Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Winner's Guide to Boring Meetings #essentialsofrecovery.com #Grapevine #recovery #Meetings

AA Grapevine May 1984

FOR A BRIEF period during my fifth year of continuous sobriety, I was going through a rough patch in my attendance at AA meetings. Somehow, the drinking stories and the tales of the early days of AA were rubbing me the wrong way. If I wasn't bored, I was angry. What to do?

Leave the Fellowship altogether? I had heard enough people say that they came to meetings to find out what happens to alcoholics who don't come to meetings. It wouldn't be quitting--I'd be allowing others to drive me out!

Change my patterns of attendance? I tried attending different groups and different types of meetings. That did help somewhat, but a complete change of groups made me feel that I was a beginner again, trying to break into new friendship circles. The loneliness I felt when I cut myself off from my familiar AA associates was not helping my mental health. I was still bored with "identification meetings" full of drunk stories, and there weren't enough Step, Big Book study, or discussion groups near enough to where I live and work.

Trying to solve my own problem by running from the Fellowship or my regular meetings was a dry-drunk manifestation of my alcoholic pattern of running from my problems. Resentments were building up inside me, and I was keeping it all inside. If I didn't want to relapse into the active form of our disease of alcoholism, what should I do?

The answer, of course, was to talk about my feelings. My first opportunity came at a "problem-study group," which I went to with the specific intent of letting it all out. It wasn't hard to do. I almost exploded as my anguish, pain, frustration, hostility, and confusion poured forth, complete with table-banging and language that would make a strip-joint bouncer blush.

The assembled members listened patiently to my distress, then offered some opinions on what they had done in similar circumstances. Here was a definition of our Fellowship in action. By sharing their experience, strength, and hope with me, they saved me, so I have been able to pass these ideas on to others trying to work the program.

Some of their suggestions included ways to occupy my mind during boring or repetitive drunkalogs. One urged me to count the words on the Steps or Traditions banner or, better yet, to examine how each Step has been accomplished in my life. Another suggestion was to use the time to take my daily or weekly inventory, making a mental list of those to whom I must promptly admit my errors. Still another bit of advice was to use the time to meditate on the word "one" or the word "unity" until I could see how I and the person speaking were similar.

The suggestion I liked best, however, and the one I subsequently practiced for six months with great, lasting benefit, was to carry a little notebook to meetings and write down any pieces of AA folk wisdom that might be lurking in the midst of otherwise uninteresting stories. At first, I was self-conscious about jotting down those pithy gems, but no one seemed to mind, and my collection grew rapidly. It was like finding gold nuggets amid rocks in the stream of consciousness.

The first saying I noted started me off in the right frame of mind: "What I don't know about this program may kill me." That was followed closely by "The clenched fist never receives" and "It's AA or 'amen' for me." After a while, I heard statements like "I don't live for AA--I use AA to live," "If you want sobriety, you must go among those who have it," and "If you want what we have, then do what we do."

Soon, my notebook was overflowing with those statements that we pass on to each other as part of the message of recovery. I learned to look at people and the way that they are handling this program of living. I learned that it is the simple, easily remembered statements that are our most eloquent contributions to one another.

To be teachable, I had to be reachable. I can see now that my stinking thinking was leading to drinking. Since the door swings both ways in AA, I had come to a turning point where I had to hang on and let go. My confidence today is gained from my humility of yesterday. Now, I go to meetings not to be entertained but to be healed, and I continue to stay around to witness the naturally occurring miracles as we love each other into well-being.

Today, I know that notes in the same key resonate together. I'm at meetings to give as well as to receive. No matter how much continuous sobriety I have to my and AA's credit, I am still only one drink away from a drunk, just like everybody else in these meeting rooms. If there's any message in all of this problem-turned-project, it can perhaps be summed up in these words heard at an otherwise dreary meeting: "I never let the seeds stop me from eating the watermelon."

C. F.
Australia, AA Grapevine May 1984

Excerpts from the G.S.O. approved literature "44 Questions" #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #questions #AA

44 Questions An Excerpt

Several million people have probably heard or read about Alcoholics Anonymous since its beginnings in 1935. Some are relatively familiar with the program of recovery from alcoholism that has helped more than 2,000,000 problem drinkers. Others have only a vague impression that A.A. is some sort of organization that somehow helps drunks stop drinking.

This pamphlet is designed for those who are interested in A.A. for themselves, for a friend or relative, or simply because they wish to be better informed about this unusual Fellowship. Included on the following pages are answers to many of the specific questions that have been asked about A.A. in the past. 'They add up to the story of a loosely knit society of men and women who have one great interest in common: the desire to stay sober themselves and to help other alcoholics who seek help for their drinking problem.

The thousands of men and women who have come into A.A. in recent years are not altruistic do-gooders. Their eagerness and willingness to help other alcoholics may be termed enlightened self-interest. Members of A.A. appreciate that their own sobriety is largely dependent on continuing contact with alcoholics.

After reading this pamphlet, you may have questions that do not seem to be answered fully in this brief summary. A.A. groups in many metropolitan areas have a central or intergroup office, listed in the telephone book under "Alcoholics Anonymous:' It can direct you to the nearest A.A. meeting, where members will be glad to give you additional information. In smaller communities, a single group may have a telephone listing. If there is no A.A. group near you, feel free to write direct to Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163. You can be sure that your anonymity will be protected.

Alcoholism and Alcoholics Not too long ago, alcoholism was viewed as a moral problem. Today, many regard it primarily as a health problem. To each problem drinker, it will always remain an intensely personal matter. Alcoholics who approach A.A. frequently ask questions that apply to their own experience, their own fears, and their own hopes for a better way of life.

What is alcoholism?

There are many different ideas about what alcoholism really is.

The explanation that seems to make sense to most A.A. members is that alcoholism is an illness, a progressive illness, which can never be cured but which, like some other diseases, can be arrested. Going one step further, many A.A.s feel that the illness represents the combination of a physical sensitivity to alcohol and a mental obsession with drinking, which, regardless of consequences, cannot be broken by willpower alone.

Before they are exposed to A.A., many alcoholics who are unable to stop drinking think of themselves as morally weak or, possibly, mentally unbalanced. The A.A. concept is that alcoholics are sick people who can recover if they will follow a simple program that has proved successful for more than one and a half million men and women.

Once alcoholism has set in, there is nothing morally wrong about being ill. At this stage, free will is not involved, because the sufferer has lost the power of choice over alcohol. The important thing is to face the facts of one's illness and to take advantage of the help that is available. There must also be a desire to get well. Experience shows that the A.A. program will work for all alcoholics who are sincere in their efforts to stop drinking; it usually will not work for those not absolutely certain that they want to stop.

