Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sweet Surrender

I was born a fighter or so I'm told.

At just 29 weeks gestation, I decided it was time to join this world.  SO October 30th, 1979 at 2:13am in San Antonio Texas, I made my entrance all 2 pounds and 13oz of me was ready to go.  It was all the things it should be GRAND and FULL of drama. :)

I can clearly recall my earliest memories of being told I was a fighter.  What 'I' did those early months (assisted of course by amazing medical personel), how I strove and fought, overcame odds and somehow kept growing, kept thriving.
A fighter. He's a fighter they would always say. I wore this as a badge of honor. It made me bull-headed, self-reliant, cocky and what I thought was invincible.
Growing up, being a small framed, skinny awkward geek who was clearly gay - I fought the world, I fought stero-types, I isolated, I didn't need you to like me (though really I longed for it). I used to really think well, God brought me into this world, stacked the deck against me so I'm just gonna keep on fighting.  That is how I came into this world and I'll just keep doing it. A revolutionary
I faced many a challenge, sometimes head on, sometimes not and overcame a lot. Then I was thrown another sucker punch: Alcoholism
It seemed it was the one foe I couldn't quite take. I have this visual of a cartoon school bully holding me with one hand at my forehead while I frantically punched the air between us thinking that if only I punched harder, I would get through. I am a fighter.
I think that is why for years, I fought alcohol. It was harder though because we were lovers too. How can I let you go? Why do I keep coming back to you after the last time?  It was like a bad Jerry Springer episode.
Lost but still fighting, I found the willingness to call someone who I knew had quit fighting that battle.
I put on my tattered dress of self-confidence, willingness and courage, which were all hanging on by mere threads and went to a meeting.
That's where I learned that I didn't have to fight any longer, that's where I found the power in surrender, the power that lies in admitting powerlessness.
I'm grateful every day for that

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Change it's a comin'

I know I talk about it a lot but these are the things that ruminate in my head:
Willingness. Awareness. Changing Behaviors.

I was at a Step 8 meeting on Sunday.  I was struck during the reading about how much this step isn't really about the specific harms but a deeper delving into ones self after step 4 all in an effort to see the patterns. To see the areas where we weren't our full selves.  I think both 4 & 8 give us that magnifying glass. We have to be willing to look at oursleves closely, our interactions with other humans, and then become aware of those things that do not serve others which in turn will make as shrink rather than grow.  Then we somehow garner up that willingness again to make a decision to CHANGE that behavior so that we can embrace who we were meant to be in this world.

Why do all this?  Because we're worth it.  I'm worth it. YOU are worth it.

one of the patterns I see in myself constantly is that I don't think I AM worth it or I'm afraid of being worthy. SO I procrastinate, I stall, I stay where I am comfortable.  Not the best growing conditions that is for sure.

Here's to progress!!

I am grateful today for an amazing Sati class last night & the eye opening I get in those classes
I am grateful I get to go to a meeting tonight that has become a favorite
I am grateful that I can let go of old behaviors when I choose
I am grateful that I slept in a little bit even though I wanted to run this AM, but seriously I wasn't running in the middle of a monsoon!
I am grateful that all this rain & warm weather are causing the flowers to bud.  Spring is coming!!
I am grateful 'Spirit' by Jewel - i forgot how much I loved this album til this morning when it popped up on my iPod shuffle
I am grateful to be of service.

Friday, March 26, 2010

There is a solution

I remember hearing that a lot when I first came in:
"There is a solution"

It was comforting, disconcerting and couldn't really be THAT simple....or could it? I love having that knowledge. It flashes back to me whenever something comes up in my life and I start to feel the beginnings of hoplessness, (which as I write this I can't easily recall the last time i felt HELPLESS) so here's to progress right?

I like knowing I have a solution. I don't always know what it is off the bat, but I know if I don't drink, listen & wait it'll come. Sometimes quickly sometimes slowly but exactly when it needs to.

sidenote: it seems that when I run spell check now on this page & on my work email, it points out my errors but doesn't offer a solution! I find that funny....and slightly annoying :)
Today I am grateful for solutions
I am grateful for taking time when I need it
I am grateful that more and more I have become fearless
I am grateful for my friend and the good news he shared with me this morning
I am grateful for laughter and love in my life
I am grateful for my homegroup
I am grateful for the work that keeps coming
I am grateful for the spiritual lessons I learn daily from all sorts of people & their experience.

A HUGE CONGRATS TO LINDSAY! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tradition #3

"The ONLY requirement for membership is a DESIRE to stop drinking"

I was pondering this statement last night after an incredible meeting. I was thinking about wanting it versus not.
When I first came to the rooms of AA, I did not want to be sober, but I did want to stop drinking.  I attended meetings because they made the pain seem less. Leaving the one friend I'd always had was a hard separation for me.  I can remember sitting in meetings, listening to people talk about the steps and I was full of fear, resentment and built huge walls towards the steps and the program.  I shyed away from that work.

