Wednesday, December 31, 2014
In 1993, when I was completing my masters in social work, I commented to one of my professors that they had taught me many fine tools and, with the addition of love, they all worked very well, without that addition none of them did. Tonight I was reading in “National Geographic” about brain development in infants and it is clear that the same applies. Love, connection and nurturing, though non-physical, has a very real and physical impact on development. Love, connection and nurturing also, except in a very simplistic way, do not fit within the paradigm of scientific studies or the experimental method. However, they are very real, we just cannot understand them in that way.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
This was another day where I could watch myself very clearly flip-flopping back and forth between fear and love. My fears basically surround the publication of a book I just wrote, but if I allow it, the fears spread to other aspects of my life. The fears, which I know to be illusory, tells me things like “I need to talk to so and so” or that “I need to take some sort of action”. The fact is that if I take those actions, I am “feeding” the fear and it becomes more intense. On the other hand, if I meditate and achieve a loving state of mind, I know that everything is as it should be and that I need take no action at this time.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Once again, the Friends (Quaker) meeting was about the simplicity of love. During the day today, I have also had several interactions with the same theme. As I have commented many times today, we humans are very good at complicating our love with desires, attachments, dependency and materialism. Leading a simple life and using the three questions (Would I do this in front of God; Is this really my responsibility; Will this increase the integrity of the universe) keeps me on track.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I found myself saying today that I am a physical mess and that I don’t care, then I quickly amended that statement by admitting that it was an “inconvenience”. The fact is that I am getting older, am disabled and have a speech impediment, all of which dramatically effect my life. On the one hand, I spend a large portion of my life performing activities to minimize the impact of these inconveniences, therapeutic exercising and such. I also recall that in 1988 I was working on learning how to crawl in physical therapy and just beginning to attempt moving and walking without the assistance of crutches, so I am grateful for the abilities that I have. The main reason that my thoughts are not consumed with obsessing or worrying about my limitations is my focus on love, being of service and eternity.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
I find that I no longer identify with most of the things that other people seem to consider important. I feel a strong love for everyone and realize that we humans are fairly silly, and not nearly as gifted or special as we think we are. My point of view makes it difficult or impossible to be angry at anyone, sort of like it being difficult to be angry at a cute, lovable puppy. I also realize that most of the life events, that used to seem important, actually mean next to nothing. I tend to find much of life engaging and somewhat amusing.
Friday, December 26, 2014
On my doctor’s recommendation, I checked out her website and particularly the “wellness” section, which contained numerous suggestions about maintaining a healthy life style. Things like diet, exercise, minimizing the risk of heart problems and various types of self-examination. I realized that I do all of the things that were recommended plus a great deal more. The great deal more that I do includes attitudinal healing, visualization and hands-on healing or healing touch; basically, things that I have found to be helpful, but that are not linear, logical, scientific or evidence based, though all are supported by anecdotal evidence. It is my experience that a great deal of health and healing falls outside of the relatively simplistic, scientific model or paradigm.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
This was a day of extreme gratitude. I have to admit that the conditions in my life are less than ideal, but the thought and reality that keeps occurring to me is that “things could be a lot worse”. In fact, conditions in my life were a lot worse not many years ago. On the one hand, I have a few “Cadillac” problems like my concerns over publication of a book I just finished, a roof that has some problems, or the fact that I am disabled. On the other hand I just had a good meal, have a warm bed and am very healthy other than my disability. I also have a strong spiritual connection and spend each day walking and acting with love; pretty good!
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The theme for the day was “attachment”. I spoke of attachments at length with another recovering person, focusing, in part, on the fact that any attachment, any emotional involvement, clouds our view of day to day events. Attachments prevent us from being aware and awake, but they certainly add to the drama! Attachments also prevent us from being free to float down the river without grasping. I then talked with my wife, Maria, about the fact that our roof is going to require some expensive work, uncovering her attachment to the money. I could feel myself getting drawn in to the worry but the fact is that we still have our relationship, our love and the loss of some money will not change that.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
At my recovery meeting tonight, as sometimes happens, a fellow spoke at some length who had thirty years in recovery. He spoke for a long time and had the tone that he knew what the answers were for other people in recovery. I, also, have been in recovery for many years and because of my recovery program and numerous other sources, I have learned many things. I see the world quite differently than I used to and one of the things that I now realize is that I know next to nothing about what is really going on in the world around me. I know enough to know that I know very little.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Once again the reading at the friends meeting I attend was “simplicity” or the simplicity of love. My comment this morning was that we humans are a bit silly in that we complicate it with all sorts of thinking. For example, my birth family, as well as many others, equated love with material possessions, and, to some extent, they believed, it was possible to show love through costly gifts. We can also complicate love with emotions such as grief or co-dependence. Love is simple and real. These things exist outside of love.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Today, I really enjoyed the feeling of being groundless, awake, aware, some would say “enlightened”. Some days, the intensity of that feeling is hard to take, similar in feeling to an intensely sunny day at this altitude (7,000 feet). The fear associated with publishing my book has passed for now and I enjoyed connecting and interacting with several recovering people today. One of the topics that came up in the groups I led today was “pride” and I have to admit that I am proud of what I do and who I am. I also have to admit that it took a while to get here.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Being lost, groundless, wandering aimlessly through a trackless desert, seems to me to be part of recovery, part of reality. Earlier this week one of my friends spoke of that feeling as one of “nothingness”. That feeling seems to be the normal feeling that results from mindful meditation, combined with giving up the attachments that provide the illusion of being grounded. I am referring to the attachments common in everyday life like material possessions, belief in a job, the importance of being young, physical health or belief in the many tragedies of life. In my case I have given up many attachments, do a lot of meditation and feel lost much of the time. I am also free to be acutely aware of the world around me, a feeling I enjoy.
Friday, December 19, 2014
As I said in a recovery meeting earlier this week, I need to stay firmly rooted in love and faith, if I do that the events in my life feel harmonious, I make better choices and things tend to work out. The way I do that is to begin each day with spiritual readings, prayer, meditation, asking for support and guidance. If I do those simple things, the problems and challenges that I encounter during the day resolve fairly smoothly. I feel much better. If I fail to do those things, I get caught up in fear and react accordingly.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Tonight, I was experiencing and absorbed by fear, something that has happened periodically in recent times. Maria asked me to do some hands on healing with her, which I did. As part of my preparation for that I changed my focus from fear to love and within a few minutes I felt much better. Being of service to another and changing my focus to love usually has that effect.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sensing the empty fullness and connection of all things, which I spoke of yesterday, seems to require mediation, presence, listening and a high degree of detachment. This is a very difficult combination, but well worth the effort and commitment. I am reminded of the words of Joy Marsh; “there will never be a dull moment. You will see the colors of music, hear the songs of color and be blessed with magic people”. In my experience, everything appears and feels very much more vibrant.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
During my recovery meeting tonight one of the members was talking about his experience of sensing what I call the empty fullness and wondrous nature of all living things. When I talked to him and encouraged him after the meeting he was speaking of his deep connection with trees and his sense of their growth, roots and intimate connection with the earth. For me, it was exciting to hear someone else waking up to that reality. I also suggested to him that he not try to understand, define or thoroughly describe the experience, to just enjoy it.
Monday, December 15, 2014
In talking to a client today, I was reminded of the connections we can make with dead friends and relatives. I have used that connection, with my clients as part of the grieving process. I might have them write a letter or simply talk to the person who has passed, expressing words that have not been said, a process that I have done myself. I even suggest that they ask for a sign that the deceased person heard them. The process, which assumes the deceased are still present in some way, has proved to be very cleansing for myself and others.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
A day of intense emotions, numerous connections and lots of love. The day began with a very meaningful recovery meeting during which a close friend celebrated twenty-eight years of being clean and sober. Then Maria and I visited with another old friend who had just returned from a spiritual excursion to India. That was followed by some intense work with the family of a recovering addict and then a celebration of several addicts completing the first phase of their recovery program. Each of the events was an example of moving forward in love and life. All in all, a very fulfilling and meaningful day.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
I have a great deal of training and experience oriented at recovery from addictions of various sorts. I have a good understanding of the process. I also make a strong connection with my clients, know and understand them fairly well. It’s important for me to realize that my ability stops there. I do not know what is best for anyone else, which path is the best for them. The best path for another person is between them and God. My role is to use my training and experience to help them find their best path, without allowing my own ego to impose in any way.
