Finding Your 5 Commitments

Years ago I read a book that Leo Babauta of ZenHabits wrote.

In it he urged readers to make a list of their 5 commitments.

Limiting the focus of your life to 5 things was appealing.

What saved me?

Art and Music and Fashion and Writing and Exercise.

These 5 things were and always will be integral for  enabling me to recover as fully as I have.

What are your Top 5 commitments?

Find what gives you joy and go do that.

I wouldn’t be so quick to be pessimistic and give up.

I wouldn’t be so quick to throw yourself a pity party.

I wouldn’t be so quick to be jealous or envious of another person or to compare yourself to them.

I think EVERYONE living on earth has good traits and God-given gifts.

None of us is any better than anyone else.

We each of us need to believe in ourselves first of all–to take pride in who we are not what we are able to do.

Not being able to hold a job doesn’t preclude a person from being able to do other things.

It goes back to the concept of woodshedding when you’re in a plateau and in a valley not on a peak.

I wrote about woodshedding in one of the first blog entries I posted here over three years ago. This is a term taken from the jazz world where musicians would go into a woodshed or other private space to practice their instrument until they could perfectly play the piece or had greatly improved.

That’s what the early years of recovery are often like: we could require solo time to rest and reflect so that we can heal.

I would say that hibernating in your apartment for years and years isn’t healthy. Yet going off to be by yourself when you need to rest and recuperate might help.

Practicing woodshedding when it could help you to do so is one tactic for making productive use of a plateau when you’re in a valley not on a peak.

Focusing on limiting yourself to 5 Commitments might also help you.

In the coming blog entry I will talk about another technique that I find useful in recovery.

Here’s a link to the ZenHabits blog.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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