I Am Not Afraid of My Truth Anymore

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I AM NOT AFRAID OF MY TRUTH ANYMORE 

by Dee Harris 

Not Afraid of My Truth Anymore

     “My name is Dee and I’m an alcoholic.”  Holy moly.  One of the scariest things I ever had to say or do was admit that I am an alcoholic.  Especially in my first local AA meeting.  Dang.  There were going to people in there who knew me.  They’ll know what a loser I am and how weak I am.

   As a matter of fact at one of my first meetings I saw a friend go by on his bike in front of the club house and kid me about going to an AA meeting.  I quickly responded that I was going to the laundromat next door.  I felt so shitty I uncomfortably, but victoriously, told on myself in the meeting and later made my amends to my friend.

   And in that first local AA meeting there were, indeed, people I knew.  How could there not be?  I had lived in that town 18 years and was a grocery checker.  Unless they didn’t eat, we had met.  

   But something magical happened in that instant I entered the club house.  I got a feeling of “home”.  Damn, I’m home.  I’m comfortable.  I was greeted in this moment of overwhelming fear with open arms, hugs, understanding, and NO JUDGMENT.  No long-ended series of questions and words.  Simple.  Thank goodness, or I would have been out that door in a heartbeat.

   Backtrack a month.  I am going in for an assessment to see if “I qualify” to enter a 28-day treatment facility for alcoholism (an hour away from where I live so no one would no me.  NOT!).    I don’t know what they’re going to ask me.  I don’t yet know about rigorous honesty.  But they do.  They know an alcoholic is going to lie about their drinking habits and how much they drink.  I did.  I “passed” and spent over 28-days in rehab.

   And that first night when I lay in my bed I think that I don’t need to be here; I’m ok now.  I realize that alcohol is my problem and now I can go home and control, or even stop, my drinking.  But deep down inside I knew that wouldn’t happen as I had tried which seemed like forever, so I stayed.  

   Even when I called to make that appointment for the assessment and I was told that after that initial meeting I would be sent home and called back later to see whether or not “I qualified”, one of my first experiences with rigorous honesty appeared.  I said that if I was sent home, I would not return because my mind would think I am now ok because I admitted I had a problem.  I was told to bring my suitcase with me.

   The day before the assessment I want to yell from the roof tops that I am an alcoholic.  I’m going to get help and I won’t have to drink everyday anymore.  But I selectively let one of my neighbors know.  And my aunt and brother (I would have told my mom but she was on vacation in Hawaii).  I, of course, let my boss know.  And my husband and my two boys.  Something magical happened that day; the weight that I shed by admitting I had a problem was magical!

   And then on the morning of the assessment as I was getting ready to make the hour drive, I hear a knock on the door.  I know it is not my husband who had gone off to work.  I know it is not my kids who had gone off to school.  It was my auntie, grandma and brother who had driven two hours to take me, support me, love me to my appointment.  I break down crying, secretly.  I was full of guilt and shame for what I had allowed myself to become.  I was full of gratitude for the love that was apparent by their being there for me.  I was not worthy.  Why the hell would they drive all that way for the piece of shit that I had become?

   My husband and my boys don’t accompany me to the assessment.  Everything with them is blurry because most of my time with them is blurry.  I was a black-out, pass-out, closet drinker.  Only they knew the real me.  And that me was ugly.  And that ugly me is all I can remember of my life with them up to that point.  One who had to drink everyday to that place of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.  Many of them.  Many, many.

   Backtrack to the day before the assessment.  It was my day off but the day prior I had hit my bottom.  I had not come to when my kids came home from school to get ready for work like I did forever.  I had passed out and missed my shift at work.  The red light was flashing on the answering machine.  The message was from the night manager who was concerned whether or not I was ok; it wasn’t like me to be a no call/no show.  And that night manager was one of my best friends (and still is) but I couldn’t call her back.  I just couldn’t.

   So I fish like I had done so many times before.  Fish for answers from my husband and my boys as to whether I had called back and, if so, what I had said.  I don’t remember getting a response from them.

   So on that day before the assessment I knew I had to talk to my boss to let her know what had happened.  What kind of excuse can I make up?  But I was so sick and tired of making up excuses, living a life that was a lie.  A life that was full of hiding.  I was exhausted.  So I told her the truth, on the phone, because I didn’t have the guts to look her in the eye.

   She listened.  She offered empathy, kind words and support.  She got me into a recovery program that changed my life, saved my life, gave me a life, and I shall forever be grateful.

   So one day at a time I get better.  I go through the 28-day program for alcoholism.  I am the poster child for AA and do everything that is suggested to me there.  But something inside of me is missing and I can’t put my finger on it.

   So after about seven years I one day at a time get worse.  I go to fewer meetings, do less service and stop reaching out.  And then one day when offered a drink on automatic pilot I  reply that I haven’t had a drink for 13-1/2 years so no thank you.  That drink was left there for me in case I changed my mind.  

   At that point in sobriety my mind was once again king.  It was running the show.  My ego had once again taken over.  I had forgotten how awesome it was to live from my heart with my Higher Power in charge.  I had forgotten what it was like to be humble and grateful.  I had forgotten what it was to be a newcomer.  And I had forgotten that unless I give it away, I can’t keep it.

   So I drank that shot of tequila.  And IMMEDIATELY, and I mean IMMEDIATELY, the disease, the devil, whatever you want to call it, reared its ugly head in victory and yelled, “MORE!”  So my friend gave me another.  And the lying, cheating, hiding and all the negativity that alcoholism smothered me with once again took priority in my life.  That quickly.  Positivity and optimism turned to negativity and hell.

   Today I realize that shot of tequila and that friend who left it for me was a God Shot, a message from a Power Greater Than Myself that I have a purpose to share my experience, strength and hope with others suffering from the disease of thinking, whether it be alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, overeating, sex, shopping, abandonment issues, abuse, or life itself.

