9 Affirmations to Open Your Heart

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My body is talking to me; yours is too. The question is–are you listening? How can you and I listen to the cues our internal selves push to the external?

I’m convinced we listen with our hearts. I don’t know about you but I’m occasionally guilty of allowing things to block my heart.

Things like moving too fast through my days, not nurturing my body, not caring for my soul and just plowing on like doing is much more important than being.

Money worries get in the way if I allow it.  And I’ve been allowing. Push, then push some more.

How can I make more money? How many more clients do I need?

Sometimes I catch myself working for money instead of working to serve others. I’ve been guilty of writing for money instead of writing for others.

Priorities askew, once again, and my body keeps talking.

My blood pressure is too high and there’s something going on with my kidneys that has to do with not properly releasing toxins. What? Me not let go of something?

Within the last few days, my heart started listening, though. Awareness is a powerful motivator (as is fear!) Listening requires a partnership with action, I think. When action follows awareness, or listening, then change is inevitable.

Part of my process for change includes affirmations. They always seem to help my heart listen.

I uncovered these nine simple thoughts a few days ago and they seem to help settle me; maybe they’ll do the same for you if you’re dealing with a life challenge.

I have faith that divine order is working in my life.

Love is my nature, so I let love stream forth.

With God-given vision, I perceive good and bring it to reality.

I abstain from my ego’s false perceptions.

The good I seek is looking for me.

I am a radiant point of light.

I let my thoughts be love intentions.

Today, I judge no thing and no one. 

Be here, find peace in recovery. (You may notice that’s the new tag line for this blog–check out the header!)

Do you use affirmations when times are tough? Do you have a favorite? Please share! And I’d love it if you’d share this post on social media links below.

Photo courtesy of behakboo42

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How to Share the Power of Recovery

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I now know that I went about telling my family I was in recovery from alcoholism in all the wrong ways.

No wonder they looked so baffled, confused and even a little angry.

How I wish I had known then about recovery messaging and the power of using the right words and ideas when it comes to speaking to my family, friends, employer and my community.

I thought everyone would be ecstatic that I was no longer drinking.

Turns out it wasn’t quite that simple. Had I made my story about all the good things that were happening as a result of entering recovery and stabilizing my life, instead of focusing on how I would no longer be a train wreck in others’ lives, people may have understood better.

The good news is it’s never too late to share the power of recovery

Does anybody besides the recovery community care about recovery, let alone how powerful it is? As a matter of fact, research by Faces & Voices of Recovery reports that yes, the public does care; in fact:

  • A majority (67%) believe that there is a stigma toward people in recovery
  • A majority (74%) say that attitudes & policies must change

People want to know about recovery! That second stat? That 74% want to see change in policies like access to treatment for people with addiction? I find that so damned exciting!

The thing to remember is there’s a right way and a not-so-helpful way for those of us in recovery to approach the telling our stories.

The not-so-helpful way is to focus on your addiction. In my case, it was me wrongly describing to anyone who would listen how I would no longer be an 80-mph train barreling through my loved ones’ lives. Or me constantly saying things like, “Oh you know, that’s what I did when I’d had 12 Bacardi and Cokes!”

The right way is to focus on the stability of recovery, on the great things that have happened in your life as a result of recovery.

So what does all this mean in the big scheme of things?

Let me back up for a second. When I talk about delivering a message, I’m talking about sharing your story with family, friends, neighbors, the person next to you on the train, your pew-mates at church, the person in line with you at the grocery store, and definitely, the media, if that’s something you’d like to do.

The message is shaped, of course, depending on your audience, but for the most part, it’s the same content.

Do people in recovery want others to know that people with addiction get well?

Again, referring to the Faces & Voices study, 88% of people in recovery believe it’s important for the public to see that thousands of people get well every year. That’s a pretty impressive number for a community that is supposedly anonymous, isn’t it?

Here’s something for you to wrap your mind around: You’re not telling your story for you.

Even when you’re having a one-on-one conversation with your next door neighbor, you’re representing the recovery movement. The chat you have may very well change the thinking and impact the actions of another person attached to your neighbor.

Our purpose is to create opportunities for others by sharing the news of how recovery kicks ass in our lives. @bheretoday (Click to tweet!)

