Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What if We Were to Remember Ourselves at All Times

My daily Enneagram message informs me that it is the eve of Jesus birth , a man who remembered Himself in all circumstances. It is a mark of someone's recovery that we hold who we are. If I can preside in my life as a woman of grace and dignity and as a child of God, I am at my best on one hand and also  at my simplest emanation.

How elegantly simple it sounds and how difficult to keep my pesky personality quirks at bay. That bondage to self  emits a scent around me that separates me from God.

To remember myself in all circumstances, a worthy goal!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Holy Endorsement, Batman!

I am I in a self driven Tim Farrington reading program. I had saved his interview carried in The Sun Magazine. It was about depression and the spiritual road and I felt tremendous identification. Of course now it is years later and perhaps moved by my giving that only copy to a fellow journeyer I am now reading his books.

The shining star is A Hell of Mercy, a meditation on depression and the dark night of the soul. It carries the concepts discussed in the interview and it is a highly satisfying read. I identify with him tremendously.

And that is what's good about today.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Storm Rolled Through

 I have been on vacation this past week.  One of my Franciscan friends lives in CT and we made plans to spend a day together. There was time for me to pay my respects in Sandy Hook today.

Off the route 84 exit for Newtown I took the left marked for Sandy Hook. A chill came over me as I was entering a school zone and I saw the orange cones blocking entrance to a long driveway. I stopped and noticed that someone else was walking ahead and had stopped at a collection of flowers and a children's book.

The fireman across the street was working on his truck and confirmed that that was where people paid their respects and that the school was closed and off limits.

I stopped again, knelt and prayed for all children and then slowly drove out of town, admiring it for its sweet New England landscape. The stores with 'we choose love' signs in their windows. It reminded me of storm damage left behind. The terror, a memory of the impersonal blast of havoc that blows through, leaving wreckage.

The storm is just the storm. It doesn't care that it uproots and mangles bodies or trees. It might catch you, it might miss you. It's all the same to the storm, power and might rolling through.

Friday, April 19, 2013

And the Beat Goes On, Boston Style

Our meeting started at seven this morning as it does, six mornings a week. Our trusted servant asked us to keep the Boston headliners in our thoughts as we shared a moment of silence.  I hadn't heard anything about it. His son read the preamble in his clear elementary school diction, a little hesitation over some of the lengthier words. A smile from most of us at his sweet voice.

There is promise in our children. I am old enough to be the mother of the fleeing suspect or of the slain officer. I feel for the responsibility of our public servants and I appreciate them. We rest in each others arms.

My food did not come from my garden and I did not build my house. I give thanks for those who have gone ahead of me, clearing land, putting a stone wall together in just the right spot. There are those who watch over me and are there to catch me as I fall.

Today I make a dish from someone else's recipe. It involves lamb shanks. My first ever purchase of  such a thing, me the vegetarian of yore. I shyly peek at the bones in my shopping cart and looking away, repeating the credo, do new things.

At home again, I turn on the TV and deduce that we are back in the waiting game. I hear things like 'they came here to kill' and that 'they' have been here since 2001. The shanks on my table remind me of runners legs. Killers now on the run.

I pray again.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Patriots Day in Boston

Even forty miles north of the city it's a quiet day. I check in on the headlines now and then.

Yesterday, the TV stayed on for hours. I had only just gotten my new cable box connected. Everything was purple and green due to my hook up. Today I saw a close up of the scene in my iPad and I flinched seeing the red blood on the street.

We are close enough to know people who had near misses yesterday. They, too, had been sitting at the finish line and then had moved on. Their brothers had finished earlier and had left. The father and daughter from my church were not running this year, they watched from the seating where the unexploded bomb was found.

I have a heavy heart.  It was an act of evil to plant a bomb, there is no meaning to blowing off the legs of runners. Good (and God) prevail.  The acts of a few will not obscure my faith.

That's what's good about today.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nice Surprises

Two lovely surprises today.

The first one was that it was utterly painless chairing the morning meeting. The feeling of good will among others in the room is palpable. That did not change just because I was in a service position.

The second is that I met a new co worker today. I acted as a trusted servant of my company by starting her orientation. She was quite fun and intelligent in a quietly confident way. The day flew. Twins born of different mothers Whee!

That's what's good about today.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World

The trouble with trying to change your thoughts is that our will alone will not accomplishment the job.  Otherwise, the first self-help book would have cured us.  I need to take action first. Then the thoughts come.

Someone out there said that our prayers are like songs.

For the first time in the five and half years I have been going to the morning meeting I will be chairing it. Mondays. From now until I am done with it. A day at a time. Stop by, wont you?

That's what's good about today.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Right Action

Otherwise known as restraint of pen and tongue in my case, I've been on a merry go round of emotion but as someone in a meeting said, it comes down to right action, not right thinking. Thank goodness that it doesn't rest on that.

So what's good about today is that I don't have any amends to make.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Actor on This Stage

During this past weekend I was one of the zillion New Englanders housebound awaiting the end of the blizzard.  I downloaded an AA speaker tape and what I heard, first of all, made me jump to my feet to check my Big Book.  That has NEVER happened before.