Friday, December 12, 2014
The topic for today’s recovery meeting was faith and many people expressed the caution or fear that the outcome of God’s or life’s plan for them might not be either pleasant or what they had in mind. As a result, they were resistant. When I spoke, I made it clear that I did not understand what God was and also could not see the bigger picture. Given that, I assumed the outcome would not be what I had in mind and, as I said, that is “wonderful!”. I do assume that the outcome will be the best for me, though I will not be surprised to not think so, when that happens.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I am in the process of making some final changes to my book, having already made the initial arrangements for its publication. This whole writing process has been a very intense exercise in listening to the guidance of my Higher Power/love/God, my initial inspiration for the book project. What I do is to listen for ideas, try writing down my interpretation and adjusting until it feels right. At present, and recently, my task is to make my recommendations stronger while staying true to the source.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
I am approaching another recovery anniversary (thirty years, illegal drug and alcohol free) and as is usually the case, I am reflecting back on my journey. When I look back I notice a great deal of divine intervention, in fact I clearly would not be alive or doing nearly as well as I am without it. I ask for that intervention daily and have come to depend on it. The question that occurs to me is whether the same level of intervention would be or is available to anyone who is willing to surrender their self-will completely, as is recommended in my program of recovery. I suspect so, but I do not know. I just know that has worked for me.
Monday, December 8, 2014
A “meat & potatoes” or “split wood & carry water” kind of a day. Meaning that I, largely, took a break from my typical spiritual focus and spent a good part of the day taking care of simple, household tasks, like cooking and laundry. I seem to need such breaks periodically. The day was a welcome, less intense break. I still started my day with an extended period of prayer and meditation, which seems to be a given.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
On the one hand, providing a loving response, acting in a loving way, sounds simple, and theoretically it is. However, when faced with the reality of the human condition, acting in a loving way is often difficult, requiring meditation to determine the right course of action. For example, I have a friend who is in very bad shape emotionally and physically due to his alcoholism. My initial response is to rush to his aide in any way I can, actions that do not feel quite right. When I meditate, the most loving response seems to be to not take any action until he begins to take some action on his own, and only then to provide support. Meaning, that the loving response right now is to let him experience what he needs to, in spite of that being difficult to watch. Personally, I have found the loving response to be complicated at times.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
I just wrote a check in order to self-publish a book I wrote as part of my effort to increase the impact of love and spirituality in the world. It is not logical but I have been experiencing a great deal of fear around the action of publishing this book. However, feelings are not rational. It is best to feel the feelings, express them openly and let them go. It is also important, in this case, that I not allow the feelings to stop me.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Earlier today, I was talking to one of my clients and commented that the pictures and videos that go viral on the internet are often of thing like cute animals or babies doing loving things, indicating a good side to humanity. He pointed out that the things that go viral are often “darker” too, indicating a less pleasant side to humanity. The fact is that we have both and a great deal of human existence reflects the struggle between the sides. That struggle has certainly been evident in my history. It has been part of my life. I now choose to be on the loving side of the conflict.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
I really like and have a very personal understanding of the words of Bradford Keeney from The Bushman way of Tracking God : “When we started prioritizing thoughts over feelings and seriousness over play, our emotions became ignored. We forgot what was possible if we kept our good feelings well fed. This is how we lost hold of the ropes [to God]. Fortunately, they never went away. They are sleeping in our hearts, waiting for a song to wake them up.” The fact is that I spent many years with my primary focus on my intellect, before I began to expand my view.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
I am working with two individuals that really desire to change, for things to be different in their lives. I care about each of them and they have turned to me and others for assistance. When I make suggestions, they tell me that they cannot or will not do the actions I suggest. I have been in their position many times and when I was truly ready for change, I was also ready to do just about anything that was suggested, I had surrendered. I wonder if it is that simple in these cases.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
I attended a movie (“The Theory Of Everything”) about the life of Steven Hawkins today. The parallels between his life and mine are quite noticeable and I found myself crying several times during the movie. I have told many people to pay attention when they cry, that there is something of significance there. That thought makes me uneasy. He and I each deal with a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder, though each in different ways. We were both also told that we would die, some years ago. He has had a large impact on many people and I have not, at least not yet. We also differ in that love, healing and God have been an important part of my life, rather than intellect. I wonder what awaits me.
Monday, December 1, 2014
The themes in the Friends (Quaker) meeting today were simplicity, love and integrity, very timely in view of the excessively capitalistic manner in which most people move through the holidays. I have been asked several times about how my Thanksgiving was and my response is always something to the effect of “quiet, with a simple but special vegetarian meal”. The fact is that Maria and I have a simple, uncluttered life, which leave room for spiritual and emotional connections.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
In my interactions today, I encountered the question of how to deal with the monotony of life without experiencing boredom and restlessness. When I was following the purely intellectual interests of a highly trained scientist, I did, indeed, find much of life to be monotonous. Since that time I have added spiritual and emotional elements to my life. Life has now taken on much greater depth and complexity within its ultimate simplicity. I now balance my day to day existence with the realities of love, other emotions and eternity. Monotony is no longer a concern!
Saturday, November 29, 2014
I have written a book based on this journal, my daily practices and the three questions I use to determine my actions during each day (would I do this in front of God?, is this my responsibility?, and will this increase the integrity of the universe?). Today, I decided to self-publish for a variety of logistical reasons. It feels important that I write down the ideas and observations I have been given. It also feels important that I put the information “out there” for others to see. Those actions are my responsibility. Beyond those actions, the outcome, is not up to me. I do entertain myself by fantasizing about possible (often grandiose!) outcomes.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Today was Thanksgiving and I felt a lot of gratitude for my life, with all of its numerous difficulties, primarily because of my focus on eternity, rather than my day to day existence. I also went through a period of fear, before I realized that using the eternal view, my fears were silly. My best way to realize the silliness of my fears is to ask myself “if I were on my deathbed, would this make any difference”.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I am clear that I do not know the “right” or loving action to take for other people, and that it is even difficult for me to determine that action for myself. However, I observe and communicate with many others around me who are responding primarily to some form of fear of possible future events. They are reacting to fear rather than love, quite understandable since that is the way we have been taught. I have spent most of my life reacting to fears of one sort or another. The reason that I now choose to base my reactions on love is that the outcome is generally better for everyone involved and feels “right”.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Some years ago during my morning meditation I encountered a place or sense that I referred to as the “Absolute”, a place of total love, peace and well being. I referred to that place as absolute since it was beyond the duality I associate with normal earthly existence. I have since found out that many spiritual leaders and mystics over the centuries have encountered the same sense or place, and even call it the same thing. Because of my near death experience and other experiences I now associate that place with God and eternity. Being with that place every morning has changed my view of this present life.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I have been reminded, repeatedly, today that it is much easier to change behaviors, than it is, the thoughts and feelings behind those behaviors. For example, I stopped the behavior of using drugs and alcohol about twenty nine years ago. That change was difficult, but not nearly as problematic as the numerous shifts in attitude, thoughts and emotions that I have gone through since then, changes that have been necessary to remain clean and sober. As far as I can tell, the same applies to any changes in life.
