“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.” – Henri Frédéric Amiel
Recently I was emailed a question that I thought would be good to share:
So I have a question for you. Can you describe what staying in the moment means to you? And how you did it?
I wish I could say it is/was easy. When the pressure rises and it seems like my head is going to pop or the worst is about to occur I STOP:
Stay Still and Breath.
Take an inventory of what is really happening or could happen.
Orient myself to the FACT that I am ok right here and now and that is all I can control.
I guess I have been through so much stuff in my life as a kid, as and addict and in recovery that I know not to panic. I just keep saying to myself, it will work out it always does! Right here and right now I am alive, breathing, reasonably healthy and I am going to be OK!
In the early years of my recovery, I would recite the Serenity Prayer over and over. At night being raised Catholic I would do my version of the Rosary until I fell asleep. If I woke up in the middle of the night I would do it again until I fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning I would say, today is going to be a great day, everything negative I thought yesterday is swinging positive for me today!
The other thing I found helpful is to keep busy! Get involved in work, or if I wasn’t working, I would stay busy, clean my house, car, go to beach, I would hit a meeting, and get on the phone. When I spent time with people I found it was better to focus on them and not me. People love to talk about themselves and there “Stuff”, so I let them. It kept me from being immeshed in my own crap!
Go, Go, Go…