How can I tell if I am really an alcoholic?

Only you can make that decision. Many who are now in A.A. have previously been told that they were not alcoholics, that all they needed was more willpower, a change of scenery, more rest, or a few new hobbies in order to straighten out. These same people finally turned to A.A. because they felt, deep down inside, that alcohol had them licked and that they were ready to try anything that would free them from the compulsion to drink.

Some of these men and women went through terrifying experiences with alcohol before they were ready to admit that alcohol was not for them. They became derelicts, stole, lied, cheated, and even killed while they were drinking. They took advantage of their employers and abused their families. They were completely unreliable in their relations with others. They wasted their material, mental, and spiritual assets.

Many others with far less tragic records have turned to A.A., too. They have never been jailed or hospitalized. Their too-heavy drinking may not have been noticed by their closest relatives and friends. But they knew enough about alcoholism as a progressive illness to scare them. They joined A.A. before they had paid too heavy a price.

There is a saying in A.A. that there is no such thing as being a little bit alcoholic. Either you are, or you are not. And only the individual involved can say whether or not alcohol has become an unmanageable problem.

Can an alcoholic ever drink 'normally' again?

So far as can be determined, no one who has become an alcoholic has ever ceased to be an alcoholic. The mere fact of abstaining from alcohol for months or even years has never qualified an alcoholic to drink "normally" or socially. Once the individual has crossed the borderline from heavy drinking to irresponsible alcoholic drinking, there seems to be no retreat. Few alcoholics deliberately try to drink themselves into trouble, but trouble seems to be the inevitable consequence of an alcoholic's drinking. After quitting for a period, the alcoholic may feel it is safe to try a few beers or a few glasses of light wine. This can mislead the per: son into drinking only with meals. But it is not too long before the alcoholic is back in the old pattern of too-heavy drinking in spite of all efforts to set limits for only moderate, social drinking.

The answer, based on A.A.. experience, is that if you arc an alcoholic, you will never be able to control your drinking for any length of time. That leaves two paths open: to let your drinking become worse and worse with all the damaging results that follow, or to quit completely and to develop a new pattern of sober, constructive living.

I can stay sober quite a while between binges; how can I tell whether I need A.A.?
Most A.A.s will say that it's how you drink, not how often, that determines whether or not you are an alcoholic. Many problem drinkers can go weeks, months, and occasionally years between their bouts with liquor. During their periods of sobriety, they may not give alcohol a second thought. Without mental or emotional effort, they are able to take it or leave it alone, and they prefer to leave it alone.

Then, for some unaccountable reason, or for no reason at all, they go off on a first-class binge.

They neglect job, family, and other civic and social responsibilities. The spree may last a single night, or it may be prolonged for days or weeks. When it is over, the drinker is usually weak and remorseful, determined never to let it happen again. But it does happen again.

This type of "periodic" drinking is baffling, not only to those around the drinker, but also to the person still drinking. He or she cannot understand why there should be so little interest in alcohol during the periods between binges, or so little control over it once the drinking starts.

The periodic drinker may or may not be an alcoholic. But if drinking has become unmanageable and if the periods between binges are becoming shorter, chances are the time has come to face up to the problem. If the person is ready to admit to being an alcoholic, then the first step has been taken toward the continuing sobriety enjoyed by thousands upon thousands of A.A.s.

Won't everyone know I am an alcoholic if I come into A.A. ?
Anonymity is and always has been the basis of the A.A. program. Most members, after they have been in A.A. awhile, have no particular objection if the word gets around that they have joined a fellowship that enables them to stay sober. Traditionally, A.A.s never disclose their association with the movement in print, on the air, or through any other public media. And no one has the right to break the anonymity of another member.

This means that the newcomer can turn to A.A. with the assurance that no newfound friends will violate confidences relating to his or her drinking problem. The older members of the group appreciate how the newcomer feels. They can remember their own fears about being identified publicly with what seems to be a terrifying word — "alcoholic."

Once in A.A., newcomers may be slightly amused at those past worries about its becoming generally known that they have stopped drinking. When alcoholics drink, news of their escapades travels with remarkable speed. Most alcoholics have made names for themselves as full-fledged drunks by the time they turn to A.A. Their drinking, with rare exceptions, is not likely to be a well-kept secret. Under these circumstances, it would be unusual indeed if the good news of the alcoholic's continuing sobriety did not also cause comment.

Whatever the circumstances, no disclosure of the newcomer's affiliation with A.A. can rightfully be made by anyone but the newcomer, and then only in such a way that the Fellowship will not be harmed.

The Fellowship of A.A. If the newcomer is satisfied that he or she is an alcoholic and that A.A. may be able to help, then a number of specific questions about the nature, structure, and history of the movement itself usually come up. Here are some of the most common ones.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

There are two practical ways to describe A.A. The first is the familiar description of purposes and objectives that appears earlier:

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety."

The "common problem" is alcoholism. The men and women who consider themselves members of A.A. are, and always will be, alcoholics, even though they may have other addictions. They have finally recognized that they are no longer able to handle alcohol in any form; they now stay away from it completely. The important thing is that they do not try to deal with the problem single-handedly. They bring the problem out into the open with other alcoholics. This sharing of experience, strength and hope" seems to be the key element that makes it possible for them to live without alcohol and, in most cases, without even wanting to drink.

The second way to describe Alcoholics Anonymous is to outline the structure of the Society. Numerically, A.A. consists of more than 2,000,000 men and women, in 150 countries. These people meet in local groups that range in size from a handful of ex-drinkers in some localities to many hundreds in larger communities.

In the populous metropolitan areas, there may be scores of neighborhood groups, each holding its own regular meetings. Many A.A. meetings are open to the public; some groups also hold "closed meetings," where members are encouraged to discuss problems that might not be fully appreciated by nonalcoholics.

The local group is the core of the A.A. Fellowship. Its open meetings welcome alcoholics and their families in an atmosphere of friendliness and helpfulness. There are now more than 100,000 groups throughout the world, including hundreds in hospitals, prisons, and other institutions.

What does membership in A.A. cost? 

Membership in involves no financial obligations of any kind. The program of recovery from alcoholism is available to anyone who has a desire to stop drinking, whether he or she is flat broke or the possessor of millions. Most local groups "pass the hat" at meetings to defray the cost of renting a meeting place and other meeting expenses, including coffee, sandwiches, cakes, or whatever else may be served. In a large majority of the groups, part of the money thus collected is voluntarily contributed to A.A.'s national and international services. These group funds are used exclusively for services designed to help new and established groups and to spread the word of the recovery program to "the many alcoholics who still don't know."

