18 Months Sober: Finding True Self

Hello Friends today is 18 months sober, some time has past since my last blog post. In that time a lot of changes, growth, vacations and challenges have surfaced in my life, some amazing and some fearful. One thing remained the same. The want to stay clean and sober. Sobriety is the foundation to grow endless possibility. On November 11 2015 I turned thirty. I celebrated with family and loved ones. My twenties were filled with many beautiful lessons I will take into my thirty’s. In my thirties I will work towards a more balanced lifestyle in all aspect of my life, taking actions in facing my fears, working towards whatever my head can dream. Taking what I’ve learned in my twenties applying them in my thirties. I never thought I would make it to my thirties, but I now know its because of the higher power or ultimate creator, I will no longer take for granted this beautiful gift called life. Looking out the window knowing God created air for our lungs and our five senses to experience the beauty in life.

 

Everyday we experience something we will never experience again, you just have search and be open. Today I was driving and looked out a bumble in a window and at that moment a light shine through creating a beautiful pattern of colors, the minute I drove off it went away. Life is beautiful and moves quickly, slowing down allows our eyes to see the beauty in everything. Be inspired by the light shining in a cracked window to the dust floating in the light. 

 

One of my fears growing up has been a fear of flying so for my thirtieth Birthday I wanted to overcome this fear. For the first time I took my first plane ride. It felt incredible pushing past my fear. I even looked out the window as we landed bringing me to tears. The city lights glowing like a million stars in a galaxy.

 

 A while back I started finding the things I identify myself with. The “My’s” of life. When I say, “This is my home”, who is the one saying my home? That is “I” or the soul. The “my” and “I” should always be separated like two parallel lines that should never become one. They can work together throughout life but separating these two helps me find true self.

 

So I made a list of all the “my” in life.

 

My home and all the things in my home, my friends, and my family are all on the “My’” line. I can no longer identified myself with the “MY” of life. I am not my home or the stuff that surrounds me everyday. So I started to dive deeper in separating the “my” and the “I”. My past, my addiction, my situations, my current circumstances, and my experience’s are not “I”. They are here to teach me who “I” is but they don’t define me.

 

I don’t say I am past, I am ego, I am experience I say my past, my ego, my experience. The “I” is a soul having a human experience with the “MY”.

 

True Self is the ‘I” and is precisely what I am. Whatever remains after the separation of the “MY” is true Self. ‘I’ is the Real me. I am totally separate from everything that is mine. If I lost my home, a family member or friend, the “I” or true self remains whole.

 I am put on this earth to find true self and experience life with the human body. Striping myself from the “My” and “false self” becoming one with the “I” and soul.

 

Diving deeper, am I my emotions or feelings? I am not my emotions or feelings. Emotions are a beautiful thing that the body brings the soul to experience this thing called life but the soul or “I” controls the emotions and embrace’s them for exactly what they are.  Emotions are passing and will go away and the “I” or the soul is still left.

The I and soul are born pure and innocent, my natural state is joy and happiness

In my early stages of sobriety when I started striping away my false self. A fear of society came over me but I had to accept myself whole. What I like about myself, what I disliked about myself, everything in between. I had to be my own greatest fan and best friend. I also had to accept others for who they are without my own expectations or ego. My Relationships have improved with loved ones, friends and family. People who I lost due to my past addiction are coming back into my life. I no longer focus energy on what others think of me and focus my energy where it really counts: achieving my own personal growth and achieving dreams.

I am also becoming aware of my strengths and weakness. Building on my strengths, recognize my weakness and building that gap between the two. I believe connecting with my feelings and writing is strength but grammar can be a weakness so I work extra hours, or will eventually take creative writing class or hire an editor. Being aware of my weakness is a great gift to myself.

 

 I wore labels on my skin my whole life. I thought I was the label like an abused child, a drug addict and alcoholic, or my political stance, a writer, a friend. If I took away any of those labels do I become any less? No I don’t. If I lose my fingers and can no longer write. I am still whole inside. The “I” is still intact. I was in 3-year relationship that consumed my whole being. When we split up, I felt lost because I allowed my identity to become defined by “My” relationship. Those labels aren’t who I am. If I was a husband and got a divorced, I am no longer qualified as a husband and if I defined myself on that one label I would be lost when it gets taken away. The more labels I put on myself the more I bury my true self.

 

I use to thrive on the labels, a collection of pain. While in sobriety I came to find I am greater than any label. The labels and the “my” were ingrained in me by my past and parents. My mother is a catholic and so I grew up thinking I was going to be a catholic but as I got older I did not connect with those beliefs. Our parents have a huge part in burying our true self from what we are taught at an early age.

