Developing Awareness to Further Your Sobriety

Birth of Awareness

I have missed the last four days… and I apologize for that. I just get started on the day and it gets away from me. Thank you for your continued visiting. I will make a concerted effort to blog every day again.

Once you have cleared the energy by your surrender, you are able to develop awareness. Awareness has to do with what you notice around and within you. 

You walk through the gates of your sorrow, your despair, to reach your passions and desires. You can look through the gate and focus your attention on the lushness you see on the other side and you may decide to walk through the gate.

Why do you do this – develop awareness? You decide to develop your awareness of all that is around and within you – all the glory, the beauty, the peace to be had – because you know we want to be in that space, that you can further your sobriety from the place of peace and awareness.

How do you get to awareness? You first surrender, then begin to notice the little things around you in your physical world. Pay keen attention to the flowers, the lushness of life, that abounds all around you. Again and again, bring your attention to what is right in front of you, and then to the feelings you have in your heart.

Once you have decided to walk through the gates of your fear and sorrow, your despair and worthlessness, this brings you the energy you need to focus on things around you, as we discussed above.

After noticing the physical world around you, then turn your attention inside, and notice all the things about yourself that are delightful, that make you the unique being that you are. Begin to show your appreciation for what makes you this divine and beautiful being. 

When you look with awareness, you discover the possibilities for a different life, for a peaceful and sober life, and you may want this. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy… wanting more awareness, clearing the space for it, and seeing with clearer eyes and heart.

Are you able to get to that place of awareness where you can focus on your world, both outer and inner? What helps you get to that place? What hinders you? How can you do things differently to increase your awareness?


Develop Awareness of Your Dreams

Birth of Awareness

Wow, I have been very negligent in blogging for the past several days. I truly apologize.

Got caught up in life and forgot to blog on some days. On the other days, I had a heck of a time figuring out what I was going to say about following your dreams in relation to sorrow and despair. They don’t seem to apply.

Because of that dilemma, I am skipping those two topics and continuing on with awareness.

This is not the same photo that is in my book, and I wanted to show you the expanded version of what IS in the book.

This photo shows more of what was surrounding me when I took it. It depicts awareness better than the other because awareness and being aware involves noticing everything that is around us, not just a portion of the whole.

There is a wonderful quote by James Thurber. “Let us not look backward in anger or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” He is advocating looking at our surroundings in the present moment.

I take his statement to be all-inclusive of being aware not only of our physical surroundings, but our inner landscape as well. What do we see when we look inside ? What is our level of awareness of our feelings, for example, in relation to following our dreams?  Do we even KNOW our dreams, or do we need to become more aware of them?

Perhaps you do know your heart’s desire, and perhaps you are following through with that. Have you developed the awareness of your feelings in relation to that/those dream(s)? For example, my dream is to be a speaker and to share with others my messages of hope and emotional peace. I’ll talk about my feelings in a minute.

I am pretty clear on this. Are you clear on your dream(s)? If not, try some journaling with your non-dominant hand. Doing that brings forth your deepest feelings. Focus on the things that make your heart sing and see where your thoughts lead.

If you are clear on your dream, are you following through with it or are you stuck in fear and self-doubt?  In my progression with my dream, I find myself terrified, filled with self-doubt, wondering what in the world I am doing… And yet, I believe this to be my path, so I will find the courage to just move forward one step at a time.

You, too, can follow your dream(s), one step at a time. The first step is developing awareness of them. When you find your dream and follow it, you will experience peace in your heart and soul, as your dream is your intended role on this earth. That is my belief and I share it in the hopes that you do discover awareness of your dream and begin to follow it.

What are your dreams? Leave a comment letting us know your heart’s desire(s)…


Awareness of Self and the World Around Us

Birth of Awareness

Once we have cleared the energy by our surrender, we are able to develop awareness. Awareness has to do with what we notice around and within us. 

We walk through the gates of our sorrow, our despair, to reach our passions and desires. We look through the gate and focus our attention on the lushness we see on the other side and we decide to walk through the gate.

Why do we do this – develop awareness? We decide to develop our awareness of all that is around and within us – all the glory, the beauty, the peace to be had – because we know we want to be in that space, that we can further our sobriety from the place of peace and awareness.