The important consideration is that membership in A.A. is in no way contingent upon financial support of the Fellowship. Many A.A. groups have, in fact, placed strict limitations on the amount that can be contributed by any member. A.A. is entirely self-supporting, and no outside contributions are accepted.

Group Meetings The local group meeting is the center and heart of the A.A. Fellowship. It is, in many ways, a unique type of gathering and one that is likely to seem strange to the newcomer. The questions and answers that follow suggest how the A.A. meeting functions and how the newcomer fits into the group picture. How does a person join A.A.?
No one "joins" A.A. in the usual sense of the term. No application for membership has to be filled out. In fact, many groups do not even keep membership records. There are no initiation fees, no dues, no assessments of any kind.

Most people become associated with A.A. simply by attending the meetings of a particular local group. Their introduction to A.A. may have come about in one of several ways. Having come to the point in their drinking where they sincerely wanted to stop, they may have gotten in touch with A.A. voluntarily. They may have called the local A.A. office listed in the phone book, or they may have written to the General Service Office, Box 459, — Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163. Others may have been guided to a local A.A. group by a friend, relative, doctor, or spiritual adviser. Usually, a newcomer to A.A. has had an opportunity to talk to one or more local members before attending the first meeting. This provides an opportunity to learn how A.A. has helped these people. The beginner gets facts about alcoholism and A.A. that help to determine whether he or she is honestly prepared to give up alcohol. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

There are no membership drives in A.A. If, after attending several meetings, the newcomer decides A.A. is not for him or for her, no one will urge continuation in the association. There may be suggestions about keeping an open mind on the subject, but no one in A.A. will try to make up newcomers' minds for them. Only the alcoholic concerned can answer the question "Do I need Alcoholics Anonymous?"

May I bring relatives or friends to an A.A. meeting?
In most places, anyone interested in A.A., whether a member or not, is welcome at open meetings of A.A. groups. (Consult the group for local custom.) Newcomers, in particular, are invited to bring wives, husbands, or friends to these meetings, since their understanding of the recovery program may be an important factor in helping the alcoholic to achieve and maintain sobriety. Many wives and husbands attend as frequently as their spouses and take an active part in the social activities of the local group.

(It will be recalled that "closed" meetings are traditionally limited to alcoholics.)

Can't an A.A. member drink even beer?

There are, of course, no musts in A.A.., and no one checks up on members to determine whether or not they are drinking anything. The answer to this question is that if a person is an alcoholic, touching alcohol in any form cannot be risked. Alcohol is alcohol whether it is found in a martini, a Scotch and soda, a bourbon and branch water, a glass of champagne — or a short beer. For the alcoholic, one drink of alcohol in any form is likely to be too much, and twenty drinks are not enough.

To be sure of sobriety, alcoholics simply have to stay away from alcohol, regardless of the quantity, mixture, or concentration they may think they can control.

Obviously, few persons are going to get drunk on one or two bottles of beer. The alcoholic knows this as well as the next person. But alcoholics may convince themselves that they are simply going to take two or three beers and then quit for the day. Occasionally, they may actually follow this program for a number of days or weeks, Eventually, they decide that as long as they are drinking, they may as well "do a good job." So they increase their consumption of beer or wine. Or they switch to hard liquor. And again, they are back where they started.

Twelve Qualities of Sponsorship #essentialsofrec #recovery #meditation #AA

I will not help you to stay and wallow in selfpity.

I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.

I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself, more excited, less sensitive, more free to become the authority for your own living.

I can not give you dreams or "fix you up" simply because I can not. I am powerless too.

I can not give you growth, or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by facing reality, grim as it may be at times.

I can not take away your loneliness or your pain. You must do that. Attending meeting will help.

I can not sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you must live.

I can not convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of remaining static.

I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I can not get close to you when you choose not to grow. Sorry!

When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith in you, then I am inhibiting both for you and for me.

You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you and "hang in there" with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest hint that you are still trying to grow.

If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become what God meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the little children of the world.

The 12 Steps as Ego Deflating Devices #essentialsofrec #AA #Spiritual #hope

What does Surrender Mean?

For reasons still obscure, the program and the fellowship of AA could cause a surrender, which in turn would lead to a period of no drinking. It became ever more apparent that in everyone's psyche there existed an unconquerable ego which bitterly opposed any thought of defeat. Until that ego was somehow reduced or rendered ineffective, no likelihood of surrender could be anticipated.

AA, still very much in its infancy, was celebrating a third or fourth anniversary of one of the groups. The speaker immediately preceding me told in detail of the efforts of his local group-which consisted of two men-to get him to dry up and become its third member. After several months of vain efforts on their part and repeated nose dives on his, the speaker went on to say: "Finally, I got cut down to size and have been sober ever since," a matter of some two or three years. When my turn came to speak, I used his phrase "cut down to size" as a text around which to weave my remarks. Before long, out of the corner of my eye, I became conscious of a disconcerting stare. It was coming from the previous speaker.

It was perfectly clear: He was utterly amazed that he had said anything which made sense to a psychiatrist. The incident showed that two people, one approaching the matter clinically and the other relying on his own intuitive report of what had happened to him, both came up with exactly the same observation: the need for ego reduction. It is common knowledge that a return of the full-fledged ego can happen at any time. Years of sobriety are no insurance against its resurgence. No AA's, regardless of their veteran status, can ever relax their guard against a reviving ego.

The function of surrender in AA is now clear. It produces that stopping by causing the individual to say, "I quit. I give up on my headstrong ways. I've learned my lesson." Very often for the first time in that individual's adult career, he has encountered the necessary discipline that halts him in his headlong pace. Actually, he is lucky to have within him the capacity to surrender. It is that which differentiates him from the wild animals. And this happens because we can surrender and truly feel, "Thy will, not mine, be done."

Unfortunately, that ego will return unless the individual learns to accept a disciplined way of life, which means the tendency toward ego comeback, is permanently checked.

This is not news to AA members. They have learned that a single surrender is not enough. Under the wise leadership of the AA "founding fathers" the need for continued endeavor to maintain that miracle has been steadily stressed. The Twelve Steps urge repeated inventories, not just one, and the Twelfth Step is in itself a routine reminder that one must work at preserving sobriety. Moreover, it is referred to as Twelfth Step work-which is exactly what it is. By that time, the miracle is for the other person.

~ Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, M.D.

Big Book #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #BigBook #BillW #Alcoholism #Solution

Chapter 2 THERE IS A SOLUTION (pg 25 & top 26)

There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at out feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.

The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God's universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.

If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort.

