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

Advertisements

Youthful Energy Happens Today

Dee:  This blog was inspired by the Chopra Center Meditation, “Youthful Energy Happens Today”.

Youthful Energy Happens Today

Deepak:

The two words “young” and “energetic”naturally go together.  The unbounded energy of children amazes and delights us.  Life pours through them and this energy is happy, playful and joyous.  It’s not the amount of energy that keeps us young; it’s the quality of energy.  

No matter our physical age the potential for energy of our childhood exists; it is always inside us.  You were designed to experience this kind of energy everyday and by paying attention to the quality of your energy you discover the secret for keeping your energy level up at the same time.  

When someone tells you that you look young, it’s a compliment that rests on a biological fact.  But the real reason you want to feel youthful and energetic is so that you can do all the things you want to do in life and experience everything to the fullest.  To be young in mind, body and spirit begins with energy as you process it in every cell.  All living things process energy in order to stay alive.

The first secret of youthful energy for life is to realize that this processing is ageless.  Energy flows in and out of you constantly, undergoing the same actions of breathing, eating, digesting, and healing that make you the most complex living creature on the planet.

The energy of your life expresses itself in four areas.  Physical energy is your capacity to move and work.  Mental energy allows you to understand issues and solve problems.  While emotional energy determines your ability to care and love others with patience, compassion, and tolerance.  Spiritual energy is the unlimited source and aim of all the other expressions of energy and you connect with it through meditation and present-moment awareness.

Everyone needs energy for all the demands in life.  But different types of people have different energy needs.  It is normal for physical energy to be at its peak in early adulthood while mental and emotional maturity usually arrive afterward.  

An exhausted, stressed teenager has a poor quality of energy and, therefore, is promoting the aging process far more than a fresh, joyful person who’s chronologically older.  When the quality of your energy today is optimized you will be in a state of restful alertness that you never need to lose.  This is the second secret of youthful energy.  

We don’t have a finite amount of energy that runs out like a depleting bank account.  Life-sustaining energy is constantly renewed.  Every cell in your body depends on this because cells don’t store up food, water and air for more than around three seconds.  Instead they thrive by living in the moment and trusting that abundant energy is naturally there.  When we have the same attitude we maintain the unbounded energy as children.

This brings up the third secret about energy – meditation increases it.  The popular belief that meditation is only a restful nap or quick way to relax misses the essential point.  Meditation renews energy at the source while at the same time it adds the qualities that make energy life-enhancing – joy, creativity, freshness, and alertness.  

Meditation is the technique but we also need a vision for lifelong youthful energy and that vision is wholeness.  Eating a certain amount of calories will put enough fuel in your body.  But what about mental energy, motivation or creativity?  What about feeling young at heart and experiencing love and fulfillment?  You need a source of energy for all these things in order to thrive and food isn’t enough.

Dee:

Staying mindful, in the moment, that place right in front of our noses, that is where we allow that youthful energy to happen today.  Not from the regrets of yesterday nor the worries of tomorrow.  Those places suck the energy right out of us.

So get in touch with who you are.  What you’re feeling.  Not about life itself.  But about who you are and how you feel about yourself.  Are you pissed because life has dealt you the victim card?  Are you angry because someone treated you unfairly?

You know, all things happen for a reason and there IS a reason these events happened.  It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to consider these life events in a negative or a positive way.  Because I don’t want to live my life nor exert my energy in a negative way, I choose to be positive and see the glass half-full.  Life is easier and a hell of a lot better that way.

Knowing that everything happens for a reason, reasons that are out of my control (like every person, place or thing with which I come in contact), I can be comfortable in knowing that my Higher Power, my spiritual being that has my back and is dealing me the cards I am ready to receive, is giving me lessons that will only help me as a human being.  I shall learn and grow and share with others these lessons.

And with this Power Greater Than Myself I can finally realize that I have gifts.  Gifts that no one else on the planet has.  I don’t need to compare my gifts with yours.  I don’t have to feel any less than nor better than you.  We are all equal human beings.  Shall we nurture and love each other or shall we destroy and hate each other?  

I hope you choose to be that loving and innocent child that came into the world full of excitement, acceptance and curiosity.  That inner-child is and always will be in you.  Allow it to come out, don’t worry about what anyone will think or say.  Just be you.  Love you!  Let that youthful energy happen!

With warmest aloha,

Dee Harris

For those interested in my Art with a Message of Positivity and Optimism, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

From the Chopra Center Meditation

The Royal Road to Manifestation

Energy of Attraction

Welcome to the 21-Day Meditation Experience, Energy of Attraction. We are honored you’re joining us as we seek our true nature and discover our path to health and happiness. You will discover your soul’s purpose and create a life in which all things are within reach.

Day 8

The Royal Road to Manifestation

“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.” ― Brian Tracy

Welcome to the second week of our 21-Day Meditation Experience. In the first week we learned the role of desire in our spiritual fulfillment. This week we will focus on mastering the art of desire to manifest the quality of life we want.

We are always creating our world through our desires, but not always as successfully as we would like. That is why we need to master the art of desire. The reason most intentions do not manifest easily and quickly is because our mind cannot remain alert and attentive with the emerging intention and see it all the way through to its manifestation. To have conscious intention we need expansive, focused, and flexible awareness. Today’s meditation will help awaken this alert consciousness within our desires.

CENTERING THOUGHT

My intention holds the key to fulfillment.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Chit Sankalpa
My unbounded awareness holds my pure intention.

