Nature - Section Three
I was thinking about what else has helped me in my recovery? It came immediately, "Where am I now?” I was walking on the mountain and enjoying Nature. Of course, Nature. A massive healing influence, as well as being hugely attractive in and of itself in its numerous guises.
While I have appreciated the beauty of Nature probably in a general though deep sort of way, it became and is a massive conduit of spiritual awareness for me. Particularly since starting to hike regularly Nature has become for me God’s Garden. Nature has its own way of leading me deeper; sometimes with others, sometimes alone. Sometimes I consciously appreciate Nature while at other times, Nature tends to speak to me in its mysterious languages.
As part of Nature, birds and animals lend their "beingness" to the whole landscape of Nature. And there is a different human spirit that blossoms in Nature. Interactions and conversations out in Nature tend to almost immediately take on a deeper quality, whether with strangers or those closer to us. Nature is a natural setting for listening at a deep level and for forms of therapy to occur naturally.
Source: A SANE MAP - My Journey in Recovery from Addiction.
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Attitude - Section Two
My belief in the power, influence and effect of attitude goes way back and incorporates other aspects of the mind. Essentially, a positive and optimistic attitude have been of paramount importance to me as far back as I can remember. An upbeat approach to life. An outlook of joie de vivre.
Attitude has also long been something I have felt vital to an enjoyment or rather even joy of life, of living. Regarding my positive and optimistic attitude towards life many have asked how I could drink so abusively when I had such a good attitude. A good question, but at least it helped me to stay attuned to the eventual healing I experienced. However, it is so that on the lower level of attitude I always felt that I should be positive at all times, no matter how I felt or what the circumstances were. By doing this I now realise that I was piling positive thoughts, feelings and emotions on top of any negatives that existed and they did.
At some stage they would have to surface and I think when they did I gave in to alcohol again. Attitude was all about the mind, all in the mind, mind over matter, the power of the mind to the almost exclusion of feelings and emotion and the heart. Not taking into account that we are also body and soul, not just mind. And so my attitude became one of accepting certain negative realities rather than just passing over them as if a good attitude would eliminate them.
I believe that my positive and optimistic attitude has played a major role in my life, in a number of ways. As a result of this approach to life, I have been able to lead a very joyful and enjoyable life, even through the depths of alcoholism. It may well be so that the fact that I am alive can be largely attributed to this attitude.
Attitude has a bearing on virtually all aspects of our lives. In my case, I was encouraged by my attitude to develop and maintain a purposeful approach. My attitude motivated me to exercise regularly, to seek spiritual answers to my questions of life, to appreciate and be grateful.
Source: A SANE MAP - My Journey in Recovery from Addiction.
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Day 2: Desiring Things To Be Different
It is quite likely that you have abused alcohol/substance because you wished things to be different; your own circumstances, the state of the country, the state of the world.
Many people who wish things were different are idealists, wishing to see more good in themselves, in others, in the world. Quite often we wish to run away from reality because we wish things were better – peace, greater harmony, both in our lives and generally.
It is a very fine attribute to desire greater good in ourselves and in the world. However, as we have surely found out, alcohol/substance-abuse does not improve anything at all. It may help us to escape reality for a while, but we always wake up to the not so nice self and world and have to face it. Alcohol/substance-abuse certainly does not strengthen us to improve any situation.
All conditions can only improve by improving ourselves, that’s where everything starts.
We know that when alcohol/substance is not an abusive factor in our lives, we are far stronger, more confident and able to tackle problems and strive to improve things.
“The People Who Change the World Are People Who Have Taken IMPOSSIBLE Out Of Their Dictionaries” – Myles Munroe
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You have probably heard of the “Power of Positive Thinking” (incidentally also the title of an excellent book by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale). Some realize how true and beneficial positive thinking is, and put it into practice; others believe it to be true, but don’t actually utilize it; or if they do, only infrequently, whilst still others don’t believe it to be true or merely see fit to ignore it. Others at the extreme end of the spectrum castigate it and call it an unrealistic approach to life.
Positive thinking is fundamentally wonderfully powerful. There are far too many examples of vast numbers of people’s personal experiences, achievements, improvements, so-called ‘miracles’, resulting from such positivity, for it not to be taken seriously and accepted and used as a solid foundation for your life.
What would you prefer to be: happy or unhappy? ; content or disgruntled, depressed?; calm and relaxed or apprehensive, anxious, tense, ‘stressed’? ; attractive – and attracting — or unattractive — and non-attracting?; healthy or unhealthy? ; optimistic or pessimistic? ; lively or lethargic? ; enthusiastic or disinterested?
I am sure that virtually without exception, everyone would give the same positive answers. But many people do not realize that they themselves control these emotions and conditions. Consciously or unconsciously you largely create these circumstances for yourself. You have the incredible power to dictate and control your life to a far greater extent than you may realize.
Ultimately, you decide for yourself if you are happy or unhappy. It is not ‘outside’, external circumstances or influences that cause you to be happy or unhappy, but rather how you react — or better, respond — to these circumstances. The very same incident can cause one person to be happy, and another to be unhappy. It is an individual’s own choice and decision. Happiness and unhappiness are states of mind. Who do you think controls your mind?