Chuck C – “A New Pair of Glasses” Part 6 #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #meditation #Speakers #ChuckC #inspiration #Spiritual

#Essentialsofrecovery.com #Quotes #Spiritual #inspiration #Recovery

We all came on different ships but we’re on the same boat now.
~ Martin Luther King.

Daily Tao #essentialsofrecovery.com #Meditation #Tao #Buddhism #LaoTzu #Zen #Spiritual

September 30,

People conform to
the Laws of the Earth.

The Earth conforms to
the Law of Heaven.

Heaven conforms to
the Way (Tao)

The Tao conforms to
its own nature.

~ Lao Tzu

Daily Zen Thoughts #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #Zen #Buddism #Meditation #Spiritual

September 30,

A man was rowing his boat upstream on a very misty morning. Suddenly, he saw another boat coming downstream, not trying to avoid him. It was coming straight at him. He shouted, "Be careful! Be careful!" but the boat came right into him, and his boat was almost sunk. The man became very angry, and began to shout at the other person, to give him a piece of his mind. But when he looked closely, he saw that there was no one in the other boat. It turned out that the boat just got loose and went downstream. All his anger vanished, and he laughed and he laughed.

~ Thich Nhat Nanh, "Being Peace"

Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #NativeAmerican #HOPI #Elders #Meditation #Spiritual

September 30,

“Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.”

~ Don Talayesva, HOPI

Human beings function from choice. We can choose to stuff things, or we can choose to let go of things. If we choose to stuff things, then we will feel a heaviness, or sorrow, self pity or fear. Sometimes we feel the need to cry. Sometimes we are taught it is not okay to cry. The creator designed the human being to cry. Crying is a release. This release allows us to let go of thoughts that are not helping us so we can open to new thoughts that will help. Crying is natural for women and men.

Grandfather, if I need to cry, let me realize it’s a natural process and help me to let go.

One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #Mditation #OneDayAtATime #Spiritual

September 30, 


“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
–St. Francis of Assisi

There are many tools I use to maintain my abstinence, but none of them is as important to me as service. I do a lot of service, but it’s not for fame or glory: I do service in order to keep my program strong. I came into program for the first time back in college, and got there only because someone offered to give me a ride.

When we first walk into these rooms, we often feel lost and alone in the dark world of addiction. But at that very first meeting we hear people talk about their experience and strength, and a small glow of light comes into our view. All it takes is that “single sunbeam” and we have hope again and our world seems brighter.

As we keep coming back and working the Steps, we encounter lots of different sunbeams, and slowly the shadows in our lives are cast away and the world becomes bright again. It is then our responsibility to let our own light shine. One of the beauties of this program is that everyone can find a way to give service. Whether it be on the group or Intergroup level, whether by sponsoring or just making a call, whether by serving as secretary, treasurer, or just by helping to put chairs away after a meeting, there is a job for everyone.
No one should feel “unimportant.” I’m sure that the lady who gave me a ride to my first few meetings didn’t feel like she was doing anything special, but she was the first sunbeam in my life. All these years later, her act of giving has ignited in me a burning desire to give back to others the miracle of this program.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will be unafraid to let my light shine. Any act of service that I can give will not only help another, but will ensure that my own light does not burn out.

~ Laurel

A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #Dependency #Spiritual #Meidtation #ADayAtATime

September 30,

Reflection For The Day

No matter what other people do or don’t do, we have to remain sober and free from other addictions for ourselves. When our program of recovery becomes contingent on the actions or inaction of another person — especially someone with whom we’re emotionally involved — the results are invariably disastrous. We need to also remember that intense dislike is as much an emotional involvement as new found romantic love. In short, we have to cool any risky emotional involvements in the first few months of our recovery, trying to accept the fact that our feelings could change quickly and dramatically. Our watch word must be “First Things First,” concentrating on our number one problem before anything else. Am I building a firm foundation while steering a firm foundation while steering clear of slippery emotional areas?

Today I Pray

May I always remember that healthy relationships with people are necessary for my recovery. But — that substituting an obsession with either a love or hate object is as dangerous to my well-being as any other addiction.

Today I Will Remember

A dependency is a dependency is a dependency.

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #FrLeo #Meditation #inspiration #Spiritual

September 30, 


“Prayer of the modern American: ‘Dear God, I pray for patience. And I want it right now!’”

– Oren Arnold

How I appreciate those times when I experience the gift of patience in my life, not as often as I would like. That is an interesting point: I am impatient about having patience!

Seriously, patience is when I recognize the need to “back off” — allow God into the driver’s seat, resting in the knowledge that things happen in God’s time. This does not mean that I am not involved, but it allows for God’s comprehensive plan for His world. I can experience patience usually when I get in touch with gratitude. Once I stop giving energy to the “I wants”, the joy of serenity breathes through my life and I can rest. Sometimes I need to “stop” and say a loud and resonant “thank you”.

Lord, let me breathe these words into my life: “Thy will be done.”

Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #KeepItSimple

September 30, 

If we follow the Twelve Steps, we’ll leave failure behind. We may have tried and tired to be sober, good people, but failed if we were doing it our way. Now is the time to stop listening to ourselves and start listening to pros, those who have gone before us.

When we follow their lead, exciting changes happen. First we stay sober. We regain self-respect. We meet people we respect and become friends. Our families start to trust us again. And why? Because we gave up doing it our way and listened. We listened to the experts.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, allow me to become an expert listener.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll find someone I respect and ask how they work their program. I’ll ask them to share their wisdom.

As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery #AA #BillW #AsBillSeesIt #Spiritual

September 30,

A.A. In Two Words, p.271

“All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards.

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater willingness to accept and to act upon clear-cut obligations–these are truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit. They hold up to us the very essence of right being and right doing. It is by them that we are enabled to find and to do God’s will.” Talk, 1965 (Printed In Grapevine, January 1966)

Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery #meditation #recovery #Spiritual

September 30, 

A.A. Thought For The Day

There are no leaders in A.A., except as they volunteer to accept responsibility. The work of carrying on A.A.–leading group meetings, serving on committees, speaking before other groups, doing twelfth-step work, spreading A.A. among the alcoholics of the community–all these things are done on a volunteer basis. If I don’t volunteer to do something concrete for A.A., the movement is that much less effective. I must do my fair share to carry the load. A.A. depends on all its members to keep it alive and to keep it growing. Am I doing my share for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

When you look to God for strength to face responsibility and are quiet before Him, His healing touch causes the Divine Quiet to flow into your very being. When in weakness you cry to God, His touch brings healing, the renewal of your courage, and the power to meet every situation and be victorious. When you faint by the way or are distracted by feelings of inferiority, then rely on the touch of God’s spirit to support you on your way. Then arise and go forth with confidence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may lay myself open today to the healing touch of God. I pray that I may not falter or faint by the wayside, but renew my courage through prayer.

Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #NA #JustForToday

September 30th,

Being Ourselves

“Our real value is in being ourselves.”Basic Text, p.101

Over and over, we have tried to live up to the expectations of those around us. We may have been raised believing that we were okay if we earned good grades in school, cleaned our rooms, or dressed a certain way. Always wanting to belong and be loved, many of us spent a lot of time trying to fit in – yet we never quite seemed to measure up.

Now, in recovery, we are accepted as we are. Our real value to others is in being ourselves. As we work the steps, we learn to accept ourselves just as we are. Once this happens, we gain the freedom to become who we want to be.

We each have many good qualities we can share with others. Our experiences, honestly shared, help others find the level of identification they need to begin their recovery. We discover that we all have special gifts to offer those around us.

Just for today:
 My experience in recovery is the greatest gift I can give another addict. I will share myself honestly with others.


The circle stands for the whole world of A.A., and the triangle stands for A.A.'s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service. Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession.

— A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 139

Early in my A.A. life, I became employed in its services and I found the explanation of our society's logo to be very appropriate. First, a circle of love and service with a well-balanced triangle inside, the base of which represents our Recovery through the Twelve Steps. Then the other two sides, representing Unity and Service, respectively. The three sides of the triangle are equal. As I grew in A.A. I soon identified myself with this symbol. I am the circle, and the sides of the triangle represent three aspects of my personality: physical, emotional sanity, and spirituality, the latter forming the symbol's base. Taken together, all three aspects of my personality translate into a sober and happy life.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Learn from your mistakes...


It Will Always Change You. Remember Resentment Is No 1 Offender...


This is very true...


Just Do It...


Remind Yourself...


Focus on Recovery...


#essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #quotes #inspiration

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
~ Jimmy Dean

Chuck C – “A New Pair of Glasses” Part 5 #essentialsofrecovery.com #Speakers #ChuckC #Recovery #AA #Alcoholism

Daily Tao #essentialsofrecovery.com #Tao #DailyTao #Meditation #LaoTzu

September 29,

Nature rarely speaks.
A whirlwind doesn't even last a whole morning.
A rainstorm starts and ends in a single day.

Such things are made by heaven and earth.
If heaven and earth can't make a storm last,
how can you?

~ Lao Tzu

Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery.ccom #Recovery #Meditation #Inspiration #Twenty-Four-Hours #Spiritual

September 29,

A.A. Thought For The Day

Having got this far, shall we pause and ask ourselves some searching questions? We need to check up on ourselves periodically. Just how good an A.A. am I? Am I attending meetings regularly? Am I doing my share to carry the load? When there is something to be done, do I volunteer? Do I speak at meetings when asked, no matter how nervous I am? Do I accept each opportunity to do twelfth-step work as a challenge? Do I give freely of my time and money? Am I trying to spread A.A. wherever I go? Is my daily life a demonstration of A.A. principles? Am I a good A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

How do I get strength to be effective and to accept responsibility? By asking the Higher Power for the strength I need each day. It has been proved in countless lives that for every day I live the necessary power shall be given me. I must face each challenge that comes to me during the day, sure that God will give me the strength to face it. For every task that is given me, there is also given me all the power necessary for the performance of that task. I do not need to hold back.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may accept every task as a challenge. I know I cannot wholly fail if God is with me.

Big Book #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #Spiritual #BigBook #BillW #AA #Traditions



Our A.A. experience has taught us that:

1.--Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.

2.--For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.

3.--Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

4.--With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the Trustees of the General Service Board. On such issues our common welfare is paramount.

5.--Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose - that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

6.--Problems of money, property, and authority may easily divert us from our primary spiritual aim. We think, therefore, that any considerable property of genuine use to A.A. should be separately incorporated and managed, thus dividing the material from the spiritual. An A.A. group, as such, should never go into business. Secondary aids to A.A., such as clubs or hospitals which require much property or administration, ought to be incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups. Hence such facilities ought not to use the A.A. name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them. For clubs, A.A. managers are usually preferred. But hospitals, as well as other places of recuperation, ought to be well outside A.A.--and medically supervised. While an A.A. group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never go so far as

affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied. An A.A. group can bind itself to no one.

7.--The A.A. group themselves ought to be full supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.

8.--Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional. We define professionalism as the occupation of counseling alcoholics for fees or hire. But we may employ alcoholics where they are going to perform those services for which we might otherwise have to engage nonalcoholics. Such special services may be well recompensed. But our usual A.A. "12th Step" work is never to be paid for.

9.--Each A.A. groups needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its Secretary, the large group its Rotating Committee, and the groups of a large Metropolitan area their Central or Intergroup Committee, which often employs a full-time Secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our over-all public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principle newspaper, "The A.A. Grapevine." All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.

10.--No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues--particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.

11.--Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.

12.--And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of Anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.

Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #mediation #Buddhism #Zen #Buddha

September 29,

"He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me."
Those who think such things will not be free from hate.

~ Buddha

Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery #recovery #meditation #NativeAmerican #Elders #Lakota

September 29,

“So I prayed, but I had to pray from my heart. All of my concentration and thoughts went from my head to my heart. All of my senses – hearing, smell, taste, and feeling – were connected to my heart.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The heart is the gateway to the Unseen World, to the Spirit World. It takes real concentration to do this. To connect to our own heart is also a mental state. It starts in the head and transitions to the heart. This mental state is our inner stillness. Be still and know. This place of the heart is very joyous and peaceful. It is this place that we become one with God, our Creator.

Great Spirit, teach me to be a heart warrior.

One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery#meditation #Recovery #Alanon #Inspiration #Spiritual

September 29, 


“Take my hand, and no matter how dark the night, the light of day will come, and we will share the tomorrow.”

~ Ken Grant

When we first walk into our recovery rooms, we are all afraid: afraid of more rejection, afraid of more failure, and afraid of more loneliness. Once we sit and listen, we realize that we are not much different than the other people there. We ease up, start sharing, begin trusting our Higher Power and ourselves more.

Our darkness of the past is drawn out by our sharing with other addicts. We realize our deep, dark secrets are not as bad as we thought.

We are not alone! Then hand-in-hand, we begin climbing the ladder of recovery and the light of day begins to shine brighter and brighter.

One Day at a Time . . .

When we let our guard down and let Higher Power and other people in, we learn that at the end of a dark day is the light of our next today. We learn that together we can do what we can never do alone.

