Attitudes of Mind

“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind.” These are William James‘ words – the famous 20th century philosopher and psychologist. They came to me via Earl Nightingale’s talk on “The Greatest Secret in the World.” Earls talk is weighed with authority – his heavy, deep tonal voice captures the authority of a convicted preacher having pasted through fundamentalisms into an emancipated and inclusive world view still grounded by a perennial truth. He communicates over and over the fundamental principle (secret)…that, “We become what we think about.” I’m not boasting here, but the condition of my conscious thought hasn’t been shot through with a beacon of light as of late. Boasting into the darkness. Everyone’s shit is terribly unique, isn’t it? We find this blue-balled attitude in each other’s churches and recovery meetings all over the world, “I’m terminally unique. Haven’t you heard? …my shit!?” But, I digress. I wanted to bring your attention to the power of your thoughts and reflect on mine own recently. I am convicted, or rather, I have borne witness to the truth in my experience that our lives are largely our thought manifest, be it conscious or unconscious. I would very much like to measure my thought. And in fact there are plenty of methods – as many methods as there are traditions. For a number of years I have very much appreciated and referenced David Hawkins‘ conscious calibration scale from 1-1000. I’ll spare you the full disclosure but the higher one rises on the scale the more powerful the conscious thought and thus personal and circumstantial experience. If I reflect on this past weeks conscious thoughts I have to include the desperation I felt at not having a meaningful human partnership nor having manifest my goal to be a paid life coach. This week those thoughts have not only come, descending on me like some cloud of absence, but I have opened the door, wrapped up in them for a time, befriended the unfulfillment. A friend recently told me that having a pity party is the most expensive party you can throw that no one wants to attend. So now the transition… I have come so very far to achieve a new life, with new power and capacity. These desperate thoughts cannot contend with my ongoing practice of spiritual disciplines. It’s impossible for self-pity to continue very long because I get too many hugs, I spend too much time surrounding myself with people whose lives are full of healing, courage, sobriety, and grace. So I think about failure, absence, loss less. I dwell in God more – where God is flow of conscious thought of high calibration. God is an action word – a verb. Courage, acceptance, willingness, open-mindedness, humility, love, fulfillment, peace, neutrality, forgiveness, hope. According to the principle, “We become what we think about,” as long as I keep practicing these high forms of consciousness my life will continue to grow in power and fulfillment.

Growth Principles

I blogged a great deal about my own sobriety in the past. It’s my favorite thing to talk about hands down. It’s the most interesting. In comparison, everything else feels a bit under developed, a little tired, not quite as skillful. For a good while now I have taken a turn toward a type of professionalization where to speak openly about my sobriety wasn’t politically strategic. Talking about sobriety can become unsettling for many people. Who really wants to face their demons besides people who have arrived at the jumping off point? “And those people are crazy.” We whisper to ourselves. We’ve pasted the point in American culture/history where to identify as an alcoholic or addict is a terrible taboo, but still people have their assumptions and prejudicious about people in recovery and NO ONE would CHOOSE to identify as an alcoholic or addict…right? …or that’s the conventional thinking. So people shy away from being completely honest about how much obsessiveness they truly entertain about whatever fix they have – food, sex, internet, tv, football, alcohol, weed, speed, music, sugar, tech, exercise, movies, co-dependencies of all color – work, especially work.

The more honest I become, the more transparent and openminded, the more apparent how vital sobriety is for growth. In a broad sense “sobriety” isn’t simply not drinking if your alcoholic – there are plenty of sick people out there who don’t drink and go on polluting everything and everyone around them. Sobriety in the broadest sense is purity of heart, and as you grow the bar is set ever higher… as it is written, “from glory to glory.” Over the past 5 years I have been immersed in recovery work, and it has only been in the past few months that I have discovered how profoundly different and relevant this process has become for me. And this is the core it: The very same principles I have been taught to apply and practice on a daily bases to maintain and grow my sobriety are the same principles that will make me successful at anything I choose to do or become. Most recently, I’ve been about the business of developing my own private practice as a life coach – Since I gained a clear vision of my goal, wrote it down, and have been reading it to myself daily and working towards it I have consistently connected with other people building, owning and operating their own businesses – entrepreneurs. I am bearing witness to the law of attraction in my own experience, but more than that I am experiencing the profound truth of principles. Like laws they cannot be broken. They are immutable insofar as they are evidenced. Simple, ridiculous facts like, “You reap what your sow,” read the second law of thermodynamics or, “You become what you think about.” Principles are as profound as law – like gravity. “So every time I jump off this building I will fall?” “Yes, every single time.” “Are there any exceptions though?” “No. none.” Gravity is the most successful and consistent relationship I have – successful relationships are like this.

I remember coming into the rooms of AA broken. I had slid off a fucking rainbow, actually. When I arrived I was told the truth about myself – “You’re screwed. You’re going to die from this disease and the only chance you have is to leave behind everything you though you knew and follow the path we have walked to gain conscious contact with a power greater than yourself which will maintain your sobriety and lift you into the forth dimension of experience.” The cost of entry was absolute openness, honesty, and willingness. I took those steps and almost 5 years later I live in a place of daily miracles. The cost wasn’t just “my drug of choice” it was my entire life plan – my entire life. The principles upon which that path was lain are the same principles which will make me a profound author, speaker, and leader. I’m learning how to apply them in all my affairs, but I’m also discovering or remembering that their is a price of admission. In order to manifest the profound, though mostly latent, Adam that is within me I must surrender even more. When I began this journey the consequences were so great and the pain so thorough that I was willing to do anything to receive sobriety. As I look back I would never trade what I surrendered back then for what I have now. What I have now is a host of friends – extended family. I have fellowship about me that few humans experience and I am of great service to many who find my presence extremely valuable and they let me know often. I am rich, rich. I have an active and growing relationship with a Higher Power I choose to call God who loves me beyond my comprehension and who has set in motion a flow of abundance that will come to me the remainder of my life. And now I stand on another precipice that over looks that abundance and I tremble because it cost is great… I think it might be my entire life – the price is my life. My life as I know it will be crushed, abandoned, disregarded or ruptured – like breaking out of an enclosure or being born. I supposed its safe to say that I’m afraid and I’ve been in pain. The things that I’m giving up have sustained me for many years but have run their course and become poison just like my addiction – my addiction. I’m afraid to give them up and I’m afraid to receive what’s coming – even though I know it will be profound and its exactly what I want.

The principle of attraction I’m learning how to work with has most recently been manifested in the newest relationship that I have with two new cats that I rescued a couple of weeks ago. That story for another time. I mean to say that my path is apparent to me and that I know it. It’s constituted on and through growth principles – the same principles embedded in the texts of our most sacred books, hymns, poems; principles written into the lives of people whose presence transformed the communities around them.