Whatever your current circumstances may be, it is vital to know that you can change them, for the better or worse, through the use of your own mind. From a technical or scientific point of view, it is not necessary to understand precisely how the mind works. It is necessary though, if you desire to be happier, that you know you are capable of causing happiness to manifest through the power of your mind, through positive, optimistic and constructive thinking.
We spend many hours working to earn money for necessities, comforts and luxuries in our own lives and others’, or for whatever purpose. And yet, we often allocate so little, if any, time to improving ourselves, to ‘positivising’ our attitude and state of mind, so that the quality of our lives is automatically and habitually improved.
‘Positive Being’ is a description of what you are when you consistently strive to internalise and practise the power of positive thinking. It is in your hands. Or mind rather.
Often when I am in a coffee shop and look around, I see individuals poring over newspapers. Engrossed. And mostly with not very happy expressions on their faces. They will quite often be commenting to others around them, including me unasked, about this or that terrible happening. Whether it’s the war or violence or murder or rape or…. But the theme is virtually always some disaster of whatever degree.
Seldom do I see or hear people commenting about any snippet of good news. Why is this I wonder? Some will say to me, yes but you have to keep up with the news you know. As if it was possible to be aware of everything that is going on on the planet. And elsewhere. And why the focus on all that is bad or negative?
I don’t necessarily have answers, but I do have a solution for myself at least. I am of the opinion that, because others are so concerned about the news, I will likely be kept up to date anyway of anything I urgently need to know. It is said that that is escaping reality. I disagree. I am very aware of the negative aspects and occurrences in the world, but I consciously choose to focus on that which is bright and positive in the world, also a reality. I am certainly happier for this approach. And surely we would wish to be happier? The negative circumstances may continue irrespective of my or others’ reactions or responses to them. And indeed, the possibility of having a positive influence is more likely with a positive attitude than negative.
And the news is mostly third party anyway – someone else’s perception of what is being reported. And of course it may be true – or not.
And so: I would rather to a certain extent create my own news where and when possible. I shall focus mostly on the good and beautiful around me. There is after all plenty of that – if only we just desire and intend to see it. And add to it where I am able.
I was walking along a mountain path recently as the sun was rising, I was walking towards it as the sky was lightening and I thought, yes, I am walking towards the light. In doing so I felt that I was also heading in the direction of a lightness of spirit, a lightness of being.
I was considering the many things I could be grateful for. I did not have to go any further than look all around me to appreciate the splendour, variety and abundance of Nature. As I reflected on these things I felt lighter – physically, mentally and spiritually.
I turned around to look at the path I had just travelled, away from the light. Sometimes we have to face the dark as well, the less than pretty things that Life puts in our way. It is necessary to face and deal with the dark, and we do it best when we remain aware that there is always light – we just need to face in the right direction. Then we see more clearly; the path we need to tread becomes more visible again.
I also took in the myriad colours all around me. I thought, these colours are inside me as well otherwise I could not recognise them externally. I focused on sensing these colours at their vibrant, brightest intensity. In so doing I felt these colours to be uniting into a pure white light, vibrating and pulsating from me outwards. And I felt I am thus surely having a positive influence on my surroundings. I felt a lightness of being.
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"Reading just a paragraph at a time can inspire and motivate you to growth and healing. No specific religion is implied in this book and you may wish to use whatever term is your preference for ‘God’. Take what you feel is of benefit to your particular, unique, individual circumstances. This book may also allow those who are affected by others’ alcohol abuse (or addiction) to have greater understanding and thereby possibly greater compassion and empathy as well. This book is not intended as a ‘cure’ for alcohol abuse (or any other addiction). The intention is rather attitudinal healing, motivation, upliftment, empowerment and inspiration."
The major religions and philosophies teach us that LOVE is paramount. Yet we see so much in the world that bears testimony to its non-application. We are taught to love our neighbours, even our enemies; we really struggle with that one.
What to do? As Mahatma Ghandi is quoted as saying, “Be the change you want to see.” It all starts with us, with you and with me. I, Rex Hillier, am paying lip service to this if I do not at least make sincere efforts to practise this maxim. I emphasise efforts as it is an ongoing struggle to be this change. And doing is even more difficult. It is far easier to think about loving someone than actually doing it through our behaviour.
The title is a combination of Greek and Latin, ancient languages. The message, when translated, is also ancient, yet often not practised freely : literally it means “Living God Within.” The Living God Within; God Living Within. Each of us having, as The Twelve Step program would have it, our own understanding of God.
En Theos also is the root for the word Enthusiasm.
So: Living with awareness of God within (us and all) should in fact equate to Living with Enthusiasm.
Although the topic of energy can be somewhat philosophical in approach, in the context of this brief discussion it is a very tangible concept.
Similar to the feeling we experience when we are in a powerful car or boat or airplane, so also can we feel the presence of energy in circumstances. environments, things and people — individually and collectively.
I am a Personal Development Consultant, Life Coach, Author and Speaker. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.