~ Jeanette

A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #inspiration #ADatAtATime

September 29, 

Reflection For The Day

In our first weeks or months in The Program, our shaky emotional condition sometimes affects our feelings toward old friends and family. For many of us, these relationships heal quickly in the initial stages of our recovery. For others, a time of “touchiness” seems to persist; now that we’re no longer drinking or using other chemicals, we have to sort out our feelings about spouse, children, relatives, employer, fellow workers, and even neighbors. Experience in The Program over the years has taught that we should avoid making important decisions early in our recovery — especially emotion-charged decisions about people. Am I becoming better equipped to relate maturely to other people?

Today I Pray

May God help me through the edginess, the confusion of re-feeling and re-thinking my relationships, the “getting-it-all-together” stages of my recovery. May I not rush into new relationships or new situations that demand and investment of my emotions — not yet.

Today I Will Remember

No entangling alliances too soon.

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #FrLeo #Spiritual

September 29, 


“It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.”

– Anatole France

I experienced blackouts in my drinking. Often I would wake up and not know where I had been, what I had said or what I had done. I would awake to peer through windows searching for my car. I would telephone to find out what time I had left the party and if anything had happened. Often as I bathed I would discover bruises or bleeding from an unremembered incident.

There were other times I knew what I had done, knew what I had said, remembered how I behaved — and yet still I went back for more. I drank alcoholically for years because my pride would not allow me to be alcoholic. I created the wisest excuses for staying sick!

Today my sobriety requires a wisdom that is based on reality.

Lord of action, teach me to place my feet alongside my best thinking.

Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #KeepItSimple

September 29, 

Al didn't smile for forty years. You've got to admire a man like that.
–From the TV show, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”

Remember how we used to live? We were always trying to cover up some lie or mistake.

We were all like Al. Our energy was going into our illness, not into living.

Gratitude is the key word in the program. Gratitude is being thankful for the getting to know our Higher Power. Remember what it was like to not smile for all those years?

Recovery has given us back our smiles. What a relief! We can relax and enjoy our new life.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I’ll always remember what is was like when I was using. I pray that I’ll not take my recovery for granted. I prayer for gratitude.

Action For the Day: I will list all the things the program and recovery have given me. I will smile about them today.

As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #Meditation #BillW #AsBillSeesIt

September 29,

A.A. In Two Words, p.271

“All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards.

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater willingness to accept and to act upon clear-cut obligations–these are truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit. They hold up to us the very essence of right being and right doing. It is by them that we are enabled to find and to do God’s will.” Talk, 1965 (Printed In Grapevine, January 1966)

Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #Twenty-Four-Hours

September 29, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

Having got this far, shall we pause and ask ourselves some searching questions? We need to check up on ourselves periodically. Just how good an A.A. am I? Am I attending meetings regularly? Am I doing my share to carry the load? When there is something to be done, do I volunteer? Do I speak at meetings when asked, no matter how nervous I am? Do I accept each opportunity to do twelfth-step work as a challenge?Do I give freely of my time and money? Am I trying to spread A.A. wherever I go? Is my daily life a demonstration of A.A. principles? Am I a good A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

How do I get strength to be effective and to accept responsibility? By asking the Higher Power for the strength I need each day. It has been proved in countless lives that for every day I live the necessary power shall be given me. I must face each challenge that comes to me during the day, sure that God will give me the strength to face it. For every task that is given me, there is also given me all the power necessary for the performance of that task. I do not need to hold back.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may accept every task as a challenge. I know I cannot wholly fail if God is with me.

Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #NA #JustForToday #Spiritual

September 29,

Just For Today

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

“Just for today” – it’s a comforting thought. If we try to live in the past, we may find ourselves torn by painful, disquieting memories. The lessons of our using are not the teachers we seek for recovery. Living in tomorrow means moving in with fear.

We cannot see the shape of the secret future, and uncertainty brings worry. Our lives look overwhelming when we lose the focus of today.

Living in the moment offers freedom. In this moment, we know that we are safe. We are not using, and we have everything we need. What’s more, life is happening in the here and now. The past is gone and the future has yet to arrive; our worrying won’t change any of it. Today, we can enjoy our recovery, this very minute.

Just for today: I will stay in the here and now. Today – this moment – I am free.


Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.


A man came to the meeting drunk, interrupted the speakers, stood up and took his shirt off, staggered loudly back and forth for coffee, demanded to talk, and eventually called the group's secretary an unquotable name and walked out. I was glad he was there – once again I saw what I had been like. But I also saw what I still am, and what I still could be. I don't have to be drunk to want to be the exception and the center of attention. I have often felt abused and responded abusively when I was simply being treated as a garden variety human being. The more the man tried to insist he was different, the more I realized that he and I were exactly alike.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Try To Practice This Virtue Religiously...


Learn To Forgive Yourself...


Keep Your Ego At Bay...


Daily Tao #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #Spiritual #Tao #Zen #Buddhism

September 28,

Ordinary people think the "Great Tao" is actually useless.
That everyone thinks it is useless, is proof of how great it is.
If it was the kind of thing ordinary people thought was useful,
it would have disappeared long ago.

~ Lao Tzu

Elder's Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery.com #Inspiration #Elder’s #Meditation #NativeAmerican #Lakota #Spiritual

September 28,

"Love is something that you can leave behind you when you die. It's that powerful."

John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA

The Old Ones say, love is all anyone needs. Love doesn't go away nor can love be divided. Once you commit an act of love, you'll find it continues. Love is like setting up dominos one behind the other. Once you hit the first domino, it will touch the second one which will touch the third one and so on. Every love act or love thought has an affect on each person as well as touching the whole world. If you live a life filled with love, the results will affect your friends, relatives, and other people, even after you go to the other side. So... Love.

My Creator, let me love. Let me put into action the love dominos.

Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #Buddhism #Meditation #Zen

September 28,

I gaze on myself in the stream's emerald flow
Or sit on a boulder by a cliff.
My mind, a lonely cloud, leans on nothing,
Needs nothing from the world and its endless events. 

