Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Moments: An Evening with Bill Wilson - AA Speaker - Alcoholics Anonymous Speaker #speakers #AA #Recovery



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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Change


A CHANGED OUTLOOK

Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. 

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

When I was drinking, my attitude was totally selfish, totally self-centered; my pleasure and my comfort came first. Now that I am sober, self-seeking has started to slip away. My whole attitude toward life and other people is changing. For me, the first “A” in our name stands for attitude. My attitude is changed by the second “A” in our name, which stands for action. By working the Steps, attending meetings, and carrying the message, I can be restored to sanity. Action is the magic word! With a positive, helpful attitude and regular A.A. action, I can stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety. My attitude now is that I am willing to go to any length to stay sober!
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Just For Today #essentialsofrec #NA #Recovery #Addiction

Keep Coming Back

“We don’t have to be clean when we get here but, after the first meeting, we suggest that newcomers keep coming back and come back clean. We don’t have to wait for an overdose or a jail sentence to get help from Narcotics.” 

Basic Text, p. 10

Very few of us arrive in NA brimming with willingness. Some of us are here because we are court-ordered to attend. Some have come to save our families. Some come in an effort to salvage a career teetering on the brink of ruin. It doesn’t matter why we are here. It only matters that we are.

We have heard it said that “if we bring the body, the mind will follow.” We may come to meetings with a chip on our shoulders. We may be one of those who sits in the back of the rooms with our arms folded across our chest, glaring threateningly at anyone who approaches us. Perhaps we leave before the final prayer.

But if we keep coming back, we find that our minds begin to open up. We start to drop our guard, and begin to really listen when others share. We may even hear someone talking with whom we can relate. We begin the process of change.

After some time in NA, we find that more than our minds have arrived in our meeting rooms. More importantly, our hearts have arrived, too. After that happens, the miracles really begin.

Just for today: I will strive to listen with an open mind to what I hear shared.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrec #Service #Self-Worth #Addiction #NA


Self-Worth And Service

“Being involved in service makes me feel worthwhile.”

Basic Text, p. 212

When most of us arrived in Narcotics Anonymous, we had very little self-worth left to salvage. Many members say that they began to develop self-esteem through being of service early in their recovery. Something just short of a miracle occurs when we begin to have a positive impact on others’ lives through our service efforts.

Most of us don’t have a lot of experience, strength, or hope to share at thirty days clean. In fact, some members will tell us in no uncertain terms that what we can do best is listen. But at thirty days, we do offer something to that addict just coming into the rooms of NA, struggling to get twenty-four hours clean. The very newest NA member, the one with only the desire to stop using and none of the tools, can hardly imagine anyone staying clean for a year, or two years, or ten. But he or she can relate to those people with thirty days clean, picking up a keytag with a look of pride and disbelief emblazoned on their faces.

Service is something that is our unique gift—something that no one can take away from us. We give, and we get. Through service, many of us start on the sometimes long road back to becoming productive members of society.

Just for today: I will be grateful for the opportunity to be of service.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrec #Transformation #Recovery


A.A. Thought For The Day


Some things I do not miss since becoming dry: that overall awful feeling physically, including the shakes, a splitting headache, pains in my arms and legs, bleary eyes, fluttering stomach, droopy shoulders, weak knees, a three-day beard, and a flushed complexion. Also, facing my loved one at breakfast. Also, composing the alibi and sticking to it. Also, trying to shave or put on make-up with a shaky hand. Also, opening up my wallet to find it empty. I don’t miss these things, do I?

Meditation For The Day


You were born with a spark of the Divine within you. It had been all but smothered by the life you were living. That celestial fire has to be tended and fed so that it will grow eventually into a real desire to live the right way. By trying to do the will of God, you grow more and more in the new way of life. By thinking of God, praying to Him, and having communion with Him, you gradually grow more like Him. The way of your transformation from the material to the spiritual is the way of Divine Companionship.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may tend the spark of the Divine within me so that it will grow. I pray that I may be gradually transformed from the old life to the new life.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrec #Miracles #Power


Miraculous Power, p. 152

Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that Power in human lives are facts as old as man himself.