How do we get to awareness? We first surrender, then begin to notice the little things around us in our physical world. We pay keen attention to the flowers, the lushness of life, that abounds all around us. Again and again, we bring our attention to what is right in front of us, to the feelings we have in our heart.

Once we have decided to walk through the gates of our fear and sorrow, our despair and worthlessness, this brings us the energy we need to focus on things around us, as we discussed above.

Birth of Awareness - proposed image

After noticing the physical world around us, we then turn our attention inside, and we notice all the things about ourselves that are delightful, that make us the unique being that we are. We begin to show our appreciation for what makes us this divine and beautiful being. 

When we look with awareness, we discover the possibilities for a different life, for a peaceful and sober life, and we want this. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy… wanting more awareness, clearing the space for it, and seeing with clearer eyes and heart.

Are you able to get to that place of awareness where you can focus on your world, both outer and inner? What helps you get to that place? What hinders you? How can you do things differently to increase your awareness?

In the discovery of all that exists beyond the gate, which photo do you think speaks more clearly – the current image, or the proposed one? Your feedback is most appreciated.




Getting Past Hopelessness

This morning we continue on in my book and reach hope. We have now experienced ways for getting past hopelessness.

Ray of Hope

Ray of Hope

“A ray of light across the bars of my being lights my way, instills hope in my heart.” This is the verse that accompanies the photo on the left.

Hopelessness is defined as having no expectation of an event occurring, being despondent. Despondent implies being in very low spirits due to a loss of hope and a sense of futility about continuing our efforts.

Hope, on the other hand, is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will happen, a desire accompanied by expectation. It is hope which we want to cultivate in order to dispel hopelessness.

We have come a long way in our journey and have learned several tools and ways to act and behave that will be useful in combatting hopelessness. We have learned to surrender the pretense that everything is fine with us and we have discussed awakening to awareness of what is going on around and within us.

We have learned to trust in a power greater than ourselves, and to have courage and humility. Ways to treat ourselves with such things as gentleness, kindness, and compassion have been discussed.

We have become honest about ourselves and heave learned to practice willingness, to commit to the journey, to move forward. Finally, we have learned the tremendous tool of how to conduct a self-appraisal. Through that appraisal, we have come to forgiveness of both others and ourselves. Do you see how far we’ve come?

Now, after going through what we have, we have learned to accept ourselves. All of these things in combination provide for us a ray of hope that life can and will get better for us. Hopefully, it already has begun to do so.

We focus on that ray of hope as we work on getting past hopelessness, allowing hope to grow. We take a deep breath, reveling in this new-found hope, and we allow it to blossom.

Today, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come, and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the way past hopelessness to sobriety and inner peace.



Inspirational Sayings About Love

Acknowledgment of Others

At long last, I return to the blog. I took the last topic of patience and really put it to the test. Perhaps I have lost some of you… that is my fear. If not, thank you for your patience. It’s appropriate that today’s topic is acknowledgment, as I wish to acknowledge my lack of writing for almost a month.

I was in Pennsylvania from the end of May until June 6th. Since my return, I have been unable to sit down and write. I have had trouble getting back into my work routine, period. I have taken three weeks to pull together  documentation for an application to a health care program. In the process, I learned to do a profit and loss statement for my business, so it turned out to be positive.

As a review, what we are doing with this blog is this: In my blog, I write on the topics that are in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, in the order in which they appear in the book. We are going from fear, worthlessness, sorrow, and despair, through discovery and awareness, to lessons learned about how to treat ourselves and others. Finally, we reach joy and peace. It is a chronicle of my own journey from the depths of despair and praying to die, to wholeness and happiness, joy and peace. I’m glad you’re joining me on the journey.

I have to acknowledge that one reason I have procrastinated is because I am uncomfortable writing the blog using my new keyword phrases, inspirational sayings about…, inspirational quotes about… Sometimes, they just don’t fit. Sometimes, I feel uncomfortable using them from blog to blog. I am concerned about what you, the reader, will think. Will you get impatient with it? I have to get past that as I am on page 1 in Google because of using those keywords and phrases. This reaches a large segment of people with which I would like to connect. So please have patience with me as I continue this practice.

