Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spirituality. Abs.


I've been clean and sober for 23 years. When I first got sober I did everything that was suggested for recovery, including daily AA meetings, working the steps, and working with others. What you learn in AA is so valuable for having a quality life, and I wish more people could learn the lessons of AA, although I would NEVER have stood in the "alcoholic/addict" line willingly!

When we moved to Rocklin almost 15 years ago, I had a newborn and was working part time for a computer company. And I virtually stopped going to meetings. In the last year, though, I've connected with a fabulous group of women and have started going to meetings again.

So that's a very long intro to the "spirituality" of today's post. I was reading the "big book" of AA and feel compelled to begin and end my days in the way suggested by the book:

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?

Doesn't this seem like great advice for everyone? I did this last night and this morning and hope to make it a daily habit.


Last night I decided to pull out a P90X video for abs. I think it was Tony's One-on-One trainer. I don't do ab work very often. I kinda feel like that gets taken care of with kettlebell swings and sprint intervals. Anyway, I did like 5 minutes of ab work last night. And today I'm sore. And I like it. Perhaps it's time to rethink my approach to core work.


Colette said...

23 years is a wonderful achievment and should be celebrated! I'm glad you've once again found a group that you connect with.

Yes, what a great way to begin and end each new day with! I'm going to try it out tonight.

Abs...yuck! But, they do need to be done :(

Anne said...

Great advice and a great way to being and end the day. And congratulations on your very long streak of sobriety, Leslie. That's so much harder to maintain than a training schedule.

Kim said...

Something all of us should live by. Thanks for posting!

tfh said...

Congratulations and thanks for the reminder on how we all should live. When I had just graduated from high school, my aunt asked me to attend her AA meetings with her for a summer-- I think she also was hoping to impart these valuable lessons to her niece without me having to go through the kind of struggle she did. I should really thank her for that, huh?

Julianne said...

23 years of being clean and sober is really really something to be proud of!! You are such a strong woman Leslie! I love how you celebrate life each day. Thanks for sharing this with us!

Jo Lynn said...

Wow, you've got 19 years on me. You're lucky you found sobriety at such a young age. I think of all the suffering I endured in my 20's and 30's. Ugh! But, I guess I had to go through it to be where I am today. And, today is pretty awesome!

Eileen said...

The morning one is nice...however, by asking that you be directed AWAY from something, it can often bring you more of what you don't want. It's like saying "DON'T think about CLOWNS" and therefore ALL you can think of is CLOWNS.

However, if you set your intention to be about what you are moving TOWARDS, it is so much easier. For example, "Today, I will look for ways to be friendly to strangers." And suddenly, opportunities abound to do just that.

This is the framework I like to use...not that I always remember, but here it is:

At the start: Please use me as an instrument of your love and peace.

At the end: Thank you for [insert something...ANYthing...that I feel gratfeul for that day...the more often I do this, the more things I can come up with].

I'm not such a fan of beating oneself up at the end of the day...I think we tend to do that enough throughout the day.

Brit-Man said...

I'm glad you're doing fine.

Take care and best wishes

:-) :-).


leslie said...

Colette -- Thanks so much! I hope you like adding these as morning and evening routines. I'm not as consistent as I'd like, but I'm getting there.

leslie said...

Anne -- Thanks! I'll remember your words when the training schedule feels tough!

leslie said...

Kim -- Thank you!

leslie said...

Tfh -- Your Aunt did try to add something good to your life. She must love you a lot! I don't know that people can avoid problems with alcohol by attending meetings, but I do know that some of the very best info for living a great life (and having a great marriage) has come from AA.

leslie said...

Julianne -- THANKS!

leslie said...

Jo Lynn -- As much as I would never have stood in the alcoholism line, I love that we can share recovery together! And now we can share running and (gulp) ultras (?) as well!

leslie said...

Eileen -- GREAT suggestions! When the AA book was written more than 50 years ago they didn't have the knowledge we have today. I'm going to try your modifications -- again, thanks!

leslie said...

Matt -- Merci!