OPRAH:

Welcome to week two.  We’re ready to master the art of desire.  That’s what we’re talking about today.  Last week we set the foundation for manifesting the life we want by tapping into the truest, most whole intentions within.  During our second week of this 21-Day Meditation Experience we want to shift our focus toward shaping our desires and then mastering the creative process of actually realizing your dreams.  

There’s a key to turning a dream into a reality and that key is having a conscious intention.  In our busy world it’s easy just to slide into a rhythm of being unconscious and going through the motions and moving through your days with little thought about what you’re saying or doing…just getting caught up.  

Manifesting desires is about being awake to life.  As your awareness expands the possibilities of what you can attract in life also expand.  Becoming aware of your life, of every moment, every breath, every thought, being conscious about that, will move you closer toward your highest self, the person you were born to be.  And that, my friends, is what it means to be fully present.  It’s what it means to be aligned.  And it is the most expedient path to fulfilling your deepest, grandest dreams.

DEE:

Being in the moment, this present time in front of my nose.  That is where I strive to be and strive to stay.  But that takes work and consciousness.

Being an alcoholic in recovery has gifted my the opportunity of taking my journey through life to a whole new level.  It has given me purpose.  It has given me “me”.  It has given me spirituality.  It has given me a Power Greater Than Myself over to which I can turn my will and my life.

With these gifts I now realize how important it is for me to stay in the present moment.  My past is behind me and I’m not going backwards.  The future may never appear and I’m so all right with that.  Because this present moment is perfect and all I need.

Being present centers me and reminds me that I am not in control, that my Higher Power is and taking me on a journey to bring me to my highest good.  When the student is ready, the Master appears.  Being present reminds me how grateful I am, and humble to be here.  That I was chosen for this gift of sobriety to share my Experience, Strength and Hope with those who enter my “Dee Bubble”.

OPRAH:

So we’re going to listen in now as Deepak guides us toward that expanded awareness and then we’ll meditate.

DEEPAK:

The second week of our meditation experience is about mastering the art of desire.  Both skill and art are involved because even though everyone is born with desires making them come true takes knowledge and experience.

As we saw in week one every intention is tied to the energy of attraction.  Our lives are filled with the things we’ve manifested.  Manifesting is a life-long process and yet some are much better at it than others.

Society offers various ways to improve your ability to make a desire come true.  Work harder.  Don’t give up.  Nourish your passion and so on.  There are also unspoken advantages such as being born to wealth or with a high IQ which benefit only a few.  But the World’s Wisdom Traditions look elsewhere for the secret of manifesting what you want.

Conscious intention holds the key.  By becoming more conscious we make the creative process more efficient and more aligned to our highest purpose.  It’s all about expanded awareness.  With expanded awareness you automatically see more possibilities.  You aren’t constrained by past conditioning, dramas, and painful memories.  You rise above the level of the problem to the level of the solution.  Above all you activate more of the energy of attraction.

DEE:

Wow!  Conscious intention.  What was that when I was active in the disease of alcoholism and couldn’t go a day without drinking?  My life revolved around the next drink.  I was relinquishing my kids, my husband, my home, my job, my everything…but the saddest, I had lost myself.

But crazy where this journey takes me.  Because of no plan of my own I missed a shift at work because I didn’t “come to” to get myself there like a did a thousand times before.  In humiliation I reach out for help.  I get conscious.  I get a purpose.  I taste expanded awareness.

DEEPAK:

It took thousands of years for great sages, seers, guides and teachers to realize what I’ve told you in a few sentences.  You can’t think, feel or force your way into expanded consciousness.  Fortunately, the path is simple and open to all.

Meditation practice expands your awareness day by day bringing better results in your outer life.  Once your meditations make you comfortable and centered in silence, you can consciously desire and let go.  Silent mind is where all possibilities are contained in seed-form, waiting for the touch of intention to bring them to life.  This is the basis for mastering the art of desire.  You are the creator in your life and fulfillment is your work of art.

DEE:

With the gift of being chosen by my Higher Power to be live a sober life, I have been graced with a spiritual life.  I was introduced to spirituality in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and like a sponge and the alcoholic that I am I wanted more.  I begin meditating.  I begin practicing yoga.  And today, in this present moment, I am content.

My journey, fitting the pieces of my life puzzle together, is all starting to make sense, in my gut (as I prefer to stay as far away from my head as possible today).  I realize that there are no coincidences.  I must surrender to and accept this life that has been presented on my plate.  So easy.  So freeing.  So “I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Thank you for being here and sharing.  I encourage any and all feedback as we are on our journey TOGETHER.  So comforting to now know that none of us has to trudge our roads of happy destiny alone.

With warmest Aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in Art with a Message of Hope and Purpose, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

DEEPAK:

As we prepare to mediate together let’s take a moment to consider our centering thought, “My intention holds the key to fulfillment.  My intention holds the key to fulfillment.”  Now let’s prepare for our meditation.

Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes.  Begin to become aware of your breath and just breathe, slowly and deeply.  With each breath allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed.

Now gently introduce the mantra, “Chit Sankalpa.”  This mantra awakens consciousness within your desires or intentions.  As you repeat the mantra feel your light of awareness grow brighter and stronger in your thoughts.  Repeat it silently to yourself, “Chit Sankalpa.”  With each repetition feel your body, mind and spirit open and receive just a little more.

Whenever you find yourself distracted by thoughts, noises, or physical sensations, simply return your attention to silently repeating the mantra, Chit Sankalpa.  Chit Sankalpa.  Chit Sankalpa.”

