438. Food for thought

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This is not original (obviously)… but I thought it was well worth a broad share… It is to do with ”Doing the Homework” and speaks of meditation.  But however, it ties in exactly with sobriety.  If we do not do the ”work” it takes to stay sober we will not stay sober.  Simple.  It is the work that only we can do, no one does it for us.   Like I said a few posts ago, a great life does not just happen.  We have to build it.  We have to do the groundwork.

Enjoy the read and let me know your thoughts….. Change the God reference if you like and insert your own idea…

Doing the Homework
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Contemplation is an entirely different way of knowing reality that has the power to move us beyond mere ideology and dualistic thinking. Mature religion will always lead us to some form of prayer, meditation, or contemplation to balance out our usual calculating mind. Believe me, it is major surgery, and we must practice it for years to begin to rewire our egocentric responses. Contemplation is work, so much so that most people give up after their first futile attempts. But the goal of contemplation is not success, only the continuing practice itself. The only people who pray well are those who keep praying! In fact, continued re-connecting is what I mean by prayer, not occasional consolations that we may experience.

The capacity for nondual knowing that is developed through contemplation allows us to be happy, rooted in God, comfortable with paradox and mystery, and largely immune to mass consciousness and its false promises. This is true wisdom knowing, and it is the job of elders to pass it on to the next generation so we need not start at zero.

Contemplation is meeting as much reality as we can handle in its most simple and immediate form—without filters, judgments, or commentaries. The ego doesn’t trust this way of seeing, which is why it is so rare, “a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14, New Jerusalem Bible). The only way we can contemplate is by recognizing and relativizing our own compulsive mental grids—our practiced ways of judging, critiquing, blocking, filtering, and computing everything. But we first have to catch ourselves in the act and recognize how habitual our egoic, dualistic thinking is. Each person must do this homework for themselves. It cannot be achieved by reading someone else’s conclusions.

When our judgmental mind and all its commentaries are placed aside, God finally has a chance to get through to us, because our pettiness and self-protective filters are at last out of the way. Then Truth stands revealed on its own—quite simply—and we will experience a rebirth of the soul.

434. Journey time.

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I do feel very much like I am on the verge of an exciting journey with this non boozing.  It seems like life has opened up wide and the possibilities are endless, due to not being hampered by ”Will I be hungover?” ”Can I trust myself to just have one or two?” “Shall I drive or will I be regretful and wish I had taken bus?” ”Can I commit to that if I am going out the night before?” ”Will I feel like shit the next day, so therefore should not say yes to this or that?”

Everything is just so much more manageable.  So much calmer.  And really – from the point of view of a NON DAILY DRINKER.  A NON ON MY OWN DRINKER……(I have said this before) the difference is totally out of proportion to the smallness of what I have stopped doing.  That being just not putting a glass to my lips – a glass containing ethanol in various guises – and sipping.  Very little change.  Very small movement that is no longer occurring.  Bizarre.

So I have another exciting project that I am going to start blogging about, because I believe that clearing space, both physically and metaphorically is very important.  This seems to be my ”new” thing.  I have signed up for “Uncluttered” – a 12 week online course with a money back guarantee to get your home ship shape and ready to rock and roll.  I am moving out of my current house in two months time, directly after a three week holiday.  So I need to be organised.  I am a master procrastinator.  When I feel like I have too much to do I get overwhelmed.  I make myself a cup of tea.  And I write a list.  Instead of just doing one thing that I should be doing.

I am also doing a course in Spiritual Direction.  This has meant that I need my own Spiritual Director.  This has been unbelievably useful for me – a person to come alongside one in their search and discernment of ”God” in their life.  It is just my thing.  I love it.  Anyhow, I have needed to write a journal daily about what brings me life (and love and energy) and about what drains me.  So a ”noticing” journal.  Nothing judgmental. And the thing that drains me the most is when I waste my time and faff around and do too much facebooking and then think, okay I’ll go to bed now and do all that tomorrow.  I can waste plenty of time because although I have a few small jobs, I don’t actually go out to an office, or place of work at a regular time.   There are plenty of things that bring me energy and life, but the overriding draining one is the irritation at myself of wasted time.  I don’t mean I should not take time out and rest and read etc. but I hate being unproductive.

Funnily enough, as soon as I stopped drinking, if you were with me reading the blogs from day 1, you will have noticed that my productivity stepped up 1000 fold.  I was baking, making ginger beer, crocheting, etc and so on… I am still fairly productive, but because I can be on my total own for days at a time with no actual structure I can get quite distracted.

So productivity and house organisation with a twist into the metaphorical de-cluttering to follow…..And the odd nod to no booze Barbs.

Have a great evening.

Such a description.

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Wanting every inch….

‘I want every inch of my life’

This is an interesting take on boozing… from a very very moderate drinker.  Read in the Guardian.  It gives me hope.

