Peace a Day at a Time: 365 Meditations for Wisdom and Serenity

Peace a Day at a Time: 365 Meditations for Wisdom and Serenity

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by Karen Casey
     
 

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Karen Casey's daily meditation books have guided millions through their recovery and daily lives. She has written eloquently about almost every facet of recovery and how to live a sober, balanced life by trying to live in the present, one day at a time. In this new collection Casey offers meditations for the next step in recovery: developing serenity in order to live

Overview

Karen Casey's daily meditation books have guided millions through their recovery and daily lives. She has written eloquently about almost every facet of recovery and how to live a sober, balanced life by trying to live in the present, one day at a time. In this new collection Casey offers meditations for the next step in recovery: developing serenity in order to live a happier, more peaceful life. Drawn from her most popular meditation books, Peace a Day at a Time offers a classic meditation-a-day: an opening quote, a brief essay, and a takeaway message--for every day of the year. This powerful set of daily reminders on how to stay centered and find inner peace features a companion index with key theme words to reference any issue you are struggling with. Meditations include: Paying attention and listening to your inner voice; Avoiding drama and letting go of blame; How to stop living from crisis to crisis; Coping with fear, sorrow, anger, and pain; Embracing change; Practicing kindness, joy, hope, and acceptance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609253714
Publisher:
Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

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Read an Excerpt

peace a day at a time

365 meditations for wisdom and serenity


By Karen Casey

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2011 Karen Casey
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60925-371-4



CHAPTER 1

January 1

Helping Others

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.

—George Eliot


Always seeing our struggles as the fault of others is a good indication that we need an attitude adjustment. There is no better place to get one than in this program of recovery. The women around us and the Steps that guide us can help us discover the joy of cultivating a new attitude.

Trying to determine the grand purpose of our lives can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. As alcoholics, we gravitate toward complicating the simple. That's why one of our slogans is "Keep it simple." We can apply this to all our relationships. Asking ourselves what we can do to help someone else, at every opportunity, defines our purpose in life quite clearly. Moment by moment, we'll never doubt what to do next.


* * *

My purpose is to help someone else today. If I think someone is causing me a problem, perhaps I should address my attitude.

—from A Woman's Spirit


January 2

Being a Student

... that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.

—Doris Lessing


As we are changed by our experiences, that which we know also changes. Our experiences foster growth and enlightenment, and all awarenesses give way to new understandings. We are forever students of life blessed with particular issues designed only for us. There is joy in knowing that learning has no end and that each day offers us a chance to move closer to becoming the persons we are meant to be.

To understand something more deeply requires that we be open to the ideas of others, willing to part with our present opinions. The program offers us many opportunities to trade in the understandings we've outgrown. Throughout our recovery we have discovered new interpretations of old ideas. And we will continue to expand our understanding.

Every situation, every person, every feeling, every idea has a slightly different hue each time we encounter it. The wonder of this is that life is forever enriched, forever fresh.


* * *

Each moment offers me a chance to know better who I am and to understand more fully the real contribution that is mine to make in this life. I will let the anticipation of my changing ideas excite me.

—from Each Day a New Beginning


January 3

Unique Journey

Live and let live is good advice.


The more comfortable we are with the knowledge that each of us has a unique journey to make, a specific purpose to fulfill, the easier it is to let other people live their own lives. When family members are in trouble with alcohol or other drugs, it's terribly difficult to let them have their own journey. Because we love them, we feel compelled to help them get clean and sober. In reality, all we can do is pray for their safety and well-being. Their recovery is up to them and their Higher Power.

For some of us it's a leap of faith to believe there really is a Divine plan of which we are all a part. And perhaps it's not even necessary to believe. But we'll find the hours of every day gentler if we accept that a Higher Power is watching over all of us.

Being able to let others live and learn their own lessons is one of our lessons. The more we master it, the more peaceful we'll be.


* * *

I have enough to do just living my life today. I can let others do what they must.

—from A Life of My Own


January 4

Connections with Others

Life is not what you did. It's what you are doing.

—Jim Burns


Today awaits our attention and involvement. We can sit and merely ponder the possibilities for action, thinking away the entire day. We could get involved in a volunteer effort; we always said we would when time allowed. We could reorganize the basement, the kitchen, the garage. Our lives allow for spontaneous pursuits now. Or we can keep our focus small, taking each hour as it comes and reaching out to at least one other person in every sixty-minute span of time, doing nothing major, simply expressing our aliveness.

Maybe it's a phone call that keeps us connected to the human community. Or perhaps it's writing a long overdue letter. Offering a hello and a smile to a neighbor or a fellow shopper quite specifically strengthens our connection to the human community. It's not what we do that's so important. Rather, it's making at least one human contact with another living soul that will benefit all of our lives today.


* * *

Being too busy to let others know how much they matter to me isn't a problem any longer. Every day offers me opportunities to connect with others.

—from Keepers of the Wisdom


January 5

Divine Plan

We are exactly where we need to be right now.


It's good to be reminded that we are where we need to be, particularly if we're prone to think we are missing out on some opportunity or fearful that we aren't making significant progress in our careers or other areas. When we doubt that we're doing enough in any regard, this principle helps us quiet down and ready ourselves to peacefully do the right thing. It will always surface.