On with acknowledgment… In the book, there are inspirational sayings about love, about how we can show love by acknowledging others. “We go within so we can reach out to others, and we reach out to others so we can go within,” is one such example. “We need to matter to each other, and to ourselves,” is another.  I think it’s important to acknowledge another… a smile to one on the street, a clerk waiting on a customer, a response to a loved one when they are talking. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated, but it is so important to show love and respect to others, and this is one way to do that.

In our, perhaps, haste to acknowledge others, we sometimes forget to show the same love and respect to ourselves. We brush aside our hurts, our pains, and do not take the time to feel them, grieving for what it is we have lost, giving importance to our feelings. They are not wrong, they are just what is. Once we can experience them, acknowledge them, we can heal from them, and gain the higher benefit from the experience. I think, too, that once we share what we are feeling, it makes us more human to others. We can all relate and connect at that place of hurt, as we have all experienced it. It is a part of living, a part of being human.

We can watch ourselves, as we go through our days, giving acknowledgment to others, remembering to offer it to ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts. We can remember to acknowledge ourselves when paid a compliment, also. So often, perhaps, embarrassed, or not feeling worthy, we brush it off. Does that not  negate the other person’s thoughts and feelings, showing them disrespect? Does that not belittle our strengths and who we are? Just some thoughts on quotes about life…




Developing Awareness

Birth of Awareness

There came a point in time after I dispensed with the false bravado that awareness began to creep up on me, that I began to be aware of myself  in the world. In the book, in this image and verse, I see the lushness beyond the opening, and after allowing myself to feel my anger and sadness, my grief and sorrow, I decide to walk through the gate to awareness. I make a choice.

The first area in which I developed awareness was how to identify my feelings. I had kept them numb for so long with my drinking, that they were raw when I quit. I also did not know how to name them, I often struggled to determine what I was feeling. My ability to identify my feelings has grown tremendously, as evidenced by my last post.

Part of my awareness includes identifying how I “am” in the world, i.e., how my actions or words have affected another. Again, referencing my last post and the issue with which I was dealing, I sorted out my feelings and resolved my impatience and anger. Then, I decided to share with the person involved the process I had gone through, as I was trying not to hide my feelings. I would not recommend that, as in this case, it only served to upset and hurt the other person.

In searching for the mature way to handle the situation I described in my last post, it would have been better to talk with a trusted friend about my feelings, write about them, and resolve them without mentioning my difficulty to the other person because I identified that their actions were appropriate, even though I did not like them.

A large majority of my awareness has been in the area of learning lessons – learning that experiences come to me for the purpose of healing and growing. When I think of unpleasant situations in this way, my energy is directed toward the lesson and what I can learn, rather than on blaming another person or situation for my grief, or whatever. I am able to detach myself from those things and learn the lesson the experience is trying to teach me. This habit has helped me to reach my goal of inner peace.

How about you? What does awareness look like for you?


How to Develop Awareness

Birth of Awareness

I tap into my ability to persevere, to walk through the gates of my despair to reach my passions and desires… the things about myself and the world around me in which I delight, to which I connect.

I allow myself my grief and sorrow, my sadness and anger. Then I turn my attention to the lushness I see beyond the opening…

I decide to walk through the gate.

What is meant by awareness? In this case, it is first and foremost the awakening to one’s feelings and emotions – recognizing them, acknowledging them, experiencing them, and then moving on to all that surrounds us.  It is a process that occurs over time, and it can be painful as one deeply feels one’s feelings.

After this, awakening refers to becoming acutely aware of one’s surroundings – the dew on the grass, the luscious smell of a rose, the beauty of a redwood tree, reaching majestically to the sky.  And it is not just nature where awakening is found. It also occurs by observing the design of a building, the beautiful lines of an old automobile, the gentle light thrown by a lantern or candle. It encompasses everything around us.

In the final stages of awareness, one looks at others with the eyes of the heart. From this attitude springs the ability to be compassionate and kind to others, tolerant and respectful – all in a very authentic way.  Awareness of another’s humanness can lead to better understanding and acceptance of that person.

Once these things develop – when one become acutely aware of others – and all of these things develop, one begins to see one’s self with kindness, compassion, tolerance and respect.  That’s right – we are brought back to the beginning of the cycle, and the process repeats itself, endlessly, if we allow it.

