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November 30 2007

DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Twelve Steps Not Two Steps

Out And About

I need to be on the move, exercise my body, exercise my head. Emotional and Physical.

And The Third Exercise - Spiritual

I am fairly convinced these days if we are physically as good as we can be, and emotionally receptive, then our spiritual progress is somehow possible on a daily basis.

Spiritual Progress is not Linear

We humans go back and forth around spiritual, we have our beliefs, our faith and our courage. Indeed my fellowship of AA helps me see what sort of progress I can achieve each day.

No Guarantees - for us in a spiritual way

Of course we need every experience a human can have to understand spiritual. And its pretty easy really as experience comes our way as we live, and there are no rules to growth.

Growth Spiritual is not Nirvana Not the Elysium Fields

It is every hard knock on our being, every loving moment, every natural part of physical and emotional experience.

Truth - Absolute

As we move along in living, as we seek truth or truth plainly seeks us out, or as life offers, gives, takes away and generally happens, truth with least filters and denials helps us keep our spiritual contact of now.

Ever Present in the Present Moment

Our focus on now, this one moment in time never to repeat, as we move along we get wisdom and often confusion too as we make sense of our living. As we imagine the past, as we consider the future so often we forget this present moment.

"If I can get through this tight bit of life, if I can just endure and endeavour a bit longer" So often teased and persuaded to be gratified later, and not in the now. Heaven is no place to end up and wonder why we missed the purpose of living!

If we can describe a purpose to living, maybe its happiness, joy, sad reflections, our denials, our imagination, our beliefs, if we can look back? What can we say about our impact in this world?

Impact

Nature and our world teaches, and we elaborate develop and make our living as we can. Sometimes we can see great rewards spiritually in understanding the place we are now. Impacted and made so by experience.

Love and Hate

We love and don’t hate. We hate and don’t love. We learn where balance is struck and can apply. Somewhere in the middle? Not so as my experience has led me this way and that. I cannot live in hate and keep my spiritual progress. I cannot understand love without hate and every gradient and hue in between.

Courage, faith and confidence help us understand our path in life. Fear, brave facing and ego can make us poorer students when we forget all our complete nature of all manner of attributes in our emotions.

Designed for Fear, Designed for Faith

Spiritual learning comes from both these extremes and somewhere in between as we humans can move from one outlook to the other in the blink of an eye.

Love Hate - Faith Fear - Courage Brave - Esteem Ego

All part of the spiritual of now, our minds can turn this way and that as we live life. If we live it we grow with it. If we deny it, filter it, then life is less than we may find.

Endeavour Today

Let Life happen, be courageous in our fears, be confident when our ego is rising, be courageous when bravery requires, be confident and know where ego’s drift.

Be human and let humanity rise above denials and filters each day presents. Find truth as truth is, not bent by human touch. A tall order? I think so, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly we progress on this journey of life, a day at a time.




30th November 2006

One day at a time?

Can we keep going one day at a time, sometimes it collapses to just by the hour. In truth my week so far has been like the Curate’s egg, good in parts. Sometimes we need to make a list of the good things we do and how we are doing…

Tonight tho’ it seems like I failed to help and take account of where someone is and what they are about. There was no time, there was no opportunity, there was no way to help. That feels pretty awful. I want to deny I could not help, that the situation could be better, but I don’t know what I may do. When someone feels so low, its as bad can be and when there seems no way out there is always self destruction. I know the person feeling this way is not alone, but they are so low I don’t know if their friend will be enough. I am powerless as things are and don’t quite know what to do but wait. Wait for what though, news of bad news, news of no news, news things are better. I have no way to help or intervene. I resolve I must wait, there is nothing more to do. I also know those who feel so low, they can ask for help from me and their friends so I am not alone in this feeling of being powerless or being empowered to help. There is also implied a threat to hurt and harm, which I cannot undo from where I am.

As far as the week is concerned, I have been left feeling somewhat sidelined and made less than just normal size, an adjunct to someone in their living. And this feels very unhelpful too. And there have been one or two using y time to help themselves and take more than I want to give, one way connections drain and do not sustain, especially when there is no listening to what I may say or how I am. Its ok to some extent and then I realise its just always going to be like this.

Right Size

In my own world I am right sized, just ordinary like anyone else. Like anyone else merely human and can do just human things. I can be compassionate, passionate, surviving just about getting by and then some happiness turns up unexpected with some better understanding of human doings. That we all are doing our best, and sometimes the best thing we do is wait a while. Maybe that is the next best thing.

