Monday, 24 July 2017

Norm A , Easter Roundup , Wichita KS. 1977

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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

HELPING OTHERS

“Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.

 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 20

Self-centeredness was my problem. All my life people had been doing things for me and I not only expected it, but I was ungrateful and resentful they didn’t do more. Why should I help others, when they were supposed to help me? If others had troubles, didn’t they deserve them? I was filled with self-pity, anger and resentment. Then I learned that by helping others, with no thought of return, I could overcome this obsession with selfishness, and if I understood humility, I would know peace and serenity. No longer do I need to drink.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

The Masks Have To Go

“… we covered low self-esteem by hiding behind phony images that we hoped would fool people. The masks have to go”

Basic Text, p.32

Over-sensitivity, insecurity, and lack of identity are often associated with active addiction. Many of us carry these with us into recovery; our fears of inadequacy, rejection, and lack of direction do not disappear overnight. Many of us have images, false personalities we have constructed either to protect ourselves or please others. Some of us use masks because we’re not sure who we really are. Sometimes we think that these images, built to protect us while using, might also protect us in recovery.

We use false fronts to hide our true personality, to disguise our lack of self-esteem. These masks hide us from others and also from our own true selves. By living a lie, we are saying that we cannot live with the truth about ourselves. The more we hide our real selves, the more we damage our self-esteem.

One of the miracles of recovery is the recognition of ourselves, complete with assets and liabilities. Self esteem begins with this recognition. Despite our fear of becoming vulnerable, we need to be willing to let go of our disguises. We need to be free of our masks and free to trust ourselves.

Just for today: I will let go of my masks and allow my self esteem to grow.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. is like a dike, holding back the ocean of liquor. If we take one glass of liquor, it is like making a small hole in the dike and once such a hole has been made, the whole ocean of alcohol may rush in upon us. By practicing the A.A. principles we keep the dike strong and in repair. We spot any weakness or crack in that dike and make the necessary repairs before any damage is done. Outside the dike is the whole ocean of alcohol, waiting to engulf us again in despair. Am I keeping the dike strong?

Meditation For The Day

Keep as close as you can to the Higher Power. Try to think, act, live as though you were always in God’s presence. Keeping close to a Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth’s problems. Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think and do. That is the secret of personal power. It is the thing that influences the lives of others for good. Abide in the Lord and rejoice in His love. Keep close to the Divine Spirit in the universe. Keep God close behind your thoughts.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep close to the Mind of God. I pray that I may live with Him in my heart and mind.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Virtue and Self-Deception, p. 205

I used to take comfort from an exaggerated belief in my own honesty. My New England kinfolk had taught me the sanctity of all business commitments and contracts, saying, “A man’s word is his bond.” After this rigorous conditioning, business honesty always came easy; I never flim-flammed anyone.

However, this small fragment of readily won virtue did produce some interesting liabilities. I never failed to whip up a fine contempt for those of my fellow Wall Streeters who were prone to shortchange their customers. This was arrogant enough, but the ensuring self-deception proved even worse.

My prized business honesty was presently converted into a comfortable cloak under which I could hide the many serious flaws that beset other departments of my life. Being certain of this one virtue, it was easy to conclude that I had them all. For years on end, this prevented me from taking a good look at myself.

Grapevine, August 1961 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Overcoming A Bad Disposition
Temperament


People with bad dispositions, like people with drinking problems, do not recognize how difficult they are. They accept their bad disposition as normal. Some people even declare proudly that they’re in a bad mood until they’ve been awake several hours or had three cups of coffee.

We do not have to put up with a BAD DISPOSITION. If we find ourselves touchy or grumpy at times, we should immediately release this to our Higher Power. There is a better pattern of thought and feeling to replace anything that comes across to others as a bad disposition.

It’s surprising to learn that we don’t have to live with a bad disposition. What’s even more surprising is that we’ll also be happier and more relaxed without it.

A bad disposition, we learn, is just so much unnecessary baggage we don’t have to carry.

I’ll be relaxed and friendly at all times today. I have neither a need nor an excuse for a bad disposition.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

The work of adult life is not easy.

—Gail Sheehy

We used to look for a easier, softer way. We tried to take care of ourselves by staying clear of hard task. The result? We haven’t known what the work of adult life is.

The work of adult life is this: to become spiritually centered. And to do this, we work at getting rid of our self-will. There will be many great rewards for doing this. We will wake up spiritually. We will connect with those we love. The result? We will receive self-love to replace self-will. Our work will not be easy, but it will be rewarding.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to give all to my recovery program. Then help me to be open to the rewards this will bring.

Action for the Day: I will list the hard parts of my program. Then I’ll talk about them with my sponsor, friends, family, and Higher Power.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

LONELINESS


“This great misfortune — to be incapable of solitude.”

–Jean de la Bruyere

Today I am able to live with my loneliness. I know the difference between being “alone” and being “lonely” — and even in sobriety I experience loneliness. But today I can live with it.

When I was drinking, I had an overwhelming feeling of being lost and isolated; today it is tolerable. I can live with it. It is part of being “imperfect”. I am not God.

The reality of spirituality demands that I do not escape into a fantasy that denies my feelings of loneliness. It is part of my journey towards God. I will never appreciate perfect happiness until I rest in God. This I accept. In sobriety I have many days of happiness and moments of joy — but I am, at times, lonely — with feelings of being lost. Today I can accept this — and talk about it.

