Mar 03

Easy E and the Ego

I went to a memorial service over the weekend for a guy named Eric, lovingly referred to as Easy E. by many in the recovery community here in Phoenix.  It started raining on my way there, maybe not a big deal for some, but here in Arizona it is always noteworthy. We’re usually very excited when it rains but on this particular day it just added to the somber feeling I already had inside. I must also point out that I have attended my fair share of funerals and services to remember loved ones lost.  However this one was unlike any other I have ever experienced.  I wasn’t especially close to Eric, as a matter of fact he barely knew who I was, but then that didn’t matter much – everyone around here knows Eric  – and to know him, even a little, was to love him. 

As we all pulled into the parking lot the rain lifted, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and spilled down into the courtyard where people were gathering to greet each other before entering the meeting hall.  Such an interesting group, such a diverse and beautiful blend of family, friends and I’m guessing quite a few mere acquaintances, like me, who just wanted to pay their respects.  For the next two hours Eric’s story played out from the podium, and it was rich. People lined the aisles to come up and say a few words, to share a memory and a couple of Eric’s favorite lines that had become so well known over the years. There was an incredible amount of laughter mixed in with the tears, and that in itself is a refreshing way to grieve, especially when someone is taken so suddenly.  One after another his friends filed by and the theme of his life was powerfully expressed over and over again in the sharing of so many touching experiences. 

You see Eric was a special kind of a guy, a man like no other I’ve met.  There is no doubt that he faced many challenges in life, some of a physical nature that I’m sure many would call great misfortune.  But I believe he was blessed with the gift of living without the burden of the Ego that most of us carry.  Eric had no filter, he didn’t lie, he didn’t care about material possessions, about what people thought of him, or worry about how circumstances would play out.  He lived in the moment every moment of every day.  He laughed when things were funny, pointed out the truth when he saw it and said what he wanted to say without a single thought about judgment or repercussion.  Eric told people he loved them every time he talked to them, he told the men in his life that they were awesome and women that they were beautiful over and over again.  It was said that he was a walking gratitude list and the whole crowd was nodding in agreement. He would remind people of everything good in their lives, even in not so good situations and he would help them to see the good in themselves that they could not recognize on their own. I can honestly say I don’t know what happened to make him the way he was, I don’t know if he was born that way or if something happened that changed him but I do know that he changed everyone around him.  I know that the world would be a better place if we could all say at the end of our time here that the last words we said to each and everyone we knew were “I love you”…… 

On the way home the sky was incredibly beautiful.  I’m sure it is no mere coincidence that God would decorate the sky for Eric’s coming home celebration.  A special welcome for a special man and a reminder to live in state of childlike wonder, free from the burden of the ego, where gratitude and appreciation are as natural as breathing.  Easy E…. Still here, still alive in the hearts of so many, teaching us how to live free…

Jan 17

Miracle in Progress

“Jane Doe is the name used for an unidentified woman. The same goes with John Doe for a man.  It’s true that some of the images they conjure can be a little morbid.  We imagine morgues and billboards for missing persons but they are also terms used for the average, everyday someone and sometimes as placeholders for those who need to remain anonymous. Jane Doe could be anyone, providing shelter, at least for a while. Until perhaps the day comes when we are ready to reveal ourselves. For me that time is now.

No, my name isn’t really Jane, but not so long ago she was the only way I could express myself publicly and maintain some sense of privacy. While I don’t feel the need for her protection anymore, I am grateful to her. In the early days of my recovery there was some shame involved in being me and being Jane provided an outlet for my thoughts without fear of judgment or repercussion. As I wrote under this assumed name something happened that changed me. I got know Jane and I loved her. She was honest, wise and so brave. She had the advice for others that I needed to give myself. Soon I was wishing I could be more like her and trying to be more like her, until somehow, eventually, I was… and I realized that she had always been there. Jane is that piece of me down deep inside that has always known the Truth…..  I am Jane Doe, just one of many, and this is where I am today. Out in the open, speaking only what I believe is true and expecting miracles.”  ~ Miracle in Progress: A Handbook for Holistic Recovery

I guess this is my “coming out party” in a way and I wanted to share it with all of you since this blog has played such a major role in the creation of the book. The writing I did here started out as therapy for me and nothing more. It was a place to express what I was feeling and get some feedback from people who might be going through something similar. This gave birth to the Facebook page where the discussion took on a life of it’s own and eventually led to this little handbook which I am so happy and honored to share with you now. I have every intention to continue posting here and on FB as Jane and I hope you continue to read and respond. Follow the links to learn more about the book or to check out the new page for more information on Miracle in Progress Meetings at www.wellnessmeetings.com.