It's comforting to realize there are no accidents, no coincidences happening in our lives. What we need to experience, to learn, to teach, in order to complete our journey home, will spring forth when the timing is perfect. We'll never have to search in vain for our next assignment. It will capture our attention.

There is never a need for lamentations. If we haven't fulfilled some task to our satisfaction, we can redo it. Now. If we haven't treated a companion or coworker respectfully, we can make amends. Now. There isn't anything complicated about how to move through this day or these activities. We simply need to walk with the Holy Spirit and we'll get to our destination on time.


* * *

There are no mistakes in what comes my way today. How I respond depends on who I ask to help me see the circumstances.

—from Daily Meditations for Practicing the Course


January 6

Opportunities

Each day is a "workshop." Let's remember to keep our minds and hearts open so we won't miss our opportunities.

—Dudley Martineau


Looking at every day as a workshop for more productive or rewarding living eases the dread of new or unfamiliar circumstances. Developing the belief that we will be given exactly what we need to learn will change how we meet every twenty-four hours.

Before recovery we expected life to be hard. Our jobs often felt like drudgery. Our families seldom gave us the affirmation we longed for. Friends were unavailable. What we felt we deserved and sought, we often didn't find. That was then. This is now.

It's a simple change in perspective to come to believe that we are given what we need from our jobs, our families, our friends, every day. Accepting this belief will influence the outcome of every experience. Our lives will never seem the same.


* * *

I paid my dues for today's workshop by becoming abstinent. What I learn is up to me.

—from A Woman's Spirit


January 7

Behavior

Of course, fortune has its part in human affairs, but conduct is really much more important.

—Jeanne Detourbey


It's not infrequent that we are faced with a dilemma; what is the best action to take in a certain situation? We can be guided, rightly, in every situation if we but turn inward and let our conscience direct our behavior. We have often heard it said at meetings that when we long for a message from God we will hear it, either through our conscience or in the words of our friends. Thus we can never really be in doubt; our conduct can always be above reproach if we but listen.

Right behavior leads to fortunate opportunities for those who look for them. Behavior that we're proud of seems to attract blessings in our lives. One's good fortune is really God-given and in proportion to one's willingness to act well toward others in all situations.

Simply, what goes around, comes around. Our behavior comes back to us, manyfold. In our encounters with others today, we'll have numerous occasions to decide about the best behavior for the particular circumstance. We must not forget that our behavior elicits the responses we receive.


* * *

I will invite blessings today. I will also shower blessings on my friends.

—from Each Day a New Beginning


January 8

Decisions

No decision has to bind us forever.


Most of us are no longer sure what we want to be doing a year or even a month from now. When we are called upon to make decisions that commit us to a certain path in the future, we shudder. Will we be allowed to change our minds?

What a change this is from earlier years. Many of us led very controlled lives. We felt safest when we knew exactly what we were going to do. We liked it best when we were able to control others' lives too, even though we failed at that much of the time.

Although we may have responsibilities at work and at home, we are so much freer now. And we can decide, moment by moment, what we need to do for ourselves. At first it feels irresponsible, not being responsible for everyone, changing our minds when we need to. However, we will grow into this new way of living. And we'll love it!


* * *

My decisions today will be for this day only. I can change my mind tomorrow.

—from A Life of My Own


January 9

Responsible Action

Example is the lesson that all men can read.

—Gilbert West


Patterning our lives after others is familiar. Maybe as kids we emulated "toughies" or the teacher's pet. As we grew, the criteria changed, but we sought role models, nonetheless. The career we chose and the family relationships we developed may have been inspired by the example of another. Today may be no different. Seeing our friends and acquaintances pursue paths unlike our own gives us ideas to explore. How lucky we are that teaching is never done and learning is merely a decision.

The only thing that has actually changed is our age. The opportunities for growth continue to flow. Our purpose for being here remains the same. Our responsibility to ourselves never abates. It's comforting to count on these things. It makes our choices simpler.

There's always the right step to take, the right response to make, the right attitude to foster. But if ever we're in doubt, the impulse to forgive and to love will never be wrong.


* * *

My action today may be an important example for a friend. I pray to choose my steps and words wisely.

—from Keepers of the Wisdom


January 10

Expressing Love

Miracles result from a shift in our perceptions.


Every expression is either one of love or a cry for healing and help. Remembering this simplifies how we experience life. The most difficult of circumstances reveals a far simpler lesson than we might imagine when it is perceived through loving eyes and a forgiving heart.

But what of the abuse, physical or emotional, we may have suffered at the hands of parents or spouses? Can those experiences be forgotten, forgiven, or simply explained away? A Course in Miracles(r) teaches us that every unloving action is always a cry for healing and help. Regardless of its intensity, an act that hurts us is a cry for help that has grown out of fear.

Embracing this truth doesn't come easily at first. Maybe we can accept it in a few situations. A friend's put-down or the bus driver's rude remark can be overlooked. But the more serious circumstances require our willingness to suspend all judgment and offer only forgiveness instead. With time and practice this will become easier.