Monday, November 24, 2014
The theme for today was acceptance. The fact is that there are many aspects of my life that I simply need to accept and integrate into my life, if I am to be serene and happy. It is a little strange to me that I need not like these aspects, but if I cheerfully accept and work with them, the result is less stress. Two examples are that I need to do a variety of exercises several times a week or experience physical pain and the other is that all activities I do take three to five times longer than they used to. So, very simply, if I do my exercises and plan my time accordingly, my life is pleasant. On the other hand, if I choose to not accept my limitations, I experience consequences.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Today, I had numerous conversations around the fact that many events exist beyond the relatively simple and understandable concepts of see-touch-feel or obvious cause and effect; events that fall outside of simple, linear human understanding. I am referring to things like the “hundredth monkey” phenomenon, the mind-body connection, the efficacy of prayer or the water crystallization experiments. I find it amusing that I used to not accept the reality of these phenomena and went to great lengths to explain them away, using simple linear logic. Now I just accept that there are many things in the universe that I do not understand. I realize that these events are outside of the paradigm which I have been taught to use.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Recently, I have written a lot about the impact and unreality of fear in my life. The fact is that I have been working through, what seemed like, a major and very real fear, the kind of fear that caused my stomach to be upset and consumed much of my thinking. I just kept doing the next right thing, in spite of the fear. In order to determine the next right thing I used a lot of meditation and proceeded to take very careful action. As much as possible, I used faith and love to realize that everything was and always would be just fine. I now feel the sense of freedom that comes from having made it out of the prison of my own fears.
Friday, November 21, 2014
It has been a day of affirming my position in the universe. I do very well as long as I continue to be in harmony or partnership with the force or power of love or God, and act accordingly. I had two clients this morning, who are each doing very well and told me what a wonderful therapist I was. Then I went to a recovery meeting where the topic was “humility”. The woman before me mentioned that her day went exceptionally well as long as she maintained the partnership I just spoke of; as if to remind me. When I spoke, I said much the same.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Through my prayer, meditation, contemplation, a near death experience and my own living experiences I have come to know an unconditionally loving and selfless God, a God that truly embraces the human experience and free will. Not a personified jealous God who judges me, considers me to be sinful or pitiful or requires any sort of obedience. I, passionately, want others to know and live with that God. My object or goal, at this point in my life, is to expose as many people as possible to what I have come to know.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
It seems important for me to face the activities of any given day with faith and love, rather than fear of consequences, an approach that is certainly more enjoyable. If I think in terms of outcomes, I tend to gravitate to the negative and then worry about things to come. On the other hand I can keep my attitude in the present, act the best I can, and assume things will work out, an approach that seems to work well. Daily prayer and meditation helps me stay with faith and love.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
I recognize that the fear I spoke of yesterday is both very human and totally illusory vapor. I look around me and notice that many (most?) people determine their actions based on a desire to avoid certain consequences, fear of those consequences. That is something I have done most of my life. I am now attempting to determine my actions based on love, selecting actions that will promote “the integrity of the universe”, a very different approach. As I have noted before, taking actions based on love feels like a clear mountain stream while taking actions in reaction to fears feels like a turbid lake. Love feels right and there is a clarity to it.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Today, at the Friend’s meeting especially, and during the last couple of weeks, I have been given a great deal of praise for my writing and ideas. I wrote an article on “The Importance Of Connecting” for the Sun Paper, which several people have commented on and others have commented on my “Daily Journal” blog. It may be strange, but deep in my gut a part of me screams “DANGER!!”, in response to the praise. My belief is that I have used such praise in past lives to feed my own ego’s sense of power, and to dominate other people and then experienced negative consequences. I do not wish to do that this time around. As I said yesterday, I want people to understand and act on things like love, compassion, understanding and connectedness.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
This morning I was commenting on the fact that people respond with enthusiasm to those who can write or speak eloquently or even poetically. I, on the other hand, cannot and/or do not choose to do that, I cannot seem to do that, even if I try. My writing and speaking is very brief and not the least poetic. I place all of my emphasis on the message contained. I find that I am not at all sure that my choice is best in terms of reaching the largest number of people, but that is what I have been given. I want people to understand and act on things like love, compassion, understanding and connectedness.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Today was a day of connecting with others, enjoyable, fulfilling and exhausting. I employed my “deep listening” skills and was very respectful, understanding and compassionate with each of the people I met with. I can readily see why people often utilize “distracted listening”, since this approach was a lot of work and required a good deal of focus, while distracted listening does not. The approach I used was also extremely fulfilling and definitely “increased the integrity of the universe”.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Last night I led and participated in our monthly men’s group and this afternoon we had our last of six Friend’s (Quaker) writing group, which I participate in. Each are small, very intimate groups with intense and profound connections. That level of connection can be modeled and encouraged by the leadership, but ultimately relies on the participants. I am reminded of the words of deCastillejo from Knowing Woman when she wrote "For there to be a meeting, it seems as though a third, a something else, is always present. You may call it Love, or the Holy Spirit. Jungians would say that it is the presence of the Self. If this 'Other' is present, there cannot have failed to be a meeting." That sort of group is a sacred occurrence.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Right now, I just feel loving and strongly connected, wonderful. Earlier today I was falsely accused, then very angry and finally amused, due to my own anger at a person being them self. We had a men’s group tonight and I spoke of the anger and that, of course, helped it to pass. The whole process was a good example of being open to my feelings, talking about them and letting them pass, something I have, historically, not been good at, especially with anger.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Yesterday, I spoke of the possibility of my own doubts and fears holding me back, a real possibility. I did not yield to those doubts and fears yesterday and I will not today, a decision that feels very good and firm. I am a very human voice for the importance of that power or force of love and God. That power has changed my life and as I mentioned in the recovery meeting today, I now “walk in a bubble of love”, an incredible experience.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Once again today, I submitted a variety of my own writing for publication in the Friend’s (Quaker) newsletter. Also, once again, I am experiencing all sorts of doubts and fears about what I have done. My submission is a personal effort to push myself to be “out there” more, to increase my exposure. As usual, I wrote about the importance and value of spirituality and love in my life, a message I would like others to hear and incorporate, in there own way. Ironically, I also write about how fear tends to hold us back from being the people we could be. The fear certainly does that in my case, if I listen to it!
Monday, November 10, 2014
Today I had a very strong sense that I was doing well but that I was involved in events with others that had some significance beyond this simple life, events that had some eternal significance. Also that I need not even try to understand beyond that knowledge, that it was important to just do my part and then let it go. As Maria said today, there is considerable relief in that knowledge. I continue to “play my piano & sing my little song”, the rest is not up to me! Life is good.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
I find it both wonderful and strange that I now rely on mystical guidance and my own intuition to determine the majority of my actions during the day. I rely very heavily on my connection and now firmly understand the comment by Hazrat Inayat about the life of the mystic; ‘The whole life of the mystic is mapped on this principle... a voice from within that tells him “go here,” “go there,” or “leave”... Therefore, while others are prepared to explain why they are doing something... the mystic cannot explain, because he himself does not know. The one who knows little, knows most; and those who seem to know more, know the least.’ The fact is that I now know enough to realize that I know next to nothing, and act accordingly.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Today, in addition to working with a client, exercising and paying bills, I did a few hours of quiet meditation. The meditation I did was not oriented at any particular topic, question or even the observing my thoughts like in mindful meditation. I just relaxed and allowed my thoughts to come and go, letting them sort themselves out. Before the meditation I felt emotionally “congested”, a feeling that I no longer have. The feeling of clear flow is back.
Friday, November 7, 2014
One of the realities that is quite apparent to me is that I am very different from the norm of the people around me. This awareness is particularly pronounced when I am with a group of Friends from the Quaker meeting, as I was today. I feel comfortable with them since they are very interested in spiritual matters, but they are also firmly rooted in the trials and tribulations of this earthly existence. I, on the other hand, am firmly rooted in the spiritual existence and consider earthly matters to be minor and very short-lived. Both views are totally valid but different.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
I lived a life based on fear for many years; fear of not performing well enough, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, etc. I also had high blood pressure, an ulcer, active alcoholism and did not sleep well. It took me several years to realize that fear was illusory vapor, that I was not protecting myself and that I was expending needless energy. I now lead a life based on love. A simple choice that took considerable introspection and growth. I have low blood pressure, a good digestive system and sleep like a stone. I like where my spiritual connection has taken me!
