Oct 19

Finding Darkness Within Light…and Lightness Among the Dark…

img_2326finishing what i have started is sometimes an issue of mine…but, today i do my best in making that happen…whether it be work…play…family time…togetherness with friends…which is what i meant in bringing with me to the Men’s retreat last month…attending this twice before…once a couple years ago…and the first time in 2012…the mission is for intensive work of the 12 step program to continue sobriety…over the course of a couple days during the weekend…we band together to practice these principles…my hopes have always been in finding what i’ve missed…certain ideals, meanings and actions come forward…and i’ve always left with freedom from the bondage of self…it’s an amazing journey…something i look forward to every year, and hope to continue throughout my lifetime

i did happen to take a few quick notes from the speakers while there…one has caught my eye, and had me questioning it’s purpose…i don’t quite remember in what reference it is to…the word is orthodoxy, and next to it in parenthesis is the phrase “trick bag”…looking up this meaning, it is the “condition, quality or practice of conforming”…usually identified when relating to religion, this is still a term i haven’t been acquainted with…although, it fits exactly with how i’ve meant to practice this program, or live this way of life…as far as a bag of tricks, or whatever it was my note eluded to, i still haven’t the foggiest notion…i don’t see how conformity would be tricky…but, maybe it is in how a bag could be thrown at me, once put into a practice

inside our literature there is mention of this “great reality within”…something i’ve continued to search for on the daily…and occasionally there is found glimpse of the truth…or an instance of prophetic vision, if you will…it is hard to explain fully…but, there was an event during this weekend out in the wild with a sober group of guys that may lend an example of what i’m trying to say here…it has always taken an outside view for me to piece certain variables together…whenever i’m questioning propositions, or wondering upon thoughts, its usually another eye and mind to place reverence…rather than discarding it for meaningless, mindless garbage…i am able to find agreement with a separate party,,.this helps me in accepting what i’ve seen and perceived as value, or fact

img_2360an event started during my first attendance at this Men’s retreat was hiking…there are so many different trails to wander while out at this foundation camp…the water boiling from the head of this river running through the park comes from a spring, which leaves its temperature around sixty degrees year-round…this gives some of the guys excitement in taking a swim…my first year at this deal was jam packed with step-work, so the majority of my time during the day was in reading, listening, writing and talking…a group of us got together and made a pact for traveling up through the woods to a 400 foot cliff face that overlooks the campsite and hill country…it was quite a trip…doing this at night, we made sure to bring flashlights and stick together, unless we ended up lost…following a guided trail, we had to cross the river, leaving us soaking wet from the thigh down…regardless, it was an amazing journey…taking nearly an hour to reach the top left us lots of time to speak with each other…and staring at the stars under the absence of city light left us nearly speechless

after seeing how many men wanted a little free time at the facilities and spend extra effort to explore, the organizers of this weekend in the hills decided to change the schedule some…this allowed a few breaks along the weekend for guys to venture into town and check their phones…go fishing in the river (catch and release!)…or check out the trailheads (as long to make sure not surprising other visitors in their campsite)…this year provided a chance to make this trip up to the bluff during the daytime, which quite stoked me…making the trip twice before at night, this provided an entire new experience…grabbing up a collection of guys willing, we made the hike right after lunch…and how much different that was…seeing the surroundings along the trail brought out much an altered experience…i was able to encompass the landscape as a whole…feeling the pressure of heights and drops, looking from left to right, and up and down when taking steps across the dirt and rocks…every now and then was a break through the trees, which made it visible to witness exactly how far up we had climbed that far…it was thrilling, fascinating, beautiful and challenging, all at the same time

img_2327at night i was only able to picture clearly what was in front of me…most of my attention was kept in what the group of us guys were talking to each other about…and during this day trip, my eyes took up a good part of attention…this obviously brought our speech in seperate directions, at times…and out of the darkness we could see the Milky Way…it wasn’t easy finding the brightest star in the sky…they all just seemed to be of increasing/decreasing size, instead…and while the sun was up, we could see for miles…looking down at the river the water was so clear to see the bottom…other camps were clearly viewed…it was just awesome finding the differences, and having the chance of absorbing it all…similarities aren’t always the goodness from finding in others…sometimes it is the changes that fail in keeping us apart…i can greet and find and accept it all, no matter what happens…as long as i strive in pointing out positives, rather than gripping hard onto the negative…this was something i left that weekend with, and pray to never lose complete sight of…as long as i continue to share what i’m going through currently with other walkers of sober life, it is hope that never leaves

