2nd stage sobriety

Autumn Brings Inspiration

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Portrait of John Talbot, later 1st Earl Talbot; Pompeo Batoni, Italian (Lucchese), 1708 - 1787; Italy, Europe; 1773; Oil on canvas; Unframed: 274.3 x 182.2 cm (108 x 71 3/4 in.), Framed: 301 x 209.9 x 10.8 cm (118 1/2 x 82 5/8 x 4 1/4 in.); 78.PA.211
Portrait of John Talbot, later 1st Earl Talbot; Pompeo Batoni, Italian (Lucchese), 1708 – 1787; Italy, Europe; 1773; Oil on canvas; Unframed: 274.3 x 182.2 cm (108 x 71 3/4 in.), Framed: 301 x 209.9 x 10.8 cm (118 1/2 x 82 5/8 x 4 1/4 in.); 78.PA.211

 

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
William Shakespeare

autumn has sailed in this year like a luxury yacht. I have been afloat all season and barely knew we were moving. Pumpkins, harvest, fall, golden, changing, pumpkins, squash, sweaters, corduroy. Along with these returning symbols of my life, I am reminded also by my nature that the 3rd quarter shift every year signals internal reminders of this cycle of life. I make changes at this time of year. I’d like to frame it as “I grow every year”

there is a part of me that is so driven by impulse I can rarely notice when I genuflect via autopilot. I leap and then I reflect. It seems others ponder before they make a move. I can’t imagine what that’s like. To make it stickier, I judge my nature as immature and spend a good deal of time feeling badly about how I am. I forget that I do not endure hypocracy and toxicity for very long as my more mature counterparts do.

This song played on my apple shuffle the other day and I swooned. Paolo remains a source of inspiration for me.

“Autumn”

Autumn leaves under frozen souls,
Hungry hands turning soft and old,
My hero cried as we stood out there in the cold,
Like these autumn leaves I don’t have nothing to hold.

Handsome smile, wearing handsome shoes,
Too young to say, though I swear he knew,
And I hear him singing while he sits there in his chair,
While these autumn leaves float around everywhere.

And I look at you, and I see me,
Making noise so restlessly,
But now it’s quiet and I can hear you saying,
‘My little fish don’t cry, my little fish don’t cry.’

Autumn leaves have faded now,
That smile I lost, well I’ve found somehow,
Because you still live on in my father’s eyes,
These autumn leaves, all these autumn leaves, all these autumn leaves are yours tonight.

All Apologies

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Mary Poppins is a series of eight children’s books written by P. L. Travers and published over the period 1934 to 1988. Mary Shepard was the illustrator throughout the series. The books centre on magical English nanny Mary Poppins. She is blown by the East wind to Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, and into the Banks’s household to care for their children. Encounters with pavement-painters and shopkeepers and various adventures follow until Mary Poppins abruptly leaves—i.e., “pops-out”. Only the first three of the eight books feature Mary Poppins arriving and leaving. The later five books recount previously unrecorded adventures from her original three visits. As P. L. Travers explains in her introduction to Mary Poppins in the Park, “She cannot forever arrive and depart.”

this description mirrors my adventures over the last 8 years. I have been continuously gobsmacked by the role of program administrators being in opposition to client centered care. My most recent dalliance has seen intakes and subsequent discharges mirroring the use of a box of kleenex and a nearby waste can. I am unable to endure this any longer. I don’t see myself as overly sensitive, but I do believe it takes time and effort to help people recover from addiction.

I’m interested in being a force for good in the middle of an epidemic-not capitalizing from it. And I don’t think I want to be a part of any program that exploits people that are ill.

What else should I be
All apologies
What else should I say
Everyone is gay
What else should I write
I don’t have the right
What else should I be
All apologies

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun

Married
Buried

I wish I was like you
Easily amused
Find my nest of salt
Everything is my fault
I’ll take all the blame
Aqua seafoam shame
Sunburn with freezer burn
Choking on the ashes of her enemy

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun

Married
Buried

Yeah, yeah yeah yeah

All in all is all we are.

Written by Kurt Cobain • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

sunday kind of love………. matt butler

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my friend Allison Harden turned me on to Matt Butler via a song used in the revolutionary film “generation found”

he kindly let us use his song “just one”  during our “surrounded by recovery” event. Since that time I have come to respect his music and lyrics, as well as his sense of propriety.

i have included selections from Matt’s new album “Relentless”- please consider buying a copy and supporting his efforts and his philanthropy.

