Saturday, December 31, 2011

Everything or Nothing

I sat in a great meeting last night, full of men I respect.

The topic was prayer & meditation and well of course it go me thinking.  I realized that when I rest on my laurels with regards to prayer, it's harder for me to turn things over. I grip. I control. I am self will run riot.

It was with these thoughts that I returned home last night, really focusing on saying a little thank you before bed and drifting into a sleep that was both welcome & necessary.

3am rolls around and Chris & I are jolted from our beds by what I can only describe as pounding that sounds like someone jumping rope in the apartment(s) above us....it's not the first time.  We dress and climb the stairs (to talk to them...again) but can't tell what apt it's coming from.  I toss & turn the rest of the night as it happens a few more times.  My mind won't stop racing and I come to one thought

How do I turn this over?  I pray a bit for guidance, more so I wish it would all stop.  I'm usually good at seeing a solution but now I'm not sure. I feel like I'm whining but I guess I need an outlet.  How do I go about resolving this in sober manner?   I will continue to wait for guidance, and pray that I be directed where I'm supposed to be

God is everything

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Recap: How Indiana Saved My Life

I did my best to post my gratitude while I was away and I truly was grateful.

This past holiday week was spent away from my family and with my new family to be.  Chris and I ventured to his home town to celebrate the holidays.  If I were to tell you I had piles of fear leading up to this trip it would be an understatement.

His family much like my own was very warm & welcoming, so much so that at times it felt like my own, which I think is a good thing.  I had a wonderful time visiting old haunts, old houses where they all grew up and getting to see how cute the town of New Albany, Indiana really is.

After slightly white knuckling it from Thursday to Monday morning, (luckily, they aren't the same kind of drinkers my family is) I arrived at my very first Indiana meeting.

Imagine for a moment how I'd already put myself on the outside, urbanite, gay, Yankee, amongst other things.

I walked into a clubhouse and found the meeting room,  crowded with probably 30 or so people  who from all outside appearances suddenly cued the song "One of these things is not like the other" form Sesame Street.  My instinct to turn around and walk out was strong, or rather, my disease was strong.

I sat down in that smoke filled room and took a deep a breath as possible. I listened and heard and was suddenly the same as everyone in that room. We were all there for the same common purpose, not to drink that day.  I feel I sometimes lose sight of that in the meetings I attend and am comfortable at.  Perhaps 2012 will usher in a new meeting a week just to step outside myself a bit more.
Extended Family!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:


A fantastic if not rag-tag meeting last night. The chair didn't show up and so some others took over only they read the WRONG script & totally changed the meeting from the 'expected' topic round robin, to an 'unexpected' qualification meeting. I was seething and about to leave when I thought, no, everything is happening exactly as it's supposed to. It was a great meeting and I heard A LOT of great things I needed to hear

Catching up with my dear friend Michael. He's a gem

Dinner with some friends from college. It was lovely to see them and also really lovely to see us all in very different places 11 years later. We used to party a lot and while we had a few laughs last night about those times I was very grateful that I'm no longer in that place

The moment of grace almost 5 years ago that offered me a glimmer of hope that  there was another way to live besides the alcoholic darkness cycle I'd been inhabiting
Feeling more plugged in lately, which of course is direct correlation to my meeting attendance! It's true what they say!! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gratitudes

I am grateful today for:


waking up before my alarm & realizing I forgot to set it.

continuing to PRACTICE letting go of results

doing my homework and looking up some meetings while I'm away in Indiana.

a great conversation with my friend this morning about this process we call life and how to step through it with a little more grace than when we used to

remembering that I am now, have always been and will always be watched over by a power greater than myself

for the realization that the year isn't over yet, and I don't have to wait til Jan 1st to make some shifts & changes. I can start right now, besides EVERYONE makes changes on Jan 1 and who wants to be like everyone else? Not this alcoholic :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

12/18 Gratitudes

I'm grateful today for: 

the gorgeous weather even if it's cold 

guests passes to Equinox & two amazing classes today,  I worked really hard 

A nice walk outdoors that let me chat with my Mom 

Making the decision to start 'The Artists Way' on Jan 1 and for my friend Lindsay who wants to do it with me - I need to be accountable

Listening to some Broadway shows today at home and knowing that it's not that far off for me

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gratitude

A fun (even if longer than expected) catering gig last night. More money in the pocket

The decision I made to sleep in this morning over running 6 miles. It would have felt great I'm sure but I think my body just needed to rest especially given that I'm working again in just a few hours

Coffee Coffee Coffee

My tentative plans to start the 'Artists Way' in the New Year

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful today for:


A VERY lazy day yesterday it felt necessary

The ability to have discussions that aren't easy and being taught through AA that feelings, emotions are all part of the expereince but through that to also focus on solution

Another full day of work, day job & then catering. I'm also grateful that my day job can be so flexible with me

Our homey apartment.

The Andrews Sisters, they always make my Christmas season

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Courtesy of my Uncle

"If one remains one-pointed, any work in the world can be accomplished with humility and ease. If one gets even a slightest doubt whether something is possible, it becomes impossible! If one gets even the slightest doubt whether it can happen, it will never happen! Your question itself gives the answer! Your doubt is your arch-enemy! Your fate is your soul-mate! Uttering 'Gurudev' or the name of the Lord with a mellow heart and tears welling up in the eyes, do everything with the attitude that 'He is everything'. Whatever has to be done, do it as His work, offering it to him in total surrender!"

 ~ Thuli Baba

Gratitude

I'm grateful today for: 

A fantastic meeting last night about service and how it keeps me sober.  It really made me think that this past year without any service commitments that require a weekly attendance, I've gone to less meetings and it's been a more difficult year, coincidence?  Probably not 

Getting to catch up with my good friend Todd for a bit last night 

Talking with my sponsor for a while last night, it felt good 

guest passes to Equinox that allowed me to take a rocking class this morning for free.  I am ALWAYS grateful for that 

A day off and filling it with stuff outside, celebrating my friends birthday and a meeting! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful this morning for:


An easy & fun night at work that turned out to be not as late as I thought it would be. It was a smaller party and a chance to bond & talk with some co-workers I don't always have the chance to talk to. It was nice.

For doing my very best to not complain or to stop myself when I start

For the stranger on the N train this morning who just started chatting with me about God and the bigger picture, he'd gotten on the wrong train, a local instead of an express & figured there must be a reason for this. There are many life lessons I could expound from this but I'll leave it open

For getting to my office WELL before anyone else this morning (6:30a), it's so much nicer to quietly work away and listen to Christmas music

For getting to my home group tonight

For an email from the director/producer of this years Round Up show asking if I'd like to be invovled - OF COURSE!!! President's Weekend :).....The show is called 'Tipsy'  a parody of the musical 'Gypsy'....I smell hilarity!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for


taking the time to write this list

a wonderfully easy day off yesterday and the delicious chili I made last night - I LOVE cooking

the long full night of sleep I got, even snoozing for almost a hour - oops

the fact that I can be late to work and I don't get in trouble. I try not to do it that often cause being paid hourly I'm the one who really gets hurt by it
another catering gig tonight. 2 more til the end of the year, I'm grateful for the work!

my boss paying me full instead of the setup rate for my 16 hour day on Saturday, it was unexpected and a great surprise

My morning affirmation practice. It really does wonders for how I start my day

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gratitude


I am grateful today for:

Today being the last day in my marathon of four catering gigs...until Monday

For my lunch being packed and ready go. Chris made a delicious one I think

For co-workers that not only work hard but do so with a little sense of humor. It makes life easier. Especially Selina

For today & being of service in it. Something I didn't know of before sobriety

For my brother. He is awesome. I'm so glad our relationship is what it is and continues to grow

For not feeling the least bit compelled to participate in something called Santa-Con and for owning my judgement about it ;)