Oct 07


img_2329seven years ago, some men from my home group put together a weekend retreat…more like an intensive workshop for going through all 12 steps in a couple days…it started on a plot of land owned by a guy i’ve known since i’ve come in…unfortunately, he’s no longer with us…good news is, he did graduate from our program, and passed away clean and sober

last time i went on this thing i was in the middle of posting vlogs going over each individual step…you will be able to find these on the HMR website, if you go over the history…or, you can just find me on Youtube and subscribe there…not something i do often, but occasionally i like to greet readers in person, since i do not know the majority of you…this year was quite different for me…i brought the laptop along, but left it in the car…it meant so much, getting to spend that time in nature with a group of guys all after the same thing…a new way of life, rather than the way we had been living it…and that is the primary reason for me attending this deal…it’s not about getting away and forgetting everything i’m dealing with on the daily…rather than a vacation or get-a-way, this is a togetherness…we bond and discover what is truly blocking us…what i am missing…what i have overlooked…importance in continuing the path for which i do not want to pick up again…for elimination of using drugs and alcohol is just the start…a more vital affirmation is here before me, in my respectable abode, job and situationimg_2358

another big reason for me going on this retreat is getting to know new people…i do my best to associate with guys i haven’t met before..this year was awesome in that way, because i was able to give someone a ride…it’s about a 2-hour trip from my home to the campsite, so that gave us time getting to know one another…and, he is fairly new to Texas, so i made sure to take the back-road route…it’s much more scenic and less traffic that way…one highway follows along a river for several miles, crossing back and forth…all under trees in the shade…beautiful drive…we spoke to each other about numerous different things…what kind of music we listen to…what we do for a living…our family lives…what sobriety is about for us today…the meetings we go to…part of the stepwork focusing on currently…which set the atmosphere of the weekend for usimg_2333

the place itself is off the grid…even though electricity and water runs throughout the place, there is no internet or cell phone towers…no bars on the mobile…no wifi for web traffic…not exactly a primitive campsite…we actually stay in cabins with bunkbeds, restrooms and showers…there is a meeting hall with attached kitchen…all needed amenities are there…just bare essentials…we must bring bedding, food and other toiletries…i’m also a stickler for taking notes…however, this year i was so in tune with talking with other guys, i just couldn’t find time to jot things down…there were some speakers, which keyed in on ideals and principles sparking my attention…but, most of the needed time was spent in groups, which was awesome…at the end of the deal we all gathered around as a large group and had the discussion meeting, on what we found at the retreat helping solve our core issue for being there…an item that kept coming up, that has been close to my heart lately is fellowship…every morning we would get together before the sun rose to have a meditation meeting…the leader of this made it a point to have everyone sit close enough to one another so that their feet were touching…in this way, he expected the power of God to flow within and throughout us as a whole…this energy is effective not only in that circle we created, but during the entire weekend…because we all came for the same fundamental reason…and we worked side-by-side which creates conductiveness…the power from that eternal source is passed on from each of us, to the next still suffering addict/alcoholic…and i think it was best that we spent that time alone as a collective, away from the conflicts and confusion of the society we live in…it presented us a time and place for focusing on what is really troubling and keeping from cluing in on what the real problem is…us…as individualsimg_2357

something coming out to me in the past few weeks strongly is this vision of what’s going on…i have been bent on negativity, and seeing the wrong in others, or particular situation…my sponsor and i even went over these resentments as an inventory…the 5th step is pivotal in this process, for i need someone else with different seeing eyes to look at what continues to ail me…and ask questions directing attention to my part in it…in this manner, it becomes apparent that i can no longer look at how to correct others in mistakes made…when no longer “playing God”, this is out of my power and control…directing immersion to God’s will, i’m given the opportunity for looking at the issues with a totally different inspection…an absolute opposite perception…i realize that it is in how i’m seeing it all…i only have the resources to change myself…in this way, my attitude becomes more positive…what is it that i can do now to make myself feel better about this?…what is laid out before me, as far as tasks and duties?…how can i contribute, rather than doing my best to take away?…what do i have to offer with myself, other than expecting to be given from those i’m so angry at?…because that is what the 12-step way of life is about, anyway…destroying selfish, self-seeking motives, and turning attention toward those i can help