Please continue with your meditation.  I’ll mind the time and when it’s time to end you’ll hear me ring a soft bell.  “Chit Sankalpa.  Chit Sankalpa.  Chit Sankalpa.”  Just mentally, “Chit Sankalpa.  Chit Sankalpa.  Chit Sankalpa.”

Chopra Meditation Center

Effortless Creation

Energy of Attraction

Welcome to the 21-Day Meditation Experience, Energy of Attraction. We are honored you’re joining us as we seek our true nature and discover our path to health and happiness. You will discover your soul’s purpose and create a life in which all things are within reach.

Day 4

Effortless Creation

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

Usually, when we want to manifest a cherished wish or desire in our lives, our first instinct is to act on that impulse. Action of course is necessary, but today we will learn to start with a different approach. To harness Nature’s infinite creative power, we need to release desire into the stillness of our Being. In today’s meditation we will learn to let go of our intention, where it then settles into the field of pure potentiality where all the laws of creation are ready to help manifest it.

This is the most effective way to manifest desires, and the simplest and easiest way to bring your hopes and dreams to life. That doesn’t mean action and persistence aren’t also essential. They are, but they too come in after letting the seed of intention rest into the silence of your true self. This ensures that your actions and focus will be supported and aligned with Nature’s intelligence, not separate from it.

DEE:

OK.  I’m such a novice at this meditation thing.  Harnessing Nature’s infinite creative power.  Still of our Being.  Intentions.  Pure Potentiality.  Way above my head…  So how I’m going to try to fake it ’til I make it, to allow this all to unfold, is to put this all in my God Box.

I have turned my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand God.  This is my Higher Power of my own understanding who is in control and allows me to come along for the ride, learning, growing, prospering, and experiencing what He sees fit.

My God has also taught me to stop thinking so much, to go with the flow and live from my heart.  As an intellect for most of my life, this was a bit difficult.  But once I tried it, I found it worked and I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders.

So when I “feel” in my gut what my God urges me to do, I do.  I have to do the footwork.  That is why I am writing this blog right this minute.  I “felt” a calling.  For this intellect I can’t explain why this is all working for me today, but it does.  Therefore, I’m a believer to just go with the flow and reap the rewards for doing so.

CENTERING THOUGHT

My desires are fulfilled from my true self.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Ahrah Kahrah
My desires have the power to manifest.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Day 4 – Effortless Creation.  Ah, I think you’re gonna love this one.  ‘Cause we all know that wonderful feeling when we’re in sync with the energy of the universe.  That joyful, energizing space where things just seem to come to you effortlessly, flowing, in complete alignment with everything that is.

Now, it’s so easy to slip out of sync with that energy of the universe.  And when we do life becomes a struggle.  You feel more depleted than invigorated.  And you can lose your way.

DEE:

When I am out of sync I am back in the “Dee has taken over control” mode.  I quickly realize that I need to get back right-sized, get grateful, and get humble.  I have not gotten to where I am in this peace and contentment because I willed it.  So I immediately get back in the present moment which brings me back to my Higher Power.  I breathe.  I pay attention.  I am back in sync.

OPRAH:

When we express our deepest desires, set our intentions, do our best and then let it go…surrender…you immediately can get closer to fulfilling your dreams.  We become magnets for goodness to come to us.  We create openness for our deepest desires to manifest, and find ourselves once again.

DEE:

Surrendering and allowing my God to drive me around on His magic carpet ride of life has shown me dreams beyond my wildest expectations.  I am grateful and that emanates from me.  That attracts more goodness.  What we reap is what we sow.

OPRAH:

In today’s meditation Deepak is going to guide us on how to tap into the truth of ourselves, allowing effortless creation to unfold.  Together let us hold the intention of what we most desire, then detach or surrender the outcome, allowing the energy of attraction to flow freely through us with grace and ease.  And from that place we’ll meditate.

DEEPAK:

Struggling to get what you want isn’t what nature intends.  When you let good things be attracted to you, manifestation is easy and enjoyable.  The secret lies in having a desire and letting go.  This is the state of detachment.

Unfortunately, most people try to get what they want by being the opposite of detached.  They have cravings, addictions, obsessions and fixations.  They dwell on what they want over and over again.  This brings up what seems like a contradiction.  

DEE:

OK.  This was me.  As an alcoholic in recovery, the above paragraph describes me to a T.  I want it and I want it now.  Instant gratification.  All about me.  I’m in control.  Don’t care who I step on to get it.  I’ll lie.  I’ll cheat.  I’ll stab you in the back.  My cravings, addictions, obsessions and fixations were who I was and why I lived.  I was exhausted, lost and living in a dark place.

Today I am so blessed, so grateful, that I was chosen to be sober and not dead.  I have purpose today that I get to carry my message of Experience, Strength and Hope.  I am alive and excited!

DEEPAK:

You do need passion to achieve your aspirations.  You need action and often hard work to arrive at the goal.  But if you desire from the level of the true self, these things bring you a kind of effortless joy.  You can stand aside and watch the whole process unfold.

Detachment isn’t the same as indifference.  When you let go you aren’t saying, “I don’t care what happens.”  You say, “I’m open to whatever happens and when it comes I will know the next step to take”.

DEE:

Detachment for me is getting out of the way and allowing what is supposed to happen unfold.  There are no coincidences.  Everything happens for a reason.  I have to embrace that, allow it to happen, learn and grow…and not react.