The book is available on Amazon both in paperback and Kindle versions but the best way to get it is through CreateSpace. Follow the link and use this code at checkout and get $5.00 off the list price. Thank you so much for all of your support, you have no idea how much it’s meant to me, you really are my inspiration. It’s truly an honor and a pleasure to be here with all of you. Love and Light to all!

Click Link to Buy Now

Discount Code:  HUTUKHRA

 

 

 

Jun 19

Physical Alignment With Your Higher Self

It may seem hard to believe but your Higher Self wants you to be happy and to feel connected all the time. It wants to remain in constant contact with your Higher Power and therefore in a constant state of available peace. In recovery we are becoming more and more mindful that we must make spiritual growth a priority. Unfortunately most of us have been conditioned to believe that suffering and hardship are a normal part of life to be endured, something that we may have almost come to expect. At some point we have likely learned to turn even minor events into major dramas that fill our minds and most of our time. Sadly the belief that difficulty and drama are necessary will only continue to make more of the same appear in our lives and draw us away from the Source of Serenity.

Believe it or not your Higher Self can find value and even joy in every experience. It knows exactly what you need and it is constantly exposing you to the lessons this life has to offer. We are really meant to be students here, witnesses that can stand back and observe the drama that plays out around us while maintaining our personal sense of wellbeing. This state of wellbeing stems from living in alignment with the Higher Self. One of the simplest ways to understand and maintain this alignment is through a healthy relationship with your body. When you become familiar with how your body feels in different situations, and why it feels that way, you will begin to notice clearly when the disconnect is taking place. Both positive and negative feelings are expressed in some way through the physical body. Stress often reveals itself through a feeling of constriction in the chest, uneven breath, upset in the belly, tension in the muscles and sometimes pain in the head, neck and shoulders. Most challenges in the body itself point to a need for redirecting our thoughts and deepening the spiritual connection.

You can begin to connect with your Higher Self by getting to know what your body feels like when you are in alignment. We have all felt peace, true happiness and joy, at least briefly, but usually we are too busy enjoying the moment to pay close attention to the physical sensations and qualities that express spiritual harmony. These sensations are not the same as the feelings that come from an outside physical or chemical source. There is a clear distinction that stems from the purity of the spiritual experience recognizing the entirely positive energy that comes from the Source. When you become familiar with specific responses in the body you can work toward intentionally redirecting your thoughts before they start directing your emotions, your behavior and every aspect of your health.

Take a little bit of time over the next few days to notice and maybe even journal on this topic. Start to pay more attention to the way your thoughts affect your physical state. Focus some prayer and meditation on asking your Higher Power for guidance, experiment by asking your Higher Self questions and noticing the way your body responds to the answers. As you realign with your Higher Self and stay connected with the peace of your Higher Power every circumstance can eventually be seen as a chance to grow. Give it some practice and let me know what happens!  ~ Jane

May 22

Relationships

The devastation in Oklahoma has left me entirely humbled and reflecting on the subject of relationships. Think for just a second about all the people there, and in Boston, Newtown, Aurora… Think about just what those people would give to spend one more hour with their loved ones. Imagine the regrets that some of them must have… Things they wish they would have said and done differently… Why do we have this tendency to take the people that mean the most to us for granted?

In recovery we do an awful lot of talking about brotherly love and being of service to others but so often we don’t apply much of that energy to our most treasured relationships. The people we love the most are the ones we subject to our moodiness, laziness and self-centered behavior. I’m not sure why, maybe we just assume that they will always be there…

In any case I have decided to spend the rest of this week talking primarily about relationships on the Facebook page.  About the things that we should do and some of the things that we really shouldn’t.  I believe that if we’re willing to put in the extra effort we will always see some sort of positive effect.  I have been greatly blessed with a marriage, children, extended family and friends that constantly provide me with opportunities for both gratitude and growth in this area. I have lost quite a few of the people I love most in this world and I speak from experience when I say that we must intentionally cherish the relationships we have today. There will be many, MANY challenges along the way and every single one can be overcome with the Power of Love… And I mean Love with a capitol L. Call it what you like but if we refuse to bring God into our relationships there will be struggle, there will be pain and most likely regrets in the future. If you can’t communicate with, appreciate and forgive the people God has placed in your life today there is work to do. This is the time for healing.

So I ask you, who do you love? What do those people mean to you? How will you show them? What are you willing to do to heal and nurture the relationships that God has so lovingly placed in your life?

Think on it and we’ll talk about it more later. Sending out HUGE amounts of Love and Healing Light to all those who suffer….. Jane

Apr 26

The Saturday Meeting

Come check out the ALL DAY meeting every Saturday on the JDR Facebook page!  We’ve got awesome speakers and great discussions going on relating to all forms of recovery. I do believe with all my heart that no matter why you’re here you will be inspired. Check the notes section at the top of the FB page for more details on how the meeting works.