Sep 05

Cumulative Communication…

IMG_2178couldn’t help posting a photo of my home group’s half measures room with this blog…as you can see, there are no couches or chairs in here anymore…it’s not much of a socializing area…basically a hallway now…some people stand in here and talk between meetings, but it’s a brief “how you doing?” kind of a thing…or maybe just catching up after a meeting from what had been shared…mostly it’s a place to post organizational things going on locally…and even a board for more personal, individual things, like where I work…or i need a sober roommate…or i need help moving…i just saw the “Quiet Zone” sign and had to share it…goes right along with what’s been on my mind lately…i’m thinking this is to keep people down a notch while meetings are going on…it’s mostly in the coffee bar through that door on the right…i’ve heard people getting really loud in there about stuff while people are in the other rooms for a meeting…it can be pretty distracting

i’ve probably mentioned this before, in some other blogs…but, over the past few years i’ve been doing my best to listen in meetings…and that hasn’t been easy…i’ve never been one to physically hear the voice of God from the heavans…even in my morning meditation, devotionals and prayers…i’ve never heard His will directed to me in voice…occasionally i have read something that fits right along with what i’m going through…or a specific reminder of what to look forward to…or how i should really be treating people and working on life right now…and there have been other times where i’ve skipped directly over what i’ve been reading, and have to revisit it again, one more time…and that isn’t enough…so i ditch it all together…which is probably why i read from two books…prayers come the same way, sometimes…like the 3rd and 7th Step prayers…there have been times where those words just slip right off my tongue, without any meaning whatsoever…and there are other days where parts of the phrases come on strong…right where i need to be that day

IMG_2192my goal during that “moment of silence” at the beginning of meetings is to ask my Higher Power to remove my judgements of other people…how many times have i heard what someone has said, and took it south…like, “they are full of shit!”…or, “what does this have to do with sobriety?”…and even, “they aren’t alcoholic, what are they even doing here?!”…it’s mad…crazy…and today i truly want to hear what they are saying to the group…for, it’s been my experience that God speaks to me through other people…it’s one of the big reasons why meetings are so important to me…it’s not how i work the steps…it’s not totally how i stay sober…sobriety is a way of life for me, outside the rooms…however, it is in fellowship that i get to learn from others who have gone before me…or newbies struggling through what i have similarly

this is why i think my wife and sponsor have been encouraging me to share in meetings…trying to keep my mouth shut just isn’t enough…especially if i have a message to carry through the topic at hand…i’ve been doing my best to keep to merely blogging…but, even that isn’t enough…i’ve been better about being social on the internet lately…although, i’m still only blogging a couple times a month…there are times in meetings frequently, when i feel i have something to add, and i don’t…so, i’m doing my best to change that…and i’m only raising my hand to speak when there is meaningfully something to contribute…and it’s hard, at times…there are still things certain people say that i disagree with…so, i want to speak up and shoot them down…lol…and that’s not good…it’s cross-talk…and it’s still important to ask God to direct my thinking and speak through me with His words…i just want to be there for the next suffering addict/alcoholic…if what i say can reach one person in the room, my role in Unity has been fulfilled…it happens to me most times when i attend the group…whether it’s in the meeting itself, or outside that hour in my day…which is why it’s pertinent that i show up 15-30 minutes before and after…for half the time people who speak to me then have the ability to reachIMG_2200