DEEPAK:

The art of desire can be found in the single verse of the Bhagwad Gita, “Perform action without regard for the fruits of action”.  This is detachment and joy in one.  Because whatever happens you will always be centered in your true self.

DEE:

Go with the flow and know that everything is happening perfectly!

DEEPAK:

Having your desire at the level of the true self and then releasing it is the key.  Being centered in your true self you experience a quiet, relaxed state of confidence.  The ability to manifest what you desire allows you to let go so that your intention can enter the field of pure potentiality. From there the energy of attraction naturally flows with ease and harmony.

Manifestation isn’t the same as wishful thinking.  Action is still required to manifest the life we want but we don’t need to lose our silent center in the process.  The silent center guides us into the things we need to do, weeding out the unnecessary busy work and struggle.

As we prepare to meditate together let’s take a moment to consider our centering thought, “My desires are fulfilled from my true self.  My desires are fulfilled from my true self.”  Now let’s prepare for our meditation.  

DEE:

It’s so awesome to finally experience my true self.  Everything unfolded just the way it was meant to unfold.  I’m an addict/alcoholic.  I lived a dark, selfish and meaningless life.  I bottomed out.  I surrendered.  

I got to learn about my disease and, more importantly, about me from Alcoholics Anonymous and working their 12 Steps.  AA has given me a toolbox for living that is so right on with spirituality and meditation.  I love watching myself and my life unfold…if I just stay out of the way.

Thank you for being here.  I encourage feedback.  We are never alone and have gifts to share with the world.  Let’s do it and make the world a better place.

With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in my Artwork with a Message of Spirituality, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

 

DEEPAK:

Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes.  Begin to be aware of your breath and just breathe slowly and deeply.  With each breath allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed.

Now gently introduce the mantra, “Ahrah Kahrah.”  This mantra awakens the energy of creativity, transformation and materialization.  As you repeat the mantra feel the activation of the forces of creation and manifestation inside you.  Repeat it silently to yourself, “Ahrah Kahrah”.  With each repetition feel your mind, body and spirit open and receive just a little more.

Whenever you find yourself distracted by thoughts, noises or physical sensations simply return your attention to silently repeating the mantra, “Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.”  Please continue with your meditation.  I’ll mind the time.  And when it’s time to end you’ll hear me ring a soft bell.  “Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.”   Just mentally, “Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.” 

From The Chopra Center

9-Step Strategy to Make a Decision

9-Step Strategy to Make a Decision 

By Tamara Lechner

It’s no secret that adulting is harder than you thought it would be when you were growing up. Children assume adults have all the answers. As a kid, this leads you to draw the conclusion that when you grow up you will automatically have them all, too.

15_PlaqueORN (Gimp wht) DbH copy 

You may have been educated into believing that you don’t know yourself best. This begins in school when you are taught to listen to the rules rather than your own internal guidance system. You can no longer eat when you are hungry, move when you feel fidgety, or rest when you feel tired. In following the schedule designed for you, you begin to believe—because it is implied—that your teachers know what is  best for you. 

1_ToldYouSoMOS (Gimp wht) DbH(no frame) copy

Sure, you might want to color the sky green, but when you are told that the sky is supposed to be blue, you think that your impulse to use green was wrong. Eventually, you begin to subtly believe that you don’t know what is best for yourself. And this tiny shimmer of self-doubt grows as your coaches, parents, and peers point out that your music, clothes, sleep schedule, and food choices aren’t good choices for you. By the time you are college-aged, it’s amazing that you can make any choices at all. 

 3_HandOverMouthMOS (Gimp wht)DbH copy.png

Finding answers becomes a process of looking outside yourself for advice from experts who can offer experience and an educated opinion. It can also be about making pro/con lists. After you have gathered all the information you need, you frequently find yourself stuck in analysis paralysis—that place where rather than making a choice, you want to keep getting opinions from others. It seems you have lost the  ability to trust yourself. 

1_StopDoubtingSelf (Gimp wht) DbH

Here’s a simple guide to reconnect with your self-trust, keeping in mind that nobody has your answers except you. 

Listen to Your Body 

Your body sends you signals of what is good for you and what isn’t. Practice hearing them. Sleep when you feel tired, eat a reasonably sized portion of healthy food when you are hungry, and move when your body needs to move. Be mindful of what your body wants.  

28_CirORN (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

Dee:

HALT…Hungry.  Angry.  Lonely.  Tired.  I realized early on in sobriety that being in HALT explained a lot of unhealthy thoughts and actions I had.  So when I flipped you off on the freeway or vomited out hurtful words that were supposed to remain in my head, I had better get a bite to eat or take a time-out.  Today I strive to stay out of HALT by practicing self-care prior to getting to that stage.

Go Inward 

Meditation allows you to tap into the inner wisdom you were born with. Like any muscle, the more you flex it, the more comfortable it becomes with being used. Listen to these guided meditations (http://www.chopra.com/articles/guided-meditations#sm.00075k7e71eb0fe7rd51mmcjg2a5w) to get you started.  

2_OmNamasteMOS (Gimp wht) DbH

Don’t Buy Into the Panic 

When a decision feels rushed, your brain sends out chemicals that signify it is in a state of alarm. These chemicals actually turn off the brain’s ability to process. This was great when our big urgency was that a dinosaur was about to eat us, but choosing who to date, what to study, or where to live shouldn’t create that same panic. Take slow breaths or if time allows, a quick little walk. Allow your body to return to a  more balanced state. 