<< << << >> >> >>

“Faith may often be given through inspired teaching or a convincing personal example of its fruits. It may sometimes be had through reason. For instance, many clergymen believe that St. Thomas Aquinas actually proved God’s existence by sheer logic. But what can one do when all these channels fail? This was my own grievous dilemma.

“It was only when I came fully to believe I was powerless over alcohol, only when I appealed to God who just might exist, that I experienced a spiritual awakening. This freedom-giving experience came first, and then faith followed afterward–a gift indeed!”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 55
2. Letter, 1966
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Selfish #Inventory


Selfish is always wrong
Inventory


It’s unfortunate that members sometimes refer to the Twelve step idea as a SELFISH program. If selfishness is considered a human shortcoming, why should we describe our wonderful program as selfish?

What we’re really trying to say, it seems, is that our true self-interest lies in the direction of helping others and sharing our experience and strength with them. To do this is to lose the “bondage of self” that is so destructive in the life of every compulsive person.

In this process, we’ll probably also discover that too much self-concern has made us unhappy and ill. Selfish, we’re likely to learn, is always bad.

When people say that ours is a selfish program, they really intend to convey the idea that it’s a “self-improvement” program. It’s our concern about others that leads to the higher forms of self-improvement.

Though exercising prudence and good judgment, I’ll take a healthy interest in helping others and sharing with them today. I know that my Higher Power will be with me in all my actions.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Defects #Step6



We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

—Step Six

Character defects include being stubborn, feeling self-pity, and wanting to always be in control. We must be ready to give up these defects, or they will hurt us. Being ready is our part of Step Six. Our Higher Power will remove these defects. We don’t need to know how. We just need to be ready to give them up when God asks for them. We don’t need to know when. We just have to be ready.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, take away my self-pity, fears, anger, and anything else that hurts my recovery. Help me make room for peace.

Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll get ready to have my character defects removed. I will list them and ask myself, “What do I get from keeping them?”
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #Essentialsofrrec #Fr.Leo

OLD

“Old age is when you realize other people’s faults are no worse than your own.”

–Edgar Shoaff

Age is a great leveler! I am on a journey to God and this involves many stages of experience – some good and some bad, some painful and some exceedingly joyful, some confusing and others understandable. These experiences will take me into a period of life called “old age”.

Many people fear this period of life because it is connected with poor health, helplessness and death. I was afraid of age because a part of me feared the “mystery” of death. The “uncertainty” of death brought with it a lack of control! I am sure that guilt and fear of God were also involved.

Today I realize that we all have similar fears and concerns. Mystery brings with it a sense of awe! Today I have a loving God. Today God is involved in my life. Today, in my recovery, I have a perspective in my life – I am not all bad! Age is bringing balance.

Thank You for the balance that comes with personal forgiveness.

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A Day at a Time #essentialsofrec #Tolerance #Recovery #Program

Reflection for the Day

Slowly but surely, I’m becoming able to accept other people’s faults as well as their virtues. The Program is teaching me to “always love the best in others – and never fear their worst.” This is hardly an easy transition from my old way of thinking, but I’m beginning to see that all people – including myself – are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong.

Am I approaching true tolerance? Am I beginning to see what real love for my fellows actually means?

Today I Pray

May God give me tolerance for any shortcomings or sick symptoms or insensitivities of others, so that I can love the qualities that are good in them. May God instruct me in the truest meaning of love – which must also include patience and forgiveness. May I not overlook the faults of those I love, but may I try to understand them.

Today I Will Remember

Love is understanding.

Hazelden Foundation
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrec #Recovery #OA #Perfection



PERFECTION


“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet.”

–Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t know why I used to think that if something wasn’t done perfectly, it wasn’t worth doing. I was an all-time overachiever and to fail at anything was totally unacceptable. Since I set such impossibly high standards, it was hardly surprising that I couldn’t love — or even like — myself. I was constantly pushing to excel at those things I was good at, and I would beat myself up if I failed to meet my high expectations. I was especially critical of my body. I thought that if I had the perfect body, my life would be perfect.

