In 1980 in Center City, Minnesota a tiny book was published by the undeniable leaders in addiction treatment, Hazelden, titled “Food for Thought… daily Meditations for overeaters”.  The author is anonymous and the wisdom is focused on recovering from food addiction.

My copy is 25 years old, I got it when I weighed in at over 300 pounds and I’ve read those daily meditations more times than the 120+ pounds I shed in the process.   It’s to the point now where I can finish the sentences.

I’ve been in long-term recovery now for longer than I struggled….  getting to the other side of that bridge gave me a clear and simple spiritual path to follow and regardless of where I wander spiritually, no matter what wisdom influences me, the 12 steps and those early days of rigorous practice are the foundation of everything I know.

It’s a benchmark set of principles that, for me, have undeniable benefit in my daily life… in fact, I’m certain I wouldn’t be alive without them.  I have never found any teaching, teacher or philosophy that teaches anything the 12-steps doesn’t. 

The only real difference is in the words people use so nowadays, I like to pull out my little book and re-write the meditations to have a universal appeal.happiness is

 ~ adapted by me from the original meditation for April 22nd meditation titled “happiness”

Happiness is rarely achieved by pursuing it.  

We unelightened people used to think that “stuff” could make us happy, but we found that it could not.  

Many of us tried many things.  When these also failed us, we may have decided that only another person could make us happy. Alas, we soon discovered that there are no perfect individuals, only ordinary people with faults like our own.  

So where does happiness fit in?  

At some point along the line, we abandon the frantic pursuit of an external object of happiness and being to work on ourselves.  As we go deepen a spiritual path, we become less focused on external “things” and more focused on what’s within us.  As we are able to concentrate more on the interior and less on the exterior, we find that periods of happiness come as a by-product.  Paradoxically, when happiness is no longer our goal, we have more of it.  

In you, there is joy.