For the one day at a time mentality. It really makes life so much easier

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gratitude



I'm grateful today for :

A full day of work with pleasant people who work as a great team together. It's nice to be a part of

A nice walk this evening that gave me the chance to catch up with my mom grandma and brother

For my Grandmas 84. Bday. She's awesome

For having a kinda difficult conversation wih my brother while still being able to talk solutions based on experience, my experience

For my friend Mark and his awesome bday celebration. I look forward to the next

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gratitude


I'm grateful today for

A fantastic meeting that turned my day around. I love walking into meetings when the topic is exactly what I needed to hear

Feeling less alone in this world

Approaching today differently & not expecting anything

Miracle on 34th st. I watched it for the first time last night

Getting to spend the morning relaxed and with my honey

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gratitude

grateful today for

A fantastic meeting last night & raising my hand even thought the last thing I wanted to do was share

The honesty in the room. It always pierces to my heart

Getting coffee and caught up with Joel & Steven

Taking some moments to walk away from a discussion that was dead ending. Picking it up later with some clarity

Finishing a project at home with Chris

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:


A quiet evening at home catching up on bad TV and making homemade applesauce.

The glow of our Christmas tree, I love to sit in that room with all the lights off but the tree.

Calls from program friends, it keep me sober and helps me to examine my own behavior as well. I had to tell someone something last night that I could tell wasn't what they wanted to hear, usually when I sense this I try to sugar-coat or back-pedal (God forbid they be mad at me) and I thought, no, if these roles were reversed I would want someone to be honest with what I should do. For me it's progress

a meeting at my home group tonight & for fellowship plans with my friend afterwards.

considering a commitment there this coming term and for also considering a 90 in 90. For some reason I'm afraid to commit to that but I do think it's something that would help my sobriety

a bit more clarity & a plan of action with regards to my Mom. A small procedure today and then a few more days in the hospital.

my siblings, Nick, who flew out there to help & Katie, who is already out there in Denver and always a help. Their humor is one of the most treasured things we all share together and that no matter how difficult, bad or sad things are there's always a smile, even if it's smiling through the pain. It's comforting

Have a great day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gratitude


I am grateful today for:

Having a fantastic time at the reading last night. It was fun to watch my cast really 'go there' unashamed, it inspires me

A beautiful walk from work to where the reading was. It took me to parts of NY I don't usually go to and allowed me to take a lot of photos, I'm obsessed with my iPhone camera & Instagram

Christopher & Lindsay for showing up for me and the numerous other friends & aquaintances who also showed up to support us all

Getting an AMAZING night of sleep. I'm still a bit tired today and recovering from the weekend but it was nice to sleep through the night

restraint of tongue. Today at work has been a little bit of a challenge. Thankfully, living sober means I don't spew negativity towards people and instead of telling them to eff off, I simply smile and say: "This is something I don't need to be a part of, please talk to management"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for


A night full of work that went MUCH later than expected (got home at 4am), surprisingly the night flew by and despite being hard work my good attitude remained

For the stranger in a cab who saw me waiting at the cross town bus station and offered me a ride across town, higher power indeed. Waiting for a cross town bus at 4am is a looong wait

For my Mom being relatively OK after being hospitalized last night, pleae keep her in your prayers

For my siblings who are supportive, informative and never lose their humor even if tough situations. If my Dad taught us anything it's that. I'd love to quote my sister who on top of moving, having her boyfriend finally move to the same city she's in & being at the hopsital with my Mom all in one week said " I'll get through this week and I'll do it with some f*ckin GRACE". Hilarious.

For my reading tonight! I'm so excited for this little project. I wish it was going beyond someone's living room because it's such a fun little play

For impropmtu visits from my friend Michael who passes by my store quite often and will always peer in to see if I'm here. Today we caught eachother!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I'm grateful today for:

the opportunity and awareness to view catering as being of service.  It really helps reframe my days & nights there 

for taking things less seriously,  I don't know when I got to be such a serious boy but it's nice to get a break from it 

for taking the time to write this today, I'm running a bit late but decided I needed to sit and write this before I rocket launched into my day 

for taking the time to clean up, do the dishes and make the bed before I leave.  It's nice to come home to a clean home. 

for calls & emails from my program friends. They truly help 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:

The ability to show up at work despite my feeling not so great & the flexibility of my co-workers who can cover when I am late.

Coffee. I know that when sick one shouldn't really drink coffee, but I figure it's better than the caffeince withdrawl headache right? I may address this logic further down the road

A fantastic two days off before launching into weeks of work. I'm also grateful for the work.

Taking the time to put up & decorate our tree! I love it!!




Program people reaching out and being able to respond. It helps me stay connected

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for.

The ability to watch great acting and think its out of reach

A full nights sleep and sleeping in til 1030!

Feeling better today

Showing up for a job interview despite enormous amounts of irrational fear

For it going well and for letting go of the result

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:

Work flying by yesterday and going easy, sometimes the holidays gets a little nutso around here, so far, so good.

Actively practicing unconditional compassion with my co workers. It's a lot easier than jumping into the negativity pool

Alka-Seltzer Cold.  Hot Tea w/Honey - when I start a cold these are the things I reach for.

Emails, texts & calls from sober friends

A long good nights sleep and even sleeping in a bit in the morning

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:



Getting a good night's sleep and taking care of myself, I feel a cold comin on

A very fun rehearsal last night. It's been very interesting to be part of this reading and it's all sober people and watch them all through their process.

A book I started reading called 'Power of the Actor'. I'm fascinated by what it has illuminated for me professionally & personally and also how it correlates to sobriety & recovery

Getting up on time and getting to work on time this morning. It always feels good to do that. Everyone else does in this world,  what makes me so special! :)

Getting to a meeting at my home group tonight. It's been a while and I look forward to feeling at home

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gratitude


I'm grateful for:

coming home to a delicious dinner last night,  chicken with a delicious tomato & capers sauce

a wonderful night/morning of sleep, it was needed

a quiet morning at home to work on my script, drink coffee and play around on spotify 

the Puppini sisters

rehearsal tonight! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:



The continued mild fall weather we're having. I LOVE it.

For a quiet evening at home and watching two movies I've been meaning to watch, Limitless & Rabbit Hole (sadly I didn't really LOVE either of them)

That the intense and insane dream I had last night about using ecstasy was just that, a dream. I seemed so real even the scene where I started counting days again. So relieved that was a dream

For a slow easy day at work today

For this video:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

GrAtitude

I am grateful today for:

Sleeping past 8 today it's he latest I've gotten up in a whole

A kick ass intensati class today full of love & gratitude

Christopher and his amazingness. I'm so very lucky

My family who always makes me laugh

Getting to spend the day with David and Andre an their family & friends

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for

A fabulous meeting at my home group and seeing A get his 90 days

Catching up with my neighbor from childhood who was in town for the night

Getting up early & taking 30 60 90 with Chris

The wonderful day off ahead which includes seeing the new muppets movie!

