Saturday, 19 January 2019

Jim P. - Big Book Recovery Workshop 4.



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

GOD IS PRINCIPLE

The seventh main aspect of God is Principle, and this is probably the one that is least understood. What does the word principle mean?

Consider a few generally accepted principles. "Water seeks its own level." This is a principle. It is not only the course taken by a particular drop of water in a particular locality. It is true of all water everwyere. "The angles of any triangle always add up to 180 degrees." It makes no matter what kind of triangle on may consider; as log as it is a triangle , this principle holds. These principles were true a billion years ago and they will be true a billion years hence.

Jesus Chris the same yesterday, and today and for ever (Hebrews 13:8)

Prayer is answered because God is principle, eternally manifest in the same way. When we pray rightly we bring ourselves into harmony with His Law of Being. Prayer does not ask God to change the laws for our temporary convenience, but it tunes us in, so to speak, with divine Principle; if God were to make exceptions because we were in great difficulties (which, because of His nature, He could never do) we should never know where we stood. If the law of gravity were occasionally suspended without notice, say, because a very important man had fallen off a roof, you know what would happen to the world.

Each of the seven main aspects is a distance quality like the elements in chemistry. A chemical element, as you know, is just itself and nothing else. Oxygen is an element because there is nothing in it buy oxygen. Water on the other hand is a compound, a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. There are many attributes of God, such as wisdom, beauty, joy, and so forth, but they are compounds, made up of two or more of the seven main aspects. Wisdom, for example, is the perfect balance of Intelligence and Love.



Beauty is the perfect balance of Life, Truth, and Love. In any true work of art, you will find that these three aspects are balanced. There are many such relationships and interdependencies - "Thou canst not pluck a flower without the trembling of a star."
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


ROUND-THE-CLOCK FAITH


Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.16

The essence of my spiritually, and my sobriety, rests on a round-the-clock faith in a Higher Power. I need to remember and rely on the God of my understanding as I pursue all of my daily activities. How comforting for me is the concept that God works in and through people. As I pause in my day, do I recall specific concrete examples of God’s presence? Am I amazed and uplifted by the number of times this power is evident? I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my God’s presence in my life of recovery. Without this omnipotent force in my every activity, I would again fall into the depths of my disease – and death.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery


“When we stop living in the here and now, our problems become magnified unreasonably.”Basic Text, p. 96

Some of us seem to make mountains out of molehills with our problems. Even those of us who’ve found some measure of serenity have probably blown a problem far out of proportion at some time in our recovery-and if we haven’t done so yet, we probably will before long!

When we find ourselves obsessed with a complication in our lives, we will do well to sharply remind ourselves of all that is going right. Perhaps we’re afraid we won’t be able to pay our bills for the month. Instead of sitting at the calculator, adding our financial liabilities over and over, we can take stock of our efforts to reduce expenses. Following this mini-inventory, we continue with the task at hand and remind ourselves that as long as we are doing the footwork, a loving Higher Power will care for our lives.

Mountain-sized problems happen sometimes, but we don’t need to create them. Trust in a loving God of our understanding will put most of our problems in their proper perspective. We no longer need to create chaos to feel excited about our lives. Our recovery gives us countless real-life opportunities for excitement and drama.

Just for today: I will take a realistic look at my problems and see that most of them are minor. I will leave them that way and enjoy my recovery.
pg. 19
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

On the foundation of sobriety, we can build a life of honesty, unselfishness, faith in God, and love of our fellow human beings. We’ll never fully reach these goals, but the adventure of building that kind of life is so much better than the merry-go-round of our old drinking life that there’s no comparison. We come into A.A. to get sober, but if we stay long enough we learn a new way of living. We become honest with ourselves and with other people. We learn to think more about others and less about ourselves. And we learn to rely on the constant help of a Higher Power. Am I living the way of honesty, unselfishness, and faith?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that God had already seen my heart’s needs before I cried to Him, before I was conscious of those needs myself. I believe that God was already preparing the answer. God does not have to be petitioned with sighs and tears and much speaking, before he reluctantly looses the desired help. He has already anticipated my every want and need. I will try to see this, as His plans unfold in my life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may understand my real wants and needs. I pray that my understanding of those needs and wants may help to bring the answer to them.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Disagreeable or unexpected problems are not the only ones that call for self-control. We must be quite as careful when we begin to achieve some measure of importance and material success. For no people have ever loved personal triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel elated. Blinded by prideful self-confidence, we were apt to play the big shot.

Now that we’re in A.A. and sober, winning back the esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance against the dangers of big-shot-ism, we can often check ourselves by remembering that we are today sober only by the grace of God and that any success we may be having is far more His success than ours.

12 & 12, pp. 91-92 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Willpower Isn’t the Power
Power


We almost universally agree that willpower simply does not work as a direct force in overcoming alcoholism. The alcoholic who believes that a strong will and determination bring sobriety is probably headed for disaster.

In the same way, willpower is ineffective in dealing with a number of personal problems. In fact, the mustering of willpower seems to strengthen the problems or cuase them to take other forms. We know that we are using willpower on problems when there is a great deal of tension and anxiety in letting our Higher Power handle matters in a way that brings contentment and satisfaction. When excessive will is involved, we usually suppress feelings that ought to be expressed in positive ways.

The solution is not to fight problems in ourselves or in the outer world. By turning all matters over to the Higher Will, we will find the best way to deal with the evils within ourselves and with the opposition in our world. “Self-will run riot” was a problem in drinking, and it can be equality destructive in sobriety. Our will should be joined with the Higher Will for true success in living.

I will rely on my Higher power as I go through the day. God can do the many things I cannot do for myself.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Study sickness when you are well.