I’ll leave you with this: Five years ago, with 18 years of recovery, I embarked on an odyssey that changed everything about my life except my recovery. All the bold and scary-as-hell steps I’ve taken since late 2009 brought me to an understanding that I must participate in the New Recovery Advocacy Movement.

You see, it’s because of recovery that I participate in recovery. And now my life is all about living the dream so that maybe, just maybe, someone else can too.

Photo courtesy of cohdra

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Are You Praying to the Devil?

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For those of us who enter recovery through 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, or through treatment centers steeped in the 12-steps, we’re told that we’ll come to believe in a power greater than ourselves (Step 2).

That is, belief will come as a result of allowing concepts like powerlessness and unmanageability into our foggy brains.

Later as we work through successive steps, sponsors and others tell us that we get to choose our concept of a higher power. We can even name it, if we want (I eventually chose GUS for God-Universe-Spirit).

You may have struggled, like I did, with the whole “God thing,” based on childhood drama around the church. Now, my mission here is definitely not to diss anybody’s past or present beliefs. I will say, however, that in more than 3,500 12-step meetings when the topic of God is raised, I’ve listened to people inevitably talk about the challenge of aligning their childhood idea of God with their recovery concept of God.

If you stick around the rooms of recovery long enough, you’ll find out two things:

1. Although most people call God, God, nobody really cares what you call your HP.  2. By and large, everybody who holds an HP close to their heart, believes that HP is an all-loving, all-caring, all-nurturing entity.

So here’s a question, if you believe that God (insert your term) is absolute love, complete goodness and wants only the best for you, what happens when crappy stuff happens?

Does the devil answer prayers?

I’m a huge fan of Rev. Ed Townley, a Unity minister in North Carolina, who writes a daily message by way of email. Last month, he wrote about a woman who was down on her luck. From his post:

“There was a general energy of sympathy and self-recognition in the room. But then she said something that made me sit up sharply. ‘I pray. Of course,’ the woman said, ‘but even then, I have to be careful. I believe that sometimes the devil answers prayer!'”

Like Rev. Ed, my beliefs are rooted in New Thought, meaning we are all expressions of God’s divine love and that God has no opposing team headed up by the devil.

Thoughts are prayers

It’s easy to credit God with providing supreme direction when things are going well. You should give yourself credit too because chances are you’re a positive thinker, a glass-half-full kind of person.

In the spirit of New Thought beliefs, those positive thoughts are prayers. Called affirmative prayer, you hold what you desire close to your thoughts, or as we say, “thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.”

Obviously, positive thoughts do have an opposite but the principle remains the same. When we focus on negativity, when we adopt a “yeah, but” attitude because we’re sure the worst thing will happen, we are siding with the devil.

How you ask? As Rev. Ed says, by misusing our power.

“We make choices that create fear instead of love,” he explains. “And then we use those fears that we have created to justify the creation of more fears, until our minds are filled with a whole mass of negative energy that believes in itself.

“We bring more of that fear into tangible expression,” Rev. Ed continues. “So in a very real sense, we could say that Satan is answering our fear-based demands for more negativity.”

The moral of this story? Stay positive or you may find yourself praying to the devil!

Photo courtesy of MGDboston

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You Too Can #TakeTheCrown

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Baseball is quite a metaphor for life.

Oh sure, baseball lacks the back-and-forth flash of pro basketball and the smashmouth pounding of pro football. Some say baseball is boring because It. Moves. So. Slow.

True, true and true. For a fan of pro baseball, though, the game is like a long, teasing novel that draws you in, hooks you with beautiful scenery, surprises you with gutsy, didn’t-see-that-coming character maneuvers and exhausts you with nail-biting drama.

That’s my life in the post-season playoffs watching the scrapping team of my youth, the Kansas City Royals.

Long time since 1985

It’s been 29 years since the infamous I-70 World Series between the two Missouri teams, the Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. I was a 24-year-old, newly minted professional, full of life and promise, just like the American League winning Royals.

Game Six found me high in the stands of Kaufman Stadium, swilling beers and screaming my voice raw. That young Royals team–led by 21-year-old pitching ace Bret Saberhagen, whipped its fans into a frenzy with its raw determination and gritty belief in themselves and winning the title crown.

