vagabond superstar

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There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.

firstly, ii would request that all readers also read mark olmsted’s blog regarding the passing of phillip seymour hoffman at question marxist. mark olmsted – aka the trash whisperer- touches on the very core of a major challenge with living in recovery- emotional sobriety. people with addictions – both active and arrested- remains the most complicated and treacherous path that I have walked and that those ii walk with encounter.


What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?

there are moments in which the clarity and cruelty of feeling are so uber-pronounced and omnipresent that frozen only begins to describe the fear and uncertainty that follow. sometimes an exchange of words or ideas will give a glimpse of unknowing that feels just like the chill of a visiting spirit. someone may something to me that ii am not clear how to take and ii will panic- not because of what was said, but more because of the not knowing how to proceed.

it may turn out that I struggle with emotionality for the rest of my days. it gets easier and the frightful crazy part lasts shorter periods of time. but as mark olmsted points out, it is not how we feel that creates problems, but more how we think we should feel.


Emotional Management

There is no feeling without a thought. There is no feeling or thought without a corresponding physical response. We are not many. We are one.

It is a mistake for any of us to so divide ourselves into segments that we lose the sense of ourselves as holistic beings. There is no thought without a feeling. However by singling out a specific aspect of how we as people function, in this case the emotions, specific care can be given on that aspect. Feelings have the power to both take us to heaven and pitch us into hell. Feelings are perfectly capable of telling us the saving truth as well as sending us on the road to destruction. Feelings are powerful. As with all powerful things the task is to control and manage that power so it works to the person’s benefit.

Feelings must be understood for what they are and where they originate if the person experiencing them is to gain a life of sobriety, balance and serenity.

Topics covered in our various products dealing with emotional management:

  • Understanding the anatomy of emotions
  • Learning to feel long repressed feelings
  • Discerning if the feeling is telling us a useful truth
  • Not allowing feelings to be the sole dictator of behavior
  • Steps to gaining emotional management
  • words and thoughts by ernie larsen


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image credit.. criminallyinnocent 

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. 
I acted and behold, service was joy.…..Rabindranath Tagore

Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve others and be glad for their good fortune.
Invite joy into your life by staging celebrations. Host festivities to mark transitions and changes in your life. Toast moments of happiness you notice as you go through your day. Dance — jump for joy — as often as possible. Life is not meant to be endured; it is to be enjoyed….excerpted from

today i humbly present tracey thorn’s new vid and song. i
i do believe that this holiday season will be the best i have had in several years. although i am busy, i have tapped into peace of mind that i have not been able to access in the previous sober years. whatever this is or whatever this means, i am thrilled that there seems to be no major crisis going on in my life. i am not in conflict with anyone of real significance. my relationships with friends and with co-workers are smooth and without much strife. my family and i are simpatico and i am feelin’ good.

sunday prayer

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image credit… luis pedro de castro

learning to let go of my expectations is an avocation. i struggle with it incessantly. strangely too, because there is definitely a freedom in the releasing of such. no matter though, i still feel most comfortable when i can worry about things and feel twisted because something is gonna fuck up. peace is the journey today. i have had to let go of so many things in order to find where i am.

Refuge Prayer O Amida, I take refuge in you,Ocean of Oneness, Eternal Life and Light;
Entrusting with my whole heart and mindIn your Primal Vow;I am empowered by you to live a full, Compassionate and creative life,I dedicate myself to the service of all beings,Striving to help others realize,Their human potential and Enlightenment;May your Teachings guide meThroughout the day, in my relationships, work and play. Namo Amida Buddha

feels so different

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“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

the “ah-has” are speeding past me this year like the last days of a perfect summer. i find myself  both awed and humbled beyond my ability to express. the most liberating of all these rays of light is the deeper understanding of mindfulness that is encompassing me and this may just change my world forever. all my life i have been living with the idea that truth is fixed and that the way i see the world was hard-earned and would doubtfully change.

but i now find myself shifting to realize that how i see the world is just that and only that- the way i see it. it has no bearing on how the world is, nor even how i differently i can work to see it if i choose. the remarkable aspect of all this is the sheer simplicity of it. i have a choice. understanding this makes it less of a choice, but it’s still a choice.

my way has been to hold a grudge for eons. i have become so comfortable living with anger submerged it seems as if my heart might have been buried alive. somehow, still beating, it has not been able to connect to much of anything because it has been tethered to the dark, the pain,  and all the fear. but just as the light breaks the darkness on the horizon at dawn, this truth has allowed me to see beyond my tomb. my history remains written, but my options from now have dramatically shifted.

this shift affects everything i do. i am able to feel less stuck. i am able to let go more easily. i notice the days and the nights more intimately. i can’t imagine what life would be without this new turn. but i don’t have to. my life includes a new level of mindfulness. and it offers me a slice of serenity.

planning for a future

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Heart don’t fail me now
Cause there is no time to waste
Don’t shut me out, we shouldn’t wait another day…
I’ve searched for you, on my hearts high speed chase
Hear me out, may be the only chance to say
Hold me now….
I’ve said it Every Other Way

i spent about 6 hours today with my neighbors pulling up some xeriscaping, removing the fabric underneath, replacing it, trimming the junipers, and replacing the stone that was there. we removed 2 very large and overgrown junipers and had the roots pulled out, and will be replacing them with some very small “carol mackie daphnes” (pictured above). along with those will be 4 dwarf korean lilac trees, 7 hydrangeas- 3 blue and 4 white, and 8 variegated grasses.

i have been living in my house for 4 years now, and i am finally feeling grounded enough to work on the landscaping. i never would have tackled it alone, as i live in 1 of 5 row houses that wrap around a corner and there is a lot of ground to weed and give love. but the junipers next to the house have been there for over 10 years and are just way too overgrown and dead underneath to properly salvage.

i had seen the carol mackie daphne at a client’s home early this summer. i was taken aback by the green and yellow leaves and the simple and distinguished blossom. it had just as pleasant an aroma as it was easy on the eye. so i have been hoping to put one around my house. luckily, i found 4 at a nursery and they were on sale. i can’t wait to put them in the ground tomorrow. and even more, i am really excited to see them bloom next year.

this is definitely growth for me. i hope you can feel my smile wherever you are….

i am including this bt song with jes. i listen to this cd often when i am jogging the park. it fills me with a sense of something bigger  than myself. always a healthy position for me…