I had to open it up to pages 60 to 63 and read about self centered ness and self will being at the center of this disease. The warmth of the truth excited me. I had to read again what I had heard. Alcohol is a mere symptom of the disease. If alcohol were the problem, it would be an easy life for most of us after it is taken away. It is my truth. The disease is spiritually based, I put myself first in everything in thought word and deed.  Over and over again I can ride that merry go round wondering why I still want something else.

Self seeking avails us nothing. God, (she laments) save us from ourselves.

The speaker had also read the words before, being a near Big Book thumper having gone through the chapters and the Steps many times before.  At many 24 hours sober he was dedicated to the program and, yet, intensely discontent. He had been lead by others who passed on the wisdom they had learned from others. Someone was put into his life that helped him to read it again with an emphasis that saved his spiritual life. That person continues to be his sponsor today.

As he said, he doesn't know how often in his sober life he was closer to a drink than he would have dreamed. God carries us always, more than we can know.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the good news for today.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands

isaiah  49:13-23 quoted this am.  We are a constant in Gods life, never forgotten or abandoned. We may grow distant in the relationship but we are never forsaken or tossed aside.  We are all one body and nothing can tear us apart.

Breathe on. Thats whats good about today,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Clean and Sober, Not Crying and Carrying On

Heard at a meeting and repeated by me. Also heard was a speaker tape of Ian from Manitoba talking about the fundamental problem of selfishness, self seeking and bondage to self that plagues the addict. It's a spiritual problem, we exist by depending on others. Did we build our home, weave our clothes and eat food that we grew, processed and ate today?

We become our favorite subject oblivious to others unless they are of use.

What's good about today is awareness of our defects, acceptance of ourselves and others as we trudge the happy road to destiny.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

In The Day

Life kept in the day. I heard it recently that to think beyond the day is to try to maneuver things.  We are such busy minded schemers trying to have our way whether it is good for us or not. But, I want it, we cry. Then we get it and want something else.

I'm ready to go back to bed. The meeting anniversary was lovely, ten years of greeting each other and voicing what's good about today at 7 am.  Some still with us and some are not.

Meetings save lives. Through Gods grace we minister to each other with the simple acts of attention and listening and share our story.

This woman in this moment will give herself the gift of a nap so hold my calls. That's what's good about today.

Friday, January 25, 2013


My home group is celebrating its tenth year anniversary in the morning. I've been a member for the past five years.  For the first three and a half years I attended this open meeting as an Alanon and CoDA member.  For the past eighteen months I have stayed sober and free of mind altering chemicals.

A month or so ago I had a day of retreat at my priests out of town home.  Late in the day we celebrated Eucharist with pieces of home made bread and a chalice.  I have been dipping my wafer at church but with a soft piece of bread, opted to take a swallow.  On other occasions at someone's home it has been filled with juice so I didn't give it much thought.  Anyway, I took a generous gulp of wine.

Hmm, I thought on the ride home, maybe I can switch back to that. I had stopped drinking from the chalice the previous year when I realized it was triggering the phenomena of craving.  That was when cautious drinking began resembling controlled drinking.

I still dip my wafer instead of sipping from the chalice.  But that incident lead to a couple different thoughts and some nosiness into my sons drinking.  Ahh, the disease baffling and all powerful. And patient.

But I am also patient. That's what's good about today.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Learning New Things

Funny how open to change that we think we are until its time to learn something new.  I'm playing hooky this morning by not going to morning meeting so that I could get some reading done.  Opted not to do THAT reading but started Cloudias book instead.  Aloha dear one!

That proved to be extremely inviting and I am treating it like a box of very good chocolate, I don't want to eat it all up and then be done too soon!  So now am playing with the camera aspect of the blog via my iPad.  It can't get any easier tha this!

So, here I am posting my first photo after blogging nearly four years.  That is what is good about today.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sparkling Raconteur

A weird thing happened at that Friday night meeting.  Something came over me.  An ease with others, heretofore only achieved after a glass of something.  It was like a veil came off.  I was teasing my sponsor about her new hair colors.  Giggling conspiratorily with another of her sponsees.  I was making merry.  I was at ease with others, friends and strangers.  My insides matched my outside.

That was me being released from something.  The gifts of program are beyond the questions that I ask of it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Procrastination? Give me a minute . . .

My sponsor spoke at a nearby meeting last night.  I had been to other meetings at this site.  I lowered my expectations and headed over to support her.  She gave a ten minute share and then it became an As Bill Sees It meeting.

The subject for the night was Procrastination and there were only two pages on it.  There were about 20 people in attendance which was an immediate relief as it has been jammed, elbow to elbow on other occasions.  One man mentioned that procrastination is always about control.

Hmm.  Interesting. Then later someone else chimed in on that theme and added the word fear. I thought I was a procrastinator because I'm an Aquarian!  We talked a little bit about it as the meeting broke up.  The stranger and me, not me and my sponsor.  More about that later.

I do know I am a control freak masquerading as a calm person.  It fools a lot of people unless you live with me.  I had a partner who ventured that I was fussy.  An awful sweet way to put it, I thought.  But back to control issues, I hate to be under control of something, can I get it under control?