I’ve avoided alcohol all my life. Meaning, I might have one glass of wine, or half a pint of beer, two or three times a year, in a particular situation. But that’s it. The reason? I’m mean on giving away bits of my life, my energy, my alertness, my “being present”, as this writer puts it, being fully aware. The way she describes here hangovers – to me, that reads like feeling a bit ill. Feeling a bit ill every day. Feeling a bit low, a bit slow, a bit headachy, a bit foggy. Every bloody day. Like feeling you’re about to come down with a cold every day. 

To me, it’s like giving up bits of your life, your consciousness, your aliveness, your alertness. If I didn’t feel I had an interesting life, with things to do, then I suppose it would matter less if I wasted some of it semi-aware, through drink. But I do have an interesting life, in all sorts of ways, so many things in which to take interest and pleasure. Were I to be drunk, or even tipsy, or even hungover, I could absolutely not be fully engaged in the moment, take real pleasure, be absorbed, experience things properly. I need all my faculties, all my senses, all my emotional alertness, to really experience being alive.

Well, that’s me, whether that sounds wanky or not. I want every second. I want every inch of my life, all that I can have, fully known, fully experienced, none of it chucked away.

Not my words

But brilliant…

COMMUNITY//

The Badge You’re Wearing That’s Sabotaging Your Life

The Shocking Truth About Overworking (& Other Compulsive Behaviors)
Kevin Carden - stock.adobe.com
Kevin Carden – stock.adobe.com

You’re sitting at your desk, looking at the clock.

You promised your partner you’d be done working three hours ago.

“I just have one more thing, and then I can be done,” you tell yourself.

Your hands fly across the keyboard. You’ve done it! You’re finally finished.

You run downstairs, excited for some quality time with your partner—but the lights are out and they’re asleep.

Another broken promise.

Another night without connecting.

And instead of taking stock of what just happened and creating a real plan to end the cycle of work-sleep-work-sleep-work, you tiptoe back upstairs, sit in front of your computer, and get back to it—because the call is just that strong.

Passionate. That’s what you are, right?

It’s passion that drives you, and there’s all of those valid reasons to keep running hard toward success.

You know what else that’s called?

Compulsion.

Addiction.

When your life, health, and relationships start to suffer because you can’t stop working, you’ve entered dangerous territory.

Addictions are not just relegated to drugs, alcohol, and substances. Addictions are compulsive behaviors people struggle to control and easily justify that deteriorate their quality of life over time. If you’ve found yourself wondering if you work too much, drink too much, or do anything else “too much” this article is for you.

Expert Sober Coach, Belle Robertson, is blowing three common myths about addiction wide open that have been keeping people like you stuck for far too long. If you’ve ever done something even though you knew it wasn’t a good idea or even if you didn’t really want to do it, pay attention.

Myth #1: You Have To Hit Rock Bottom Before You Can Recover

According to Belle, there are different types of bottoms people can experience. When you look up addiction, you hear horror stories of people losing their jobs, their homes, their families, and their sanity because of their specific compulsion. Because of this, addiction has taken on a particular mask in pop culture – to the degree that it has become easy to ignore the signs of addiction before your life bottoms out. These are called low bottoms.

Belle had a different type of bottom that you may not have heard about before—it’s called a high bottom.

Seven years ago, Belle was successful, self-employed, worked really hard, and only drank 2-3 drinks a night. By no stretch of the imagination would anyone have said that she had a drinking problem. There were no emotional outbursts. She was dependable. And even her relationships were solid. So she was sure that even though she wondered if she was drinking too much, she didn’t have addiction issue.

There was just one problem.

Belle found it very difficult to quit, and it was only in the not drinking that she realized how much she relied on it.

Good day — alcohol.

Bad day — alcohol.

Funeral — alcohol.

Wedding — alcohol.

Baby shower — alcohol.

“I need to do this thing and I can do it better if I’ve had a drink or two.”

It was in finding it difficult to quit that Belle did the one thing most people struggle with that keep these cycles worsening over time (which turn into the stereotype low bottom) — she asked for help.

Myth #2: You Have To Join AA, NA, or Another In-Person Anonymous Group To Heal

You’ve undoubtedly seen the musician stereotype portrayed in Hollywood. The talented person who went a little too hard when they were young, they got sober, then they start drinking out of a paper bag again (relapse!), they got into a car accident, and they inevitably ended up in AA.

Most people think AA is the only place to go for support with addictive behaviors. But ever since the tech boom with innovation at the forefront, other options have surfaced for people who want to shift their behavior.

When Belle was searching for help seven years ago, she stumbled upon some blogs for people looking to keep their anonymity and also get support and accountability to stop drinking, stop using, stop overworking, etc., without having to step foot in AA. Because, as Belle describes it, “No one goes to AA unless they have to.” This was a way for her to share everything she was thinking, feeling, and going through, without fear because it was 100% anonymous.

