before a man
beyond the veil
within this space
before a man
beyond the veil
within this space
With just over 14 months sober, I can honestly tell you life as I used to know it is dead and buried. Goodbye chaos. Goodbye troubles. Goodbye anxiety, exhaustion, worry. I know have peace of mind in my life. I can now approach difficult situations with a level head. I don’t get too up or too down.
I have a pause button–fuck I could have used that 36 years ago. So how did I do it? Why was it fairly easy for me to turn my back on booze and walk into “normalcy?” I am so glad you asked! I thought I would list five tips that have been highly effective in maintaining my recovery.
Control Those Emotions–When you are able to keep your emotions in check, the likelihood of you wanting to go out and bash your head into a bottle of vodka are slim. Never getting too up, or too down, an even-keeled approach to life keeps you stable and in control.
Nip It In The Bud–Life is going to deal you hand after shitty hand. If one of them gets out of control–resentments, problem with another human, depression, anxiety over a topic–nip it in the bud! Confront whatever situation is causing you instability and deal with it, asap! Burying emotions or situations is going to cause you problems as issues and situations build up.
Find What Works and Work It–Are 12 step meetings your thing? Perhaps your religion? How about meditation, reading, writing, singing, dancing, walking, hiking…you get the idea. Find what works for you and keeps you in that happy place and work it! Do it, and I mean frequently! Don’t go overboard, of course, but do the activities that give you pleasure, keep you grounded.
Meditate, Meditate, Meditate—Did I mention MEDITATE? I am guilty of not doing this as much as I should. But I will tell you, the benefits of meditation are so numerous, I am surprised it is not practiced in every school in this country.
Start off with just 5 minutes a day, then build up to over 30 minutes. You will thank me a thousand times over. My Youtube Channel has over 85 meditations you can choose from.
One Day At A Time–12 Step meetings may not be my thing, but boy are their slogans dead on! Yes, living each day for itself will keep you from biting off more than you can chew. It will keep you from languishing in the past, and worrying about the future. We only have today, embrace it and stay sober. JUST FOR TODAY. Want more great slogans? GO HERE! AND HERE!
Well, there you have it. There have been other things that have helped me stay sober, but these five principles have been my bedrock. They have been my go to ways of living and today I can honestly use the word happy in my vocabulary. What has kept you in recovery?
So yesterday I saw the head Psychiatrist for the program. We have been monitoring how I’ve been doing on 1,400mg of Lithium.
I reported to him that I was not doing all that well. I’m just so bored. No matter what I try to do I can’t seem to settle my thoughts and emotions.
As many of you may recall I started my Work Therapy job last week. I am supposed to work around the vast grounds of the VA. In just about two weeks, I may have worked all of three hours. I hate going to it. I refuse to wrap up a full 2 more months here going to a job where I sit on a couch and vegetate.
Also, I informed him, I am habitually borderline depressed. I get up and instead of being happy and excited in recovery, I am tired, annoyed, aggravated and mildly depressed. It hasn’t always been this way. It has been just the past few weeks. And, the more I try to fill that void, the emptier it seems to get; it’s infuriating!
I am desperately lonely. I don’t have anyone I can really talk to. Nor do I choose to talk to any of the guys here. It’s like this constant river of muddiness flows within me. Sure, I get moments of peace and satisfaction, you all know that. But what I am talking about is a condition of being overall.
No matter how many meetings I go to. No matter how much I focus on positivity, and acceptance, and gratitude. No matter how much I write. No matter how much I commune with nature, my general demeanor is shit. I just don’t know how to find tranquility and peace. Actually, I do, but sustaining it over an extended period of time escapes me.
Sooooo, Dr. Osser’s answer is to start me on another medication. A medication that is supposed to combat Bipolar Depression: Lamotrigine, I think it’s called. I still don’t think I am Biploar because I have the absence of Manic Episodes–or so I believe.
