gratitude

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.

song yet to be sung

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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie,
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie,

 

i have spent the last week trying to double dutch my dual-circling jump ropes of ritual-de la habitual. i am clueless whether i will ever ace this thing, but damn- it’s a gift to be able to try.

november is the month for being thankful. and my remembrance during 11/2015 is reflecting on the distance traveled. at dinner this evening i spoke with a friend about how much had changed in the 18 months he has been in recovery. on the drive home, i realized it had honestly been quite some time since i thoughtfully looked back to remember how things were with the intention of seeing the the drastic difference and the gifts i have been given. so here goes

  1. there is no doubt in my mind that sanity would not be woven into my life without recovery. the ability to see myself in the mirror and not cringe or silently disembowel my character has more value than price can give.
  2.  i have learned to sit quietly with myself and enjoy the company. it took 45 (almost 50) years for me to ace that trick.
  3. i have lived at the same address since 2007- aside from my childhood home, this is the longest i have been in one place throughout my adult life.
  4. the trenches left by the claws of childhood trauma have finally begun to support new life. although i still think of packing the trunk, loading the wagon, and taking off for the hills, i have learned to pause and try to see things from another perspective. this is certainly progress not perfection.
  5. i have also made a healthy start in re-establishing a relationship with most of my family. this means a relationship with boundaries. ‘
  6. in closing, i have reached a point in my life that affords me the luxury of assisting others. among all the blessings bestowed upon me since i said “uncle”, the opportunity to have worth and purpose outweighs the rest.

i hope you all have a rich and bountiful month (or more) of thankfulness. my heart is filled with light this season.

Let me tell you

You’re at the Jubilee or you’re all alone
Because the more, the merrier is how
Friends all tell me so
The birds wake up the grass

And they tell everybody
Say it’s time to grow
The sun, whispers to the birds
Oh, the song yet to be sung

Song yet to be sung
(Song yet to be sung)
The song yet to be sung

reconnecting with thanks

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“No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.” ~Elie Wiesel
“No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.”
~Elie Wiesel

there are so many things to be grateful for in this life. i forget often that gratitude is a place of grace so i drift to other places in my mind and my heart. but truth be told, it is a blessing to be here, it is a complete adventure, it is a wild ride, and it is always filled with surprises.

today i just take a moment to remember my beliefs about being thankful and to reinforce them. i have learned that when push comes to shove, gratitude trumps most of the negative thoughts i am having and whisks me to a place of peace in my mind. it doesn’t change the situation. it changes my perception of the situation which affects my response.

[playlist ids=”280

thanks and giving can be a battlefield

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Let us rise up and be thankful; for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. Buddha
Let us rise up and be thankful; for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
Buddha

this time of year finds me recalling the meal shared by the natives of america and the immigrants.  i am not clear whether we are living up to the original intention of that fabled ritual. could our national dysfunction have been part of the plan?  did we begin this holiday ritual with a second agenda or is it simply our nature to be at odds with ourselves? immigrant and native, brother and brother, our family of (wo) man.

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises, no demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong, no one can tell us we’re wrong
Searchin’ our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

We’re losing control
Will you turn me away or touch me deep inside
And when all this gets old, will it still feel the same
There’s no way this will die
But if we get much closer, I could lose control
And if your heart surrenders, you’ll need me to hold

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises, no demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong, no one can tell us we’re wrong
Searchin’ our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

Songwriters: CHAPMAN, MICHAEL DONALD / KNIGHT, HOLLY

 

in my life

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patch
There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

this is intended to be a short gratitude post. i have probably needed a good dose of thanks for some time.  right now, i have a couple of friends struggling with general life issues and i have felt helpless as i stand by and watch. in one case i am purposely stepping out of the way and allowing her to find her way. in the other case, i am actively giving unsolicited perspective to help her sidestep her own emotions.  in both scenarios, i am without ability to really change them. yet at the end of the day, i am left with my feelings for them.  this is not an earthshattering discovery, but it is a quiet reminder that my life and my heart continue- in spite of my nature in both these instances. this is the blessing in my life.

as may be obvious, i spent most of my life (30+ years) in the realm of ghosts according to buddhist tradition- specifically the hungry ghosts- always eating and never full.  for years it seemed that would always be how my life was. even when i was able to build a career or a relationship, the ghost attachment would invade and much of the good and the sincere would be swallowed up by the hungry apparitions in my soul.  it was unstable and imbalanced at best.

with sobriety and recovery however,  and specifically with gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, i have been able to transcend that transluscent realm into a human realm. i am assured of this by the very nature of these feelings. they cause me to feel warm, connected, and peaceful. in the midst of chaos, i can access these feelings and step down from terror to a place in my mind which is more calm and present.  there is not escape, but relief. a shift in perception- a miracle.

i have written previously about all the lives that have left before me. somewhere along the line, i came to understand that continuing to make a mess of my life was a disrespect to those i loved and lost. they were not afforded the opportunities i have now, so who do i think i am shitting all over something i have been given and they have not.  how dare i take for granted what is not really mine at all. and i realized that i might be better off to make useful and take advantage of the gift before me.

this realization i think began my shift from the ghost realm to a human realm. i have learned that it is imperative to access gratitude et al to maintain some balance and be reminded.

so here i sit. powerless. connected. attached. awake. grateful.