When I came into the program I had to learn to not be so hard on myself. For the first time I began to realize that I was human and could still be loveable and worthy ~ even with all my imperfections and character defects. I am lovingly reminded by my sponsor and my friends in the fellowship to be gentler with myself. They remind me that I don’t even have to do the program perfectly. I just need to do the best I know how for that day; then I can see progress one day at a time. I don’t have to push myself to be perfect all the time in order to win approval or gain love. What a relief that is!

One day at a time…

I don’t have to be perfect all the time. I just need to be the best me that I can be for today…and that’s the way God intended me to be.

~ Sharon S.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrec #Lakota #Native #Patience


“You have to have a lot of patience to hear those old people talk, because when they talk, they talk about motivation, the feeling, the unsound that is around the universe. They explain everything to one understanding. They bring it all together, and when they finish, just one word comes out. Just one word. They might talk all day, and just one word comes out.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

We need to be careful about judging the old ones when we talk. At first they may not make sense to us. Maybe we’ll say they’re old fashioned and don’t understand. But the old ones do understand! When they speak, listen very carefully. Often it will take weeks or maybe even years before we understand what they are really saying. This is the way of Wisdom. We need to listen, listen, listen.

Great Spirit, today, open my ears so I can hear the Elders.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrec #Power #Miracles #Recovery


Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.

—Helen Keller

Close observation of small children playing, ants moving across a dirt mound, a bird building a nest, a plane flying overhead, tomatoes ripening in a garden are quiet reminders of the many miracles surrounding us at any moment. Often we may wonder just how a carrot grows from a small seed. What enables a robin to fly south in the winter without getting lost? And then we remember the power of the Creator, and the presence of that power everywhere.

Just as the squirrel knows to collect nuts for winter, each of us knows we’re always being watched over by God. When we remember that, we feel safe and happy wherever we are, at school, a new friend’s house, home alone in the evening. Every moment is full of wonder, and God is always present.

What small things will I share with God today?
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Step by Step #essentialsofrec #Spiritual #Recovery


“The spiritual life is not theory. We have to live it. Unless one’s family expresses a desire to live upon spiritual principles, we think we ought not to urge them. We should not talk incessantly to them about spiritual matters. They will change in time. Our behavior will convince them more than our words.” 

– Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 6, p 83.

Today, if called on to 12th-Step a prospect, I will not hammer the Program’s spiritual aspect if the topic seems to push away rather than draw the prospect into the Fellowship. Should the prospect who is weary of spirituality subsequently embrace the Program and find sobriety, the words of the Big Book ring true: “(Spiritual awareness) will change in time,” just as it did for me. Paraphrasing the saying that I was born of the Spirit but was taught religion, let me understand that others, like me, also may tie the two together – religion and spirituality – but that the tools of the Program will lead them to their own understanding of a Higher Power just as the tools of the Program led me to my understanding. Today, if spirituality cannot be discussed with a potential member, let my actions speak louder than my words. And our common journey continues. 

Step by step. – Chris M.
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec #Recovery #12steps


Each of us has only so many hours to live, and we alcoholics have wasted far too many of them in the past.

New men, by the thousands, are crowding our doors, searching for our Message of Hope. Those who are endeavoring to carry the Message are frequently pushed to the limit of their available time for this purpose.

Have you the right to monopolize the time of the Twelve Steppers by indulging yourself in so-called slips?

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily TAO - Sleep #essentialsofrec #Tao #Taoism #Zen

Sleep is like a swift train
Plunging into long black tunnels,
Slicing day with red and black light.
No worry about the skeleton engineer.
Head to pillow is like head to track,
Listening to the rumble of destiny,
Knowing that the opening will come.
In sleep, as in the tunnels,
The sound seems ever closer.


When you sleep, some insist that the world as you know it ceases to exist. The world exists because something inside of you asserts that it is so. When awake, are you then no longer dreaming? Or are you just dreaming another dream?

Going to sleep takes letting go. As any insomniac will tell you, it can’t be forced. But we so identify control with waking, is it possible that the uncontrolled aspect of sleep is an equal reality?

Sleep seems so real, and then we awake. Waking life seems so real, and yet we need to let go of it every day. This strange contrast is one that those who follow Tao contemplate continually. If life is mere shifting from one dream to another, they constantly ask : What is truly real?
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