I have not blogged for a while because I have not felt inspired to do so. However, having attended a meeting with a group of inspirational people all on their own different sober journeys, I felt inspired to blog.
So I got to thinking about the link for me between drinking and following a spiritual path and I realised it was to do with boundaries. When I was drinking any boundary I had set myself like only have one or two drinks went out of the window as soon as I had the said, two glasses. Boundaries about my safety like not travelling on the Tube late at night also would go out the window. Boundaries about not just jumping into bed with any old Tom, Dick or Harry also went out the window when the demon drink took hold.
I realise that I probably enjoyed drinking because boundaries were blurred and anything was possible which appealed to my rebellious spirit.
When we go out into the countryside we see boundaries. Fields for sheep and cows to graze surrounded by hedges, gates etc. This is for their own safety because without they would be probably wander onto a path and perhaps be run over by passing motorists. Equally, we humans need boundaries to keep us safe and indeed they do. Knowing when and where it is appropriate to “cross a line”.
I shared in the group yesterday that the reason I desperately wanted to stop drinking was because the fifth precept in Buddhism is to refrain from taking intoxicants. How could I follow a Buddhist path when I could not refrain from drinking – impossible. I could not. So that was my answer, stop for good.
I am so very grateful for that fifth precept, it is a boundary which keeps me safe on so many different levels.
Have a lovely day one and all!
I was just thinking, the harder life is, the more opportunity we have to test our metal, to figure out how strong we really are. I know that if my life was easy right now, I would not have the opportunity to test myself and to really empathise with those who are struggling, not just with alcohol, but life events generally, divorce, bereavement, poverty or whatever it is that life has thrown on our path for us to do some soul searching and carry out some self development.
These difficult periods in life, I believe are great. They allow us to dig deep and come up stronger and smarter. It is all about perspective. Equally, I could take the poor me attitude, blame everyone around me and the world for my circumstances, but I am not prepared to do that, cos like I said before, these challenges are opportunities for growth and development.
That’s it, just needed to get that off my chest.
Today is the Year of the Sheep/Goat in the Chinese Calendar and so it got me thinking about animal symbols and their meanings so I thought I would share this.
When I drive to my local Buddhist Centre, before we drop down to the building there is an amazing symbol that confronts you. There are two gold deer on either side of the Wheel of Life.
When I first started learning about Buddhism I asked my teacher what did the deer symbolise in Buddhism . She said that deer have such compassionate natures that if hunters wanted to catch one, they would simply tie up an animal and as soon as deer hear their cries, they would instinctively move towards the animal to try and help it and the hunter would be there and ready to kill it.
I think we humans have a natural instinct to try and help those in trouble and in need. Like Buddha teaches, we ALL have Buddha nature, but whether we decide to follow Buddhist teachings or not to unlock our Buddha nature is purely personal. However, we can all be compassionate to the part of ourselves which we have wounded through too much alcohol, or if you are reading this and you are still struggling to stop, be compassionate to yourself by stopping. It might seem like a big mountain to climb, but was is the alternative, a life devoid of compassion for ourselves. C’mon lets do it!
Have a truly beautiful day x
Before I had my son and I was living in London as a singleton, I would spend most of my weekends meeting up with friends in bars and restaurants at the weekend, getting pissed most of the time.
In my mid twenties I use to give tarot and astrology readings, at psychic fayres, on the radio and had my own client base. I came to the conclusion that therapy was more useful for people in that if we dealt with our underlying issues then we could create the future, great relationships; great jobs etc that people were hoping to be told would happen in the future when having a reading. Therefore, I stopped giving readings and decided to train as a psychotherapist instead. This meant that I had to undergo intense therapy as part of my training.
Whilst in a therapy session my therapist and I looked at the unwholesome relationship I had with alcohol and he suggested that a good idea would be for me to take up a hobby for the weekend which was “healthy”. I chose rock-climbing!
I remember at first that I thought it was amazing, scary and exhilarating all at the same time. However, one of the climbs we did was the cliff face at Pembroke in South Wales. In my true style, I went gung-ho into this new hobby. Whilst on the scary cliff face I remember looking down at the sea beneath me and I suddenly freaked out. I think I had my first and only panic attack!
The point I am making here is that I believe from my own experience that taking things slowly, knowing our limitations and not pushing ourselves too hard when we have overcome the battle of the booze is a healthy way of being. It takes time to create and find new activities which we like to fill the time we spent downing alcohol regularly…..so take things one step at a time.
Love me x
The peaceful mind
This is my first of many blogs I hope. I wanted to kick off with looking at the nature of our mind, on quite a simplistic level.
As I am sure we can all relate, when we have been drinking in the past, our mind has been anything but peaceful. Indeed, alcohol makes our mind depressed, anxious, fearful and we can be filled with lots of self loathing.
In comparison, when we have a sober mind, our depression, anxiety, fear and self loathing is lessened, I would suggest, quite considerably. This is not to say that when we become sober, all our problems magically disappear (I wish), but that problems are easier to deal with with a clearer mind lessened by the effects of alcohol.
Buddha teaches that the mind creates our reality.
From my own experience, I know that when I had been drinking I was highly critical of everything and everyone around me at the time, until the alcohol wore off. The same situation and people when sober would appear to be normal to me. This is I feel a clear example that our faults do not lie in anything external to us, it is our own mind that is projecting the good, the bad ad the ugly onto people and external situations.
I love the idea that whatever I feel and create is down to me and my own mind not the result of anything external. This feels really empowering.
I know that I therefore have a responsibiity to keep my mind as peaceful as possible which I will blog about later.
Thanks for reading
Love me x