Relaxed and rested

I don’t think there are enough hours in a day to accomplish all the things I want to achieve.

My book shelves are full of books – hard cover, soft cover and e-books – that I know I well never read.  There just isn’t enough time in my schedule to read them all.

There are e-courses and seminars in digital format that I have purchased but won’t be able to finish.  I get overwhelmed just thinking about all the things that I want to design but have never focused for very long on any one thing.

Maybe it’s a form of Attention-Deficit-Disorder; I don’t stick at any one thing long enough to complete the study or the design of an idea.  There are just too many ‘bright and shiny objects’ that grab my attention.

And so I spend every waking hour trying to get through a course, read a book, ‘birth’ an idea… or any other activity that has captured my attention.

And, because of the late nights and early mornings, I am never resting long enough to truly relax.  So, I get tired, and stressed.  I lose momentum and purpose.  I get cranky.  Sometimes downright miserable…

So much to do – and precious little time to do it!

My mindfulness exercises have made me realize that the most important things are “letting go” and “letting God.”  In order to attain anything, I must ‘let go’ – stop trying to make it happen – and simply trust that God will bring order to my life as I take inspired action.

Letting go and letting God means I take time for rest and relaxation.  It means I take time to pray and meditate, and practice mindfulness.

And it means I remember to get my rest.  Without proper rest I simply wear out, and miss a lot of what is going on around me.  Mindfulness isn’t possible without proper rest and relaxation.

There are never going to be enough hours in my day.  So, I have purposed in my mind to get the ‘R & R’ I need in order to stay focused, inspired and remain fully recovered.

Isolation or connection?

Like most addicts I have a tendency to become isolated.  I protect my own privacy.  I prefer to be alone.  In fact, I wish I could do everything – all by myself – no help from anyone.

The practice of mindfulness is creating in me an awareness.  I am becoming more aware that my propensity toward isolation holds me back in my recovery.

Here’s the reason I spend more time with myself than with other people:  I allow others to minimize who I am.  In other words, I expect other people to tell me who I am.  I need others to tell me I am worthwhile.  And when it doesn’t happen, I am deflated and wish to escape into isolation.

I get so pissed off when I am told that I’m not doing enough when all the while I’m convinced I’ve done more than most.  I need to hear good things about myself.  I need the approval of others.  I need to hear that I’m doing a great job – which means, therefore, that I am worthwhile.

But if I had a better sense of my own self worth I wouldn’t need to depend on others to do it for me.  So, how am I supposed to raise my own self worth?

By practicing mindfulness I am becoming more aware of my need to give back to others.  Instead of looking to other people to help me feel better about myself, I need to offer my help and encouragement to those with whom I rub shoulders everyday.

I am developing an awareness that spending time with others – so I can help, encourage and inspire them – will do more for my own self worth than any thing else.  And the wonderful thing about giving back is the fact that I am in control:

  • In control of the level of my own self worth
  • In control of how I allow others to affect my sense of self
  • In control of my need to isolate
  • In control of my recovery

Isolation only leads to more obsessive thinking and compulsive acting out.  True connection with other people helps me to ‘get out of my head’ and stay in recovery.

“Improving my conscious contact with God”

You know, it’s kind of frustrating… this mindfulness stuff.

I get so distracted.  I start out listening for God’s voice and end up listening to my own voice.  And I end up talking to myself.

Other times, I don’t want to sit still.  In fact, I want to get up out of my chair and move around.  I don’t seem to be ready when it’s time to meditate.

Maybe evening is not a good time to be meditating.  I’m tired from working all day; I’m distracted with the things that came up while at work, and were never laid to rest.

Even sexual feelings can surface when it’s time to be still, time to be quiet.  Not a great state of mind to be in when you’re trying to meditate.

Perhaps I’m making it too complicated for myself.  It’s supposed to be simple – almost boring.  But boring because my mind wants to think, chattering away about everything and nothing.

It’s hard just to sit and remain still, and not think about everything.  But I will persevere until it gets easier.  There are too many people who testify to the benefits of meditation for me to pass it up.  And I’m very sure that, in time, I will meditate very well.

Listening is not my strong suit; but improving my conscious contact with God is part of my mission.  As an addict – a sex addict – I am looking to my Higher Power for greater control of my mind.  I shall persevere at this practice in order to learn how to remain in a constant state of mindfulness.

I heard somewhere that:  ‘Struggling is part of the deal; quitting only makes it worse.’ And I will not quit.

My New Years promise… if you don’t mind

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

I have.  Just one.  Want to know what it is?  It’s not what you might think; and it’s not the usual “same-old” I focus on… you know… the typical stuff that most of us obsess about:  “I’m going to lose 10 pounds” or “I’m going to join a gym” … that sort of thing.

Lately, I have become more and more convinced that I need to practice mindfulness.

It’s a buzz word used in Buddhist circles, and those who are into meditating according to a more Eastern tradition.  Perhaps it’s not new to you – you’ve heard the word before and think you know what it all means.

I certainly have an idea of what it is, but I have no real experience.  That’s because I haven’t practiced it.  Not yet.

So, my New Year’s ‘resolution’ is to practice mindfulness on a daily basis.

I find myself beginning to let go of my Western religious ideas of spirituality and becoming more open to Eastern philosophy.  My religious comrades from the West label any Eastern notions about God and the Universe as “New Age.”  And, in a way, it is.

But I know that there are problems with Western religion that Eastern thought could solve.  One of these ideas is the practice of mindfulness.

I can’t help but think that any form of discipline of the mind will go a long way to helping me recover from sex addiction.  As I continue to blog this year, I will be making reference to the discipline (practice) of mindfulness.

As it says in the 11th step:  “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God…”  I will seek to improve my conscious contact with my Higher Power by adding mindfulness to my daily regime.

And that’s a promise!