My rain boots - they seriously rock

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:



The work day speeding by yesterday

Listening to the messages of the universe last night and going home after work

Phone conversations with my sister and my good friend Lindsay

Getting up early and getting to work early to make up some time from being late yesterday.  I never worried about making up time when I was hungover.  There's some progress :)


Coffee that helps with everything

The movie 'Micmacs', A cute little french film with a lot of heart and a stellar cast. While I'm at it, I'm grateful for Netflix that allows me to see things I normally wouldn't AND to my boss who reccomends these off beat things to me and I've yet to be disappointed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:

a fantastic rehearsal last night, I had a lot of fun and even got assigned another part which is another opportunity to try something new & different. Side note: I've doing this very informal reading with a bunch of actors who I consider to be very successful some being on Broadway and some on TV. It's slightly intimidating but more so it's an opportunity to raise my game and rise to their level. It's nerve wracking & scary but I keep trying

getting home earlier than I thought and having time to watch an episode of "Alias" with Chris. I LOVE this show and love watching it with someone who's experiencing for the first time

For getting up early today and keeping my commitment to qualify at a 7:30am meeting. I think in the almost 5 years I've been sober I can count the amount of morning meetings I've been to on one hand. It's a wonderful way to start the day

For the people at that meeting sharing honestly and openly. It was a beautiful meeting and really set my day in a good (orderly) direction :)

For the moments of grace that I expereince both before and after getting sober. They are the reason for all the good in my life, my trick now is to get out of my own way enough to let them happen. I'm never disappointed when Grace steps in

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude


I'm grateful for:

Coffee with my friend Michael. A lovely time

Getting to spend time with my niece Samantha she's the cutest

A beautiful gorgeous day today

30 60 90 and intensati classes today

Finally finishing breaking bad episode 1

A chill night and rehearsal

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gratitude

am grateful today

For this gorgeous weather!

For an amazing intensati class this morning. It was beautiful to watch my friend Lindsay teach from her heart

For breakfast & catching up with my friend John

For connecting with my bestie Paul who lives on the west coast . I miss him greatly

For a feeling of contentment and peace this morning, what a gift!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful this morning for:


reluctantly deciding not to go to class this morning at 6:30a. I need the sleep and my shins needed a day off to recover

winning a contest at Duane Reade last night where our entire purchase was free

Receiving an email from someone asking about meetings and coming into the program. It's nice to know that I'm someone people can ask that of

Getting to see 'On a Clear Day You Can See Forever' last night, it was a quirky, off beat show that I walked away loving

A fun dinner with friends tonight, I've been looking forward to it all week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for: 

another day off

getting to spend a quality evening with our friends Darbi & Kelvin

American Horror Story

morning coffee with Christopher 

Morning Affirmations with John-Andrew

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful today 

I got a bonus intensati class last night

For a quiet night at home sometimes short term isolation is good for me

A fantastic night of sleep

Rising early for a 30 60 90 class

Having the day off today to do whatever!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful today for:


The woman who sneezed as she cut in front of me this morning leaving the subway forcing me to say BLESS YOU out of instinct instead of something else. My higher power has a fantastic sense of humor

Coming home last night to a homemade pot of Tortilla Soup, Chris truly is one of a kind and makes some AWESOME soup

Going to a meeting last night with my friend Scott. It's a meeting a I normally avoid for reasons that make no sense really. It was a fantastic meeting, kept it extremely green for me

That today is my 'Friday' - I have the next two days off!!

The soundtrack to 'The Book of Mormon'. It's hilariously wrong in a million ways

Morning affirmations.



Have a great day!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Better late than never



I'm grateful for

A FABULOUS night's sleep, I don't know why sleep has become so important to me but it's prob because I don't usually get a lot of it

Having a fantastic time at our table read thru last night. I had a lot of fear which mostly came from being less than prepared. At least I've got til next Sunday to work on it

For getting to a meeting tonight and possible fellowship afterwards

For scarf weather, I love it

Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful today for:



the many adventures in life I get to have every day

Getting up & getting to 30/60/90 today, it was hard but a had a great moment in the middle of class where I was like - YES! I'm doing this! Which was a far cry from where my head was previous to class

That I got to talk to a new comer today, we check in with each other every other day or so, he has a sponsor, but it's nice to be accountable to someone else in program too

Realizing today I'm running low on patience and that's all it is. I don't have to hate the world for it

The opportunity to do a reading of a play. we start rehearsal tonight and I'm excited about it, It's kook-a-licious

That I and my close friends continue to stay sober one day at a time

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gratitude

Good Morning!!

I am grateful today for:
A wonderful night's sleep

Coffee, Coffee and more coffee

Pushing through fear & ambivilance today to train someone at my job

Having a weekend full of work and even though it might seem like a pain in the ass, I'm grateful to be working.

Waking up sober today & loving it

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for

Getting my butt outta bed at 515am and getting to Intensati

A nice easeful breakfast with Chris afterwards

Working hard all day, I like being a hard worker

A dinner invite from my boss and even though I couldn't go, it was a very nice gesture

The express bus

Being part of my friends housewarming & bday celebration in a bar and not feeling a desire to drink

Laying my head down sober

Enjoy your weekend !

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful today
For the chance to traipse around NY yesterday snapping all kinds of pics and posting them on instagram

Getting to see my dear friend Eva and her baby Samma who is growing up so fast

For cleaning house yesterday, it was so nice to wake up to

For spending quality time with Chris all day yesterday

For sobriety, that it gives me the chance to enjoy my life today

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gratitude

m grateful today for:

Having coffee with a friend i hadn't seen in a while last night and talking to my almost after noting how much we've both changed.

Getting my ass outta bed this morning and getting to 30 60 90 class, that was a humble experience after a month off

Quality time with Buddy the pug

The gorgeousness of this day here in NY, I'm seeing a lot of beauty today

Sobriety, its nothing I ever imagined and means the world to me

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful this morning for:

The beautiful weather

The chance to listen to new works of theatre being read & watch friends do what they love

Depositing checks FROM MY PHONE!! WHAT

The pratice of gratitude

The fact that being sober helps me face each day in an immediately better place than the days before I was sober. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful today for:
practicing gratitude and taking an action regardless of my feelings
the gorgeous weather
dinner parties with friends
Carrie Underwood, Joni Mitchell  & Adele,  my muses

Crying. I spent so many years so pent up and would never let myself cry. It's a hard habit to break but easier since I'm not using alcohol to further my disconnection.  I'm glad I can slowly let that happen know when it needs to

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for: 

the chance to take a leadership role at work last night and just doing it without thought.  I mark that as progress in sobriety, as I didnt' immediately jump into fear and self doubt 

having fun while working 

the amazing team of guys I had worked with last night,  they made it so easy 

my coffee this morning 

Getting the opportunity to do service at the Bill W Dinner tonight - it's the Oscar's of New York AA, and I only say that because it's black tie :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gratitude

I'm grateful today for:


Restraint of pen, tongue & keyboard here at work yesterday, I still marvel sometimes at how people can be SO well just so, the beauty is I can just be.

Getting my ass back to Intensati class last night, it felt great & I'm the best kinda sore today

Take Out Thai Food & American Horror Story on Hulu

Having the courage to keep talking with Chris about something that needs to resolve itself and not choosing to just sweep it under the rug.

Practicing rigorous honesty

2 jobs today and being a worker among workers at both.

And I'm borrowing this from

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for

A fantastic meeting on the serentity prayer as a tool.  To me it's all about acceptance

Hugs from my home group folk

A wonderful belated birthday/anniversary dinner with Christopher

An inmproptu visit with my friends Justin & Joe

Being able to have uneasy discussions, doing my best to stay in them and not hide.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gratitude

Good Morning!

I am grateful today for:

trying something new yesterday which was eating vegan.  It was easier than I thought but by no means is it something I think I could commit to...I like cheese WAY too much

Connecting with old friends

A full day of work between two jobs from 9am until 2am and back at it today. I thought to myself this morning, man this would be difficult if I was hungover to boot, being just plain tired ain't so bad.

Getting to my home group tonight

The opportunity to be of service this weekend at the Bill W Dinner Dance.

Wishing you all the best!
xo

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:

Being back in the place I call home

My brother and his family for hosting us for a fantastic birthday & Halloween weekend

Work and lots of it

AA for introducing a new way of living.

Celebrating another birthday sober.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Tool of Gratitude

I sat in a great meeting last night where the topic was gratitude.

