Do It Any Way

Larry was in recovery for over 25 years before he left us for the big meeting in the sky. He died as he wanted, sober and with two close friends, who are also members of his home group, at his side.

He was the group philosopher. Though he accused himself of over thinking things, he always had something worth an ear. He was a larger than life character who towered above most everyone and who never failed to help another member. His big old bear hugs were smothering but always honest and genuine. And though he’s been gone for well over a year, his bits of wisdom which were gleaned from his own experience are still echoing in the rooms of the city.

“Do it anyway,” he’d often say at a meeting, “or do it any way.” It was Larry’s manner of encouragement. Find a way to get done what needs to be done. There might be an “I don’t want to,” or an” I don’t think I can,” but when it came to the program, friends as well as sponsees heard this wise words to push forward regardless.

Sometimes in life it isn’t about desire or want. It’s about need. Larry’s words are for those things we need to do, the things we fear doing, the things we don’t even know how to do. Do it any way.

Commitment, consistency and courage are behind these words. Sticking to one’s convictions day by day regardless of what happens. This is how we live a life in recovery. This is the example Larry set for us. It is also the challenge he left with us.

“Do it anyway, do it any way.”

Thank you Larry.

Creativity and Inspiration

Creativity is not something you wait for. It is something that waits for you. You must decide to be creative, not wait to be. You must challenge yourself. Pick up the brush. Grab hold of the camera. Turn on the computer. Start cooking the meal. Get to the workplace early. Propose the solution. Advance the idea. Become the answer…be the inspiration...Neale Donald Walsch

 

I’ve been writing here for more than a year and a half and I’m often asked where I get my ideas for the blog articles I write. At first it was difficult. Like everything new it was outside my comfort zone and I was a bit nervous about the results. Would there be enough material to write about?

Today I see the ideas everywhere. A year and a half ago I made a decision to write two articles a week and since then I have noticed that the process of finding inspiration gets easier as I write more articles. I find topics because my mind is more attuned to pick out what might be the inspiration for an article. It’s not that I am any brighter or gifted or creative than others. It’s because this is what I pursue.

Writing has become a very important part of my life, along with working to discover more about spirituality and myself. The two go hand in hand. I also belong to a local writers’ group and research writing. If I wish to be a writer, I have to write.

Every one of us has desires and talents that we don’t explore. We tell ourselves that we won’t be good enough or that is just a silly dream. I know, because that’s what kept me away from writing for many years although I was always drawn to it.

If you want to be a painter, then paint. If you want to drive a motorcycle then learn how to drive a motorcycle. You will never skydive from your living room sofa. Nor will you build that cabin in the woods by watching YouTube videos.

If I want to change my life, be creative, learn to enjoy life more, then I have to start ‘doing’. A painter gets better at his art by painting. A driver improves his skills by driving I can’t think about stuff alone; I must get up off of my duff and do. Only then can I put into practice and improve, becoming my ‘answer’, my own inspiration.

Dream

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. -Denis Waitley

Dream! Plan! See a future that you want for yourself! What are your hopes and aspirations? What are your goals? Where would you like to see yourself in five years? Ten years?

What? You don’t see it as possible? Then you haven’t looked around you. Miracles happen, wishes come true and dreams are realized because people make them. I sit in a room full of people who had no dreams and little hope and here they are clean and sober and living lives beyond their wildest imagination. I can read online everyday success stories of people who came out of abject poverty and yet created a completely new world for themselves. The skyscraper you see glittering in the sun or the castle overlooking the valley were once dreams in the minds of their creators that have now been realized.

Not possible for you? Then you don’t know the process for fulfilling a dream. As addicts and alcoholics we spent hours solving the problems of the world and sharing with everyone who had the patience to hear what we might have done and what we were going to do. Unfortunately we never picked ourselves out of the gutter or got off of the barstools to make those ideas come true. We came back to the same place day after day and said the same things over and over again. If we do thing same things we get the same results. No one has ever married the person of their dreams, bought a house on a tropical island, written a book or fulfilled any dream by sitting on the barstool. You have to step away from what is and walk towards what can be.

Fulfilling a dream takes work. It takes patience. It takes humility. People often tell me that they wish they could live in the rainforest near the ocean as I do. I tell them that they can do so if they want to. “It’s not impossible.” They reply that they can’t, they have a job and family and a mortgage. What they are really saying is that they don’t want to risk a change of what they have to get what they want. They might like the idea of stepping out of their comfort zone, but they really don’t want to make the necessary changes. They don’t want to do the work needed or the time to do it so it’s all really just pie in the sky. What they are really dreaming about is finding a genie in a bottle or a visit from their fairy godmother.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Chinese proverb.

I’ve learned in my program of recovery to enjoy the moment, live in the present and trust the process. And I can still dream. I am learning not to live in the future, rather work toward it. If I want a sober and clean life it begins one day at a time and gradually the days begin to add up. At first it’s difficult. It’s change from the norm and out of my comfort zone.  With the Twelve Steps, it gets easier. I have to do the work. My dreams are the same. I have to work at them. I have to take that first step toward them today and another step tomorrow. And it all starts by stepping off the stool.