I accept that part of me will be forever lost until I rest in God.
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A Day at a Time #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection for the Day

How, exactly, can a person turn his own will and his own life over to the care of a Power greater than himself? All that’s needed is a beginning, no matter how small. The minute we put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open. Then the door itself starts to open, perhaps ever so slightly; in time, we find that we can always open it wider. Self-will may slam the door shut again, and it often does. But the door can always be re-opened, time and time again if necessary, so long as we use our key of willingness.

Have I reaffirmed my decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him?

Today I Pray

May I reaffirm my decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power. May my faith be staunch enough to keep me knowing that there is, indeed, a power greater than I am. May I avail myself of that Power simply by being willing to “walk humbly with my Lord.”

Today I Will Remember

Self-will minus self equals will.

Hazelden Foundation 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

CHOICES


“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.”


–William Jennings Bryan

I have often wished that my life were easier. I have resented the fact that others seemed to have been given a free ride, whereas I have had to walk the distance. I often prayed that on waking one morning, I would find that the shadow I cast the day before had been vastly reduced overnight.

Wallowing in self-pity has taken me nowhere. It has wasted time that I could have spent reaching my recovery. I could choose to waste my days wishing for something that I obviously don’t have — and will never have — unless I actively do the legwork to obtain it. I could sit back and expect the world to come to my door, but I would find that it passes me by.

Often I find myself slipping down the emotional slide into the depths of depression. In those dark times, walking through life is as easy as walking waist-deep through wet tar. It’s a place where the sun never shines, thus its warm rays don’t land on my skin.

Recovery comes only when I make the choice and do the work needed to attain it.

One day at a time …

I choose to use the wisdom, strength and shelter of God; my Higher Power. I choose to follow the Twelve Steps and use the tools provided in the recovery program. I choose to be guided by the Big Book. In essence … I choose life

~ Sue G
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“Life is like a path…and we all have to walk the path… As we walk… we’ll find experiences like little scraps of paper in front of us along the way. We must pick up those pieces of scrap paper and put them in our pocket… Then, one day, we will have enough scraps of papers to put together and see what they say… Read the information and take it to heart.”

–Uncle Frank Davis (quoting his mother), PAWNEE

The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred – what we do right is sacred – but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creator’s way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not part of the spiritual path. To criticize mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the Warrior.Today let me see my mistakes as a positive process. 

Let me learn the aha’s of life… Awaken my awareness so I can see the great learning that You, my Creator, have designed for my life. 
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see.

— Bill W.


At times, we’ll go through pain and hardship. At times, we’ll have doubts. At times, we’ll get angry and think we just don’t care anymore. These things can spiritually blind us. But this is normal. Hopefully, we’ll be ready for those times. Hopefully, we will have friends who will be there for us.

Thank God for these moments! Yes, hard times can make our spirits deep and strong. These moments tell us who we are as sober people. These moments help us grow and change. Spirituality is about choice. To be spiritual, we must turn ourselves over to the care of our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day
God, help me find You in my moments of blindness. This is when I really need You.

Today’s Action
Today I’ll get ready for the hard times ahead. I will list my friends who will be there for me.

From the book:



                                        Keep It Simple © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

Last year I attended the Southeastern Convention at Miami Beach, and I had a grand time. Yet I do not recall, offhand, the name of a single speaker I heard, but I do remember the name of the man whom I called upon as a Twelfth-Stepper.

I fretted somewhat, at the time, that this man caused me to miss several meetings of the Convention, yet today it is my highlight of the affair. This man is happy on the AA Program, and I am happy that I was forced to forego some of the pleasure I traveled all the way to Miami to enjoy. 


Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 205 – Clarity #essentialsofrecovery

Can you see a sound?
Can you hear light?
Can you unite your senses?
Can you turn inward?



What we are all seeking is clarity. Forget about religious rationalizations. Forget about elaborate explanations. What we all want is clarity. What we abhor is ignorance. Ignorance confuses us, brings us misfortune and sorrow, and makes us miserable. If we have clarity, then we can live with equanimity.

It is a misconception that spirituality brings everlasting happiness. There is no such thing. Sadness still comes to the wise, but, unlike most people, their clarity of mind allows them to see beyond the temporal emotionalism of the moment. They are farseeing, and so happiness and sorrow become the same to them.

True clarity is more than just being smart, more than just being wise. Clarity manifests from meditation. It comes when you can unite all the faculties of the mind and unify them into a magnificent light of perception. It is hard to talk of this in anything but mystical terms. Our language is unfamiliar with the frontiers of the spirit because few have ever seen those limits, let alone described them. But let’s try.

If you unite sound with vision, then you will create light.

That light is the concentrated force of the mind.

It is by that brightness that truth is revealed.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Enlightened Mind

"Zen says the ordinary mind is the enlightened mind. You don't go anywhere; the ordinary world is paradise. Here and now, everything is there! you need not go anywhere.

For the first time you become aware of the beauty of the world...everything is young and fresh and alive and God is here! if you think your God is somewhere else you are still listening to the mind, because that is the language of the mind: "Somewhere else, somewhere else! Never here!" - and he is always here.

Meditation reveals you the here and now. And then the ordinary mind becomes the most extraordinary. And the ordinary life becomes the supreme, the ultimate. The only difference is of a closed and open mind. When thoughts are there, the clouds are not there and the mind is open. And when the mind is open the old part has fallen, the water has flowed out, the reflection disappears, no water, no moon!"
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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Self Compassion in Recovery from Depression - Dr Katie Baird & Dr Jennifer Gibson

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