A word I used to cringe at.  Thankfully (pun intended), I started writing gratitude lists at the end of every day, and even sometimes on this blog when I can feel my perspective get skewed.

What I realized last night while listening to everyone was that gratitude as a tool is a perpsective shifter.  Much like when I first came into this program and my perspective was shifted.  It shifted from I HAVE to drink, to I don't HAVE to drink.  That opened an iota of possibility that maybe other ideas & pre-concieved notions I had may also one day reverse themselves....sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

Gratitude is my way to get there.  If I suscribe to the belief that what I talk about I get, then if I focus on the good in my life I will invite MORE good.  The opposite is true. I spent years YEARS focused on all the things I wasn't getting, all the life that was going on around me that I couldn't connect to and thinking about that next drink.  I don't HAVE to do that today, it's a choice.

And while a lot of external things are fantastic for me, it's the insides that changed that made that possible. The only way to keep it is to keep my insides in check, a fit spiritual condition they call it.  I'm grateful to strive for that today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's True What They Say

pg 89 - Alcoholic Anonymous "Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics...."

I had the commute from hell this morning, or rather through other eyes it would have been the commute from hell.  Luckily in NY these more than one way to get most places even if it requires a bit more walking.  I got to work 40 mintues late and had about an hour to get a whole bunch of stuff done prior to sitting at the reception desk. I wasn't quite frazzled but maybe teetering on the edge of frantic & rushed. 

The phone rings, I think I can just call them back later, but the number is from someone who is new and who reached out for help at a meeting a went to last week.  I pick up, we talk for a bit, nothing urgent no emergency - just one alcoholic talking to another about getting through a Monday.

I hang up, my breath which I had been holding flows easier, I have a smile on my face and I have been right sized.

I love this program.  Now off to enjoy a delicious Cortland apple.  There is NOTHING like NY State apples in the fall!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Instinct

I sat in a great meeting last night where the speaker read a couple of passages from Step 4 out of the 12 &12.

I was struck by the word instinct.  When I think back to my drinking days and even into sobriety my instincts are/were to lie, steal, hide, cheat, get away with something, run, deny, and to passively play the victim.

I thought about it further and realized that all of these instincts, these reactions are completely and utterly based in fear. That same old record of, if I told you what I was really thinking, you'd run away and never return.  Sadly, that record can still play today.

I'm starting my first step today for the second time in sobriety.  I decided to read through the chapter in the 12&12 on Step 1 - one of the first sentences is:  'Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness'

...and there it is again,  that INSTINCT, but for this alcoholic, my instincts are tainted because they are based in fear & ego.  Powerlessness is not something I like to admit, and while I know I am powerless of alcohol, it's interesting to look at other areas in my life and how I CLING onto them for dear life trying to control. 

This re-taking of the steps is coming at a good time for me and I am ready to learn more & delve deeper at least I think I am - here goes nothin!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Refreshing

I am not sure why I live in a place that I need to take a break from, but that's just how New York City is, trust me ask anyone who lives here...a break is always needed.

Luckily for me I got to do that this past weekend.  Chris & I returned home (Fayetteville NY) for a wedding of a dear friend. I was also blessed to be able to see my Mom & sister who flew in from Colorado as well as many other family friends. We had a fantastic time.   We visited with old friends, ate out A LOT, when to an apple orchard and really truly enjoyed each other.

We danced our asses off at the wedding and had so much FUN....SOBER!   I had this huge fear when I first got sober that I wouldn't ever have any fun (black & white thinking much).  One of those situations arose this weekend: the FAMILY wedding!  On the way to the reception I even had the thought 'these people know me as fun, dancing, drunk Jeremy'  when it comes to weddings. I pushed that aside and thought allowed myself to believe I can still have fun.

 I tell you now I had more fun at this wedding than I can recall at any previous wedding.  I wasn't covered in guilt the next day. I didn't say or do anything I regretted and I didn't have to hide.    Thanks to this program & the people in it - I have learned how...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Allowing Change

I think it's the change of season, or maybe just where I am but the last two days, I've gotten out of bed on time, showered and then laid back down and end up late for work, it's feels deep down like a familiar hang over pattern even though I am clearly and thankfully not.

I read recently one of my sober friends has started saying the serenity prayer anytime he starts to feel judgemental as he goes through his day.  I tried this experiment last night on my way home....and it became a running loop of the serenity prayer, guess I need to work on that!

I was sitting in an Intensati class on Sunday and the instructor had asked us what we wanted and not be afraid to dream too big.  My first thoughts were: Broadway, then came Weddidng, then came the thought that I can only pick one, one dream right now then came the most beautiful thought- I can have it all. 

Allowing myself that has been an awakening.  The other thing I realized is that I have to be willing to do the work, that is always my biggest detractor.  I'm glad that getting and staying sober has taught me about action & work and that through those anything, I mean ANYTHING can change if I allow it to.

The only proof I need is that I'm sober today and who'd have thought that could ever change.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's True What they Say

This program works for those who work it

After a less than stellar Monday, I spent most of yesterday doing what I could to help a fellow who is trying to get back to these rooms.  Talk about perspective and attitude adjustment.

Working with others is such a gift.  I pray to continue to be of service without condescension.  We're going to a meeting tonight together which I am very much looking forward to.

I'm happy to know when it really counts, I can stay out of God's way and simply be an instrument.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Things Come and Go So Quickly Here

feelings that is....

Yesterday was one of 'those' days.  I don't really like even saying that phrase but it was, I woke up tired, work was full of drama which I usually stay out of but it seemed everyone wanted to pull me into it. I got to a meeting and the topic was attitude and what we do to change it, how apropos no?  and of course it was a pitch meeting and who was first? ME

I tried quite hard to share solution but it just wasn't where I was and solution or not, what I could be and what I was was honest. Even as I shared I was telling myself to shut up because I was not being a good example of someone who's sober, someone who has got it together (I realize now that the two rarely have anything to do with each other)

I had a free ticket to see 'Rent' last night.  A show that is very near & dear to me. I'm ALWAYS moved by the song 'Will I'...anyway, the show put a lot in perspective for me with regards to just taking it easy, appreciating what I have and remembering it's all about love.

Today is better, not perfect but better.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Things We Tell Ourselves

Someone in my home group posted this article.  I'm left with the impression:  I can relate. Especially to this paragraph:
"I drank away the cloud of mediocrity.... The best part about drinking was how it allowed me to feel like I didn't give a damn".

That is what alcohol did for me. It took the things in my life that were once a priorty dreams, relationships, family and slid them further and further away, replacing them with martini glasses, beer bottles, shots, cigarettes, joints, white powders and oblivion.

Without alcohol I can still feel those things.  Things like 'my life is not progressing'. 'I'm sober...when are my big dreams just gonna happen!', 'I am at best mediocre' ... How it easy it can still be to jump into the pool self-hatred, despair and judgement.

THANKFULLY.  I have other tools today.  Tools that help me quickly swim to the ladder & climb out of that pool.  Tools I learned through the program of AA & from the people in it.  I often think that I am not where I want to be in this world, and the partial truth is, I'm not. I want to be performing on Broadway, that is what in my heart I am meant to do. Today I can rest easy knowing that if it is meant to be that way, it will  happen, but not in my time.  I need to take the appropriate steps & actions that will hopefully lead down that road. After all I didn't get sober to be on Broadway, I got sober to start living.

I say partial truth because if I look at my life today, I AM living There are so many aspects of my life that are amazing and wonderful.  I face each day awake (at least after coffee) and alive. I can be a partner, friend, brother, co-worker, son, sponsor, sponsee and active member of society. When I look at my life today it is so VASTLY different from what it was 4 1/2 years ago and for that I am grateful!





Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Sun Always Rises

I had the amazing pleasure of listening to a speaker yesterday who was the same speaker I heard at my very first meeting.