4_BreatheMOS (wht) DbH copy.png

Dee:

The alcoholic in me wants to check it off my “to do” list NOW!  The newly-found spiritual person in me says to stay in the moment, be mindful, get back centered and right-sized.  Being mindful of the perfect moment in front of my nose gets me back to being grateful and humble.  It brings me back in touch with the greatest gift I’ve been given in sobriety, a Power Greater Than Myself, over to whom I can turn my will and my life.  

1_God&SleepMOS (Gimp wht) (DbH)

I can remember that I am not in control.  That my god is in the driver’s seat and I am just along for the ride (a magic carpet ride of a lifetime!) to learn and experience what is meant for me right now.  Ssshhhh!  Quiet my head…  Remember, Dee, everything happens for a reason.  There are no coincidences.  You’ll miss it if your brain is all over the planet. 

42_OvalORN (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

Lean In 

When confusion happens, instead of deciding not to decide, experience and embrace your uncertainty. Repeat your choices slowly as many as six or seven times. The time and the process of repeating the options will allow an unfolding of what you want. 

Dee:

And once I embrace the confusion or some negativity that has entered (or I have allowed to enter) my life, I thank it for coming and then ask it to leave.  In my perhaps imaginary head I can imagine the confusion or negativity being whisked off into the clouds…softly…gently.

I am in that mindful present moment with my Higher Power remembering gratefully that I am not  in control and when the student is ready, the master appears, as shall the answers. 

6_LGLGMOS (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

Flip a Coin 

Heads is one choice, tails is the other. Usually as you flip it, you will root for heads or tails. This quick process allows you to access information at such a quick speed that there is no time to process, just to listen to your gut. This is called quick logic, and it gets you out of your processing and directly to the answer. 

Dee:

I’ll use this method to decide who will go first in a game.  Or Eeny-Meeny-Miny-Moe.  Maybe even Rock-Paper-Scissors.  But for decisions with a bit more weight, I’ll use my God Box, patience and faith.

2_RckPprScssrs (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

Know Yourself 

The more comfortable you are in your own skin, the easier it is to make choices that align with who you are. Being a student of how your body works (https://store.chopra.com/dosha-quiz), and what your core values are can help. 

Dee:

This is a gift I’ve been given by getting sober, allowing a Power Greater Than Myself to guide me through life, and by working the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with a person I trust.  I have learned that most of my life had been driven by fear.  Most of it I do not understand as it makes no sense to me.  However, by learning today to live through my feelings and not my thinking, I no longer have to, nor wish to, expend unnecessary energy on the reasons. 

30_CirORN (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

By learning to live without fear and with the faith that a Higher Power has my back, I have grown to become more comfortable in my own skin.  The person who looked in the mirror and called herself a loser while in active addiction has finally accepted who and what she is, with all her gifts…and flaws.  And by staying in the present moment, learning and growing and becoming a better human being because of my past, and having no fear, but faith, regarding the future…all is perfect.  I am perfect! 

1_RockBottomMOS (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

Encourage Yourself 

Remember a time when you made a hard choice successfully. The stories you tell yourself about your ability to make successful choices will either buoy you up or weigh you down in future choices. 

Dee:

I’m getting older by the minute (and let me add, I wouldn’t go back a second from this content state of being I’m in now!).  It’s taking a lot more energy to accomplish things the older I get.  So today I choose to expend all my energy in a positive direction.  When I have a hard choice, I’ve embraced it, thanked it for coming, and given it to my Higher Power, I know I still have to do the foot work.  I need to get it done, cross it off my list, and move forward.  

I have a 50-50 chance that it will go my way.  If it doesn’t, learn, embrace, let go and move forward.  I can’t afford nor choose to have anything weigh me down.  It does not serve me.  I’ll be fine.  I’ll be a better person when I can move forward.

Take a Musical Interlude 

Spending a moment blasting your favorite rock n’ roll ballad or listening to a peaceful song takes you to a different part of your brain. When the song finishes, it’s almost like gaining a fresh perspective.  

1_MusicMOS (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

Dee:

Aaahhh, Grasshopper.  Such a true statement.  I have bunched my favorite songs together on my computer, phone, and other electronic devices so that at a push of a button, I am a new person.  My body moves.  My blood flows.  I’m in my happy place.  And when I sing, I breathe.  Sometimes unknowingly I am not breathing.  Go figure.

Delay Deciding 

Give yourself a vacation from decisions. If you can wait until tomorrow, sleeping on it allows your brain a little respite from the work of decision-making. It’s amazing that your brain continues to work on integrating information to help with choices while you sleep. You just might discover that the answer is more obvious after a good night of rest. 

Dee:

I love being married no a “normie” (doesn’t have a problem with alcohol or drugs).  He has chosen to not attend, learn about, have anything to do with any support groups, such as Al Anon.  However, he has witnessed me living a life of sobriety, having relapses, working with others, doing homework, reading, etc.  And he has picked up on so much of the spiritual way I strive to live.  And I love it when he makes fun of me on that path I have chosen.  We have good fun.

When I have a decision to make and it’s too late to call my sponsor, he suggests that I sleep on it.  Huh?  I want to get this done NOW!  So I sleep on it and awaken with the answer as clear as day.  These crazy kind of things happen to me a lot and I can’t explain it.  It makes no sense.  Like having the obsession to drink and drug removed one morning when I walked out to the patio.  So bizarre!  (And thank you, God!)

