Rewards of Sobriety

Good morning on this foggy morning in the Bay Area. I was sitting on the front enclosed porch with my coffee, watching the day awaken, and the sky got a pink glow to it as the sun rose. Pretty soon, I was surrounded in pink. It was beautiful.

That is one of the biggest rewards of sobriety – being able to enjoy a sunrise without being hung over. I love not having hangovers. Used to be that I awoke and was badly hung over for about 6 hours, so much so that I couldn’t function, had to eat hot burritos from Taco Bell or a greasy thigh from Kentucky Fried Chicken. After I felt better, I functioned until 5 pm, when I started drinking and did it all over again.

What a miserable existence that was. I was missing out on experiencing things like sunrises. But in sobriety, I enjoy them and so much more. In sobriety, I find I am able to open my heart in a very genuine way to others and to myself. The feeling of really caring about another, seeing them with gentleness and kindness, is so soothing to my spirit.

Compassion is another emotion I am able to feel in sobriety and that allows me to connect with others in a very intimate way. My soul is fed when that happens. It has led me to forgiveness.

Perhaps the biggest reward of sobriety is my ability to look at myself – my actions, words, behaviors – and be responsible for them, fully responsible. It is humbling at times as I realize how I’ve treated another poorly, or treated myself poorly, had negative thoughts about myself, beat myself up. Being responsible for myself and my behavior has led me to inner peace, as I can settle the score with myself and others as I go through the day.

The reward of sobriety for me also includes being able to care for others in a deep and meaningful way. It’s hard to describe the feeling that evokes, but it feels great! I also have much more patience, and I allow others to be themselves, accepting them as they are.

So, a lack of hangovers, feeling more kindness, gentleness and compassion toward others, being self-responsible, and generally being more aware of my physical surroundings are my rewards of sobriety.

What are the rewards of sobriety that you experience? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Quotes on Life with Images

This, “quotes on life with images,” was a search term that found my website this morning. I recall using that as a keyword phrase, perhaps… What I what to really focus on is the term, because what I have to offer you today is quotes on life with images. They are taken from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Carolyn Jones

All Rights Reserved

Visions of Gratitude

When seen with eyes and heart that appreciate,

everything around and within me becomes more pleasing, more beautiful.

Moments of Wonder

 Do you suppose there has always been such richness, such beauty in the world?

Perhaps it has been there all along,

waiting to be noticed, to be seen, with the eyes of the heart.

If we as individuals cannot speak to each other,

how, then, can we as nations achieve peace?

Warmth of Humility

 Rather than take on everyone else’s dreams, desires, and expectations,

can I not look humbly at what has been placed before me?

We will grow through the barriers of our heart and

be able to fully experience the richness of life.

Promise of Peace

When I practice the principles of love for myself and others,

the gates of my heart melt into the glow of dusk,

and peace rises to greet me.

Balance of Serenity

I am serene, carried by the winds to places where

I am held in balance with great beauty and strength.

Burst of Joy

My heart bursts with joy!

 

 

 

 

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Practicing Humility to Stay Sober

Warmth of Humility

Humility – showing a lack of pride or self-assertion, the state of being humble. Humble – being modest, not proud, showing a consciousness of one’s defects or shortcomings. When practiced, these behaviors all aid to help us stay sober.

Humiliation is not to be confused with humility. Humiliation is a drawing away in shame, to be made seen foolish and degraded. I used to mistake humiliation for humility when I became newly sober, being in great shame over who I was as a person, slinking away from others with a degraded demeanor.

Along the way, we learn that humility is a place of lightness and warmth. It is a result of us deciding to be modest, and of us giving acknowledgment and thanks to Source for our talents and gifts.  

It is a place of “being” after having seen and acknowledged our shortcomings, having recognized the humanness of our mistakes, just as much as it is the celebration of our accomplishments. Yet, we remain right-sized about it all, neither cocky nor shameful.

When we are in this space of humility, we have an energy about us, a glow. We are not braggarts about our accomplishments. Rather, we acknowledge others for their accomplishments without mentioning ours.

Once practiced for a while, there is a pleasing quality to this. We feel good about recognizing others for their good points because we have made them feel good about themselves. We are being of service, and that feels nice.

Today, spend the day acknowledging and praising others for their good points, the things that make them special, without any mention of your own accomplishments or talents. Keep your mind totally on the other person. Practice being modest. How does that feel for you? Do you feel that glow, that warmth of humility?

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Open Your Heart and Mind to Your Dream

One of the ways in which you can live your dream is to open you heart and mind to it.

When you have a mindset that you cannot have your dream for this, this, or that reason, you negate the Universe’s efforts to bring it to you.

You see, when you make the declaration that you have a dream you are going to pursue, the Universe steps up to bring you what you need to fulfill it.

Open your heart and mind to yourself, to your capabilities, your talents… the things that are stupendous about you, the things that will make you successful at your dream.