 

Letting go of the Ego is hard but is done in small sections like the tree in my stepmother yard. We can’t just lift it out of the ground and throw it away but instead we’ve been cutting off pieces at a time. The same approach is with letting go of the false beliefs that make up my ego. Detaching myself from individual thoughts that reinforce my ego. Letting go of beliefs, separating True self from false identity. I have spent years building my ego living inside my mind, and reinforcing it through my thoughts, feelings and actions. It will take a while to learn just like any subject in school or riding a bike for the first time.

 Important things to learn or worth doing takes time and practice.

I work six months out the year and have six months off, the work season has slowed down, so I can spend more time writing, blogging and working on the second draft of my book. I have some vacations in the works going back to my hometown of Palm Springs ca. Hope you all have a great Sober Thanksgivng. Sober is the new Black

crowns

 

darkness

 

each day

 

feel

 

GOLDPOEM

 

ODAAT

 

peace

 

sync

 

 

healing

 

 

SIA music is poetry that comes alive, bringing me inspiration. Bird Set Free is incredible.

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500 Days of sober: Alcohol is a Drug

Hello Friends today is 500 days of sober. This past month has been amazing, the longer I am sober the clearer life gets in making right decision even small decisions. I am finding my true self more and more everyday. Things I enjoy doing and things I don’t enjoy doing are being easy to spot. Having an addiction to Alcohol is different than any other substance because it’s legal; it’s at every dinner table, on signs and billboards. I cannot hide from alcohol, I just have to see past the alcohol. It’s at every family event. It is deemed acceptable from society. Alcohol is publicized in film, TV, music, artistry, and celebrities as something cool, fun and freeing without repercussions.

 

Young kids see this and the want starts. Kids hear, “I need a drink” after a hard day of work. “Lets celebrate with alcohol” or today was a shitty day so “lets party”.  Escaping through substance instead of finding a healthy positive way to spend their time. I started drinking at fifteen but it turned into a disorder in my twenties. There are many outlets that can help escape from the moment like creating art, writing or reading a book. Trying to master a hobby or skill. Putting all the dark feelings or pain inside us, into an art, turning them into gold. Find happiness in partying sober. Society needs to stop pushing the substance abuse agenda through the media. Alcohol is not fun or cool or freeing. It’s caging the youth from reaching their full potential, their talent, and their strength to deal with life adversity. Alcohol kills millions of people a year.

 

When I first got sober, I did not have balance in my life because I was focused and obsessed with my recovery program. Excluding everything else, stuff vanished because of my addiction like friends, my last relationship, and my drinking. Freeing up most of my time so all I did was work my program. I guess, early recovery isn’t so much about balance as much as it is maintaining sobriety. Now Balance is the most important action in my life. Balance is something I had to learn, when I was an active if I liked something whether in food or in shoes or drinking, I did it until I was sick or broke. Chasing outside happiness to fill the deep emptiness inside. Keeping balance in every aspect of my life, like work, writing, working out, healing, prayer and meditation. If I feel like I am getting burnt out than I change it up.

 

Balanced lifestyle helps  lessen obsession, which will lead to unhappiness as it did with my obsession with alcohol. Striving for balance gives my life mixture keeping life interesting. Balance helps protect me from relapse. The ability to respond with strength to instant gratifications. Doing different stuff keeps me open to new concepts, so I’m always learning.

Reducing my everyday stress by building up my body and mind in some down time or a power nap. Creating discipline is something I’m currently working on at the moment, I have to learn how to walk out of a store with one pair of shoes and not six pairs.

Pushing myself for personal growth can become an obsession as well so I have to take it easy some days and enjoy this new person that is here now in this moment. Slowing myself down helps keep my life in perspective. It’s not all about personal growth and achievement, all the time. Slowing down will allow me to reflect and enjoy the progress I have made.

 

Discipline is the foundation for a balanced Life.  Taking inventory on what needs to be worked on is something that needs to be done often or even daily. Maintaining awareness about myself takes discipline. Not everything I’m trying to achieve in personal growth is going to be fun. Some will be painful and cause tears.  There will  be some scary stuff on the path to personal growth. Pushing past fears like facing my parents help creates discipline.

Getting positive results from forgiving my parents is a sign of personal growth. Pushing myself to make small goals and achieve them in different areas of my life like eating better, going on a daily walk, or becoming more skilled in a talent. I am building the discipline that is necessary to work towards long-term growth in recovery, life and in dreams. The pursuit of a balanced lifestyle will help me grow in many new directions. Seeking balance in life and working towards all around growth will maintain success in my recovery as I evolve in different paths of my life.

 

Quitting an addiction is a source of strength and motivation for other areas of my life. The first months of recovery I thought things like “My liver will be better”, “I’m going be so much healthier”. That turned out to be an understatement.