I would get frustrated and vent to my friend saying 'I'm never gonna do those' or 'what's the point?'.  He would simply reply 'The ONLY requirement for membership is a DESIRE to stop drinking'.

I found comfort in that. I found that I liked having nothing expected from me.

I soon found though that I not only had the DESIRE to stop drinking, but a whole bunch of other DESIRES. Dreams, goals, ambitions all suddenly started to rise on the horizon. They seemed possible. I somehow knew the only way to get them was not only to stop drinking one day at a time, but to start moving in a spiritually forward direction, and WORK. This was learned by my generous & guiding sponsor and by watching and listening to those around me in AA speak, get their goals, restore their life. It was and IS most inspiring.

Desire: 1 : to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for

2 a : to express a wish for a request  b archaic : to express a wish to.

This word also happens to embody my favorite Intensati move, Where you form your hands in a triangle over your heart and push out. Push out my inner-desires to the world so that they can manifest.

It's an incredible path that I've embarked on and I'm grateful for it everyday, it all started with one desire and an ounce of willingness.  I love that.

I am grateful for meetings that make me think
I am grateful for my sponsee he teaches me so much
I am grateful that I got up when I was supposed to this AM
I am grateful that I recognize my desires
I am grateful that I know I can work for them
I am grateful for little prayers
I am grateful for laugher
I am grateful for Nurse Jackie and that she's back on TV!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Life is INDEED Wonderful

A beautiful reminder (that I totally needed today) from Jason Mraz via my beautiful boyfriend: Christopher

Balance the Beam

I'm not really sure what to write about today.  I'm sort of in an ebbing state.

I had a great week of 'flowing' professionally, personally and had a really full week.  Then Saturday and Sunday rolled around.  The weather was gorgeous!  I got up in the AM and did some very active very positive things then by around noon each day it was nap time for a few hours followed by movie watching, more lazing around, or doing something social even though I really just wanted to continue to lay around.

I don't like when the ebb happens, but I suppose it's inevitable. I resist it mentally but that's about as far as it goes, I feel like there are moments when my body just says: "Not another thing will you do!"

I can look at the things I DID do. Intensati Sat morning. 5 miles run Sunday morning...but all I see is the rest of the day and how I didn't pack all I could into the stream of life. I don't want this to come across as self-pitying. I'm working on shifting, I just kinda begrudge the 'ebb' part of life even though I know it's all part & parcel.  Much like today is rainy & grey to counter-balance the beautiful gorgeous sun soaked days of the weekend. The key is balance, the key is ebb & flow, the key is light & dark, yin & yang.

Balance is what I'm doing. Balance is what I'm working on today.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Show Me Your Teeth

Good Morning!!

A few weeks ago I had some dental issues & concerns.  Since my last appointment I was given a regimen (something I'm not always good with).  Brush & Floss twice a day (minimum), special rinse at night & different rinse in the AM.

I stuck to it as best I could.  Being rigourously honest, there were a few missed nightly rinses but for the most part maybe a floss once a day kinda day but only once I believe. I was told what i needed to do and I did it to the best of my ability.  I had a follow-up today and was waiting to hear: "Look how beautiful your mouth is!" - "You did such a great job!"

Instead I heard, I can see that you've been working, but we've still more work to do.

I take that sentence and layer it over my sobriety. It's great to acknowledge the work I've done, yes and the growth I've had. The aim for me is to always be improving. Now with my teeth there may just be a perfect end. Perfect check ups etc.  but with more sobriety its just not so.  There is no end, more growth can always happen and I'm glad for that. It teaches me to strive. The other thing I think about it much like brushing & flossing, it's the little things I do every day for my sobriety that help it improve over time. Work isn't always WORK - it's not always a closet cleaning, deep cleaning, scrubbing, back aching chore.  There's that and then there is maintanence.

I strive to be better at holding myself in maintenece where things don't ever get so bad something drastic has to occur.  Growth & Maintentece.

I am grateful for these lessons in my life
I am grateful that I can apply the principles of the program to all areas of my life.
I am grateful for an audition today
I am grateful for a GORGEOUS day here in NYC
I am grateful that I can stop at my office, get myself together and even warm up in a secret little area!
I am grateful that I know I am on a journey
I am grateful for the love in my life
I am grateful for all of you

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Joy Joy Joy

What a GLORIOUS day here in NYC. I'll start by thanking God for that. I am filled with JOY today. I like the way it feels, and what's funny is it comes from within but not really as expected.

Our second concert last night rocked.  I enjoyed it so much and even had a chance to stop & take it all in during our performance.  It felt amazing to be a part of it all. I am grateful that I can accept that today.