* * *

I will quietly think through an action before I take it today. I will ask myself, Is this action loving?

—from Daily Meditations for Practicing the Course


January 11

Loving Acceptance

The love, the acceptance of other persons makes me into the unique person I am meant to be.

—Peter G. Van Breemen, S.J.


Our destinies are fulfilled through our loving involvement with the men, women, and children sharing our experience. It is not by accident but by design that we've been drawn together to share goals, the workplace, or a home. We contribute to each other's search for understanding, and the spiritual quest that's at our center finds its resting place in one another's hearts.


* * *

The letter, the smile, or phone call we offer a fellow traveler today will bless our own faltering steps throughout the long hours ahead. Each time we focus our attention on the struggle or joy of someone else, our personal well-being is enhanced. If we give away our love, we'll doubt less that we, too, are loved.

—from Worthy of Love


January 12

Choices

Choices are not irrevocable.... They can be remade.

—Julie Riebe


Knowing that we can make choices about every circumstance in our lives fills us with awe at the breadth of our personal power. For decades, perhaps, we felt we had none. Life was bleak and we were at its mercy. How thrilled we are to understand, finally, where our power begins.

We are learning so much from this program. At times we wonder how we survived for so long on so little understanding. Our condition felt hopeless, and because we took no responsibility for changing our circumstances, nothing changed.

That's true no more. Every day we intentionally make choices about what's happening in our lives. Some choices, like changing a job or confronting a friend, are big. Others, like deciding whether to exercise today or tomorrow, are small. Large or small, our choices allow us to decide who we are, and none of our choices are without significance. That's exciting!


* * *

I will choose carefully today. If a change of mind is in my best interest, then I can change my mind.

—from A Woman's Spirit


January 13

Loving Others

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Into his nest again, I shall not live in vain.

—Emily Dickinson


The gift of attention to each other is "passing on" the love of God. In order to feel love, we have to give it away. We will know love when we give love.

Our attachment to the world, the sense of belonging most of us longed for the many years prior to recovery, awaits us, is showered upon us even as we reach out to someone else. We are no longer alone, scared, alienated when we let others know they are not alone. We can heal one another. The program opens the way for our healing.

Each day, each one of us can ease the pain of a friend, a co-worker, a child. The beauty of the program, the beauty of God's plan for us all, is that our own pain is relieved in the process of easing the pain of another. Love is the balm. Loving others makes our lives purposeful.


* * *

No day is lived in vain, if I but cherish someone else's presence.

—from Each Day a New Beginning


January 14

Let Go

Letting go is a decision.

The obsession to pressure other people to see things our way keeps us agitated. In contrast, the wisdom to understand that every person's view has validity, at least for that person, is a gift we receive from working the Twelve Steps. Our daily assignment, then, is to be patient and listen so that we may learn this lesson from women and men who have walked this path already, women and men who have come to understand that letting go of others and their addictons promises relief from the obsession that troubles each of us.

Look around. No one came to this particular juncture in the road because it was a hoped-for destination. Each of us ended up here because of our pain. All of us tried to force solutions that didn't fit. And we drove ourselves crazy trying to control the behavior of others, certain that "doing it our way" was not only reasonable, but right. Our past sometimes may appear to be a series of failures. But our present experience can be peaceful, hopeful, and successful. It's our decision to let go. A small decision that we can make many times today. Every day.


* * *

Let go are tiny words with huge rewards. If I want to, I can give up my attempts to control someone today. Peace will be my reward.

—from A Life of My Own


January 15

Kindness

As you grow older, try to grow kinder and more broad-minded and more generous.

—Alpha English


As we age, our athletic ability declines. Our memory fails us more often. We tire more quickly, too. And developing the enthusiasm to explore uncharted territories requires more effort than when we were young. However, in spite of these admitted shortcomings of old age, we are never too tired or too forgetful or too bored to be kind to our friends and fellow travelers. Indeed, this is one area that we can show marked improvement in as we advance in years.

Knowing that we can get better at some things is exciting. The good news is that we can practice these attributes as often as we want. Every encounter with another person gives us the chance we need to be kind. Being more open-minded to the opinions of others is also a decision. And maybe we can't be more generous financially, but we can always be more generous in spirit. That's of even greater value to the well-being of the human family. Growing old is growing better. We can see that now.


* * *

I will have many opportunities to hone my skills today. Each person I encounter will be the better for it.

—from Keepers of the Wisdom
(Continues...)


Excerpted from peace a day at a time by Karen Casey. Copyright © 2011 Karen Casey. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Karen Casey is a popular speaker at recovery and spirituality conferences throughout the country. She conducts Change Your Mind workshops nationally, based on her best selling Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow. She is the author of 19 books, including Each Day a New Beginning. She and her husband spend their time between Florida, Indiana, and Minnesota.

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Peace a Day at a Time: 365 Meditations for Wisdom and Serenity 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so inspiring and right on the mark! It's hard to believe someone is experiencing the same thing as you are!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LibbyCee More than 1 year ago
Although geared to those in recovery, the concepts presented daily fit into every life that is being well-lived!