Monday, December 30, 2013

One of My Fabulous Mentors

Tony Robbins is one of my favorite, fabulous mentors! From being homeless to making the choice to live the best life possible...he is a magnificent example of humility and service. Light contagiously beams off this man as he makes each next, right step.

When I'm down for a bit, then I pray for a solution and usually find the answers within. Though sometimes when I'm stuck and not hearing, I have to get out of myself and seek the advice and guidance from someone older and wiser. God works through others, too, I believe. This is where gratitude for my fabulous mentors kicks in! Reaching out keeps me humble, yet motivated. Win-win!

Anthony "Tony" Robbins is an American life coach, self-help author and motivational speaker who has helped millions of people all over the world. Robbins has been honored by Accenture as one of the "Top 50 Business Intellectuals in the World"; by Harvard Business Press as one of the "Top 200 Business Gurus"; by American Express as one of the "Top Six Business Leaders in the World" to coach its entrepreneurial clients; by Forbes as a "Top 100 Celebrity"; by Justice Byron White as one of the world's "Outstanding Young People of the World". He is also the author of two uplifters I personally love: Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within, in addition to many others!

"Every human being has 6 needs in common-
1. Certainty
2. Variety
3. Sense of Significance
4. To Feel Connected and Loved
5. Must Grow
6. Must Contribute Outside of Yourself

What need is driving that person the most?" -Tony Robbins

I know, for me, that the need which is driving me the most is that I must contribute outside of myself. The runner up-today, anyhow-is that I must grow.

What need is driving you the most in your life right now? Is it working for you?

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Blame Game

There is nobody more intelligent about who you are than you. If you meditate and stay calm, looking deep will find the answers you are searching for.

When I started to become more self-aware, I could no longer participate in the blame game. As a sober adult, I was now present to being responsible for my own actions, reactions and life. Honestly, this ticked me off a bit because I could no longer blame another person, circumstance or even alcohol. There was only me to deal with, and I surely did not want to point a finger at myself! I was not used to taking ownership and it proved quite difficult. Who am I kidding? It still does!

There is empowerment in ownership though, I've grown to find out. I look for the reason why and I stand in honesty with myself.

Why did I do that?
Why do I blame others or circumstances?
Why do I say I want this, but I don't follow through?
Why is it so difficult to only focus on my part in this experience?

Sometimes there is healing needed, most definitely! I find that in time. So, I give myself time to do something fun-or fall flat on my face into my pillow! Yep, sometimes when life gets too hard, I fall fast asleep! However, once I find the answer within, I'm hopefully able to accept it, learn from it and move forward from it to create a solution. I grow and acquire a new sense of confidence in knowing myself even more! No blame, just honesty and acceptance.

How about for you? Do you know why you do what you do? Have you also played the blame game?

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Night Sparkle

Let your life sparkle by revealing all you've got to give!

Just wanted to wish you all a fabulous weekend! I'm still working on the pre-production for the Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down videos that will be viewable soon along with the new website, and I am oh so excited to share!

Be the shine you wish to see around you! xoxo

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Let's Begin, Again.

Life unveils second chances. It says, "Let's begin, again." That is what recovery is all about- the chance to begin, again.

Going back to when I was a young, bright-eyed, curious little girl who drove my mother crazy with my constant curiosity, I can remember the joy I had. The simplicity of play, the feeling of accomplishment as I swam the whole length of the pool under the clear cool water, the importance of completing a Christmas coloring book so I could gift each colorful page. The energy and enthusiasm I had for simply living.

Being fully self-expressed in creativity, and in life, as an adult is absolutely vital for living! It is exactly what helped me to begin, again. To re-create my life. To wash away the chaos and self destructive behavior and learn from what kept me isolated in selfishness, distanced from others and finally accepting what was and re-creating what could be. This, in my opinion, is recovery.

What second chances has life unveiled for you? Are you also in acceptance and re-creating?

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dreams Do Come True!

