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Posted on May 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (2)

When I got sober at age thirty-five, I truly had no idea that life had “terms” or life governing spiritual principles. I grew up in the 60’s, and what I took from that era was a belief system that sounded like “If it feels good do it.” So I spent many years of my life doing pretty much whatever I felt like doing, with whoever I felt like doing it with, as long as I felt like doing it, and when I did not feel like doing it any more I quit doing it. While I called myself a free spirit, the result was that I ended up in bondage, with nothing to show for my life, and feeling like committing suicide.

When I came to a 12 Step program, I started hearing people say things like “feelings aren’t facts” and “life on life’s terms.” I had no clue what they meant but I was willing to listen- they had my attention. As I sought answers to my problems I explored many spiritual and therapeutic paths. I learned that this is a three- part world and we are three- part beings. We have a physical life, a soul life and a spirit life. Each one of these parts, these arenas of life is governed by “terms” that are spiritual principles. They are spiritual in the sense that they are not negotiable, it does not matter who we are, where we are or what we believe, the principles do not change. Failure to align our life with these principles will eventually result in disease, injury and/or premature death.

The physical arena is the outer life including our body. An example of a life governing spiritual principle for this arena is nutrition. We know a healthy body cannot be built on a foundation of chocolate, soda and French fries. If we try to do so and become unhealthy we know it is not because of what other people are doing, or that we are being treated unfairly or because God is mad at us. To change the results the only option is to improve my alignment with the principles.

The soul arena is the inner life. The soul includes our mind (thoughts), our emotions (feelings) and our will (choices). The spiritual principles behind the steps, Honesty, Hope, Faith, Courage, are the principles that govern the health of our thoughts, feelings and choices. As I nourished my inner life primarily with fear, guilt and pride I became sick in my soul. I blamed others, believed life was unfair and if there was a God, He was mad at me. The 12 Step program taught me that to change the results the only option was to improve my alignment with the principles.

The spiritual arena is the afterlife; the realm of God and what happens to us after we die. Unlike the other arenas the spiritual principles governing this arena are a matter of faith. This arena, while critically important is beyond the scope of this discussion. Fortunately, the recognition of “a power greater than ourselves” and a willingness to begin to align with the spiritual principles in the other arenas, results in an improvement.

The Twelve Steps have taught me tools to use to improve my alignment with all of the principles. As I have done so, my body, thoughts, feelings and choices have become healthier. Oh yes, it is defiantly “progress not perfection”. Temptations are ever present but the use of a sponsor and supportive friends serve as guard rails to help hold me in alignment.

When I do revert to old ways I am able to see my part, I am less likely to blame others and I know God is not mad at me.

Today I recognize that I brought most of my problems and pain on myself by my ignorance of the life governing spiritual principles that are the terms of life. Good companionship and a personal “higher power” have made this journey the most fulfilling, and sometimes even the most fun thing I have ever felt like doing, I call it “Recovery.”

Pam Herman

12 Signs of a Spiritual Awakening

Posted on May 25, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

( from an unknown 12-step source)

1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

2. Frequent attacks of smiling.

3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.

4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

7. A loss of ability to worry.

8. A loss of interest in conflict.

9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

10. A loss of interest in judging others.

11. A loss of interest in judging self.

12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.

Alpha Center Graduate Testimony

Posted on May 25, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I first became interested in becoming a Recovery Support Specialist (RSS) to help my patients manage their stress in a healthy and functional way. Proper stress management facilitates our natural healing abilities which leads to a decrease in physical symptoms.The classes required to obtain my RSS were very useful and practical. They are designed to teach us why we live in dysfunction and confusion. The classes also provide us the tools necessary to practice a healthier lifestyle and how to teach this lifestyle to others.

I use this work every day to deal with my own personal issues as well as to assist others with their challenges.

~Preya Porter