Friday, October 30, 2020

Checks and Balances


When we see ourselves in other people, it can be a great opportunity for growth if we are willing to work on it.

Most of us have probably come across the universal wisdom that people who irritate us the most are expressing qualities that we ourselves may have. This is why family members can be so vexing for so many of us -- we see ourselves in them, and vice versa. This isn't always true, of course, but when it is, it's a real opportunity for growth if we can acknowledge it, because it is infinitely easier to change ourselves than it is to try to change another person, which is never a good idea. Even if we look and find that we are not engaging in the same behavior that we view as negative, we can still learn from it. The truth is, human nature is universal, and we share many of the same tendencies. 

What we see in others can always help us understand ourselves more deeply. Having the ability to see something in another person, and automatically bring this observation back to ourselves, is like having a built-in system of checks and balances that enables us to be continually engaged in self-exploration and behavior change. When we see behavior we don't like, we can make a concerted effort to weed it out of ourselves, and when we see behavior we do like, we can let it inspire us to engage in imitation. Through this process, we read our environment and let it influence us to bring out the best in ourselves. Boom!

Inspired by DailyOm and Posted by Rachel G.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Relationship Status: Single

 I am the epitome of the Single Life (baby!) Everything I do represents this lifestyle. My schedule is packed with girl time, me time, building my empire so I do not have to settle for being in a relationship for monetary gains or security, volunteering for women that are in poor relationships, and just flat out screaming out my windows: STAY SINGLE! (Despite not having a sponsor that had this point of view... yes, I am one of those sponsors who strongly suggests staying out of a relationship in the first year of sobriety).

After a year and ten months of non-stop self discovery through recovery, proclaiming to everyone  I encounter how happy I am to be single and planning on staying single until the perfect person that abides to HP's will crosses my path... yet making it very clear to my family that not only will I not marry but have retired my dating career... the late night wandering thought comes in my mind... 

"Why am I still single? "

"Are my standards too high?

" Is there something wrong with me? " 

Hey, we're human! It has been genetically encoded in a woman's DNA since the dawn of time : True happiness and success will be granted only when we are married and bear children. As redundant and pedantic that stupid "fact" sounds, most women still have that thought cross their mind! Regardless of their strong decision to stay single, and if they tell me otherwise, I just have to doubt they do not self doubt, for even typing this makes me cringe and I rather keep in deeply lodged in my pre-frontal cortex  "...Where is my soulmate? Um... do I even have one?" When I get in one of these moods, Step 6 in the 12 Steps and Twelve Tradition really explains this thought pattern very well. 

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn't strange that we often let these fears far exceed their intended purpose. p65

The alcoholic brain tells me "You're just gonna get older, harder to deal with, and more alone... and one day you're gonna look around and you're gonna realize that everyone loves you! But nobody likes you... and if you think you feel lonely now? No, my dear... that is the loneliest feeling in the world."

The scientist in me dissects this thought pattern. Why are most movie plots about romance? Do movie producers know what humanity truly desires? On the other hand, we could just be experiencing another form of false advertisement. Perhaps true love, or for me at least, does not exist. I am a hopeless romantic. If I ever fall in love again, (and believe me the highs in my love life were just as extreme as they were low) I may be extremely disappointed, for what I seek in a romantic relationship simply does not exist. I cannot claim these words, for they were said by a really intelligent young man that I am honored to call a close friend whose insight is beyond anything I have ever encountered:

"All people, at their core, want to be loved and accepted by someone who isn't their own flesh and blood"

AA is great. The bonds you find there will be stronger than any relationship imaginable;  blood , romantic, etc. etc... And I have those amazing bonds! I have everything I can ever ask for, so why is this annoying natural desire to be loved as much or more than my own family keep me up at night from time to time? Why do I find myself seeking for something that does not exist? Look, people. I am by no means an expert in anything, let alone romance. However, with experience, a clear mind, and tons of step studies, prayer, meditation, and self reflection,  I think a good resolution I can CURRENTLY conclude to is simply this: 

Perhaps I am willfully demanding something (i.e an ideal relationship that I am absolutely besotted with) to supply me with more satisfaction and fulfillment that is ever possible. How easy it can be, in the absence (for quite a while I might add) of a long term relationship, to forget all the heartaches, sleepless nights, worrying, and  sacrifices that undeniably happen when you share your life with someone. Perhaps God does not want  me to depart from the degree of perfection that He wishes me to obtain here on Earth. Or maybe... just maybe... I do not have a clue of what I am talking about!  Lots of questions go unanswered, and this may perhaps be one of them. Single life: Blessing and a curse... That is my final answer. For now. 

Written and posted by Andrea E.

Energy in Motion


In the span of a single second, our lives can change, as energy moves at a pace more rapid than anything we can fathom.

Since our lives are constantly in motion energetically, change is a constant element of our existence. As dynamic as that energy is, it is not random or haphazard in nature -- the shifts in energy that are constantly taking place are the result of our choices. The formulation of intention, a change in perspective, or the creation of a goal can transform our lives in blink of an eye. We think positive thoughts and the world becomes a brighter place. Or we decide who we want to be and become that person. With each passing moment, we are given innumerable opportunities to create change using nothing more than our awareness. 

In the span of a single second, our lives can change immeasurably because energy moves at a pace more rapid than anything we can consciously fathom. Though we may not at first be sensitive to the vibrational shifts taking place, our choices are ultimately at the heart of these transformations. We can typically recognize the consequences of key decisions because we anticipated the resultant energetic shifts. But many, if not most, of the choices we make each day are a product of instantaneous reactions, and these still have a significant impact on the energy of our existence. It is for this reason that we should learn to wield what control we can over these shifts. If we bear in mind that all we think and all we do will shape the existence we know, we can deliberately direct the energetic motion of our lives.