I had an interesting evening last night full of challenges,(not to my sobriety - thank God), and maybe challenges is even too harsh a word, more like some navigational things. A few moments where I had to look at the map of my life and really stay true to course. Address the issue. Listen. Repsond with honesty and then the hardest part of all....TRUST.  After a good nights sleep, I can look at these actions, honor them and also see even a few blips where I wasn't in the right and had let my past overcome my present. I owned up to that this morning. and turn back to TRUST.  Why?  Because I've been given no proof not to TRUST.

I am grateful that I got to hold my friend's baby yesterday!!!!!  At just 8 hours old, I could already tell we're going to have a very long history together.  A beautiful 8lb baby girl: Samantha
I am grateful for the beautiful day today
I am grateful for having an experience last night that I will remember the rest of my life & getting to share it with some people who I'm so glad are in my life and were there last night
For JOY filled hugs
For the ability to actually talk about my feelings, even if it's difficult
For being honest and true to myself
For having standards, holding to them because they really do come
For asking questions yesterday and listening for the answers instead of not listening to the ones I didn't want to hear
For the fact that everything looks better in the morning: a very wise woman once told me that and it stays true to this day
For evolution and growth emotionally, even if it's uncomfortable.
For LOVE!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Could Be - Who Knows - Somethin's Comin Somethin Good

The lesson I learned yesterday in Intensati is: persistance.

pushing, if needed but most importantly showing up and doing my best in any given moment. I was pondering this last night as I was falling asleep.  I had a wondrous evening having had the opportunity to sing 'Sunday' in a chorus of over 150 for Mr. Stephen Sondheim himself as part of his Birthday Concert!
It was a moment I won't ever forget and cannot wait to do it again tonight!

I also got am email from the universe this morning which reminded me this:
Those who achieve great things, defeat long odds, and become legends, didn't have anything you don't have.

They just kept showing up, expecting a miracle, long after everyone else got practical.
Here comes one now...!

I am grateful that I believe in miracles
I am grateful that I know that they require work
I am grateful that I deeply believe in my dreams and in others dreams
I am grateful that I had an amazing opportunity last night & I get to do it again tonight
I am grateful for a network of people all around me who love & support me
I am grateful that I can do the same for others
I am grateful that today I'll be come and 'Uncle' - my dear friend should be having her baby today!!!!!!!!!
I am grateful for this blogging community

Much LOVE!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Greetings!

I feel like I've been ruminating a lot these last few days mulling over various things and not really wanting to write so I haven't.  I've had a lot of that lately, a whole lot of feeling like I JUST DON'T WANT TO.  The inner brat in me in pounding his fists and jumping up and down full of indignance and stubborness with regards to pretty much anything in my life now - it's all up for grabs but especially the good stuff.

So - what do I do. Well,  I always remember my sponsor telling me when I was counting days: "Sobriety is going to be doing a lot of stuff you don't WANT to do".  The truth of the matter is in most of these situations, my feelings are secondary.  My actions are what is important.

Acting as if.  Acting as if I already have these things, acting as if I deserve them, acting as if I'm something I'm not in order to bring me there.  Abundance, Love, Hope, Career,Passion  - I have them, they are here now!

I am grateful for self awareness
I am grateful for a relaxing bath last night, can't even think of the last time I took a bath
I am grateful to have four job offers in the upcoming months
I am grateful for the job I have today
I am grateful for bagels with my friend Joel yesterday
I am grateful for to be part of a joyous beautiful birthday celebration tonight!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unlocked

The meeting I attended yesterday was a very interesting one regarding the subject of willingness. I kept thinking about those moments in my life where I slam the door shut and say thing like - 'oh that'll NEVER happen' or 'I'll NEVER be able to do that'.  I then buy into those statements, limit myself and fence myself in.
Willingness as they talk about in the book is the key to unlocking that door and unleashing my power & energy.

My second thought now-a-days, when those thoughts about come in is:  Silly, you used to say you'd NEVER be able to stop drinking and look at you now, 3 years down the road a day at a time.  I like that voice much better....
....and the song to go with it!  It's from my most favorite movie as a child 'An American Tail'.
My favorite lyric is: "Hope for the best, Work for the rest!"


Today I am grateful for perspective
I am grateful for an amazing fellowship time with my friend Bill last night
I am grateful for a HUGE opportunity that has come may way professionally - I am so excited!
I am grateful that I can accept good things in my life
I am grateful for pateience and understanding
I am grateful for the gorgeous days we've had here in NYC
I am grateful for the mood I'm in today, it's a good one really good an for no particular reason at all

Monday, March 8, 2010

Flashback - FlashForward

My drinking friends and I had some twisted sense of humor or fun.  I flashed back to other day to years ago....a few of us would play 'Name that Hymn'....like 'Name that Tune' but using all the hymns we'd learned growing up in Roman Catholic schools and chruches.  Even as I think about it now, it's kinda hilarious those songs that are engrained into our being that come back at the drop of a hat.