 

Now my thoughts are “I am powerful beyond anything” I realized, I could set goals and achieve them. If I can over come addiction, imagine what else can be accomplish, if I take what I do in my program and use it in a talent or skill. I can use that powerful focus to accomplish nearly any goal that I choose. Getting sober awakened a fire within me. It gave me the positive inspiration that I needed to tackle some monumental challenges like writing my first novel that will be out in 2016. Sober is the New Black.

 

 

birth

 

gray skies

 

uncondtional love

 

 

a suffering addict

 

 

 

pieces

 

 

pursuit

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Connected with Love, Adolfo Vasquez

 

 

 

Sia new song called Alive is a such an inspirational song.

Day 470 Sober: Change

Hello friends today is day 470 sober, I’m in Palm Springs, CA my hometown. I had two months off of work but decided to take a trip back home before I get back in the studio for our new work season.

To want, or not to want was the theme song of my life. Most of my life I did not want what I had, like my body, debt, poor paying job and wanted things I did not have like the perfect lover, that dream job or lifestyle. I always felt discontent or that a part of me was missing.

I wanted my life to change, my circumstances, and the people in my life without making any effort or going out of my comfort zone. I wanted to have the same behavior and thoughts yet different results, a form of insanity. Contradictions caused suffering because I wanted change but change brought upon fear and doubt. So I stayed the same, and decided to live in discontent.

 

Change, Success or dreams and goals start with a step towards them. The belief that I am capable but that is just a fraction of what makes change happen. Success is preceded by hours and hours of practice. Spending a lot of time working on the talent, skill or what we want to change. In the beginning, my writing wasn’t good. I look back on my journals and was puzzled on why I believed I was capable of becoming a publish author. Yes I did well in English and loved literacy but my grammar and technique were bad.

 

The want to become a writer grew so I started spending six too ten hours a day writing. At first the vision in my head did not match what was on paper but by volume of work, hours of practice and working on the skill, it started to come together. Change takes work and practice. Practice in a sequence of steps. Trying time after time to master the craft. Trying to find my voice and when failed efforts arise, analyzing what went wrong so I could work on those failed attempts. I pay more attention in detail to what I am writing. It gets richer, vivid, clearer, and impossible not to come close to perfection or the vision in my head.

 

The reason I thought change was hard is because I wanted instant change. I never given enough discipline, focus and attention to what I wanted to change or understood why I thought and behaved as I did.

 

My weight throughout life goes up and down. I tried diet after diet, I would eat less and work out. At times, I would even force myself to skip a meal. I did not see the unhealthy relationship between food and I. My mind saw food as something bad or pleasure seeking, I would eat tons than feel guilty than starve myself. Till this day I still have Food issues. I have to change the way I see the food, as a source nutrients and energy. With getting healthy or any goal I have to pay close attention or the old behaviors will creep back in.

 

We all live in an environment, which is shaped by our behavior. The behavior is shaped by our capabilities, which are created by our beliefs, and values, which make up our identity. Everything that I do, the circumstance and situations that I put myself in is a reflection of who I think I am, my identity.

 If I’m unhappy I can change my surroundings but I wont be happy until I understand the deeper root that caused the unhappiness. If I don’t then I will become unhappy in the new environment. Even in the new environment I’ll keep doing the same behaviors that would cause my unhappiness becoming patterns throughout life turning them into cycles.

Cycles of unhappiness throughout my twenties were very common, feeling stuck, Useless and an active addict. Real, meaningful change only happens when something changes in the way I see myself or think of myself. Change doesn’t always have to be slow, painful and tedious. When I hit my rock bottom it happened instantly. For example a parent who finds out she is pregnant so she stops smoking that minute

 The type change that happened when I decided to stop drinking was emotionally powerful, it quickly brought me a clear vision on who my true self is and who my true self was not. It sharply put me eyes, mind, heart, soul in focus on finding out more about my true self. That thought of drinking was no longer the main want and the search for true self was the main want.

 

Most times than not the change I wanted wasn’t the type that shook me to the core. I couldn’t find that deeper understanding of why I became that person I no longer wanted to be. We all do small things that we would like to change like being more tolerant, or happier, or saying no more often but these are just the tip of the ice bergs. The rest is hidden underneath, they are bigger issues the eye’s can’t see.

 

Being aware of wanting to change is just the first step than taking the time to go really deep inside. Finding the behaviors and purpose of why we acted in the way we did and where it started. Deeper than we’ve ever gone before, the deeper we go the more we find. Through mediation, self-reflection or prayer, or just asking one self. If we don’t than it’s like pulling out a weed without getting the root, it will grow back, and in my addiction case it might even kill me.

