Reading Dec 30 ’16

I am in a foul mood because of a few things: J’s mother’s wake the other night/ Jo yesterday/ major time-eating technology problems and city/  architect being VERY difficult in middle of my retaining wall emergency/ and now my mother visit interfered with by bitch-sister.

So – trying to turn it around. FElt better yesterday morning so stupidly didn’t do my spiritual work. Lesson!

#1. Just having opened page I am breathing more deeply and THANKFUL that “bitch-sister” at least VISITING mother! That is good for other. I am too impatient and selfish and greedy regarding my own schedule – better bigger picture now.

So here we go:

For Today Dec 29:

With the Past as past, I have nothing to do; nor with the Future as future. I live now and will verify all past history in my own moments. Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I see and feel this moment, all else in my mind is blocked out. I am free of the past and the future. I am living in the now. Aware of sounds and colors, light and shadow, I look outward from myself – and that is freedom. I can notice another, listen with energy. I live life a moment at a time, leaving the moments lived yesterday and those to be lived tomorrow where they belong.

Joy comes from living in the NOW.

For today: I free my mind of yesterday’s mistakes and tomorrow’s hopes. I live in this moment.

My take-away: Must live in the moment must live in the moment. Must meditate.

For Today Dec 30:

To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. Mark Twain

How many times did I swear off, make promises and resolutions to stop overeating? Sometimes I followed through with a diet, and sometimes I didn’t even start. But, always, the promises – and the diets – were fuel for the compulsion.

It took Overeaters Anonymous to put into words what all my experience should have told me: that I was powerless over compulsive overeating and no promise, no temporary submission to restricted eating would relieve me of my food obsession. in OA I as given a suggested program of recovery and all that was asked of my in return was that I have a desire to stop.

For today: I will allow no one, including myself, to pressure me into promising to lose weight.

My take-away: I feel *different* now. I don’t feel that anyone/thing is pressuring me at all. I feel like I am being given tools to help ME do what *I* want have what *I* want. (which is no longer only some vague definition of “health,” but REAL health PLUS looks and self-esteem and confidence and how others look at me can feel good to me too even. Something about taking care of mySELF.

Voices of Recovery Dec 29

“Sponsors, OA friends, meetings, and literature are wonderful sources of help for us. We wouldn’t want to be without any of these resources because we often find God speaks to us through them.” The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 98

As a compulsive overeater, I tend to overdo almost everything, including service. I think  naturally want to mother and take care of everyone, putting myself at the bottom of my list.

My sponsor recognizes my symptoms and gently reminds me that I may have too many things on my plate. She suggests that I check with my Higher Power before committing to something that may put me into overload. Sometimes she asks, “Do you need to decide today?” My response is usually “no.” This means that I can let it go for a while and deal with it if i comes up again. God speaks to me through other people, especially my sponsor, when I listen.

My take-away: I WANT to have a sponsor. But I have had such bad experiences. Many! i mean real problems – not with me not wanting to listen, but with their crazies. Will see… Maybe will have to have temporary sponsor for a step then another temporary for another step etc.

 

 

 

Journal Dec. 28 ’16

Meditation “Connecting to Your Higher Power” Nina Larken youtube

My Higher Power’s message  to stay connected to my Higher Power and to stay calm: Keep rooted to your mother ,Mother Earth through your feet, your steps, each one, and through your breath.

My Highere Power’s gift for me: “You are whole. You are fine.”

Thank you.

 

So I will bathe and I will get dressed appropriately and go to the funeral and stay connected and be fine. Then I’ll come home, put on jammies and have supper and read and sleep. All is well. All is fine. Bless me. Bless you if you’re reading this

