21 Simple “Non-Spiritual” Things that make for Daily Happiness.
It’s the Little Things.
1. Touch water.
I am moving to a house near the Lagoon . Saltwater at my door. How can I touch water today? Hmm. No pressure to go swimming etc because its been a big week and there is more to come. Today. Maybe a shower, run the hose water over me. If it rains some more I can stand in it and I am drinking water with cell food in it now.
2. Sweat once a day. Exercise—find something you enjoy doing, and do it.
Hmm, Gee, at the moment it doesn’t take much. A brief walk a few stretched legs. Lets go a little further each day. Today – do the exercises the Physio suggested. The van has now been moved to No 30 . Things grow closer and we went out for dinner at Chilli Affair.
3. Eat real food. If it has more than three ingredients, generally, or if you’ve seen an ad for it, generally—skip it.
I had fruit and a beef roll and tonight Indian inc a mango lassi.
4. Support, subscribe, read a good magazine (print or online) that’s better than you are—with a hot drink of coffee or tea and a little sunshine and quiet.
Well, I didn’t do that today. Let me think. I am reading a harsh and bizarre book about New Orleans. Louis Maistro. I have looked at some articles and that’s about it today. I was also at the meeting and we read ” Who is an Addict ? “
This is NOT the bit we read. This is the Pamphlet. But its a good one so I shall post it.
Am I an Addict?
Only you can answer this question.
This may not be an easy thing to do. All through our using, we told ourselves, “I can handle it.” Even if this was true in the beginning, it is not so now. The drugs handled us. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a person whose life is controlled by drugs.
Perhaps you admit you have a problem with drugs, but you don’t consider yourself an addict. All of us have preconceived ideas about what an addict is. There is nothing shameful about being an addict once you begin to take positive action. If you can identify with our problems, you may be able to identify with our solution. The following questions were written by recovering addicts in Narcotics Anonymous. If you have doubts about whether or not you’re an addict, take a few moments to read the questions below and answer them as honestly as you can.
1. Do you ever use alone? [Yes] [ No]
2. Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem? [Yes] [ No]
3. Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs? [Yes] [ No]
4. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs? [Yes] [ No]
5. Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed? [Yes] [ No]
6. Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another? [Yes] [ No]
7. Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs? [Yes] [ No]
8. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you? [Yes] [ No]
9. Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use? [Yes] [ No]
10. Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs? [Yes] [ No]
11. Have you ever lied about what or how much you use? [Yes] [ No]
12. Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities? [Yes] [ No]
13. Have you ever tried to stop or control your using? [Yes] [ No]
14. Have you ever been in a jail, hospital or drug rehabilitation centre because of your using? [Yes] [ No]
15. Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating? [Yes] [ No]
16. Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you? [Yes] [ No]
17. Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs? [Yes] [ No]
18. Do you ever question your own sanity? [Yes] [ No]
19. Is your drug use making life at home unhappy? [Yes] [ No]
20. Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without drugs? [Yes] [ No]
21. Have you ever felt defensive, guilty or ashamed about your using? [Yes] [ No]
22. Do you think a lot about drugs? [Yes] [ No]
23. Have you had irrational or indefinable fears? [Yes] [ No]
24. Has using affected your sexual relationship? [Yes] [ No]
25. Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer? [Yes] [ No]
26. Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress? [Yes] [ No]
27. Have you ever overdosed on any drugs? [Yes] [ No]
28. Do you continue to use despite negative consequences? [Yes] [ No]
29. Do you think that you have a drug problem? [Yes] [ No]
“Am I an addict?” This is a question only you can answer. We found that we all answered different numbers of these questions “yes.” The actual number of “yes” responses wasn’t as important as how we felt inside and how addiction had affected our lives.
Some of these questions don’t even mention drugs. This is because addiction is an insidious disease that affects all areas of our lives – even those areas which seem at first to have little to do with drugs. The different drugs we used were not as important as why we used them and what they did to us.
When we first read these questions, it was frightening for us to think we might be addicts. Some of us tried to dismiss these thoughts by saying:
“Oh, those questions don’t make sense,”
“I’m different. I know I take drugs, but I’m not an addict. I have real emotional/
“I’m just having a tough time getting it together right now”.
