My Daily Spiritual Practice

by Karl S.

As adapted from the AA Big Book, p. 85, “what [I] really have is a daily reprieve [from my sex addiction] contingent on the maintenance of [my] spiritual condition.”  I tend to my recovery the way I water my plants. My sobriety requires daily care. This has been my exploration, in case it is helpful to you.

First, I get up early enough before my work or social responsibilities to have time alone (and with my Higher Power.) There’s something about being conscious as the light awakens the day that makes me feel one with the world. I aim to be up 30 to 60 minutes before I need to head out for work or social engagements.

I first connect with God and myself. It helps me center, get grounded, so I can be fully present for others with less of the clutter of my own ego-based needs to get in the way.

I keep a journal in a regular place in my living room by my futon with a pen handy. I sit yoga style, prop myself up with pillows, and prepare to empty my brain. I jot down bits of dreams I remember, reflect on yesterday’s challenges, but mostly à la Julia Cameron, I let the flow from brain-to pen-to journal happen freestyle.  Allowing the thoughts to leave me, and go to God–Good Orderly Direction

I sit for a moment in silence after closing and putting away my journal, and listen for guidance.  I might get nothing, that’s OK. Then I recite the 3rd and 7th Step prayers, often on my knees. The recitation is usually calming. If I have time, I might pray for love, joy, health and peace–for my Mom, Dad, brother, co‐workers, friends–the key people in my life. I particularly add people toward whom I feel a burning resentment.

Then I do a series of yoga poses called the “sun salutations.” The ritual of rolling out the mat and doing the stretches awakens me, and gets me ready to face the day. Then I can open my door, to face the world, be kind and thoughtful, do God’s will for me, in service. I think of giving of myself, because I’ve filled my spiritual vessel.

I’m pretty active–enjoying running, biking, swimming and lifting weights. So hitting the gym or the pavement before the morning rush is also meditative for me.

Some days, I have a ½ hour for a spiritual meal, other times an hour or just 10 minutes. I fit in a mix of the above things that call to me the most. Occasionally I do part of my practice while walking to the train, or on the commute to work.

At night, I try to do some sort of ritual, even if it’s after porn and chocolate, to rest my brain and thoughts. I might do a quiet reflection on how the day went, or bookend with
an SCA buddy about a difficult moment. Often, I’m checking in with a sponsee. Then I turn off all electronics and the sound on my cell, and entering my de-cluttered bedroom, I
shut the curtain and turn off the lights. It’s time for HP to do work in my dreams.

Wisdom can come too from a sponsor, qualification, program buddy or share. I listen for that too. It turns out there’s tons of support to maintain my spiritual condition each day.

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