So, I just made flight reservations to see my mom.  It's been a couple years, it's time to rush into it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Missing Dave Today

Poof, he's gone.  Many, many posts were done by him.

I have not been nearly as diligent as he. Seldom have I posted daily in the past few years since I started blogging and then, as he said, just done with it for now.  Part of the reason that I'm back is because the iPad makes it so easy.

I really have nothing in particular to share today so will give you a run down on my day.

Woke up early, four thirty or so.  Listened to a sober speech by someone with fifty years of sobriety and author of a book on the spiritual power of AA.  Fell back asleep as I knew I would and surfaced again at six thirty.

Coffee, coffee, prayed and started throwing things in the oven for quick cooking up meals.  Chicken breasts slivered up with onions, a red pepper and parsley to finish.  A slathering of olive oil, salt and pepper, pretty as a picture and ready to eat.  Not to waste an ovens heat, I threw in a butternut and a spaghetti squash to have with homemade sauce.  No wine in the sauce this time!  I also replayed the AA meeting recording as the guy was pretty interesting.  It is available through Tom Murphy,s Daily Reprieve email. He talked about the difference between magic and mystery, changes that come through self will or a spiritual focus in life.

Walked the dogs in record time before leaving for work.  What a luxury to have time around the house when I don't go to morning meeting.  I am there pretty much six out of six days a week.  This past week has been over stimulating and I hit the wall of exhaustion so taking a day off here and there is necessary.

Well, you've been good to stick with me through the first couple hours of the day.  To be continued.

And that's what's good about today, it continues.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Les Meserables sp?

The movie, you know what I'm talking about!  I saw it with a friend on Sunday in the middle of a theatre filled with women.  Not a fan of musicals but it didn't even matter.

Visually stunning, a wonderfully produced story.  Cry?  I choked back sobs a couple times.  I loved the Christian themes of social justice, the church as sanctuary and the afterlife.

Each to their own but I loved it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cunning and All Powerful

Within the last couple weeks my attitude about alcohol has changed from almost neutral to nearly obsessive.  In early December we celebrated Eucharist at someones home after a day of spiritual retreat.  We had hunks of bread and when the cup came around I took a swallow thinking it would be juice.  It was wine.

At the end of my drinking I was being triggered by that and since then I typically dip my wafer into the chalice rather than taking a swallow and that has been working fine.  Since my 'accident' last month I've been emboldened to resume taking swallows.

This morning I added wine to my shopping list. I will be making sauce and really like it as an ingredient.  I buy the little four pack at the grocery store, use half of one for the tomato sauce and pour the other half out.  I took my inventory about having the remaining mini bottles in the cupboard and decided it wasn't a temptation.

This afternoon I noticed chocolate wrappers that the dog had made a mess of  in my sons room.  I scooped them up and came eye to eye with a large bottle of vodka, a third full.  He will be 21 next month and has been gone a few days for work.

I feel the lions circling.

They will NOT get me.

A Special Time

The problem with having a new undertaking in your life is that it sends out ripples and I don't appreciate it.  I realize that I want to compartmentalize my spiritual journey.  Putting that into words makes me feel stupid.

I am a brand new postulate in a dispersed community of monks.  That's a joyful thing.  It begins a course of study, spiritual practice  and exploration that can be as huge and unwieldy as I want to make it!  Minimally, it will take three years and then I will profess into the order.

It dovetails with my purchase of the iPad which makes communication with other Ecumenical Franciscans effortless.  To say nothing of my daily communion with the Amazon web site cruising for spiritual books that will make me smarter.  I have a need to be well armed.

And that opens another door into my dis-ease. My separation from God comes up even in my pursuit for a closer relationship.  I imagine that it will flow. I imagine that I can accommodate this new road of pursuit as easily as throwing another item into my shopping cart.  Oh, the arrogance.

So, instead of my buoyant pleasure sailing me through the day I am plagued by uncertainty!  Anxiety reigns and so I pray.  And drink more coffee, play video games and fail miserably at staying in the moment.  I cannot start, yet again on my spiritual autobiography.  It will be the third or fourth time I've done it in the last couple years and I'm dragging my feet.

Those old buddies, Indecision and Ambivalence are parked in my driveway.  They toot the horn to let me know that they can give me a ride around town, kill some time and drop me off when they feel like bringing me back home.

For now I will run to the porch and wave them on to call on someone else.  I don't know what to do next but moment by moment I can remind myself that doubt is part of any spiritual journey.  The old ways of thinking and reacting will fall away if I can loosen my grip and ask for help from you and the One who loves all.

That's what's good about today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year With Apology

My settings were not allowing me comments so hope that I can hear from you! I found Cloudia,s comments so yeh for that.  She is on my mind as we sit or ski in snowy and frigid conditions.  By comparison to past winters, anyway.

So, it's a new year.  Boo, my little dog is starting it off by stealing her brothers food. I am going to try  to pry myself away from my video game, the slicing fruit one, and meet the new year not having spent the day on the couch!  Up, Carol, up!