Saturday at Homewood U is actually pretty nice. As it’s only mandatory for us ‘freshmans’ to stay here until at least next weekend, it’s pretty quiet; hence I got a computer. So without all the normal hustle and bustle, I found the day perfect for working on my homework to find this all important spiritual connection. Whatever that is. OK where do I start?

The teachers here, (I will call all of the staff teachers for ease of writing), tell us how essential it is to realize that we are powerless against our disease. And in order to truly heal, we need to find a higher power that we can put our faith in. This isn’t an easy task for many of us! So you can probably imagine some of the comments people have made about this necessary component. “I don’t believe in God”, “I feel weird all of a sudden becoming a spiritual person”, and on and on. And I get it! Even though I DO believe in God, its not an easy task to remind yourself to be spiritual every day when you haven’t most of your life. People who don’t believe in God are equally encouraged to find some higher power in their life to surrender our disease to. Regardless of what we choose to believe in, spirituality is an integral part of our recovery…so I have to figure this out.

ALL of us at Homewood U have experienced great atrocities. And our outlook on any positive or hopeful part of life on this earth is SO buried under the darkness we live with every day. We are accustom to focusing on the heartache and misery which innocent people suffer; and we just keep asking WHY? Why would a God or higher power let these things happen? How do we get past looking at the anguish, and see happiness in this messed-up world?…Can you see our dilemma? Our minds have used the world’s atrocities as our perfect excuse to numb the pain with addiction. It’s all we know! And because everyone of us here has been blessed (sarcasm) with the genetic addiction switch in our brain’s limbic system (where the evil lies) causing our disease, we can’t allow the rational part of our brain (the frontal cortex) to tell the limbic system to shut the hell up!  We think and talk about our tormented past like others think and talk about the weather.

So with my spiritual homework in mind, I went for a walk on the beautiful HU grounds (they are truly spectacular). Not long into my walk, I came upon a huge labyrinth made of stones near the gardens. The sign near it says (in a roundabout way), that it was there to help us clear our minds and represented the path we are going down to a new healthier life. When we got to the middle of it there was a large stone we could sit on and concentrate on whatever we would like to. Alright. Let’s give this a whirl!

So I started to walk, (and got a bit dizzy). And while I weaved my way through the twisting pathway I realized I was actually letting all of my negative thoughts at that moment go. I was so concentrated on when I would get to the end and on staying on the path, that my mind cleared and I felt really peaceful. I felt calm and relaxed without wine; it was really awesome. That’s my spiritual word for the day…awesome! 😉

When I arrived at the middle (about 10 minutes later) I sat on the thinking rock and noticed how peaceful and silent it was. OK this is a good time to practice my meditation I suppose. I closed my eyes and noticed all of the small noises around me. The wind blowing through the trees. The squirrel running over the damp leaves. Walter would be all over that. Focus Natalie! And the birds chirping in the air. I also felt the cold wind rush over my face from left to right, making my nose run. I never said this spiritual time would be perfect. And the sun shining strait ahead as it was setting for its rest for the night. It was so peaceful. It was the quiet my mind always craves, and time that allowed me to feel some sort of happiness in this mad world…and it was awesome 😉

I think I did a pretty good job with my spirituality homework. My ‘save my life school’ teacher ‘nurture your spirit’ would have been proud of me. I feel a sense of accomplishment today, and I may even do it tomorrow.