~ Han Shan (9th century)

Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #BigBook #AA# BillW

September 28,

Foreward to First Edition
This is the Foreword as it appeared in the first printing of the first edition in 1939

We are not an organization in the conventional sense of the word. There are no fees or dues whatsoever. The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking. We are not allied with any particular faith, sect or denomination, nor do we oppose anyone. We simply wish to be helpful to those who are afflicted.

pp. xiii-xiv

Step by Step #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #spiritual

Sept. 28,

“1. – Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. AA must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.” – The First Tradition (long form), Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Appendices, “The Twelve Traditions,” p 565.
Today, let me understand and respect the first Tradition of our Program, namely that I am not first and foremost and that my own sobriety and recovery contribute to the effectiveness of the Program as a whole, even if my own is but a small contribution. That said, the sobriety and recovery for which I have worked and am working are not solely mine but mirror our Fellowship’s credibility – be it in the eyes of a newcomer or the public and various professional organizations. Because of that responsibility, may I also understand that the sobriety I have gained carries a responsibility to it. My responsibility to my sobriety, then, boils down to being in service to the Program as the First Tradition dictates. If I can effectively serve, then I may be contributing to my own welfare which, as the First Tradition also states, comes a close second. Today, my sobriety is not my own and must be part of everyone else’s, and I am responsible to work for continued recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #AA #Twenty-Four-Hours

September 28,
Thought for the Day

For the past two months we have been studying passages and steps from the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous. Now why not read the book itself again? It is essential that the A.A. program become part of us. We must have its essentials at our fingertips. We cannot study the Big Book too much or too often. The more we read it and study it, the better equipped we are to think A.A., act A.A., and live A.A. We cannot know too much about the program. The chances are that we will never know enough. But we can make as much of it our own as possible. How much of the Big Book have I thoroughly mastered?

Meditation for the Day

We need to accept the difficulties and disciplines of life so as to fully share the common life of other people. Many things that we must accept in life are not to be taken so much as being necessary for us personally, as to be experienced in order that we may share in the sufferings and problems of humanity. We need sympathy and understanding. We must share many of the experiences of life, in order to understand and sympathize with others. Unless we have been through the same experiences, we cannot understand other people or their makeup well enough to be able to help them.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may accept everything that comes my way as a part of life. I pray that I may make use of it in helping other people.

From Twenty-Four Hours a Day © 1975 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.

A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery #Spiritual.com #recovery #meditation #ADayAtAtime

September 28,

Reflection for the Day

Now that we’re free from our addictions, living life one day at a time, we can begin to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love. We can show kindness where we had shown none; we can take the time and initiative to be thoughtful, considerate and compassionate. Even with the people we dislike, we can at least try to be courteous, at times literally going out of our way to understand and help them.

Just for today, will I try to understand rather than be understood, being courteous and respectful to all people with whom I’m in contact?

Today I Pray

May I never forget my old sponge-like self, who soaked up every drop of affection and attention my family or friends could give me, until they were sapped dry. May I learn to be a giver, rather than a constant taker. May I practice offering interest, kindness, consideration and compassion until sensitivity to others becomes second nature to me.

Today I Will Remember
Giving is part of being.

Hazelden Foundation

Chuck C – “A New Pair of Glasses” Part 4 #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #ChuckC #AA #Alcoholism #Spiritual #inspiration

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #meditation #Spiritual

September 28, 


"Good people are good because
they've come to wisdom through

~ William Saroyan

Today I am able to learn from my mistakes because I can see that they
really were mistakes! I was trying to play the game of life without a
full deck. My big mistake in life was trying to drink alcohol like a
non-alcoholic. I couldn't do it.

Drugs do not think; they react. They always work, and for me they
worked against me. Most of my failures in life stemmed from a
fundamental misconception -- alcoholics cannot drink like
non-alcoholics! This I now accept. And in a strange way that is difficult
to explain, I am a stronger person for having lived through my
alcoholism. God has become more real, the world is more
comprehensible, my life is more understandable because of the pain.

If a part of "goodness" is knowing that you are not perfect, then on a
daily basis I am becoming a good person.

God, who has created a world in which there is pain and failure, help
me to accept both as vehicles to wisdom.

Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #Meditation #KeepItSimple #AA #Inspiration

September 28, 

Honesty is the backbone of our recovery program. Honesty opens us up. It breaks down the walls we had built around our secret world. Those walls made a prison for us. But all of that is now changed. We are free.

Honesty has made us wise. We aren’t sneaking drinks anymore. We don’t have a stash to protect.

People who didn’t trust us now depend on our honesty. People who worked hard to avoid us, now seek us out. Self-honesty is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You are truth. I pray that I may not turn away from truth. I will not lie. My life depends on honesty.

Action For the Day: For twenty or thirty minutes, I will think about how learning to be honest has changed my life.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #AA #AsBillSeesit #BillW

September 28,

Honesty And Recovery, p.270

In taking an inventory, a member might consider questions such as

How did my selfish pursuit of the sex relation damage other
people and me? What people were hurt, and how badly? Just how
did I react at the time? Did I burn with guilt? Or did I insist that I
was the pursued and not the pursuer, and thus absolve myself?

How have I reacted to frustration in sexual matters? When
denied, did I become vengeful or depressed? Did I take it out on
other people? If there was rejection, or coldness at home, did I
use this as a reason for promiscuity?


Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family
back. His recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent
upon his relationship with God, however he may define Him.

1. 12 & 12 ,pp. 50-51
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 99-100

Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery.com #JustForToday #NA #Recovery #Meditation

September 28, 


“Gradually as we become more God-centered than self centered, our despair turns to hope.”

Basic Text, p.92

As using addicts, despair was our relentless companion. It colored our every waking moment. Despair was born of our experience in active addiction: No matter what measures we tried to make our lives better, we slid ever deeper into misery. Attempts we made to control our lives frequently met with failure. In a sense, our First Step admission of powerlessness was an acknowledgment of despair.

Steps Two and Three lead us gradually out of that despair and into new hope, the companion of the recovering addict. Having accepted that so many of our efforts to change have failed, we come to believe that there is a Power greater than ourselves. We believe this Power can – and will – help us. We practice the Second and Third Steps as an affirmation of our hope for a better life, turning to this Power for guidance. As we come to rely more and more on a Higher Power for the management of our day – to – day life, the despair arising from our long experiment with self-sufficiency disappears.

Just for today: I will reaffirm my Third Step decision. I know that, with a Higher Power in my life, there is hope.


Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.


Sponsorship held two surprises for me. First, that my sponsees cared about me. What I had thought was gratitude was more like love. They wanted me to be happy, to grow and remain sober. Knowing how they felt kept me from drinking more than once. Second, I discovered that I was able to love someone else responsibly, with respectful and genuine concern for that person's growth. Before that time, I had thought that my ability to care sincerely about another's well-being had atrophied from lack of use. To learn that I can love, without greed or anxiety, has been one of the deepest gifts the program has given me. Gratitude for that gift has kept me sober many times.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Into Action...


Hand It Over...


Gratitude is Key...


Just For Today...


Chuck C – “A New Pair of Glasses” Part 3 #essentialsofrecovery.com #Recovery #ChuckC #Speaker #AA

#essentialsofrecovery.com #Quotes #LaoTzu #tao #Zen #Meditation

Rare goods are merely weights that slow you down.
~Lao Tzu

Daily Tao - Blunt the sharp edges #essentialsofrecovery.com #meditation #recovery #tao #Buddhism

September 27,

The Tao is so empty,
So hollow.
Yet somehow its usefulness is inexhaustible
It is so very deep
So very profound.
Like the source of everything.