   Today I am not afraid of my truth anymore.  I am comfortable in my own skin.  I can be who I was meant to be and love myself, with all my character defects.  I no longer live in fear that you won’t accept me, judge me, talk about me.  You’re on your journey and I am on mine.  When our paths cross (like they are right now) I can give you the respect you deserve for your opinions even though they might not be mine.  That’s the beauty of life and the humanity placed on this planet.  I shall learn from your opinions and experiences and become a more compassionate person.  And I shall share my compassion with those who enter my bubble.

   Thank you for crossing my path.  I look forward to hearing about your journeys.  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

   For those interested in experiencing another avenue of my sharing my experience, strength and hope, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

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Detachment

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Detachment

by Dee Harris

Detachment PDF

   In AA I’ve learned that I have no control over people, places and things.  Keeping that in mind and, more importantly, in my heart, has taken a huge weight and self-chosen unnecessary burden off my shoulders.  Before getting sober I thought I was some intellectual guru who could get anything I wanted, if I put my mind to it.

   When I discovered that no matter how hard I tried, how smart I was, how many college degrees I had, I could not go a day without drinking, I realized I had to try a new approach.  Well, not really.  I didn’t choose to black-out that day and miss work.  But that’s how my life in recovery started.

   Working the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous has changed how I look at life and how I look at and feel about myself.  Taking that step back and looking at things objectively sure put a different perspective on my way of thinking and my attitude.  When I look at the part I played in the resentments I carried on my shoulders, the lightbulb slowly started to shine its light.

   The Serenity Prayer helped me tremendously in early sobriety and still does today  Simple and beautifully stated to get me back in the moment and out of my ego:

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.

   Remember, I have no control over people, places and things; therefore, I can’t change them, nor is it any of my business.  I’ve got to remember that just like I am on my own journey through life, so is everyone else.  Sometime in my life, even though I was told not to touch the hot iron, I got burned by it.  Only then did I take more care in preventing such pain.  So I won’t deprive you of your awesome journey and learning experiences.

   And I shall no longer let what you think or say about me lead me to react.  I won’t be hurt nor resentful.  I won’t lash back nor storm away.  You’re entitled to your opinions and actions.  Again, not my business because I have no idea what your journey has put you through to treat me in such a way.

   And today I have a Higher Power over to whom I can turn my will and life.  My God of My Own Understanding has my back, introduces me to who He sees fit, provides experiences He feels will serve my purpose of sharing my experience, strength and hope.  I only have to answer to my Higher Power who doesn’t expect perfection from me, but just to do my best.

   So I no longer have to react because I now know that everything happens for a reason, just perfectly.  I just have to ask for guidance to learn that reason, to share it, to provide hope and optimism.  So step back into the present moment, see the whole picture, and savor how you will grow.

   So when I was sober for over 13 years I wasn’t experiencing harmful cravings.  But I had stopped going to meetings, helping fellow alcoholics, being of service, and so on.  But more importantly, one day at a time, my old thinking came back and I stopped living from my heart.  I found myself being more judgmental and, although, I thought I was in close communion with my Higher Power, my brain was telling me that and there was no one around to call me on my bullsh*t.

   So when offered a drink, although I stated I hadn’t had a drink in over 13 years, my friend said she would leave it for me just in case I changed my mind.  I could surely cop a resentment about this but I look at this perfect moment as a God Shot and with endless gratitude.  

   You see, that drink yelled at me and I had no defense.  I feel that AA meetings pay my sobriety insurance policy.  Being active in the fellowship also allows me to be in service to the newcomer (I was once a newcomer and am a newcomer once again).  I had forgotten what it was like to be a newcomer…the shame, the guilt, the cravings, the rationalizations.  And, unless I give it away, I can’t keep it, so I forgot how valuable my sobriety was…and lost it.

   Immediately that first shot of tequila yelled at me, “More!”  So my friend brought me another and the lying, cheating and hiding once again filled my life that had been so positive, optimistic and hopeful for so many years.  I am so thankful for this relapse for getting me back right-sized, humble and grateful.  I shall never again stop paying my insurance premiums.

   So today I get to use all my energy in a productive and positive way.  I seldom get feelings of anger, anxiety or depression and when these arise I know to check whether or not I’m in H.A.L.T. (hungry-angry-lonely-tired) and I know that if I turn it over to my Higher Power, these feelings, too, shall pass; they always do.  I get to experience peace and patience, and contentment and self-love and -acceptance that I never experienced before, knew I was lacking, nor cared to find.

   My Higher Power and the AA fellowship has taught me how dangerous life can be for me if I get back into my selfish, destructive, ego.  By going to a meeting or by being of some other type of service, I get to experience the feelings of happy, joyous and free.  I remind myself to be mindful, respectful, loving and compassionate so that I can make eye contact with you when we meet and I shall learn what God intended me to learn today.  It is not all about me today; it’s about how can I be of service to YOU!

   I am not a saint.  I am not perfect.  I am a human being who still makes bad choices.  But today when I realize the yucky feeling that bad choice has put in my gut, I learn to steer clear of making that bad choice again.  And I learn to apologize when my actions or words have been inappropriate or hurtful; I’m just trying to keep my side of the street clean and get through life with a clear conscience.

   So today I do the best I can, stay close to the AA fellowship, be of service, stay mindful and in the moment.  Doing this allows me to be humble and grateful for a Power Greater Than Myself who is in control and this God of My Own Understanding has given me the most wonderful life in sobriety that I could have never dreamed of!

   If you find yourself struggling, please reach out to me, someone you can trust, or a wealth of support groups available to you.  Know you are not alone.  Know there is no need to feel guilt or shame; it doesn’t serve you.  Know that everything in your life has and is happening for a reason…just perfectly…to make you the best you that you can be!