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
During the past several days I have participated in numerous conversations revolving around the fact that much of what people say and do in this culture is based on fear rather than love, an approach to life that I was certainly taught during my formative years. For example, the news reports and peoples discussions frequently involve problems and some sort of negative event(s) that could result, feeding fear. On the other hand, it is possible to acknowledge the problems while also noting some positive events and considering behavioral choices that would “increase the integrity of the universe”, an approach that is more balanced and that I use when I am confronted by life.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
This morning, while waiting for a movie, I realized that I had forgotten to do one of the things necessary for my continued licensing. I began to go into a fear spiral, imagining and projecting all manner of negative future consequences. Then, I realized what I was doing, entering into & feeding the fear rather than staying secure in the knowledge that everything would be fine, a more love based view. I then reversed my view & enjoyed the movie. When I got home, a simple phone call took care of the problem & I will have to pay a very minor fine.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Normally, the day after a family weekend, like today, I feel emotionally drained and in need of a lot of self-care. Today, I just felt very spiritually connected and energized all day. As usual, the feeling of being connected was very enjoyable and almost manic. One of the comments I made to Maria is that when I am strongly connected it is like my self-will just dissolves and goes away, a strange feeling. I am just a tool and good with that.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Late this afternoon was the closing ceremony for this family weekend and I was wondering if I should attend. Earlier in the afternoon, I worked with one of the families earlier during the afternoon, so I was pretty tired. Before the ceremony I heard “be present and listen”, so I went. Not surprisingly, my presence was appreciated by the families and I was glad I was present. It feels harmonious to simply do what I am told.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
For today, the emphasis was on families. It is a “family weekend” where I get most of my referrals and it was also Halloween. For the first time, Maria and I are living in an area with a lot of young families, so we got to interact with a lot of children this evening. Overall, the day was a beautiful experience. I was pretty well exhausted from connecting and working with young men & families during the day, so my participation with the young trick-or-treaters was minimal, but fun. The young people & families represent life and love in action, very vibrant.
Friday, October 31, 2014
The topic in the recovery meeting today was humility and, in addition, circumstances have made it quite clear to me recently that my physical condition could be a lot worse, that it is by the grace of God that I am doing as well as I am. As Kornfield puts it "To love fully and live well requires us to recognize finally that we do not possess or own anything---our homes, our cars, our loved ones, not even our own body.” For that reason, every morning, I have my period of prayer and meditation during which I ask for guidance and support. I guess that is either humility, reality or both.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
I find that I have to be very careful and disciplined to keep my focus on the Absolute of love, connection, inclusion and eternity, while also functioning in this transient, but very compelling world. Things like work, staff meetings, listening to NPR and many newspaper articles tend to pull me back into a fear based transient existence, that many people think of as reality. Those things also tend to draw me into becoming a human doing and to forget who I really am. The prayer and meditation that I do each morning keep my focus on the Absolute of love, connection, inclusion and eternity, a much more awake and aware point of view.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
It is paradoxical but attitudes like criticism or judgment do not promote long-term change and growth in me while love and support do. An atmosphere of love tells me that I am perfect and sufficient the way I am, but also promotes my growth and change. Within that atmosphere I actually want to change and become a better person, become all I can be. In the past, I have been criticized and judged to be very flawed, with the result that I felt negative about myself. The criticism did not cause me to grow or change, which was its purpose.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Today I was very conscious of the fact that fear, not love, rules the lives of most people, and used to rule mine. I really like the way M. Williamson commented that “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the relinquishment—or unlearning—of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.” Through the socialization process while I was growing up I learned to fear many things like authority figures or not performing well enough. From within that fear, no matter what I did, it was not enough. From within love I am enough, a good feeling and one that promotes growth.
Monday, October 27, 2014
This was a day of listening. After some early morning life activities like exercising and paying bills, we went to a Friend’s meeting, where I sat, meditated and contemplated for a couple of hours. Then this afternoon we went out to some ruins in the Twin Arrows area, where I again sat, meditated and contemplated for another hour or so. While at the ruin, I sat next to a juniper which seemed to want me to stroke and bless it, so I did. Then, in typical Charlie fashion, I wondered if I was just imagining things and, in response, the tree wafted me with a strong scent of juniper. I also sensed that the spirits around the ruin appreciated and were with us. All in all, the day was a very pleasant experience.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
As I mentioned earlier today, there is a great deal of peace and harmony in my life today and conversely fairly little stress and drama. In part my peace is due to my belief in what I heard early in recovery, that "nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all". Not only do I find that to be true, but most of the people who I am close to and interact with daily, do as well, also adding to my sense of peace. That attitude gets the ego and what the ego pretends is important, out of the way and then allows for more loving interactions. A belief that most of life’s events don’t matter removes a lot of stress and fear. Relationships, love and connection do matter and the focus of life can be placed there.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
The importance of acceptance was a theme that kept coming up today. I had not thought of it before, but acceptance is very important as the basis for a loving approach to life, an attitude or approach that increases the integrity of the universe. I need to accept other people if I am to listen thoroughly and then begin to work with them. I also need to accept myself and my current circumstances if I am to deal with my life.
Friday, October 24, 2014
I feel a strong love for other people, regardless of their situations, beliefs or what they think of me. The source of that love is the force or power that I call God. Part of that love is being with them and emotionally supporting them while they experience unpleasant things, similar to the way I have gone through the many unpleasant experiences in my own life, things like disability, physical pain or just life circumstances. As Bach says “They are the stones on which you choose to whet the keen edge of your spirit. Know that ever about you stands the reality of love, and each moment you have the power to transform your world by what you have learned.”
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I had numerous interactions of various types today, which, overall, left me feeling lost and confused. I stayed present and moved from one situation to the next well, but since they were all very different, when reflecting on the sequence I found it confusing. For example, I was of service to two people, offering suggestions and advice, which will, possibly, go unheeded. I also was worked on by the medical intuitive healer I go to and had some interaction with my wife. I talked about the extreme nature of the book I am writing, the fact that it will probably not be a money maker and the likely difficulty I will have getting it published. Toward the end of the day, I talked extensively about my past experiences and the current difficulties and limitations due to my disability. All in all, the day was a good example of staying present and going with the flow of life.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The topic in my recovery meeting today was “fellowship” and, during the meeting, I began reflecting on how much help I have received from others in recovery and from non-physical helpers, like God. All in all, it has been quite a journey, involving many. In my case, the help began with the numerous people who gave me guidance during the initial part of my recovery journey, guidance that continues today. After the meeting I was approached by, and provided suggestions and guidance to two people. First receiving then giving and receiving, two fine examples of love in action.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The highlight for me today was connecting 1-1 with another recovering person, in order for him to grow and change spiritually and emotionally. He realized that certain beliefs and behaviors that he was conscious of were holding him back from feeling at peace with himself and his life. He also realized that he had other unconscious beliefs and behaviors that were doing the same thing. I could certainly identify with both. Not that many years ago, very similarly, I knew there were problems with my life, but I had no clue how to do things differently. I needed some guidance. It is now wonderful to pass it on.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Maria and I went out to Wupatki today. When there, we did a pipe and smudging ceremony. It sounds silly, but my sense was that the pipe wanted to go with us. Once there, the spirits & land felt very supportive, affirming and powerful. Earlier in the day we attended a Friends (Quaker) meeting and the feeling was one of positive changes taking place, changes toward love, peace and compassion. One of my friends just had a talk during which she referred to such a change going on. I have an emotional attachment to those ideas so I am cautious, but it seems that what Maria and I do, is part of that shift.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Today, I led two groups for the newly recovering addicts I work with, lots of good connection and love, very enjoyable. As always, I kept in mind that my role was to serve them and asked for guidance and support before each of the groups. We talked about the dark or shadow side in each one of us, a subject I enjoy since it is so seldom talked about. By definition it is that part of each of us which is often negative and we don’t like to admit to, let alone talk about it. In myself, I have learned to acknowledge it, love it as part of me, talk freely about it and not act on it.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Yesterday, I mentioned fears as being typical of the human condition. Meaning, fears about getting older, physical problems, surgeries, disabilities, death, etc. These fears seem to be common to most humans, and, I must admit I have them too. In me they are only whispers of thoughts that pass through my brain, which I do not take seriously. The reason I do not take them seriously is that fears are basically meaningless and having them will change nothing. Additionally, I understand this life to be very short and transient. I find it better to be at peace with what is happening and keep my focus on the eternal and the absolute of love.
