A woman discovers a way to practice conscious contact while she goes about the business of the day
I got up this morning, and rolled off the bed to my knees to get the day off the ground right like it says to do on pages 86 and 87 of the Big Book. I felt disorganized and disgruntled. I knew from past experience that if I let this thinking continue that it was going to screw up my day. It is always best for me to get my head right by following these directions. I am not sure all of what the day has in store for me, other than plans that I made yesterday. But at least I am making a good attempt for positive outcomes for my endeavors.
The result is always up to God. It is amazing to me how I like to think that I am ok without asking God to empower me for the day ahead. I had to go through quite a long period in my own personal desert before I could convince myself that not only am I powerless over alcohol and drugs, people, places and things, but also myself.
I have found that if I do not get God into my life upon awakening, then I am self will run riot. I want God’s power in my life today for there is a lot to do. I am tired of my insisting that I can do it myself without God’s help, as though I were a 4-year-old in rebellion against my parents.
I grew tired of rebeling a long time ago and in this sweet state of surrender, I was able to let go of that old idea that I can sustain myself on my own steam. I have those two pages memorized and I allow myself to take my time going through them. I like to be thorough with them. These are the instructions on how to not only stay sober for the day, but also to keep the consciousness of God in my mind. The longer I stay sober, the more I am aware of how much I need this God consciousness.
I drank my morning coffee down quickly this morning. I had only a little while before I had to go do a cleaning job. And I had to get it done by nine o’clock. So I sat there and gave myself a few moments to think as I drank my coffee. I thought about the presence of God. I was thinking about how when I practice this belief, whatever I am doing gets done a lot more quickly and efficiently then when I am lost in my own little world. I told myself as I sat that I was going to be aware of that presence for as much time as possible while I was doing my job because I wanted it to get done quickly and correctly.
It is easy for me to practice this Presence while I am here in my spot at home. For me, it is a meditation. I am still in the near silence of the house in the early morning. But when I am doing it “on the go,” I am moving about and doing things. I have to consciously hold my mind in focus on this idea and be aware of my breathing. For some reason this helps.
When I first started to do this practice, it was not easy at all. I was in such a bad habit of attaching myself to the first ugly thought that my mind conjured up and running with it like I was a string tied around a boulder bouncing down a mountain in an avalanche, that before I knew it, the day was in shambles because of errors that I made.
It was hard for me to make the connection that my thinking had any thing to do with the way my day went. Though the physical evidence can be overwhelming, I am one to want to rationalize away results and responsibility. It was tough for me to see that I am the cause of my own problems just like it says in the book.
I made this connection between God consciousness and how my day went by going to meetings and listening to others plus concentrated efforts on working the Steps — Steps Six and Seven in particular. My character defects can be like wild dogs. If they are not leashed first thing in the morning, they are not likely to be caught until later on in that day when I will finally pause and think, What am I doing? God, help me! So I take this time in the morning seriously and I find that I have a good habit for a change.
When I am still and focusing on my breathing, this brings on a very strong feeling of what I call a meditative state. I breathe in slowly and deeply, allowing my belly to expand before my chest does. I hold it in for a few seconds and then I exhale just as slowly, releasing the air from my chest and then my belly.
I think about God being present with me, all around me and through me with every breath I take. And then I get this wonderful feeling. My whole body is very heavy with relaxation. My forehead, in the center of it, feels different from the rest of my head. It is like there is something there, something heavy within it. It doesn’t hurt or anything; just a spot right there smack in the center of my forehead, feels like the size of a quarter; a spot of something and it feels wonderful.
I don’t know what it is but I love that sensation. When I have it, all the cares and concerns and worries that would be going on remain silent, somewhere in the depths of my lower consciousness. My character defects, the wild dogs, are asleep for the moment. For the truth is in that moment, they are not realities. They are past tense things that I thought about habitually in order to bring on those familiar sensations of fear and frustration and powerlessness that I was so used to feeling before I began to choose this practice.
But now that I am in to the sensation of peace, I am a lot less inclined to choose to think on them first thing. And I am very aware of the discomfort I am feeling when I realize I am thinking about them. I go to work and my mind does its best to wander away from my chosen thoughts of God. I am aware of this and I change my focus. While I am moving about doing things, I do not yet get that totally relaxed feeling, but for whatever reason, the work gets done right in a lot less time than it would take if I thought about the usual stuff I think about when I am not spiritually focused.
I am aware of myself doing things, thinking stuff like “God works through me and it gets done.” Tasks are completed and I look up at the clock and the hands will have moved only a little. But if I had thought about my cares and worries, it would have taken me a lot longer to get it all done.
After the job is finished, I thank God for empowering me so that I could get the job done so well. The majority of the day still lies ahead of me so I thank God for continuing to be with me as we go from moment to moment; activity to activity. I am peaceful in my head even though there is a lot on tap for the day. But I know that so long as I maintain this consciousnese of God in mind, I will be able to deal with whatever happens.
I am so grateful for this way of life given to me freely by Alcoholics Anonymous. I am grateful that I am an alcoholic in this program for I have never heard of being able to get all of this anywhere else.