To bide ones time? Resist the pen and tongue and wait a while..

Biding one’s time is not easy, to not write, to not call, to not do anything, because nothing will ever make the difference, and that is powerful learning about powerlessness over people, places and things. Yet the inside me, I still feel there must be something I am missing. Like a dog with a bone, chewing and guarding my feelings and my notions, wondering if, and realise its not happening as nature may intend. Certainly I realise now I cannot expect nature and providence to fix something which cannot be fixed. People are where they are, they are meant to get there and get out of whatever it may be, sometimes with support and sometimes by their own devices.

Tonight

Was a great meeting and it was a real catalyst to understanding the party which is over and the party just beginning. My new party, in sobriety, its not so smooth, it has bigger bumps, it can be joyful and it can be sad. Its just tonight tho’, I wish sometimes for silence rather than talk, and where it may lead. Leading nowhere no doubt. I have reasons to be happy, I am one day along on my path, resolved to find some occupation and live with what I may do, and what I am not able to do. Incapacity, it somehow seems a bit stretchy and bit elastic, as one thing or other may pack up, another sense or capacity comes to the fore.

Newcomers to our fellowship

That bewildered and frightening moment of walking into a fellowship meeting where we see and hear what alcoholics are doing with their lives. The fear churns as much as any rattles and shakes we may have. We feel sick, we feel horrid and there because we are worried or have been pushed through the doors to these mad people who seem to profess they are getting their sanity back just one day at a time. Its as bad can be, that first meeting where we see normal people doing normal things like talk about where they were, where they are now and where they may go tonight and tomorrow. The fear is palpable as we sit with mad people made sane just one day at a time.

I felt the panic

I did, I felt their panic as they sat there and listened and laughed at ghastly recollections and horrid drunken tales, our experiences. And as they felt the ease with which we talk of our monumental screw ups, they seem to relax a little and only fear they may have, to try drink their tea without spilling it!

I felt their movement to relax a little as it seemed anything they may have done, its been done before by someone else. That their experiences so fresh are no different to ours. That it’s a safe place to share cock ups and dismay and sadness as much as hope for sober days and happier times without a drink.

Without a drink

My God its clocking up, the days for me. I am learning to live my life all over again with new tools and new outlooks and new ways to make life work. I have fellowship in abundance all around me and I go as I may and get there on the bike because walking just plain hurts too much…

A little help from my friends

And with a little help from my friends it works just for a day. Like some kind of magic, I keep faith and stay sober, knowing no amount of drink will ever be enough to make me drunk enough, and one drink will never quell a thirst once alerted. One drink is one too many for me these days. I am not tempted, for I know there is no point. And quite certain it will kill my quest to live again, free and unhindered rather than fettered to a substance, thing or being.

My fellowship are there for me

And tonight I know this without doubt, some meetings just make me feel like I belong at last. Is it any wonder I go daily? I just know what its about these days, helping each other, no pay expected, no conditions set, just plain there to help as best one can. Maybe this is why I feel so concerned tonight because I cannot help as I might wish. Someone has a well so deep I don’t know how to help them from where I am. And I know its not me who can. Its really their friend who may if they can open up, talk and let out the troubles. And I don’t know what their real situations is either. I have to wait, or make things worse than they are I can only speculate.

So in a week

From happy as a sand boy in some respects, to sadness and feeling used by some not so strong in their ways. And a supporter and relied upon in other ways not so noble, as the premise of the help is really a come on and help me and maybe this might lead somewhere. Some guile and manipulation, just plain old using, seems transparent to me, future and distant possibilities leaving the door open in their eyes to more. I see the truth even if they don’t themselves. There is no door or future as nature and providence don’t play to this tune.

Isolation and Panic

People do get scared and panic. They fear the lonely slog of days to come, where self reliance and nothing but their resolve and endeavour can make it work. And some endeavours are not helped by fellowship when we need learn new ways and rules of living. We need to have fellowship to sustain the endeavour, we cannot do the endeavour for another…

And that fear that cripples can creep in and freeze and torture as we make our way. It was never worldly endeavour that made for fear in me, it was the horrors of loneliness and abject isolation which made for my dark desolate nightmares that spread into days weeks and months. And then to years as my final ruination came about. Ruined in every element that counts for us. And of course that rock bottom was merely a taste of things to come.