The 2014 Royals team, along with pitcher Greg Holland (who played college ball with Bret Saberhagen’s son) is eerily similar. Their sense of hope and belief is poetry in motion; these young men exude determination and confidence that is the purest epitome of success. Aren’t those the characteristics of any successful path in life?

The opening game of the American League Championship Series in Baltimore last Friday night ended in a fourth-straight, extra innings win for the Royals. The game could have gone either way, in large part due to potentially game-giveaway Royals mistakes in the late innings.

Lesser teams might have folded, certain their chances were blown.

But not this team. Their faces reflected some confusion as they paced the dugout during a blown bases-loaded, no outs, top of the 9th. There was something else, though. There seemed to be a collective whirling of thoughts digging deep in to the team psyche, searching for solutions to a temporary set-back.

How often do we screw up, and in an infinitesimal moment, choose between sliding into defeat or rising with renewed energy?

It matters what we choose

The boys chose well Friday night. Next inning, top of the 10th, one solo home run to break the tie, then a two-run blast for insurance.

That’s what I’m talking about! Never say die, never give up on your goal or your dream. Find a new tool, answer or solution that thrusts you far past the point of error and into the place where you’ve believed you can fly.

Believe, then make it so. Use set-backs as step-ups. Go all in, baby, because this is your time, your place to own! @bheretoday (click to tweet)

There’s one more ingredient to add to the stew pot of success and that is the element of fun. Don’t forget to have fun!

Major league baseball is a multi-gazillion dollar business but that doesn’t stop this 2014 Royals team (Or the 1985 team, for that matter!) from having fun. This group of Royal men bring the fun of boyhood baseball to the field each night.

They bring the stuff of childhood dreams when they show up to play. The Royals believe they can #TakeTheCrown. And so can you.

Photo courtesy of farmer64

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11 Inspiring Book Quotes (Part 2)

IMG 2581 1024x768 11 Inspiring Book Quotes (Part 2)Sharing the first round of book quotes earlier this week was so much fun! I heard from several of you telling me how you loved the work of one of the authors and how we have similar taste in books. Love that!

So here is Part 2, all just as good as the first 11. Please enjoy and keep those comments coming!

If you keep someone in prison with your thoughts, you have to sit at their jail door to keep them from escaping, and thus become a prisoner yourself. To free another is to free yourself. When you give the gift of release, your spirit is healed. ~ A Deep Breath of Life, Alan Cohen

Writing and therapy are both about creating the conditions that allow us to take people to the mountain. When people’s breathing changes and their eyes fill with wonder, they will walk down that mountain ready to perform miracles. ~ Writing to Change the World, Mary Pipher

One thing you have to be through all of this is true to yourself. When it’s another life you are creating, you can’t use a store-bought mix. This bread has to be made from scratch. ~ Chapters, Candice Carpenter

Once you are independent of the accusations of others, you are unable to be angry and hurt over what others accuse you of. Be kind because it is you, not because of the reactions you want from others. ~ There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, Wayne Dyer

Practicing silence means making a commitment to take a certain amount of time to simple Be. ~ The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra

Love because you will to love. Give because you will to give. Flowers bloom because they must, not because there are people fawning over them! You live and love because you will. Because you must. ~ Living, Loving & Learning, Leo Buscaglia

An event and your reality of that event are not the same thing . . . Events are created by conditions and occurrences outside you. Reality is created by conditions and occurrences inside you–in your mind. ~ When Everything Changes, Change Everything, Neale Donald Walsch

Once you acknowledge guidance, you will always be shown pathways through whatever difficulties arise. You are never abandoned in the midst of a prayer. ~ Entering the Castle, Carolyn Myss

“Dear God, please remove from my mind my sense that I’m right and other people are wrong, my temptation to feel contempt toward those I disagree with, and this feeling of complete and utter powerlessness with my sense that the world is falling apart. Help me to forgive. And use me, if possible, that I might help to make things better. Amen.” ~ Everyday Grace, Marianne Williamson

Faith minus vulnerability equals politics, or worse, extremism. Spiritual connection and engagement is not built on compliance, it’s the product of love, belonging and vulnerability. ~ Daring Greatly, Brene Brown

It is the Glad Season. Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner. Floodwaters recede into memory. Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us as we make our way to higher ground. ~ Amazing Peace, Maya Angelou

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