I've realized over the years that if I want my dreams to come true I have to first believe that they can! Then, I had to wake up and live consciously and whole-heartedly in order to create the pathway to them. On the old path I traveled, I consistently got lost and off track in unconscious, ego-driven, spiritually deadened living. 
A recovered life is not a boring life. I have had dreams fall down and all around like glimmering Minnesota snowflakes! I share this in hopes that you all reading may also believe that you can create a wonderful life for yourself in recovery!
Some of the dreams that have come true for me once I committed to putting my recovery first, in all that I do:
-Clarity and soundness of mind
-Beautiful, honest relationships with people
-Trust from the ones closest to me
-Faith in God and ability to see miracles happen all around
-Worked as a literary agent in Hollywood and, thanks to Caren Bohrman, assisted in the production of brilliantly written screenplays for television and film
-Been mentored by actors, comedians, politicians, pastors, CEOs, writers, agents, people with great lengths of sobriety-you name it!
-Creation and successes in several companies
-Was featured in Signature L.A. Magazines' article for mentorship & entrepreneurship for L.A.'s Inner Beauty: Top 40 Under 40 in November 2009
-Have assisted in helping others get their lives back on track
-Went through a divorce, amicably (We signed the divorce paperwork and went to dinner right after! Love and kindness in all choices is a dream come true-for me.)
-Was part of an amazing production of Dracula! and publically featured for playing 3 roles in the newspaper article about the show (When I was drinking, I hardly ever even auditioned, let alone landed a part!)
-Have seen wondrous parts of the world
-Kayaked next to dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean
-Spoken with a jovial spirit in front of hundreds of people
-Realized that I enjoy my own company, found an honest love for myself, others and life and awakened to the understanding that I am never alone
-Written a book and created 3 inspirational blogs to inspire others to live their best lives (The wonderful gifts inside of this dream coming true have been beyond my own understanding. What a blessing it is to just simply give.)
Recovery is a gift. It was also the dream I never could have created on my own. Dreams do come true, even when we least expect them to!
How about for you? Do you believe that dreams do come true? What dreams have come true for you in your own life?

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Catching My Breath to Say Thank You

Today was a majestic, fun-filled snowy day!

I am in so much gratitude lately. Life has been filled with goodness and so many dreams coming true! Sometimes I start to get overwhelmed, then I remind myself to slow down, catch my breath and say, "Thank you."

A very wise patient I spoke with yesterday said, "If you have the three f's, you've got more than enough to be thankful for: Faith, Family and Friends." At first I was surprised he shared this, just out of nowhere. Then I realized the more he spoke that his heart was filled with gratitude from surviving his operation. Beautiful!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! These two words, for me, have assisted my inside to match my outside. Every day alive is another opportunity to be grateful, love and thrive!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Find Your Own Courage While Faking It

Courage. Fear. Either way, when it comes to empowering myself on a daily basis to do great work and live boldly, one always wins. I do believe they sit next to one another at any given moment and it’s up to me to let courage win, or allow fear to sink me once again.

If I choose to:
Get drunk
Have a toke
Hurt Others
Selfishly Struggle Through Life
Would I be living a significant life? Would I be seen as courageous, or rather exceptionally fearful and foolish? Would I be happy with the person I have become? My experience has been no.

One of my first sober mentors suggested to me, Amber, fake it until you make it!”. I faked it repeatedly because I believed that faking it could help me make it. After all, she hadn’t steered me wrong and I wanted what she seemed to have-happiness, fearlessness, business sense, strong wit and years of sobriety!

I Faked the faith in a higher power-miraculously, I now truly have faith in a higher power I personally call an all-loving God.
I Faked that I completed the 9th Step for five years-and I had half the pain lifted until I completed it.
I Faked that I actually enjoyed the company of my peers and women-I honestly do now.
I Faked that I knew what I was talking about in regards to alcoholism-and now, years later, I do.
I Faked that I could start my own companies and know what to do-I did and was successful.
I Faked that I, too, could live courageously without drinking-and now, I am!

The initial ‘faking it’ forces me into the ring. Courage keeps me fighting, with hope.

If and when I can’t seem to believe in myself, or to lift my own spirits, I fake a simple smile…and within moments, I’m feeling the percolation of joy. Try on a fake smile for a even 30 seconds. It’s impossible to not feel different and better after that...or at the very least, a bit more goofy! Did you try? I might also say a positive affirmation to myself that I want to come into fruition. For me, faking it works from time to time!

What does believing in yourself look like? Are you willing to fake it until you make it? Also, if you believed in yourself right now, what would you be doing?