Gratitudes Dec 18 ’16

  1. I am grateful that I came here to the Apple Store.
  2. And for this nice man who is so patient, helping me.
  3. And I know now how to save my Word documents on my computer instead of in that obnoxious onedrive thing.
  4. My iPad is backed up and will on its own now as long as it’s charging (which I do regularly) and is connected to wifi, and the screen has gone black.
  5. Same with phone
  6. Yesterday, that I gave that great Hannukah present to my dear little “nieces.”
  7. And that *I* wound up enjoying it so much too!
  8. And that the vase I painted will be here within about a week after the firing in the kiln. Fun!
  9. That M had a great time with it too.
  10. And of course it is important that both girls did.
  11. That the place is down yet I had no problem.
  12. And no problem parking at the Apple store place today either.
  13. And at the nutrition pace elevator. Phew.
  14. I am so grateful that Jo (the contractor) deals with the city inspector people so well. Oy – This wall is taking forever
  15. I am so grateful for my car, which I bbought just over a year and a half ago. It gets me around so safely.
  16. Although I must go to J’s mother’s wake tonight, I am okay. There are lots of levels of things that are sad about it of course. But in the big picture, let’s fact it: I am a person without problems. (Any I have or think I have are in my head).
  17. That I did 2 loads of laundry yesterday
  18. aNd the food shopping
  19. That the cleaning ladies were here today.
  20. And I had the courage to tell the one in charge about the things I need differently.
  21. and she was very receptive.
  22. And everything is nice.
  23. My little “sunroom” with the plants where it is such a good mindfulness place (I know anyplace can be but as TNH says in one of today’s readings, it’s good to have a “breathing” spot.)
  24. Movies
  25. And that I’m not so obsessed that I’m like boycotting movies because of animal tissue in the film (if they even still use film)
  26. y laptop
  27. My iPhone
  28. my mini iPad
  29. Microsoft Word
  30. my washer and dryer, which I bought about a year and a half ago
  31. my two flat screen tvs the “big” and the little one, that I bought in April of 2015.
  32. The chimney repointed (summer 2015 – and all of this work listed was from same time period into fall))
  33. The roof repaired
  34. The stucco fixed
  35. The front entranceway rebuilt
  36. The color changed
  37. To the color *I* really wanted! – The shutters and front wood No matter what *anyone* said (and it turned out it gets a million compliments anyway)
  38. The little stonework outside
  39. The two tiny trees, even though they didn’t make it. I will have to replace them. Grateful for it all.. including that might be able to replace this coming summer (depending on money) and grateful that not horribly upset
  40. The rhododendron in the back (which may or may not have taken)
  41. The azaelea in the back
  42. Moving the forsythias
  43. The little garden outside my kitchen window Jo made for me, with annuals
  44. The annuals I put out front by house and below.
  45. The new wire black fence
  46. The gate fixed in it
  47. The new wood fence too
  48. The attic cleared out
  49. The basement too
  50. And the garage
  51. The wall has been started – having lots of trouble but it is a necessary retaining wall and it must get done
  52. Because the wall is costing like TWICE what it should have (thanks to the city), I am grateful that I didn’t do the bathroom, or I couldn’t even find the money.
  53. The new kitchen lower cabs and counters
  54. And stainless sink and faucet new too
  55. The kitchen painted
  56. The l.r. ceiling repaired and painted
  57. The sunroom has heat now!
  58. And they fixed the wall hole they made and painted it to match too.
  59. I had all that work done myself! Wow. And I USED TO BE phobic to even go to the drugstore!
  60. The bed got fixed that same suemr but isn’t working and I’m not sure if the cleaning ladies are pulling it out – but I will find out and get it fixed.
  61. I have health insurance
  62. I have a salary
  63. I have my little house
  64. That I bought the washer/dryer and tvs at that time too.
  65. Right now I have THREE bouquets of flowers in my house! One from me, one from N at work, and one from Jo for Christmas.
  66. That I got my hair cut and colored yesterday.
  67. This weekend I will get pedicure
  68. Because my little den table fell apart, literally (it had been a nightstand and was cheap and was over 20 years old and used a LOT), I ordered something online
  69. And it came
  70. And did not need to be put together.
  71. And it is cute
  72. And has two little footstools
  73. They are cute too
  74. And it has storage and is serving the purpose.
  75. And it is red; I like that about it.
  76. I am lighter-hearted than ever before. I do not, for example, look for the “meaning to life” in every little movie omg!
  77. Or get upset about what stores sell etc
  78. Or like only dark natural colors. I even like COLORS better!
  79. Especially now – sinc ethat BLESSED day at Best Buy when the veil was lifted. The 2 1/2 – 3 hours a day every single day for like 5 years was well worth it!
  80. My changes in attitude.
  81. That I will go tonight. I sort of a little bit dread it – J’s mother’s wake. Of course I loved her and don’t want her life ended, but it is best that she passed, as her condition would have only gotten worse and worse and she died peacefully in her sleep apparently, so that’s good. But the family – omg seeing them all after all this time. But – you know what? I’m doing it. Alone. And I’ll be ok! THAT’S a miracle!
  82. I am SO MUCH more accepting!
  83. And – accepting what IS leaves room for whatever other miracles might be – no – ARE – coming!
  84. That I eat dark leafy greens and/or broccoli virtually every day now
  85. That I haven’t had soda (diet or regular, not even one single sip) in almost 6 years! It was fooling with my emotions and I do NOT have it anymore at ALL!
  86. That I don’t waste calories on drinking alcohol (hard or wine). I might still have a glass or two a year as I used to, or not. (I am a compulsive eater not an alcoholic – we just use A.A . literature).
  87. That I feel so different about Weight Watchers now. Not like – resentful – as if this is something being DONE to me. No, more – positive – upbeat – that this is a tool for ME to make it all easier.
  88. For example, I can TRUST that it is the right amount of food.
  89. And it does help me nudge myself toward healty choices
  90. And it truly IS “beyond the scale!”
  91. They are so positive!
  92. I particularly love one leader I met this week. Yay!
  93. My doing all that hard work this morning here to make sure all would be in order.
  94. I am so grateful for all my material needs being met. I am not rich, I’m a teacher! But I don’t lack for food or medicine or heat or a home or phone etc etc etc And frankly, I spend too much on food. But I have *enough.* THAT’S the big point. The word “enough.”
  95. I have all medicines as needed.
  96. And even supplements : )
  97. I always now pay all my bills on time.
  98. I have no credit card debt (for the first time since 2012)
  99. Water. I am so very grateful for access to clean, fresh water. For drinking, for cooking, for washing dishes, for showers and baths, for washing clothes, even for car-wash!
  100. My birds have enough water too!
  101. And they have organic pellets daily
  102. And fresh leafy greens almost every day
  103. And treats sometimes too!
  104. And toys.
  105. My toothbrush (es)
  106. My toothpaste
  107. My whitener stuff
  108. Socks
  109. Bubble bath
  110. Mascara
  111. Jewelry
  112. One pair lacy black stockings
  113. Walking. And that I did a nice amount of it yesterday. And even more today. And my body responds so quickly and well to it! I WILL get more walking! It was always so good for me!
  114. All – and I do mean ALL – positivity!

