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.


The person standing on the mountain top did not get there by falling…Neale Donald Walsch

Getting to the top of the ladder of success involves actually climbing the ladder.  I can’t get where I want to go just by sitting down and watching Netflix or surfing Facebook.  I don’t know how many self-help books I have read, but there are many I never finished reading and even less that I applied to my life. I see that I am pretty good at starting, but my follow through leaves a lot to be desired. Buying a gym membership alone won’t get me into shape: I have to do the work to get the results.

A dream is just a dream unless it is followed up by action. How many people seeing a Jackson Pollock canvas say, “I could’ve done that!” And they could have, but they didn’t. I need to work my dream for it to become a reality.  How does an artist become an artist? By working at his art. Perhaps some of us are born with innate abilities.  Perhaps all of us are born with great abilities and we just haven’t discovered them or we are lacking in the confidence to develop them. The point is, if I don’t act, if I don’t move, I am not going anywhere. And yes, we do fall as we go up the mountain, but we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again!

To get to the top of the mountain is, as they say, 10% inspiration and 90% percent perspiration.  I have to keep telling myself this over and over again.  Why? Because I have this entitled belief that it should just fall into my hands and if it doesn’t, then I am not worthy of it. I don’t believe the Universe/God/Source works that way. I have to keep reminding myself that my faith in a Higher Power can move mountains, but it is up to me to bring a shovel and a wheelbarrow.

Falling as you go up the mountain of whatever you define as success is just part of the process of getting to where you want to be. But it doesn’t have to signal the end of the journey. I have to persevere and persist in my quest to get to where I want to go and keep faith that I will eventually get there. I need to do the work and give myself a kick when I don’t.

I want to be a writer so I have to write…a lot! The words don’t just magically appear on the page (or screen). I have to plan, organize and think through. There’s one workshop I took that basically said that everyone’s first book is crap, so write it and get it out of the way so you can move onto the next one. Those are really difficult words to digest to someone who is a perfectionist. But they are probably true. Yes, it may happen, there are prodigies in every field. I don’t count on me being one of them. I need to take action to move forward toward my goal.

Enjoy this cute Youtube video, and then get to it!  Diana Krall: Pick Yourself Up


I hate to admit it, but I haven’t been consistent lately.  I don’t know why, but lately I have been allowing stuff to slip. And like I wrote a while back, it is far easier to maintain something at 100% than 98%; once I allow myself an ‘indulgence’, it is that much easier to find a logical reason the next time. In the same way I must be consistent about my sobriety, I also need to be consistent about by daily routines.

Maybe it’s my disease, or one my ‘isms’ but once I cross the line of allowing a variation whether a diet, or exercise routine, or any other personal commitment to myself, it is too easy to ‘let it slip’ the next time. As a former sponsor used to say, as we go along, the path becomes narrower. I have to stay vigilant about myself. My circle of control only extends to the end of my reach, once I lose control in one area, it is far easier to lose it elsewhere. Slowly, or sometimes, in a cascade, all of the old habits fall back into place and it seems I’m back where I started.

In doing a bit of research into consistency in life, I have found several common threads. First, a daily commitment to how I want to live my life. In the same way that I learned how to live with sobriety one day at a time, I’m encouraged to do the same with a change in life habit. I commit today, regardless of how yesterday went and without worry about the future: just for today.

The second thread I read about over and over is the development of a meditation practice. I can’t bend into the lotus position but I can still develop my own manner. So much of the literature on being consistent talks about a quiet time, usually first thing in the morning where one can connect to self and then, to the rest of the world. It doesn’t really matter if you want to chant, listen to music, nature sounds, focus on breathing, or practice mindfulness. Starting off the day with a solitary practice that works for you will help to focus on where you want the rest of the day to go. If it means setting the alarm clock even five or ten minutes earlier, it will be time well spent.

Third, with the mind and spirit in focus, it is important to place the body in line. A short exercise routine will wake up the body. A walk around the block, stretches, yoga, Tai Chi, are a few of the options; what works for you is the most important. A solid, healthy breakfast everyday will ensure sufficient energy to meet whatever the day will hold. Your mother was right, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

In order for me to keep with it, I must begin each day ‘with it’. I  guess that if I can begin the day well, then there is a much better chance at me being consistent for the rest of the day. I can’t expect to run a marathon without training, I can’t expect results without commitment and I can’t expect to have a consistent day if I don’t start it consistently. Yes it take dedication and it gets results.