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Monday, December 9, 2013

If I Could Travel Back In Time-I'd Kick My Own Ass!

If I could travel back in time like Marty McFly from Back to the Future, I seriously think I'd give myself many swift kicks in the ass. Good thing I can't, though it's a bit humorous to think about it!

Many times I've thought to myself what was I thinking? Here is where my mind goes from time to time with only some of the stupid things I've done while drinking:

You sipped the backwash out of beer cans that had been sitting for hours as a kid? Freakin gross!
You drank brandy with water? Really?
You tried to convince your mother you weren't totally wasted when you were and told her to call the cops to prove it? Come on!
You told 30 something year old men you were in your 20s when you were in your mid-teens just so they would pay attention to you and buy you drinks? Wow.
You got mad at a party because nobody was paying attention to you, so you actually pretended to fall and bang your head on the concrete? WTF?!
You went out into the ocean and bodyboarding during major storms near the pier where sharks swarm while absolutely intoxicated? Smart.
You went to bars in Manhattan, alone, and told men that you were going to be on the next episode of As The World Turns and to tune in to see you? Liar!
You invited men to your apartment-who you didn't even know-to party without female companions being there? Safe call. Not!
You got drunk on the night of 9/11 instead of being of service to your community? Sick and selfish.
You ding-dong-ditched random houses late at night to get a rise out of people? Considerate.
You slept in your car overnight in parking lots of Hollywood without the doors locked and passed out? Lucky to be alive girlie.
You accused your best friend of being jealous of you because you could drink and she couldn't because she was pregnant, all as a reaction of her telling you she was concerned about you and that she was worried you might be an alcoholic? Denial much?
You drove your friends around drunk, all while telling them you were their sober ride and sneaking booze? Nice friend you were.

Oh yeah, I would definitely kick my own ass into shape...if I could go back in time. But I can't. So, I do my best to live rightly today. Now, have I made self-seeking, selfish mistakes in my sobriety? Oh most definitely! As far as I know, I can't yet walk on water! The difference is, however, I'm wide awake and fully present, taking corrective action and learning from my mistakes. I give praise and thanks to God and others who have taught me how to live rightly. I'm not sure I could live rightly without the input and direction given.

I am grateful to have a support system (people who keep me accountable and backhand me with their own experiences), self-discipline and enough wisdom today to where I don't make the same mistakes over and over-having my own sanity and relationships fall apart at the seems like they did in my past. I'm tougher on myself and, also, so are the people around me. Since I've gotten sober I really have no excuse for bad behaviors and for my actions not matching up with my words, thank God...because the lifestyle I was living was incredibly chaotic. The proof is in the residual thoughts of me wanting to go back and kick my own ass!

Looking back on your own life, would you kick your own ass? I'd love to hear your stories!

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Today's Gift: Formula for Happiness

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Happiness consists of a solid faith, good health, and a bad memory.
--Clare Boothe Luce

Resentments are guaranteed to hinder our growth. We can never know full happiness when resentment clouds our vision. Why is it so hard for us to "forget" the small injuries of life? We have never been promised freedom from pain. Many of the lessons we are destined to learn will scuff our egos. But we will know happiness, completely, if we free our minds of resentments.

The formula for happiness is simple. We don't need material wealth, a perfect job, or an exceptional relationship. In fact, it's possible to know happiness with no job, very little money, and no significant other. Happiness is a by-product of a healthy attitude. And a healthy attitude is one that takes the normal turmoil of life and mixes it with a belief in God's presence. The result is an acceptance of God's will and a certainty that, in spite of appearances, all is well.

I am in charge of my attitude today. Happiness is a choice I can make regardless of what the people around me are doing.

