5, Feb, 2012

Keep Your Hands on the Wheel!

img0370An important step in personal transformation is to remove all negative influences from your environment. Negative relationships and people; negative self-image, outlook and attitude will weigh you down. Lighten your load, and your journey to total kickassitude will instantly become more doable and fun. For instance, when I first got clean and began my journey, I had to sever ties with all my associates. At the time, the only people I associated with were dope fiends or dope dealers. Strangely, I envisioned dealers all over town being inconsolably devastated at the loss of my “business.”

However one small detail had evaded me at the time: my business had dwindled over time to pathetically low levels commercially, so that an average transaction consisted of my showing up at 3 a.m. outside a dealer’s trailer trying to trade a hubcap for a dime bag. When I delivered the news of my kicking dope, these elated merchants congratulated me and encouraged me to “keep up the good work.” Their palpable relief was unexpected, then hilarious to me as I realized what a nuisance I had been to the entire doper community. I felt grateful to have their encouragement and support as I turned my back on the street life and began my metamorphosis.

A big step in personal transformation is building self-esteem and changing self-image. Use positive self-talk and become your own cheerleading squad, urging yourself on to higher and higher aspirations and accomplishments. Try making a list of all your strengths — the things that you admire in others and can recognize in yourself. Now make a list of qualities you admire in others and don’t find within at this time. Now your have a list of assets and aspirations. Start being generous with yourself, kind to yourself, patient with yourself and forgiving to yourself. It’s a lot easier to banish your negative attitude and self- image if you daily recognize your positive aspects and strengths. You deserve it. Do a daily check-in, and in this way, build your relationship with yourself. All relationships start with yourself.
A daily program of kickass personal transformation will introduce you to yourself. You’ll find that you are stronger, brighter, funnier, more flexible and productive than you ever dreamed. And as you embrace this new vision of yourself, you realize that all the negative thinking that used to hold you back, that seemed so powerful, once separated from your true self-image, is shrinking away.

One of the things I’ve learned in kickass personal transformation is that I’m driving, so to speak, down the freeway of life, toward my goals and dreams. I’m not being dragged. Before I got into recovery, my addiction — (bad attitude, negative self-image and irrational thinking) was driving (90 mph toward a cliff), and my true self was tied up and locked in the trunk. My life was so centered on those negatives that I actually thought it was me driving the car!

Since the day I made my decision to turn my life around, I’m the one at the wheel, and my former negative consciousness is locked in the trunk. From time to time, I hear the thoughts of my negative, addicted self, trying to distract me and get me to take my hands off the wheel. I’m aware of this — that my former negative self still wants to get back in the driver’s seat and take over. But since I am aware, living in the present moment, I don’t own the fear, or the self-pity, or the resentment, or any other things belonging to my former negative way of thinking and living. That’s not me! I don’t own it, and I don’t have to let it in.
I’ve changed my attitude, one day at a time. When I wake up in the morning, I take a moment to make a quick mental gratitude list. Then I add things to the list as the day goes on. At the end of the day, I review the list, and run a mental checklist of things I learned or accomplished during the day. I recall people I’ve met or interacted with and review how I could have improved on that interaction. Right before falling asleep, I whisper affirmations — self-enhancing statements — to myself, to set my attitude for waking.

Frequently, I do a morning check-in, in the moment. I ask myself the following questions:
Who am I?
Where have I come from?
Where am I headed?
Who do I love, and who loves me?
What am I grateful for?

Moment by moment, I keep my hands on the wheel, and I remember who I am.

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