   With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in inspirational quotes to keep you centered throughout your day, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

LOVE YOURSELF

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LOVE YOURSELF

by Dee Harris 

when you love yourself

   I’m remembering kindergarten, playing with confidence, having fun, no worries.  In elementary school I was still pretty confident, in charge, and appreciative of myself.  In junior high school things start to change.  

   It has nothing to do with the school, but with me and this time of my life.  Although I’ve always been learning about the world around, especially from the people who come into my Bubble, the teenage years seemed to be where I really started to be self-conscious.

   So somewhere I started to question myself, how I felt about myself.  I started to worry about what you thought of me because my hands were sweaty when we danced together.  You made fun of my flat nose because I was Chinese.  You looked at me in “that way” when I didn’t know the answer.  I started to live self-consciously in a fearful kind of way.

   This is where my fear could have been nipped in the bud, but it wasn’t the journey for which I was destined.  In retrospect, being affirmed and taught from the get-go that I am unique, beautiful and worthy human being with my differences, might have helped me overcome my fear, perhaps not.

   Fast-forward to 1998.  I look at myself in the bathroom mirror.  There’s an “L” placed over my forehead with my hand denoting “Loser”.  I have self-loathing and self-hatred.  I look like sh*t and I feel like sh*t.  I hate myself.  Why?  Because I know I will drink today and I will drink too much today.  And I will feel like sh*t again tomorrow.

   I have tried many ways to stop drinking, but none of them work.  I am not living under the bridge nor drinking from a brown paper bag.  I have a family, a home, two cars, a dog and a job.  I am college educated.  Yet I can’t go a day without a drink.

   Drinking helped me when I felt self-conscious.  Drinking helped me when I didn’t fit in.  Drinking helped me when I didn’t know the answer.  It took the edge off for a long while until one day…POOF!…I HAD to drink.  No if’s, and’s or but’s.  I was going to drink today because that’s all I could think about and drinking was my life.

   So in 1998 I am in an alcohol treatment program.  I learn that drinking, alcoholism, is a disease of mind and body.  It has nothing to do with self-will.  And from that day forward I learn to love myself for who and what I am.  What a beautiful thing to be on the upside of my journey, to look at the glass half-full, with hope and optimism for this beautiful time in my life.

   I know that I couldn’t have got to this magical place in my life on my own.  I would still be trying to scrape together enough self-will or willpower to not drink today.  I would be devising some other new plans to keep me from drinking today, or just drinking only one or two.  It wouldn’t work.  So the recovery program set me on my new, and clearly, right path.

   Having counselors and students in my program was the first time I realized there were others out there that battled with drinking.  And then going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as was suggested, is where the real freedom began.  Working with a sponsor, surrounding myself with like-minded people who just wanted to be sober for the day, confirmed for me I do not have to do this alone.  And not only that, I wasn’t judged.  I was loved in the rooms of AA before I could love myself.

   So now I get to love myself, to glow from the inside out.  I get to attract people who love, respect, and appreciate my energy.  I am worthy and get to be comfortable in my own skin.

   Just know that if you are feeling like a “loser”, feeling worthless and will never be good enough, together we can get through this.  Don’t give up.  Put out your hand and let us love you until you can love yourself.

   Thank you for sharing your time with me.  I encourage feedback so please don’t feel yours isn’t deserving.  It IS!  One day at a time, one ripple at a time, we can be the best we can be and help others to do the same.  The rewards are massive!

   With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

   For those searching for affirmations and inspirational messages, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT? 

When certain blogs touch me I share them with you, with a few short paragraphs from me about how it pertains to my life in recovery…Dee Harris

Dee:  This blog was inspired by “How Do You Deal with Your Disappointment?”

by Aishwarya Shah. 

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INSPIRATION 

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT? 

JANUARY 7, 2019 BY AISHWARYA SHAH 

Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams. 

Though some do get more than their share of disappointments, I believe that we have the inner strength to deal with whatever life doles out. It is not the amount of grief or disappointment that comes one’s way, but the manner of dealing with it that shapes a person’s character. And, moreover, I think, those who can take the good and bad, success and failure, victory and disappointment with the same equanimity are the ones who pass the test of life. It is your response to setbacks that set the blueprint for how life treats you for rest of the journey. 

When disappointed with something or someone, how do you react? Do you get angry or depressed? Do you sulk or start a blame game? Or do you withdraw into yourself, discouraged and defeated, to lick your wounds in self-pity? 

Disappointments are inevitable for everyone. Expectations cannot always be met to our satisfaction, nor can all dreams be fulfilled. This is the hard truth of life. People will not always act as we wish them to, nor relationships proceed in the manner we plan. Parents won’t always approve what you have set your heart on; lovers won’t always dole out ardour and compliments; children won’t always aim to please, nor if we allow it to, disappointment could lead to sadness, grumpiness, disillusionment, discouragement or helpless anger. We often tend to vent our spleen on those closest to us, which of course leads to further issues. Most of the caustic, anti-social people we come across, those whom we label ‘frustrated souls’, have been repeatedly disappointed in life and not dealt with it right. Some even develop sour facial features, so deep is the surliness etched into their souls! Surely you do not wish to end up in that category? 

Dee:

I love being an alcoholic in recovery, the “grateful alcoholic” that folks would call themselves that made me cringe in bewilderment.  Today I AM that “grateful alcoholic.

A 28-day treatment program for alcoholism and, more importantly, Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me so much to make a better, lighter, freer life for myself.  Many slogans on the walls of our meeting places and a toolbox for living in the 12 Steps and the Big Book all started to make sense as I trudged the road to happy destiny.

One very important slogan or quote I learned in AA that I carry with me always is “No Expectations.  No disappointments.”  You see, I learned that I have no control over people, places, or things.  I was given the opportunity to “make up” a Power Greater Than Myself over which I could turn my will and my life.  

Today I can trust that this Higher Power has my back and has the control.  And with faith that everything is perfect at this very moment I have no disappointments, just journeys toward learning and growth on a path to make me the best me I can be.