You are reading from the book:
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Release The Shame: Be Who You're Meant To Be

Many of us have heard that coined phrase that secrets keep us sick...and they do, I believe, because the internal secrets feed the internal shame. Relief comes from accepting that it is there, letting it out and letting it go.
Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
Secret: something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.
I used to be a master at hiding my inner self- and I still can if I resort to fear. Remembering back to being a young girl in elementary school...I would listen to top hits of the 80's on my walkman and be in my own world. My peers called me 'La-La Land' even! I pretended that I didn't care about that nickname, though my sensitive insides truly did. I didn't know how to communicate and was incredibly introverted around my peers (not with older people though, I could talk their ear off!). Internally all I wanted was to feel free and accepted.
In my teens I abused booze for a 'social lubricant' and still didn't feel accepted! Oh, pour me, pour me another! I was like a cake...full of goodness and potential, but weighted down by some foul shame frosting. Let me tell ya, trying to be the perfect daughter who puts up a poser front, "I am studying at my friends."...actually with peers, partying at the river..."I never drink."...every party that had alcohol, I found..."I get excellent grades."...I was great at manipulating the teachers to give me extra credit assignments when I failed tests! My double life wrapped me up and tied me to shame.
When I hold in a secret of something I've done that my soul doesn't agree with, I feel it. This particular feeling robs me of who I'm meant to be, of who I am authentically in God's original creation, minus the foul frosting! And, you want to know what's funny? My frosting of shame stinks right? Well, okay, so I'm walking around like everything is all right...yet my family and friends are getting pretty ticked and even worried in regards to how much I smell. Then, instead of cleaning up the shame, I push them away and undermine their ability for compassion! Classic.
Working the steps of recovery flung me into the middle of so many Aha! moments. Inside one of these moments I realized that people who cared about me, my closest who wanted only the very best for and from me, simply wanted me to have joy and freedom...not for me to be physically tied down to intangible things such as destructive thoughts, lies and shame. All I needed was willingness to set the shame free, the courage to voice it and then no longer was it-or I-under lock and key!
I know now, today, that I will never have the life I desire, nor will I be the person I'm meant to be, if I pretend to be anything I am not. How about for you? Are you being who you're meant to be?

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Is All Well With Your Soul?

Is all well with your soul? If so, how did you get to that place? If not, why not?

This is a wonderful reflective piece I thought I would share. It's such an important question! Tuning in and cleaning up is vital for a positive perspective, kind thoughts about self and others, moving forward in life and having a hopeful, forgiving, empathetically loving heart.

There have been many moments where I struggle...especially as of lately...though I know why and I've done my best to do the work. Adapting to so much change can be quite daunting. Creativity, such as this, helps me in the moments of struggle and uncertainty. Pulling on the bottle hasn't been my solution for years and I am ever so grateful for that!

When I lie down to sleep, when I awaken in the morning, and as I go through the moments and events of the day, it is important for me to know that all is well with my soul otherwise I'm sure to be an unbalanced mess! Being fully self-expressed in an artistic way assists in keeping all well with my soul. For me, God is the ultimate creator and, like I've stated before, I feel He works through creativity. When I was stuck in self, drinking and partying, my creativity was near non-existent!

Inside the bull's-eye of recovery, I visualize words that pierce the heart. Is All Well With Your Soul? are highlighted boldly for me.

How about for you? I'd be delighted to know what you do to keep all well with your soul!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Today I Meet My Publicist!

Today is going to be a great day!

When I was in my early 20s, I dreamt of having a publicist who believed in my work. I wanted to be a famous actress back then. Never would I have thought that, over a decade later, I would be meeting with one for an interview regarding my work and aspirations as a writer/inspirationalist! This year has been filled with all kinds of surprises!

This meeting would not have been made possible without your support. Thank you from the depths of my heart. I am in total, complete gratitude and very much looking forward to this experience!

I will keep you all posted and, more than anything, I hope that through sharing my experience it may inspire you to follow your own creative path toward your joy and dreams! Dream a little dream, dream a big dream...just please, don't give up on creating your dreams. You are worth it!

~Amber Leone Murphy
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Educating Youth About Drugs: To Save A Life

There are designer drugs where the creators are not chemists, rather radical business people targeting teenagers to buy their products. They are available for legal purchase in America, yet banned in many other countries. It may say 'Not for human consumption' and 'Creates psychosis if ingested' on the packaging, however children and teens who are uneducated do not mind because they are lacking maturity, care and wisdom.

Speaking from my own experience-as always-knowledge is imperative and so is forthright discussion with children at a young age about drugs!

I will never forget the reason I never tried hard drugs. Ever. I was six or seven years old when I saw a loved one coming off cocaine and it scared me into a pure panic. I was quickly informed by that person as to why I should never do drugs and, if I did, what could happen. That introductory lesson has since been imprinted in my memory.