Life is full of seemingly impossible decisions. In the present, they can seem like obstacles to overcome, but your choices define not only who you are, but also how you want to spend your time. Have gratitude that you have the freedom to choose, and know that no matter how your decision unfolds, you have made the right choice for you in that moment.  

1_RightOrHappyMOS (Gimp wht) Dbh copy.png

As Anne Frank said, “Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.” 

Dee:

My life has been altered by my being an alcoholic.  In 1998 I did not have choices.  I HAD DO DRINK.  I had to drink everyday.  My life revolved about drinking.  Today my journey has brought me to a calm and beautiful life where I do have choices.  Today I do NOT have to drink.  I can if I want.  But I respect the disease of alcoholism enough to know that ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH.  I’ve tried it.  The first drink caused my brain to yell “MORE!”

Treatment programs and, more importantly, Alcoholics Anonymous (for whom I do not work nor represent, but am a true believer that this program works…for me) has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams.  I have contentment that I never even wanted, but I got it anyway.  I feel good in my skin and love myself for who and what I am.  I make positive choices and practice self-care. 

1_FlawsVSGifts (Gimp wht) (DbH) copy.png

Dang!  It’s all such common sense yet I had to go through various chapters in my life to bring me to this page of my book.  I encourage you to find this place of gratitude and serenity in your life whether you struggle with substance abuse, physical and mental abuse, depression, or just life itself.  It’s not easy but you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be!

 18_OvalOrn (wht) Dbh copy.png

Embrace your journey.  Make positive choices.  Know that you are not unique and are not to blame or be guilt-ridden.  Together we can all find peace in this crazy world we live in and share our unique gifts with others in need.  Today I have a purpose and that is to share my Experience, Strength and Hope with all  who enter my Dee Bubble.

1_ExpStrHopeMOS (Gimp wht) DbH copy.png

I’m glad you made it!  And thank you for reading.  I encourage any comments, concerns or feedback on anything.  I live a rigorously honest life today, but I’m gentle and compassionate.

With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in Art with a Message of Hope and Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

Commit to making the best decisions and creating the most fulfilled life with support from like-minded women and wonderful speakers at our Women’s Retreat. Learn More. 

About the Author 

Tamara Lechner (/bios/tamara-lechner) Certified Instructor: Meditation 

Tamara Lechner is a happiness expert and Chopra-Certified Primordial Sound Meditation (/articles/what- is-primordial-sound-meditation) Instructor. Her mission is to be so happy that those around her cannot help but step into her light. She enjoys writing, speaking, and teaching about how a positive mindset affects business, relationships, health, and life satisfaction. Tamara is often found throwing epic parties or walking barefoot in the sand. Join her on The Happiness Trajectory (http://www.ahamoments4u.com/free-online–the-happiness-trajectory.html), a free online mindset reboot, or find out more about her at… Read more (/bios/tamara-lechner) 

The Chopra Center 3/28/17

 

The Biology of Time

“The distinction between the past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein

In reality, time is not a fixed experience that follows the ticking of the clock. It is a fluid, changeable experience. Our bodies measure time in multiple ways depending upon the biological function in various cells and according to different biological rhythms. Our chronological age can vary dramatically from our biological or psychological age. We can change our experience of time through our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. In today’s meditation, we learn that the more we abide in present-moment awareness, our minds and bodies, our beliefs and behaviors, become attuned to the cycles of Nature. Life flows with the timeless rhythms of the universe.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Day 2 – The Biology of Time.  Today our focus is how to gain a better understanding of the biology of time.  I’m always fascinated by the inner workings of the body.  Each one of us has an internal clock that regulates just about every process within our own bio-system.  When I think about my own heart quietly pumping away as it has done for the last 63 years bringing life to all other areas of my body. sometimes I think about that, it just makes me want to weep at the miracle of it.

I’ve come to appreciate that my body operates at its own pace, breathing, blinking, seeing, and listening all through nature’s course.  All I have to do is stay attuned to it and will experience that wonderful state of flow where everything within me is aligned.  I realize that my body, just like yours, operates with precision.  It knows that I function best on at least 5-1/2 hours of sleep.  Anything less than that and I notice a lack of focus, listlessness, a waning energy, along with less sharper thinking.  I don’t use an alarm clock…yet.  In perfect rhythm I wake up naturally in between 7:16 and 7:23 every morning.

Most work days are filled with projects I’ve committed to, replying to emails and travel and attending meetings.  The pace can sometimes be hectic but, no matter what, everything for me begins and ends with stillness.  I describe it as a conscious awareness of my presence within the greater presence of all…everything there is.

Whether I’m paying attention to the way the sun is rising or how the mist is rolling in over the trees, I pay attention.  In that moment there’s no 3 o’clock meeting to think about or 6 P.M. dinner to plan and I don’t think about the inevitable daily challenges that arise.  I really have mastered staying in the moment.  I simply trust that when the time comes my whole self will be fully connected to the moment and rise to meet each task just as it did when I first opened my eyes.

Now let’s listen to Deepak and then we’ll meditate.

Dee:

It seems for me as well that just a few moments after opening my eyes in the morning the list of “to do’s” starts to take over my brain.  Before the fog lifts and totally fills my head, I stop to enjoy the moment, to be grateful, and to turn my will and life and “to do” list over to the care of God as I Understand Him.  In other words, I let my God drive while I enjoy the ride in the passenger seat knowing that all my cares, worries, and “to do’s” will be taken care of just the way they’re supposed to.

