#5 Daily prayer/meditation

May 31, 2012

Step 11: “Sought through prayer and meditation to increase my conscious contact with God, as I understand God, praying only for God’s will for me and the power to carry that out.”

This is a beautiful step, but for many, a tough one.  Yet, you will find as you do the steps, having a spiritual connection to a Higher Power is the foundation and the key to recovery.  Therefore, it is mandatory that a time of daily meditation be part of your daily routine.  In addition, I recommend memorizing the Serenity Prayer and repeating it throughout the day.

If you say to yourself that you do not have time to stop and pray or meditate, remember how much time was devoted to acting out.  Or obsessing over what your partner was doing.  Prayer is talking to your Higher Power; meditation is being silent and listening.  The subject of finding something to believe in that fits the category of Higher Power is a topic for another blog.  Just begin by sitting quietly in a comfortable place where you will not be interrupted by cell phone, texts, TV, or people.  Gently let your eyes close and deliberately scan your body in your mind and relax every part.  Focus your thoughts on your breathing.  Your mind will go crazy with thoughts.  That is normal and natural.  Slowly imagine the thoughts drifting by like clouds.  Don’t get angry with yourself or MAKE them stop.  Just notice them and refocus your thoughts back on your breathing.  This is a practice, like learning to play the piano.  You didn’t expect to play a concert piano when learning the scales did you?  It is the same with meditation.  You are learning to trust your Inner Guidance System.  Eventually you will be able to hear that still small voice inside you that you know is not you.  Some days nothing will happen and some days something will happen.  Just keep doing it 20 minutes a day, preferably first thing in the morning.

Prayer can be words or thoughts directed to your Higher Power from your heart.  They need to be authentic.  Not somebody else’s made up flowery prayer.  YOUR prayer.  Like, “I’m so mad at you!”  “Where are you?” “Please help me overcome this”  “Thank you for being here with me and loving me anyway.”  “What would you like me to know about you?”  “I hate having this ****** addiction”  “I don’t know what to believe or who you are, but I’m here anyway.”  Your Higher Power doesn’t want you groveling and begging.  You have shamed yourself enough already.  Your Higher Power wants commitment-to learning to love yourself and surrendering to the process of recovery.   Add to the prayer/meditation recipe an inspirational reading like from “Answers in the Heart”, “The Language of Letting Go”, or a similar book.  You can add whatever is meaningful to you to make this time and place special for you.

Make your prayer/meditation a top priority on your to-do list.  It needs to be written so it can be marked off until it is such an integral part of your day that you don’t even have to write it down.  Remember your brain has been negatively affected by the addiction.  Daily focus on recovery behavior will, in time, repair faulty brain circuitry.  Keep at it.  You are worth it.

Enod

Next: The gratitude list

 

#4 Write a doable to-do list.

When I say “write”, you can put this on your Smartphone, computer, calendar book, actually write it on paper, whatever is comfortable for you. By doing this, you are setting a daily goal for yourself and holding yourself accountable. As each task is done, you can check or mark it off thus giving yourself the good feeling of accomplishment. Be sure to include in your list recovery type items. A down side to this suggestion is the tendency on the part of some people to make the list too long and, therefore, impossible to complete. Be realistic with yourself here and gentle in what you expect of yourself. Progress-not perfection. Prioritize according to 1) Spiritual 2) Self-care 3) Other. If you don’t take care of you and your recovery/spiritual life, you won’t be effective in what you do for others. More detail about your daily list in the next blogs: “Daily prayer/meditation” and “Making a gratitude list.”