Friday, October 17, 2014
I attended the second meeting of our Quaker writing group today. The theme was our current concept of God and how that has changed during our lives. As before, people shared very deeply and openly, a wonderful connection. It was notable to me that we all spoke and wrote of the same thing, the same feeling, with subtle differences based on experience and history. There was a strong feeling of love and connection in the room. We also spoke of our fears and involvement in the transient human condition, also beautiful, though less enjoyable.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Using a combination of love, mystical guidance, intuition and my training I seem to have a very accurate notion of what is going on with my clients and how to help them. I also need to put my ego aside. In order to accomplish the combination I just described, I need to attend to my own physical, emotional and spiritual needs. So I need to recognize that in order to do what I do, it takes a lot of work, awareness and humility.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I used to make an effort, daily, to do God’s will and I also made an effort to be of service. However, I believed that I had some control over my life, that I was in charge to some degree. Then, three times now, I have been very close to death, on my knees crying and asking for the necessary strength, guidance and support to simply stay alive, everything else had been stripped away. I made it clear, at those times, that I would commit my life to spreading love and being of service. I had no idea how much freedom there was in letting go to the degree I have now. I believe, that the same lack of being in control or in charge is true of most people, as is the importance of love.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Right now I have a little more than three months short of thirty years in recovery, which began with the cessation of the use of drugs and alcohol and then expanded to dealing with numerous other activities and behaviors. I have made liberal use of love, God, the guidance of many people and several recovery programs. I have, largely, left behind the person I used to be, though I am regularly reminded of that person in the recovery meetings I attend and I know that person is right there, if I choose to return to that way of life. I have become the person I aspired to become and I continue to grow.
Monday, October 13, 2014
I generally work with a recovering person only during the first six months of their recovery and then they switch to another therapist. I always experience some sadness and some desire to hold on, when it is time for one of my clients to graduate to the next phase of recovery. Yesterday, one of my clients graduated. I did my job well, connecting, loving and guiding, now it is time to let go. It is useful for me to acknowledge, feel and let go of my own feelings in much the same manner.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
This was another very long day, as frequently happens during weekends that include the family workshops. There has been a lot of work with the families together with their addicts the last couple of days. During that time, I have been acutely aware that my role is often to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”, having done a lot of each the last few days. Usually the addicts I work with have some sort of comfortable, though self-destructive, pattern that needs to be disrupted and changed if they are to remain clean and sober. They are also usually experiencing emotional pain. The net result is that they generally require both comforting and confronting if I am to connect and help.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
This was a very long and somewhat chaotic day. I had six hours of very draining and intensive connection time with clients and their families. Additionally, my plans for the day kept shifting because people’s travel and arrival times did not go as planned. The combination was tiring but I was also pleased that I did not resist the flow of events at all. As usual, adding resistance to the mix would have accomplished nothing in terms of outcomes, but certainly would have added to stress and fatigue. This was a day of going with the flow of life.
Friday, October 10, 2014
This afternoon we had our first meeting of the Friend’s (Quaker) writing group and we were to write in response to the query “who am I”. To me, it was notable that most, but not all, responses to the query related to the participants experiences regarding their present physical form. In most cases they spoke of things they have done during this life, not who they were. There was also some mention of problems or limitations imposed by their current physical forms, age or physical pain or ailments. In my case, I responded to the query in a more spiritual sense, referring to myself as “timeless, selfless and eternal”, quite different and definitely not rooted in my current physical form. I did not mention or think of limitations or pains imposed by my disability, very real but also quite transient.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
We had our monthly men’s group tonight. I am a member and also lead the group which I have done so for a few years now. There were only five of us tonight. I was impressed by how much we have helped each other and particularly how much I have influenced the members of the group, or rather how much God, through me, has influenced them. As long as I keep my ego in check, stay humble, listen and do what I am told, wonderful things happen. It’s a challenge but also great to be part of that process.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tonight I got into a negative spiral, thinking that there was something I was not doing and that I would not be able to cope with life in general. Fortunately, I don’t experience the negativity often and when I do it does not last long (about two hours in this case). The situation tonight was notable in that even during the experience, I realized that there was no substance to it and that the feeling would pass, like the vapor it was. It has passed and I am grateful.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Having spent the last few days doing a lot of prayer, meditation and contemplation, I feel at peace with my life, a good feeling. A few days ago, I was feeling close to overwhelmed & nothing has really changed other than my attitude. It was important to take the time, rather than push myself to do more, another of life’s paradoxes.
It also struck me tonight that most people consider prayer, meditation and contemplation as optional, a choice not a necessity. For me, it is not optional and I don’t question that.
It also struck me tonight that most people consider prayer, meditation and contemplation as optional, a choice not a necessity. For me, it is not optional and I don’t question that.
Monday, October 6, 2014
This morning I attended a meeting of the Friends (Quaker), during which I focused on being relaxed, quiet and listening. As usual, I had several good connections and it was nice to be with similar minds. Then this afternoon, Maria and I drove out to the Twin Arrows area for a few more hours of being quiet and listening. My intuition and guidance tells me that this is a time to pay attention, be alert, and ready to change course, that there are things of importance going on. I have not been able to go beyond that, presumably because I don’t need too. I trust that I will be provided with what I need.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
I would not say that I have been feeling overwhelmed by life the last couple of days, but, at least at maximum capacity. My response, on this occasion, is to spend more of my day in quiet meditation and contemplation, what I think of as sorting time. I do not attempt to fit everything into a logical and linear process, but to have some comfort with it. I cannot say that I have reached any sort of resolution or understanding of what is bothering me, but it feels right to do the sorting. My meditation consists of relaxing, filling myself with loving intent, asking for guidance and then allowing and listening. I want a resolution but make an effort not to push it.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
As I have been taught or shown, I watch the choices regarding dealing with the Ebola virus with considerable interest, detachment, understanding and compassion. It appears that the eventual outcome is very much up in the air, at this point, but there have been natural consequences thus far. As various scientists have pointed out, the virus has demonstrated very normal population growth at this point, and, if not stopped, will enter the exponential phase soon. Not that I can do anything about it, but I suspect, like with other events, that the final outcome will be beneficial.