I don’t get all this giddy, happy-go-lucky Manic affect he keeps describing. I do get sad, lonely, angry, irritated, depressed, bored, hopeless, lethargic, apathetic, and tons more opposite emotions of mania.
But he’s the expert, and at this point I really don’t care what he puts me on, to be honest with you. I just need to feel somewhat stable and less irritable, anxious, depressed, and all the other shitty emotions I constantly have been feeling. I also told him I wanted to be removed from my job.
I want and put into the Gym job that just opened up due to one of the residents not coming back on Sunday. In the last two weeks, three residents have bailed on the program. And if I were to guess, at least two more look like they are borderline snap cases.
I’ll be damned if I am going to be one of them. If I have to go on medication to stabilize my thoughts and emotions, then by God’s bring on the drugs! Failure is not an option, and if I don’t get a bead on this, things are going to turn to shit in a hurry.
As a recovering alcoholic faced with his emotions I can tell you that finding inner peace is not an easy thing.
I talk with my therapist about this all the time: “Why can’t I just wake up one day and just be content for the entire day?”
It seems that no matter what activities I surround myself with: AA Meetings, reading the Big Book, listening to my music, blogging, even former relationships, I am still left with the gnawing in my gut.
I still feel irritable and restless most days. This pisses me off! Although I am surrounding myself with activities, I am still restless and dissatisfied. And then, when I went skiing yesterday, I cam across a possible reason.
I still have not found my Higher Power. I think my Higher Power might actually be nature. When I was standing on top of that mountain, breathing that crisp New Hampshire air, I felt that elusive peace I have been searching for.
I have not found this peace in the Bible, the Quran, the Big Book, not in any of the other activities I have yet pursued since coming out of jail in October.
Now, obviously I can’t be in nature 24/7, so how do I sustain this peaceful contentment? How do I keep my afflicted mind from taking over and sitting on the throne all day, ruling my emotions? Well, I think I know how:
Meditation. I can meditate myself to any place I want to go. I was meditating all the time at my previous program. I stopped meditating because I’ve used the excuse that I have no privacy. Well, I have to make privacy. I have to find a way each and everyday to meditate so I can join nature.
I think I did a post a few months back on what nature has meant to me throughout my life. I feel that oneness I long to feel with the universe when I am fully present in nature. I feel as if I journey home when I immerse myself in nature. And, if I can’t get into nature, I know I can get there through my mind!
So today, it’s back to meditating! It’s back to nature. By doing so I come back home to myself! At least that is what I am thinking. I’ll keep you posted.
Understanding the location of your chakras and visualizing their presence within your body will greatly enhance the ability of you to balance and clear your chakras with very little effort. Within a few sessions you will be amazed how differently you feel as you go about your day!
The full benefits of chakra energy healing is simply amazing when all seven major chakras are balanced. Our intent in this chakra clearing meditation is to open the chakras (if too closed), clearing chakras of negative energy by transforming to positive, and balancing the energy of all the 7 chakras.
It is important to understand not to obsess over right way / wrong way, too open / too closed, too fast/too slow, too negative/too positive. Just focus on your ability to balance the chakra system to its optimum healing potential FOR YOU.
When visualizing your chakras and their condition, your first instinct is the correct one. Don’t second guess yourself. Have faith in your ability to do this and allow your intent to accomplish perfect chakra balance for you.
Now that you have completed the preparation exercise, let’s begin with the chakra balancing meditation and how to use chakra visualization:
Direct your attention to your Root Chakra located at the base of your spine. Visualize a spinning Red disk about the size of your hand. This chakra contains the energy of stability and strength. Envision a spiral vortex of energy coming up through the base of the spine, dissipating the energy of any worries or anxiety you have. Take a few moments to visualize and feel this energy.
