12 step

adventure awaits

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“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”
“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

 

the weekend is here and i am very peaceful. i have made it through an assimilation period (prolly just the 1st) with working and have branched out with a few endeavors. i agreed to do some training for an organization before i realized how much time it would entail and am having second thoughts. i have come to realize that second thoughts are natural and i’m glad to have them before a task starts.

am getting ready to head out of town and will connect with a new friend that i made there last summer. looking forward to this. starting a new recovery support and skills group. i connected with a recovery coach i know who has agreed to participate in this group and i’m now excited.

have also made a couple more steps toward starting the new not-for-profit. the most amazing aspect in all this is encountering my own fear. fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of barriers, fear of confrontation. i read a tumblr window today which said “adventure awaits- go find it” this is just where my head may need to go.

i looked up some 12 step sayings today.

“If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”

“Happiness keeps You Sweet, Trials keep You Strong, Sorrows keep You Human, Failures keep You Humble, Success keeps You Glowing, But Only God keeps You Going!”

“The sleeper gets nothing but the dream.”

so i post nicolas jaar again today. his sense of sound, syncopation, and juxtaposition give me goose bumps every time. i also appreciate his work ethic and his sense of moving on. he certainly seems an artist. he starts something, collaborates, and moves on. i can definitely relate to this.

 

serenity prayer

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God take and receive my liberty, my memory, my understanding and will, All that I am and have He has given me God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference Living one day at a time Enjoying one moment at a time Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to his will That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next. AMEN ... from aahistory.com
God take and receive my liberty,
my memory, my understanding and will,
All that I am and have He has given me
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference
Living one day at a time
Enjoying one moment at a time
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to h will
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy in the next. AMEN … from aahistory.com

there recently has been a crack in the veneer of doom that loomed over my life this year. whatever triggered old feelings has led me to a place that i am encountering a new idea- subconscious restructuring. this is not my original idea at all, but it is an concept i will be exploring over the next few months to determine if it may be a healthy and effective pathway to lead me to higher ground.

in the six realms of existence, there are said to be heirarchies that one inhabits depending upon their actions in life. having managed to emerge from the hamster wheel of a potent realm there is a current revelation that a deeper acceptance is required to continue to enjoy peace and tranquility in life.

there are some cyclical themes in my life that have become apparent.

1) my family continues to support me and accept me. all the while some of those players cause me to revert to old mindsets with their failure to evolve. recognizing my own role in this dance is imperative to healthy moves forward.

2) the inability to say “no” and remaining visible during conflict are character defects that stem from a primal thought process. i am not certain, but it is possible that i am attracted to conflict in order to cause me to withdraw and/or runaway. it is not clear what thoughts and beliefs drive this cycle. it is clear however that it feels broken and unhealthy.

3) i have learned through journaling and through life that creativity is an expression of gratitude to the universe for the blessings of the journey. the smoke has not cleared near the area of whether my expression is valid or appropriate. this again seems to be enmeshed with old beliefs and old programming.

this last tumble along my path has afforded unexpected time for reflection and review. with this has emerged this opening of hope. relief. possibility. perhaps a new deal.

therefore i need to reiterate the serenity prayer at this fork in the road. i am not clear on what can be changed and what cannot. i need help in determining clarity in those areas. this is that prayer. this is an ask for wisdom and patience. trust and faith. acceptance and letting go.

Two weeks late like a surplus reprieve
I found a hair the length of yours on my sleeve
I wound it round and round my finger so tight
It turned to purple and a pulse formed inside

And I knew the beat since it matched your own beat
I still remember it from our chest to chest and feet to feet
The easy silence then was a sweet relief to this hush
Of ovens, aeroplanes and distant car horns

A fire a fire, you can only take what you can carry
A pulse your pulse, it’s the only thing I can remember
I break you don’t, I was always set to self destruct though
The fire the fire, it cracks and barks like primal music

I said I knew the beat ’cause it matched your own beat
It’s become my engine my own source of heat
The sea between us only amplifies the sound waves
Every hum and echo and crash paints my cave.

10 years in recovery

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The Four Reliances First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings,  not on the words;  Second, rely on the teachings,  not on the personality of the teacher;  Third, rely on real wisdom,  not superficial interpretation;  And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind,  not on judgmental perceptions.
The Four Reliances
First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings,
not on the words;
Second, rely on the teachings,
not on the personality of the teacher;
Third, rely on real wisdom,
not superficial interpretation;
And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind,
not on judgmental perceptions.

i pulled the following from my profile on LinkedIn. it summarizes some of the things i have been privileged to do within the grace of sobriety these last 10 years. needless to say, recovery as changed my life and it completely changed the direction in which i traversed. there are so many unexplained circumstances along my journey that i am certainly at a loss to explain how i have survived so many treacherous and dangerous situations, yet here i find myself with an almost higher-powered directive to give back.