It blunts the sharpest edges
Unties the knots
Softens the glare

It is so very deep
So tranquil
It seems to barely exist at all.
Its origin is unknown
It preceded the Gods themselves.

Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery #recovery #meditation #Zen #Buddhism

September 27, 

Nature may be compared to a vast ocean. Thousands and millions of changes are taking place in it. Crocodiles and fish are essentially of the same substance as the water in which they live. People are crowded together with the myriad other things in the Great Changingness, and their nature is one with that of all other natural things. Knowing that I am of the same nature as all other natural things, I know that there is really no separate self, no separate personality, no absolute death and no absolute life. 

~ T'ien T'ung-Hsu (8th c A.D.)

One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #spiritual #meditation #OneDayAtATime

September 27, 


“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties and obstacles vanish.”

–John Quincy Adams

When I first walked through the meeting doors, I wanted recovery and I wanted it now! Give me the magic wand, I’ll waive it, then get on with my life. At least that’s what I thought.

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn is the art of patience and allowing God to work within his own time while I do the footwork to the best of my ability. It is my belief that the universe and my Higher Power will order the next level of my physical recovery. Physical recovery does not grow without spiritual progress. This Program is a journey, not a crash-course in fad dieting.

When I struggled with bouts of pride connected to my levels of patience and God’s timing, I knew I was uncovering yet another character flaw that could delay my spiritual recovery. Spiritual recovery, as “Old-timers” have told us again and again, is the actual foundation of the program. The inner-person will eventually make its way to the outer-person.

One day at a time…
Today I will slow down, take a deep breath, and just remind myself that my Higher Power is in control and that my natural pattern will develop under His nurture, care, and control.

~ January

Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery.com #meditation #recovery #spiritual #Elders #NativeAmerican

September 27

“I got my education from my culture. My teachers were my grandmothers, and I am really thankful for that.”

–Mary One Spot, SARCEE

Our often unrecognized, but most powerful teachers are our women. In order for men to learn a balanced way, we need to learn from our men Elders and our women Elders. Learning from the women Elders will teach us a whole different set of values and insights to life. When we have life problems, we need to go to the grandmothers to get their advice.

Grandmothers, teach me the values of the Great Mystery.

A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #spiritual #meditation #ADayAtATime

September 27,

Reflection For The Day

In times past, even as adults, many of us childishly insisted that people protect, defend and care for us. We acted as if the world owed us a living. And then, when the people we most loved became fed up, pushing us aside or perhaps abandoning us completely,m we were bewildered. We couldn’t see that our over-dependence on people was unsuccessful because all human beings are fallible; even the best of them will sometimes let us down, especially when our demands are unreasonable. Today, in contrast, we rely upon God, counting on Him rather than on ourselves or other people. Am I trying to do as I think God would have me do, trusting the outcome of His will for me?

Today I Pray

May I know, from the dependencies of my past, that I am a dependent person. I depended on alcohol, mood-altering chemicals, food or other addictive pursuits. I was inclined to “hang” on other people, depending on them for more than they could give. May I, at last, switch from these adolescent dependencies to a mature healthy dependency on my Higher Power.

Today I Pray

I have more than one dependency.

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery.com #meditation #recovery #spiritual #Leo

September 27, 


“Do not mistake activity for achievement.”

– Mabel Newcomber

Often I am running in circles and not getting anywhere. I spend forever “doing” things and yet I know I am not achieving anything. I am going nowhere in my life!

“Be still and know that I am God.” I need to stop. I need to listen to the pain that is within. I need to relax in my gratitude. I need to rest in myself. Tomorrow has not yet come — today I take time for me.

Lord, I hear Your still small voice. Today I rest in me and discover Thee.

Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery.com #meditation #recovery #spiritual #keepitsimple

September 27,
Honesty is the backbone of our recovery program. Honesty opens us up. It breaks down the walls we had built around our secret world. Those walls made a prison for us. But all of that is now changed. We are free.

Honesty has made us wise. We aren’t sneaking drinks anymore. We don’t have a stash to protect.

People who didn’t trust us now depend on our honesty. People who worked hard to avoid us, now seek us out. Self-honesty is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, You are truth. I pray that I may not turn away from truth. I will not lie. My life depends on honesty.

Action For the Day: For twenty or thirty minutes, I will think about how learning to be honest has changed my life.

Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #spiritual #meditation #Daily Reflections

September 27,


When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, . . . .


While practicing service to others, if my successes give rise to grandiosity, I must reflect on what brought me to this point. What has been given joyfully, with love, must be passed on without reservation and without expectation. For as I grow, I find that no matter how much I give with love, I receive much more in spirit.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #spiritual #meditation #Twenty-Four-Hours

September 27, 2014

A.A. Thought For The Day

Continuing the consideration of the term “spiritual experience”: “What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self-discipline. With few exceptions, our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves. Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves the essence of spiritual experience. Some of us call it God-consciousness. In any case, willingness, honesty, and open-mindedness are the essentials of recovery.” Have I tapped that inner resource which can change my life?

Meditation For The Day

God’s power in your life increases as your ability to understand His grace increases. The power of God’s grace is only limited by the understanding and will of each individual. God’s miracle-working power is only limited in each individual soul by the lack of spiritual vision of the soul. God respects free will, the right of each person to accept or reject His miracle-working power. Only the sincere desire of the soul gives Him the opportunity to bestow it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not limit God’s power by my lack of vision. I pray that I may keep my mind open today to His influence.

Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery.com #recovery #NA #Addiction #Spiritual

September 27, 

Right Back Up

“There is something in our self-destructive personalities that cries for failure.”

Basic Text, p.77

“Poor me; woe is me; look at me, my life is such a mess! I’ve fallen, and no matter how hard I try, I continue to fail!” Many of us came to NA singing this sad refrain.

Life isn’t like that anymore. True, sometimes we still stumble; at times we even fall. Sometimes we feel like we can’t move forward in our lives, no matter how hard we try. But the truth of the matter is that, with the help of other recovering addicts in NA, we find a hand to pull us up, dust us off, and help us start all over again. That’s the new refrain in our lives today. No longer do we say, “I’m a failure and I’m going nowhere!” Usually, it’s more like, “Rats! I hit that same bump in the road of life again. Pretty soon I’ll learn to slow down or avoid it entirely!” Until then, we may continue to fall down occasionally, but we’ve learned that there’s always a helping hand to set us on our feet again.

Just for today: If I begin to cry failure, I’ll remember there is a way to move forward. I will accept the encouragement and support of NA.