—Thomas Fuller

Now is the time to learn about our sickness–chemical dependency. It is a chronic illness. That means it never goes away. We have to live with it the best we can. Luckily, we can live with it–very well! Our program of recovery is so simple, and it feels so good, that we think we’ll never give it up. But we can’t take our recovery for granted. Our disease is “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” The more we know about it, the less we’ll let it fool us. Some days we may find we’re headed toward a slip. We must learn to recognize the first trouble signs in ourselves so we can get help to stay sober.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, my addiction is “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” Don’t let me use alcohol or others drugs again. Thank you for my sobriety today.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll learn my warning signs: I’ll list ten old thoughts, feelings, and actions that were part of my illness. I’ll share this with my sponsor.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

EQUALITY


“Treat all men alike. Give them all the same laws. Give them all an even chance to live and grow.”

~ Chief Joseph

Today it is important for me to remember that I am not the only human being in this universe; I need to respect and be considerate of others. Spirituality requires that I treat all people with dignity and respect because they carry something of God within them — the image of God is with all men. In this way I show and give respect to self.

As an alcoholic I was selfish and demanding, wanting my way all the time. Sobriety teaches me that “the way” must include others; my fellow men are part of my life and journey. I cannot live in isolation and be sober.

O Spirit of the World, teach me to respect all men as a service to myself.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

It was far easier for me to accept my powerlessness over my addiction than it was for me to accept the notion that some sort of Higher Power could accomplish that which I had been unable to accomplish myself. Simply by seeking help and accepting the fellowship of others similarly afflicted, the craving left me. And I realized that if I was doing what I was powerless along to do, then surely I was doing so by some Power outside my own and obviously greater. Have I surrendered my life into the hands of God?

Today I Pray

May God erase in me the arrogant pride which keeps me from listening to Him. May my unhealthy dependence on chemicals and my clinging dependence on those nearby be transformed into reliance on God. Only in this kind of dependence/reliance on a Higher Power will I find my own transformation.

Today I Will Remember

I am God-dependent.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ OPPORTUNITIES ~

Tiger, tiger, burning bright, In the forest of the night, What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy dreadful symmetry?
–William Blake

This quote from mystic and poet William Blake expresses the sense of wonder and awe I have about God, who can make a being like a tiger, an aggressive carnivore. God, who I suppose to be kind and loving, makes beings that are potentially dangerous to me. The question “Why?” stirs in my mind, alongside fears about what God may have in store for me.

“Fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom,” says one religious text. I can feel grateful for the stirring fear, and question, as the seeds of new wisdom.

A quick thought enters, “I can also feel grateful for the chance to flex my faith muscles and to increase their strength. Maybe that’s why God makes tigers and their ilk.”

A habit of staying detached from the emotions life arouses in me heightens my perceptions of what life has to offer, highlights what God has to offer in each situation and the reasons I have for being grateful. This is essential to my recovery. It’s the spine of an attitude of gratitude that also nurtures remembrance of God, and conscious contact with Him.

One Day at a Time …
I thank God for what I have already learned, for all opportunities to learn more, and for the chance to perfect “skill in action” in my recovery way of life.

~ James ~ 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“Heal yourself-your physical and spiritual bodies. Regenerate yourself with light, and then help those who have poverty of the soul. Return to the inner spirit, which we have abandoned while looking elsewhere for happiness.”

–Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU

It is difficult to look inside ourselves, especially when we see conflict or confusion. During times of conflict we need to realize that we are talking to ourselves about our thoughts. This conversation is printing in our subconscious and forming our beliefs. During times of conflict we need to ask the spirit to control our self-talk. Only thorough finding that inner place and going there during troubled times will we ever find happiness.

Great Spirit, You are my peace and you dwell within me. Let me look for You within myself.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

—Chinese proverb

Even the strongest, most loving families always have room for growth. There is no such thing as a “perfect” family. If our family is far from perfect, that’s okay. It only matters that we are working at getting better. Often, runners will say they can remember many days when they just did not feel like running; however, once they started, they felt more energy and were easily able to run the distance they had set for that day.

Whatever we need to do, we can do in small acts–a chore done without being asked, a helping hand with the dishes, a soft word, a surprise gift for no reason. These are small things, easily done. Love is made of small things; what is large is the love with which they are accomplished.

When we begin to work on our relationship with our family, we will feel the new energy, and quickly we will find ourselves making progress.

What is the first thing I can do today to improve my relationship with my family? 
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The Eye Opener


In AA we are truly only concerned with the internal and not the external qualities of the man. What you wear or fail to wear in the matter of clothes is of no consequence. If you are clean inside, the outside eventually cleanses itself.

Evening gowns and tuxedos are all right for formal affairs, but a well-dressed heart and mind is for everyday wear and is a greater adornment than silks and jewels.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao /019 - Initiative


Let us not be confused

With kaleidoscopic reality.

Using wisdom and courage to act,

Let us not add to the confusion.



The world is a storm of myriad realities, yet we cannot allow ourselves to be swept into the vortex. To do so is to be lost and to lose the true center where all understanding will come. We must act, but in the right way.

Action must be guided by both intellect and experience. We learn from teachers, elders, and others. But we must also test what we learn in the world. It is not enough to simply meditate, and it is not enough just to have theoretical knowledge. We need both in order to be wise.

Only when wisdom, courage, timing, and perseverance are combined can one have a sound basis for initiative. The action must be complete. It must burn clean; it cannot leave any bad ramifications or lingering traces. An act that leaves destruction, resentment, or untidiness in its wake it a poor one. Then initiative is insufficient, and Tao has not been attained.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery


Flow with whatever may happen
and let your mind be free;
Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.
This is the ultimate.

-Chuang Tsu 
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