Each day, you make an infinite array of decisions that cause energy shifts in the world around you. In many cases, these transitions are almost imperceptible, while in others the change that takes place is palpable not only to you but also to those in your sphere of influence. Your awareness of the immediate energetic consequences of your thoughts and actions can guide you as you endeavor to make the most of the autonomy that defines you as an individual. The myriad choices you make from moment to moment, however inconsequential they may seem, represent your personal power, which sanctions you to transform the energetic tide of your existence with nothing more than your will.

Written by DailyOm. Posted by Rachel G.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Crabs in a Bucket

Ever wonder why some people seem to bring you down? I call it "Crabs in a Bucket" syndrome. AKA CBM (Crab Bucket Mentality).  

In a perfect world, throw a bunch of crabs in a bucket and they could do two things - they could form a crab pyramid and thus allow one crab to escape, who in turn could help the other crabs out. Within a matter of minutes, they would all be free of the bucket and back in the ocean.

But in reality, if you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket and one tries to escape, the rest would pull him back in. Further more, they may actually begin to break his claws to completely hinder his progress. Unfortunately, this type of mentality is often translated into human behavior. This phrase is typical when dealing with  “toxic people” who will bring you down to their level. As the old saying goes, "misery loves company." While humans may not physically break each other, they may break each other in spirit. 

As the old proverb suggests, “be careful who you hang out with.” In life, you’ll meet a lot of people: Some will share the same interests some will not, some will agree or disagree, some will enjoy being by your side and some will part ways. But the kind you should be most careful of, are the ones who pretend to be your friend. These people will come into your life wearing a mask, and once they show you their true character “believe them!” Above all, stay in-tune with your inner compass (AKA gut feeling).

If you’re someone who’s successful, through hard work and perseverance you may want to consider the "crabs in the bucket" metaphor and protect your kingdom. You don't want to be clawing your way up in life, only to be dragged back down. One way to ensure you don't fall into a bucket full of crabs is by surrounding yourself with people who LIFT you up, as apposed to drain your energy. Choose people that strive to succeed and evolve like yourself; that are honest, reliable, respectful, and continuously attest to who they really are. And thus, you’ll be free to roam around in crystal blue waters. 

Written and posted by Rachel G.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Seeds to New Understanding


“We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.”

I love this quote because what you preach may not always fall on deaf ears. This reinforces the premise that we each have the right to our own thoughts and opinions, we each have the right to take the time we need to evaluate and make up our own minds in due course. I wouldn't be living a sober life today if it wasn't for that.

We live in such an instant-feedback world that when someone doesn’t respond immediately or at least quickly to something, it's pretty common to see them being dismissed or written off. I know I can be guilty of that. You wonder why they just don't get it! Feelings of disappointment or even resentment can crop up, further eroding sometimes difficult situations. 

Patience can be in short supply these days, and we seem to have lost the fine art of trusting the process. Time is an important factor when planting a seed, for just as in nature each type of seed has different timelines and nutritional requirements. Hence, we each bloom in our own time. 

Even if we don’t change another person’s mind, we ourselves stand to gain more than we stand to lose by being patient and waiting for seeds to sprout. So here's to seeing it unfold according to the laws of nature. 

Written and posted by Rachel G

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Taking the Leap to True Change

People take monumental comfort in what's familiar to them. 
Whatever you're accustomed to becomes your default mode. If you're used to feeling disappointed by people or treated badly, or that you're lonely, unattractive, not strong enough, too old or too broke, then this is exactly what you're going to get because you know how it feels. And though it may not be a desirable feeling or outcome, it's highly predictable to you. Letting go of what's familiar is like moving into a new country where you don't speak the language. You have to learn slowly how to engage in a new way, which involves a deeply frustrating kind of tedium. The new place isn't familiar; it doesn't feel predictable or comfortable. You have no idea how to connect. You see all the locals who seem to easily navigate the land and you feel that you'll never be at that level. It's too hard so you retreat back to your old mind set because at least there, you know exactly what you're going to get. 

True change takes real guts and on the most part involves growing pains. Just like moving to another country you will eventually learn the language and embrace change from the inside out. But it’s a hell of a lot better than staying stagnant or stuck in the same loop. Ask anyone who makes the leap to transforming their lives and they will admit, it was worth the climb every step of the way.  

Written and posted by Rachel G

It’s September, National Recovery Month

This month is a time when we may gratefully reflect on our own recovery and at the same time, have the opportunity to help educate our communities. From a historical perspective, we can certainly celebrate that there is a public acknowledgment of Recovery as a national event. This demonstrates some progress in addressing the stigma of substance use disorder. We have, over the past several years, increased awareness about the science of the disorder and the fact that there are an estimated 22 million plus people in the U.S. that identify themselves as in recovery. We are no longer fully in the shadows. As a community we can take pride in knowing we’ve put a dent in the stigma related to our disorder
However we must continue to elevate the voices of those in recovery. We need to identify the inequities in our systems that present challenges to those seeking recovery. We need to address the inequities in healthcare and healthcare coverage as it relates to all mental health disorders. We need to expand our understanding of the definition of recovery and honor one that is inclusive and not just focused on one program or path. In other words, we have to keep growing in our knowledge, our understanding and our education. We owe it to those who are still struggling to continue our quest to reach more people in more ways.  
How can you get involved? One can look as close as your local recovery community organizations to see what events they’re having to honor those in recovery. You can find regional events listed here: 

Posted by Rachel G

Checks and Balances

  When we see ourselves in other people, it can be a great opportunity for growth if we are willing to work on it. Most of us have probably ...