“When I focus on what’s good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what’s bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases…I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance. When I remember this, I can see I’ve never had it so good.”  – Doctor, Addict, Alcoholic” by Dr. Paul O. in Alcoholics Anonymous

I live by these words. In fact, they are some of the most powerful words (for me) in the Big Book. And they’re not really new or unique. Philosophers and scientists have researched, studied, debated and proven how powerful the mind is (what we think) in manifesting not only positive experiences and relationships in life, but also positive physical health. I sponsor lots of men, both in AA and AlAnon. The ones that stuggle the most are those that have trouble accepting that our perceptions and attitudes are 99% responsible for how we feel and the quality of our lives. Not our circumstances, our past, or other people. And by studying, working and living the program in a very systematic, diligent and consistent way, I alter my perceptions and attitudes, so that no matter what’s happening on the outside …ILML! 

Have No Regrets

“What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.” – 12 Step Prayer Book 
At the end of each day, I have a great opportunity to reflect on the hours I’ve spent in that day. Was I of service to others out of kindness? Did I take actions that nurtured me physically, emotionally and spiritually. When options presented themselves was I able to make healthy choices? Did I smile and laugh – at least a few times? If agitated, was I able to pause and respond in kindness? Did I take care of responsibilities as well as possible? Did I carve out some time to engage in hobbies that I enjoy? I can honestly say that the time I spent living today was worthwhile, that I have no regrets, and that ILML!  

– JamieQ

Simple as That

“… letting go of our need to control… not setting ourselves up to be victims… setting healthy boundaries… (these are the tools) that help us improve the quality of all our relationships.” – The Language of Letting Go 

I think we all want to get along better with others. The problem for me was that, in order to do so, I wanted everyone else to change. If only they changed, we’d be happy. It’s true that, to some extent, both parties need to adapt and change in order to keep a relationship healthy. But I’m successful in my relationships today because I stopped expecting, hoping and trying to make them change. Instead, I learned that I can create the initial change by practicing program principles in my relationships. Once I am exhibiting healthy behaviors, they have the option to reciprocate… or not. If they do, I’ll stay in the relationship. In not, I’ll leave. Simple as that. When I work my program and set healthy boundaries, my relationships are awesome and ILML! 

– JamieQ

Plan of Detachment

“To continue giving without receiving doesn’t prove anything except that you know how to be taken advantage of.” – Until Today

Who likes a one-sided relationship? Not me. Yet I’ve had many of them in the past. These days I practice having healthy boundaries to the best of my ability by (1) determining what is unacceptable behavior from others, (2) creating a plan of detachment if others repeatedly behave in an unacceptable manner, (3) letting others know what is unacceptable and how I will handle it if it becomes a pattern, and (4) follow through by acting on my plan of detachment if necessary. When I choose to honor and respect myself by setting healthy boundaries and following through on my plan of detachment when necessary, others begin to respect me, my relationships improve and ILML! 

– JamieQ

Why the 4th Step Rocks

“What benefits do I gain by completing a Step Four inventory?” – Reaching for Personal Freedom 

This was the question of the day for me when I opened my workbook at 7am. Here’s my answer: Doing a thorough 4th step cleared away the wreckage of the past and freed me from the bondage of myself so that I was able to finally let go of the hurt that I caused others and myself in the past. In doing so I made room in my heart, soul and mind to become a great man by letting go of that part of me which was significantly less than the great man I seek to continue becoming. Grateful for these simple yet powerful steps. ILML! 

Strive for Balance

“You must enter every experience in life with with a sense of feel-full-ness!” – Michael Beckwith

I love this quote. I like to feel-full-ness everyday, and through the program I’m learning how to feel-fill myself in healthier ways. It used to be booze, drugs, rich food, money, etc. But I’ve learned that I sought out and handled those things in an addictive manner to feel-full, ultimately hurting me and those around me. And they never truly feel-fulled me. Today I seek a balance in those things that are good for me. I eat healthy food. I stretch and exercise regularly. I read books and listen to those that inspire me to be a better man. I take actions to seek out, and connect to, the source of love each day. When I strive for balance, ILML!  

A Wonderful Opportunity

“Our answer is in still more spiritual development. Only by this means can we improve our chances for really happy and useful living.” – 12&12 p.114

This morning I was given a wonderful opportunity to be disappointed. Someone who had made a promise to me only last night, recanted. This caused me fear, which turned to anger, and before I knew it l, words flew out of my mouth that were very uncharacteristic of the spiritually evolved James. It’s only because I work this program so diligently, that less than one minute later I was able to make amends for my words. It doesn’t necessarily excuse me, but it makes me feel better that I’m owning my responsibility. And the real gift is that I was, once again, reminded that there’s always room for spiritual improvement. When I plug in to source, fear evaporates, I insist on being happy and ILML! 

– JamieQ