Daily Archives: March 29, 2015

Reflections on SisterGiant 2015 – Day 1

I was so excited about this conference. I had an idea that Marianne Williamson had a new idea about how we can change the conditions of the political scene in our country. Her opening remarks described us as corporately co-creating a new field of possibilities.

Really quick summary of day 1:

Dennis Kucinich — The man walks the talk. Our system is pretty broken. He said one of my favorite things of the day: (speaking of politicians) “People never say what they mean. The government is invested in obfuscation.” Then he mentioned how consistency in thought, word and deed is integrity.

It looks to me like integrity is the issue at every level, from the President, to Congress, to the police force, to citizens. 

Imagine what we could do if integrity became a huge topic of conversation, of action, and of education. 

Diane Randall was also speaking the truth in love. Her organization The Friends Corporation on National Legislation is a lobbying organization in the public interest which focuses on peace, and was founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Lynne Lyman and Lisa Bloom both spoke in the afternoon. From my point of view, they mostly just swam around in the problem, using many statistics which definitely defined the darkness and did little to claim the light.

Thom Hartmann — very knowledgeable about the history of how we came to this point of unfettered capitalism in which the corporations are no longer responsible to anyone except themselves and their shareholders. I’ll be looking into this guy’s podcasts and books.

Senator Bernie Sanders — maybe I was just tired, but this just sounded like a lot of political talk. The sidebar discussion was full of people wanting him to run for President, and telling us to hang on for solutions that will be presented tomorrow during the session. We shall see.

Overall, day one ended with me feeling like I had found a couple of very interesting new people to listen to (Kucinich, Hartmann) but that I had wandered into a group of people (sidebar) who hate republicans and everything about them. I still feel a little disturbed this morning from some of the comments by a very vocal few. My desire is to find common ground, but that still remains to be found.

My biggest take away yesterday came gradually as I realized my commitment to “Getting to Yes” (also the name of a book by Fisher/Ury) might just be something that is going to be impactful in a larger context than I have heretofore imagined.

I Have a Sponsor!

There are many types of sponsors. In today’s marketing-heavy world, sponsors are the companies who pay to support a program, sports events, conference, or workshop. Another type of sponsor is the sometimes life-changing ones available through 12-step programs. Guess which kind I have?

As I have walked alongside someone I love through their recovery journey, there have been many family events and educational sessions. All of those have been about helping the family/parents understand what the addict is experiencing, and timely topics such as enabling vs. supporting.

Along the way, a few times it has occurred to me that I have addictive tendencies as well. I find that my “drug of choice” is easily accessible, and just as hard for me to resist as is cocaine or heroin or alcohol to the users of those drugs. As a matter of fact, during a conversation several months ago, my dearly beloved addict told me that I was saying things about food that sounded just like the things addicts say about drugs and alcohol.

I try more and more to listen to the inner promptings I experience. There are plenty of times when I am just barely aware of them and plow over them and do what I want anyway. But, the times I act on those promptings are powerful.

Recently, I felt a prompting to ask my beloved addict if he would sponsor me. I recognize that he is still in the midst of his own recovery, and doesn’t have everything figured out. I see that he is young and still making his way into adulthood and maturity. But I also note that he has a sponsor, so he knows how it works. And I’m not expecting perfection, only perfect imperfection.

I started out by asking what a sponsor does, how does it work, what is their responsibility, what is the sponsee’s responsibility? And then I asked him if he would be my sponsor. He said yes! I could see there was some hesitation — after all, he is only partway through.

Our breakfast meeting turned into the first meeting between a sponsor and a sponsored person.

After our breakfast meeting, I was given an assignment. “Write a blog post expressing any new discoveries and thoughts or understandings about your belief system.”

Here it is.

People who use drugs or overdo it with alcohol are always at risk of being getting into legal difficulties. People like myself who “use” food or overdo it ALWAYS get in trouble with the “police’ in their own head. I NEVER escape being convicted, tried, and sentenced. Every single time I break my “law,” my internal police force comes down on me hard.

This is an ironic realization for me, because I am just about the least likely person I know to break any laws. I was accused of shoplifting back in my early 20’s, and every single person who knew me knew that the store had made a mistake (which they had and admitted to). And yet, here I am, breaking my own “laws” on a regular basis.

My other assignment this week is to tell my sponsor just one time when I am facing temptation, to realize that I can eat donuts every day for the rest of my life if I want, but to take one instance of temptation and contact my sponsor about that. I will do this.

I’m honestly surprised at the places we went in our discussion today as we talked. I wonder what will come of this for both of us!