Certified Trainer of Peer Recovery Coaches using CCAR curriculum and philosophy.
Developed peer-to-peer quarterly newsletter “On The TEN” for HIV Community 2008-present
Established Peer Advocacy 501C3 organization named TEN – Treatment Education Network in 2009
Recognized as Advocate of the Year 2010 by Advocates For Recovery Colorado
Implemented Meth Treatment and Recovery Program for Englewood Agency 2012
Created and maintained recovery oriented blog “The Climb” for AFR Colorado 2011-2012
Served as Recovery Rally Chair for AFR Rally For Recovery 2011 and 2012.
Co-Facilitated HIV+ Recovery Support Group as peer in tandem with LPC at A.R.T.S. 2005-2006
Implemented a peer support group for LGBT seeking recovery from methamphetamine 2006
Co Chair Denver Office of HIV Resources Planning Council 2006-2010.
Strength In Numbers Colorado Moderator 2007-2009
Managed Cicatelli & Associates training for Peer Mentoring and HIV One on One Colorado in 2009

i certainly don’t begin to represent that i have created and completed all these on my own, but i was able to participate to the level that i feel some stewardship and some accomplishment. without the input of a community of recovery, i would doubtfully have found my way to 6 months recovery let alone 10 years. the above definitely represents input that can easily be compared against the years of my life before recovery. i spent the life i was given taking and taking and complicating.

i submit a very humble and very heartfelt “thank you” to all the beautiful and the impossible individuals i have met along the journey thus far. you have given me a feast.

life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.

 

hey now

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What is like a smelly fart, that, although invisible is obvious? One's own faults, that are precisely As obvious as the effort made to hide them." His Holiness the 7th Dalai Lama in 'Songs of spiritual change'
What is like a smelly fart,
that, although invisible is obvious?
One’s own faults, that are precisely
As obvious as the effort made to hide them.”
His Holiness the 7th Dalai Lama in ‘Songs of spiritual change’

there are times that a guy just needs to let go of his conscious self and act on instinct. i believe i am at one of those personal milestones. no guarantees. no safety net. just fear. and faith. no doubts. and no regrets.

hey now. hey now. it’s gotta be now. it’s gotta be soon. it better be now.

Hey now, letters burning by my bed for you
Hey now, I can feel my instincts here for you, hey now
By my bed for you, hey now, hey now

Uhu, you know it is frightening
Uhu, uhu, you know its like lightning
Hey now, now,

Hey now, letters burning by my bed for you
Hey now, leave it to the wayside like you do, for you
Imagination calling mirrors for you
Hey now, hey now

Read more: London Grammar – Hey Now Lyrics | MetroLyrics

a spell on you

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"Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old."  — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

with each passing year in recovery, the challenges I face become more intricate. it is unclear whether this is due to clarity of focus, or because the responses are have matured because “fuck it” is no longer the 1st response. either way, it is understood that thinking through the consequences of decisions has become the response of choice in lieu of impulse reaction. and damn! this can be confusing.

life has never been better all the while it has never been more mysterious. try as I might, it is uncertainty and fear that cause the most concern. I hope that writing about this does not indicate defeat, but does reflect insight.

only time will tell when coming up for air.

 

 

 

unwind, unbind, rewind, remind

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last friday i flew to chicago and promptly drove to union pier michigan with a couple of friends to spend time in a cottage here that they have adopted as their home away. i spent the 1st 36 hours unwinding, rewinding, unbinding, and unbending all the knots and twists and broken places that i have barely noticed have taken place since this part of my journey began nearly 10 years ago.

it seems so simple now with hindsight to see that most of what i have experienced may well have been about patching holes i had in my life rather than creating new space and adventures. it seems funny and almost bittersweet to think that i have been refinishing and re-upholstering these last 10 years to try to bring my being to reflect the empirical value of my experiences and my life to be emblematic of a metaphor with the value of all the experiences, tragedies, and triumphs that any life may hold.

these next years just may be about seeing what this old but polished up vessel may still have left in her with regard to sea-worthiness. i can’t guarantee she will sail around the world, but i am confident there will be new ports of call. this is cause for hope.

i plan on connecting with a former neighbor who has relocated to a town about 10 minutes from here. it seems strange that life can be so connected that my past can intersect with my present in such a randomly concise way. but that is life as i know it.

