Learning to Stand 2/14

Master Shi Heng Yi

My back has been a point of fear and contention for at least the last 2 years. After the last injury which was a ruptured disc, I walked and drank water faithfully until there was no pain.

However, last week I tweaked it again and so now there is a need to do something different.

I find myself needing to learn more about the physical. So I turn to the people that I feel have mastered the physical and that for me are the martial artists. You name it Chi Gong, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Tai Kwon Doe – the movements and manipulations of the body and it’s energy are what I seek to learn.

I came across a Shaolin Master whom I knew nothing about. His name is Shi Heng Yi. He lives in a Buddhist Monastery in Germany.

Heng Yi explains how important “stability” is in this life. We as humans seek balance and stability and are most comfortable when aligned with it.

He also says that the first thing you learn in the martial arts is the proper way to stand. Standing is “the proper way of aligning your body on the earth.”

He states: “If you cannot stand firmly, no matter what type of techniques and applications you try to perform afterwards, they can only be as good as your foundation. This foundation means the stability of the body, stability of the legs.”

This make sense to me. Sometimes I have to start at the beginning to learn the lessons in a new more profound way.

This also applies to my recovery. When I stumble and fall short in some areas in sobriety I was taught to return back to the basics. Aligning with the spiritual principles of recovery, getting quiet and listening.

Become new again; remaining teachable under gods grace.

The Sling Shot Effect 2/13

Last week was a very tough week for me physically and mentally. I was challenged due to some severe back issues.

Every movement was physically painful and the fear that accompanied that was mentally brutal.

However, something wonderful was born out of all of this turmoil.

I received a new understanding regarding my personal pain, struggles, conflicts, restlessness, misery, despair, sadness, fears, worries. It is all guidance given with love from above.

I was able to step out onto the golf course this morning, very slowly but I was able to take my morning walk with god. It has been over a week since I could make it there due to my injury.

This morning it was unseasonably warm and the air was just unreal. I instantly fell into tears and became grateful for the painful week that I had just been through. And then everything just flashed in front of me.

If I had never been in the hell of active addiction than I never would have found the god of my understanding and I would never have been able to live this life that I now have.

It is like the sling shot effect. The resistance pulls you back, back, back and then you let go and fly further forward than you ever have before.

This was what this amazing painful week has taught me. I feel humility, grace, harmony, acceptance, love and compassion. I feel new once again.

Thank you god.

A visit 2/12

I LOVE signs from the other side. I love when they are unmistakable and leave a feeling of peace and knowing in my whole being.

I had the most beautiful dream the other night.

A beautiful white crane flew over my head and onto a platform where my mom was standing. The bird was following her and wanted to touch her on the shoulder. My mom was quite concerned and a bit afraid of the size of the bird and that it appeared to be following her.

I told her not to worry he just wanted to touch her on the shoulder.

Then the bird turned into a woman. She was no one I have ever seen before…but she knew me.

She told me she was from the other side and the bird led them right to me. They were here for me. They were connected to me specifically. She used the terms “they” and “we” even though I could only see one person.

I felt such relief. I felt special beyond belief. I also felt like I had been waiting for them all along. They had finally showed themselves to me.

I woke up so damn happy. The other side gave me a tiny piece of the immense love that they are. It was a lovely visit.

The answers are always right in front of me 2/11

This is Clay. He is the four year old that I care for during the week.

I have been bringing him to a learn to skate program since September. When he first started he could barely move. It was very difficult for him.

The thing is, no matter how tired or how frustrated he might have become….he just kept going. It takes us about 20 minutes to get all of his hockey gear on but he never complains. He shows up and he suits up every time.

This week has been a struggle for me due to my back being out of sorts. Each day there is mild improvement but of course not quick enough for my liking.

Today as I was feeling a little down about not being able to move and play how I prefer Clay became my inspiration. He has become the fastest skater in his class. Skating circles around his classmates and even the instructors. He is doing the best skill wise and is just incredible.

As I watched him today I remembered ALL of the hard work, determination and perseverance that this little boy has had, to get to where he is today.

The answers are always right in front of me.

Are you an alcoholic? 2/10

I have learned that this is a question only the individual can answer. It is never up to me to decide if another is an alcoholic or suffers from the disease of addiction.

I can tell you that it is hard to see close people in my life struggle with alcohol and drugs.

I currently have a friend whom I have known since we were kids. A fantastic athlete, a very kind hearted soul. We used to see each other at bars when I was drinking and we have all of the same friends. We grew up together in the town where I live.

Unfortunately, this person wants to stop drinking but does not want to stop.

I see it all the time and it breaks my heart when they are close.

This friend asked me for help the other day. I of course said yes. But my kind of help they truly did not want. They wanted me to help bail them out of the mess they are in.

They cannot hear that the drinking made the mess, the addiction is the mess. Take care of that and then….

But it’s not a quick fix. It is not what they are ready for.

This is the hell on earth that I do not wish to return to.

There is love and recovery waiting for this person. This is the journey that god has provided for them. Whether they get clean in this lifetime or the next is not up to me.

Today I am blessed to be one that is still in recovery and not in the awful grip of addiction..thank you god.

Trying to control the uncontrollable 2/9

My first lesson in this was with drinking and the drugs that I would take. I was always trying to control my drinking especially so I wouldn’t be “that bad”.