Had this person not shared their experience with me, I may have tried powders or pills. The curiosity didn't even exist after the imprinted exposure and lesson! Never again did I see them battle with this drug. Therefore, I believe that educating our youth by being candid and graphic may save their lives...or at the very least, set up a tall mind-hurdle which forces them to think.

Just an idea, though we may first have to hold either the physical experience of use or educate ourselves to press the information forward. Then we have to be bold and courageous enough to have the conversation and be open for the probable raw questions. Schooling our youth is not in the same category as scolding them. They will thank us for the care and guidance later on. I know I did!

Did anyone you loved, admired and respected thoroughly educate you on drugs and alcohol when you were a child?

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mentors Are Irreplaceable!

Mentors are irreplaceable when it comes to living a full life. I need people to look up to, to call me out when they see me stepping backwards, who will love me, unconditionally, when I make mistakes. Recovery has opened multiple doors, giving me the opportunity to learn from an army of mentors such as I've described. What a blessing!

Mentor: someone who teaches and is experienced; often giving advice or help to a less experienced and often younger person.

My mother and all of her friends, sponsors and the old-timers in my twelve step recovery program...ah so many of these wonderful people aided me in building a solid foundation for my life. They were, and still are, my mentors. For them, I am exceptionally grateful!

They all spent an excessive amount of hours listening to me, watching me cry in my soup...then gracefully (or bluntly, depending upon how dramatic my own pity-party was at the time), they'd share their pearls of wisdom with me. These mentors helped me to look within and grow up, all while loving me. Even years later, they are still quick on the draw to give me a swift blast of their intellect, and I love it! My curiosity keeps me open. There is so much I do not know-that I am certain about because every day I learn something new!

For years I mostly listened to women, thus male mentors were rare. Then, in my sixth year of sobriety, I realized how much wisdom men possess when I actually began listening to them. One man in particular, I feel, raised my recovery capacity up to a new level. He taught me about intentions, motivations, reactions/actions, honesty, discipline, self-righteousness, perception and that not one of us is perfect. My mind was a buzz of wonder! I was like a sponge, soaking up whatever I could. He also taught me this invaluable lesson: at my worst, I am a walking contradiction and that being this does not make me a bad person...just human. I was absolutely amazed by how he could know as much as he did. There were a multitude of growing pains in my mind, spirit and heart from all the lessons; magnificent varieties which propelled me to start writing again, with passion!

I am thankful and determined to pay it forward!

I'm have mentors helped you in shaping your life? Have you struggled to stay open to the lessons? I'd be delighted to hear your stories!

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Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday: A Great Day To Shine!

I just wanted to wish you all a legendary Tuesday! Today is a great day to SHINE, for we are alive and sober!

My apologies on not having blogs posted the past couple of days. I have received a few emails I will be addressing later today on the blog. I've been working on videos the past couple of days so that has been taking up a large portion of my creative time.

If you would like to view the latest video to the Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down library, please click on the link below. As you will see, I am a bit I have clearly stated in past blogs! Hope you enjoy!

Sober Girl Story: Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Video On YouTube!

Can't Keep A Sober Girl Down 
CLICK HERE TO WATCH -Sober Life Is Not A Boring Life

To all who made this video possible, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I can only hope that this video will reach many more women across the world who may be in that beginning stage of recovery and feeling a bit lost...and also the women who remember how it was at the beginning.

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Woman's Elegance

Today, I find that putting on a pair of heels, draping a cross around my neck and wearing a ring of peace lifts my spirits as a woman. Fashion creates an uplifted sense of beauty, integrity and elegance. I pull out and put on decorative pieces of my soul.

When I sobered up, I frequently wore comfy pajamas pants, my favorite Nike sweatshirt with holes where the thumbs protruded through the cuffs, and a smoking robe. If I wasn't by my sponsor's side or at a meeting, you could have found me sitting in front of the television for hours on end, talking on the phone and puffing on cigarettes in the garage, buried in a sea of books in bed or scrolling through Myspace. Remember that site? Makes me chuckle! I was lost and in a period of survival mode for a solid eight months, at least. As I was just learning how to feel my feelings and deal with life, I rarely cared about how I showed up in the world. Inside I was struggling to just show up!