The first step towards dealing with disappointments with maturity is to set realistic expectations. Even while doing so, keep room for disappointment. Do not get into anything expecting disappointment of course—that would be a sure recipe for disaster! But do keep Plan B ready. If your plans or expectations are thwarted, allow yourself time for disappointment; there is nothing wrong in feeling disappointed or disillusioned. Wallow in the emotion for a bit; understand what you are experiencing and what the loss means to you. Just know you have to snap out of it soon and in time you will get over it – whatever it is. 

Dee:

So if your plans or expectations are thwarted, embrace those those incidents..  Thank them for coming.  And then let them go…even blow them a kiss good bye as you send them up to the clouds.  And then move on, knowing that everything happens for a reason, perfectly, and the best is yet to come.  A Power Greater Than Ourselves has plans for us that we can’t even create in our wildest dreams!

This also gives you time and the opportunity to assess the situation and your position. I have spoken about this in my last post on The Uplifting Power Of Perspective, that, Getting a perspective is important. How big will the impact of this disappointment be in your life? How can you minimize the damage? Do you see a silver lining and can you try and make the most of it? 

Dee:

I always try to look at the glass half-full.  Living optimistically helps turn any negative situation into a positive one and always helps get me out of my ego and back in touch with who’s running the show, my Higher Power.  Taking moments throughout our hectic days to recenter is so important to our mental health and emotional well-being.  Remembering that we are NOT in control of people, places, or things is crucial.  Trust and faith helps heaps, too!

So turn it over.  Trust.  Learn.  Know that these situations are uncomfortable and try doing something differently in the future when similar situations arise.  That’s what it’s all about.  Learning.  Growing.  And then sharing with others compassionately and lovingly who are going through similar situations.

Once you accept the situation, it is easier to move away, take an objective view and plan future action. Maybe you can be allowed another chance – assess if you would like to take it or pass it up for something else. Or maybe all doors are firmly closed and you need to look towards something else. That is ok too. Life offers so many options – and gives you several chances to make good your mistakes or disappointments. Take those chances. 

While you have life and health and a positive outlook, you can always move on towards other, different victories. The key is in not letting yourself be dejected, to accept and objectively assess before moving on… 

The size of your success for anything is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way. 

Dee:

Thank you for reading and allowing me to share my experience, strength and hope with you.  So how can we deal with disappointments?  By remembering “No Expectations.  No disappointments.”  Ta Da!!!  Go with the flow, that which life offers you, and know that everything is happening for a reason, perfectly!  It starts to make sense that all situations are sent our way to help us to be the best we can be!  Enjoy the journey…

With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in inspirational quotes to get you through your hectic days, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

ECLIPSED WORDS BY AISHWARYA SHAH | JANUARY’2019 | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 

I AM: THE POWER OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

When certain blogs touch me I share them with you, with a few short paragraphs from me about how it pertains to my life in recovery…Dee Harris

Dee:  This blog was inspired by “I Am:  The Power of Positive Affirmations”                      by Aishwarya Shah. 

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AFFIRMATIONS AND REMINDERS 

I AM: THE POWER OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

NOVEMBER 5, 2018 BY AISHWARYA SHAH 

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. – Buddha 

Let me teach you. 

(Yes. exactly. I will practically teach you through words here, how to use positive affirmations to your benefit. but don’t get me wrong. as Jim Carrey says – affirmations and the law of attraction is just that…you can’t say them or write them down somewhere and go and eat a sandwich and expect the universe to work in your favor miraculously. The work and effort to put into them are just as much important as the oxygen is to your lungs.) 

As you all know I’m a huge believer of affirmations and practicing meditation. 

Today’s topic has been covered by motivational speakers and has become popular over the years. I believe we are currently in a spiritual revolution where increasingly more people are practicing meditation and relaxation. In other words, Eastern medicine is becoming more popular through mainstream media, as we see more of it on television. However, people still don’t know what is meant by the phrase “positive affirmations.” 

Growing up, I for sure know, Indian (and mostly Eastern) parents teach their kids all about the importance of meditation, mantras, and affirmations. 

If you’ve been taught or know about this or believe in this topic, high five! 

The science behind positive affirmations. 

If you think affirmations is solely a spiritual thought or connotation, you’re wrong. The power of positive affirmations has been proved by science as well. 

A research summary in The Indian Journal of Psychiatry addresses the power of positive affirmations, noting specifically that neurotransmitters are affected by affirmations. The brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate information continuously, and affirmations seem to set positive pathways for these brain travelers. 

The research indicates that beliefs are not only thoughts we hold but are actual brain mechanisms mixed with emotions. The input our brain takes in from the environment goes through a filtering process as it all travels across one or more synapses. Eventually, information reaches an area of higher processing, such as the frontal lobes. This is what we think of as conscious awareness. However, the portion of our sensory information reaches these higher levels is to some degree determined by our beliefs. Essentially, we can create a more positive belief system by inputting more positive thoughts. 

A later study, published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, was able to capture the effect of affirmations using an MRI. Participants who gave positive self-affirmations showed increased activity in various parts of the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain. Moreover, participants with greater stimulation in those sections of the brain – which control processing and valuation – exhibited less sedentary behavior afterward than participants who did not provide positive self-affirmations. This research indicates that future behavior, as well as thoughts, can be improved by positive affirmations. 

It’s empowering to realize that even when we feel stuck in our emotions, there is a biochemical potential for positive change and growth. When we repeat a positive intention, we become open to pieces of sensory information that we’d previously been blocking with a negative belief. This becomes a self-reinforcing pattern of thought, belief, behavior. But with positive affirmations, science shows we can change those patterns. 

Dee:

“Loser!”  “You’re a worthless piece of sh*t that is just a waste of space on this planet!”  “You can’t even go one day without drinking!”  “What’s wrong with you?”  That is how I used to talk to myself.  Pretty pitiful, huh?