“I’ll be able to stop when I find the right person/get the right job, etc.”
If you are an addict you must first admit that you have a problem with drugs before any progress can be made toward recovery. These questions, when honestly approached, may help to show you how using drugs has made your life unmanageable. Addiction is a disease which, without recovery, ends in jails, institutions and death. Many of us came to Narcotics Anonymous because drugs had stopped doing what we needed them to do. Addiction takes our pride, self‑esteem, family, loved ones, and even our desire to live. If you have not reached this point in your addiction, you don’t have to. We have found that our own private hell was within us. If you want help, you can find it in the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.
“We were searching for an answer when we reached out and found Narcotics Anonymous. We came to our first NA meeting in defeat and didn’t know what to expect. After sitting in a meeting, or several meetings, we began to feel that people cared and were willing to help. Although our minds told us we would never make it, the people in the Fellowship gave us hope by insisting that we could recover. Surrounded by fellow addicts, we realised that we were not alone anymore. Recovery is what happens in our meetings. Our lives are at stake. We found that by putting recovery first, the programme works. We faced three disturbing realisations:
1. We are powerless over addiction and our lives are unmanageable;
2. Although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery;
3. We can no longer blame people, places and things for our addiction. We must face our problems and our feelings.
The ultimate weapon for recovery is the recovering addict.”1
5. Keep our clothes off the floor. While a messy house, full of love, can be delightful, our environments reinforce our mental states, just asour physical posture can enlighten or depress us. So let’s practice keeping things relatively clean not out of a sense of uptightness, but out of a sense of matter-of-fact delight in daily beauty, respect and simplicity.
THAT is a funny one to read today. The House is filled with boxes. Everything is half packed and its a mess but the end is nigh. A new start is just ahead.
6. Community. Even if we don’t meditate, seeing community—bicycling around, at the dog park, at the grocery, at the cafe—will uplift and open our troubled hearts.
I did get out in Community today. People for a lot of the day actually. Lis and Ham to assess the van situation and then Tait and the Bello Meeting and dinner at Chilli Affair. Its done me good too. I am also watching Eden on Facetime.
7. Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Smile at a stranger. Smile, period. It gets easier with practice (I say this as someone who doesn’t suffer new agey fools, gladly). Laughter, too, is one thing that’s no less delightful even if you’re faking it until you really mean it.
Now for bed and I shall look at he rest of these tomorrow. 3 more nights’ sleeping here. That’s all. Then – new start.
8. Work in an office, or live with, a dog. Dogs are shown to dramatically up folks’ happiness, and productivity, both. And they’ll force you to get outside.
9. Breathe in and out, slowly, once a day. Feel one’s breath like the rising, falling waves. Breathe deeply, clearing out old air. Breathe up into one’s collar bones.
11. Never cell phone while talking, or walking. Do one thing at a time, and know that it’s not a waste—being present is always more efficient, and leads to space for good ideas and fresh approaches.10. Never eat while standing up, or driving. We’ll overeat, generally, and we won’t enjoy the food so much.
12. Hike. Or, just walk. Get out in nature. Or, a park. Nature opens us up, and calms our kleshas.
13. Stop obsessing about one’s own happiness. Help others. In small or ongoing ways.
14. Put on a favourite song and sing it out, like we mean it..
15. Pick up trash in the street. Take a bottle out of the trash, and put it in recycling. Save unused napkins from a restaurant for use at home. Do little things for society that may go “unrewarded.”
16. Watch a movieand eat a little too much ice cream/pop corn/vegan ice cream/edamame/nuts. Collapsing into one’s core once in a while is necessary to one’s creative energies.
17. Put a few photos of loved ones around.
18. Be honest. This includes doing work for money that we can believe in, or finding a way to feel good about it.
19. Sleep more. Even a little more. I have no idea how, but it’s a good idea.
20. Write. Whether a journal or a blog, expressing oneself is cathartic and sensical-making.
21. Meditate. There’s nothing “spiritual” about meditation. It’s simply sitting still, with good, relaxed posture, and paying attention to one’s outbreath. When we notice a thought, that’s fine, we acknowledge it with a “label” by saying, silently, to ourselves, “thinking,” and returning to the outbreath. Before we know it: present moment, from whence all great and good things manifest.