It was a HUGE reminder of how far I've come and beautiful to listen to how far he has come. I love that I choose to attend meetings where I can watch others grow, actively.  It's such a gift that we have that. I went out briefly for fellowship with some friends I hadn't seen in a while and then took a yoga class.  It was a beautiful day. 

I was thinking this morning as I left early for work & watched the pink of the sunrise kiss & reflect off the buildings around me that the sun always rises, and though last night was by no means a dark night for me. When I had those dark nights of the soul, the sun eventually rose.  No night lasts forever, that is a beautiful peace of mind.
Photo courtesy of http://cameronclayton.com/

Monday, August 29, 2011

Drama!

I'll admit  it.  I love drama yet hate it at the same time. 

I was caught up all Friday with the impending storm 'Irene'.  so much in fact that I went straight home after work skipping my meeting so I could obsessively check & re-check all our preparations and then visit weather.com every ten or so minutes for all the updates. I jumped in fully to the drama, heeded the warnings  & lived for every update. It was exahausting.

I woke up Saturday morning praying that my job for that would be cancelled, it wasn't.  Regardless of my feelings about it,  I showed up.  Which was good because there were only about 6 of us.  I was put on bartending which isn't a normal duty for me but when resources are thin you just gotta do what you're told.  The job itself wasn't so hard but boy was my judgements!  There was the one woman who kept coming and asking me to 'make it a strong one'.  Sometimes I hate those mirrors that show up in life but tonight I was grateful under all the judgement.  Grateful that I wouldn't have to stumble home through a hurricane!

I feel a bit foolish now that it's all said and done.  I am grateful that we had enough warning and that thankfully New York City did not get hit as badly as they thought.  I pray for those areas that are recovering from intense damage & flooding.  Can't WAIT for my meeting tonight which will be followed by a yoga class!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I don't really have anything specific to update about but I'd wanted to try & write more on here so rather than hem & haw about what I want to say, I'm just gonna type.

Fall seems to be creeping in here which is welcome, though I'd prefer a few more weeks of summer.  I've gotten back into a good schedule with meetings as well as the gym which has done wonders for me.  Chris & I are also working on the 100 pushup challenge/200 situp challenge (http://www.onehundredpushups.com/)

I'm looking forward to meeting with my sponsor tonight.  I'm both excited & scared to start the steps again.   I want to remain teachable and open so I will try to go in with that mind set rather than the - i've done this before why am I doing it again idea.

Sending some love to all my bloggy friends!  XO

Friday, August 12, 2011

Great Day

I was asked last minute to qualify at my home group the other night.  It was a blssing in disguise and a reminder that service ALWAYS keeps me sober and makes me feel better.  I was taught early on to always say yes to service and I'm glad I did.

Yesterday I had a day beyond my wildest dreams.  Firstly it could not have been a more beautiful day here in New York, I think God was showing off a bit but I'm happy about that.  Secondly, Chris & I spent most of the morning & afternoon cruising around & touring possible wedding venues.  It's amazing to think that a year from now I will be a married man.  I love it.  To top it all off, we got to attend a beautiful wedding ceremony last night for our friends Doug & Shawn.  I never thought I was one to cry at weddings, but apparently, I am.

Today, I think about the stark difference in my life now versus what it was four and a half years ago. I am so grateful for this program and the people in it who have taught me how to live. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Avail Yourself of a Sponsor

I met my sponsor in the way that worked best for me.  It was outside of the meeting room while waiting in line for the restroom and no one else was around.  It was around 13 days in and I was a nervous wreck when it came to talking to people or even speaking in meetings.  He asked a simple question:
'How are you today?'

I don't recall how I responded but I did tell him I was new. He gave me his number and asked if I could do him one small favor and just call him tonight to let him know I got home OK.  I did.  I don't remember much of that conversation either but it resulted in agreeing to get coffee together. His kind eyes, his relating to me that he had felt that way too spoke to me on levels I didn't acknowledge until much later on down my path.  He saved me without my knowing it.

We began to work together and have done so for the last four and a half years.  Recently, I re-committed to doing the steps together and being a bit more accountable & active in our recovery.  It certainly is the gift that keeps on giving.

I hope one day to be the kind of man to someone else the way he is to me.   If you don't have a sponsor get one.  It will change your life.  If you do have one, ask the question I asked myself recently - is this relationship working?  If it's not, what can change? What can WE do to work this WE program.  I promise you won't be sorry you did.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Renewal

Whew I needed that.

I think last night was one of the best conversations I've had with my sponsor in a while.  We both owned our sides of our relationship and the defined what will work best for us going forward.

It was wonderful.  We decided that it's time to delve through the steps again, go a little deeper, learn a lot more.  I am both excited and scared of that prospect. 

No pain no gain as they say.  I'm grateful for the opportunity and am ready to embrace them again with more honesty & faith than I had the first time around.

As far as the elusive sponsee, or potential sponsee.  I have decided to tell him that I can only work with what worked for me and if he's not willing to do that then perhaps there is someone else who could help him in the way that he need.  I am willing to listen if he needs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What To Do?

I'm extremely grateful that I'm meeting with my sponsor tonight.  We've been sort of out of touch as of late and I'm glad to have the opportunity to sit down and talk with him at length about my sobriety, what I need and what is next.

I also get to talk to him but am posing the question to you lovely readers:  How do you work with someone who doesn't 'want it'.   Every suggestion I make is met with complacency and patronization.  I know it's not about what I think he should do, but my suggestions are based in what worked for me.  If nothing changes, well nothing changes.  I want to continue to be the open hand/ear/heart of AA but am finding it difficult as of late.  I know what my sponsor would say, there is a reason that this person is in your life at this moment. There is a lesson I need to learn.

I will continue to pray for this individual and for the guidance to do the right thing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Hangover

I went to a morning meeting on Saturday.  When the topic was announced is was like - what?

The topic was HANGOVER.

I thought it an odd topic until I started to listening awaiting my turn in the round robin circle.  I started thinking about my very first very serious hangover.  I had gone to visit my boyfriend at the time at college recently after my 17th birthday.  I'd been drinking for a little over a year or so and was SO ready for my first college party!  Needless to say, this alcoholic overindulged, blacked out, vaguely remember scenes of making out with some who was not my boyfriend,  throwing up for hours on end and sleeping the next day AWAY completely missing dinner with his parents and any other social thing we were supposed to do that day. I felt awful, I knew it was the alcohol that did it to me and yet, I had the thought:
"Well, I didn't do that right (just another thing in the long list of things I couldn't do right), guess I'll try again next time"

10 YEARS later I got sober.  10 years of hangovers, some worse some not as bad, 10 years of treating my body as a chemistry set trying to find the right balance of drinks, drugs, vitamins, pain killers & food to allow me maximum fun with minimum pain because after all who wants consequences?  

I'm grateful today that not only do I not poison my body with alcohol or drugs, but I'm also very aware of what I do put in my body, just another gift of sobriety and I'm extremely grateful that I haven't had a hangover in 4 years and some months

Friday, July 15, 2011

Surprise!

I shared the other night in a meeting about those moments that happen to me now in sobriety where I am completely take by surprise.

Those moments when I have a usual thought or judgement which then is immediately followed by a softer, gentler thought towards myself or another human being. I've come to realize what a gift that is when it occurs.

I had another such moment this morning when I opened my email and had a note from one of my managers at a event business I work with offering his help as we plan our wedding.  It was a nice surprise because in my limited thinking I figured there was no way they'd even want to help little old me (P.O.S. at the center of the universe)...but there it was in writing. What a gift, and now it seems even more of the gift is my ability to accept help (which doesn't come easily), but I am willing.

I hope your weekend surprises you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lessons Learned

Recently I was saddened to hear that one of my litter-mates went out & relapsed.

