How Your Thoughts Impact Your Recovery


Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin’s Facebook page.


I read something recently that turned my day around completely and allowed me to start over. Who says a 24-hour period begins at midnight?

Recovery often presents itself as an insightful opportunity to choose mindfulness and reclaim your sense of self-worth, which, by the way, never left you. Your thoughts simply caused you to temporarily misplace it.

From the mind of Jon Kabat-Zinn

“It is a big step toward reclaiming our lives when we realize that, no matter what their content, good, bad, or ugly, we do not have to take our thoughts personally.

“When we don’t automatically take them personally, or believe the stories about reality that we build from them, when we can simply hold them in awareness with a sense of curiosity and wonder at their amazing power given their insubstantiality, their limitations and inaccuracies . .

“Then, in that moment at least, we are already free, ready to act with greater clarity and kindness . . . ”

~ Mindfulness for Beginners

Think about the stories you tell yourself, often repeatedly, on any given day. As a storyteller, I usually have multiple versions of each story and lots of drama involved with mine!

What happens when you stop and tell yourself the story is nothing more than a script you’ve written? What happens when you step away from being the person writing the script or telling the story and become a spiritual being watching the person with the story?

Recovery grows sweeter again.

Here’s what happened to me over the weekend

I stopped. Just stopped the story.

I clearly saw the story’s insignificance, even its untruths. And, as an observer, I saw without judgment so that I began to loosen the ropes of self-condemnation that often tighten around me.

The last part of the above quote, “ready to act with greater clarity and kindness,” are true action words, like one long verb. As I reflected further, I remembered that I’m not hanging out in this world to accumulate things or to get what I think I deserve.

No, I’m here to give–kindness, charity, comfort, compassion and love.

Here’s the most critical part: I must hold myself in the center of givingness. The observing me has a much easier time staying in the middle than my ego does. In fact, staying out of the center is probably the reason why the ego pushes me to stay busy doing.

Just be-ing tends to ruin the ego’s day. The spiritual brat in me loves to stick out her tongue at that thought! Progress, not perfection!

UNITE to Face Addiction update: If you’re reading this early on Monday and you’re still at home, set your DVR to record the Dr. Oz show before you head out. On today’s episode, Dr. Oz will give a behind-the-scenes look the Rally on October 4th. You’ll get to see great clips with the artists and members of the crowd. Don’t miss it!


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  1. LaDonna says:

    To pause, step outside ourselves, our story, and notice … begins to change everything. Just noticing opens new questions and curiosities, new ways of seeing and being. Thank you Beth for such a great post … you always seem to say just what I need to hear. 🙂

    • Beth says:

      Hi LaDonna,

      I read recently that being aware of awareness is itself a form of meditation! Right now I’m aware that far too much time has passed since we connected–and since you wrote here. My bad! I’ve taken a bit of a break from the online world since the big DC event, although, I must return now. I missing “seeing” folks. Let’s catch up soon!

  2. Fantastic post, Beth – I really needed to read this, today! Love when that happens!!

  3. Hi Beth,

    I love the idea of not have to take my thoughts personally and just observing. It opens up new avenues and ideas and brings on a sense of calm that always helps me! Thanks!

    • Beth says:

      Hi Cathy,

      Apologies for taking so long to respond . . . I’ve missed chatting with you! Hope all is well in your world!

  4. grant says:

    I have been listening to allot of Alan Watts and Bob Proctor on youtube and the power of thought. Its incredible the impact thoughts both positive and negative can have. Keep positive 🙂

    • Beth says:

      Bob Proctor is a gem, isn’t he grant? Don’t know as much about Alan Watts, but I say however we can get our good focus and energy, bring it on! Thanks for your comment!

  5. Stop being concerned with taking…life starts with giving…great thoughts…two thumbs up!!!

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