I, too, am a true believer in positive affirmations and how I have to respect my prefrontal cortex.  When I found myself in a 28-day alcohol recovery treatment center I never thought of positive affirmations nor any part of my brain.  All I knew was that I couldn’t stop drinking no matter how hard nor how many ways I tried.  I knew I wasn’t stupid.  I knew I wasn’t a victim.  I just couldn’t stop.

Today I know that I have the disease of alcoholism and when I put a drink into my body my brain, my prefrontal cortex, which is different than “normal” drinkers, called out for more.  And that’s all I could think about.  That’s all I lived for.  I couldn’t satisfy the craving; I could’t shut my head off.

What Are Positive Affirmations? 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the benefits of positive affirmations, I’d like to explain a little about them. 

An affirmations is really anything you say or think. A lot of what we normally say and think is quite negative and doesn’t create good experiences for us. We have to retrain our thinking and speaking into positive patterns if we want to change our lives. 

An affirmations opens the door. It’s a beginning point on the path to change. In essence, you’re saying to your subconscious mind: “I am taking responsibility. I am aware that there is something I can do to change.” When I talk about doing affirmations, I mean consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something from your life or help create something new in your life. 

Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmations. All of our self-talk, our internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. You’re using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. You’re arming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought. 

Your beliefs are merely habitual thinking patterns that you learned as a child. Many of them work very well for you. Other beliefs may be limiting your ability to create the very things you say you want. What you want and what you believe you deserve may be very different. You need to pay attention to your thoughts so that you can begin to eliminate the ones creating experiences you do not want in your life. 

Please realize that every complaint is an affirmations of something you think you don’t want in your life. Every time you get angry, you’re arming that you want more anger in your life. Every time you feel like a victim, you’re arming that you want to continue to feel like a victim. If you feel that Life isn’t giving you what you want in your world, then it’s certain that you will never have the goodies that Life gives to others – that is, until you change the way you think and talk. 

You’re not a bad person for thinking the way you do. You’ve just never learned how to think and talk (about positive affirmations). People throughout the world are just now beginning to learn that our thoughts create our experiences. 

Each time you repeat this statement, you’re rearming the seeds you’ve planted in the atmosphere of your mind. That’s why you want it to be a happy atmosphere. Things grow more quickly in rich, fertile soil. 

When you change your thinking process, then everything in your life will also change. You’ll be amazed and delighted to see how people, places, things, and circumstances can change. Don’t waste time arguing for your limitations: poor relationships, problems, illness, poverty and so on. The more you talk about the problem, the more you anchor it in place. 

Learn to turn your negative affirmations into positive ones. For instance: “I never have enough money” becomes “Money flows into my life in an abundant way.” 

Affirmations are solutions that will replace whatever problem you might have. Whenever you have a problem, repeat over and over: 

“All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe.” 

This simple affirmation will work miracles in your life! 

Dee:

One thing we did every morning in rehab was repeat an affirmation of our choice, everyday, out loud to the group.  Being I’m an alcoholic and more is better, I chose two affirmations, “I am a good person,” and “I am a whole person.”

It seemed like forever since I had felt good or whole (if I ever even did or thought about it), but repeating those two affirmations for 28 days straight started to sink into not only my brain, but the very core of my being.  And to this day I repeat those affirmations daily.  It works! because today I AM a good person and I AM a whole person.  

It just took one day at a time to quit the negative self-talk, work the 12 Steps of AA with a trusted sponsor, do the footwork that was suggested by the fellowship and eventually I learned to love myself for who and what I am.  Simple affirmations will work miracles in your life!  I am living proof!

How to Repeat Affirmations? Choose Affirmations that are not too long. 

Repeat them every time your mind is not engaged in something important, such as while traveling in a bus or a train, waiting in line, walking, etc., but do not arm while driving or crossing a street. You may also repeat them in special sessions of 5-10 minutes each, several times a day. 

Be as relaxed as you can. 

Pay full attention to the words you are repeating. 

Stronger faith in what you are saying, and more desire and feelings bring faster results. 

Preferably, choose positive words with no negative connotations. If you want to lose weight, don’t use words such as, “I am not fat”, or “I am losing weight.” These are negative statements, bringing into the mind mental images of what you do not want. Repeat instead, “I am getting slim”, or “I have my ideal weight”. Such words build positive images in your mind. 

Arm, using the present tense, not the future tense. Saying, “I will be rich”, means that you intend to be rich one day, in the indefinite future, but not now. It is more effective to say, and also feel, “I am rich now”, and the subconscious mind will work at overtime to make this happen now, in the present. 

By stating what you want to be true in your life, you mentally and emotionally see and feel it as true, irrespective of your current circumstances, and thereby attract it into your life. 

However, saying affirmations is only part of the process. What you do the rest of the day and night is even more important. The secret to having your affirmations work quickly and consistently is to prepare an atmosphere for them to grow in. Affirmations are like seeds planted in soil. Poor soil, poor growth. Rich soil, abundant growth. The more you choose to think thoughts that make you feel good, the quicker the affirmations work. 

So think happy thoughts, it’s that simple. And it is doable. The way you choose to think, right now, is just that-a choice. You may not realize it because you’ve thought this way for so long, but it really is a choice. Now . . . today . . . this moment . . . you can choose to change your thinking. Your life won’t turn around overnight, but if you’re consistent and make the choice on a daily basis to think thoughts that make you feel good, you’ll definitely make positive changes in every area of your life. 

