Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's a spiritual journey....

Well, I have heard it said that this life is a spiritual journey in a physical body.
I'm sure you have heard that before as well.
Spirituality is a process of awareness and understanding that their is more than meets the eye
in this world. Something else is going on under the surface.
I'm not here to preach, and I am not very religious, but I have a belief that everything happens for a reason and we are all connected by love.
We are going somewhere and this is just a small, small, window on the ride.
The journey begins within.
I learn to forgive myself. That I am not all bad nor all good.
I am a human being, with flaws and defects, and that is ok.
Their is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and when I learn to forgive myself,
I begin to forgive you. I start to see that you are just a human being as well.
You have flaws, you are not all bad, nor all good. You are doing the best with what you've got,
whether you realize it or not.
I start to accept myself. I am not perfect, inside or out.
I start to look in the mirror, literally. I used to hate mirrors, and hated what I saw.
I despised myself. I wasn't attractive enough, thin enough, didn't have the right nose or chin.
I also saw insecurity, humiliation, weakness.
We all deal or have dealt with these feelings. We are all the same.
Slowly over a period of time, I become more spiritually fit, I do the work, walk the walk.
I pray, I meditate, I take time to consider the world away from this world that I cannot see with my eyes. I begin to make good choices, help people, be responsible.
I look in the mirror and begin to be ok with what I see. Maybe I am not so bad.
Maybe I look ok. Maybe people see more than my looks, maybe they see something deeper.
I begin to have self acceptance - that I am who I am and maybe I like this person.
Slowly, I begin to like you. You are not so ugly either. I start to see a deeper you, their is more to you
than just your hair and your face. You have so much more to offer than your looks.
You are too are only human and we are here together.
I can honestly say, as corny as it may sound, I can look in the mirror today and smile.
I can smile at you. I can listen to you and realize you have something to say and I should listen to you. You are telling my story. We have so much in common.
We have the same feelings and insecurities. We have the same hopes and desires.
We are the same.
The spiritual life is just like the physical life in many ways - you get out of it what you put into it.
When I eat right, sleep right, exercise, I feel strong and confident in my physical body.
When I take time to acknowledge my spirituality, to pray and give thanks, to meditate and listen,
I begin to receive spiritual gifts: Patience, Kindness, Understanding, Forgiveness.
The physical life gets much easier.
I am not a guru of any kind, I am just a man trying to do my best and I fall short everyday.
But I am ok with that today. I know I am trying my best and I will try harder tomorrow.
I recognize that this physical life is such a spec in time, so minuscule, it will be gone so quickly,
and the spiritual life will live on forever, I need to make peace with my spirit while I can so I can try and enjoy who I am and who you are while we are here for these brief moments in this blue world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This too shall pass

We have all heard this phrase over and over throughout life..."this too shall pass"
Often it is uttered by a loved one or close confidant when we are struggling through a tough time in life.
In recovery, as in life, you learn a number of slogans and sayings and phrases that are there to remind us of the reality of life.
We have lost a family member and this too shall pass. The pain and anguish of a broken heart and this too shall pass.
All of this being true. Time heals all wounds. When we think we cannot live any longer because of this pain, we continue to live another day and slowly over a period of time, we move on.
Well, I have no pain today, thank God!
I'm not suffering or healing in anyway. I'm very happy and thankful and had a great nights rest. All of my kids are doing well and my wife is happy (which means I get to be happy).
So as I take in a good morning and drink some coffee, I am reminded in my readings that.......this too shall pass!
Joking aside, it's true. We always use these sayings to comfort in times of need but they apply always. This is a huge part of the spiritual principle of acceptance. Life is not all good nor all bad. People are not all good or all bad and experiences are the same.
As much as I am really feeling good this morning, it's not going to last forever. Something will arise in the near future that will take this peace away.
I'll get caught up in something that might hurt my feelings or make me angry or make me sad and this happy relaxed state will be long gone!
Now, that is just the truth, like it or not.
And I am ok with that. I realize that today, that life changes and I have learned to "roll with the punches".
The best part in this beautiful realization is that I never get TOO angry or TOO sad over the upcoming shifts in my happiness. Life is not the crazy roller coaster it once was for me.
It's all kind down the middle and pretty even. I also have learned to really enjoy these moments in time when the world is at ease for me. Take it all in because it won't last forever. I don't anguish myself with what painful experience is around the corner, I truly appreciate my happiness and give thanks for the comfort in time.
These are the times when I pray and meditate. I get ready for what life will throw at me next. "Good times bad times, we've all had our share"
Life is moving forward whether I like it or not. It's on a path in time and when I can become in sync with the world around me, physically and more important spiritually, it's much easier to be here on planet Earth.
I realize today that this too shall pass.
This entire life will pass right before my eyes. What seems like forever will be gone in an instant and I better make the most of my time while I am still here.
Peace, Love, Zito

God Bless the victims and families in Boston. It hurts my heart.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Patience is a pain in the.....