This meeting is completely OPEN to all fellowships, to anyone in any program and even to those who are not active in any program at this time. In order to preserve everyone’s anonymity there is no need to mention your fellowship or reason for coming, no one ever needs to know your purpose for participating. That’s the point of this site and the FB page, not everyone here is an addict or alcoholic, not everyone here is co-dependent, some are grieving, some depressed and some simply looking for inspiration and encouragement in the midst of struggle.  We are just people, on the path to healing and the Steps apply to all of us.  We welcome all newcomers and encourage participation from anyone and everyone who is nterested in recovery. I hope you’ll consider joining in the discussion.

Love and Light ~ Jane

Mar 26

Solution Of Simplicity

Simple and easy are not always the same thing now are they?  As a matter of fact sometimes choosing what’s simple seems to be the hardest thing we’ve ever done, when in truth it’s the suffering that’s hard.  Whether you’re talking about a form of addiction, co-dependency, depression or any other spiritual malady the struggle has driven us to exhaustion, it is entirely complex.   The solution however, while it may not be easy, is always rooted in simplicity.  Many of us have heard similar sayings and slogans in the rooms and this is how T.C. Brothers begins his story, “Addiction is extremely complicated.  Recovery is simple.”

 “The greatest shortcut in recovery is the simple decision to stop wasting time taking shortcuts.”  ~ T.C. Brothers

Solution Of Simplicity takes a very personal look at the journey from active addiction into a life of recovery.  From the beginning T.C.’s conversational style and heartfelt message make the book extremely easy to read and digest.  The reader is drawn in immediately by his honest assessment of hitting rock bottom and the process of surrender without turning them into war stories.  There is a humility and a comfort level that continues throughout the book gently urging us to take action.  We are convinced that there is no need to wait any longer, the time is now and we already have what we need to begin.  Broken up with quotes and bits of inspiration along the way he shares his experiences with a compassionate tone and the wisdom of someone who has walked through the pit and lived to tell about it.

Although marketed as an alternative to The Twelve Steps I found it to be a refreshing investigation of how Twelve Step principles can be applied.  T.C. lovingly guides the reader and inspires the practice of willingness, honesty, forgiveness and surrender in everyday life.  The message is familiar but this in no way decreases the value of the text, in fact I feel that its worth is actually increased as Solution Of Simplicity could very easily be used in tandem with any Twelve Step Program.   It is presented so simply that many who have never managed to wade through the Big Book or formally work the steps can process the same concepts in a more casual format.  Throughout the book T.C.’s personality shines through, it is really quite touching and he reaches out to those who may never have connected before.

I shouldn’t be surprised by this as the principles for recovery seem to be universal in their Truth.  It comes to us at exactly the right time in the right words when we are finally ready to hear.  The messengers bless us and inspire us but the message is what matters most.  There are many roads but there are no shortcuts; there really are no alternatives if we want to be healed.  I draw very few lines between healing resources.  Those who aspire to share what we’ve learned are simply expounding on experiencing the Truth.  An incredible amount of the most useful recovery literature out there specifically targets the alcoholic and addict but don’t let this stop you if you seek recovery from other emotional and behavioral afflictions.  These are some of the most amazing books I have ever read and they have surely changed lives.  This book is no exception.  It is aimed toward the addict but even if you aren’t I encourage you to read it anyway.  This is one of those stories that speaks to the human condition of suffering and the principles for recovery that apply to us all.  Many thanks to T.C. Brothers for his willingness “to lay down all his defenses” and share his gift with the world.

Mar 10

Happiness

In the Promises we are told that we will know a new freedom and a new happiness.  For many of us it has been a long time since we have been truly happy.  At first it may seem that this one really is an extravagant promise.  It may be hard to imagine in the early stages but as we begin to live the principles of recovery we are blessed with a new kind of happiness – unlike anything we’ve known before because it comes from within.

The happiness we find in recovery is not based on anything that’s happening on the outside.  We have given our will and lives over to our Higher Power.  We are living in truth, taking responsibility for ourselves, doing the next right thing  on our side of the street and accepting the fact that there are some aspects of life that are not ours to change.  All of this is an inside job; most of it is actually in our heads.  We are learning to change the way we think about things and this will surely change what we say, what we do and the quality of the life we live.

Some people resist this idea at first.  We are quite comfortable with blaming our circumstances and other people for the way we feel.  We may have good reason to feel that life has been less than fair at times and most of us have been through so much that we had nearly given up on finding peace or anything that resembled joy.   It can be almost offensive to hear that we are in fact responsible for the way we feel, the thoughts we think, the way we react when life is hard.  But the truth is that some amount of happiness is always available to us and we do actually perpetuate some of our own misery.  If we are willing to work the Steps in every part of our lives we will change the way we think.  This includes our thoughts about taking care of ourselves.  Self care is often overlooked or dismissed but I believe that Step-work includes taking a look at the way we’ve been treating ourselves and making daily amends by creating habits that heal.  We believe that we are worth the effort, now we can choose something dfferent, something better for ourselves and soon we begin to feel the results. So happiness is a choice and we must choose it over and over again in everything we think, say and do.

