Tuesday, 24 January 2017

RANDOM BIG BOOK ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS #essentialsofrecovery

We aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132

MIKE Mc C. A.A. Recovery Speaker #essentialsofrecovery



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SPARE A THOUGHT FOR BILL W. ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH #essentialsofrecovery


BELOW  IS THE OBITUARY PRINTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
           DATED  WEDNESDAY 27th JANUARY 1971

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AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery


THE LAW OF RELAXATION

Another of the great mental laws is The Law of Relaxation. In all mental working effort defeats itself. This is just the opposite of what we find on the physical plane, but it will not surprise us because we know that in many cases the laws of mind are the reverse of the laws of matter.

On the physical plane, the harder you press a drill the faster will it go through a plank. The harder you hammer a nail the sooner does it go into the wall. But any attempt at mental pressure is foredoomed to failure because the moment tension begins, the mind stops working creatively. When you try to force things mentally, when you try to hurry mentally, you simply stop you creative power.

In all mental working be relaxed, gentle, and unhurried for effort defeats itself.

. . . in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength . . . (Isaiah 30:15)

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery


GETTING INVOLVED

There is action and more action. “Faith without works is dead.” . . . To be helpful is our only aim.

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 88-89 ~

I understand that service is a vital part of recovery but I often wonder, “What can I do?” Simply start with what I have today! I look around to see where there is a need. Are the ashtrays full? Do I have hands and feet to empty them? Suddenly I’m involved! The best speaker may make the worst coffee; the member who’s best with newcomers may be unable to read; the one willing to clean up may make a mess of the bank account—yet every one of these people and jobs is essential to an active group. The miracle of service is this: when I use what I have, I find there is more available to me than I realized before.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery


From Isolation to Connection

”Our disease isolated us… Hostile, resentful, self-centered, and self-seeking, we cut ourselves off from the outside world.”

~ Basic Text p. 3-4 

Addiction is an isolating disease, closing us off from society, family, and self. We hid. We lied. We scorned the lives we saw others living, surely beyond our grasp. Worst of all, we told ourselves there was nothing wrong with us, even though we knew we were desperately ill. Our connection with the world, and with reality itself, was severed. Our lives lost meaning, and we withdrew further and further from reality.

The NA program is designed especially for people like us. It helps reconnect us to the life we were meant to live, drawing us out of our isolation. We stop lying to ourselves about our condition; we admit our powerlessness and the unmanageability of our lives. We develop faith that our lives can improve, that recovery is possible, and that happiness is not permanently beyond our grasp. We get honest; we stop hiding; we “show up and tell the truth; no matter what. And as we do, we establish the ties that connect our individual lives to the larger life around us.

We addicts need not live lives of isolation. The Twelve Steps can restore our connection to life and living-if we work them.

Just for today: I am a part of the life around me. I will practice my program to strengthen my connection to my world.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought for the Day

Alcoholics who are living in a blind alley refuse to be really honest with themselves or with other people. They’re running away from life and won’t face things as they are. They won’t give up their resentments. They’re too sensitive and too easily hurt. They refuse to try to be unselfish. They still want everything for themselves. And no matter how many disastrous experiences they have had with drinking, they still do it over and over again. There’s only one way to get out of that blind alley way of living and that’s to change your thinking. Have I changed my thinking?

Meditation for the Day

I know that the vision and power that I receive from God are limitless, as far as spiritual things are concerned. But in temporal and material things, I must submit to limitations. I know that I cannot see the road ahead. I must go just one step at a time, because God does not grant me a longer view. I am in uncharted waters, limited by my temporal and spatial life, but unlimited in my spiritual life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that, in spite of my material limitations, I may follow God’s way. I pray that I may learn that trying to do His will is perfect freedom.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation 
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery


~ Page 24 ~

Alike When the Chips Are Down

In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high bottoms,” the women said they were different; A.A. couldn’t be for them. But as the communication was perfected mostly by the women themselves, the picture changed.

This process of identification and transmission has gone on and on. The Skid-Rower said he was different. Even more loudly, the socialite (or Park Avenue stumblebum) said the same—so did the artist and the professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners.

But nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are finally down.

~ GRAPEVINE, OCTOBER 1959 

© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc 
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery



NO HIDDEN THOUGHTS

Moral Inventory

It is fortunate that we can think in secret, because our thoughts would quickly get us in trouble if others could read them. In our thoughts, we can choose what we wish to reveal to others before we speak or act.

In the long run, however, we do not really conceal our true thoughts and feelings. The nature of our thoughts shapes our character and becomes part of us. It even affects our appearance. It is not difficult at all to identify people who are fearful, angry, or jealous.

This process has its good side, because kind thoughts and feelings also affect our appearance, and in positive ways. Norman Vincent Peale wrote that “God runs a beauty parlor,” meaning that plain people with gracious thoughts tend to become more attractive as years wear on.

As AA members, we need not fear our own thoughts and feelings if we are continuing to work the program. As the sober years stretch out, we will be improving our thoughts and feelings, and this will tell others what the program is doing for us and through us.

I’ll remember today that I don’t really keep my thoughts and feelings secret. I will think well of myself and all others. I know that there are no hidden thoughts in the long run.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.

~ Bertrand Russell ~

In recovery we learn to give up hate. We must stand for justice, not for hate. We must learn to respect people. They, in turn, will respect us in most cases. We begin to see how important it is to give up hate—if we want others to care for us.