Daily Readings Dec 28 ’16

For Today:

I love you. I bless you. I release you to your own indwelling presence of God. Author Unknown

It is nothing less than a complete turn-about that this program brings into being. It gives me the amazing ability to release the people I love to detach myself from their pain and turmoil and suffering, and turn them over in love to that same Power within that is directing me

This act of release, performed daily in a moment of quiet prayer, exerts incredible influence on those I would help. I say and do only what is necessary to attend to my everyday responsibilities, showing the love I feel and radiating the calmness and peace that come from giving up control.

For today: I turn over responsibility for the lives of others to the same Higher Power within each of them that manages my own life.

*My take-away: Calmness.

Calmness

And I have no control over anyone else. And as that’s the way it is, that is good. Enlightenment, true to own self and being and what made to be…

And again, calmness.

Voices of Recovery:

“…I would if I could, my friend, but  – as it is for me – the problem is within… I am completely honest in taking stock of myself so I can learn why I feel as I do about myself.” For Today p. 277

It seems that for most of my life I have been searching for the answer book. In school, there was always one definitive answer, and the teacher had all the answers. unfortunately, in life there is no one right or wrong way to do something. There are no answer books. Yet some experts believe that their book or product will solve whatever my current problem may be.

I finally realized that I have been searching in all the wrong places. No one has my answers; they don’t even know what the question is. I believe that all my answers are within me. The difficulty lies in looking within, something I’m incapable of doing alone. I need the love, help, and support from others. What I have been looking for is not the answer, but the question.

*My take-away: “…something I’m incapable of doing alone” – I am. I need my Higher Power. And I guess it IS true that my Higher Power is available to me not only alone but THROUGH others, through the program, my tools, prayer, meditation, meetings, people. And animals. Okay.

Daily Reflections:

In AA. we aim not only for sobriety – we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world that once rejected us. This is the ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work is the first but not the final step. AS BILL SEES IT p. 21

The old line says, “Suit up and show up.” That action is so important that I like to think of it as my motto. I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not. Showing up at meetings starts me toward feeling a part of that meeting, for then I can do what I say I’ll do at meetings. I can talk with newcomers, and I can share my experience; that’s what credibility, honesty, and courtesy really are. Suiting up and showing up are the concrete actions I take in my ongoing return to normal living.

