second stage sobriety

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.-

 

 

 

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

holiday favorite

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“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

dustin’s sober blog post today gave me a smile- for a few reasons really. firstly, his post reflects living in a mess and the havoc that it wreaks upon our psyche. holidays become just days with more holes. empty and dark, just as the depiction of the realm of the hungry ghosts suggests. secondly, it highlights how these dark days become the turning point for change in many peoples’ lives. the darkness becomes so big that it takes on a personality of its own and most often dominates the world it inhabits.

i can relate to these aspects of the addiction and recovery landscape. they echo my own. but the holidays can be double-edged sword because there are so many memories and are a ritual that we trudge through or skip through each year touching upon the very sacred and the primal in us.  these memories can be a slippery slope. many a person slides back down when push and shove become real. the spiritual practices i have in place may be the only protection i have some days from sliding down that slope myself. i have new coping skills and have honed them and invested in them over the years. the light that the holidays have developed over centuries to bring into our hearts and hearths is meant to be a comforting cultural spritual practice providing sustenance to last through the rest of winter. it intends to remind each other we have a past and we have a future.

in my life, this is exactly what it achieves. it provides light by asking me to remember what the value of light is. it offers me the memories of life without light to compare. double-edged sword- those dark days were potent. toxic and potent and memory wiping.

none-the-less i am grateful to have read dustin’s honest holiday offering. it stirred memories of secrets and lies and reinforced the hope and promise of today. thanks to him- and give him a shout.

dustin’s blog- remember the eve of christmas

 

 

there’s something about mary j

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I know who I am. I am not perfect. I'm not the most beautiful woman in the world. But I'm one of them. Mary J. Blige
I know who I am. I am not perfect. I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world. But I’m one of them.
Mary J. Blige

 

that’s it in a nutshell. she is just something else. i have not been a fan forever, but i have been a fan for some time now. she is real. she is down to earth. she is easily relate-able. i don’t have to guess who she is. it’s pretty clear. what is surprising though are a couple of things. the first is how she remains relevant. after the success, the ups and the downs, she continues to be a testament to telling the truth. if there was ever a symbol of healthy growing up, mary j is “it”.

shine on mary. shine on.

“Whole Damn Year”

Tryna find a way to explain this
Why you can’t touch me tonight?
I can feel you’re getting impatient
But I really can’t let you inside
Bad, how deep the pain is
Or you just couldn’t believe
And yes I’m good on the surface
But I’m a mess, I’m a mess underneath
See winter took most of my heart
And Spring punched right in the stomach
Summer came looking for blood
And by autumn, I was left with nothing

It took a whole damn year to repair my body
It took a whole damn year
It took a whole damn year to repair my body
It’s been about five years
Gon’ take a long long year for me to trust somebody
Gon’ take long long year
Gon’ take a long long year for me to touch somebody
It’s been a bad five years

i purchased her new collection titled london sesssions and really glad i did. here are some of the highlights for me.

 

progress… not perfection

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The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment. — Thich Nhat Hanh – Understanding Our Mind
The present moment
contains past and future.
The secret of transformation,
is in the way we handle this very moment.
— Thich Nhat Hanh – Understanding Our Mind

 

we only see as deeply as we look. even then, we have no guarantee that we will really see.

i certainly realize how easily it is to look past things that cause me discomfort because the fear of the unknown beneath that is more powerful. even when life seems so painful the way it is, there are many times i would rather endure than risk not knowing what’s next.

faith definitely helps with this, but it doesn’t erase it. lately i have been referring to the white lies i tell myself and other as “flash cards” that i have preprinted and hold up as answers sometimes when having a conversation about the truth i don’t feel ready to face.

a big part of the work in front of me is to become aware when i am using flash cards instead of being authentic. sounds easy i know, but lemme tell you it ain’t at all. i am an accomplished storyteller and faker.

“It Takes A Lot To Know A Man”

It takes a lot to know a man
It takes a lot to understand
The warrior, the sage
The little boy enraged

It takes a lot to know a woman
A lot to understand what’s humming
The honeybee, the sting
The little girl with wings

It takes a lot to give, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

It takes a lot to know a man
A lot to know, to understand
The father and the son
The hunter and the gun

It takes a lot know a woman
A lot to comprehend what’s coming
The mother and the child
The muse and the beguiled

It takes a lot to give, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

It takes a lot to give, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

It takes a lot to live, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

What are you so afraid to lose?
What is it you’re thinking that will happen if you do?
What are you so afraid to lose?
(You wrote me to tell me you’re nervous and you’re sorry)
What is it you’re thinking that will happen if you do?
(Crying like a baby saying “this thing is killing me”)
What are you so afraid to lose?
(You wrote me to tell me you’re nervous and you’re sorry)
What is it you’re thinking that will happen if you do?
(Crying like a baby saying “this thing is killing me”)
You wrote me to tell me you’re nervous and you’re sorry
Crying like a baby saying “this thing is killing me”

feeling good

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“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~Charles R. Swindoll
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~Charles R. Swindoll

Every bad experience, painful relationship, and compromise you’ve ever made in good conscience will somehow transform into a beautiful inner reservoir of spiritual gifts and blessings.

Life wants you to take notice of three things when you’re going through a difficult time that may seem eternal:

Trust life. There’s a higher purpose behind every seemingly impossible and difficult phase. You’ve just got to hang in there and know that it’s for the best.

Change. If you find yourself feeling bad a lot more often than not, take time out to reflect on whether or not you’re happy deep down with what you’re doing.

Believe. Believe in yourself, even if the world around you doesn’t. If you don’t, who will?

Hold onto what you believe in. You’re meant to emerge as a beautiful butterfly from your chrysalis. Always remember that, with a smile, and give yourself a chance to delight and revel in the mysterious workings of the universe.

it’s a new dawn

it’s a new day

and i’m feeling good.

new things i love

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needed a new ride
needed a new ride- at least it’s a hybrid

 

couple of updates for December 1, 2014…