Practice being honest about your dream… humble, yet courageous. Yes, you may have your doubts and this is the other side of sanity talking to you, getting you to look at things realistically.

However, there comes a time when looking realistically at your dream crosses the line and becomes negative self-talk, a series of put-downs. Be aware of when you start to do this. Ultimately, practice trust in the Universe, that your dream is your way to peace.

You cannot do these things when your heart and mind are closed to new possibilities, new wonders and gifts. Today, become aware of how open your heart and mind are to your dream. I invite you to fling wide open any gates to your heart that prevent you from doing this.

By now, your dream has become more than just an idea, perhaps. My heart is off to you… carry on. If you are not moving forward to realize your dream, I invite you to open your heart and mind to it, and to take action.

 

 

 

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Humility – I Offer You Mine

I extend my humility to all of you. I intended to post every M-W-F, and here it is a week already since my last one. I just cannot seem to incorporate that schedule into my routine. In response, I am going to resume posting a daily blog. I know that worked for me. Hopefully, it works for you.

All along with my blogging, we have been discussing the topics from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. I write about each topic in the order that it appears in the book of 42 topics. Once we complete all the topics, I start over again at the beginning of the book.

I did a recent series on sobriety which I plan to re-work and publish again soon. Meanwhile, we are talking about finding and living our dream(s). My most recent blog last Wednesday was on humility. I return to it again this morning, as I have some really fine things about my book to share with you.

A couple of  months ago, I entered two prestigious book award contests. I have received recent notification that my book received two coveted awards!

From the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, my book has received the distinction of the DiVinci Eye Award. This is awarded for the best cover art, and is presented to approximately twelve books. I say with the greatest humility, I designed the cover myself, took the photo that is on it, selected Zapfino font for the title… My designer added the subtitle and my name. I am humbled by the award.

The Nautilus Book Awards presented my book with a Silver Medal in the Gifts/Specialities category. This is so exciting for me, as the book is beginning to get the recognition that it deserves. Now, when you need a gift, you can think of Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. Hop on over and take a look. Click on “buy the book” to the left for the specific details.

For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may wish to come to a live presentation based on the book. I am presenting the free workshop, “How to Make Peace with Your Life” on Saturday, 4-28, from 10 am to noon, at the Embassy Suites San Rafael in CA 94903. My talk will focus on discovering the gates of your heart, tools to unlock the gates, and how to push the gates open, allowing abundant goodness to flow in. See you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Humility – Use It To Find Your Dream


Warmth of Humility

When we think about following our dream, one tool we can use is humility. Defined as an absence of pride or self-assertion, humility is needed as we set out to follow our dream.

We use humility to find our dream when we modestly align ourselves with the divine in our life. From this mindset, we begin to realize that our dream is divinely created.

We look to the divine to lead us to our dream, and when we realize what that is, we follow it and we say thank you. We always want to thank the divine for bestowing upon us the blessing of our dream.

For our dream is truly a blessing. It is our gift to the world that the divine wants us to utilize. When we do, we shine. We glow and we prosper.

Rather than look to others and compare their actions and dreams with ours, we look to the divine for clues as to what our dream is. If we are having difficulty identifying it, the divine can show us the way, if we ask. When we move forward with our dream, in humility, we begin to get that much closer to peace in our lives.

Do you feel that tug at your heart strings, willing you to try something different, to fulfill your dream? If you do, move forward with humility, thank the divine for having the dream. When you do, the divine will send forth gifts to help you reach that dream. The key is to demonstrate humility. When you do this, you will begin to know peace. 

What are your dreams? Are you fulfilling them, playing big, or are you playing small, keeping your dream close to your heart, but not moving forward with it?


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Practicing Humility to Stay Sober

Warmth of Humility

Humility – showing a lack of pride or self-assertion, the state of being humble. Humble – being modest, not proud, showing a consciousness of one’s defects or shortcomings. When practiced, these behaviors all aid to help us stay sober.

Humiliation is not to be confused with humility. Humiliation is a drawing away in shame, to be made seen foolish and degraded. I used to mistake humiliation for humility when I became newly sober, being in great shame over who I was as a person, slinking away from others with a degraded demeanor.

Somewhere along the way, we learn that humility is a place of lightness and warmth. It is a result of us deciding to be modest, and of us giving acknowledgment and thanks to our Source for our talents and gifts.  

It is a place of “being” after having seen and acknowledged our shortcomings, having recognized the humanness of our mistakes, just as much as it is the celebration of our accomplishments. Yet, we remain right-sized about it all, neither cocky nor shameful.

When we are in this space of humility, we have an energy about us, a glow. We are not braggarts about our accomplishments. Rather, we acknowledge others for their accomplishments without mentioning ours.

Once practiced for a while, there is a pleasing quality to this. We feel good about recognizing others for their good points because we have made them feel good about themselves. We are being of service, and that feels nice.