Here Is A List Of Positive Affirmations (maybe it’ll help you or get you started)

 – I am healthy and happy.
– Wealth is pouring into my life.
– I am sailing on the river of health.                                                                                                 – I am getting happier each day.
– My body is healthy and functioning in a very good way.
– I have a lot of energy.
– I study and comprehend fast.
– My mind is calm.
– I am calm and relaxed in every situation.
– My thoughts are under my control.
– I radiate love and happiness.
– I am surrounded by love.
– I have the perfect job for me.
– I have good and loving relations with my wife/husband/(or any person/people close to you)     – I have a wonderful and satisfying business/job.
– I have the means to travel abroad, whenever I want to.
– I am successful in whatever I do.
– Everything is getting better every day. (this one is my personal favorite) 

Dee:

Not only have I learned to let go of negative self-talk, I have learned to trust that everything that happens in my life (no matter how negative I “think” it is), is happening for a positive reason, in a perfect way, to help me to learn and be a better and stronger human being.  If I can stay positive and optimistic I attract more positive and optimistic occurrences into my life.  If I think negatively, that is what I shall attract.  I choose positive today.

What has helped me in this process is having been given the opportunity to make up a Higher Power of My Own Understanding over which I can turn my will and my life.  So with my ego being out of the picture I can now go with the flow and trust that everything in my life, including myself, is being nurtured and protected. 

This peeling away of the onion skin didn’t happen overnight.  But one day at a time, with clarity, I started to think less and feel more.  I was experiencing wonderful things happening in my life which didn’t come from me.  I felt lighter and freer and happier and content.

So slowly rid yourself of the negative self-talk and all other negativity in your life.  Learn to love yourself for the unique gift that you are; there’s no one else on this planet like you.  Share your gifts.  Use affirmations.  They work!

Thank you for being here.  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in affirmations, I have created many inspirational quotes and affirmations on mosaics that can help you through any trying day or time in your life.  Please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

by ECLIPSED WORDS BY AISHWARYA SHAH, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE TM 

Regrets of the Dying 

Dee:  This blog was inspired by “Five Regrets of the Dying” by Bronnie Ware.  

23_OvalORN (DbH)

Regrets of the Dying 

by Bronnie Ware 

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. 

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them. 

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five: 

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. 

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it. 

Dee:

I am blessed to have not been told I have “x” amount of time to live.  But I try to live as if I have.  I do try to live in the moment striving to have no regrets.  If this were my last day on the planet, I know I have done my best and I cannot think of any unresolved issues nor regrets that need tending to.

Ok, I could update my will and trust, but it actually is “good enough” as they are written.  I could clean up my paper trail, making sure that passwords and accounts are readily available for my loved ones.  I could get rid of a lot of my shit so that my family doesn’t have to encounter the mountains of possessions I’ve accumulated.

But this is more than that.  This is about being true to yourself.  This I did not learn until crawling out of the depths of my addictions.  And when I was given the opportunity for a new life, I ran with it.  This gift was given me by Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps are my toolbox for living a sensible and meaningful life today.

So living a life true to myself is a fabulous blessing.  By working the Steps with a trusted sponsor I found how fear-based I was living.  I was trying to live the life I thought others expected of me.  I was more concerned about getting your approval than my own self-worth and self-love as I wasn’t aware of what that was.

As I peeled away the layers of the onion skin eventually revealing the real me and learned to accept and love the real me, everything changed.  Everything got easier, lighter, freer.  I found happiness and contentment.  I found purpose.  I found compassion and empathy.  I found ME!

Yes, I still do for you today but not because I need your approval to validate myself.  I do it because I want to and it gives my heart joy.  And today I get to be the person I was meant to be, allowing the inner child to play and run free.  I get to be the responsible me, making sure commitments are being fulfilled and doing my best to help others and the planet.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. 

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle. 

Dee:

For as long as I can remember I heard and learned how important it is to have more, and to do whatever it takes to get more.  So if that means sacrificing relationships, so be it.  If that means no date nights with your mate, oh well.  If that means missing your kids’ special events, there will be others.  If that means putting yourself at the bottom of the list, someday you will take care of yourself.

Does more money, more power, more stuff, serve us?  Hell, no.  We learn as we age that less is better, not more.  Finding peace and contentment with the simplest of needs frees us to enjoy what is really important…life itself and the relationships we were meant to have with each other and this wonderful planet on which we live.  So not being a slave to expensive, non-meaningful possessions is what we should be striving toward.  Basic needs, yes.  Comparing yourself to the Joneses, no.  Feel comfortable enough in your own skin to know, feel, what is best for you.  And if/when you can, find work that you’re passionate about…that fills your soul!

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.                                                            

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. 

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win. 

Dee:

Again, being true to yourself, loving yourself, valuing yourself, is key here.  That is where we need to start.  And, again, for me that came from staying active in a very strong support group of AA and using the tools they so freely offered.

There are many places to find support…your church, your doctor, your friends, your family (please, not your bartender), and a wealth of support groups to fit your needs.  Use them.  You never have to be alone to struggle through life.  They can teach you how to kindly express your feelings, stop walking on egg shells, be true to yourself.  

I learned that living from my heart and not my head (which rationalized any- and everything detrimental to my greatest good), was the way to go for me.  I learned that trusting in a Higher Power of My Own Understanding and turning my will and life over to the care of that Power Greater Than Myself, was freeing and took the burdens of life off my shoulders.  I learned that I have no control over people, places, or things, so go with the flow and just take care of my side of the street (so to say).

Getting rid of negative thoughts and feelings (resentments) is crucial to this process.  And learning how your part (if any) in these situations blew them out of proportion is vital to their resolve.  Fear-based?  Ego?  Selfishness?  Let it go.  It doesn’t serve you.  Be true to yourself and love yourself for who and what you are.  Be comfortable in your own skin.  And then you can comfortably speak your mind with grace and love.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. 

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships. 

Dee:

Although I am not an avid supporter of social media, it has made keeping in touch much easier.  I have found long-lost friends on the internet.  Today we have relationships more priceless than we had when the memories that were conjured up in my brain even occurred.

When thoughts of long-lost friends arise, follow through on them.  There are no coincidences.  These thoughts arise for a reason.  Honor them.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. 

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying. 

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness. 

