Ta-Dah! List

December 30, 2010

My Ta-Dah! List

My Ta-Dah! List

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

Like a lot of us, I agonize over “To-Do” lists. Didn’t finish this, procrastinated that, interrupted on this, couldn’t afford to that, chickened out on this, overwhelmedoverworked… blah-blah-blah-de blah.

A friend pointed out that children don’t spend much time on To-Do lists. Instead, when they do something great, they stand up, stretch out their arms, and with a big grin shout: “Ta-Daaaaahhh!!”

And so, as we near the end of December, the end of 2010, even the end of the decade (one referred to as the “oughts,”) I offer a different list: My “Ta-Dah” list!

I hope in writing down what we DID do in 2010, we’ll each be pleasantly surprised by what we find. First thing I put on my list: that I made this list: “Ta-Daaaaahhh!!”

Happy New Year, and Happy Trails!

PS  The Happy Trudger wishes to express deep thanks for the hundreds of acknowledgments received this year. It’s a delight to be of service and connected to you in spirit.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (Caterpillar and Butterfly)

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of happy destiny”…

I’m feeling a little nuts today. I think it’s because I’ve been putting up with too much abuse, neglect and craziness from someone close to me, and for far too long. I’ve finally decided I can’t take any more: it’s time to break up.

It’s sad, but I feel like I have no choice: I’m breaking up with me.

I have a long history of breaking promises I made to me. I haven’t shown up for appointments I made with myself. I told myself all kinds of things about me that are not true. I’ve talked myself into saying and doing stuff that’s gotten me into trouble. I may not even have wanted to do it—but I allowed me to talk myself into it anyway.

This me that’s been running the show up to now is a genuine pain in the ass: self-seeking, dishonest and isolated. It’s foxy and clever (cunning, baffling and powerful, I’ve heard it said). It’s constantly on the move, like a shark, hunting and seeking consolation, escape, even oblivion. It doesn’t trust anything or anyone else—at least not enough to ask for help when I’ve needed it. This me seems to think I can do life on my own—even believes I’ve done most of it on my own up to now (which isn’t true). It’s a gossip, it’s critical, judgmental and even downright nasty. It whispers terrible things about me in my ear. It wants to convince me I’m not worth it, that I’ll never be any good.

Who needs friends like this? Hey—who needs enemies like this?

So how do I go about this breakup? According to this reading, it starts with just standing still…

“Through all of this we became, one day at a time, available to ourselves. By the simple act of “standing still,” we inaugurated a relationship with ourselves based on growing self-honesty, trust and intimacy. Now we knew that [our goal] was to lay the foundation for a personal wholeness. How this would translate into personal relationships or careers, we did not know. But what we did know was the the externals would eventually develop around this inner foundation of wholeness, and come to reflect our inner state. We were able to embrace this feeling of growing capacity for wholeness, and leave specific outcomes to God…”


I don’t have to take responsibility for changing my whole life. I don’t have to know how—or if—it’s all going to turn out. I just have engage in this process of change. I can stand still, one moment at a time. I can ask for help, one thought at a time, one decision at a time, one action at a time. That’s what will change my world view, my relationships, my circumstances, my entire life. That’s what will lead to a spiritual awakening. That’s what will lead to a new self, one that believes I’m worth it—every bit of it. The rest of life will wrap itself around my new self as I shed the old.

So, just for today, I’m grateful to be reminded: I don’t have to put with abuse or neglect, I can insist on being treated with love, generosity, and kindness—especially from me.

Happy trails!


July 2, 2009



Greetings, fellow trudgers “on the road of happy destiny”…

In the midst of a ten-round bout with isolation (and isolation was winning) I did some reading about affirmations today. I struggle to believe that they can be true for me, but I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter whether I truly believe them—it only matters that I’m willing to say them, whether in solutide, prayer, or with another.

Here’s what I read:*

“One cost of addiction and coaddiction is loss of faith in our abilities. We can learn to reprogram ourselves with positive, healthy messages. We can select from a list the affirmations that have meaning for us, or add some of our own. Each affirmation is written in the present—as if we are already accomplishing it. It may not be a reality for us today. We may need to “act as if.” It may be difficult, but we can think of it as planting a garden, with possibilities that will blossom into wonderful realities. We can put the list on the bathroom mirror and repeat them while we wash up. We can keep a copy in the car to repeat while driving. We can record these comforting words and listen to them when driving, during meals, at bedtime:

• Today I accept that the life I have known is over.

• I am entering a new and blessed phase of my time here.

• I accept pain as my teacher and problems as the key to a new existence for me.

• I seek guides in my life and understand that they may be different than I anticipate.

• I accept the messages surrounding me. Negativity is replaced with positive acceptance.

• I realize that I have had a hard life and that I deserve better.

• I let the Spirit melt the hardness of my heart.

• I comfort and nurture myself. As part of the surrender of my pride I will let others give to me as an act of faith in my value as a person.

• I appreciate that in the chaos of the now, my instinct and beliefs may work against me. My recovering friends help me sort out healthy instincts and beliefs from unhealthy ones.

• Time is transforming my loneliness into solitude, my suffering into meaning, and my relationships into intimacy.

• I do not blame or search for fault. It is not who, but how, and what happened.

• I commit to reality at all costs, knowing that is where I will find ultimate serenity.

• I accept that life is difficult and that leaning into the struggle adds to my balance.”

Happy trails.

Keep the faith.

* PS Reprinted from A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps, by Dr. Patrick Carnes