Today, spend the day acknowledging and praising others for their good points, the things that make them special, without any mention of your own accomplishments or talents. Keep your mind totally on the other person. Practice being modest. How does that feel for you? Do you feel that glow, that warmth of humility?

 

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Practicing Humility to Stay Sober

Warmth of Humility

Humility – showing a lack of pride or self-assertion, the state of being humble. Humble –  being modest, not proud, showing a consciousness of ones defects or shortcomings. When practiced, these behaviors all aid to help us stay sober.

Humiliation is not to be confused with humility. Humiliation is a drawing away in shame, to be made seen foolish and degraded. I used to mistake humiliation for humility when I became newly sober, being in great shame over who I was as a person, slinking away from others with a degraded demeanor.

Somewhere along the way, we learn that humility is a place of lightness and warmth. It is a result of us deciding to be modest, and of us giving acknowledgment and thanks to our Source for our talents and gifts.  

It is a place of “being” after having seen and acknowledged our shortcomings, having recognized the humanness of our mistakes, just as much as it is the celebration of our accomplishments. Yet, we remain right-sized about it all, neither cocky nor shameful.

When we are in this space of humility, we have an energy about us, a glow. We are not braggarts about our accomplishments. Rather, we acknowledge others for their accomplishments without mentioning ours.

Once practiced for a while, there is a pleasing quality to this. We feel good about recognizing others for their good points because we have made them feel good about themselves. We are being of service, and that feels nice.

Today, spend the day acknowledging and praising others for their good points, the things that make them special, without any mention of your own accomplishments or talents. Keep your mind totally on the other person. Practice being modest. How does that feel for you? Do you feel that glow, that warmth of humility?

 

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Life Offers A Realm of Possibilities

Realm of Possibilities

Realm of Possibilities

“If I climb the steps, anything is possible. Anything.”

This is the photo that appears on the cover of my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. It is representative of the many possibilities available to us if we climb the steps.

And what are the steps we are to climb? All of the things we have been discussing in this blog… first surrender, then awareness of the world around us. We next climb the step into trust of a power greater than us, which leads us to courage and humility

With honesty, openness, and willingness, we have the keys to continue up the stairway and we commit to our journey. We conduct a self-appraisal to discover our strengths and our weaknesses, doing so with gentleness and compassion.

These are things which we show for others around us, and we add in kindness. Once we have learned how to show compassion for ourselves and others, we are led to forgiveness, also of ourselves and others. We finally are able to accept ourselves and our lives as they are, and we feel hope. 

We persevere with patience, while we respect and acknowledge others. We treat them without judgment, and we engage in dialogue with them. When we do all of these things, we will experience grace and wonder. Throw into the mix a lot of gratitude, and the world is our oyster. We are prepared to do anything, as we will have grown stronger.

If we do all these things, we will discover when we get to the top of the stairs, that there are vast numbers of possibilities available to us. All we have to do is quietly take note. We can begin to bask in peace and our sobriety will be easier to maintain.

Today, while you practice all the principles of living we have discussed, find yourself at the top of the stairs and see how many possibilities there are for you. You will be delighted with the choices you have.

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Do Not Become Discouraged If You Fail In Your Efforts

This morning I will write about trying, patience, and perseverance. If you make an attempt at something and feel you have not succeeded, do not become discouraged!

Instead, try to look at your attempts as lessons. When you do not obtain the desired result, think of your efforts as designs from the Universe for your growth, learning, and healing. 

Rolls of Perseverance

Rolls of Perseverance

“I struggle to not become discouraged, or to think I am a failure because I have not achieved in my first few attempts the vision of myself as I wish to be.

“Instead, I try to hold tightly to that vision, awaiting my efforts to catch up with the way I am seen by my heart. Through practice and perseverance, I am learning and growing.”

From this verse, it is evident that I have struggled with my failures. That was part of my path in sobriety, of my healing.

I can tell you that in my life today, I do not get discouraged very often; I just keep trying to do what I need to get done. I keep doing the next indicated thing that appears in front of me that is needed to reach a goal.

Over time, with continued perseverance, you will succeed. Your success will either be that you reach your original goal, or it will be the realization that the Universe does not wish for you to go in a certain direction.

Either way, this is a success. With your sobriety, there is a saying in the recovery community to not quit before the miracle happens. Keep working at it; persevere. Try again and again to achieve the person you truly want to be in your heart, whether that is a sober person, or one at peace.

It will come, really, it will. Do not become discouraged. Gently move forward with the tasks at hand, but don’t force things. Things that are meant to be will just fall into place with little effort.

If you get discouraged, it does nothing else but draw negative energy to you, which becomes a magnet for more negative experiences. Rather, with graciousness and humility, try again. Adjust your approach or your goal. Perhaps it is unrealistic or unreachable. You will be the judge of that as you assess the results of your efforts.

But the key is, do no become discouraged. Keep trying with perseverance.

Today, look at what you call a failure as actually a lesson to be learned, brought to you by the Universe. Don’t you find that your energy level remains higher when you approach it from that light?

 

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