Physical and medical issues in A State of Grace Daily Meditations

The internet along with crime and medical TV programs has increasingly popularized scientific and medical information and terminology. The 2019 SLAA Conference-approved publication, A State of Grace – Daily Meditations contains more scientific and medical concepts and terms than in previous conference-approved literature.

This includes words and concepts like scientists, research, mirror neurons, oxytocin, dopamine, neuroplasticity, brain cells, implicit memory, neuron, amino acids, brain injury, junk food and self-care.

The emphasis on self-care throughout A State of Grace is not just about the emotional and spiritual, it is also clearly about the physical. The meditations were sourced from the fellowship.

The following quotes are all from A State of Grace – Daily Meditations © 2019 The Augustine Fellowship, S.L.A.A., Fellowship-Wide Services, Inc.s

Positive Thinking – January 27

Scientists have discovered special brain cells called mirror neurons that respond equally in action or in observance of another’s action. This means our very cells experience the world around us as if they are that world—one more reason why it’s important to surround ourselves with healthy images to build our bodies, our consciousness, and our future.

Autonomy – February 19

All I could do was cry and eat junk food until I found the next love interest or completely threw away my values and beliefs in order to win back the relationship. That self-defeating pattern continued into my thirties, until I got sober in SLAA.

Oxytocin – February 20

The research on oxytocin is very new at this time. We know that it is a chain of just nine amino acids long, but it has big effects. It speeds child delivery and results in milk production in mothers. It is hypothesized that increased oxytocin may create the state we associate with being loved, sexually stimulated, and socially bonded, while decreased oxytocin appears to lower our desire to socially interact or be emotionally expressive. There is even the possibility that oxytocin works outside the brain, speeding wound healing and reducing inflammation. ……
Today, I will seek healthy ways to find balance through exercise and fellowship.

HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired – April 3

Three meals a day, constant resentment inventories on every little detail, a meeting every day, and 8 hours of sleep no matter what. My sponsor was like a drill sergeant when I was in withdrawal. She knew the dangers of any one of these when we’re trying to stay sober. When I’m too deprived of food, I get lightheaded and my guard is down. Old feelings come in and it becomes about cravings for other past acting out behaviour. … When I’m tired, I get confused and my decisions aren’t rational. …I will practice self-care today and remember to stay out of H.A.L.T.

Strength – April 26

Instead of sticking my head in the sand, I engaged in self-care, went to the doctor and found out I needed surgery.

Implicit Memory – June 19

Meditation and prayer helped retrain my brain. Bringing my unconscious habits out in the open in my Fourth and Fifth Steps also helped. Fellows sometimes called me on my behaviour and though painful and often humiliating, this was useful in helping me change and become conscious.

Neuroplasticity – October 9

Neuroplasticity is a big word for the brain rewiring itself over a lifetime — it deletes the connections that are no longer necessary or useful and strengthens the ones that are. The brain decides this depending on life experiences and how recently connections have been used. Neurons can grow weak from underuse and die off. When we suffer trauma or injury, an uninjured part of the brain takes over for the damaged part. Depression and addiction makes my brain work too hard! When I practice self-care every day, my brain will start rewiring itself for healthy actions instead of addictive ones. …
I will practice self-care today, taking action to help my brain heal itself.

Euphoric Recall – November 15

I trained my brain to get out of euphoric recall as soon as possible.

Listening – December 25

I read an article that said talking about ourselves releases dopamine. Some people get addicted to this and talk too much. We need to learn the art of listening. … The article also said that we get bored after thirty seconds of listening to someone else. The boredom is a lack of dopamine. With sobriety, we learn to get appropriate amounts of dopamine from healthy activities, instead of being addicted to getting more at all costs.