Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cultivating Joy in Recovery

Dear Readers,
Having Fun and Getting Strong!
I was always too scared to try Yoga Sculpt class, thinking it would be too hard.

Last week, quite impulsively, I decided I would try it, and GUESS WHAT?
It was fun!
In fact, it was so fun I went again, today! I am stronger than I think.

One of the things I have challenged myself to, is finding joy in being sober.
I believe that this is one of the most important things I can do to keep from drinking again.
I will be in danger if I only feel sorry for myself that I can't drink, or thinking I am missing out.

For me, joy and gratitude go hand in hand.
If I am not thankful, it is harder for me to be joyful.
I find that I must cultivate optimism. I don't always have this mind set.
Sometimes I think, "What is life really about...I only have maybe 20 years left to live."
YIKES!
That is scary!
So along with optimism, I try to laugh at myself. 
Maybe I have more like 29 years to live, considering my mom is 92!

Helping other people in recovery is helping me find joy.
I helped a busy mom from my AA group, who had just moved, unpack boxes and fold laundry.
This one little act made a difference in my attitude that day. I was so content.

Acceptance is part of my joy.
When I accept things as they are, I am far more joyful than when I am wishing everything was different, or I was different.

I realize this is a journey. Every time I think I haven't made any progress or that I am stuck, I realize I have made changes. Good changes. 

I found this website that has some good information about finding joy.
I have posted a part of the article below, but the full article is here: Alcohol Rehab

How to Find Joy in Recovery

Establishing a joyful life in recovery usually involves a bit of patience. There will be many moments of joy right from the early days of recovery, but it can take a bit longer before the individual feels more fully happy with their life. The individual is able to find happiness in sobriety by:

1. Having realistic expectations. Expecting too much right away is probably going to lead to disappointment.
2. It is important to keep in mind that joyful living does not mean that people walk around with a constant smile on their face – it just means that for the majority of the time they feel content with their life.
3. In order to create a fulfilling life in recovery the individual will need to put some effort into it. Just giving up their addiction alone is unlikely to be enough.
4. Once people become physically sober they need to begin working on their emotional sobriety. It is this that will lead them to true peace and happiness.
5. Many people find that joining a fellowship can help them establish a more successful sobriety. This way they can benefit from a program and the experience of people who have gone before.
6. Other individuals may find that therapy helps put them on the right path in sobriety.
7. It is highly recommended that people maintain a beginner’s mind in recovery. This means that they do not allow their preconceived beliefs, opinions, and ideas to get in the way of helpful advice.
8. Those people who are most successful in sobriety are willing to take risks and try new things. It is always good to develop the willingness to try new things.
9. Sticking with the winners is very good advice for anyone who hopes to build a strong recovery. Those individuals who have already made their own recovery successful tend to be inspirational and a source of good advice.
10. When people achieve their dreams in recovery it can increase their sense of well-being.
11. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation can be wonderful for helping people develop emotional equanimity. The meditator investigates their own inner world and they develop much greater understanding as a result of this.
12. Joyful living is often all about perspective. It means viewing challenges as a chance to grow and failures as a chance to learn.
New Shoes... I Feel Like a
Kid Again!
13. Joy is not to be found in self obsession and selfishness. Sharing and thinking about others is what really leads to happiness.


With A Cup of Coffee,
New Shoes,
And Joy,
On Day 967,

Wendy



30 comments:

  1. Love this post, and glad you've found a new class you enjoy. Thanks for sharing the information. I need to remember to be patient and that it really is the early days still. Love the shoes!

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    1. It's so hard to be patient sometimes, that's for sure!
      xo

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  2. What's not to love about new shoes!? :) xx

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  3. Coffee and new shoes!! Thank you, Wendy, for the reminder today that nothing is static and that recovery is a process of exploration and opening up that's infinite. In a good way :)

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    1. It is an exploration!
      I'll keep finding ways to explore!
      xo

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  4. I'm going to suggest sculpting yoga where I go. I've never heard of it, but I need the weight training. Cheers to you!!

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    1. It's fun!
      The one I love is yoga and some weights.
      Some sculpts are a little bit too much like gym class for me.
      xo

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  5. Thank you for this uplifting and inspirational post. "Sometimes I think, "What is life really about...I only have maybe 20 years left to live." This is exactly why I want to pursue the best version of myself each and every day!!

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    1. I know!
      I had a wonderful teaching career, but I realize that my time is not limitless here.
      Now is the time.
      Thank you for your comment!
      xo

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  6. I love that you say joy & gratitude go hand in hand :). Nice Converse sneaks-- I love mine! xx

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  7. I love you new shoes! What a great post with some very sound advice. The one about keeping your expectations realistic is really good. I remember some of my previous attempts I would get to 6 months in and expect so much to have changed. Joy and gratitude do go hand in hand:) xxx

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  8. Wow Wendy - You look so fit and healthy! I love your new shoes too. Hugs x

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    1. I try! Yoga has made a huge difference.
      My goal this summer is to get out walking and biking by myself more. I tend to only go with someone, and most people are working.
      xo

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  9. I keep saying I'm going to try yoga. You might have just convinced me. Finding joy in being sober is hard. Especially at the beginning. But oh so necessary. Love your new shoes!

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    1. Hi Susanne!
      I love my yoga practice. So does Anne of https://ainsobriety.wordpress.com/
      It made me stronger and helped me learn to calm my mind.
      i hope you try it!
      xo

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  10. Is this lie, yoga barre? They have it at my studio, but I have never been...

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    1. No, this is yoga with some weights.
      I haven't tried yoga barre!
      That would be fun too.
      The sculpt is fun, but I'd only do it one time a week.
      xo

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  11. There is a yoga sculpt class here too and I'm scared to try it because I'm super clumsy! I do a kettlebell workout at home and I'm in shock that I haven't bonked myself in the head or knee with it yet haha.
    Your new Converse sneakers are awesome!
    These are great words of advice Wendy! It can be so hard, but so important, to find joy in our lives. My boyfriend makes fun of me because he says that I look at the world with childlike wonderment and curiosity, and I tell him that it's what keeps me young (in my mind anyway, lol).
    Hope you have a beautiful, joyful day!
    <3

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    1. Hi Donna!
      I can NOT do kettle bells!
      I tried and about died!
      I did have a joyful day...voluneering, walking with a friend, and snugs with hubs.
      Too many people lose that wonderment.
      I'm glad you have that!
      xo
      Wendy

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  12. "I find that I must cultivate optimism. I don't always have this mind set." SO TRUE! It's kind of like faking it til you make it. You have to make a choice to see the positive and that will happen.

    Acts of kindness, like how you helped someone move, are so beneficial as well in terms of feeling good about ourselves. It's one of my favorite acts of self-care for myself, to be good to others.

    Great post!

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    1. Hi Tales from My Liver,
      I am finding that to be true for me as well.
      I was so wrapped up in my own self when drinking, but now I can see how being good to others really is self-care for me!
      xo
      Wendy

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  13. Top tips.

    Closing in on that 1000 days! :-)

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    1. I know!! I never thought I'd be this far!
      Thank you, Graham!
      xo

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  14. This was excellent. Thanks for sharing.
    Your smile is infectious! It makes me smile :)

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    1. Thank you, Sarah!
      I love to smile!
      I hope you have a great day!
      xo

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