Monday, 19 August 2019

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, by Arnold Bennett



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox - Sermon On The Mount PT1


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Daily Reflections


A FRAME OF REFERENCE

Referring to our list [inventory] again. Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened?

-ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 67
There is a wonderful freedom in not needing constant approval from colleagues at work or from the people I love. I wish I had known about this Step before, because once I developed a frame of reference, I felt able to do the next right thing, knowing that the action fit the situation and that it was the correct thing to do. 
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Just for today

First things first



“We apply effort to our most obvious problems and let go of the rest. We do the job at hand and, as we progress, new opportunities for improvement present themselves.”

Basic Text, p. 56

––––=––––

It’s been said that recovery is simple—all we’ve got to change is everything! That can seem a pretty tall order, especially when we first arrive in Narcotics Anonymous. After all, not many of us showed up at our first meeting because our lives were in great shape. On the contrary, a great many of us came to NA in the midst of the worst crises of our lives. We needed recovery, and quick!

The enormity of the change required in our lives can be paralyzing. We know we can’t take care of all that needs to be done, not all at once. How do we start? Chances are, we’ve already started. We’ve done the first, most obvious things that needed to be done: We’ve stopped using drugs, and we’ve started going to meetings.

What do we do next? Pretty much the same thing, just more of it: From where we are, we do what we can. We walk the path of recovery by picking up our feet and taking the step that’s right in front of us. Only when that’s been accomplished must we concern ourselves with what comes next. Slowly but surely, we’ll find ourselves making progress down the path, visibly drawing closer each day to becoming the kind of person we’d like to be.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will walk the path of my recovery by taking the step right in front of me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

“When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness of the presence of God is today the most important fact of their lives, they present a powerful reason why one should have faith. When we see others solve their problems by simple reliance upon some Spirit of the universe, we have to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work, but the God-idea does. Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. Faith in a Power greater than ourselves and miraculous demonstrations of that power in our lives are facts as old as the human race.” Am I willing to rely on the Spirit of the universe?

Meditation For The Day

You should not dwell too much on the mistakes, faults, and failures of the past. Be done with shame and remorse and contempt for yourself. With God’s help, develop a new self-respect. Unless you respect yourself, others will not respect you. You ran a race, you stumbled and fell, you have risen again, and now you press on toward the goal of a better life. Do not stay to examine the spot where you fell, only feel sorry for the delay, the shortsightedness that prevented you from seeing the real goal sooner.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not look back. I pray that I may keep picking myself up and making a fresh start each day.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day
“People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. There is a wide variation in the way each one of us approaches and conceives of the Power greater than ourselves. Whether we agree with a particular approach or conception seems to make little difference. There are questions for each of us to settle for ourselves. But in each case the belief in a Higher Power has accomplished the miraculous, the humanly impossible. There has come a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking.” Has there been a revolutionary change in me?

Meditation For The Day
Worship is consciousness of God’s divine majesty. As you pause to worship, God will help you raise your humanity to His divinity. The earth is a material temple to enclose God’s divinity. God brings to those who worship Him a divine power, a divine love, and a divine healing. You only have to open your mind to Him and try to absorb some of His divine spirit. Pausing quietly in the spirit of worship, turn your inward thoughts upward and realize that His divine power may be yours, that you can experience His love and healing.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may worship God by sensing the eternal Spirit. I pray that I may experience a new power in my life.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

We Need Outside Help, p.248

It was evident that a solitary self-appraisal, and the admission of our defects based upon that alone, wouldn’t be nearly enough. We’d have to have outside help if we were surely to know and admit the truth about ourselves–the help of God and of another human being.

Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

If we are fooling ourselves, a competent adviser can see this quickly. And, as he skillfully guides us away from our fantasies, we are surprised to find that we have few of the usual urges to defend ourselves against unpleasant truths. In no other way can fear, pride, and ignorance be so readily melted. After a time, we realize that we are standing firm on a brand-new foundation for integrity, and we gratefully credit our sponsors, whose advice pointed the way.

1. 12 & 12, p.59
2. Grapevine, August 1961 
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As Bill Sees It



Privileged to Communicate, p. 231
Everyone must agree that we A.A.’s are unbelievably fortunate people; fortunate that we have suffered so much; fortunate that we can know, understand, and love each other so supremely well.