If I try to control and perfect my to-do list myself I become pretty overwhelmed pretty quickly.  My head takes over; my heart gets turned off.  Old behavior comes into play.  I forget to stay in conscious contact with my Higher Power.  I forget to be humble and grateful.  So I turn it all over and everything that needs to get done today gets done, usually in a way more successful way than I could have ever done myself.  Pretty sweet!

Deepak:

Looking at carefree children playing we may say wistfully, “They’re having such a good time.  I wish it could last forever”.  But children lost in play have stepped out of time; their experience has nothing to do with clocks, deadlines, or anything of the sort.  This is an important clue about how to approach the reality of time which is a fluid and malleable experience.

We assume time is like an arrow moving in a straight line from past to present to future and measured by a ticking clock.  But time is actually measured by your cells.  It’s a biological function in the body.  The body has dozens of clocks that control long periods of time like when baby teeth appear, or puberty or menopause.  There are medium-term clocks for things like sleep and digestion along with short-term clocks like the rhythm of your breathing and heartbeat.

Our biological age is not necessarily tied to our chronological age.  The body of a stressed-out, unhappy 30 year-old may function like a 50-year old’s body.  How we interpret our experience affects our biology.  Chemical changes in the brain determine whether time is racing or slowing down.  Moments frozen in time are human perceptions.  Even the experience that time vanishes when we go to sleep is an experience based in biology.

So looking at time from the inside isn’t simply psychological.  It’s the right perspective for changing anything you want.  Einstein had a profound thought about this when he said, “The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

Go past the illusion and you realize two amazing things.  First, you are the master of time because your beliefs, attitudes and lifestyle choices alter all the effects of time.  Second, if past, present and future are illusions, you are timeless.  This may seem beyond our experience but in our meditation practice we discover that our present awareness is already timeless.  Ever-present awareness is who and what we always are.  That state of peace and calm allows us to navigate the world of clocks and deadlines without being overwhelmed by it.

Dee:

Weird to think about when I was active in my alcoholism, the “good” Dee was still in there waiting to come out.  Now that I am in recovery I must remember that the “bad (alcoholic) Dee is still in there waiting to come out.  Being active in alcoholism and being active in my recovery definitely alters my beliefs, attitudes and lifestyle choices during that time.  The “getting out of self and feelings” that occurs while active in my disease might seems comforting for the moment, but the fact that “more, more, more” comes into my brain when the first drink enters my body is so not comforting.  It’s slavery.  It’s negative.  It’s sick!

Staying in the present moment of recovery always gets me back into gratitude and humility.  I am so grateful that today I do not HAVE to take a drink.  I have a choice today.  My choice is to pass for right now so that I can avoid the “more, more, more”.  I can experience the state of peace and calm so as not to be overwhelmed by clocks and deadlines.  Peace, calm, gratitude, recovery for me all comes with and from a solid relationship with a Power Greater Than Myself.

Mastery of time is a mind-body project because both are involved in how we experience and process time.  Pay attention to your natural biorhythms, especially sleep.  Sleep resets biorhythms that have become distorted during the day.  Time becomes your friend when you attune yourself to the flow of life as your body is meant to experience it.

Dee:

While actively drinking my mind and body were enslaved to alcohol.  Life got in the way of my drinking.  I never slept; I just passed out and came to.  Good REM?  I think not.  I am now fortunate to sleep most nights without an alarm clock waking me in the morning.  Just my body and mind excitedly saying, “Sweet!!!  We’re ready to take on the day!!!”  I once again feel friends with not only time, but life itself, and, more importantly, I’m friends with ME!

As we prepare to meditate together let’s take a moment to consider our centering thought, “I attune myself to the flow of life.  I attune myself to the flow of life”.  Now let’s prepare for our meditation.  Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes.  Begin to be aware of your breath and just breathe slowly and deeply.  With each breath allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed.

Now gently introduce the mantra, “Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya”.  This mantra attunes our mind and body to the cycles of nature.  As you repeat the mantra feel your mind and body absorb the beneficial influence of the universe.  Repeat it silently to yourself, “Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya”.

With each repetition feel your body, mind and spirit open into an expanded state of awareness.  Whenever you find yourself distracted by thoughts, noises or physical sensations in the body, bring your attention back to silently repeating the mantra, “Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya”.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I attune myself to the flow of life.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Shara Vana Ya
My awareness is aligned with the creative power of the universe.

Dee:

My awareness is aligned with the creative power of the universe, my Higher Power, my God of My Own Understanding.  Life is sweet.  I wouldn’t go back one day, one minute, one second.  I finally feel a contentment with myself and my life that took 62 years to achieve.  Today I have many good years to give back, to live with purpose.  When I was 20 I had nothing and felt like a waste of space on the planet.  Nope.  Wouldn’t go back one second.

Aloha, and have an awesome day loving yourself…Dee

For those interested in Art with a Message of Inspiration, Recovery and Hope, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  For those interested in signing up for my email updates with new products, the story behind the art and me, the artist, and special deals, please sign up for my email updates at https://mailchi.mp/f96bf32af105/welcome.

From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditation Series, “Making Every Moment Matter”, a Chopra Center Meditation.

The World

I found this photo in my Photo Saves.  I don’t know where I got it, nor when, why or from whom, but it must have touched me that day I saw it, so I kept it.  Well, it’s really resonating with me again today, today, at this very perfect moment in front of my nose.