*My take-away: “…we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world taht once rejected us.”  I get this image of the 1930’s era alcoholics, down and out, dishonest, maybe criminal, out of work, some homeless… and I am not in those positions. BUT – I did withdraw from the world which I thought/felt was rejecting me – and i therefore rejected it. Family, co-workers…. Instead of rejectoin I developed a strong judgmentalism thinking that was the answer? That unconsciously, like, if I were judging, that meant THEY were all flawed in ways such that I didn’t want/need them or to be near them. Then the rejection wouldn’t hurt so bad?  Wow. Well I have been changing… good.

As Bill Sees It p. 29

Gratitude Should Go Forward

“Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward

“In other words, if you carry the message to still  others, you will be making the best possible repayment for the help given to you.”

No satisfaction has been deeper and no joy greater than in a Twelfth Step job well done. To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness into light to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives – these things are the substance of what we receive as we  carry A.A.’s message.

My take-away – Well I am certaily grateful for the people who were there for mea s a newcomer!

How to Eat p. 39

TURNING OFF THE RADIO

In order to eat with joy, we have to turn off “Radio NST.” Non-Stop Thinking. Even if our bodies are sitting still while we eat, usually our minds are racing. In order to truly be present for our meal, we have to stop the constant internal dialogue. To eat without thinking is to eat in freedom. We are free because we’re not thinking about the past, the future, and our projects. We are free to be sitting, whether alone or with loved ones, and enjoying our meal.

How to Walk

INVEST YOUR WHOLE BODY

Invest one hundred percent of yourself into making a step. Touching the ground with your foot, you produce the miracle of being alive. You make yourself real and the Earth real with each step. The practice should be very strong and determined. You are protecting yourself from the habit energy that is always pushing you to run and to get lost in thinking. Bring all your attention down to the soles of your feet, and touch the Earth as though you are kissing the Earth with your feet. Each step is like the seal of an emperor on a decree. Walk as though you imprint your solidity, your freedom, and your peace on the Earth.

*My take-away: Oh, I love this SO MUCH! Grounded to Mother Earth, protected from the habit energy which wants to push one to run and to get lost in thinking. LOVE this. NEED this.

How to Relax

BREATHING ROOM

Do you have a space dedicated to relaxing in your home? This doesn’t have to be a big space. It could be a small corner (not your bed!) or anywhere in a room that is dedicated just to breathing and relaxing. This is not a space for eating or doing homework, or folding laundry or building anything.. This is as essential as a place to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. We need a small space where we can take care of our nervous system and restore our tranquility and peace.

*My take-away: Right now this minute, making a little space! 🙂

Acceptance – Big Book p. 417

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is spposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

==

 

 

Journal Dec 27 ’16

7:30 will write this then meditate and shower and do laundry and care for birds. Have fears but working on them. Feel better than yesterday when J called. Will keep doing the daily work. It takes about an hour and is so worth it.

Ok 7:37 did meditate with the youtube one.

Higher Power message: Just take the step. the next small step. Keep going. Gentle. Don’t think too much.

Higher Power gift: Peace. And always there for you.