leaving with this…i was talking to my kid the other day about skateboarding…told him that i knew he was a skateboarder, because he was doing what he could to learn things on his own…i have tried to mention tricks to him before, but he just wouldn’t listen…that’s when i knew he was true about this sport…because i have been the same…i do like to watch others skate at the parks we go to…and when i’m at home i enjoy watching videos of pro skaters…and it’s in the capture of how they pull tricks and land them that inspire me to do the same…and there are bad days and good days…i fall…and hurt…and slam…and bail…but, i always pick it back up again…so, i told my kid to never give it up…as long as we have a goal and learn something new each day, skateboarding will be part of our lives forever…which is much the same with sobriety…each day is new…so i take what i can and watch others to learn new things and acclimate them into my life…hard times…pink clouds…life can be different with each step…it is in how i communicate progress and failure with others…and i don’t expect them to do it for me…it is my responsibility to watch, listen and share what i’ve learned to people in the fellowship who have like-minds and actions…i musn’t take one over the other…i cant tell people of what i am not practicing anymore…and i am unable to only hear things without doing the deal…faith without works is dead, is it not?




Aug 27

Smallest Goodness Brings End to Biggest Issues…

click the links below for copies of books and listen to Top Hat Kenney online radio with HMR…661667b4d6e768d24fad9d7dc5b59eecIMG_2144get_file


Aug 09

Seeing from Hearing…Feeling from Doing…Being from Healing…

hole in groundnot much for reading stories in the back of our books…mostly concerned covering instructions on the steps and recovery from my disease…i’m much rather into going to speaker meetings for listening to ‘what it was like…what happened…and what it’s like now”…although, part of a back book story was read to me recently that meant a lot…just a few sentences, but really touched a part of my sobriety that hasn’t before in our literature…talking about how things start making more sense to us as we keep clean…living this new way of life through use of our 12 step program…reminds me of the spiritual awakening idea…creating that dark hole in my life from using and drinking affected all areas…my family…my friends…my job…my education…my place in society…and it also scarred a section even closer…a part kept in secret from others…something only i ever thought about and shared with…coming into sobriety with help through the steps created an experience of this spiritual variety…and it wasn’t easy, because this was something never willing to expose…but getting and keeping clean meant taking a closer look at this portion in living…for it took a deep puncture when getting loaded all the timegod shelter question

my attitude sucks…i’ve been falling apart from, rather than being a part of…fundamental facets of my life has shown great importance in me the past few years…so, mostly family, home life and work have been in the forefront…however, being an addict/alcoholic in recovery means involving oneself with others of the same genre…we will never be able to walk this fight alone…no matter how much stepwork, reading and prayer i do on my own…i must turn to others with similar problems for help and contribution…it’s a big part of my life that has been missing…eating away at my livelihood, i’ve recently found


the other night, i went to the meeting before the meeting…afterward, i stayed for the meeting after…yet, i barely spoke with anyone…not being at the group regularly for awhile now, it put me in a place of outsiderness…and fellowship is so vital to getting and staying sober…getting to know people…forming friendships with bonds of relation…knowing who to go to when certain problems arise…sponsorship is necessary too, but the ties that bind us must follow in every group we walk into…because we are like one another and have walked in each other’s shoes…i’ve never been able collecting much from doctor’s who have been educated in the field of addiction…even from those that love me and know me most, couldn’t help much, because they hadn’t been where i’ve been…this is why 12 step work has been the strongest advocate for my lifelong issue with dope and booze…it is a hands-on approach from those it has worked on before

someone called me the other day when i was laying down for bed…a guy i used to sponsor who has moved out of state…he’s been through a lot over the years…first person i’ve ever gone out on a 12 step call for…he’s never really liked being in the program, but this is where i met him…we talked and got to know each other first…we like the same things…skateboarding…heavy metal music…video games…we got a long right away, and he would constantly talk his bouts with alcoholism…and i became his go-to guy when it involved sobriety, particularly when times where rough

spiritual awakening contact

this is what caught my eye in the beginning…the fellowship was the “last house on the block” for me…when i couldn’t find anywhere else to turn to…after burning every bridge i tried to cross…my only last resort was to turn towards that with real answers…i had to remove the “cotton from my ears and put it in my mouth”…this is what getting the message is all about…listening…paying attention…and following through with suggestion…i end up absorbing what is useful through this kind of treatment…and i acclimate them to my current affairs…i cannot live a life and fit those roles so important to me without filling sober shoes first…without sobriety i would not have a family…without recovery i haven’t a chance with furthering my career…unless i continue work on keeping clean, my perception and mindset will persist in negativity…it is in this type of awakening that growth is possible…opening my eyes new things will come to what i’ve mostly been looking at all along…just in a new light