 A lasting change is when a person identity changes. Everyone can spot what needs to be changed in his or her life. It’s harder to understand how and which beliefs and sense of identity needs to change. Many of us are self-aware and smart it’s just the way we see the world is often skewed.

 

If we are looking to help others, inspire others, and change others we have to first understand the beliefs of the people we are pursuing to change. Understanding and respecting how they see themselves and how they want to see themselves change. By helping them become their true self, it will be easier to effect change that they want rather than forcing them to do so, or with ego.

 

My behavior is an extension of the way I think of myself. To make a lasting and comfortable change I need to respect and acknowledge my identity before evolving. Once I start to change the behavior my surroundings will change. When introduced to new normal or way of living, the mind tends to seek out ways it will fail. The mind is are greatest ally and sometimes the greatest enemy, I just have to be aware which one is coming out in that moment. Changing to a new normal isn’t about being a right normal or wrong normal , good normal or bad normal. It’s more about if it works better for my life in the present moment. After losing a child you have to create a new normal, a normal that no parent should feel.

 

 If  it works better in my life, I’ll use it. If not, I don’t waste time and energy judging it, because it may be useful in later years. A new normal is determined by behavioral changes.  Often times we will fail and if we succeeded, there can be negative side effects, like losing some one we hold dear. The solution is to change our mental molds, which will change the way we see the world and ourselves in the world. Than change will rise organically out of us.

 

There is a mental voice or internal dialog that goes on in our heads at all times. An endless stream of thoughts from the moment we wake to the moment we go to sleep. The voice has been apart of our lives for so long. It sounds like us, knows what to say in every situation, that voice even has the same tone as our outer voice. That mental voice is what we use to create our lives. The mental Voice unknowingly builds our reality. Recognizing that the voice in our head is not us. Our mental voice often works against us and is highly dysfunctional. This is the voice that talks down to us, challenges our self-esteem and is the source that limits our infinite potential.

Our belief of how the world works is created by the mental voice. we have a belief on how to find love. Our beliefs isn’t who we are, it’s our perception of how the world works, built in our mind.

Once our beliefs become concrete in our mind than the universe gives evidence that this is in fact the way it is.

A habit of living in a self Centered Universe is very common. We interpret every situation in “What impact does it have on me? or why me” If we spend most of our time in a self centered Universe, it will bring more frustrations, pain, and suffering. The shift beginnings when knowing we are the captains of our perception. We can create a new normal without limits. If there something right now that concerns you, it was created by you. Acknowledging and understand this reality, every detail. Now find a new normal, one that works better than the present. Believe in that new normal. Start living those changes. Sometimes at first the evidence will say: it’s not working. Just remember your mind is not you. In time it will start working and celebrate that. Sober Is the new black

 

 

happy

 

spin

 

In my top ten songs of all time, this song is high on that list from Sam Cooke ” A change gonna come”

 

 

 

graditude

 

influence

 

 

galaxy

 

 

violence

 

 

i can

 

 

every

 

 

my love

 

 

addict

DAY 66 Sober: Creating Clear Boundaries

Hello friends today is day 66 sober and it’s been such an amazing day so far. I am currently sitting outside on a bench, it’s a warm but overall beautiful. After watching yesterday post on forgiveness. I felt a weight lift off my back from The wrongs I have done and the wrongs others have done to me. Not that those things are ok but accepting that those things had happen and just let them be. Not beat myself over it in the moment and not hoping or wishing that the past could have been done any different. Such a powerful video.

 

What I learn is I need to create clear boundaries with certain people in my life including my parents. I never really had boundaries for myself. I would let people do what they want to me whether its being bullied or in relationship. I’ve been cheated on and I allowed myself to allow him to hurt me. It all comes back to me, yes he cheated but I allowed it to go on so it’s really my fault know one else. Yes it hurt but pain is part of life , I choose how long i want to suffer. The more i write down these things the more i realize how many people in my life don’t really know the life i walked including vince. we never went in depth.  It feels god to let these out. 

 

Today I choose what kind of relationship I want to have with my parents if any. When I was a kid I didn’t have a choice but now that I am older I can create clear boundaries, so they cant hurt me or anyone for that matter. I was never thought self respect and boundaries at a young age, only until now do I understand what that means. I know I could never live with my parents again or be around them for longer periods of time. I know that the minute I find someone cheating on me I am out the door. One of my EXS back in the desert was very cold and treated me really bad and I stayed. All I wanted was to be love I didn’t care how bad he treated me. I am starting to write down my teen years and will post shortly. Sober is the New Black. I am grateful for creating boundaries, for love, and for you guys who take time to read my post.

 

Stay connect with love, Adolfo

 

Leela James cover of Sam cooke “A change is gonna come” is the soundtrack to my life. Its just breathtaking