Gratitudes Dec 27 ’16

  1. I am grateful that I went to Weight Watchers yesterday.
  2. And helped “convince” that young woman to stay.
  3. That there were only 4 of us that one time. Because it kept it intimate and we had a lovely little sharing.
  4. Honest but upbeat. I love that it’s so positive.
  5. The two others who shared.
  6. And my sharing.
  7. That having gotten lost on the way to OA, I finally decided to just come home. It was enough of driving around for 30 minutes lost in the rain. Good decision.
  8. And that I did get home safely.
  9. That I came back to my “daily work” yesterday.
  10. And that it helped
  11. And that I’m doing it again today
  12. That I had gas in the car
  13. That my car is new enough and is safe.
  14. That I sent th eflowers to the funeral home for J’s mother
  15. That I’m doing the right thing by going as he asked, when he asked.
  16. Vegetables
  17. Water
  18. That I can see.
  19. That I can drive.
  20. That I will see M and her girls today
  21. and we *should* have fun.
  22. That I do learn some stuff from Dr. Phil. I don’t know that I believe in him as a person, but he does know his stuff
  23. The book The Secret
  24. And that it is helping me
  25. My Nook
  26. Z and that I do have her to clean once every other week.
  27. 3 bouquets in this house right now! (I had bought one for myself at he supermarket, N at work had given me one, and Jo brought me one)
  28. My sculpture. That I bought for myself a year and a half ago for my birthday.
  29. My legs. I can walk and work out and drive and sit using my legs
  30. My feet that carry me everywhere
  31. Meditation
  32. The one I found on youtube (Connecting with your Higher Power by Nina Larken)
  33. The 10 line poem of Thich Nhat Hanh meditation too: In. Out. Deep. Slow. Calm. Ease. Smile. Release. Present moment. Wonderful moment.
  34. That I was with him in person on 4 retreats!
  35. And heard/saw him teach this in person! To me! (and a thousand others lol)
  36. My England trip.
  37. That I planned it myself
  38. Payed for it myself
  39. Went – actually went to England – by myself!
  40. And loved it!
  41. That that was empowering to me
  42. That I *have* accomplished some things this past year with some exercise
  43. and eating better
  44. and personal growth
  45. and going back to OA
  46. and WW
  47. My new friendship with D
  48. My physical comfort
  49. My “first-world problems”
  50. My health
  51. My hope
  52. My lfie
  53. That I don’t want to die or kill self. I remember when I did
  54. My iPhone
  55. My mini iPad’My laptop
  56. My tvs (I have 2)
  57. My Thich Nhat Hanh caligraphy
  58. Plans for NYE with friend
  59. My mother has both good aides for now anyway. Finally. (And I hope it lasts)
  60. That I have les social anxiety than I used to
  61. That day at Best Buy. A year ago April. I’ll never forget it. When I was afraid and nervous going in, not know HOW to buy a tv… how does one hang those new kinds… etc. And standing there waiting, – the veil was lifted. Omg. The veil. Was lifted. I never even know I had a veil I was seeing the world through. But I did! I knew when it was gone.
  62. And it has not returned since!
  63. And then, last Feb, finding my Higher Power. Oh so grateful for that!
  64. Positive people.
  65. That I am so much more positive
  66. That I am so much more willing to be myself
  67. That I am able to help others
  68. That I am able to teach
  69. And support myself
  70. And help children
  71. And even enjoy it some.
  72. And my two aides oh so glad we’re all happy
  73. and they’re so good to kids
  74. That T invited me to Thanksgiving
  75. and that despite my fears, I went
  76. and I had a great time!
  77. That I have done and do all I can to do the right thing by my mother
  78. Bubble baths
  79. That I regularly get hair color/cuts. I remember when I didn’t
  80. That I get a pedicure every month.
  81. That I am saving a little money.
  82. That I support myself
  83. That I play piano
  84. God
  85. That I have ways I can stand broccoli now
  86. Vegan cookbooks
  87. Everyone who helps animals
  88. Laughter
  89. My birdies
  90. Friendships
  91. Smiles
  92. My nice skin
  93. My good feet
  94. My hands. That do so much for me
  95. Hope
  96. Smiles
  97. People who help others
  98. People who help me
  99. My good brain
  100. My good organs

Daily Readings Dec 27 ’16

6:40 am

For Today:

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. Eleanor Roosevelt

To be as a child is a great and worthy goal. Curiosity and enthusiasm are the two outstanding characteristics of children, and the most blessed of humans are those who keep these qualities all their lives.

I live life by going out and exploring it, digging into it just for the pleasure of feeling alive – which is reward enough.

Meeting life head-on has the great virtue of allowing me to see everything, to know in the instant how best to proceed – and then go ahead and do it. I am here for the purpose of living, which means putting all my God-given faculties to their fullest and best use.

For today: I have a program that encourages curiosity and enthusiasm for living; and what I manage to find for myself I share with others.

*My take-away. Wow! So much here! – Live life by… digging into it just for the pleasure of feeling alive which is reward enough. Oh I love that! – Knowing in an instant how best to proceed and doing it. I want that so much. So the *purpose* of living – fullest and best use, yes. This week, while J’s mother has died on Saturday night, and I am emotionally and timewise strained while having really needed a break and Ma screwed up the first part and now this… I did yesterday do this “work” and went to WW and tried to go to OA but got lost it’s ok…. I did feel better and will today too. Today will do laundry, get haircut, eat well of course, and see M and the girls yay taking them, my little “nieces” out. Quite honestly, wanted to get to meeting *every day* this week and missed last night because lost, today’s time with the girls which was the only time they had will prevent today’s, tomorrow the wake will prevent that. Grrr. But it’s ok. It’s got to be. It is life in the moment. And it is all a WHOLE lot better than when I wanted to die! I must never, ever turn my back on life.