It is helpful to slow down, to just stop and do a sweeping assessment of all that surrounds us, considering what we see with love in our heart. And this is how awareness is born – by repeating this cycle over and over and over again.


Living With Serenity

Balance of Serenity

I am serene, carried by the winds to places where I am held in balance with great beauty and strength.

Serenity. That feeling of calmness, even amid storms. It is a prevailing attitude, one which overshadows and, thus, contributes to all other attitudes that follow. For me, it comes when I am in alignment with the powers of the Universe, that which is greater than myself. It is a realization that all is well, that I am being provided and cared for.

I got to serenity through the experiences and changes I’ve discussed in this blog. You have traveled through the book with me and read of the trials and tribulations associated with getting to this point.

Perhaps you related as we moved from worthlessness, sorrow, and despair, through awareness to self-appraisal. Past forgiveness and on to principles such as compassion, tolerance, and gratitude until we have reached a point of joy and serenity. What a journey it has been.

As we finish the book, it is time to start over and I am putting out a “request for proposals.” When I go through the book again, is there any specific tack you would like me to take? My thought was to share about each topic in a general way, not relating to my own experiences. I welcome your thoughts. Please share them.


Can We Live In Harmony?

Shades of Harmony

harmonyWhen do we take the time to just listen to the breeze, the quietness, the ramblings of our mind, or the world around us?

When do we simply rest, quietly connecting with ourselves and all that is vast and wondrous around and within us?”

I then go on to ask if that explains our inability to touch ourselves and others in quiet, kind, and harmonious ways. That makes the assumption that we are not displaying kindness or harmony. Is that presumptuous on my part?

Perhaps. It’s just that I see so many around me acting unkindly, fighting and arguing, instead of being at peace with one another, or themselves. The question for me becomes, am I being too idealistic to think we can be kind and harmonious with others, with ourselves?

I don’t have the answer to that question. I think it is a choice and one which each of us must choose. Am I going to be kind to another, promoting harmony? Am I going to show myself kindness, allowing me to be at peace within?

These are the questions I began to ask myself once my journey into sobriety had progressed. It was quite startling to realize the ways in which I was not kind to others, and I especially was not kind to myself. I spent a lot of time criticizing others and myself in my mind, not praising them or myself for positive actions. I was not at peace within.

Over time, and with awareness, things have changed for me. The key lay in the self-appraisal, the self-searching I did. Through that, I was able to see myself more clearly, to accept myself and the point from which I was starting. I became able to move forward and practice genuine kindness. As a result, I experience more harmony, both with others and certainly from within.

How do you maintain harmony in your life?


Part 1 – Learning Patience

Patina of Patience

patience“I am being asked to slow down so much after a lifetime of running so fast. I do not know how to do that. How do I watch and wait for life to evolve naturally without forcing it? How do I learn to be patient?”

Waiting for life to evolve, to unfold naturally, is a concept about which I was clueless. I had learned that if things didn’t go the way I wanted, it meant I wasn’t trying hard enough, so was told to try harder. The thing is, I was often straining against brick walls.

It was after I had several years of sobriety that I began to relax my grip on things and learn to go with the flow, the rhythm of life. This occurred over time, as I got over some of my major fears, one being that I would not be safe if I stopped managing everything.

I learned to let life unfold first by becoming aware of what was going on around me on a different level than I was used to. I started observing the simple things, the flow of every day life. I discovered that if I am running up against walls, I need to stop. I soon realized that when that happens, I am going in the wrong direction.

Yet, if one event runs smoothly and glides into the next event that needs to occur… and the next… then I’m getting a green light, a go-ahead. This is where I need to focus my attention and act upon what is being presented. That is my responsibility in all of this… to act upon what comes across my path.

Perhaps before awareness, came willingness – the  willingness to see things in a different light, to try things differently. It was through the practice of willingness that I was able to follow another path, the one of least resistance.

I cannot describe to you the peacefulness I feel when I am able to let go of the outcome of something. I just keep going through those green lights, taking the action, doing the footwork, and letting the results be what they will.

What are some of the things you do to go with the flow? Or, do you meet walls of resistance?