I remember going into store after store with my then husband and him being quite embarrassed. "Do you always have to wear sweatpants?", he'd ask. I would defend my frumpy clothing any chance I got and I was not practicing any kind of love, patience or understanding then. Poor guy!

Then one day my sponsor said something like, "Why don't you try putting on a pair of heels and notice how you feel?". She had never steered me wrong, so I slipped on a pair of heels with my pajama pants one afternoon. Well, I definitely felt more confident trotting around the house, regardless of the pajama pants/heels clothing ensemble! Instantly I remembered how years prior I had worn heels only on special occasions and how I had a bit more pep in my step. Hmm...wheels started turning in my 24 year old brain.

Slowly, I started to wear heels more often and especially when my weight would yo-yo further down. Then, when my faith in God grew exponentially, I began to drape large crosses around my neck. To some these necklaces may look like ornaments, though honestly for me they established a deeper sense of security...maybe even protection. A couple years after, I found a peace ring. Peace has always been a part of who I am. As a young child, it's what I always strived for between myself and others. As a teenager, I decorated my bedroom with peace emblems, dangled peace signs around my neck and always desired to own a Mercedes Benz-mostly because its hood ornament resembled peace! So, the peace sign on my finger reminds me to try and strive for peace.

Now, do I still love comfort? Of course! However, as a direct result of rehabilitating my mind and body, I don't feel as lost anymore. I believe that fashion helps boost my aliveness! I've also noticed it encourages other women to embrace their own inner beauty and elegance...something they may have lost for awhile. A woman's elegance can be altogether alluring, inside and out.

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Do You Have A Few Minutes?

Do you like the show Duck Dynasty? Well, I promise that watching this video will spark emotion...absolutely!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Quote of The Day

“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.”-Albert Einstein 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lacking Self-Discipline In The Workplace

I've always had a job though I've not always had self-discipline. When I realized this, I was stunned. I decided to change for the better. My new mission was to be able to be grateful for having a job and therefore grasp self-discipline to keep the job I have. Stability.

I've heard it been said that alcoholics and addicts lack self-discipline. We want what we want, how and when we want it! Instant gratification. I am no different, for it has taken me years to truly be grateful for the job I currently have. Grateful enough to show up on time, do the work that is required of me, be humble inside of management and see the gratitude out the next day to start again. This, to me, is self-discipline.

Now, can I hope for better inside of that gratitude and appreciation for what I already have? Yes, of course. Though that does not mean that I must give up what I currently have and kick up a blaze of rock and dust in order to score something better. For me, this was my old behavior and there was a strong lack of gratitude and self-discipline in this sort of action/reaction. The real challenge was facing my discontentment from within and then trusting myself-still is, honestly.

A wonderful teacher of my past taught me that I can still hold a job while trying to do better, embrace self-discipline and, therefore, keep my dignity intact. I see now there is much more honor in that. For this lesson, I am forever grateful.

Always enjoy hearing your thoughts and stories. Just click on the ButterFlySober link below to view my profile and/or send a personal email.
Thanks and have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bored and Fear-Two of My Least Favorite Words

I don’t like being bored and I don’t like to be scared, therefore, I avoid both of these states of being like the plague! And yet, conversations about both boredom and fear interest me immeasurably!

Okay, nothing about living a life of recovery should ever bore me, in my opinion. Recovery has been a total transformation and an embracing of gratitude, so where inside of that would I find boredom? I don't recall in the last eight years ever even uttering the words, "I'm bored." Maybe part of this is how I was raised? I do remember hearing at a much younger age, "If you're bored, you're boring." So, therefore, I detest the state of boredom.

Fear. Ewe. Even the mere thought of that word gets me a little worked up emotionally because I know that I can easily create it at any time in my mind. For my addict mind, fear is like a deceptive drug of poison that enables all sorts of nonsense! Sometimes I even go into a whole inventory of what I'm currently fearing just by hearing the word!

I've educated myself about this word since I was in acting school. My mentors, coaches, professors, friends all around me would say, "Be fearless in your work and life!" Since then, two of my favorite books-The Bible and the big book Alcoholic's Anonymous have continued to educate me on why I am to choose courage and faith over fear. Below are some excerpts of fear that I LOVE!

... "Fear."   12&12 Step Twelve, p.123  
So false pride became the reverse side of that ruinous coin marked "Fear."

