Sweep, Sweep, Sweep


cleaning piece



I was on Lisa Neumann’s Sober Identity website yesterday and threw my hat in the ring to do her “I Want to Achieve” Achievements Board “challenge”.  I chose the above.  It’s a piece from the one and only Yoko Ono (I realize the double negative in her instructions…I have waived that off as artistic license). I have started on this today.  I have also included negative self-talk in this, which runs rampant at times, so while I can’t control my thoughts, I can certainly control my reactions to them.  So when I get flanked by self-pity, putting myself down, or comparing myself, I will retaliate with love.  Self-love and self-worth.

When it comes to others, I will practice the same.  Love and tolerance.  Patience. Compassion. Some of the many spiritual principles that I try to live by.

Will I succeed fully? And what does that look like? I can only hope to do my best, to be aware and breathe and quiet myself before reacting or speaking, but I am human, and old thinking patterns and habits still cling to me like burrs from the bushes.  But it’s about the process, and not the destination.  I trudge the road of happy destiny.

I will report in a few days time.

Thanks Yoko.



22 Comments Add yours

  1. risingwoman says:

    What a great challenge!! The best of luck to you 😉

    1. Oh man, I can tell you from the onset it’s not as easy as it looks! I am keeping a piece of paper with me to record the times I caught myself saying something negative and the times I caught myself *before* saying something negative. Be interesting to see how I “score” at the end! Thanks Michelle for the luck…I think I will need more than just luck!!


  2. “trudge the road of happy destiny.” One of my favorite lines from the Big Book! I threw my hat in the ring as well, only got as far as a “today” challenge, I’m trying to choose what I want to pledge as my “month” challenge… so much to choose from!

    1. Yes – I saw you took the brave and courageous step of being the first to jump in there. Wonderful and inspiring. If I didn’t see you there, I may have not joined…so thanks for giving me the impetus to do this!

      Good luck with your challenge – can’t wait to hear about it later on.


  3. I hope you are able to have more on your list of catching yourself before you say it than actually saying it! I should look into this… Very interesting!

    1. I thought of that too! I have my list right now…it’s getting quite long…lol. I also included some thoughts of negativity towards people…and oh my that is where the list lengthens. But I am catching myself changing thoughts and turning a negative view to a positive one.

      This is work…but it’s going to take practice.

      Great viewpoint!

      1. Faith without work is dead! Keep trudging!!

  4. Mrs D says:

    Oh nice… I like this a lot. I am going to adopt it too. xxx

    1. Try it Mrs. D…it’s tougher than it looks – I hope you’re more successful than I have been today 🙂

  5. I love this! It was quite a challenge for me. I have never realized how many negative thoughts I can have in a day! My challenge was to quit gossiping… Which included, hearing it or saying it or masking it with comments which may sound like they are compassionate but in fact are ment to boost my ego. I got this idea form step 6, pg 67- “Gossip barbed with our anger, a polite form of murder by character assassination, has its satisfactions for us, too. Here we are not trying to help those we criticize; we are trying to proclaim our own righ- teousness.” – I still need to work on this some more! And the negative self talk… Ugh that would be hard for me. I’d like to try that too! Thanks for sharing Paul! Such a great idea!

    1. I love that passage from the big book too…I never paid much attention to it until a few months ago when I realized that I gossiped more than I thought I did…as you did as well. I think you are right about saying something compassionate but really it’s an ego boost. That is what they talk about hiding a bad motive under a good motive. I was an expert in that in my drinking day.

      Thank you so much for the comments – wonderful stuff to chew on!


  6. good2begone says:

    I look forward to the updates! This sounds like quite the challenge.

    On a side note…I came across another guy sober blogger you might want to check out-


    1. Challenge…wow, is it ever. I am looking forward to the updates too…ha ha. May not be as spiritually uplifting as I made it out to be…yikes. And hey, thanks for the tip on the blog – it’s quite groovy!

  7. Al K Hall says:

    Reading the beginning of this, i thought it sounded like a good idea and not overly difficult as i’m not usually critical towards others. But then i read it included self – criticism and the difficulty level went up to 11. Definitely an area that could use some improvement in my life.

    1. Hi Al – yeah, it’s funny how it’s been working out so far – it’s not the self-criticism that I am getting nailed on, nor is it the verbalizing of negative things to others, but it’s the instant negative thoughts towards others, without verbalizing. Interesting.

      I drew the line at yelling at the dog. He doesn’t go on my list, no matter how many times he gets into the garbage!

      But yeah, self-critical thoughts can be the most vicious, can’t they?

  8. Lisa Neumann says:

    Paul, You’ve got us all on a mission, you and Yoko. I’ve already had a slip in criticizing myself, but I caught it and had a productive evening with some extra added affirmations. Thanks for the ping. You are a generous soul. You give much to many. Thank you for being a part of my life and my sobriety. with love, lisa

    1. Thanks Lisa – but you were the spark, the impetus for this, in your Achievement Board. I wouldn’t have thought of this if it weren’t for your blog. So thank you! And thank YOU for showing so many of us the way of recovery with dignity and self-respect.


  9. I am doing something pretty similar, I am trying to imagine that I have the superpower to feel what others feel, and then base my reactions on this. It can be exhausting, but really enlightening, if I just take the time to feel what they are feeling before and then imagine how they will feel after I speak.

    1. You are so right, karymay – it is tiring! To stop, pause, reflect, see it from their POV, put yourself in their shoes and base your reaction…takes a lot of effort. And that is part of what I am finding out doing this. I am hoping that this kind of thing can be “streamlined”, so that compassion and humility come as second nature. But it will take time, I am sure. I am so glad you stopped by with that great perspective – I will incorporate that more in my practice!

      Love and Light,

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