i typed out a post which seemed perfect earlier here. then with one random stroke trying to properly place my little pic of the beach stairs, i erased those 8 paragraphs. i don’t have it in me to recreate them. i know better than to be angry about it. i can only move forward in the here and now. letting go of what could have been and what i intended. what i am left with is what actually from 1 perspective. no doubt it is as good as it gets. loving this rewind.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11T8qRgum0g

the belly of the beast

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Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.... Martin Luther King Jr.
Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better…. Martin Luther King Jr.

there is always the story of jonah and the whale. jonah would symbolize man in general and the whale might represent life itself. sometimes life become so big it swallows us up. we find ourselves trapped in its belly and flitting between frozen with fear and struggling to get out. i think i have been in this kind of place over the last few months.

i think life had gotten too huge. i was expected to do things i could not fathom and i couldn’t keep track of the tasks in front of me. it felt like there was no support, only requests to do more. it felt so big i was swallowed up. i crouched in the belly of the beast until i found an opening and jumped out without a parachute or a floatation device.

it’s a wonder i made it at all. yet somehow after travelling blindly as in a barrel over the niagra falls in my own life,  i find myself in connecticut with the makings of a spiritual experience at my feet. it is not just my experience but more a cumulative experience of all the attendees of the workshop i am in. i laugh. i tear. they smile. they cry. truth gets spouted like foam from a keg and old dead weight gets tossed over the side.

the tale of time in the belly of the beast was not my tale to tell first. many such tales have come before me and many shall come after. and like a old time whale watcher i will no doubt wander and tell the tale of escaping the belly of the beast to all those who will listen. i never know who might need to hear the story.

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.  We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.  Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.  We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.  We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”

pick up the pieces

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All know the Way, but few actually walk it. If you don't find a teacher soon, you'll live this life in vain. It's true, you have the buddha-nature. But without the help of a teacher  you'll never know it. Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher's help.  If, though, by the conjunction of conditions, someone understands what the Buddha meant, that person doesn't need a teacher. Such a person has a natural awareness superior to anything taught. But unless you're so blessed, study hard, and by means of instruction you'll understand.
All know the Way, but few actually walk it.
If you don’t find a teacher soon, you’ll live this life in vain. It’s true, you have the buddha-nature. But without the help of a teacher
you’ll never know it. Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher’s help.
If, though, by the conjunction of conditions, someone understands what the Buddha meant, that person doesn’t need a teacher. Such a person has a natural awareness superior to anything taught. But unless you’re so blessed, study hard, and by means of instruction you’ll understand.

denver is having a truly beautiful spring snow on this sunday. the tulips and the daffodils are suddenly wearing white faux furs and the sky looks like a humongous cumulus cloud trying to blanket the foothills.

i went to a meeting today,  committed to a speaking gig next saturday, secured dinner plans for after that gig, and replaced a wiper blade that fell from my car on the drive home during the snow.

broiled a filet, steamed an artichoke, made béarnaise sauce (a little vinegary) and nestled in and watched some reruns of white collar and man of steele.

i felt a little numb after last week. a couple of guys i know are in the hospital with complications from end stage liver disease. sadly, they have not become willing to stop drinking alcohol. it’s doubtful they will. i don’t know if i will ever get used to feeling helpless. but being a witness for others is part of my role.

i always use to say that i loved getting 2 dozen roses because they were so incredibly beautiful. i also used to keep them and admired them as they withered, died, and dried. i can’t say i feel the same for humans though. not the same experience whatsoever.

took my mother to see hotel budapest on saturday followed by lunch. the movie was as gaudy as the marble in the lobby of the hotel and i found it refreshing. it was a farce that didn’t try to hard, but hard enough and it included so many familiar faces that it was almost like watching the golden globes.

i changed that medication today. we’ll see within the next two weeks whether i have an allergic reaction (toxic) or not-  yippee!! borrowing time really does have some built-in costs.

 

going back to the 70’s- the group was average white band- they had a couple of hits that i remember. this is a cover which is longer. i found it to be well done.

holy flying carpet batman

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“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

recommit

this is something i feel really needs to be part of my program. early in the sober game i was flying around all over town.

i have found myself becoming somewhat of a recluse this last year. i am seeing less people, engaged in less social activities, less travel, less dinners out, no dinner parties in, and few phone chats. i have gained lbs, have seen way too much tv, and may have cloaked myself in a crocheted throw made of lethargy.

part of this may be burnout. part of this may be other things. i have not even been going to meetings which i did for the first 2/3 of my recovery.

i visited my longstanding  home group last sunday and i felt a little sense of renew. i miss that group share process and i miss talking (not that i don’t talk enough on a daily basis)