How am I feeling right now

Now I have written it, I will read it through. Old times and nightmares gone, some new ones around, at the same time its always this way. And yet there is joy about too, as glimpses come to new and better times.

Keeping our heads above water

Sometimes when we feel we are drowning in sorrow, something absurd and comforting happens. For me tonight it was sharing my truth which led to understanding of others that I am just like them, broken and rebuilding just with care and one day at a time. From hell to today, the difference is remarkable.

Along the way I learn humanity and feel the seep to good for myself and others. Courage and fortitude. I feel the human touch and love from my fellows tonight, for sharing simple truth and no denials, no ego there today and none tonight, just human and right sized with human capacity to live and help as I may. I am humbled by friendship I never understood till now. Now I know, I know the difference.

I wish it were so for so many more… those journeys yet to start and those almost done as time takes its toll on we humans so frail with strengths so deep. A clutter of spiritual dichotomies, living in the ever present, present moment of now!

Rest and hold to truth, for the truth will set us free.

November 30th 2005

Men Of Peace

If we are asked we are all men and women of peace. We fight against injustice, we argue against prejudice. Even we are as prejudiced as those we might accuse. Somewhere, somehow bias slips into our belief and faith, so we believe our cause is just and right. After all, in our own eyes we seek the best we can for our community and ourselves. An Englishman abroad, a man of peace travels to Iraq to be peaceful. And he finds he is captured and held hostage. And he is there before the world, an old man of peace, someone of strong views, someone who cares with passion about peace. And he is lost, worse he is seen as a spy, as someone who is an asset to trade in the madness of Iraq. The media and news splash the image of this man of peace across the world, for all to see. And this man of peace may wonder why he is held hostage, why his personal mission has gone so badly wrong and why he has misjudged the personal risk of his crusade.

Common sense would suggest it is not in his interest, yet we may commend him for his bravery. At best his attempt may seem naive, yet we are still uncertain what his mission might have been. Being an Englishman, I see typically English behaviour at work in this catastrophe. Typically we fight causes we might do well to understand before we proceed and dig deep into our conscience before we interfere further where we have no business. There is something in us, which makes us believe we might do better, might make good and might make a difference. We might do better to let well alone, another country we do not understand and are badly equipped to deal with. Like a missionary embarking on a crusade, the outcomes most often end in calamity and smack of Empire, Imperialism and an attitude of mind best humbled in reflection. As a journey begun as a quest, a mission of right over wrong, we fail to understand the elements we might face. Bravery is never the issue, intent is for the common good, but the action is not ours and we have most likely no business being involved as we may believe. And other men of peace pay as hard a price, when better able and equipped, to know the rightness of their case, their belief and commitment to the fundamentals of human rights.

And we applaud them, revere them and stand in awe of them. And we knew as we heard them, their rightness and their fortitude would cost them the ultimate price of life itself. Our modern day heroes, stand tall in our minds, our feelings quite in keeping to revere and admire, their struggle, their dedication and their stand for all men. And as we see some stand tall in our minds eye, we may forget for every man who ever found a voice, that thousands and millions paid an equal and terrible cost.. When we hear of one man held hostage to war, we might do well to remember a whole nation is
held to ransom as in Iraq. Hostages to fortune and misdeeds for centuries, will not be put to rights in a handful of years. As we might question the sanity of one man, for his bravado and rightness of cause, we may do well to reflect that governments are no better and might question their own sanity and rightness of action. To put right wrongs of decades is surely the folly of right over wrong...

November 30th 2004

Seeing Friends

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. And they have so many different ways of looking at the world. I realise more that as times goes by, the company I keep helps me see the world with different eyes. As seen by me, and seen by them, ever present are the subtle changes in outlook.

Often my world as I see it, its limited until, with exasperation sometimes, a whole new view opens and enables me to comprehend everything in a new light.

I realise the eyes I have are decades old, seeing so much and filtering the world to my view. So happily as I listen and see events from fresh perspectives I get enrichment beyond my wildest dreams. So broadened , outlook shifts and moves, we break the taint of prejudice and greet diversity with respect.

And so very Zen in times like these,

" the usefulness of any vessel,
is in its emptiness "

Now I get it! Again and again....

-/-




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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.































Don In London
Not for Profit
Progress Not Perfection



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