Friday, October 3, 2014
This was another ordinary/extraordinary day. Ordinary in the fact that my day consisted of normal Thursday activities, like two clients, lunch, a recovery meeting, a haircut, dinner and enjoying the feeling & smells of the evening with Maria in my backyard. Extraordinary in that I am able to participate in those activities at all with the insights and understanding that I have. I realize that I could easily be dead and that, through my meditation, contemplation and experience, I have a far deeper understanding of life than I thought possible. It feels good to be grateful.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
I had a day of staff meetings and talking of political concerns, interspersed with some talk of the clients. I was reminded of how easy it is to get wrapped up in the drama of political concerns and begin to neglect the clients. At one point, I found myself saying, “always remember that your job is to serve the children”, meaning to serve the clients not other staff. I need to remember that love, connection and relationships are important and not get lost in distractions and drama.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
I, like many others, have emotional scars left over from the past, earlier in my life. The specifics don’t matter but I thought these left over beliefs defined me. The associated behaviors did, in fact, help me survive - then. I mean, in no way, to blame anyone in my past, since they were all doing the very best they could and they all had their own challenges. The fact is that those beliefs about myself held me back from the person I wanted to be. It took the courage to change, a lot of meditation together with the love, support and guidance of God for me to realize that those beliefs were lies and to discard them. I now work with many others to help them overcome similar beliefs that hold them back.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
We went to the Grand Canyon today, and the sacred Lakota pipe I was recently given wanted to go with us. When we went to our first lookout it was crowded with tourists all scurrying about taking pictures, enjoying themselves, reminding me of how different I am. I felt the need to sit, be still, listen and simply be with the canyon, out of respect for its sacredness. At that point, I went into a trance of sorts. I became one with the pipe and the canyon, weird but unforgettable. I later described the feeling as being part of a wave in the ocean. What I meant was being part of something massive and powerful that was moving, but not really moving, just full of potential.
Monday, September 29, 2014
I attended a Friend’s (Quaker) meeting today and the theme was something like, if indeed, the love or God-seed is in all people, then we should realize that it is even in people like Hitler or Saddam Hussein, and act accordingly, a good message. I was struck by the message because I know it to be true. As I commented in the meeting, I, very purposefully, seek out and work with antisocial people who others frequently do not want to be close to. I have never failed to find that love or God-seed within them. That seed is always there and it is the part I work with.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
I live within the love and compassion that comes from that force I identify as God. I carry and act according to that force throughout the day. To me, like a loving parent, that force is not always sweet and gentle, though it certainly is much of the time. Also, like a loving parent, that force will and has prevented me from doing things that were extremely self-destructive, like attempting suicide. For the most part, God allows me to experience natural consequences. I use that caring and love as a model for my own actions, when interacting with others.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
I have been reflecting on the message contained in the poem “The Perfect High” by Shel Silverstein. As he says at the end of the poem "Yes, Lord, it's always the same...old men or bright-eyed youth... It's always easier to sell 'em some shit than it is to tell them the truth." The fact is that I have gone through a great deal of internal work and have had to overcome numerous internal obstacles, with the result that I now live a simple life of peace and love. I readily admit that the path has not been easy or fun but the end result is beyond what I thought possible. I have noticed over and over that many people admire and are drawn to my way of life, but, at the same time, do not want to do the necessary work to achieve the same, so I also make them uncomfortable.
Friday, September 26, 2014
As I commented to Maria tonight “within our challenges, we have it pretty good”. What I meant was that, yes, we each have physical, emotional & spiritual problems or challenges, but we each meet those challenges with awareness, humility and willingness. We are very aware of our options, humble enough to ask for help, when needed and willing to take the necessary action. A person can’t do much better than that. For the most part, as is often the case with other people, the problems are pronounced enough to get our attention, but not insurmountable.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
In my recovery program, drinking is viewed by some as a very negative thing and not drinking is celebrated. I do not agree with drinking being negative since drinking or using drugs is a normal, though self-destructive, part of being an alcoholic or addict. I do consider it a miracle that several times a week I sit in rooms full of addicts and alcoholics who are not drinking or using. We are clearly the unusual ones, since we are not using or drinking, a testament to the power of love or God. Today I was in the company of an active alcoholic who was going into withdrawal, since he had not had a drink for several hours, a miserable feeling.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I had to chuckle a bit during the recovery meeting I attended today. The topic was “patience” and during the meeting, I reflected on the fact that several years ago I would lose patience with people who walked or talked slowly. At the present time the only people who walk more slowly than me are the very old or disabled and I don’t know anyone who talks slower than I do. I used to be impatient much of the time, and did not enjoy the feeling. My body has since taught me patience and I am more at peace as a result.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
A day of relaxation and sorting. I did some exercising, went to a movie and did some computer work, but mainly I did a lot of meditation and contemplation, just siting and sorting. My main focus during sorting is asking myself if my recent actions were in harmony with the three questions I use; 1) would I do this in front of God, 2) is it really my responsibility, 3) will this increase the integrity of the universe. I just go through my recent actions and decide what future actions I need to take, based on the questions, using a loving approach, rather than guilt, shame and fear. In the past, I would emotionally hammer myself with guilt, shame and fear and there still are whispers of that, a small amount of that tendency still exists. For the most part, I just ask myself, fondly, if there is anything I would like to do differently or in addition.
Monday, September 22, 2014
I was reading an account of a dream I had a little over a year ago in which I, symbolically, go through a variety of life stages and finally get to a stage of being totally lost in a wilderness area, a symbolic statement of how I felt emotionally and spiritually. In the dream, I was only minimally uncomfortable with being lost. The main difference between then and now, is that now I am totally comfortable with being lost. I am clearly not in charge of where my own life is going. I am in charge of the actions I take today, my next step. As I said to Maria tonight “I know we own our house, but I feel like it is a rental”, a valid statement for the rest of my life as well..
Sunday, September 21, 2014
We exist within a world of dualities like pain versus pleasure, young versus old, pleasant versus unpleasant and we tend to place a higher value on one side over the other. That bias feels shortsighted to me. The fact is that both sides of any duality are equally valuable parts of the whole and each side contributes equally to the life process. I find it best to embrace both sides, while usually enjoying one more than the other.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
I attended a gathering today where a great deal of time was spent expounding on the positive changes a person experiences during recovery and there was no mention of the difficulties, pain or struggle frequently involved in the process. The bias was not surprising, is pretty common, but also felt a bit dishonest. Both sides are a valuable part of the recovery process. I prefer looking at and embracing the whole picture, rather than only talking about the pleasant aspects.
Friday, September 19, 2014
As I said during my recovery meeting today, the power of love or God has saved my life at least three times; once overcoming drugs, once overcoming alcohol and three times dealing with my disability. Given that, I have no trouble in turning my life and will over to that power and I would be foolish to not acknowledge that there is something there. As I said in a later meeting, I have also been given the necessary guidance and support to help me survive and thrive with those challenges. I now spend a portion of each day, asking for continued support and guidance.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
This evening I had an opportunity to pass on what I have been given to a woman who is having a lot of pain and physical issues. For the past several years, I have had a very difficult physical path with a lot of pain, fear and suffering. Ultimately, dealing with the pain, fear and suffering has made me a great deal emotionally and spiritually stronger. My journey has led me to know more about the power of love and God, especially since the medical community could not help me. My passing on the gifts I have been given is an important part of continued recovery.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The recovery meeting I attended today was about group unity and love, a subject that has been very important for my survival. Back in ‘84, a recovering alcoholic took the time to talk to me and express his caring about me, which I thought strange but took advantage of. At that point I was isolated from any personal human connection, including my wife. I suspect the connection I made with him saved my life and I now enjoy connections daily. An important part of my own recovery process is pass on what I have been given and support group unity.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Today I sent in my article on “The Importance of Connection” to the columnist at the Sun paper, for publication. That felt like a big and concrete step for me. Sending in the article is a strong statement of affirmation that my experiences and understandings are important enough to publish, that, in fact, other people may benefit. That sort of affirmation is difficult for me but I recognize it as a necessary step in becoming the person I wish to be. It is also an important step in my promoting change.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Viewing the events of the world from an attitude of love, peace and well being versus an attitude of fear and apprehension usually does not change those events, but it certainly impacts the way I feel about them. I generally take the view that “the universe is unfolding as it should”, noticing but tending not to be very disturbed by whatever is happening, an approach I lose if I listen to the news very much. That being said, there are still several things that I wish were different so I do what I can and let go of the rest.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
In a group I was leading today, we were talking about the importance of connecting with each other and the topic of introductory small talk came up. Several people use, what I consider meaningless banter, when first meeting someone. They are good at being social and I am not. I am successful at keeping initial conversations relatively superficial and light but not meaningless and usually not conventional and a bit of a challenge. I tend to stay clear of topics like the weather, sports, TV shows or jobs in favor of more personal topics, like personal interests or family. I also tend to go into deeper personal topics pretty quickly, if the other person is willing. I much prefer making a genuine connection.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Today, I was acutely aware that there are several practices that I commonly encounter in this culture that really bother me, like gossiping, competing, comparing or lying for personal gain. These are commonly found within capitalism, and I must confess that I have done all of them, but no longer do. As far as I can tell, they do not fit within love, integrity or a spiritual life. I also find it difficult to judge others for doing these things, since they are part of me also, but I can choose not to.