The world is increasingly designed to depress us?  Well, what really is the world?

world

noun

1 he traveled the world: earth, globe, planet, sphere.

2 life on other worlds: planet, moon, star, heavenly body, orb.

3 the academic world: sphere, society, circle, arena, milieu, province, domain, orbit, preserve, realm, field, discipline, area, sector.

4 she would show the world that she was strong: everyone, everybody, people, mankind, humankind, humanity, the (general) public, the population, the populace, all and sundry, ‘every Tom, Dick, and Harry’.

5 a world of difference: huge amount, good deal, great deal, abundance, wealth, profusion, mountain; informal heap, lot, load, ton.

6 she renounced the world : society, material things, secular interests, temporal concerns, earthly concerns.

Ok, yes, if using description 4, “every Tom, Dick, and Harry” is out to get us.  To make us feel less than.  Pieces of shit.  But wait!  They have solutions for us low-lifes out here.  Bandaids for problems we don’t even have.  Does it say “stupid” on my forehead?

Boy, did I fall into the “stupid” category for most of my life.  I wanted to be prettier, younger, richer, famous.  I cared more about what the world thought of me than what I thought of me.  Because I had no clue what I thought of myself.  I had no self-worth.  I took no time for self-love.  I was void of that capacity in those chapters of my life.

I only remember being influenced by “the world” during my formative years, so that is what I took with me to my adult years.  FEAR!!!  My M.O.  Fear that I wasn’t good enough.  That you wouldn’t like me.  Most of my life has been lived with this fear until…

In my forties my greatest fear wasn’t that I could not go a day without drinking, but the fear that I would be found out.  It seemed like I lived a lifetime of sneaking around, buying my liquor at different liquor stores because what if they thought I had a problem, or buying loads of liquor and saying that I was having a party.  Yeah, right.  Then I would take swigs of the liquor on my way home so when I arrived home, I could drink like a lady.  I would hide my liquor.  I would replace liquor in bottles with water so no one would no how much I drank.  Then I started buying wine in a box wondering if anyone would pick it up and feel how much weight was gone since I bought it yesterday.  What an exhausting and wasteful way to live.  Or was I even alive?

You know, it wasn’t wasteful.  It was my story, my journey bringing me to the appreciation of having a choice today on whether or not to drink.  Yep, I got found out.  I just wanted to go somewhere, like the hospital, where I couldn’t get alcohol so I could be “normal” for awhile.  Maybe get my act together.  I thought about being locked up in a jail cell, but, no.  Too expensive for bail.  Everyone would know I had a drinking problem.  Maybe I killed someone.  Yikes!

But I got found out by not “coming to” in time for work like I did forever and FINALLY coming clean to my boss who helped get me on the right track.  FINALLY.  My Higher Power said that Dee was ready for a new chapter for her book!  Thank you, God!  I spent 20-whatever days in a treatment center for alcoholics.  I learned and learned and sponged and absorbed so much during this time, I can’t tell you.  I felt such a weight lifted from me and hope and understanding of me and what made me tick.  It was a life changer and I finally started to feel that Dee was gonna be all right.

But it was scarier than hell being thrown back out to the wolves, which would be me, with my diseased brain, the Devil.  Those hiding places were still there.  Those chores were still there.  My family was still there.  And that job.  How could I do this without alcohol?  One day at a time.

One day at a time I did what was suggested.  Alcoholics Anonymous was suggested.  I did what the fellowship suggested as well.  I got to work the steps.  I got to figure out what to do with this fear-based Dee.  I got to do it with others who didn’t judge me.  One day at a time.

And one day at a time the new sober Dee got feeling better, got to ride the pink cloud, got a life, got to feel comfortable in her skin.  One day at a time Dee didn’t go to as many meetings and didn’t reach out to those in need.  One day at a time got Dee to pick up a drink again after 13-1/2 years of sobriety.  Dee even said, “No, thanks.  I don’t drink.”  But when that shot of tequila was left for her nevertheless, the Devil with his wicked smile yelled,  “Drink me!  Drink me!  No one will know.  You’ll be fine.  You don’t have a problem anymore.  Just one!”  Well, I was off and running again, just like I was taught in AA.  That first drink woke up that part of my brain that was resting for a decade, allowing my heart to be my guide.  It yelled, “MORE!”

It was no wonder I drank.  I no longer had an insurance policy against the disease.  I stopped paying my premium long ago when I removed myself from the fellowship and the newcomers who needed me and who I needed to remind myself of where I came from.  I was no longer in service.  One day at a time.  I rationalized so much shit in my head again.  My journey.  My lesson.  I can’t keep it unless I give it away.

So I’m back and even more grateful and humble and closer to my Higher Power than ever.  I’ve been chosen once again to be sober, to live with my toolbox of solutions for a better and meaningful life with a fellowship of genuinely caring, loving people.  They are “the world” with whom I choose to surround myself.  Not “Tom, Dick and Harry” who tell me I am less-than and not worthy.  Today my purpose of carrying the message of “Experience, Strength and Hope” to and with whoever enters my Dee Bubble is key.  It is a gift.  And I can be proud of who and what I am today because I’m not drinking or using.  I am keeping my insurance premiums paid.  I am giving what was so freely given to me when I needed it most.  Life is awesome!

Let’s share with our planet, our humanity, that we together can make a world of difference!  And with our ripple effects we shall get to experience the beauty that is right here, right now, at the tips of our noses.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts with a Message of Hope, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!