Dee:

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Release your inner child.  That beautiful, uninhibited YOU that you were meant to be.  Laugh.  Be silly.  Have fun.  Don’t worry about what others will think about you because “they” usually don’t give a shit anyhow.  They are too wrapped up in their own lives and egos to care.  Let them be on their own journeys.  Love them.  Accept them.  But don’t seek their approval.  Seek your own!  Be happy, joyous and free! and live a life that serves YOU as if today were the last day of your life!

Thank you all for reading and being part of my story.  With warmest aloha and best wishes for a wonderful New Year and New Life, Dee Harris

I use affirmations to keep me on track when the busyness of life takes me away from the moment in front of my nose.  They help recenter me.  If you’re interested in inspiring, even funny, affirmations, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

Note: This excellent article is mirrored from the original posted at Bronnie Ware’s website. “Based on this article, Bronnie has now released a full length book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for. This inspiring book is available internationally through Hay House.” 

Copyright Bronnie Ware. 

http://www.hospicepatients.org/five-regrets-of-the-dying-bronnie-ware.html 

Advice for Grinches: How to Avoid the Holiday Funk 

Dee:  This blog was inspired by the Chopra Center’s                                                       “Advice for Grinches: How to Avoid the Holiday Funk”

Dee Grinch 12:7:18

Advice for Grinches: How to Avoid the Holiday Funk 

By Sara Schairer 

The holidays are here, and they bring with them an abundance of twinkle lights, parties, cookies, and joy. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? 

Yes. For some lucky people. 

Perhaps this line from the Dr. Seuss’ book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is a more accurate depiction of how you feel about Christmas: “Hate, hate, hate. Hate, hate, hate. Double Hate. LOATHE ENTIRELY!”  The Grinch’s comments refer to his feelings for the Whos, and it quite accurately describes his feeling about the holidays. 

Do you have an inner-Grinch who comes out this time of year? 

Despite the festivities, the holidays bring sadness for many. Feelings of grief and loneliness may rise to the surface. For me, this time of year reminds me of the loss I’ve experienced over the years. I miss my deceased father every holiday season, and I feel sadness about my failed marriage. 

Dee:

A bit of sadness surfaces for me as well as our home is no longer filled with excited-for-Christmas children.  But I still hang lights inside and outside the house.  I put up a small  tree for my husband and me.  I hang stockings.  I send out Christmas cards with a short year-in-brief note.  I bake cookies.  

I do this for ME!  It gives my heart joy.  No sadness necessary for wonderful past memories.  I must stay in the moment and be grateful for them and this moment present in front of my nose.  I lack for nothing.  I am grateful.  I am humble.

But you don’t have to stay stuck in sadness during the holiday sadness. Here are some simple tips to help you stay less Grinch-y and more positive this holiday season. 

1. Self-Compassion 

Self-compassion meditations and simple practices can help you gracefully navigate sadness and grief. By remembering the three main pillars of self-compassion (mindfulness, common humanity, self-kindness), you can stay attuned to your suffering with more grace and ease. 

Dee:

For me self-compassion and meditations both bring me back to this present moment.  In this present moment I don’t have to pick up a drink or drug.  That wasn’t always the case.  I would be hanging up Christmas lights in a snow storm on a metal ladder.  Year after year.  Stupid.  Drunk.  I would bake cookies, wrap gifts and decorate the inside of the house to all hours of the night.  Year after year.  Drunk.  High.  I would black out and then pass out while opening gifts.  Sick.  Sad.

No more.  Today I have a choice to not pick up a drink or a drug.  For that and Alcoholics Anonymous I am truly grateful and truly humble.  I can practice self-compassion and love myself for who and what I am…today…one day at a time.

2. Gratitude 

Research indicates that a daily or weekly gratitude practice enhances overall well-being, and a simple gratitude practice can take just five minutes or less of your time each day. 

At the end of the day, write down three things for which you are grateful. Instead of the normal responses like my health and family, ratchet up the practice by looking back on your day and picking out specific highlights. For example, you could write, “I am grateful for the lunch and laughs I shared with my co-workers. We ate outside and enjoyed the crisp air and sunshine.” 

Dee:

I start my day and end my day in bed, duh.  Before getting out of bed to face the day I turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand God, a God of My Own Understanding to whom I was introduced working the 12 Steps of AA.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not promoting AA.  I am promoting YOU and your well-being.  There are many support groups in your neck of the woods that can help walk you through whatever ails you.  AA was introduced to me in rehab and they loved me until I could love myself.  Find your tribe!

Before falling asleep I again deeply connect with my Higher Power so thankful for his driving me around throughout the day while I enjoyed the passenger seat.  I got to meet new people, experience new adventures, all without having to be in control or affect the outcome.  Everything turned out perfectly!

3. Cultivate Joy 

The human brain focuses on the negative, which means you need to intentionally cultivate more positivity in your life. It’s referred to as the brain’s negativity bias and research suggests that you need a three-to-one ratio of positive feelings to negative feelings in order to flourish. 

Dee:

It seems like the older I get the harder it is to muster up any energy.  So when I do scoop up a pile or two of energy, I choose to use it in a positive way.  I remember how exhausting it was to live a life in active alcoholism, having to drink everyday, but more exhausting was the guilt, shame, hiding, lying and cheating.  That negative shit took all the energy I had and I had nothing left for me, let alone joy.

One way to add more positivity is through self-affirmation. Take time each day to think of things you appreciate about yourself. A gratitude practice also infuses your day with positivity. 

Dee:

One thing we did in rehab was to make up an affirmation and recite it to the group every morning for 28 days.  I chose, “I am a good person.  I am a whole person.”  At that time in my life I felt anything but good nor whole.  I was a piece of shit wasting space on the planet with no purpose.

But reciting this affirmation has helped me tremendously to get back in the moment, to remember where I am today and how I got here.  As I peeled the layers of the onion skin off of myself I realized that I do, indeed, have a purpose.  To share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my Dee Bubble.  Those who are going through tough times, whether from addictions, abuses, or just too much on their plates.