Hate is often our secret. Hate is found deep in our hearts and minds. It eats at our souls. It hurts our spiritual growth. Sometimes people are public about their hate. There are even dangerous groups based on hate. But, the most dangerous hate is the private and unspoken. Do I have public hates? Do I have secret hates?

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, search my heart and show me any hates I have. Help me rid myself of them.

Action for the Day

I’ll list any people, nations, or creeds I hate. I’ll pray to have this hate removed. I’ll pray for these people, nations, or creeds.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

OPPORTUNITY

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity; they seem more afraid of life than death.”

~ James Byrnes ~

Today I am aware of opportunities I did not recognize when I was drinking. Drinking stopped me from seeing the life before me. I drank myself away from the daily miracle.

In the business world, I did not see the opportunity for profit and expansion; I did not create or have faith in my ideas, and I was not able to understand or absorb new information to be successful in my life. Alcoholism kept me on the outside of my life existence.

Today I am alive in my life, creating, expanding, and enjoying my leisure. With sobriety, I have the opportunity to experience God in the many aspects of life.

Teach me to find You in the risks of life. 

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection for the Day

Among the many gifts that we are offered in the Program is the gift of freedom. Paradoxically, however, the gift of freedom is not without a price tag; freedom can only be achieved by paying the price called acceptance. Similarly, if we can surrender to God’s guidance, it will cost us our self-will, that “commodity” so precious to those of us who have always thought we could and should run the show. Is my freedom today worth the price tag of acceptance?

Today I Pray

May God teach me acceptance—the ability to accept the things I cannot change. God also grant me courage to change those things I can. God help me to accept the illness of my addiction and give me the courage to change my addictive behavior.

Today I Will Remember

Accept the addiction. Change the behavior.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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EASY DOES IT #essentialsofrecovery

LOVELY THOUGHTS

What is lovely never dies, but passes into other loveliness.

~ Thomas Bailey Aldrich ~

Thinking lovely thoughts during recovery encourages lovely acts. It is true that what starts as lovely will produce an air of loveliness around those of us who work for spiritual things. Truth has a relationship with lovely deeds. A great poet wrote that “beauty is truth and truth beauty,” and also gave us the familiar words, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Our thoughts determine the way we behave and shape the personal image which we pass on to those around us. There is an “outer show of an inner glow” which results from kindness and beauty of mind. Unhealthy thoughts or false fronts are destructive. We are what we think we can be and want to be. If we recognize the best and most healthy in the world around us, we will be worthy of the honest image others have of us.

Let me think only the best thoughts so that I might be the best I can be.

©1990 by Anonymous, Published by Hazelden 
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery



POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.

~ Charles Swindoll ~

I can’t remember ever having a consistently good attitude. When I was younger, I usually wore a mask of a good attitude, so many people were attracted to the mask but not to the real me, and I knew it. It didn’t help my attitude grow more positive.

Coming into the Twelve Step program, my attitude was all negative. My theory was that if I expected the worst from everyone and everything, if by chance I got something better, I could be pleasantly surprised. This makes me laugh now. With that attitude, would ANYTHING ever be considered good enough to “pleasantly surprise” me? No, and it didn’t. I ignored the many good things that happened–or I created a dark side to them.

In a meeting, I once heard that positives attract positives, and negatives attract negatives. This has stuck with me for years. It might be a scientific thing, but for me it refers to attitude. When I make the choice to be in a bad mood, I struggle through the day. Nothing seems to go right, and if it does, I don’t notice it or appreciate it. When I make the simple choice to be in a good mood despite whatever problems I’m facing, good things happen to me. People smile back, elevating my mood. I can find humor in things around me. The sun is shining even on a rainy day. It’s all up to me.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will make the choice to be happy for just today. I will look for the good in myself, in others and in the situations around me. I will keep my attitude positive.

~ Rhonda ~ 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery



“Always listen to what the Elders say.”

~ Dona Josefa Medrano, HUICHOL, SIERRA MADRE, MEXICO ~

In school we have been taught to go to the encyclopedia when we need information about certain subjects. From the time we are little, we have a natural tendency to seek out role models. When we need information about living we tend to seek out books about living. These maybe self-help books. The world is full of information. For the Native people, we have our Elders. All races have Elders. Our lives will run much smoother when we listen to the Elders. They don’t always tell us what we want to hear; but, they always tell us what we need to hear. The Elders have the ability to make the truth sweet.

Creator, thank You for the Elders. Help me this day to listen to them. 
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A WOMAN’S SPIRIT #essentialsofrecovery




People have always wanted to talk to me about their problems. I guess I’m a good listener. Maybe I have something to contribute after all.

~ JoAnn Reed ~

No one is without value in this life. Maybe we haven’t discovered our unique purpose or special gifts, but we each have a place in the universe or we wouldn’t be here.

Each of us can offer friends a valuable gift every day—we can listen. Messages from our Higher Power often come through the words of others. We perform a wonderful service for our companions by listening and by sharing our own experience and advice.

Rapt attention—giving it and receiving it—is perhaps the most valuable contribution any of us can make. Let’s never underestimate the sacredness of listening.

I will keep my own mind quiet if a friend wants to share her concerns today. That way, my heart may be able to offer her the wisdom she needs.

© 1994 by Hazelden Foundation
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