Moving up the spine, you will now focus your mind on the sacral chakra, the second chakra located about 2 fingers below your belly button. Visualize a spinning Orange disk about the size of your hand. Envision a spiral vortex of orange energy flowing up from the base chakra into the sacral chakra with ease and synchronicity. Take a few moments to visualize and feel the energy being drawn up through the earth, into your base chakra and effortlessly flowing into your sacral chakra. Move on to the next chakra when you feel confident these to lower chakras are free-flowing, open and aligned.
SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA
We now reach the solar plexus chakra located about 2 fingers above your belly button. Visualize a brilliant yellow spinning disk about the size of your hand. Further envision the spiral vortex of healing energy flowing up from the earth through the (red) root chakra, through the (orange) sacral chakra and into the (yellow) solar plexus chakra. Take a few moments to focus on how these chakras are delivering healing energy to entire lower half of your body. When you feel balance, proceed.
Moving on to the heart chakra, we now visualize a spinning emerald-green disk, the size of your hand, located in the center of your chest. The heart chakra is particularly important because it is the gateway from the lower chakras (or earthly energies) into the higher self or higher state of consciousness and being. Visualize the spiral vortex of energy feeding and spinning your heart chakra.
Be mindful not to allow the heart chakra to be too large or too small, it should be about the size of your hand. This is important as all your chakras should be the same size and be synchronized to work together. If your heart chakra is too open or completely closed, this will create a great disturbance in your physical, mental/emotional and spiritual well-being. That said, spend a few minutes visualizing all 4 chakras working together with the vortex of healing energy.
We now reach the throat chakra (the location is self-explanatory 😉 ). Throat chakra healing is particularly important in those too scared to communicate, or talk too much and never listen. Visualize a brilliant blue disk about the size of your hand spinning in the center of the throat area. Allow the spiral vortex to move upward from the heart and now feeding the movement of the spinning chakra. You know the drill by now! Take a moment to visualize all chakras working together in harmony.
3RD EYE CHAKRA
The 3rd eye chakra is located between your eyebrows in the center of the forehead. Visualize a spinning indigo disk about the size of your hand rotating in the center of your forehead. The health of the 3rd eye chakra is critical in spiritual development and it is considered the center of all psychic capabilities, intuition and is said to be the window to the soul. Take a few minutes to visualize a healthy 3rd eye chakra and allow the spiral vortex of healing energy to flow through your brow chakra. When you feel comfortable, move on to the Crown Chakra.
The crown chakra is located at the top of your head and is associated with the color violet. Just as our root chakra connects and grounds us to the earth, the crown chakra connects us to the divine, or heavens (whatever your reference may be). Now envision a spinning violet disk at the top of your head and allow the vortex energy to fill the crown chakra with healing light and clearing away any negative or dark energies.
From there allow the energy to flow out the crown, creating a continuous flow of energy from the earth connecting to the divine. As you can see by now, the energy vortex has no beginning and no end. You are allowing it’s continuous flow to travel through your chakras and body, creating peace and balance. Spend as much time as you feel necessary to complete this final step.
Now take a final moment to focus and visualize all your chakras rotating in harmony. Envision the beauty and brilliance of the chakra colors in each location along your spine. In your mind’s eye, observe the healing energy vortex entering your root chakra from the earth’s energy, as it travels up through each chakra and finally exiting out the crown.
Envision this continuous flow of energy restoring each chakra to their optimal state of health. In your mind’s eye, surround yourself with a protective bubble’s energy. This bubble will retain healing energy and deflect any negative energy you may encounter throughout your day.
Chakra energy healing is powerful! Nothing compares to the incredible feeling of clearing chakras free flowing energy. This chakra balancing meditation is a mental exercise but you should be feeling the physical effects within the next 20 minutes, if not immediately.
Take one final deep breath and fill your lungs with rich oxygen, and voila! You are done! You should feel refreshed, balanced and calm.
Highlighting the meanderings and musings of my life in recovery
- A 10 Minute Vacation for the Soul
“The only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionaries are philosophers and saints.” — Will Durant
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sharing my words, my thoughts, in hopes of inspiring others.
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