The good news is that he is back.

What this brought to mind or rather reminded me of is that I am NOT immune to this disease,  time does not pull me further away from a drink. I think sometimes my mind likes that idea and so I rest on those laurels but the truth is, a drink is always ALWAYS an arm's length away.

I find it interesting that in times past when I heard of someone relapsing I would get so angry about it. I'll admit when my friend told me about it I had a similar reaction briefly, wondering what it was like ...but thankfully somehow somewhere over the last 4 1/2yrs through the help of this program & my higher power I've come to understand that what may be a moment, or even a night of "fun", would have disastrous consequences for my life as I know it today, even if nothing MAJOR were to happen.  I'm grateful for that knowledge and peace. I am grateful that my friend is back.  I am grateful that I can be compassionate. I am grateful that I choose not to drink today

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Quickie

I was on facebook this morning and somehow the chat thingy was turned on which I never use because I find it annoying,

Anyway,  I get a chat from a friend from college.  Basic Hi how are you questions, then somewhat sheepishly he asks if I can do him a favor, so I say yes.  He then asks if I could call his phone, gives me his number....he can't seem to find it.  I call, it goes straight to voicemail, to which he responds: "Damn this drinking"

 - AMEN TO THAT -

I'm so grateful I don't have to do that anymore.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crossing the Line

I went to a great meeting yesterday where we read from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pages - 4-7 of 'Bill's Story'

I am amazed at how everytime I read this story or anything from the Big Book something new jumps out at me.  Yesterday's slight of wisdom was: "Liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity" (Pg 5).  In my head I rolled that around and even added: ...it then became a liabilty.

It really got me thinking about when that line was crossed for me. I can't identify exactly when I went from enjoying alcohol to using alcohol. I'm pretty sure it was very early on in my drinking career even though my denial and possibly ego would tell you it was much later.

I think the reason I really needed to hear that is that this disease is cunning, baffling & powerful. Always has been and always will be. I'd say for the last month or so I have been craving a cigarette like no body's business!  That's crazy because I quit smoking long before I quit drinking.  My mind says things like: it's not alcohol, what harm can one do?  And maybe that's true (not) but who's to say it's just one AND really I must look at the why?  Why do I want to hide. What am I escaping?  Some of the answers, I know and perhaps some not. 

What I will do is continue talking about it at meetings, NOT SMOKE. Pray & meditate.  It will be lifted, nothing lasts forever.

In other very exciting news,  I think that Chris & I found the place we're going to get married!!!!   I'll post pics at some point once we've decided. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

A New Kind of Freedom

I love that part of the promises, that before we are half way through we will know new kind of freedom and a new kind of happiness.

It's strange because I've never really reflected on it before, but the things I thought (while drinking) would make me happy & free aren't the things that bring me that today. 

I spent most of yesterday hanging out in the park with my friends baby, whom I adore.  Chris & I are 'uncles' to this precious little girl.  She totally melts my heart.  She learning to walk and it's her new favorite thing to take a little spin and then come back to the blanket.  Luckily for me, I got to be her guide. Me, the fall down drunk who most times would've benefited from a little guidance while stumbling home. 

It was a gift to share that with her yesterday, to be trusted with someones child.  To spend an afternoon free from everything except those that were there with me also relishing in the deliciousness of the summer afternoon.  A new freedom & happiness indeed!

Happy 4th Y'all!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stop! You are Surrounded

It's all around me.

I love how my awareness of things is always more acute after a meeting, and even more so when my spiritual path is slightly challenged as it is a chance for growth.

I sat in a meeting last night where we discussed the topic of justifiable anger.  My awareness of just how often I do this came rushing through my body and has stayed with me most of the day as well today and what an interesting day it's been.  Dealing with personalities here at work, having to go to the dentist which always pulls up my fear of financial insecurity, then being late back to work and dealing with that...a whole lot of justifiable & just plain anger. 

Something I heard last night that resonated with me is that when I hold onto anger & resentments, it only hurts me.  This fact is something I know on a mental level but certainly not something I practice on a spiritual, physical level. 

Today is an opportunity to do so. I am grateful for that and I know this too shall pass.  Thanks for letting me get it out!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An Education in Grey

I've been on jury duty since last Wednesday.

Most people roll their eyes or groan when they receive that notice in the mail.  I'll admit I was one of them.  Through the tool of acceptance, I was able to put my feeling aside and really enjoy (most) of that process.  Our legal system to me is fascinating, at least from the perspective from which I viewed it this week. 

This alcoholic likes a black & white world.  I LIVE for definite.  Since getting sober it's one of my biggest struggles to see in shades of grey, but I do know they exist and I think I've made some progress in this area.

This case could not have been more grey. I suppose, most are or they wouldn't be on trial, it either happened or it didn't.  It was interesting to listen to other's arguments around the table where we were deliberating. I was even surprised to find that at some points I was a voice of grey reason. 

I am grateful that I see in shades of grey & that sobriety taught me how

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Obstacles

I went to a great meeting last night.  It was a meeting based on a topic from 'As Bill Sees It'.  The reading was:

As Bill Sees It page 131

Obstacles in Our Path

WE live in a world riddled with envy. To a greater or lessor degree, everybody is infected with it. From this defect we must surely get a warped yet definite satisfaction. Else why would we consume so much time wishing for what we have not, rather than working for it, or angrily looking for attributes we shall never have, instead of adjusting to the fact, and accepting it.

EACH of us would like to live at peace with himself and with his fellows. We would like to be assured that the grace of God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

WE have seen that character defects based upon shortsighted or unworthy desires are the obstacles that block our path towards these objective. We now clearly see that we have been making unreasonable demands upon ourselves, upon others and upon God.

Twelve and Twelve
#1 page 67
#2 page 76
Copyright A. A. World Services Inc.
=====================================================
I was particularly struck by the last passage "We have been making unreasonable demands upon ourselves, upon others and upon God".

I then looked back at the title:  Obstacles in our Path.

I started thinking about how often I AM the obstacle in my path and how my sometimes extreme self-centeredness keep me inside myself. 
I feel like sharing a success story.  That of my week in Vermont. I constantly challenged myself to try something different, to not hide, to let myself out.  I of course couldn't do this without help from God and without some serious meditation and prayer.  What I thought would be SO difficult usually turned out to be a slight adjustment in the way I view things or the way I act.  A small amount of willingness goes a long way.

I was able to fully be myself on stage and within a character.  It was a gift

Now being back in NY, I try to carry that with me here.  In my day to day and in meetings to get outside myself, to break through that bondage of self.  It's harder to do when I'm back in my patterns, but it is something I'm striving towards. I'm grateful I am willing

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Have Returned!

Imagine being in a place with no cell service & limited Internet access.  Scary?  Well, only for a few days, then it was just plain heaven!

Dorset, Vermont could be one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.  I truly feel that my experience there has changed me. I connected with nature & my higher power in a whole other way than before and it was amazing.

I was also challenged physically, emotionally & mentally by the show we put up there.  It was unlike anything I've ever done before.  Demanding & exploratory and downright fun.  I have no regrets!  Every time I stepped out on stage I could hear one of my teacher's voices saying:  "Leave it all here" and so I did every time, I would finish a show drenched in sweat and knowing that I just did my best, the best I could do in that moment in time.  It was rewarding beyond belief.   The other gift was sharing a stage with 5 actors who also did the same, without question or hesitation.  They too gave of themselves, they let their lights shine so that we could all shine together.  It was a pleasure and a gift I will never forget.

What I learned about myself during this was, the more I do things I wouldn't normally do:  meditate, warm up, take time for me, focus, the more I'm able to live fully in the moment, to hear myself, to my HP, and to listen....then to give. Give of myself. Give everything I have....no half measures indeed!
I will never forget nor be able to fully articulate what I went through this past 10 days, all I know is that I am changed.  That it was all divinely guided and that I am blessed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Right Here Right Now

I feel like the world is swirling around me and so much to take care of.

