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An artist makes time alone to be creative. You can be alone. You are strong enough.

Paraphrased: James Taylor

I listened to an interview with James Taylor on TV last night. Mr. Taylor is a singer-song writer who has inspired many in my generation and those who have followed. He shared the story of his fame, his addictions, and his present sobriety. He explained that today, sobriety is a main focus of his life. He stated that his sobriety has made it possible for him to be present in the life he now experiences. He stated this with a humble pride. He spoke of his gifts as a parent, spouse and song writer. The statement above moved me deeply.

My sobriety was the first step in experiencing life in the present. The 12 Step Program took me to the place of my character defects, those inner demons that kept me moving toward my next opportunity to use. Peace began to settle in to my soul though I continued to want more. I was not sure just what I wanted more of, but I wanted more.

I began recovery when I turned 50. The first time I was alone for more than a few minutes was on a camping trip when I was 53. In reality, that experience meant that neither my wife nor children were with me. I really didn’t separate myself from the world around me. I was simply by myself while meeting other people who liked to camp and paddle their canoes.

In my reality, the thought time alone was a frightening thought to me. While I was physically sober, my mind was on constant alert. This mind set kept me in a perpetual state of fear. I knew what to stay away from, but I did not know where to go to be free. At that time, Yoga was a physical experience to me. I avoided the mindfulness and meditation aspects of Yoga off the mat. Today, I can agree with James Taylor that it takes strength to be truly alone.

Once I mustered the courage to investigate meditation, I was greatly relieved to know that I could start with experiencing meditation in minutes rather than hours or days. Whew! So I was willing to risk a few minutes a day. I did not feel particularly strong when I started. In reality I felt like I was cheating. However, God always gets me. Now I know that like any other skills in life, meditation requires practice. It requires that I start somewhere, even for a few minutes.

Today, I still don’t meditate for hours at a time. I do, however, meditate regularly. I do experience a growing strength and serenity. I am not writing number one hit songs. But I enjoy new talents that I did not know. I am able to practice mindfulness, calmness and serenity. I cherish the glimpses of grace. I enjoy the release from a mind of fear. I enjoy the journey of life. I encourage you to test your strength to learn of your creative nature. Namaste’

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