Now, as a Sober Coach, Belle has a list of over 60 tools to help people overcome their addictions, and AA is only one of them. She supports others in finding the unique blend of those tools that work for them.

Myth #3: You Have To Stop Whatever Your Addictive Behavior Is Right Now, As If It’s Forever

Try to stop eating ice cream for a couple days. That might not be so bad. But if you were told you can never have ice cream again…that might make you want to cut somebody and hold up a 7-Eleven to get the latest release of banana split dippin dots.

Scarcity can initiate desire. So if you’re struggling with saying no to something in the first place, it may not be the best plan to say you’re going to cut it out forever starting — NOW!

That would be hard on anyone, let alone someone experiencing an addiction.

As Belle describes, you can start with something smaller, like a 100-day sober challenge. It’s becoming more and more socially acceptable for people to “be on a cleanse” or to outright choose not to drink. Starting with a 100-day sober challenge allows you to see how you feel, how your body reacts, and what life is like without whatever your addictive behavior was. If things are getting better, it’s easier to choose to keep going, especially when you have accountability and support behind you.

So if you’ve been struggling with behaviors like overworking, drinking too much, or finding yourself sucked into something repeatedly—even if it’s hurting other areas of your life—click here to join Belle’s email list or click here to listen to Belle’s short one-minute audio messages, so you can add some tools and insights on how to create a life grounded in choice over compulsion.

Four hundred and eight.

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A little goes a long way.

I am now 408 days into this journey of being a sober person in a boozy world.  The sober amongst us are the rebels now.  The people swimming against the tide.  I like this.

I was contemplating the power of not drinking, and finding it quite astonishing that for a relatively small seeming decision (not sipping alcohol) there is a massive seismic effect in the mind.

ASTONISHING.

I was not (as you all know) a daily drinker, not a drinker alone in my house – or even just with my kids there… I just didn’t!  BUT when I did drink, I wanted more than one glass.  I could not be content with sipping one glass – large or small – all evening.  The warm glisten of the drink slipped into my veins, the people around me became more alive, I became funnier, younger, prettier and life glowed up several degrees.  That was the fun part.  And the feeling does not last.  Even after a relatively small amount of booze I would wake up feeling anxious, regretful, introspective and cut off.  After a big amount, I would feel positively dreadful.  Not so much physically as mentally.  Some days I would feel like I was stuck in the bottom of a deep dark crevasse.  But this was not all that often.

SO.  Given that I was not like this all of the time, and that I didn’t (don’t) consider myself to have reached rock bottom, or even having had a very low bottom, I wonder why I am experiencing these dramatic upward effects from not drinking??

I guess it is like the yeast effect.  A little regular alcohol spoils the next days.  A little yeast makes the whole dough rise.  A little sobriety goes a very long way.

 

387. or so.

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Long time no post from me!  I have had precious family staying and it has been full on busy bee-ing around.  Today I am just me and the boy at home.  He is making homemade pasta and tomato sauce.  What a lovely boy.  I am very lucky.

As for me…. I am reflecting on the non drinking as always.  It cannot get old.  I cannot say, okay, its been over a year now,  I have got this!!!

This is how I am going to proceed.

I have a sober car that needs fuel to keep on going.  I need things to fill up the tank.  These are the things that fill up my tank:

  • Reading emails
  • Writing emails
  • Doing the blog
  • Having a specifically sober treat
  • Listening to podcasts

It is imperative that I do not let these things slip.  I have had a few feelings of being short-changed.  Of feeling that I am missing out of the fun.  These feelings do not last, but they are real and make me feel grrrrr.  I heard from Belle, that these indicate a vulnerability and I need to fill up my tank a little more.  I know that IF I keep the tank full as possible, then I will not slip.  If I start to be lax and forgetful, then the idea of one or two sips of wine becomes ”not a big deal” and from there I will be at half a glass and bingo wingo…. I will be back drinking.

This summer has been so much less complicated than it would have been as a boozy one.  I realise just how much time I spent thinking:-

  • Was I getting my fair share of the good booze?
  • Was there going to be enough?
  • Was I going to be able to go out and limit myself?
  • Would I just say no to things because I may be hungover?

My energy levels and emotional energy would have been severely limited by even a little poison in my body by night.  Even two or three glasses slowed me down the next day.  As it is I have had plenty of energy and have had a stress free time now worrying about the next day, the fullest or emptiest wine glass, the missing out if I only had one or two … I has been (drink wise) such a relaxing time.

I may take this blog in a slightly different direction.  Perhaps not so ”getting rid of booze” centred and more on what is filling up the space created by being ENERGETIC AND CREATIVE AND SO DAMN PROUD OF MYSELF.

I do ask for you to say hi if you want to … please do.  I am definitely going to get a few guests in for their say… I have one in mind…. So that you can hear the voices of others on the same journey.  If you have failed and if you think that you could never do this, then please write to me.  I will always answer….

byeeeeee