Friday, September 12, 2014
I walk with that force that I call God all day, every day, meaning I conduct my activities according to the guidance I receive from inspiration and intuition. That is most obvious when working with clients, but also includes mundane activities like buying kitchen appliances or getting car work done. In each case, conducting my life this way involves setting my self-centered, fear based ego aside and listening intensely for guidance. The process is quite different from the linear, cause and effect, self-willed method I used to use. The most obvious difference is that it is always other or service directed. My assumption is that in the process I will get my needs met.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
The most important event of the day was a meeting of the men’s group this evening. I both lead and participate in the group. The group of up to ten of us, all in the recovery process, is focused on the spiritual and emotional growth of each member, within an atmosphere of love. I consider it to be quite an honor to be part of the group and keep the group on course. I find it energizing to watch and be a part of the impact of love and support on each of the members.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The topic that has kept coming up recently is the power of our own stories or belief systems to hold us back from potential growth or changes in perspective. In my case, I have had to overcome notions of self-deprecation and then anger in order to move forward. They were beliefs about who I was, based on childhood experiences. My current struggle is to be free to become much more than I ever thought possible. My tendency is to hold myself back. In each case, I have used an atmosphere of love, faith and hope in order to move forward, which is what I am using now.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The theme for today seems to be that doing the “right” thing in life, the action which is loving and will increase the integrity of the universe, is really very simple. Doing the right thing is a matter of setting the fearful ego aside, listening and then taking action accordingly. It is clear that the fearful, defensive and hurt ego, complicates things, making it difficult to listen. The answers are there.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Maria and I went to a spot near Sunset Crater that overlooks the Painted Desert this afternoon, peaceful, solid and very enduring. This morning we attended a Friends meeting, also having the feelings of being peaceful, solid and very enduring. Both contrast markedly with the disturbed feelings I spoke of yesterday and put those feelings in perspective for me. The fact is that humanity is learning and growing and, like a young growing puppy, humanity will do some harmful things. The universe was telling me that everything is and will be just fine, regardless of the choices humans make or the outcomes that follow. As Ehrmann said “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
Sunday, September 7, 2014
I was talking about my concerns today, which alleviates the situation some, however I cannot shake being disturbed about the direction much of humanity is going. There are many ways in which we are harming each other or the earth, usually with some sort of short term gain in mind, without regard to long-term consequences. As I mentioned today, the harmful actions are taken, while each of us also realize the “right” path, the loving and respectful action that will increase the integrity of the universe. There are certainly pockets of people being careful to take the loving and respectful path and I will continue doing everything I can.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
When I work with someone, the aspects I focus on are the progress and the presence of attitudes and awarenesses that were not there before. For example, I tend to focus on the development of love, understanding and compassion, together with the action of doing more service work. My approach is very love and strength based. On the other hand, some other people notice what is missing, behaviors and attitudes that have still not developed. For example, the same person might still be relatively entitled, self-centered and lazy. Both views are totally accurate and valid. My preference is obvious.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Today, I was talking with a fellow recovering person about integrity, a subject and way of life that is very important to me. I watch other recovering people and note that they will say nice words, especially during our meetings, and then behave differently. It is important to me that I “walk my talk”, in and out of meetings and when noone is looking. One of the points I made today is that integrity also means that if something does not fit in my life, is not honest and love based, I do not participate in it. This sounds easy and simple when I write about it, but I do not find it so. I also get consequences, the most common is being told that I am not a “team player”.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
I lead a fairly busy life, often going rapidly from one thing to another through much of the day. During the day I find that I need to pause periodically and remind myself of the importance of things like God, love, compassion & understanding, remind myself to “be”, not just “do”. I depend on the quiet time of prayer and meditation each morning to keep me firmly rooted in the importance of things like God, love, compassion & understanding. Without that special time, I tend to lose track and my day does not flow as smoothly. Unfortunately, I find it easy, even compelling, to become a “human doing”.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
This afternoon I was performing a healing on Maria’s eyes and I started to heat up even more than usual, very much the same as recently when I do self-healing in the morning. I found it necessary to take my shirt off, in order to avoid over-heating and the subsequent session was very strong. There was an intense feeling of the healing power of God/love passing through me and I found the session (perhaps ten minutes) to be exhausting. The process felt like I was accessing or allowing a power that I had not before, that I was using a part of my brain/heart/soul which had not been used before.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Today, I have been feeling a great deal of self-doubt over what seems to me to be a simple and obvious choice of living a life based on love rather than fear. Having lived with both attitudes, I now prefer a life based on love, or am I just being delusional to even think I am doing that and why are so few others interested. I am fine with my life as it is, and do not own or want things I do not have. I observe other people destroying our world and hurting each other and I am good with their choice, while also wishing and doing everything I can to make it different. I find it totally understandable that people (including myself!) do silly and addictive things and love those people anyway. Sigh.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Maria and I drove east of Flagstaff to the Twin Arrows area, south of the location of the casino to a ridge on Hopi land that had several ruins. As we approached and Maria slowed the car, I, involuntarily, went into a state very much like, what I call, zoning or deep meditation, a trance state where I am more receptive to the spirit world and less connected to physical reality. The reason for my shift in perception was not clear to me except that it was important and that I became more receptive to the information passed to me, very strange, but it has worked so far. Understanding is not required.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Conducting my day-to-day experiences from within love or with God, whichever way you wish to phrase it, is a wonderful, magical experience. I wish all could have that feeling. Unfortunately, having that feeling seems to require discipline and a willingness to resist some of the attitudes and activities that are promoted in this culture. My personal experience as well as that of many others indicates that indulgence in the numerous distractions presented in this culture, like excessive material possessions and over involvement in drama actually detract from the growth of the seed of love or God.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
This was another busy day and during my morning meditation I, again, made it quite clear that I would need guidance and support, especially since I only got a few hours of sleep (plus a bit over two hours of deep meditation/zoning). I slept quite well, though for a short time, waking without an alarm and feeling quite energized. I did not realize that I was still being “Higher Powered” until that assistance left me this evening. When the power left me all of a sudden I felt like I had been hit by a truck and just went to bed and slept a bit longer. This life is strange!