The reason that memory came rushing back is because the last few days I've had the same section of the same song going through my head: "Do not be afraid, I am with you" from the song 'You Are Mine'


When I put aside the roots from whence I know this sing and really listen to the words, think of it in a higher power sense, I find this song incredibly comforting. It's been a mantra in my head the last few days: do not be afraid I am with you, do not be afraid I am with you, do not be afraid I am with you.  It's a relief to remember that. 

Today I am grateful that I am never alone
I am grateful for a job I can show up for
I am grateful for having love in my life and knowing I can give it away too
I am grateful for a restful weekend
I am grateful that I am dependable
I am grateful for my morning affirmations
I am grateful for the cycle of life

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just some gratitude

I am grateful for the gloriously BEAUTIFUL day out today
I am grateful that I took some time for myself today and mananged some unmanageablitiy
I am grateful that I can make the decision to do that everytime and everyday - I don't always but I'm glad to know I have the option
I am grateful that my boyfriend and I are the same size (woo hoo double the wardrobe)
I am grateful for a friend from high school contacting me and asking how it is I've stayed sober so long.
I am grateful that I have the experience to be able to share
I am grateful for my life today
I am grateul for my sponosee celebrating 9 months yesterday!!  ROCK ON

Friday, March 5, 2010

Not A Glum Lot Indeed!!

I went to a meeting last night because well it's what I do.

I've never laughed harder in my life.  The speaker's story was tragic as all of ours are, but her 6 years of beautiful sobriety let her share the light that was shed on those dark days through humor.  These kinds of qualifictaions always pierce to my heart.

I need to laugh. I LOVE to laugh. There is nothing like the feeling of true genuine spontaneous laughter. 

I am grateful today for laughter & light in my life
I am grateful that I don't take things SO seriously
I am grateful for the opportunity to see Valerie Harper TEAR IT UP as Tallulah Bankhead last night
I am grateful that I see things differently today - my vision is filled with hope and promise, it wasn't always this way
I am grateful for my morning affirmation practice
I am grateful for the blogs I read, those that read mine and a beautiful community that makes

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seeing With Your Heart

I was in a little skit last night amongst six other little skits as part of a short play series. It was a fun experience, I love being geeky, dorky and comic. The ego-actor part of me always wants the JUICY roles, the TONY winning epic deeply emotional roles - of course I go there that I'm simply gonna jump from where I am to a TONY.

but I digress, that is not what this post was about.  One of the playwrights last night wrote a line the struck me: 'See with your heart, not your eyes'

Sure I've heard this before, or variations on this theme but for some reason last night it hit me. THAT is what I do now that I'm sober, it's what I strive for. I love when life reminds me if gentle subtle ways that indeed I'm on the right path. I need that.

I am grateful for the '19' by Adele. My friend Michael gifted it to me recently and I'm digging it
I am grateful for an audition appointment procured by sending my info to this company
I am grateful for the time to prepare
I am grateful for the opportunity to perform last night and grateful that I wasn't perfect but I was living in that moment, improvsied and even got a laugh
I am grateful a great night's sleep
I am grateful for the three other alcoholics I connected with yesterday via text, email & phone who kept me grounded
I am grateful a life that is co-created by me & God, but mostly God
I am grateful for new affirmations

Much Love!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why God Why

My apologies for not updating in a while.

I've been going through a little something. I'm not exactly sure what to call it. Maybe it's a little post anniversary let down I'm not really sure and truly I don't have to know.  What I was feeling mostly was: "What's the point?" and this thought extended throughout every aspect of my life for the most part, sobriety, career, living in NY, work, blogging, gratitude lists and on and on and on.

I didn't talk about it straight away, didn't raise my hand, and didn't go to as many meetings as I should have.

I thank GOD and my sponsee that we have standing Tues night date which includes a meeting. Something in my head told me that I should probably hit a meeting and call my sponsor before I met with him last night because my head space just wasn't right so I did.  Had a great talk with my sponsor which underlined that it doesn't matter what the point is, because maybe that can never be revealed.  I then went to meet my sponsee we met, had great discussion & then went to the meeting.  The speaker brought up three things for me:
ACCEPTANCE, FAITH and PERSPECTIVE

I accept where I am
I have faith I am exactly where I need to be
These statements shift my perpsective and help me know that if I am patient, trusting and sober - life will increase.

Today I am grateful to be on the other side of 'it'
I am grateful for my homegroup and it's ability to set me right
I am grateful for my sponsor
I am grateful for my sponsee
I am grateful for patience & faith and the opportunity to practice it
I am grateful for work
I am grateful for the opportunity to perform in a show tonight
I am grateful for life on life's terms & my acceptance of that
I am grateful for my friend Bill who is always a generous listener.