In the 12-Step programs we’re encouraged to develop a routine of little rituals that begin our day in a recovery-oriented way and set the tone for the hours to follow. Many people meditate, perhaps after reading a bit of program literature. Some of us have an exercise routine that goes along with it. Others sit and think about their plans for the day, make notes in a journal, and then consider the best way to apply their program to the day’s progress.
There is no best way to do these things, but it is vitally important that we do something of the sort. Getting up and immediately plunging into the chaos of daily life can be daunting. A period of calm and consideration beforehand can make the difference between a serene approach and the hit-or-miss fumbling that is characteristic of the “old me.”
For the past few days I’ve been checking out a recovery app called “Today’s Step.” It’s available for both iPhone and Android, and is an interesting approach to say the least.
I like that they refer to the suggested activities as “practice,” rather than “working the program.” I have always thought that recovery is just that: practice in the sense of “The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories….” We can sit around talking about our program for a long time, but if we don’t do anything about it we’re like the guy leaning on his shovel in the shade, telling everyone about how someday he’ll own the company.
The practice laid out in Today’s Step is easy to accomplish and deceptively simple. There is a theme for each day — “persistence,” for example — along with suggested ways to put it into practice. A daily video guides simple exercises based on Qigong, a gentle Chinese system of moving meditation, to stretch muscles and get the blood flowing. There are stories of people in recovery, and users are encouraged to submit their own. I read a couple. They’re pretty good. Just about any addict could relate. Keep an eye out for mine.
You can skip around in the app and check out past quotes, etc. There is even a system of rewards for completing various numbers of days practice, similar to the chips and key tags familiar to us all. The free demo has limited material, but is enough to get a feeling for the practice. The paid version (a great big four bucks!) has additional features. I plan to purchase it for my Droid as soon as I get finished writing this.
Here’s the developer’s list of features (paid version):
• Daily motivational quotations
• Weekly themes and actions
• Easy-to-follow exercise videos to promote health
• Audio guided meditations
• Share with a friend
• Favorites and previous history
• See additional quotations with “Skip Around”
• Inspirational success stories from the recovery community
• Virtual rewards for progress milestones
Verdict: Five stars from the old timer.