PS Also reading The Secret at night is helping too.

Voices of Recovery:

It is essential that all of us understand and respect anonymity if OA is to survive and we are to find recovery here. – The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p.. 199

It’s not often you see the words “it is essential.” This tells me how important anonymity is. OA’s survival and my recovery depends on it. What does this mean? For me, it means that I always hold in confidence what I hear at a meeting or from another OA member. It means that no matter what, I maintain my anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and television. For me, it also means that I let people in OA know my last name so that if I am needed, I can be found. It means that I don’t place myself above or below anyone else. I t reminds me that we are all equal. It tells me taht my job is of no importance. What counts is that we are both compulsive overeaters trying to recover through the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous.

My take-away. Yeah yeah…

Daily Reflections:

PROBLEM SOLVING

Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 42

Through the recovery process described in the Big Book, I have come to realize that the same instructions that work on my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I am angry or frustrated, I consider the matter a manifestation of the main problem within me, alcoholism. As I “walk” through the Steps, my difficulty is usually dealt with long before I reach the Twelfth “suggestion,” and those difficulties that persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry the message to someone else. These principles do solve my problems! I have not encountered an exception, and I have been brought to a way of living which is satisfying and useful.

My take-away. Whenever I am angry or frustrated (or fearful or resentful or anything) I do NOT see it as a manifestation of the “main problem within me,” my overeating. I see it as all connected to the feeling of lack within me but like the overeating and the other things come FROM it, the others do not come FROM the overeating “addiction.” No matter, the spiritual solution is here for me. Higher Power, I offer myself to Thee, to do with me and to build with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, they love, and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always. Amen.

As Bill Sees It p. 28:

Troublemakers Can Be Teachers

Few of us are any longer afraid of what any newcomer can do to our A.A. (O.A.) reputation or effectiveness. Those who slip, whose who panhandle, those who scandalize, those with mental twists, those who rebel at the program, those who trade on the A. A. reputation – all such persons seldom harm an A.A. group for long.

Some of these have become our most respected and best loved. Some have remained to try our patience, sober nevertheless. Others have drifted away. We have begun to regard the troublesome ones not as menaces, but rather as our teachers. They oblige us to cultivate patience, tolerance, and humility. We finally see that they are only people sicker than the rest of us, that we who condemn them are the Pharisees whose false righteousness does our group the deeper spiritual damage.

My take-away: Okay.

How to Eat:

When we eat mindfully, we consume exactly what we need in order to keep our bodies, our minds and the Earth healthy. When we practice like this, we reduce suffering for ourselves and for others. We begin to heal ourselves and can help heal the world. As a spiritual family and as a human family, we can all help make our lives more sustainable by following this practice.

My take-away. Great! And gives me motivation and courage to do it for this day.

How to Relax:

THE SOUND OF THE BELL

I started inviting the bell when I as sixteen years old, the age when I became a novice monk. We say, “invite the bell” rather than “strike the bell” because we think of the bell as a friend. We want to invite its sound into our bodies. Inviting a bell to sound is one very simple way to relax. When we hear the bell, we breathe in and we breathe out, and we take in that beautiful sound. That’s it. If we don’t have a bell, we can use another sound – a phone ringing, an airplane passing overhead, the chime of a clock, a timer on the computer, or the natural sounds around us. We can even use the sound of a jackhammer or a leaf blower.

My take-away: I never realized that about “invite the bell.” It is nice. I want to do this throughout the day. 🙂

How To Walk:

LIFE’S ADDRESS (I feel like maybe this is the one I did yesterday, but it’s ok. I need it:))

When you walk mindfully, just enjoy walking. The technique to practice is to walk and just to be exactly where you are, even if you are moving. Your true destination is the here and the now, because only in this moment and in the place is life possible. The address of all the great beings is “here and now.” The address of peace and light is also “here and now.” You know where to go. Every in-breath, every out-breath, every step you make should bring you back to that address.

My take-away. Do it. The first retreat I went on with Thich Nhat Hanh, was call “I have arrived. I am home.” This is good. Bring it with me. It is in me. Bring it with me.