Friday, August 29, 2014
Busy day. During my morning meditation, I made it quite clear that I needed support and guidance in order to carry out my activities for the day and I got it. I had several clients and received very precise instructions and guidance for working with each. It was one of those days when I felt like I was acting in partnership with God and the results were quite remarkable. In one case, I made it clear to my client that I was just doing what I was told, which he was used to, so he just felt amused, understanding and appreciative. One of my other, newer clients exclaimed “this is weird” since it was obvious that I had prepared ahead of time, knowing the things he would talk about. I just responded “no, it’s not”. Overall, it was a very good day.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Today, I went to see and get worked on by the medical intuitive I have been going to monthly. He uses his hands and intent to promote healing, primarily in my brain and jaw. He expressed some frustration over the fact that I still have problems with my speech and jaw coordination, and I have to admit that I am impatient also. However, as I noted later today, my walking, coordination, strength, jaw control and general mental clarity have all improved over the last few years, in spite of the prediction of doctors, so it could be a lot worse. Being grateful rather than impatient feels like a better approach.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
My role in life right now is clear; to spread the message of love and God I have been given, while continuing to “be the change I would like to see in the world”. Previously, I have had my doubts about being able to pull that off without falling into the many ego traps within “money, power and prestige”. For today I am past those doubts, quite a relief. I will continue to ask for guidance and support, while doing my best, very simple.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
At the Friend’s meeting two days ago I commented that it is not possible for any of us to turn our backs on God. I later made the comment that I had certainly tried. It is clear to me that God will accept whatever we do without judgment and still love us. That feeling has been communicated to me directly and is my understanding of unconditional love. I now carry that feeling with me and pass it on, every chance I get. In the event that someone verbally attacks me or accuses me of lying, I do not judge them or lash out at them. What they say or do does not alter reality.
Monday, August 25, 2014
This morning I reached out to another struggling person, a potential connection. I also spent some time sitting with an injured pigeon, another connection. Each interaction was very loving, fulfilling and selfless. No thought was involved, just, what seemed to be, right action. In the process, they each request of me that I be more than I am alone, without the guidance and support I get from the power or force that I call God.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Yesterday an injured pigeon decided to spend the night perched on a wheelbarrow just outside of our back door. I was touched by the trust. I also sent the pigeon healing energy as it settled in for the night. Today, I sat with the pigeon for a while and sent it more healing. I sprinkled bird seed nearby, as usual, and it ate and joined the other pigeons when they came to feed. When they left, it stayed and returned to its perch on the wheelbarrow. I am enjoying the connection.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Today, for a major portion of the day,. I felt totally fed up with being disabled. As I said to Maria, because of my disability “everything that I do is such a f----ing chore”. I did not change my activities or behavior in any way, doing cooking, exercising and computer work. I even worked with two clients. However, my belief in unconditional love tells me that I should embrace the feeling and let it pass.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Yesterday I attended a workshop in which we covered various measurable aspects of the stress response and holistic methods of alleviating that response, like meditation, yoga and breath work. The measurable responses like hormone levels or activity within specific areas of the brain can be readily recorded and quantified. It is those aspects where the focus is, for obvious reasons. I asked and am intrigued by the non-measurable responses like the fact that the mere presence of an observer has an impact on the outcome or the impact of a loving connection between the people in the experiment. As was pointed out by the speaker, I make use of that response, daily. I suspect it has a very large impact.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
My comments of yesterday helped to shift my attitude to one of gratitude. Overall, my life is quite a bit easier than life is for most people in this world and it is good for me to remember that. Life is often pretty harsh, especially for those like myself with disabilities and special needs and especially in developing countries or parts of this one. The fact is, that I am pretty comfortable; living in a beautiful place, having an adequate income with my physical needs met. I am very much aware of my connection to everything and everybody and attempt to live in a manner that respects that connection, being of service and doing as little harm as possible.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
This evening Maria commented that she wished my life was easier and, I must admit that I would like that too, but I quickly reflect on two points. The first point is an attitude that I picked up from a tree living in a harsh environment; “it is what it is”. The second is a comment by R. Bach, “An easy life doesn’t teach us anything. In the end it’s the learning that matters: what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown.” The fact is that, because of life experiences, I now know things, primarily about love, compassion, gratitude connectedness and the life process in general. I, very much, appreciate the things I have learned and think I will leave it at that and pass it on.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
This was a day of peace. I had no clients, went to a movie, exercised, interacted with Maria and went to a recovery meeting.
The movie I went to was “The Giver”, which I found very enjoyable and the movie also emphasized some points that I am passionate about. One point was the unique value and importance of the presence of love in this life. Anther was that all of life’s experiences, pleasant & unpleasant, are a vital part of this journey. Another point that was emphasized was that we are capable of making better choices than those based on fear and violence.
The movie I went to was “The Giver”, which I found very enjoyable and the movie also emphasized some points that I am passionate about. One point was the unique value and importance of the presence of love in this life. Anther was that all of life’s experiences, pleasant & unpleasant, are a vital part of this journey. Another point that was emphasized was that we are capable of making better choices than those based on fear and violence.
Monday, August 18, 2014
I went to a Friends/Quaker meeting this morning and, at that meeting, one of the participants spoke passionately of sensing God in all things, particularly a large, old, stately juniper. The first time that happened to me was many years ago, while sitting on a ledge on the side of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. I love the feeling of knowing and sensing my connection to everything and everyone, finding that love and connection everywhere. Sensing that causes me to treat the earth and all of its inhabitants as sacred.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Most of my clients and other people that I work with on a non-professional level, put me on a pedestal and observe that I can do some remarkable things. The remarkable things, for the most part, are true, the pedestal is not. Being put on a pedestal is a normal part of the process but, in truth, God deserves the credit, not me. It is good for me to keep in mind that I am just Charlie, a normal person, and that I can only do the things I do because of my spiritual practices. As I said to Maria, “as long as I stay humble, continue with my spiritual practices and do what I’m told, magic happens around me”. It’s fun, fulfilling and a lot of work so I suspect I will continue.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
This was a day of beginnings and endings; I began working with one client, and finished this phase with another. It is wonderful for me to be part of this process, just doing what I do. Typically, when I begin working with a client, they do not feel good physically or emotionally. The specific interventions and outcomes vary with each client, but I use love and connection with each of them in addition to offering various tools. It is the love and connection that allows them to blossom so that, after six months, they have grown and changed an amazing amount.
Friday, August 15, 2014
We had a men’s group tonight and I spoke of my fear of being more “out there” as far as just speaking out and the potential of influencing more people, which I feel “called” to do. As a result of the group support, I feel very encouraged - still scared, but encouraged. As I talked about in the group, I have the ability to influence other people and help them grow, as long as I stay humble and do so with love, asking for support and guidance along the way. My fear is that I have experienced in myself and witnessed in others, that kind of power corrupting all of the people involved, something I would like to avoid. I will continue.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
In the not-to-distant past, I was very careful with my diet, eating primarily fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, since that diet increased my clarity and connection with God, love and life in general. Recently, I have been introducing more and more dairy products, mostly cheese, into my diet, resulting in slightly less clarity in my connections. Physically nothing has changed. My weight and cholesterol levels are fine and I am still, what most people consider, thin or even skinny. In order to maintain or improve my connection, it is time to alter my eating habits, once again.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Today, Maria, my wife, pointed out that the general populous of the world would benefit from having a greater awareness of and contact with the force of God or love. As she pointed out, many people seek that awareness and connection. Also as she pointed out, I can provide some suggestions to help people gain that awareness and connection. I will do so, as always, with the help, guidance and support of that force. I have found a way to promote and incorporate that awareness and connection in my own life and will “pass it on” to others. The prospect of that process scares me since I have miss-used my influence on others in the past, and I do not wish to do that again.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
In a human sense, I am in no way worthy of the numerous gifts or the support and guidance that I have received from the power or force I call God or love. It is quite clear that what myself and other humans view as unworthiness does not matter at all in an eternal sense. At present, my devotion is total and I will do anything I can to promote that power or force, activities and attitudes that clearly do matter. I have had a difficult life and have done a lot of negative and destructive things to myself and others, during many years of my being hurt, angry and confused. I still have a difficult life but am now devoted to being a positive force in this world.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Today, I attended a celebration of someone who has been in recovery from drugs and alcohol (illegal drug and alcohol free) for thirty years, a milestone that I will be at in another five months. I am an alcoholic and a drug addict who has been free from each for twenty nine years. For the last twenty five years I have been living with a disability that was supposed to be progressive and degenerative and has done the reverse. During the same time, I have experienced numerous other miraculous happenings. All of these things, which logic says should not have happened, seem to be associated with God or love. I choose to believe in that force.