Step 11 - Sought through Prayer and Meditation to IMPROVE our CONSCIOUS

That is a tall order. This April I celebrated my nineteenth sober anniversary, as I am writing this it's hard for me to fathom. In this moment (9:25PM a very pleasant 64 degrees - nice calm evening) writing a few thoughts about my life and experiences with meditation and prayer; I do feel close to my Higher Power.

I find myself seeking quiet time. On a typical weekday I'll get up around 5:00AM, start my coffee and wash any dishes in the sink. Since it's now May, the morning hours are filled with birds chirping and wonderful smells. Flowers, trees are bursting with a thousand shades of green. Walking the dog and doing dishes are a nice way to ease into the day.

From there I'll pour my first cup of Joe and gather my daily meditation books. I have five that I attempt to read everyday; one of the nicest things about where I am in my life is my patience for myself has grown. GOD has taught me again and again there is no hurry. AA has taught me
that nothing is set in stone.

On a really good morning I'll set aside 15 minutes for real eye closed meditation. My favorite scenario is to keep the lights off and light a few candles. For reading I use a solar powered desk lamp that somehow feels quieter. I read somewhere that the quietest part of the day is where the night meets the day. There is something there. I feel the same something @ meetings or when I am talking to another AA on the phone, or if I'm able to think about someone else and actually care about them.

Words very often fail me. I am so grateful to be sober and realize how lucky I am to be in this moment, enjoying the process of writing and reflecting on my ever growing experiences in seeking God's will for me. I know for sure his will is that I stay sober.

In my office I have a collection of crosses and crucifixes that I began collecting a few years ago. Do they make me feel holy, not really; but again there is something about them. There are so many different shapes and sizes, materials used places they have been gathered from... it's
like my re-charge zone. I feel safe in my home. I feel close to GOD and my family in my home. My wife taught me years ago that THIS IS WHAT MATTERS... friends and family.

I have so many books, prayers, beads, cards and I never seem to have enough. For thousands of years people have been praying and seeking. Why? What is it that drives people for answers or guidance or strength? My mother has prayed for me for years. I pray for her and my sister as
well as those I resent, those who are sick or who are struggling to get sober or who are just plain out there.

Another huge gift in my life is my church. To be a part of a community that accepts everyone and allows everyone to be themselves is a rare situation for me; or perhaps I am accepting myself and therefore accept others? It doesn't really matter. A few years ago I took my dog for a walk and my pastor, ( who lives on our block ) stopped me and asked me if I'd be interested in helping out the church's youth group. Well I did and have just committed to staying on for a third year. To be connected to young people in a church setting is amazing. I feel GOD through them, I am getting to relive some of my struggles through them and feel honored to be entrusted to help guide them. More importantly just be there.

Maybe that's the real trick in life. Just be wherever I am. No more running, hiding, pretending... just be.

All the best,

John R.


florence said...

thank you for sharing on step 11. My favorite word is CONSCIOUS. It calls me to step fully into prayer and meditation is a way that is decided.

The tangible ways we contact vs the divine grace that allows us to stay abstinent.

My prayer and meditation time is beginning to flow more and more into my day. I have my ritualized times, morning, noon, sleep and yet I find myself dropping into breathe work several times a day and will often find myself prying the rosary while I am cleaning or doing a chore.

I feel so blessed by God;s grace in those moments. I am so grateful that I am able to be conscious vs the many years I walked around in a FOG...

Today I choose God, to day I choose Happiness and joy!

guinevere said...

Thanks for this.... I always appreciate hearing others' specific ways they work steps, especially steps 10, 11 and 12.

"What is it that drives people for answers or guidance or strength?" a very good question and one I'll ponder today. It reminds me of the power I felt when I went to a particular cathedral in France, to which pilgrims had been coming for centuries. The floor was worn from their footsteps and I felt the walls held a bit of the spirit of each person who had ever stepped inside looking for comfort, strength, hope--something.

I've been following you and I hope you will stop by my blog too. cheers G