As we practice this new way of thinking, taking care of our bodies and making choices that feed the soul, we find that we are better prepared to face challenging situations.  Because we feel better we react differently and the outcome of our interaction improves.  All of these things work together to create balance and increase the happiness that is available both in the good times and in those difficult times when we would have normally fallen apart. When things get rough we know that we have some new tools in our tool box to provide us with better options and more peace.  In time we are convinced beyond any doubt that connecting to the wisdom of a Higher Power, living in harmony with the truth and finding balance in our everyday lives heals on every level from the inside out.   This is the beauty of recovery and the secret to happiness that lasts.

Feb 07

Morning Coffee Meditation

You don’t NEED a cup of coffee for this meditation but it’s especially nice if you have a favorite warm beverage in your hands…

Sitting comfortably, hold your cup in both hands. Notice how the cup feels, the shape of it… Appreciating the smoothness and the warmth.

Look at it closely, the cup and the liquid inside. Notice the color, everything about it… Appreciate the beauty of such a simple thing.

Then close your eyes for just a moment and take three slow deep breaths in and out through your nose, noticing the smell, the steam and the warmth. Notice everything about the movement of your breath…. Appreciating the comfort available in such a simple act.

When you open your eyes notice how you feel… If you don’t have one there already put a gentle smile on your face. Notice just how good smiling feels… and appreciate the shift, the warmth, the comfort, the happiness inside.

Now you are ready. Read these words slowly:

“I give myself, all of me, to the will of my Higher Power today. I will follow wherever it leads. Grateful for even the smallest of blessings and the simplest comforts I will appreciate the beauty of the ordinary moments and the peace that is always available to me. I accept all that is with complete faith that it is as it should be. Right here … Right now… I have decided to be happy.”

Have an amazing day! Just decide to make it that way.   :)  Jane

Jan 29

What Do You See?

Take a moment to really look at the picture before you read on…

So what did you see? What did you say out loud? It’s not one of those visual trick photos – most people see a red dot and that’s what they say… But that is not the focal point of our meditation.

Look again… Take a deep breath and look at that red dot…. Take another breath and expand your focus, soften your gaze and notice all that white SPACE for a few more breaths…

Notice how much MORE of the picture is open and yet we immediately are drawn to that little red dot. That dot represents a problem, difficulty, discomfort. Like a little kid getting a shot we tend to put all our attention on that one tiny spot of pain, totally oblivious to the vast majority of our reality that is free from it. Sadly if we give it enough energy the discomfort continues to grow. It can consume us completely if we let it…

Today try to put your attention on the limitless amount of peace that is available to you in even the most uncomfortable moments. Look again…breathe… expand and soften your focus. See the opportunities and the room to grow with new eyes and a grateful heart.

~ Jane

Jan 26

That Malady

What is the spiritual malady?  Whether through addiction, grief, depression, abuse or any other expression of physical, mental or spiritual upset, sometimes the struggles of life leave a hole, a wound, an emptiness that makes us vulnerable to more pain.  If left unaddressed it has a tendency to grow…

There is a darkness that can seep into our lives if we are not actively engaged in creating light.  That void will eventually be filled with something and here we explore and hopefully inspire healing by filling that emptiness with something good.  The spiritual malady is the name for that emptiness and we have come to the realization that the only way to fill that hole in the soul is with Spirit.  There is no agenda for conversion or to push specific religious beliefs here – all views are welcome – but there will continue to be talk about spirituality, about Light, Source, Energy, God….because we believe that is the only cure.

Certain holistic practices and general step-work can be applied to nearly every challenge in life.  In truth the encouragement found here applies to everyone.   We all face difficulties, there are times when everyone needs encouragement and there are some practical tools that can help us along the way.  Have a look around, click around on the site, browse the books, read a few posts and be inspired to actively pursue healing.

If you’ve never been to the FaceBook page we are currently reviewing the steps and the interaction from the community has been such a blessing.  Just click on the little floating FB icon to join in the discussion and as always feel free to comment and share here on the website.  I hope you will consider this a safe place to encourage each other.  Your participation can make all the difference, just a few words can find their way to just the right person at the right time.  In sharing not only encouragement but also our struggles we reach out and help each other along the way.

Have a blessed day.  So glad you’re here!!

~Jane

 

Older posts «

» Newer posts

Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Website Design Expert