I have always done better with a schedule. In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on Page 86 it says “Alcoholics are undisciplined, so we discipline ourselves in the simple way we have just outlined”. It then goes on to outline a simple morning and evening meditation. I think this is a very powerful strategy for living and I think it can work for everyone – not just the Alcoholic/Addict.
The idea of keeping life simple and trying to live within a 24 hour period of time just seems so much more manageable. Life can get so overwhelming and so complicated, not just from the demands of daily living but of the chaos that I create in my own head. We are constantly being bombarded with ads, to do lists and unreasonable expectations. I think it is up to each one of us to slow down the wheel of insanity and take a moment to breathe.
The outline of this schedule is not something I came up with myself. I am much to complicated to have come up with a routine so simple and practical. I like to make things so difficult that there is no way I can possibly stay consistent. There is a reason the first tool you are presented with, when you go into a treatment program, is a schedule. Without it most Alcoholics & Addicts remain stuck, a schedule provides a basic plan for living and is the cornerstone of building and maintaining a program of recovery. It is the only way a girl like me with an Alcoholic magnifying mind can live life on life’s terms.
Here is a simple overview of how I am supposed to be living my amended life.
In the morning I wake up and do a morning meditation. I use the morning mediations out of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on page 86 -88. I have listened to a lot of great life coaches and motivational speakers and they almost all agree, people do better with a morning and evening routine. This is such great advise but if you are a “A type, list making, over achiever” like me, then you may completely over complicate this and end up creating more stress in your life. That is why I like this simple morning meditation that keeps it very short and sweet. This particular reading starts me out by asking the Universe (God) for help. It reminds me to stay in my Hoola Hoop and stay out of destructive selfish, self-centered thinking. Powerful. Combine this with a cup of coffee and perhaps the quiet of a sunrise and you are off to a much better start than checking your phone and the news first thing in the morning.
I then have a fighting chance of actually getting some things done that day and not immedietly start reacting to everything and everyone that comes across my path.
I have a few things in my daily schedule that are non negotiable. You might have one or two of your own, depending on your own life circumstgance. For me, the most important thing I can do on a daily basis is to look after my Alcoholism so I go to meetings. Personally, I go to two meetings a day, one at 7:00am and one at 5:30pm. Everything else fits around those two things. It may vary for you. Perhaps your non negotiable is the gym or dinner with your family. Whatever it is that “feeds your soul” -make that a priority and build around that. I know, to most people, work is the dominating factor in your life, but it’s not. If you aren’t sober, healthy or happy (whatever it is that gives you joy) you won’t be successful at work or school or anywhere else.
In the evening, before I go to bed, I do an evening meditation. It is also on page 86 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is really just a quick recap of my day. How did I do? Is there anything bothering me I need to take care of? Grateful for anything that happened that day? Anything scaring me? Am I riddled with anger or fear? Let’s take a look at that and see if there is something I can do about it and ask the Universe (God) for help or forgiveness. This makes for a better nights sleep. I really want to try to clean things up each day so I don’t end up with major build up of issues and problems that will attack me at a later date and cause me unwanted stress and remorse (or my sobriety).
Something else I have added to my evening routine, is a quick list of what I got done, it is much more productive than reviewing my to do list and seeing what I didn’t get done. I also like to add 5 to 10 things I am grateful for. This helps keep things in perspective.
If you can buy into the idea of living in the moment, than this routine will will make perfect sense to you. Stay where your hands are at and live in the day you have been given. Worrying about the future and ruminating about the past is a complete waste of time. Life becomes easire to digest in small bites. Anything is possible in the time frame between my morning and evening routines.
Life is short and is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. Keep your routine simple and you will be amazed how much more you can accomplish and how much richer your relationships will be. Your productivity will go up and your sick time will go down.
God Bless 🙂