godly touches


Aug 02

Taken From What’s Been Carried Away…

give me thatpriorities have been in the forefront of my mind…from time to time they may change…for better or worse…i’m always doing what i can to keep certain things primary…lately scheduling has become an big issue…work and family have come first…how can i best meet needs?…what is expected of me?…at home and on the job?…how can i fit in the time needed to meet these expectations?…how am i to arrange activities included in my role as a father, husband, employee?…i do what i can…make plans each day…trying my best for accomplishment in areas requiring my attention…and most days it is successful, thank God

however, i’ve felt something missing in my life…a big part…and it’s been trouble fitting it in to my regiment…i’ve met lots of people in sobriety…some have stuck around a long time…others come and go…and i’m not the greatest at making contact…in and out of the rooms, only certain people are recognizable on a constant basis…and it’s good seeing new faces…but, also sad when others have been forgotten about, and wondered on…fellowship is important…a fundamental part at keeping with a like-minded people who are doing what is necessary to stay sober…it’s a lot like family…we stick together, especially when times are rough…it is a specific modality of 12 step recovery

one individual i’ve met through Steel on Steel has kept up with me, mostly through text messaging…he’s asked me to hit him up when planning on making meetings…which i did last Friday, asking him where to go…he invited me to a group i haven’t been to in awhile…a lot of people i know go there…but, it’s just not my favorite place…not hearing much from the literature…mostly people with double-digit sobriety…but, i went to meet up with some of these folks i hadn’t seen in a while…and my sponsor caught up with me at the front door…after asking me how things were, i went on…complaining about my work situation…telling him i felt i deserved better…that my intentions of switching careers through college education have not been met…then immediately, i shook my hand out in the air…looking at the others around me, i realized my attitude had gone sour…i told him this just wasn’t the place for me to be speaking so negatively…he laughed and nodded his head up and down

giving back

positive outcomes are the fruits of a spiritual nature…it shouldn’t matter what is going on currently…as long as i know what has to be done and put my best foot forward, i know all will be taken care of…i’m really in a good place…my needs, and the ones i love, are being met…it is in how i look at things…it is so easy when expecting so much, then seeing so little…i have to be repeatedly reminded about it…which is why it’s fundamentally important to remain honest with others i trust…for i cannot rely upon my own reasoning to get me by in the rough spots…i just haven’t the power to walk through, especially when it’s mud that i’ve created

you know, i never want to drink again…i don’t want to get high…and it’s hard to explain this…but, i’m just bent on handing it overattending Beginners meetings…it’s where i hear the message when i first came to the rooms…i’m reminded of what it was like when i had nowhere else to turn to…tools used for getting and staying sober are brought up in the discussion…i get to listen from those who are having a tough time at getting this thing we call recovery…and it’s my chance to show others how it works for me…i never want to lose those feelings…and i want to be able to listen to those kind of shares…it’s what i use that Moment of Silence for at the start in the group…i ask my Higher Power to remove my judgements of other people…to help me hear His message through those telling their stories…for that is the only way i’ve ever heard His voice…from the people carrying HIs message with descriptions of their path through the steps

once handed those keys to future sobriety, it is in my best interest to give them away…it’s the only option i have to keep what has been given…sobriety begins with acceptance and understanding…and it continues with perseverance…practice…and residual guidance…none of us have complete answers to all problems…however, we know directions in which to lead people…therefore, once i’ve reached that better place, it is pivotal for me find ways to be of service…i don’t like sharing in meetings much…for the past few years i’ve been mostly about listening…i want to hear what others have to say about their plight…at times i am compelled to contribute…but, it’s best for me to reach out on a personal basis…if i find others with troubles similar to mine…this is usually a good sign for me to reach my hand out to try and help…it’s what had been done for me…and it’s why 12 step fellowships have meant so much…we are not different from other people…but, we are much the same as one another…which is what keeps us coming back…and i have to do my part to expect a prominent reward


