But really when I think about it, God can't stop the evil in the world. He must have been present. I'm still alive, fairly normal, and not mentally insane. He protected my spirit, kept me whole, and led me to recovery. God had to have been there protecting me and my psyche. Spirituality for me is different from going to church. For me, spirituality is finding God in the everyday world around me: in nature, in the breath of wind, in my dog's smile. I look to God when I get cut off in traffic and say, Oh well, God must not want me to get there now. Drinking water is the easiest way to hydrate our bodies. Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables is also a great way to keep hydrated. When the brain detects that we lack water, it activates our thirst mechanism. If we don't quench our thirst, not only does our urine become dark in color, but our stools also become hard, and we become constipated. Without fluids, some people feel faint and lightheaded. Others get headaches. With persistent dehydration, the kidneys start failing. People can develop palpitations (heart flutters), which resolve with fluid intake. We use hydration to maintain blood pressure. A dehydrated body is a stressed body, and stress is a major source of disease. Pen and paper will do, but I suggest grabbing a big whiteboard. Write out everything you currently do with your time.

What takes up your time on a weekly basis? Then, after writing everything out on a paper pad or marker board, begin to block out your time on a calendar. For now, put on a calendar what you're currently doing. I like Google calendar (calendar. Paper still works well too. You can print off a week-long calendar and fill in the blanks. This only works well if you prioritize your daily planning time. When will you sit down, eliminate all distractions, and think about nothing else except planning your day? And I used to have road rage! Obviously, I had a lot of anger, and the only place I felt safe getting it out was raging at other faceless, nameless drivers around me. I have learned to pray about anything and everything, to seek God's guidance, and, more importantly, to thank God for my life. Most partners I work with, such as Jacque, come to find acceptance and peace in their lives as they embrace a God or a Higher Power. Some women exercise faith in a Higher Being through their religious practice or at their house of worship; Before recovery, my spiritual life was about a God out there whom I had to please in order to be loved--a lot like my relationship with my parents. Since recovery, I've learned about other spiritual practices, especially Zen Buddhism. I meditate several times a day, I trust my inner guidance, and I am learning to let my husband and kids trust theirs. I look for the sacred in everything, especially inside myself and in others. My ingrained religious practices just weren't working; A healthy body can live for several weeks without food, but it cannot survive more than several days without water. Severe dehydration for an extended time can kill you.

Many people do not understand that coffee, sodas, juices, and many energy drinks have a dehydrating effect on the body and do not replenish our bodies. Sodas, tea, coffee, and juices are also not good options for hydration because they have so many other ingredients. The sugars in juice and caffeine in tea cause us to urinate without actually hydrating us. Most people simply do not consume enough water or foods with a high water content. Dehydration also can contribute to weight gain and obesity. People often confuse dehydration with hunger. Often, when we feel our stomachs rumbling, we reach for food when, in fact, we are simply thirsty and need to drink some water. People also choose to consume high-caloric drinks, such as sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks, instead of water, adding to weight gain. Don't get any to-do list items knocked out during this time. You simply think about when you will get to-do list items done during your day. Based on your daily planning time, BLOCK OUT the time slots in your calendar for when you will focus on activities in your day. This applies to EVERYTHING in your life. Hanging out with the family? Block it out. Practicing piano? Block it out. Reading a article? Block it out. My religion was more about having a formula; But it doesn't work that way.

It was in twelve-step programs that I learned spiritual principles, such as showing up, service, and unconditional love. In Al-Anon, I would show up and not talk. I couldn't talk because the pain was too great. I went for months and months. They welcomed me. They supported me. I felt the love. I had never in my life felt unconditional love. Our metabolisms will actually slow down when we are dehydrated, thus we will burn fewer calories, again raising the potential for weight gain. When you're hungry, try drinking a glass of water before you start eating something. People can confuse dehydration with hunger; Many of our clients are successful in changing their food choices, and they start losing unwanted weight. Drinking more water, especially before a meal, helps increase weight loss. Coffee, sodas, juices, and energy drinks have a dehydrating effect on the body. What percent of your daily liquid intake is actually water versus other beverages? Try tracking the number of glasses of water you drink in one day. Note: a glass holds almost two cups of water. Some experts believe you should drink eight cups (64 ounces) of water per day. Picking up the mail? Block it out.

Telling your wife you love her? Block it out. I'm serious. On top of blocking out time in your calendar, it would behoove you to also create your to-do list for each day. Having a written list of all your action items helps to free you from needing to remember every little thing. Plus, you'll add items to your plate throughout your day, or get it done tomorrow when you block out the time for it the next morning. You can also print off your calendar for the day, which will free you from even needing your phone. Our smartphones are proven, with study upon study, to be a pivotal force of distraction in our lives. What I was learning gave me a chance to live in the present--spirituality was freedom, a bigger plan that was not up to me to control. And I desperately needed something I wasn't trying to control. This spiritual path worked. There's a twelve-step saying, It works if you work it, and I just did my best to work it even when I was totally skeptical, which I was. My inner knowing is my best companion. I don't have to deny it, hide it, or explain it to be able to fit into any intellectual or religious group, as I did before. Today I think of addiction as a privileged journey of losses, pain, fear, and grieving to teach me to let go of my attachments to outside persons and things, and to go into my soul in order to find my wholeness and my divine. It is the universal connection to everything and everybody. That is the gift. Sara was learning what Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul, says: Your soul is not a passive or theoretical entity that occupies a space in the vicinity of your chest cavity. People often ask about the optimal amount to drink, but no one really knows the answer. Some experts say we should drink eight cups of water per day.