We Believe: 5. The Importance of Daily Personal Disciplines

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At Jaywalker Lodge, we believe that what we believe is exactly what sets us apart. To put that another way, our core values determine everything we do here. The core principles that motivate us personally and professionally every day inform every aspect of Jaywalker Lodge. We could tell you that we have a strong foundation rooted firmly in the 12-Step program of recovery because we do. But what’s more important to us is that you see our deep personal belief in the effectiveness and life-changing potential of the 12-Steps in every one of us, and everything we do. We could tell you that we have a strong, active community of recovering alumni around Jaywalker Lodge, and that makes us different. Because we do, and it does. But we also believe in intimate relationships and community as cornerstones of recovery and a good life, and we want you to experience for yourself the life that these beliefs have built.

Suffice it to say that what we believe in at Jaywalker Lodge is very important to us. Because we are so inspired by the 12-Steps, we’ve put down our core beliefs into 12 “What We Believe” statements, and we think it’s important to share them with you. We want you to know who we are. We also want you to know the values behind the things that make us different and the things that make us so successful at helping people begin life-long journeys in recovery.

So this month, “What We Believe” #5 states: We believe in the importance of daily personal disciplines: morning meditation, being on time for all commitments, appointments and groups, 12 Step meeting attendance, and a family-style, sit-down dinner. 

Defining Daily Personal Disciplines

The importance of daily personal disciplines isn’t about striving to check off the annoying but necessary tasks of life. It may look like that to some people, but that’s not the way we see it at Jaywalker Lodge. There’s a lot to be said about the goal-oriented efficiency and feedback from people who diligently make their beds every morning, but it isn’t about having an immaculate bed for its own sake. That’s just the surface level. What it’s really about is having a clean, nice place to lay our head at the end of a day spent trying our best to add something to the stream of life. It isn’t about petty task-mastering. The tasks we master have cumulative effects on our mental, physical, and emotional health, for better or worse. If we let the little things build-up, we can teeter on the brink of an easy breakdown. But if we do our best as each task arises, we strengthen ourselves against calamity. It’s about taking every opportunity — no matter how small or trivial it may seem — to bolster ourselves against the storms of life, to make ourselves happier, to be more effective at helping others, and doing so every chance we get.

The little things have to get done. So do the big things — and someone has to do them. That someone is us. In recovery, we are takers no longer. We accept help, but we give it, too. We don’t over-rely on people or take advantage of or avoid our responsibilities anymore. That got us into a heap of trouble if we take the time to remember correctly. So now we practice doing the opposite, doing better, and the best place to start is with the little things. We don’t have to do it alone or at all once, but we must make some kind of beginning, no matter how small. Practicing daily personal disciplines gives us a bedrock of self-reliability and accountability, and makes us more reliable for the people who need us.

Making the Most of Meditation

Morning meditation is new to many of us, but it is nothing new. For centuries, meditation has been practiced all over the world for its mental, physical, and emotional benefits. It can clear our minds and focus on us. It can ground us and heal us spiritually. It can even reduce pain in our bodies and boost our immune systems. Meditation is not extra credit — it is literally built into the 12-Steps. That means it’s important, even vital, to our recovery. Of course, this also means it can aid us in our recovery and keep our sobriety safe. Yet meditation has a profound positive impact on our lives, our entire beings, far beyond just helping us stay recovered. To see all that meditation can help with, you really need to pick up and keep a daily practice with it. Be patient, and be at peace.

Showing Respect for Your Recovery Family

Being on time for commitments and appointments and groups is something we hope will stay with you long after you leave Jaywalker Lodge — though that could be said for everything you learn here! Actually, we hope you never really go too far from Jaywalker Lodge. We love the recovery community that has grown up around us. That atmosphere of a recovery “family” is part of what inspires the second half of What We Believe #5. Being on time is a show of respect. It says that we care enough to show up, be on time, and be fully present. It’s an act of respect, and respect is a big part of love. And without love, well, nothing would be much of anything. Timeliness is an important practice, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the loving thing to do. We make an effort to show up on time for the things and the people that we care about.

Attendance at 12-Step meetings and the family-style, sit-down dinners isn’t an afterthought — far from it. Maybe your family outside of Jaywalker Lodge doesn’t have sit-down dinners. Maybe it’s a tradition you can start at home. Maybe it’s something you can keep up with in your recovery community. However you observe the tradition, it’s part of a full, happy life. Commitment to making the time to be present and enjoy healthy food with our loved ones is one of the simplest and most important joys of life. Time with the people we care about is a lot of what makes life good. And attendance at meetings? This one should go without saying, but it doesn’t. In recovery, we are as needed at meetings as we need to be at meetings.

The recovery community needs us as much as we need it. We need a place to go to be open, honest, tell others how we’re doing, and share our experiences, just like we need to hear other people’s experiences. The 12-Step program is a “we” program. We can’t do it without each other, and meetings are a huge part of staying active, involved, and connected. That’s not just what we believe — it’s what we’ve seen to be true and it’s what changed our lives.

Alcoholism and addiction are devastating diseases. If you are suffering from this deadly disease and want help, Jaywalker Lodge is here for you. You do not need to suffer alone any longer. We offer a solution that helps to facilitate the foundations of recovery — the necessary psychic change and the vital spiritual experience. At Jaywalker Lodge, we are big believers in laying the proper foundations. We focus on the little things that make huge differences, and we fully believe in the transformation that’s possible in recovery. We are believers because of the methods we employ worked for us. They literally saved our lives. Now we want to help all who are ready to begin the journey of recovery for themselves. We do things differently because we do what made the difference for us. Jaywalker Lodge is ready to help those who are willing to work the 12-Step program of recovery. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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