These attributes and virtues are scarcely of the earned variety. Indeed, most of us are well aware that these are rare gifts which have their true origin in our kinship born of a common suffering and a common deliverance by the grace of God.

Thereby we are privileged to communicate with each other to a degree and in a manner not very often surpassed among our nonalcoholic friends in the world around us.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

“I used to be ashamed of my condition and so didn’t talk about it. But nowadays I freely confess I am a depressive, and this has attracted other depressives to me. Working with them has helped a great deal.”*

1. Grapevine, October 1959
2. Letter, 1954



*Bill added that he had no depression after 1955.
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Walk In Dry Places


Inventory is now
Personal Inventory.


In the early days of AA, the dramatic accounts of drinking escapades seemed to show honesty. Taking personal inventory often included telling others about bizarre behavior connected with drinking.

We know today that inventory ought to continue on a daily basis, even though years have passed since our last drink. We’ve learned through painful experiences that in sobriety we can still display many of the shortcomings that plagued us as practicing alcoholics.

It can also be a trap to focus on our past wrongs rather than today’s faults. We may be using this focus on the past to avoid being honest about where we stand today. Let’s remember that inventory is always now. Taking inventory of the past won’t help us with today’s shortcomings.

I won’t use a discussion of my past wrongs as a subterfuge to keep from being honest about today’s wrongs. I’ll continue to take personal inventory and admit wrongs as they come up.
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Keep It Simple


The future is made of the same stuff as the present.— Simone Weil

We found we didn’t need magic to recover—we needed a miracle! Now we are walking miracles.

Part of our miracle is that we see how important today is. We can’t change our future unless we change today. So we live One Day at a Time. By living today well, we make our future better. There is comfort in knowing that the program will be there. Hope we’ll be there.

Old-timers say sobriety is easy if we go by one simple rule: don’t drink and go to meeting.

Life can get simpler; they don’t change much. Staying sober will be easier for us over time.

Prayer for the Day: 
Higher Power, help me keep my sobriety simple. Help me accept the rules of life.

Action for the Day: I will list three things that will be there for me tomorrow and the next day, because I’m working on them today.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


DECISION


“When you see a snake, never mind where he came from.”

– W. G. Benham

So many alcoholics have died looking for “the problem” that made them drink. The wife, family, neighborhood or unemployment was why they thought they got drunk. They died seeking a reason. Alcoholics Anonymous clearly states that alcohol is the problem for alcoholics.

Alcohol is the problem! A statement that is so simple yet so profound in its healing. Today thousands upon thousands are choosing not to die by not taking the first drink. To see the problem clearly and honestly is the beginning of wisdom. O.A., ACoA, N.A., G.A., Al-Anon and others have used these simple principles with profound results. Do I see the snake?
Teach me to avoid those things that cause me pain and destruction. 
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One Day At A Time


ANGER

“Anger is only one letter short of danger.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Before I began to work the program anger was a dangerous emotion for me. Anger was my excuse to react negatively without thinking. I let anger cause me to judge others, say or do hurtful things, turn away from my Higher Power, and to overeat.

I came to realize that I felt angry even when there were other emotions brewing on a deeper level. I felt angry when I was actually feeling afraid, embarrassed, hurt, tired, forgetful, or stressed out. As I work the Twelve Steps, I welcome my Higher Power’s guidance in feeling my true feelings; in accepting myself and the situations in my life; in acting on life — rather than reacting; and in having the compassion to understand myself and others. By doing this I no longer fear anger and I no longer find it a danger in my life.

Turning to my Higher Power, I use the Serenity Prayer and the Twelve Steps to process anger in healthy ways. When I feel angry at myself, I give myself a break! I treat myself with kindness, acceptance and forgiveness.

One Day at a Time …

When I feel angry, I wait before I act.
~ Lynn
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day



“If we keep everything in balance, we are in harmony with ourselves and are at peace.”

–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

As within, as without, our present thought determines our future. If we want peace outside ourselves, we must first have peace inside ourselves. It’s not what is going on but how we are looking at what is going on.

