Set aside a morning quiet time. This is probably the most crucial of the daily tools. It means getting up early enough each morning to sit down and consciously say to yourself, “This is my quiet time and a commitment to my recovery today.” Remember, if you take the action, the feelings will follow. Then—if you have any comfort with the idea of a higher power or God—say a prayer. Next, just be still for five minutes and try to clear your mind of worry, fear, or other thoughts. This will be difficult at first if you are new in treatment or are not accustomed to making time for silence and peace. At the end of this time, find a specific focus for the day. Recovery is an “inside job.” Look inside yourself and ask the question, “What’s my stuff?” Are you a caretaker, an attention seeker, a perfectionist, a controller, someone quick to anger, someone who is silent and lost, a comedian, a liar even when it would be easier to tell the truth, or someone who is immensely arrogant? Whatever your “stuff” is—and believe me, we all have it—choose one thing to work on today that will make a positive change in you and increase the likelihood of recovery. If you are a compulsive liar, then concentrate on honesty. If you are silent and lost, then speak up at least once today. If you follow these simple directions for quiet time in the first five to ten minutes of your day, you may start to notice a difference in yourself in only a matter of a few mornings. Learn to be in the moment. Recovery from addiction and life’s daily challenges begins with the fact that we all have times during certain days or whole days when we struggle emotionally. Even the person working a spiritually based, one-day-at-a-time recovery program is going to have days when he or she is filled with fear or resentment. In these times, what is most important is to get to bedtime that evening without drinking or using, and with as much serenity as possible. Being in the moment helps with this. If you can get involved in some activity for an hour or two, and during that time you “forget about” your fear or resentment, then that is a blessing and a valid tool of recovery. The activity may range from talking with a friend to playing cards, to working on business, to working out, to digging in the garden. It will be different for different people. This blog post is an excerpt from Finding a Purpose in the Pain – A Doctor’s Approach to Addiction Recovery and Healing – by James L. Fenley, Jr., MD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).