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After drafting this blog this morning, the kids and I took a drive downtown this afternoon. A local church had a banner which said: I Am a Blessing. I laughed. I already had the title above and the word blessing in today’s blog multiple times.
The New Year always freaks me out the first day or two. “Happy New Year’s!” people say. To me, it’s such a let down after waiting for Christmas for a month. January. Time to pare down and return to regular life. (The old ways of eating sugar, even in minute extra amounts, need to be reined in again! ) Its daunting, this whole year, here, and in my face. But as this first week of 2021 comes to close, I begin to settle into what a new month and a new year means: hope.
The routine I missed over the holidays returns. My morning routine of 30 minutes of prayer and meditation refreshes me. I eat breakfast, read the paper, shower, greet my family, and… RETREAT! to our bedroom. I don’t even let the cats in! It’s my morning coffee date with HP (Higher Power).
I get my pile of stuff—- “readers”, God Box, paper, pen— on our bed and do my two minute Insight Timer mediation first. (A blessing of 2020: my willingness to incorporate technology into this precious time)
Then I do prayers for me and my family.
Next, I start a letter to God. (A blessing from my dear friend Margaret, who shares about this concept at meetings).
After that, I begin reading and writing using my daily readers. Daily readers are books with one page of reading for every day. Today’s date is at the top and some words of wisdom and then usually some sort of parting thought or intention to inspire you spiritually. In my fellowships, we talk about having program tools such as a sponsor, literature, telephone, writing, and steps. I sort out my problems from the last 24 hours by using the tool of writing. Somedays there is more than others, and if possible, I give myself time to write it out. My favorite readers right now are the Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Strengthening My Recovery. These days with COVID especially, I will go back and re-read one or read a different one of my girlfriend, Linda’s throughout the day. Her friendship and my evolving selection of readers is a blessing, too! After all, I don’t want to do the same prayer routine day in and day out!
Anyway, Linda takes pictures of a dozen of today’s “readings” from her personal 12 step collection and others and sends them to a bunch of us who attend a 12 step meeting via the What’s App app. We discuss our favorite lines or chat between the readings, too, which I admit has sometimes been worth more to me than the readings themselves! 12 Step fellowships are built around networking spiritually. She is the one who turned me onto both Nepo (very nature-centered, would highly recommend if you find respite outside at all) and Sarah B-B (one of the pioneers of the Authentic Self concept, written in the 1990s).
I find for myself that while I love Nepo and Sarah B-B, I also need a daily reader like Strengthening My Recovery from a 12 step program to ground me in more literal, practical, disease-treatment way such as: “On this day I will call my sponsor.” (Don’t even get me started on what a blessing a sponsor is! Oh wait, I wrote about that in a blog in 2020…)
I love that in my programs that no one tells us who the God of our understanding is. Through my own self discovery in my morning routine, I learn more and more about what it is to be living cleanly. My change and growth necessitates it and again, and I’m blessed to experience it. I’m blessed, too, in the regard that I’m a writer. Thank you, God, for this gift. So to write down my worries on slips of paper and put them in a God Box is easy for me, as is a God Letter.
A lot of addicts die, but I am blessed to live. And to share my experience with you!
Thank you. I am blessed to have your read my blog, too! Happy New Year!!!