We need to keep ourselves in balance. We must be careful to not get too hungry, angry, lonely. or tired. We must know the times – time to work, time to rest, time to play, time to sleep, time to pray, time to lighten up, time to laugh, time to eat, time to exercise. There is a saying “The honor of one is the honor of all.” This means when we work with all, we need to also work on one. We need to take care of ourselves. You cannot give away what you don’t have.

Great Spirit, let me walk in balance today. Remove from me resentment, self pity, and self seeking motives. Let me love myself so I can love my neighbors.
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Today’s Gift


Whenever you fall, pick something up.

—Oswald Avery
There was once a very active boy who fell and broke his leg. He could run again in the spring, the doctors said, but only if he stayed in bed for an entire month and kept his leg still. At first the boy fought the rule, but he found that the more he thought about things he couldn’t do, the more tired and angry he felt.

His parents put in a phone by his bed and friends called every day. He’d never much liked talking on the phone, but he felt better when they called. He wrote letters and got replies, and was surprised at what fun it was. Usually, he didn’t have time to write letters.

He learned to play chess and began to enjoy reading. His days were slower and quieter than he’d been used to, but he learned a month really isn’t a very long time. When spring came, he was running again, a little more joyfully than before.

When we can learn to accept our troubles, we find, like the boy, that they are just packages in which new growth and discoveries are wrapped.
If something unexpected slows me down today, what joys might I find at the slower pace? 
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Today’s Gift


A tree grown in a cave does not bear fruit.

—Kahlil Gibran


A tree planted in a cave would soon be stopped short in its growth. There would be no room for it to grow tall or blossom. It would only grow so far and then would grow no bigger.

Fear can be like a cave. We sometimes become fearful for the same reason we might enter a cave, looking for protection. But fear protects us from the new ideas and behavior we need in order to grow. Fear can keep us huddling inside it, watching life’s opportunities pass by. When fear threatens to enclose us, we can take a deep breath and begin to do what we are afraid of doing. The cave will fade away as we step out into the sun, fresh air, and storms that are a part of growing.

What fear can I overcome today?

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Daily Tao / 233 - PROPHET


The prophets have their secrets
And their certain magic.
I am not a prophet.
I know only the ordinary.
That is my Tao.


Prophets of Tao are a special category. These men and women are acknowledged experts in meditation, philosophy, medicine, geomancy, sorcery, martial arts, science, mathematics, literature, painting, poetry, scripture, history, music, and liturgy. They can do extraordinary things; they can answer any question. The vast number of secrets each of them embodies is staggering. The degree of extraordinary skill they command is formidable.

They are great, but that is all.

Those who follow Tao strive for perfection, but they are wary about being called prophets. That is a limited role. Being a prophet represents a great trap baited with the temptation of self-importance. The ultimate aim of following Tao is to transcend identity. Those who call themselves prophets or even masters maximize their identities.

It is far better not to be a prophet, and to eschew the responsibilities, limitations, and temptations. It is far better to be obscure and to be thought stupid. Having someone call you by a title is an interference that you don't need. When you are seeing the greatest wonder of your life, the last thing you want is to have someone blocking the light.
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Daily Zen

"A man should first direct himself in the way he should go. Only then should he instruct others."

~The Buddha 
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Daily Tao / 231 - ORDER


Build your life brick upon brick.
Live a life of truth,
And you will look back on a life of truth.
Live a life of fantasy,
And you will look back on delusion.


The good of today is based upon the good of yesterday. That is why we should constantly be attentive to our actions.

Take frugal people as an example. They recycle the scraps from their cooking into compost piles. They eat at home rather than in restaurants. They do not waste water. They shop carefully. They do not spend their money on frivolities. This is exactly the type of care that we need for spirituality.

We should not fritter our efforts away on amusements; rather, we should concentrate on endeavors most important to us. We should not randomly gather information; rather, we should try to order it into a comprehensive whole, thereby compounding our abilities to our own advantage. We should not carelessly tell lies, because we will then be divorced from the truth that we seek.

Whether our lives are magnificent or wretched depends upon our ordering of daily details. We must organize the details into a composition that pleases us. Only then will be have meaning in our lives.
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