Monthly Archives: August 2013

Dream Your Way to Recovery

I used to dream I was bedbound. Just be lying there. Hours of nothingness to match my days of emptiness.

That’s when I knew I was in trouble.

If I couldn’t remember being able to move even when asleep, how could I ever hope to do it awake?

Dreams are important. We all need to have one. Martin Luther King Jnr talked about his and no one laughed at him.

Dreams are an important gauge of expectations in recovery. What are your dreams telling you?

I did start dreaming I was in a wheelchair. Eventually I got into one. Then I couldn’t even dream I could walk again.

So I didn’t. Not for a long time.

Don’t let anyone laugh at your dreams. Or let them tell you they can’t become a reality. Sick or well. People used to laugh at me all the time, which is fine, some of my dreams seemed fairly ridiculous. Waking, dressing myself, leaving the house. Moving to London.

Talking on camera for a living.

Some of my dreams still seem family ridiculous now. I dream about talking to everyone in the country. Having a brew and a chat with them all. Taking a camera into their homes. Sharing their stories. Hearing their dreams.

Are dreams personal things? Should we feel self-conscious sharing them? Of being that open and vulnerable? Why is it easier to pick holes in our reality then concentrate on the stuff we want? Exploring the new fabric we wish our lives to be made of?

There has to be a bridge between where we stand now and where we really wish to be. Dreams are great at bringing the two worlds together. Just for a little while anyway. Safe in our beds. Like we were as little ones.

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Children dream all the time. Asleep or awake. They spend hours of their day playing make-believe. Living the existence they want. Turning the full focus of their attention to that, over the reality they have. A box becomes a spaceship. Stairs become mountains. Sofas become islands.

Children also recover from illness and surgery more quickly than any adult.

My dreams used to frighten me. Then they overwhelmed me. Now they are the yardstick I measure my life’s progress by. There’s no ceiling to dreams. No limit. They evolve as we do. They’re how we know we aren’t done. And isn’t that the most exciting part? Knowing that the best is yet to come.

That if we can dream it there’s every chance we could be it.

Use your dreams; stretch them as far as you can. It doesn’t matter if you’re in recovery or not. Everyone can benefit from suspending reality for a while and shooting a little higher than they’ve ever gone before. Respect your dreams. The power of them. If I hadn’t made myself change mine over time I’d still be in my parents spare room asking them to dress and feed me.

Sweet Dreams to you all x

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The Easier Softer Way

This lad’s story is just incredible. Three years ago he was being charged with Kidnapping and Armed Robbery-now he is Successfully Sober and the Founder of massive Recovery website www.theeasiersofterway.com. And did I mention he is only twenty two years old? Absolute proof that total transformation in a short period of time in Recovery is absolutely possible.

Meet Matt…

On May 3rd, 2010, I was being held at the county jail on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, and unlawful use of a weapon. All forms of hope and happiness had evaded me for years. I was lonely, in a debilitating state of fear, and extremely confused.  Three days later, I got released on bail and checked in to a treatment center.

As with many people who find sobriety, I did not initially come into the program for recovery; I came for relief. I wanted relief from the court, from my family, and from my perceived troubles from the outside world. I neither could have imagined a life sober (or even a day sober), nor that my life would be where it is today.

With a little more than three years sober, my life is the complete opposite of what it was. I am fully self-supporting, working a full-time job that I love. I have an amazing relationship with a girl I am crazy about. I sponsor several young men and host weekly classes at the Buddhist meditation center. At 22 years old, my life is more than I could have ever imagined.

My sobriety has given me gifts far beyond my expectations. I am able to meet life head on. I no longer run from every emotion. When I do have that impulse, I am able to be mindful of it. Not every unpleasant thought and feeling is a tragedy. I no longer believe everything I think.

When I got sober, I surrendered to this sober life. However, I have had more than just that primary surrender in my few years. The second spiritual experience I had was when I began to help others. I took every service opportunity available. I speak monthly on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, at Beverly Hills High School, at Olympic High School, host panels at a local rehabilitation center, and help other young men get sober. This service has helped me build esteem throughout my sobriety. As I am of service, I find how much I have progressed. I find that connecting to other human beings on a deep level is something I have sought my entire life, although I never fully realized it.

Another spiritual experience I had was when I found meditation as a spiritual tool. Although I found meditation long before getting sober, my practice was not regular until a few years ago. I found Buddhist meditation, but I truly believe meditation is a great tool regardless of one’s religious beliefs. There are non-denominational meditation centers, Christian meditation centers, Jewish meditation center, Atheist meditation centers, and more!

Meditation is simply the practice of sitting, walking, or doing anything fully in the present. Meditation has allowed me to clear my mind and begin to access my true nature. Over my years and years of addiction, my heart became calloused. As my meditation practice took off, I slowly quieted my mind and uncovered my heart.

Today, the most important part of my recovery are these two things: helping others, and meditating on a daily basis. If I fail to keep my sobriety number one, my life falls apart. My peace of mind, compassion, and acceptance quickly leave me, and I suffer greatly. The simplest way I can continue to grow is by helping others even in small circumstances and by staying present for what life has to offer.

About the Easier Softer Way

The Easier Softer Way is a site that I started in 2011 as a small blog to express what I had learned so far in my sobriety and spiritual practice. Since then, it has evolved into a large site with posts about sobriety, Buddhist blogs (http://theeasiersofterway.com/category/buddhism-and-recovery/), a small store, and several daily emails(http://theeasiersofterway.com/daily-emails/).

Visit us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/theeasiersofterway!