... fear.   BB How It Works, p.68  
At once, we commence to outgrow fear.

... fear.   BB Into Action, p.84    

... fear.   BB To Wives, p.104    
We have had long rendezvous with hurt pride, frustration, self-pity, misunderstanding and fear.

... fear.   BB To Employers, p.145    
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

... fear and direct our attention to what ...   BB How It Works, p.68    
We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be.

Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

... fear and tension -- that makes for more ...   BB Into Action, p.73    
He is under constant fear and tension -- that makes for more drinking.
.. fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.   BB Into Action, p.88    
We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.

Fear gripped him.   BB A Vision For You, p.154    
Fear gripped him.

1 Chronicles 28:20
David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

... fear of creditors no matter how far ...   BB Into Action, p.78    
We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.

... fear of making a scene should I ...   BB Doctor Bob's Nightmare, p.173    
Many mornings I have gone to classes, and even though fully prepared, would turn and walk back to the fraternity house because of my jitters, not daring to enter the classroom for fear of making a scene should I be called on for recitation.

... fear of not sleeping, and the other ...   BB Doctor Bob's Nightmare, p.175    
One was the fear of not sleeping, and the other was the fear of running out of liquor.

Fear of people and of economic insecurity ...   BB Into Action, p.84    
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

... fear of the next debauch; the mother ...   BB To Wives, p.104    
But for every man who drinks others are involved -- the wife who trembles in fear of the next debauch; the mother and father who see their son wasting away.

... fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter.   BB How It Works, p.63    
As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter.

... fear ought to be classed with stealing.   BB How It Works, p.68    
Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing.

... fear problem, or any other.   BB How It Works, p.68    
Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn't fully solve the fear problem, or any other.

... fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step ...   BB How It Works, p.62    
Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.

... fear; they only thought they had humbled ...   BB Into Action, p.73    
They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves.

... fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem ...   BB We Agnostics, p.52    
We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people -- was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight?

... fear, worry and hurt feelings is a ...   BB To Wives, p.116    
When we do that, we find it solves our problems too; the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful thing.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Step That Took Me Years

The recovery in California was so vibrant, full of life, bold and the wisdom in recovery rooms would literally take my breath away! I would marvel in absolute joy after nearly every meeting I attended in the Los Angeles area. Below is some advice from The Big Book Bunch about the step that took me years to complete. Looking at it helps me, even today, reflect on where I still need to make a direct amends.

Here are the steps we took: 
Step 9) Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

That is what the authors of the Big Book and millions before you did.  To personalize the step for your study and action in the here and now, however, you may wish to rephrase it as:

STEP NINE. Make direct amends to the people you have harmed except when to do so would injure them or others.

Big Book:
Chapter 6, Into Action.

From: Page 82, line 17 Thru: Page 84, line 15.
Step 9

 Our experience with Step Nine prompts us to emphasize four ideas about this step.

1. Token amends will not do! Just what is an amend? Here is what our trusty dictionary says:

a-mend :(uh mend') v. .
2. to change for the better; improve.
3. to remove or correct faults in; rectify.
v.i. <
4. to grow or become better by reforming oneself.


Later in this document you will see an extraction of words and phrases that the authors of the Big Book used to describe what they meant by the word amend. Their true meaning, while including the definition above, is more like the synonyms for the word, rectify:

rectify : v.
1. right, set right, put right, make right, correct, adjust, regulate, straighten, square; focus, attune; mend, amend, emend, fix, repair, revise; remedy, redress, cure, reform.

One might even use the definition of the word, "repair", to express their meaning:

re-pair :[1] (ri pâr') -paired, -pair-ing . v.t.
1. to restore to a good or sound condition after decay or damage; mend.
2. to restore or renew.
3. to remedy; make up for; compensate for.