So,  I reach out to someone, my wife, my manager, a friend and they don't answer their phone right away.......should be no big deal, right?
I've learned the principle of "Patience" in many ways over the years and in the big picture I have really embraced this idea of letting go of my feelings and attachment to the outcome of life and trusting that it will all work out.......wait for it comes.....  BUT,

When it comes to these little day to day interactions, once again I am at a loss.
Subconsciously I must be thinking, Where are they? Why aren't they answering? Don't they like me?
Don't they realize I have something very important to tell them? Why aren't they just sitting there waiting for me to contact them?

This is of course just one example of my impatience.
When I get in traffic, wait in a long line at the store, can't get the Internet to log on, when I have to listen to you finish your sentence so I can get to saying mine (that's one of my favorites).....
The list goes on and on.
Obviously this is a little part of all of our lives, addict or not. We are human and impatience is part of the human condition. Patience is a virtue, a spiritual principle, it must be practiced in order to be obtained and even then I cannot live in the clouds, I have to come back to Earth with the rest of you and probably will need to continue to practice this life long process.

Like I said before, in the big picture I have really learned to embrace Patience.
I realized early in recovery that getting my life together and back on track was going to take time and consistency. I didn't become an addict over night, so it would take time to change my way of thinking.
It would also take time for those around me to begin to believe in me again.
I had let them down so many times, they were shell shocked. I had said I was sorry 1000 times, only to break their hearts again and again. My point here is, I accepted this form of patience.
I realize over time, in the big picture, everything will work out.
It always does, and usually much quicker and easier when I stay out of it all together.

Once again, it's the small, day to day life experiences that are what I need to continue to work on.
I remind myself to slow down and relax a little. Whats the hurry?
Also, if I take the time to look at these little snafu's as wonderful spiritual exorcises, I can say thank you for giving me a chance to "Practice" the principle of Patience.
When I get impatient with my kids, my wife or my friends, I have to stop and remember that these
are human beings just like myself- give them a break and give yourself a break.
It's ok to not get everything done today - what would I do tomorrow?
Am I just in a hurry to get life over with and die already? :)
In the end, prayer and meditation always saves the day.
I read my literature a little, say a prayer and let it all go.
In God's time, not mine.
Peace, Love, Zito

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This amazing turn of events....

Recovery cannot be described better than an amazing turn of events.
When I surrendered and became willing, everything in my life lined up properly and gave way. I would need to write a book to share with you the thousands of coincidences that have occurred in the past 10 years all relating to my journey in recovery.
The best part is that they still happen today and I am witness to them all.
I am a firm believer that my higher power never keeps anything from me, I keep it from myself and when I am ready, willing and able, anything is possible.
This is not so much an amazing coincidence just a fantastic little story that I was told last night. I am currently on tour with the Royal Southern Brotherhood in Australia. We performed last night at the Byron Bay Blues Feat on the Gold Coast. This alone is pretty damn incredible! After our show we went to a booth for an autograph session. After we had signed for everyone a photographer approached me and asked if he could tell me a story. He said he had taken his first trip to the US in the summer of 2002. He had been around the Midwest and eventually ended up in Columbia, Mo.
He got on a Greyhound Bus and headed through Saint Louis and then down south. He said he met me at the Greyhound Bus Station. I had a guitar in one hand and small bag if clothes in the other. He told me I looked a little lost and wasn't sure where I was going.
He pulled out a copy of my America's Most Wanted cd and said I gave it to him. Of course I don't remember any of this. He said we talked for quite awhile about American music and the blues.
He said I was very kind to him and that meeting me was one of the highlights of his US journey. He said he often wondered what may have happened to me until this year when he saw my name listed as a performer at the Byron Bay Blues Fest. He lives in Brisbane and was going to be here to photograph the festival.
I was really stunned and blown away.
I immediately grabbed a copy of my Greyhound cd and handed it to him.
We talked for a bit and I told him what happened after our meeting at the bus station and how it all eventually worked out. His name is Lucky.
It's almost like meeting someone who met you in another life. I was so curious. I can barely remember that fateful trip, just the basic facts.
All I remember is that I was so down and out and thought I should do everyone a favor and just leave.
I stole a friends acoustic guitar, my fathers credit card and bought a one way ticket down south.
I was happy to know when he informed me that I was kind and friendly.
This may not mean much to you and in the big scheme of things is just a little anecdote, but it meant the world to me.
It also reminds me that this is a REALLY small world we live in and everything we say and do counts!
When we are young we may not understand that every action has a consequence, good or bad.
That over time the events in our life shape us into the adults we will become. Our choices help define our character as well as the consequences of our choices.
At the time, that runaway trip was the most painful time in my life, today it is my saving grace. I had a lot to learn and the school of hard knocks was right for me. I have never learned much when everything is going great.
Today I can use my painful past as part of my experience, strength and hope to remind myself and others that I never have to feel that way again.
Thanks Lucky.....