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Welcome Change quote

Welcome Change

Dee Harris

   I feel change coming.  I feel it in my gut, intuition, spirit.  You know what I mean?  Like something’s happening but I’m unable to put my finger on it.

   I’m excited for it; whatever it is.  Today I wake up excited for whatever the day has in store for me.  Lately, it’s been a lot of business stuff, like accounting and inventories, taxes and websites, closing out the month and closing out the year.

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   Since I restarted my business full-time in 2013 I have spent 80-90% of my time on business stuff.  Not the fun, creative stuff.  No, the business/computer stuff.

   When I had my own stained glass business back in the ’70’s and ’80’s we had no computers or internet.  I did a lot of craft fairs and trade shows and travelled heaps.  Years later I burned out from my robot-like state of mass producing similar items and yearning to be a creative.  I decided to take a month off which turned into years, marriage, family and a “real” job.

   Fast-forward to being an entrepreneur in today’s fast-paced world.  Social media is a full-time job.  There is so much to learn regarding SEO, algorithms, conversions and a lot of other uninteresting terminology like that.  However, I’ve learned so much; the most important lesson, I don’t want to do this anymore.  I just want to create art that is meaningful to me that I can be proud of.  And I want to carry a message of positivity and hope, self-love and self-worth.

   So what does that mean?  What does that entail?  What is meaningful to me?  What makes me proud?

   Back-track to 2013 when I quit my “real” job of 20 years that had the weekly paycheck, union backing, pension and health benefits.  Why did I feel I had to leave?

   At that time I recently had a relapse back into my disease of alcoholism but, more so, back into my disease of thinking.  When I first got sober back in ’98 I was the poster child of AA.  I did everything that was suggested, one day at a time.  Having gone through a 28-day treatment program for alcoholism, I learned about the disease.  Working the 4th Step of AA taught me about my way of thinking and how it didn’t serve me…didn’t serve my highest good.

   I changed for the better, but, one day at a time, I attended fewer and fewer AA meetings.  I stopped hanging out with like-minded fellows and, most importantly, I stopped giving back what was so freely given me when I needed it most.  Sadly, I had forgotten how freeing it was to live a spiritual life from my heart and my head and ego took over once again, one day at a time.

   13-1/2 years later when offered that drink, I took it.  Immediately the disease yelled out for MORE!  Thus, ended my sobriety but couldn’t take back the time of being clean and sober nor what I had learned about alcoholism.   

   So this was a gift from my Higher Power to get back right-sized.  To remember that unless I give it away I can’t keep it.  To always be there for the newcomer and remember that the newcomer is there to help me remember how f*cked up this disease is…ALL those dis-eases we have with our thinking, with living in negativity, with being hopeless.

   Following that relapse I made it back into the rooms of AA.  My purpose in life was solidified, confirmed, that I was to share my experience, strength and hope with others…ALL others, but especially those suffering from the disease of alcoholism.  I know today that I’ve been chosen to be sober and to share this gift.

   When I got sober again I plunged back into doing stained glass.  It was always so therapeutic to me and I found that its healing didn’t go away after decades of abandonment.  I focused mainly on making stained glass recovery symbols…a beveled triangle in a stained glass circle with “Unity…Service…Recovery” engraved on the triangle.

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   While still working at my “real job” I started an online shop and started learning about web-based business.  I sold my art at local markets.  I was hooked because that’s what alcoholics do; they get hooked.  I found myself head-over-heels involved in AA and working on my business.  My attitude got sucky at my “real” job.  I can tell you now, that it wasn’t my job, but it was me and my lack of a full surrender to my Higher Power.  Rather than get fired after 20 years of service with the company, I chose to take an early retirement.

  That move gave me the ability to go full-force in my business and, more importantly,  full-force in my recovery, respecting this disease like I respect the ocean; I shall not fear it, but I shall not turn my back on it either.  And that feeling of purpose intensifies daily.  My connection with my Higher Power of My Own Understanding fills me with gratitude, humility, and freedom from my thoughts.  I like to write so I became the editor for our local AA monthly newsletter.  When that service position was over, I took on my current position of Public Information Chairperson for our local area…which is where this story started.

   Yes, I feel there is a change coming my way.  I feel it every time I stand before a DUI class to share my experience, strength and hope.  It’s like a high for me.  I love speaking to the classes so much that I started attending Toastmasters so I can learn to speak more effectively.  Hopefully I can carry the message of recovery into schools, businesses and other facilities that feel a “need”.  I just started The Artist’s Way, a course in discovering and recovering your creative self.  I’m stoked to be on this spiritual path to higher creativity!

   I don’t know where my journey will take me.  I don’t need to know anymore.  No expectations, no disappointments.  Go with the flow and stay in the moment.  Keep connected with my Higher Power and stay right-sized, grateful and humble.  Don’t turn my back on the ocean nor my disease.  And give away my gift of life in recovery.

   I would love to hear about your journey and I encourage any feedback.  Please know that you are not alone on trudging (going in grace) the road of happy destiny.  Know there is no need for guilt nor shame you may have put on your shoulders.  You’ve done your best and that’s all you should ask of yourself.  Love yourself for who you are, right now, and be thankful for all your gifts, those assets so many of us wish we had.

   With warmest aloha, Dee Harris