This happened often when I was married. The x-husband could just have a few drinks and be fine. My goal however was to not black out and I considered that to be a success.

I tried so many ways to control it. I would drink water in between drinks. I would only drink wine with the illusion that I looked sophisticated. I would drink very expensive scotch thinking I would just sip it.

The intention was good. But the reality was my disease loved the first one of anything because it knows that is where the party begins. I cannot just have ONE of anything….ONE might as well represent flood gates opening and my gullet wide open for whatever will come my way.

This is what amazes me: When I fully realized I could not control my drinking I gained control.

It’s like when I finally realized where I was in my life…then and only then could I move forward.

Just like a GPS. You cannot go anywhere until you first know where you are.

It gave me Confidence 2/8

Tonight as I write I can honestly say I am proud of myself.

My back went out on Friday and I rested it all weekend. It was still really very sore this morning and I was going to work. It’s not just chronically sore….what happens is if I move a certain way it feels as if I am being electrocuted with a taser or cattle prodder. ( I am not exaggerating if you have ever had one of these spasms you know)

My walking was very slow. Slower than the “normal” person. I realized that I felt almost embarrassed by how slow I was walking. It was eye opening for me to see where I still care about others opinions.

I pressed on “one foot in front of the other” and slowly but surely I was into my day with the boys that I care for. I told them both to be a bit gentle with me and they did. But they are also children and forgot in about 5 minutes.

We had errands to run and the heated seat in my car was indescribably the best thing that was ever invented.

A few muscle spasms occurred and a few tears rolled down my cheeks. There was no time for a “why me” tantrum, so I just carried on.

End of the day and I dropped off the boys. I made it home and in front of my door was a gift bag from one of my dearest most amazing friends. My cheerleader.

I feel accomplished. I feel confident and I feel like any normal day it would be taken for granted.

Today it was a struggle. And I have had this underlying fear about my back going out and not being able to go to work or live life. Well I faced that challenge today and I survived. .

I did it…as always with god’s grace and favor.

HA! – Humor & Appreciation 2/7

There is a saying in recovery that “A grateful heart will never drink.”

I understand that phrase today. If I am grateful in my heart in the moment, then I will not want to escape it.

Drinking and using are escape tactics to get out of myself in the moment. So if I am grateful in the moment….I have no need to escape.

Gratitude and appreciation connect me to that higher self. The energy of my source.

Humor also does this for me. A good laugh and I am forgetting my woes for the moment.

Today my back is pretty sore ( I over did it playing at work)….this is not to complain as it has been far worse than what it is today.

However, my brain wanted to tantrum and scream why me???? I got on a good roll of this sucks and life should not be filled with physical pain..grrrrr and grumble.

Then I remembered….to focus on the shit only brings me more shit. So quickly I changed the radio station in my head to something more mellow. Then I watched something funny on youtube. And then I started to feel that I can handle this situation.

The power of my own mind is incredible. It can make me or break me.

Focus on what I “can” do 2/6

Upon entering recovery over 11 years ago, my life on the inside and out was a complete mess. I was a mom, a home owner, a recently divorced single woman and a newly recovering addict. I had no clue how to handle any of those things.

When I first got clean it was overwhelming and I needed to break things down to make the “unmanageable” feel more “manageable”. I was taught to put god, my recovery and meetings first and the rest will fall into place. ( at first I thought that was bullshit but it turned out to be a solid suggestion)

My self esteem was still so low that I felt that I needed everything to be “perfect” to win the approval of the peanut gallery. I wanted everything instantly.

Little by slow I learned to focus on the things that I was able to do. The seemingly small things were actually very HUGE and meaningful in my heart.

I could pack lunches for my son and get him to school, well dressed and healthy. I could be there for him at the bus stop sober.

I could look people in the eye. (this took some time but it did happen and felt incredible)

I could go to the grocery store sober and not have a panic attack in the line.

I learned how to pay my bills.

I could rake leaves, pull weeds, mow my lawn and I actually figured out (thanks to youtube) how to fix a water pressure tank thingy in my basement.

I bought my own set of power tools! I learned how to use a drill.

When I started to focus on what I actually could do, the opinion of the peanut gallery lessened. My heart became full and I started living for me.

Rejection Prevention Class 2/5

The other day I saw something that hurt my heart tremendously. I brought George the big brother (6yrs old) with me to pick up Clay the younger brother (4yrs old) at preschool. When Clay came out to the car and saw George he was elated and he went running to George with his arms wide open ready to hug him. George pushed Clay away.

It was rejection and it was very painful for me to see.

I am learning about the concept of rejection and how much of my life I have been on guard trying NOT to experience it.

I have avoided relationships due to the fear of rejection. I have run away from people who were drawing to close. It has prevented me from doing certain things for the fear that I would fail and then I would reject myself.

As an addict I go to great lengths just to avoid pain. I have some serious walls built up as protection against the rejection.

However I have learned that it is NEVER about the other. It is NEVER about the others reaction to me. It is always about ME and my reaction and feeling regarding the situation and my loving or non loving opinion of myself.

Maybe they can start teaching a class in grade school where the teacher explains to Susie after Johnny pulls her hair and runs away… “It’s not about you Susie. Johnny just doesn’t feel well on the inside.”

Or maybe rejection is part of gods plan for us to experience so we can touch that inner place of unconditional love and know. Know that no matter what happens we are loved beyond measure by the thing that created us.

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