Drunk with Wonder

by Steve Ryals

How many times have you heard the truism that "every day, a new day dawns." Trite? Perhaps. Obvious? Certainly. But being trite and obvious make it no less valid. Each day's dawning gives us a fresh opportunity to seek a new path, yet most of us, most of the time, don't. I spent a great deal of time thinking about why we don't often explore the undiscovered country at the heart of every sunrise, and a few ideas have occurred to me.

If you really knew me, you'd know that for much of my life, especially between the ages of 16 to 51 (I just turned 58) I partied so thoroughly on New Year's Eve that the next day I was always hungover, sleeping in and missing the Rose Parade, having a late brunch while football droned incessantly in the background. In spite of my best intentions to keep my New Year's resolutions (which often included at least cutting back on my considerable alcohol consumption) I was usually having my first beer of the new year not long after brunch. But that was only after the last of the champagne, left over from New Year's toasts, had been finished off in giant mimosas.

In a "good" year, it might be a week or more after New Year's before I remembered that I had pledged to cut back on my drinking. By then, of course, it was too late. I just drank some more and forgot about it, at least on the surface. Deep down, though, I knew that I was not to be trusted, that I could not keep my word, even with myself.

And so the decades passed. When 2001 rolled around, nothing had really changed except that I was getting sicker from alcohol poisoning. I knew that my health, even my life, depended on me quitting, but I couldn't seem to stop. Then, in late February, I wound up in the emergency room, doubled over in agony with an acute case of gastritis. With my beloved JoAnn's help, I made it home and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning and thought about my situation. I realized that something deep inside had shifted. Starkly faced with the choice to keep drinking, and to keep getting sicker, or to jump off the cliff of my fears and forge a new life, I found that, much to my surprise, I was through with alcohol. Not on January 1, but on February 27. That was almost seven years ago, and I have not been tempted to start drinking again even once. I am so grateful that I chose life!

My point, dear ones, is simply this: any day can be New Year's Day. Even more, every day can be filled with fresh experiences and amazing opportunities to live in wonder. If it works for you to use the "official" New Year's Day to make positive changes in your life, wonderful! But please don't wait for New Year's to do it different. You are an incredibly precious child of the One Heart, truly worthy of every good thing that lies dreaming deep in your soul. Happy New Year! Now go out and make it the best year of your life, one new, exquisite, magical, wonder-filled day at a time.

Steve Ryals, author of Drunk with Wonder: Awakening to the God Within went from homeless and shooting drugs in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district at 17 to graduating from UC Berkeley on the Dean's List six years later.

Drunk with Wonder was written, edited and designed with almost no help from fossil fuels. Steve is proud to say that Drunk with Wonder is printed on 60# Thor Offset acid-free, recycled paper with soy-based ink.

Drunk with Wonder is the culmination of years of research and decades of personal experience.It's been hailed as where "Conversations with God meets What the Bleep Do we Know?"To learn more about this timely book go to:


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