Extracted words and phrases as examples of "amends":
BB = the Big Book of A.A., Alcoholics Anonymous
12&12 = Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

...sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will.
[BB, page 76, line 22]
...demonstration of good will
[BB, page 77, line 13]
...sweep off our side of the street
[BB, page 77, line 32]
...sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it.
[BB, page 83, line 2]
...We clean house with the family...
[BB, page 83, line 7]
...asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.
[BB, page 83, line 8]
...The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it..
[BB, page 83, line 11]
...Our behavior will convince them more than our words.
[BB, page 83, line 15]
...There may be some wrongs we can never fully right.
[BB, page 83, line 19]
...Some people cannot be seen—we send them an honest letter.
[BB, page 83, line 22]
...We should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping.
[BB, page 83, line 25]

RESTITUTION the damage [we have] done in the past. [BB, page 76, line 21]
...set right the wrong
[BB, page 77, line 12]
...straighten out the past
[BB, page 77, line 32]
...arranging the best deal...[of repayment]...we can
[BB, page 78, line 21]
[BB, page 79, line 5]
[BB, page 79, line 29]
...willing to go to jail
[BB, page 79, line 30]
...make a public statement
[BB, page 80, line 15]
...[make]...good to the wife or parents [
BB, page 82, line 19]
[BB, page 83, line 1]

...confessing our former ill feeling [BB, page 77, line 27]
...expressing our regret
[BB, page 77, line 27]
...we let these people know we are sorry
[BB, page 78, line 21]
...admitting faults
[BB, page 79, line 28]
...admit our fault
[BB, page 81, line 21]
...asking forgiveness
[BB, page 79, line 28]
...A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won't fill the bill at all.
[BB, page 83, line 2]

2. Don't rush into amends without guidance. You can mess up yourself and others unless the best judgment is used. And, when we are new to sobriety, our judgment is often not so swift. 

3. Your amends must never harm others. Both of the books make clear that we cannot seek atonement at the expense of others. Be especially careful not to implicate or injure other people in your wrong-doing.

4. Don't forget to take the hidden step–forgiveness. You will recall that in Step Four you listed the people who had harmed you as part of your resentment matrix. None of the steps emphasizes sufficiently that the ultimate process of resentment eradication (and they must be wiped out) is forgiveness of those we resent. If you have not yet cleaned up your resentments, finish them off in Step Nine. It then becomes the double-edged sword that cuts you free from all harms done by you and to you.

There is a difference between being forgiven and forgiving, however. Our amends to those we have harmed are made at our own initiative and directly to the person harmed, whenever possible. On the other hand, when we are forgiving others, it is rarely appropriate to approach them to let them know they are forgiven. Why?

  • They might have no idea that we have resented them. After all, the resentment is ours. Letting them in on our problem cannot do them any good, and may cause them considerable hurt feelings or aggravation–even anger.
  • We have been learning not to play God and to avoid ego-serving activities. Approaching other to let them know they are forgiven would usually be thought of as self-serving. This we avoid.
If, on the other hand, the injuring party has let us know that they feel guilt about what they have done, it can often be a true act of kindness to let them know they are off the hook as far as we are concerned. We do this with true humility and compassion. We never give the impression that they owe us something for our act of forgiveness. We then try to treat them the way we want others to forgive us for our own wrongs.

Some of our members believe that the other side of the forgiveness coin, that we are forgiven for our transgressions, is a necessary goal of Step 9. There is no need at all that we be forgiven by the person we have harmed after we make an amend. If they choose to tell us we are forgiven, that is a fine gesture–one we might cherish. However, the real goal here is that you cease to know guilt stemming from your prior acts or omissions. The removal of guilt is the exclusive domain of your spiritual power.

On your way. Your Step 9 can last from several weeks to many years. Start it when you have finished step 8 and are told to do so. Continue until you are done.

PROMISES OF STEP NINE  Here are the 20 promises starting at the bottom of page 83 in the Big Book. Some people think these are the only promises the Big Book makes. Little do they realize that each step has a set of promises, and that there are many more besides. There are even a few guarantees. Drop us a line if you have found the 173 promises and guarantees in the Big Book that we have found.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development,
  1. we will be amazed before we are half way through.
  2. We are going to know a new freedom
  3. and a new happiness.
  4. We will not regret the past
  5. nor wish to shut the door on it.
  6. We will comprehend the word serenity and
  7. we will know peace.
  8. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  9. That feeling of uselessness (will disappear)
  10. and self-pity will disappear.
  11. We will lose interest in selfish things and
  12. (we will) gain interest in our fellows.
  13. Self-seeking will slip away.
  14. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
  15. Fear of people (will leave us) and
  16. (fear) of economic insecurity will leave us.
  17. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  18. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
  19. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
  20. They will always materialize if we work for them.