Monthly Archives: June 2016

Matsuo Basho, the famously insightful Japanese poet, said this: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” From Tama Kieves' book Inspired and Unstoppable.

There is a saying in 12 step wisdom, "if you want what we have, do what we do."

Well, yes. There is some wisdom in that. As long as it is confined to the working of steps, and not dictating the behavior and decisions of people.

But I believe there is a deeper level to this. Kieves points to it with her quote. Maybe you've heard this story before, the one about the Zen master who tells his students to reach for the moon, and points to it. The students concentrate more on the finger then they do the moon.

I believe that when we are in the midst of this process called "working the steps," the tendency is to sometimes dwell in the problem.  After all, part of the addiction picture is drama and worry. So we make working the steps a big fat hairy deal, and we worry. We worry about whether we are doing it right, whether they will work, whether we want to do them, whether we should do them.

It's akin to concentrating on the finger, not the moon. In New Thought, we teach that we must have a vision of what we want. It is called a mental equivalent. Ernest Holmes, the founder of what is now called Centers for Spiritual Living, says that "Prayer does something to the mind of the one praying." He then goes on to describe a version of "if you spot it, you've got it."  What we see is what we get....what we see is what we already have and we will get more of as long as we continue to see it. We must change what we see in order to change what we get.

The point here is that we must change our minds, and it is as simple as that. Change the thought at a time. That is a form of praying. Instead of concentrating on how hard it is to not drink, instead think about how wonderful life can be in recovery. Instead of telling yourself your thinking got you into recovery as if your thinking was something not to be trusted, think, "YES! My thinking got me here, where there are directions to living life more wonderfully than I ever imagined!" Follow those directions, and aim for the moon.


You can puchase the book A New Thought Journey through the 12 Steps on Amazon in either print or e-version.

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