I'm at work for two more days and then gone for 2 weeks. I'm negotiating our lease renewal. I'm signing the contract for the show I'm doing. I'm waiting to hear news an another show I'm considered for. I'm trying to get my service positions covered. I'm learning lines and on and on and on.

When I get this way I find it's the perfect opportunity to breathe, and focus on what's in front of me.  I can only do one thing at a time.  FIRST THINGS FIRST.   Life will sometimes swirl around you, it a perfect reminder to stay in the moment, trust in the higher power that gently guides through each day, and put one foot in front of the other. 

There is no other place I'd rather be!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tender Lovin' Care

I walked into a meeting yesterday & it was the perfect place for me - a meeting on Step 3 - EXACTLY what I needed.

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the CARE of God as we understand him.

It was pointed out quite beautifully in the meeting that we turn our will & out lives over to the CARE of God.  Not the punishment of God, not the judgement of God, not the lack of God but the complete and total CARE.

I'd never heard that step in that way before and now I see it differently.  I had a shift in that meeting that made me think regardless of all the things I needlessly worry about, I am truly and totally taken care of and when I trust in that, listen to the guidance I am given by my idea of a Higher Power and stay in a service mind frame in all areas of my life, I'm in a good place.  I'm in the middle of the road on this journey and I put one foot in front of the other a bit more confidently.

Life is good, really really good. Thanks to God.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Quiet Thing

What do you do when your dream arrives?

I'm reminded of the song 'A Quiet Thing' from 'Flora, the Red Menace'.....specifically the lyric:  When it all comes through, just the way you planned it's funny but the bells don't ring.  It's a quiet thing.

Amidst the craziness that has been this week, I got cast in a show!   I am thrilled.  It's great news and it'll take me away to Vermont for a week which I think is slightly needed.  Don't get me wrong I love this city LOVE this city, but I do think that sometimes to fully love this city you need some time away.  It's interesting because I view getting this gig as something completely divinely guided.  It's not this HUGE thing that I built up in my head,  as usual when I get an acting gig.  I start to think, oh this, this will be the one to launch my career! Broadway here I come.....and while definitely that is where I'm headed, this gig is a step in that direction.  A step on a staircase where I can't see the top, if in fact the top even is Broadway - who knows.  I'm excited for the opportunity to grow, expand, play

The other quiet thing I've thought about lately is meditation.  A quiet thing that has seriously lacked in my life.  I was given the gift of Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield.  A guiding meditation CD.  So far it's helpful.  I'm excited to start growing in this way too.  I feel it's a huge part of my program that has been missing or rather ignored. I look forward to integrating it.

What are your favorite meditation tips?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Step by Step

I love those moments in life when the thing that is SO obvious screams through.

I've been hemming and hawing lately,  do I want to be an actor? do I not?  I've been comparing others success to my own which is simply a recipe for complacency with a dash of fear, or rather a few cups full. I've started to get back to gratitude, meetings and service service service!

I've started feeling better and started to take ACTION in my life. Submissions, Auditions, I'm hitting them again. It feels good.

And, thanks to this program and my practice with Intensati, it also feels different.  My 'aha' moment was when someone told me, it's not my job to decide what's right for me, my job is to show up and do my best.  The rest is none of my concern.  My job is take the step without knowing where the staircase leads, have a little faith if you will.

Something clicked in my head while in a meeting shortly after I'd read this advice from my friend. The word steps.  I'd had some fear about approaching and moving through the 12 steps of our program but I did it, with the gentle guidance of a sponsor and the ability to talk through each step each moment with my fellows. In fact I couldn't have done it without all of those people. I'm a grateful for that.

I am trying to approach my life in much the same way, take the steps in faith, talk about my fear.

All I really need to know I learned when counting days :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

 I am grateful today for:
my sponsor and the wisdom he imparts
the opportunity to be of service tonight
for remaining open & learning
for stepping through fear
for being in the moment(s) today when we went to visit our first wedding venue!!  AH!
for the magic that is Harry Potter
for the magic around us all the time
for being sober
for all of you

Monday, May 2, 2011

Return to Gratitude

I am grateful today for:
1.) Living in a wonderful apartment in New York City
2.) The ability to practice Intensati this morning
3.) That most days I live in acceptance
4.) That I can practice patience & understanding, virtues lost on me while I was drinking
5.) The ability to love & accept love taught to me by the rooms of AA

I thought or rather have felt lately that I need a serious dose of gratitude in my life so I'm going to try to get back to posting that at least daily.  Much Love to you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easy Does It

That was the topic last night.  I had to smile to myself when the meeting started as the day leading up to that meeting was short of easy.

I sat there in the meeting thinking about why.  Why had the day been so hard?  Why do they all seem repeats of the previous days? Why when I wake in the morning do I feel like someone has hit the countdown clock and I've gotta get a move on, get at this day and on and on it goes until I lay my head down at night to squeeze in some rest before starting all over again.

I realize latley that it's of my own making, I overextend, I overwork, I overdo.

Easy Does It....helps me to relax. Restores my serenity. Lets me breathe. I am grateful for it, I just need to remember it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Mighty Fortress Is Ourselves

When I was drinking, or maybe even before I started, I was a loner. Some may find that hard to believe being the middle child of 3 and growing up in a very loving family, but I can clearly recall long before I picked up how I relished my alone time.  A lot of my growing up I felt very in-between.

By the time my drinking had spun out of control, I was an expert loner.  I could feel alone in a city of 8 million, at parties, at bars surrounded by 'friends'....the loneliness was there.  I was a fortress unto myself.  No one getting in.  What I didn't realize at the time was that I could not get out.  Alcohol gave me the illusion of connection. The fleeting facade of my life is what I let you see fully believing that I was being honest, true and showing myself. It couldn't have been further from the truth.

I entered this program still in my fortress.  I credit the fellowship for slowly deconstructing my barricades, trenches & walls. Specifically, a sponsor who ever so gently & lovingly chided me to go out after a meeting even though it was the last thing I WANTED to do. Much like a rock smoothed over time by running water, the edges of me dulled as this program and it's people washed over me.

Today, having lost a lot of my defenses.  I find the challenge to be climbing out of my self made prison of selfishness and self.  I understand more than ever the line from the 3rd step prayer: "release me from the bondage of self".  I amazed at how far I can perceive the distance between me and another person.  Meetings help.  Praying helps. Service helps.  Practice.  Today I try to practice making my'self' uncomfortable. That is where growth will happen.  I am grateful for it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Give Up

There seems to be a repeating message I keep hearing at meetings lately, or more likely my awareness of it has been lifted.

Surrender.

I had to smile when a fellow at my Saturday morning meeting said that whenever she hears that word she pictures this:

I wish that those letters had been printed so clearly for me when it came to surrendering my 'control' over alcohol, I may have paid attention if it came in that package. Clearly, I had my own course to run filled with dark scary places & perhaps a flying monkey or two :)
What struck me as interesting as I sat in that meeting was what does that word mean to me today. I still have an association with weakness & giving up.  I also have a second thought now though, giving up, giving up to what? A higher power - yes, yes that.  When I struggle with my charachter
defects, it helps me to remember this.  I can just let them go, do something different, give them up to one who can take them, surrender.  I love the strength in that.  I need the strength in that.

I have to share a lot of gratitude to those in my life who let me live and try waters on my own, but never lose sight of me.  This program & fellowship are amazing.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The 'BIG' questions

So just to get them out of my head and somewhere in the open, the questions I've been having are:
1.) Am I still willing to do what it takes to live my dream.
(My career dream is to be an actor on Broadway)
More and more I'm discouraged by this process, I feel or rather I tell myself that I am not as skilled, not as talented, not as prepared, not as committed to it as I used to be.  I also feel I've never given it my true best. so there's that.

