“Serenity!” If you have ever attended a committee meeting within the anonymous fellowships you’ve heard it shouted (ironically) from the back of the room. Certainly, if you’ve attended any 12-Step meeting, then you’ve heard the prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. What a tall order! How does anyone maintain that type of peace all day, every day? That is exactly why we asked our Alumni from Stepping Stone Recovery Center to get real answers regarding serenity, straight from the source. Ami Brantley, currently an Alumni Coordinator and Recovery Coach at Lakeview Health shares her tips with us for how she does it every single day.
Recipe by Ami Brantley, Stepping Stone Alumnae Serves 7 (years in sobriety) You will need:
- Multiple pieces of Spiritual wellness
- 3-5 12-step meetings a week
- 1 sponsor
- 5 network calls (more as desired for flavor)
- 1 big bag of coping skills (choose as many as you like, i.e. breathe, go for a walk, call someone, gratitude journal, work out, bike ride, color, draw, paint, dance, sing, garden, hug-it-out, etc.)
- Several points of accountability
- Various acts of service
- 1 physical responsibility to self
- 1 sense of balance
- Big ration of a sense of humor
Prepare each day by:
- Applying a piece of spiritual wellness, paste your knees onto the floor and pray (may substitute with equal parts meditation).
- Portion daily responsibilities by shaking up coping skills (deep breathing and grounding) over any stress that may rise.
- Apply willingness to reach out to your sponsor daily. *Chef Ami’s Tip: I like to call or text mine and arrange time to meet with her in person.
- When meeting with your sponsor remember to separate feelings from facts and try not to simmer in your resentments or your serenity may be burned.
- IF resentments reach a full boil, reduce heat and coat with coping skills. Garnish with a minimum of 5 network calls through the day to even out the outlook on the situation.
- Reheat desire for sobriety by reading literature and completing step work.
- Season with sense of humor; you must be able to laugh at yourself in order to prevent from getting burnt to a crisp. Apply rule #62 “Don’t take yourself too damn seriously.”
- Whisk in prayer and mix in spiritual guidance throughout process as needed.
- Blend accountability into your 12 step meetings (3 – 5 weekly). Pour self into the mix and serve others. Set aside time for self to keep from overcooking. * Chef Ami’s Tip: My palate calls for coloring, reading, being outside, and riding dirt bikes.
- Weigh sense of balance and spread equal parts of work, home, family, friends, recovery, and physical health evenly over your life. * Chef Ami’s Tip: You may enhance physical health by stirring in awareness of your body’s needs such as diet, exercise, and rest. Always use fresh ideas and creative actions when setting goals.
- Sift through anxiety and obstacles with coping skills (taking a walk, reaching out to fellows, reflecting on gratitude) and set the results (experience) aside to share with others later as desired to taste. Combine ingredients and wrap in a support network of family, friends, and fellowship. Reap the benefits of recovery and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
- This recipe is sure to fill you with hope, self-worth, and confidence. Serve promptly and distribute experience strength and hope liberally to the newcomer and they are assured to keep coming back for more!