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One day at a time…

“It’s easy to look at all the tasks and unsolved problems and feel so pressured that we get paralyzed and don’t get any­thing done. It takes discipline to gather in our scattered forces and focus on one thing, one day, one step, and some­times one hour—even when taking only that one step can seem so trivial in the face of all that looms.

Would you rather try to do everything at once and get nothing done, or take one small step and do that well? Remember, one plus one equals two.

Inventory Focus: Are you creating unnecessary fear and drama by taking on more than you can handle? Are you willing to trade in the I’m-out-of-control-and-overwhelmed feeling for a sense of manageability? Do you have any history with deliberately living life one day or one step at a time? How did that work? Plans, goals, and dreams are good, but the only way to get there is one day at a time.via May 12.

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Easy does it…

“I watched a friend set up beach chairs and an umbrella. He was grunting, groaning, trying with all his might to accomplish a simple task. After he finished, he looked around and clapped the sand off his hands.

“I’m pretty dumb,” he said. “It didn’t have to be that hard or that much work.”

Yes, life really can be easier. Relaxing and letting it unfold can seem too simple and easy at times. What if we really knew that it was okay to gently go about our lives, living and working and handling things at a relaxed pace? What if we knew it was okay to gently take care of ourselves, and that a force would be present to guide us and help us accomplish each task, each problem, in fact, all the parts of our lives?

Life experience truly has taught me that when I relax, I am so much more capable of experiencing great happi­ness as well as simple joys. Things get done, problems get solved, and my needs get met.

Gratitude Focus: We can be grateful for all the situations that teach and remind us that “easy does it” works.” via May 11.

…on One Day at a Time

“Arc you always this happy?” I asked my favorite clerk at the grocery store.

“I am today,” he said.

Doing anything forever – even being happy – can seem like too much. The good news is that we don’t have to do anything forever. Just today.

Challenge: The hardest part about taking life one day at a time is remembering that the present moment is all we have.” via May 10.

…on One Day at a Time

“One day at a time” isn’t a value I acquired because I wanted to. I had to. Now I apply it because I want to.

Application: Sailing through life? Falling in love? Plenty of money? Or maybe things aren’t going that well. Lonely? Dealing with relationship issues? Not sure how the relationship will work out?Your boss is driving you nuts, but you don’t want to quit? Concerned about your child? Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, taking each day as it comes is a good idea.” via May 9.

…on Taking One Day at a Time

More Melody Beattie…

“My best friend was going through some tough situations in her life. I was in the midst of a hard stretch too. We didn’t particularly like the things we had to do in our lives. We talked about our feelings and decided that what we were going through was necessary and important, even though we didn’t like it.We expressed gratitude for our lives.

“It’s still a dreadful time,” I said.

“Brutal,” she said. “I guess we’re back to the old one­ day-at-a-time approach. We’re so lucky. What do people do that haven’t learned that gem?”

There are times when we can look at the stretch ahead and like what we see. Taking life one day at a time is still a good idea, even when things are going well.

Taking life one day at a time can be particularly use­ful when the road ahead looks dreadful. We may not even know where to start with some challenges. That’s when taking life one day at a time is essential.

“I’ve been using alcohol and other drugs every day since I’ve been twelve years old,” I said to my counselor years ago in treatment. “Now you’re telling me I need to stay sober the rest of my life. Plus get a job. And a life. How am I going to do that?”

“One day at a time,” she said. She was right. Sometimes I had to take life one minute at a time or one hour at a time. And all these years later, it still works.

Value: Taking life one day at a time is the gem we’ll focus on this week.” via May 8.

Fear & Codependency

“Fear is at the core of codependency. It can motivate us to control situations or neglect ourselves. Many of us have been afraid for so long that we don’t label our feelings fear. We’re used to feeling upset and anxious. It feels normal. Peace and serenity may be uncomfortable. At one time, fear may have been appropriate and useful. We may have relied on fear to protect ourselves, much the way soldiers in a war rely on fear to help them survive. But now, in recovery, we’re living life differently. It’s time to thank our old fears for helping us survive, then wave good-bye to them. Welcome peace, trust, acceptance, and safety. We don’t need that much fear anymore. We can listen to our healthy fears, and let go of the rest. We can create a feeling of safety for ourselves, now. We are safe, now. We’ve made a commitment to take care of ourselves. We can trust and love ourselves.

God, help me let go of my need to be afraid. Replace it with a need to be at peace. Help me listen to my healthy fears and relinquish the rest.Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 127). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

…on feeling good

Todd Lohenry, e1evation, llc, Personal Digital Coaching, 'personal news aggregation'“Make yourself feel good. It’s our job to first make ourselves feel better and then make ourselves feel good. Recovery is not only about stopping painful feelings; it is about creating a good life for ourselves. We don’t have to deny ourselves activities that help us feel good. Going to meetings, basking in the sun, exercising, taking a walk, or spending time with a friend are activities that may help us feel good. We each have our list. If we don’t, we’re now free to explore, experiment, and develop that list. When we find a behavior or activity that produces a good feeling, put it on the list. Then, do it frequently. Let’s stop denying ourselves good feelings and start doing things that make us feel good. Today, I will do one activity or behavior that I know will create a good feeling for me. If I’m uncertain about what I like, I will experiment with one behavior today.” via Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 126). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Today I’ll be working hard on making myself feel good even though my wife is far away and I miss her terribly. What ‘feel good challenge will you over come today?

…on Control

Melody Beattie has a good reminder I needed to hear this morning…

“Control is an illusion, especially the kind of control we’ve been trying to exert. In fact, controlling gives other people, events, and diseases, such as alcoholism, control over us. Whatever we try to control does have control over us and our life. I have given this control to many things and people in my life. I have never gotten the results I wanted from controlling or trying to control people. What I received for my efforts is an unmanageable life, whether that unmanageability was inside me or in external events. In recovery, we make a trade-off. We trade a life that we have tried to control, and we receive in return something better—a life that is manageable. Today, I will exchange a controlled life for one that is manageable.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 125-126). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.”

…on Blessing

Melody Beattie posts…

“I was out with a married couple for dinner, when the husband sneezed.

“God bless you,” I said.

He sneezed again. “Bless you,” I said.

Then he sneezed again and again.

“He sneezes all the time,” his wife said. “I think he does it on purpose. He just wants people to bless him.” “Who doesn’t want that?” I said.

My first experience with the value of blessing people happened in the early years of my sobriety. I wanted a job that someone else was given. I felt envious and resentful. Twelve Step programs and religions teach us a basic formula to cure ill will: pray for those you resent. Pray for God to shower blessings and happiness on those people. Pray for these blessings each time the resentment—or any hint of ill will enters your mind.

So I did. I prayed twenty or more times a day because that is how often I resented this person. I didn’t feel like praying for blessings. I decided to pray because the envy and bitter feelings were consuming me.

Over a period of months, I watched the situation transform. This person became my friend and mentor.

I eventually got a new position that I really wanted. I learned two things. Other people don’t have anything that belongs to me. And praying for blessings on people is a double whammy. They get blessed, and so do we.

Blessings are not just a tool to cure ill will and resent­ment—although that would be plenty. Blessings, like gentle rain or sunshine, are in this world for all. Don’t wait for people to sneeze to bless them. Be an active participant in spreading goodwill.

Value: Blessing our enemies, our loved ones, and ourselves is the value for this week.” via May 1.