2.) Do I still want to be in NY?  I discovered or rather noticed recently that I've become quite cynical. I once heard a quote: "Live in southern California but leave before it makes you soft, live in New York city but leave before it makes you hard".....lately I've been feeling that way.  Hardened, cynical & bitter.  I both  love & hate this city sometimes.  It's truly the first time since moving here that I've consistently had these thoughts and I'm not sure what to do with them

What this week has taught me is that thoughts are just thoughts and can be changed & the feelings don't last forever. 
I'm working on cultivating my relationship with God and continuing to pursue that connection. When I trust that I am divinely guided then every thing is exactly as it should be. 
I pray to remain open hearted, willing, loving, available, emotionally in touch, compassionate and gentle.

A great weekend to you all

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Perceptions they are a changin'

Today is much better. Thank you for your suggestions & support!
I got my butt to a meeting last night,  I didn't want to be there in fact through most of it I was seething.  My skin was crawling with anger & resentment.  Somewhere during my not so great day yesterday I decided that all the big questions in my life needed to be answered and I also knew that they were not going to be but my ever willful self just decided to keep myself in that prison of despair & hopelessness, a downward spiral of my very own making that I was just plain too stubborn to pull out from.

I'm usually an action kinda guys especially when I'm feeling off, but yesterday I just didn't want to.  My ego or my sub-conscious or whatever crossed his little arms, plopped down on the ground and said NO, I'm staying.

The first crack in my veneer occurred outside the meeting, a very nice & short talk with my sister (who I'm usually giving advice to) who reminded me of something I needed to hear about myself .....shortly thereafter I was catching up with some other fellows when out came a day counter, right up to us and said hello.  We got to talk about him, it was a nice but brief break for my brain....then into the meeting,  which was a topic meeting, and the topic was perception.

I realized I needed a shift in perception.  I also realized that I can't force these things, that I just needed to feel my feelings and move with them. Sometimes where I am is exactly where I'm supposed to be.
I still have a lot of questions today, but I also have some patience, faith & stillness. I am so grateful for that and for the life I'm allowed to live because I am sober today.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Edge of Discomfort

Well hello,  sorry I stayed away so long.  Everytime I've tried to write I come up with reasons not to.

I think mostly it's fear.  I'm afraid of the things I've been thinking, feeling etc. and so I do what I know to do best - clam up.

Mentally, I know this does not help me.  I'm always amazed out how much pain or uncomfortablitly I can just sit in because, well, it's comfortable, familiar, safe.

We finished a series in Intensati based on 'The Four Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz this week.  It was a great month.  We also worked a series called 100% PURE LOVE (courtesy of the amazing Lindsay.  Both of these I think have pushed me to a place of extreme self reflection.  Which is fantastic!

What happens though when I don't like or am unprepared for the thoughts that occur?  Thoughts like:
I'm not sure I want to live in New York anymore
I'm not sure I'm willing to do the work it takes to succeed as an actor in this city

Thought I never thought I would be having.  Needless to say, I FEEL a lot about these thoughts a kin to a Tasmanian Devil whirring around inside.

I can't focus in meetings, it all sounds so good for that hour a day but when I leave, it all comes rushing back.  I feel I'm on a precipce of what I'm not sure and I feel the only thing preventing me from taking the leap of faith is me. This too shall pass, I just wonder if I should be doing something

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why?

I once heard that 'why?' is an unfaithful question.

I heard a qualification the other day where the speaker talked about his first year in sobriety prior to his relapse, and the whole first year he kept trying to figure out WHY he drank the way he did. 

I started thinking about my own story and how I sometimes get very wrapped up in the WHY.  The truth is there were a million whys and it doesn't really matter why because I never needed an excuse to drink. I would find one. Or perhaps just do it cause it's what I did.

What matters and the reason I know that I'm an alcoholic is what happened after that first drink, or sometimes in the middle of it or even sometimes after that first sip.  I became consumed with having more,  more alcohol, more attention, more fun, more more more.  That is a fact I know. That is a fact I live with and that is WHY everyday I ask for protection to not pick up that first drink.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gift from the Heart

While I was directing the round up play we did a secret Santa. My gift was the book 'The Language of the Heart' a collection of 'Grapevine' writings by Bill W. and almost a history lesson of this program of AA.

I've been reading an entry a night, just a couple of pages. Last night's reading (pgs 6-9) I found particularly interesting with regards to 'our public relations policy'

particularly this paragraph:
"During the his first AA years every AA has had plenty of the urge to revolt against authority. I know I did and I can't claim to be over it yet....I can look back on such experiences with much amusement. And gratitude as well. They taught me that the very quality which prompted me to govern other people was the identical egocentricity which boiled up in my fellow AA's when they themselves refused to be governed".

This struck because recently I've felt exactly that way.This reading made me feel very much less alone.
I've been working with my partner to try & get my finances straight. I want to do this so that we can save for our wedding. I also want to do this because I have never been disciplined about this area of my life. 'On paper' as it were, I was ready to try our new plan but when it came down to it and I had to be accountable these huge walls & resistance went up. I was reminded about the paragraph above.

I am praying to be more willing to work together with someone. It's hard to ask for help, but sometimes even harder to accept it. Progress not perfection

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Make Something

I am not one who enjoys art museums or galleries.  Actually, for the most part they make me sleepy.  Yes, I'm able to appreciate art in it's many forms but museums & galleries just don't get me going. 

Especially what is considered Modern Art.  For some reason, I always feel like: really? I could've made this...

Anyway,  I came across an article in Time MAgazine that I found fascinating.  It profiles a modern artist named Thornton Dial.  While the author delves into deeper meanings of this man's 'works of art'.  I was touched by his story.  He loses a job and simply starts to collect things,  mold them, meld them, paint them in an effort it seems just to make something beautiful.  The article notes that the artist lacks of formal training & has had very little school.

It highlighted for me that conundrum I often think about.  Talent.  I have it, I believe it's divinely inspired and I do my best to honor it.  I sometimes think though that I would have been better off not going to school for 'it'.  I left school with more doubts than I had before school and it's almost to the point that anything I do talent-wise (singing/acting) is covered cerebrally by all the things I 'learned' about how one is supposed act, sing etc.   Throw on top of that the fears, doubt and insecurity that alcoholism breed and it's one dangerous concoction for the soul.

I thinking about Mr. Thornton Dial,  I think about the talents that God blessed me with and how grateful I am to know that I possess them.  How grateful that when I honor them, I also honor my maker & myself. 

Art as subjective as it is is merely an extension of one's own creativity however that chooses to express itself in your life.  Go out & make something.  That's all Mr. Dial did, no thoughts to what i could be or should be.  Or in the words of my favorite lyricist:  "Let it come from you, then it will be new,  give us more to see" - Stephen Sondheim

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Long. Slow. Recovery

I was moved deeply by this morning's reading about hope & patience.

I remember when I qualified for the first time after hitting 90 days a few guys saying 'We Wish you a long slow recovery'  and I remember hating that they said that.

I had thoughts like 'can't you see how good I'm doing?' I thought I was on the accelerated track to recovery.

I know and very grateful that I wasn't on a fast or slow track at all, but my own track.  Sometimes I got things quickly & others I've had to learn slowly or again & again

I now get the idea of a long slow recovery and I wouldn't have it any other way. I get to work on patience. The other thing I realize, though not new wisdom is that nothing ever worth it is gotten quickly because that work, dedication and heart that goes into pursuing something is what makes it worthwhile in the end.

I try to remember this in recovery, in relationships and in pursuing my dreams.  All in his time, not mine - just keep working.  Slow & steady