Today I am able to use my tough times to help me stay grounded, grateful and humble.  I needed those tough times to bring me to this calmness and lightness in my life.  So I share with you that you are not alone on your journey.  And that everything is perfect right now.  Just go in faith and not fear.  Live from your heart and not your head.

4. Minimize Social Media Consumption 

If you’re regularly (obsessively?) checking your Facebook and Instagram feeds, try to bring awareness to how you’re feeling. Do you notice sadness, uneasiness, or any tightness? Your mind might be comparing your life to the lives you see online. Since most people only highlight their best moments on social media, you are most likely not getting the full picture of someone’s life. Comparing your normal, flawed life to one that appears to be perfect is a recipe for sadness. 

Try putting your phone down more often and staying off of social media. Notice if any of your feelings shift. 

Dee:

I use social media mostly to promote my business.  But getting on Facebook or Instagram draws me in to life outside my Bubble.  I experience everyone’s journeys and get to be a part of.  I get joy from these long-distance interactions.

I no longer need to compare my journey with yours as I know now that we are all alike with both good times and hard times.  I finally feel good enough in my own skin that I don’t need to impress you.  I have my own gifts as you have yours.  And sharing our gifts with one another makes the world a better place.

5. Find a Holiday Accountability Buddy 

Do you know someone else who has experienced loss or has a tough time during the holidays? If so, reach out to that person and see if you can lean on each other every day. Send this person a quick text once a day to check in, and he or she can do the same for you. 

You might want to use this accountability as a way to start or enhance your daily gratitude practice. 

Dee:

In AA it was suggested I get a sponsor, someone I trust, with whom I can share my journey and who could walk me through the 12 Steps of AA.  So I did and she has helped me to grow in ways far beyond my wildest dreams.  She is my accountability buddy, not just during the holidays, but everyday!

And when she is unavailable I have the fellowship of AA to nurture, protect and teach me.  I am never alone, nor are YOU!  Find like-minded people for your tribe to help you through the holidays and to enrich your life.

6. Take Deep Breaths 

If a formal meditation practice isn’t your style, you can experiment with a brief breathing practice to help you bring awareness to the moment and calm yourself. Research shows that by taking a big, slow, deep inhale, and then exhaling slowly, you can calm your body’s response to stress. 

Dee:

We all experience holding our breath in that fight or flight situation.  But why am I not taking deep breaths in calm situations?  If you’re like me it takes getting back in the moment, knowing we are being cared for and protected, getting out of self that brings by breathing back into a healthy rhythm.  It takes practice but I hope someday to breathe deeply naturally.

7. Practice Generosity 

While it is said that, “it is better to give than to receive,” you might not feel this around the holidays. The added expenses, packed stores, and overall stress that comes with holiday gift-giving might make you feel like giving is not the best way to get out of your Grinch-y attitude. 

True, heartfelt generosity doesn’t equate to stress, however. You can be generous with your time, your hugs, your smile, and your listening ear. If you do have extra funds, you can support nonprofits who might rely on end-of- year giving to support their work. 

Dee:

I learned early on in my recovery that unless I give it back, I won’t keep it.  And I found that to be true when I got complacent in my sobriety, stopped going to meetings, stopped AA altogether and found my defects of character, my old sick way of being and doing and thinking come back…one day at a time.  And then I drank.

I cannot afford to let down my guard.  My disease of alcoholism deserves the respect I give to the ocean.  I am careful.  I don’t turn my back on it.  I must take nothing for granted.

So I give back.  This time of year especially and year-round as well I give my Art with a Message of Hope and Inspiration to local fundraisers, especially to AA.  I give a portion of my earnings all year-round to our local AA, which gets doled out to the district, the area, and the world.  If I don’t give it away, I can’t keep it.  Today my life is good.  I want to keep it that way!

8. Volunteer 

Speaking of nonprofits, many of them can use an extra hand during the holidays. The need for many services may increases during the winter months. Find a nonprofit in your community that needs help and spend some time serving your community. 

Because of your compassionate feelings, you just might feel a boost. 

Dee:

One volunteer commitment that is sure to give me that boost is speaking once or twice a month at our local DUI classes.  I do this not as community service but as a service to my community.  My hope is that one person will leave the class feeling hopeful and optimistic by hearing my experience, strength and hope.  Hopefully, I can change a life for the better.

And with the holidays just around the corner, what a hard time to try to get and stay clean and sober.  So I’ve volunteered to lead one of the 24-Hour Alkathons that the newcomer or person struggling can attend non-stop from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.

These volunteer commitments get me out of self.  They help to remind me where I’ve come from and how good it is today.  They help me to not drink one day at a time and to give back what was so freely given me when I needed it most – compassion.

Thank you for being here and I hope I was able to offer you some hope and optimism.  Wishing you the happiest of holidays and, if you feel overwhelmed, know that you are not alone.  Help is just a phone call away.

With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those looking for Gifts with a Message of Hope and Optimism, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

Try out some of these techniques and send your inner Grinch into hibernation this winter. 

Learn a natural, effortless style of meditation that helps invite renewal and freshness into every day with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra.

About the Author 

Sara Schairer (/bios/sara-schairer) 

Sara Schairer is the founder and executive director of COMPASSION IT (http://compassionit.com/), a start-up nonprofit organization and global social movement whose mission is to inspire daily compassionate actions and attitudes. She created the one-of-a-kind reversible COMPASSION IT wristband (http://compassionit.com/wristbands/) prompting compassionate actions on six continents, 48 countries, and all 50 states. Wristband sales fund compassion education programs for youth, teens, and adults. As a public speaker, Sara encourages her audiences to “compassion it” in their daily lives. A Stanford-certified instructor of Compassion Cultivation… Read more (/bios/sara-schairer) 

The Chopra Center