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky Sweet

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life has shifted gears so quickly and silently I hardly noticed. I helped produce a community event with the intention of creating some collaboration within the recovery community. I became ensconced in the process of planning. Intoxicated really. And it was a hella ride. Now I find myself dripping with the sweet sticky leftover of some hard work and inspiration.

The action of “Surrounded” changed my mental state. I didn’t know I wasn’t breathing. Not until I was breathing again.

sunday kind of love…….. todd rundgren

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i  have been posting music for as long as I’ve been blogging. 2006 was the year of my first post. I was really just investigating the medium. i was 2 years into my recovery and needed something more. In the process I met a circle of like minded individuals across the continent and further who enhanced my support network and helped alleviate greatly the anxiety that my early recovery heralded.

Along with the beautiful addition of online support, the evolution of my 10 year journey with blogging has cemented my lifelong love and reliance upon music. This continues to this day. Today’s offering….. Todd Rundgren. His name music will speak for itself.-

 

 

 

disclosure

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American spin

financial concerns have peppered my emotional well being since last fall. i took a position which just didn’t cut paying the bills and i was caught off guard by my struggle to get back on track. i then applied for a position with the state but when complied with a mandatory integrity interview was sent a dear john letter deeming me a drug trafficker even though there is no history of drug sales either on or off the books_certainly no charges of such. this was a huge blow to my psyche. whatever karma i was working through, it had a cost and i fell into depression. only these last few weeks am i able to feel relief. i have changed positions, am training another group of recovery coaches, am starting a small radio show, getting a room mate to help with expenses, getting a part time gig, and hopefully producing denver’s 1st sober- pride dance. my life feels fuller and more technicolor.

this is a time for gratitude for me. i am certainly blessed to be connected to such hearty  resilience after all these years.

take me to the river

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“When you come from the view that you’re fundamentally good rather than fundamentally flawed, as you see yourself speak or act out, as you see yourself repress, you will have a growing understanding that you’re not a bad person who needs to shape up but a good person with temporary, malleable habits that are causing you a lot of suffering. And then, in that spirit, you can become very familiar with these temporary but strongly embedded habits.”  ― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
“When you come from the view that you’re fundamentally good rather than fundamentally flawed, as you see yourself speak or act out, as you see yourself repress, you will have a growing understanding that you’re not a bad person who needs to shape up but a good person with temporary, malleable habits that are causing you a lot of suffering. And then, in that spirit, you can become very familiar with these temporary but strongly embedded habits.”
― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

these last few weeks have provided me the opportunity to make room for some of my real nature to come into view. if only i could proclaim how wonderful i am. wouldn’t that be wonderful? it might be, but that’s not the case. what i have seen is how very human i am. how vulnerable to primal reaction and fear i am. and how my ” chasing shiny things behaviors” keep me caught in a whirlpool of mild chaos.

it is often a challenge not to throw the book at myself in judgement over all this. after all, i have spent most of my adult life feeling “less than” and standing on the outside looking in. recovery and spiritual practices have taught me to think differently and feel differently which is how i try to live most of the time. but  there are times when primal reactions emerge without warning and leave me standing clueless like a deer in some headlights trying to figure out what is happening and which direction i need to make a dash for.

this process i describe is my version of actuating emotional sobriety. old behaviors emerge and cause me to see life as in a rainstorm. emotional recovery involves time and patience to remember that who i was and how i was does not dictate who i am now. it is like using a wiper blade to better see the world with clarity.

attached to this cycle is the much more fragile self-forgiveness tangent. acceptance and forgiveness become  the fulcrum that growth and change teeter upon in my world. when i pray now, it is for the ability to zoom out of my life and make room for unexpected blessings to be seen.

welcome to my january in 2016.  i am grateful for your visit.

I don’t know why I love her like I do
All the changes you put me through
Take my money, my cigarettes
I haven’t seen the worst of it yet
I want to know that you’ll tell me
I love to stay
Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Take me to the river, dip me in the water
Washing me down, washing me down

I don’t know why you treat me so bad
Think of all the things we could have had
Love is an ocean that I can’t forget
My sweet sixteen I would never regret

I want to know that you’ll tell me
I love to stay
Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Push me in the river, dip me in the water
Washing me down, washing me