Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We Practice Humility Just Like Yoga

You know how sometimes you read The Big Book or other recovery literature that you've read before and you have one of those moments when you think, "How long has this been in here?" I'm having one now.

We learn about gratitude and about humility in our very earliest days. I remember the old tough-guy speakers in my early recovery in Baltimore, Maryland who would say to anyone who whined about life being hard, "You need to make a gratitude list and start with, 'I am not on fire." Yeah. Every now and then I had to do that. But we got it: be grateful.

And humility, we kind of understand that we are supposed to be humble and speak about ourselves in a humble way, and yes, we had all that confusion about humility and humiliation--very tough if you came from an abusive family, but we learned the difference.

But now I'm re-thinking how we "do" gratitude and humility. They are attitudes and habits ad they become that because--here's the new part: they are disciplines and practices. In the same way that yoga or meditation are a practice; we do them no matter what and no mater how we feel. We can practice gratitude and humility the same way.

In the way that Jack Kornfield teaches the practice of meditation using the analogy of training a puppy: we say to our mind--very gently--"Come back, sit, stay" and when it drifts again we pick t up, put it back on the paper, "Sit, stay." And again, gently, "Sit, stay." And again.... always gently...

Humility is a practice and a discipline. That's how the belief and attitude get inside us, grow in us and become us. Ahhhhh.

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