When A 12 Stepper Gets Stuck In Her Story…

For years I’ve had a story about me and money. It was a grand tale and explained a great deal about my life. The story was all about what my mom and dad taught me about money. Knowing that story and telling it has been interesting and a wonderful way to gain some sympathy from […]

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Recovery, Goals And Expectations

 We get the name of the first month of the year from the old Roman god, Janus, who looked both back and forward. The end of the year and the beginning of the next is a time when many of us look both back and forward. We review what the year has been like, maybe […]

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Angry enough to murder…

It’s almost impossible to be articulate about the most recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It truly is incomprehensible. Yesterday, instead of a dharma talk at Sweetwater Zen Center where I practice, our Abbot and head teacher Anne Seisen Saunders, Roshi let us in an opportunity to share how the school shooting had impacted us individually.  I talked […]

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Aren’t The Holidays Great For 12 Steppers? Or Not!

I got lucky with my first sober Christmas. I discovered what had hung me up on so many Christmases before. It’s a simple story. When I was 10 or so my folks got me a saddle. Yes, we had horses and I was taking riding lessons, usually with my mom. On Christmas morning there was […]

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Anger And Resentment – What’s The Difference? And What To Do About Them

Have you ever heard someone at a meeting caution something like “don’t get angry, you’ll slip!”? But if you read the Big Book closely you’ll realize it’s not anger that’s the real problem, it’s resentment. So how do you tell the difference? Dictionary.com defines anger as a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a (perceived) wrong. I added the word,  perceived, because […]

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3 Reasons Why Gratitude Works For 12 Steppers

When I first got sober I hated those gratitude meetings around the holidays. They felt sappy and I was embarrassed by them. Besides, I was sure, I would never feel grateful again! Talk about egomania! Even later on, when I’d begun to let go of some of my selfishness I found the notion of writing down three […]

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5 Ways To Open Up To Life In 12 Step Recovery

When we are practicing our addicition(s) our life tends to close up. Our focus turns inward in a selfish, grasping sort of way. At its worst, our addiction causes us to only focus on getting our next fix, whatever that might be. Recovery, on the other hand, allows us to open up to life in […]

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Why It’s Called Practice

The 12th Step tells us we should “… practice these principles…” Many spiritual traditions talk about “practice.’ This comes to mind because the last couple of days I’ve been really distracted in my meditation practice – see, there’s that word again. These days, Zen meditation is my practice which is sitting meditation. I generally read […]

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I’ll Protect Your Anonymity Even Though I Break Mine

If you read my book, Powerfully Recovered! or even look closely at the cover you’ll quickly realize I’m not very anonymous at all. Which means I’m clear out of alignment with our Tradition 11, which says: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level […]

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Those Blankety Blank Expectations – They Got Me Again!

My best friend just returned from almost a month in a foreign land. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed her – probably almost as much as her partner has. I’ve known that she would be returning about now – she deliberately didn’t give anyone except her partner and exact date and I honored […]

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