Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Slogan practice

When I was a young adult, I went to a support group for adult children of alcoholics. My dad was an alcoholic -- who became an AA member and sponsor to others in the years before his death -- and I was affected by the family dynamics that developed around that.

On the table in the meeting room there were a number of handmade signs with recovery slogans printed on them. K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Sweetie) on fluorescent orange paper with glitter and stickers. One Day at a Time on green.

I seem to have often sat near a hot-pink trifold that said: HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) It was a reminder to wake up and be present with what was going on and to respond to the real need, not a perceived one.

I still think about that when my mind starts grumping and getting mad or frustrated or self-pitying? Am I hungry? A snack will often turn my mood around. Am I angry? At whom? And why? Is it really the person in front of me, or is it some person I encountered this morning? Or last week? Or when I was 5?

It helps to know that. It's Useful Information, as Pooh would say.

Taking part in the Interdependence Project's ongoing class on the lojong slogans minds me of the AA slogans. In both cases, the pithy phrases are reminders to wake up, to assess our current situation and act wisely, not rules to live by or sticks we can use to beat ourselves up for not being good enough.

They are more words to life with than to live by, Being curious about how these apply to the current moment.

Be grateful to everyone. Regard all dharmas as dreams.

Time for a craft project. Rest in the nature of unborn awareness. A sparkly unicorn sticker, some '80s retro sharpies. Maybe I'll put a bird on it.

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