to be nice to them and find out what is bothering them. What they want. Often it is just recognition, or attention. Somehow, in the process of looking at them, they become less shadowy. Less 'mad'. After a while they seem quite logical in many ways. A very obvious reaction to a painful episode. It can often seem quite heartbreaking to see their twisted souls, longings, conflicts, and muddy-ness. Such a mess! But, I am able to stay with them with compassion. Not judge them. And really LISTEN to them. Then this ?'stuff' just moves through me, and it is no longer a 'hot potato'. Its vanished. Back into the ether. There are many pretty ugly unlovable parts of the mind, but you can't flinch from them. Any more than it would be ok to flinch from a stinking, belligerent newcomer man. They ALL deserve our help and our attention. We cannot 'dismiss' them because they are ugly or frightening. They ALL belong to us, so it is up to US, (not anybody else) to be a 'good parent' to them. Show them love and compassion really.
But yeah, it takes a bit of practice, and its probably better to try to do after a while in the programme, rather than when you are feeling very ? Unsafe or afraid of drinking. But don't you see? This is why helping newcomers is so cool! It teaches us compassion towards these quite powerful, damaged and unruly parts of ourselves.

Monday, August 06, 2007

(Relatively) New Blogger on the Block: Go say Hi to Ms Determined at Progress not Perfection

Ah Bless. I see Ms Determined is posting again. She started one before but never really posted very much. She's been around two years or so and is neither 'new' nor 'at risk' as such. Just has a bit of growing up to do.. But don't we ALL lets face it!! Life on life's terms is no easy feat!! I happen to think she is very much on the right track, but happens to have her fair share of demons, (not her fault, just the way the cookie crumbles) which cloud her vision from time to time, but that's just my opinion. What I mean is that those demons are just 'grist for the spiritual mill', as opposed to impediments to a spiritual life as such. But we shall see. If sobriety has taught me anything, it has taught me that I cannot rely on my perceptions. So gawd knows.
Also she hasn't got round to getting to know all you !! cool blogging people out there. Of which there are many. I'm actually very pleasantly surprised at how many cool people there are out there in the blogsphere. It's certainly opened up a new bunch if like minded people that I simply do not see as much of in my day to day AA life. Anyway I'm happy to see she is trying to get back into the posting swing of things.
I'm sure she'll like it once she gets into the swing of it as I am surprised at how much I get from this thing. Its better than I though it would be. Having said that I may become very negligent when my coursework starts again in October. We shall see.

Anyway, If you feel the urge, pop over and say hi. As I'm sure she will be thrilled !!! to bits to find she has had visitors. !!! (Well I always like it when I get comments and I'm sure she is no different.)

Her blog is called Progress not Perfection. as she can expect things to be a 'certain way' quite a LOT. Plus she has a slightly driven streak when it comes to problem solving which can very often get in the way of finding the solution. But I'm sure she will be a laid back hippy in no time! 'Que sera sera' and all that.. Just takes a bit of time that's all. I think I was pretty ? 'driven' ? 'intense' for the first 5 years or so of my recovery. But its always more difficult to get an accurate picture of oneself so who knows. But it FELT intense. I know that. Whatever. But then I was very MAD when I was new, so I had no choice. I could not 'let up' on my spiritual course of action", because I would have felt CRAP. I had to work VERY hard (usually talking to newcomers) to keep the demons at bay. I think I had quite a few of those demons. Still do really. I just have a different way of relating to them. They are 'alright'. But then EVERYTHING's 'alright', so that's not really saying much. What I mean is I have peace around the inevitable? Tugs and pulls at the heartstrings. Its ok. Right well I'm waffling now, so I'd better be off to that gym!
Hope you guys have a GREAT Monday and if you live over here, drink lots of water, as its going to be HOT over here, and you'll get pooped otherwise. See y'all..