… to set us up for a constructive day or a peaceful sleep
I love regular morning and evening reflections before or after meditation usually, to support my life moving into a stable, clear and light direction.
I find a quiet spot first thing in the morning or last thing at night and ponder about the questions/inspirations below. They are part of the 12 step program. This program is not just about alcoholics, it is about the addict in all of us or being the child, relative or friend of an addict (Alanon, Alateen, ACA), which affects our lives just as much. Other forms of addiction besides alcohol (AA) are: narcotics (NA for drugs and medications), smoking, (Nicotine Anonymus – NicA), shopping (RA), gambling (GA), love & sex obsessions (SLAA), internet & technology addiction (ITAA), money addiction (DA), relationship obsessions manifesting as co-dependency, control and abuse (CODA), workaholics (WA), overeating (OA) just to name a few. So in one way or another, we may all find ourselves at times obsessing about one thing or another pulling us into anxiety and worry resulting in unhealthy habits. Good news is – there is a way out regular practice helps and may also prevent it.
The 12 step program is not a religion, it is a spiritual program open to all beliefs and directions of thoughts, being and attitudes. If you do not believe in God, please replace the word God with what/who you may believe in – examples are: Nature, Source, Higher Power, Higher Self, Community, Spirit.
Waking up or going asleep reflecting may really help us to become more aware of our often rather destructive habits and set us for a constructive day or a peaceful sleep. Please find below inspirations from the 12 step Big Book (of course you may formulate and come up with your own questions, this is just a guiding light):
When we retire at night
Big Book – Page 86
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.
Big Book – Page 86 – 88
On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take.Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.
As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day ” Thy will be done. ” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.
Enjoy your practice to freedom!
written by Beate McLatchie