Jul 29

Internested in it’s Bloggyness…

click the photo below to view a copy of mentioned blog book…


Jul 21

video collective of blogged absorption…

Jul 14

‘Notes’ from the Half Measures Room

took me awhile…but i finally finished getting the first collection of blogs for sale in book form…only a few bucks will be made from each purchase, which will go back to HMR…the plan is to start online radio meetings again…this is the first couple years of blogs made…there is enough to make a couple more books, which is what i want to do next…this is available in softcover, hardcover and ebook…my personal copy should be sent to me within the next week…i will post a vlog showing what it looks like in person, to peak your possible interest in picking up a copy


click on the image below which links you to the site for getting a book…


Jun 16

All 12 Steps Lead to One Door…

IMG_1893purpose…there is a reason we all exist today…it shouldn’t matter what we see, feel, think, want, hear or believe…it rests upon that in front of us presently…the reality of it…and the Steps move us forward into purposefulness…so much kept me from moving ahead when i was out using and getting high…i did very little, even though all i thought about was myself…must have meant i didn’t care much, which was clear to other people…within my selfishness i wouldn’t even care about myself…being loaded was mostly about changing my current state of being…avoiding actual events, hoping they would come to pass and i would never have to revisit them again…doing that avoided me seeing things as they really were…and then it got worse…i would use to satisfy physical cravings…my body called out for refreshment…the mind lost whatever control it thought it had, and the body took over

therefore the only reason i found for living was to stay high…sobriety was boring to me…it caused nothing but IMG_1896problems, especially after coming for a need to get loaded…mental control was taken over by a physical ailment…i became an addict, unable to change what had been created…selfishness turned quickly into selflessness…no longer did i care for myself only…i became bent on treating sickness the only way working so far…and death wasn’t a hard option…i never expected to live past my 20’s anyway…caring for anything slipped away…doing absolutely everything i could find to stay high was my only solution…right or wrong…bad or good…nothing mattered to me anymore…this was the last straw…a spiritual sickness

recently i finally got to read a book by Aldous Huxley…an author that has always intrigued me, by his constant referrals to the human psyche and religious beliefs…he mentions many things in the essay i finished looking over…a lot has been hard for me to absorb…one phrase that has stuck with me is talk about the “Door in the Wall”…this is described as a place man will go in which he “will never be quite the same as the man who went out”…i find this to be true in what turns people into addicts…as well as those who eventually recover into the new sober life

things always seem to change, the more we search out results…we may try and try again, yet never discover a true meaning…for experienced, trusting servants looking for real answers this usually highlights the wrong path…and new choices are decided to be made, in order to go another way…others, who mostly likely have ulterior motives inside, binge deeper…they go by any means imaginable to find what they want…and once success finally comes their way, it’s just cause for more of the same…once is never enough to continue re-feeling completion of that original desire…so they take more, and more often…uselessness is what the outsider views…and the user refuses to look at it that way…because the cause has taken over…no longer is the person in control

IMG_1892principles behind each step in the program provide a purpose in maintaining sobriety to stay alive…as i continue to work them in all aspects, there comes a usefulness to my existence…this is something i had failed to see before finding a need to be clean…there lies product of new light shining upon working ideals, rather than sinful seeking…after walking through this new way of life, i began thinking of myself again…the more i practiced the principles, my thoughts and feelings became positive…my attention then moved towards others, and how i could better meet their needs…helping them with the difficulties experienced i could be witness to

in this way, most of what comes into my life now can be seen exactly as it is…no longer do they appear as simple objects…material is less of a requirement or necessity today…i have the opportunity to look into everything, discovering the needs for their usage…how they fit into life tools to assist myself and everyone else walks us through what is stumbled upon presently…we have never found the Power to do this alone…we must have something greater than ourselves, wealth, drugs, or alcohol for that achievement…God has always been there for us, whether we have been obvious to it, or not…His presence enables us to see what we’ve been hiding from our own eyes, mind and heart…this change never comes from within…it is found all around us…outside of our own intentional (or non-intentional) substance of collection


Older posts «