Friday, April 17, 2009

Tools, Glorious Tools - Part Four

Recovery is not complete without tools to take us beyond the drama of the moment into long term health. Patience, managing expectations, deep breathing, journaling and reading are all tools that help us deal with the immediate stress of our daily lives. Tools that are life changing are more elusive, harder to grasp and harder to implement.

Meditation is a state of deep relaxation where we work to empty our minds of all the clutter of the day. We give our brain a time out from the constant work of processing the innumerable messages that bombard us throughout our daily lives. There are many styles of meditation. One in particular is called guided imagery. This type of meditation is a form requiring a guide. The guide may be ourselves or another that we choose. We are first lead through a breathing and relaxation exercise. Following this we are guided through a vivid journey within our minds. We may view past events with a new perspective. We may take a walk on the beach. Whatever we view complements our state of deep relaxation. When we complete our meditation we feel refreshed and relaxed. This tool is one we can use on our own to give ourselves a boost of rejuvenation during stressful times.

One of the most difficult tools for many of us to accept is the concept of a higher power. Many of us were deeply wounded as children. We may have stopped believing that there might be more to life than what we can observe with our five senses. We may be angry with our higher power, feeling abandoned to live through pain, fear and sorrow. It may take some time for us to regain the faith that there is more to our lives than that which we sense. That is part of the process. We begin with baby steps, opening ourselves to the possibility that there may be more. Our higher power can be whatever we choose. It is not a defined concept, nor one based in religion. For some it is the stars, for others the earth, for still others an ethereal spiritual being. There is no correct answer. We use whatever will bring us to a place of faith.

Why does a part of recovery focus on having faith in a higher power? We change our perspective. We become part of a larger world when we enter the journey of recovery. We begin to see that we are not unique and that our pain, fears and shame are a commonality that binds those in recovery together. We learn that we are not alone. This is a powerful concept allowing us to feel that we belong. We are now part of the recovery community. We begin in small increments asking for guidance and wisdom. As we move along our journey we watch for sign posts along the way. We are on a path that has been chosen for us. As we put one foot in front of the other we are reminded that we have already come a long way from our humble beginnings.

Our choice to remain open to the possibility of a higher power is our entry into the realm of spirituality. We begin to allow ourselves to consider the possibility that we are more than just a human body. We open our minds to the thought that we may be a spiritual being housed within a human body. The concepts of balance have existed for eons; yin and yang, dark and light, good and evil, heaven and hell, God and Satan, Adam and Eve, Mother Earth and Father Time. All these ideas stem from the concepts of balance… that for each and every positive in the universe, there is an opposing force.

We strive to create balance in our lives. One of the ways we do this is by opening ourselves to the concept of allowing situations to develop naturally without trying to force results. If we can begin to accept that we may be spiritual beings, we can then relax and allow the natural unfolding of events. This brings us to a healthier place where we feel calm, centered and balanced instead of stresses, harried and overwhelmed.

Our tools are our life line. We use them in our daily lives to enhance our ability to remain balanced and to increase our self esteem. We practice patience, managing expectations, deep breathing, journaling and reading on a daily basis. We use meditation and guided imagery as a form of deep relaxation and renewal. We open ourselves to the possibility that there may be more to the universe than we can sense and begin to have faith in a higher power. Our spiritual lives blossom and we experience the peace and tranquility that we crave. In this way we give ourselves the gift of recovery.

No comments:

Post a Comment