Tuesday, 31 May 2016


EssentialsOfRecovery

Barefoot Bill - AA Speaker - Alcoholics Anonymous Speaker #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Speakers #AA



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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrec #Service #Daily #Reflections


READINESS TO SERVE OTHERS

. . . our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission–to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.

 TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

The “Light” to freedom shines bright on my fellow alcoholics as each one of us challenges the other to grow. The “Steps” to self- improvement have small beginnings, but each Step builds the “ladder” out of the pit of despair to new hope. Honesty becomes my “tool” to unfurl the “chains” which bound me. A sponsor, who is a caring listener, can help me to truly hear the message guiding me to freedom.

I ask God for the courage to live in such a way that the Fellowship may be a testimony to His favor. This mission frees me to share my gifts of wellness through a spirit of readiness to serve others.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrec #Moments #Recovery #Addiction #NA

Keep It Simple

“We live a day at a time but also from moment to moment. When we stop living in the here and now, our problems become magnified unreasonably.” 

Basic Text, p. 96

Life often seems too complicated to understand, especially for those of us who’ve dodged it for so long. When we stopped using drugs, many of us came face to face with a world that was confusing, even terrifying. Looking at life and all its details, all at once, may be overwhelming. We think that maybe we can’t handle life after all and that it’s useless to try. These thoughts feed themselves, and pretty soon we’re paralyzed by the imagined complexity of life.

Happily, we don’t have to fix everything at once. Solving a single problem seems possible, so we take them one at a time. We take care of each moment as it comes, and then take care of the next moment as it comes. We learn to stay clean just for today, and we approach our problems the same way. When we live life in each moment, it’s not such a terrifying prospect. One breath at a time, we can stay clean and learn to live.

Just for today:
I will take comfort in my conscious contact with a Higher Power. I am never alone.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Service

A.A. Thought For The Day

I shall not wait to be drafted for service to A.A. I Shall volunteer. I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give to A.A. my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion, and most of all, myself. Do I also accept this as my AA. credo?

Meditation For The Day

Prayer is of many kinds, but of whatever kind, prayer is the linking up of the soul and mind to God. So, if prayer is only a glance of faith, a look or a word of love, or just a feeling of confidence in the goodness and purpose in the universe, still the result of that prayer is added strength to meet all temptations and to overcome them. Even if no supplication is expressed, all the supply of strength that is necessary is secured, because the soul, being linked and united to God, receives from Him all spiritual help needed. The soul, when in its human body, still needs the things belonging to its heavenly habitation.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be taught how to pray. I pray that I may be linked through prayer to the mind and will of God.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrec #Forgiving #BillW #Recovery

Start by Forgiving, p. 151

The moment we ponder a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive. To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us. Triumphantly we seize upon his slightest misbehavior as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own.

Right here we need to fetch ourselves up sharply. Let’s remember that alcoholics are not the only ones bedeviled by sick emotions. In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased.

If we are about to ask forgiveness for ourselves, why shouldn’t we start out by forgiving them, one and all?

12 & 12, p. 78
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrec #Sobriety

Are Sobriety Dates Important?
Practical Thinking


Observing anniversaries of getting sober has become a time-honored custom in AA. Many group name lists include the individual members’ sobriety dates. It’s also customary in many groups to celebrate anniversaries with cakes and to award coins with numerals denoting years of sobriety.

To outsiders, this custom may seem frivolous. What is the benefit in celebrating the day one too the last drink or in adding up the number of sober years?

These celebrations of sobriety dates actually underscore the important goal of staying continuously sober. We may know alcoholics who “went back out” from time to time, and then failed to come back at all. Members who slip and do come back to tell us that it was an agonizing experience, and that they feared they wouldn’t have another chance to lead a sober life. We also hear people say: “I may have another drunk in me, but I’m not sure I can find another sobering up.”

The message is clear: Get sober mark that date, and continue to build on it. We stress the importance of sobriety when we acknowledge the importance of sobriety dates.

I’ll stay sober today. Whatever my length of sobriety, I want to honor it and build on it.

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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrec #Laughter #Shame


You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.

—Ethel Barrymore

There was a time when we wouldn’t let anyone laugh at us—even ourselves. We had to much shame. We had to much pain. We took the world too seriously. If we laughed it was at others—not at ourselves. Over time , real honest laughter returns to us. Laughter is a way of accepting ourselves as human. To be human means we can make mistakes. It means we can lighten up. It also means growing up. And growing up means being happy with all of who we are—even parts of us that may seem odd or funny. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, we shut ourselves off from the world. We shut ourselves off from the parts of us we need to accept. Am I willing to accept the fact that I’m human.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, You made laughter. Help me us it to make my life easier. Help me accept all of me a funny mistake I’ve made.

Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll share with someone close to me a funny mistake I’ve made.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Ambition

AMBITION

“Show me a thoroughly satisfied man – and I will show you a failure.”

–Thomas Alva Edison

I need to strive for new things in my life. I need to push out into new areas and discover the richness of God’s world. I need to explore the varied creativity of creation.

There is so much that I have not done because of the wasted years of my addiction. So much that I have not seen, countries that I have not visited, languages that I have not learned and experiences that I have missed. My compulsive and obsessive behavior left me a prisoner of self – and also a victim of self.

The spiritual recovery I enjoy today says it is okay for me to have things, enjoy things and do things.

Help me to realize the energy and ambition You have created within me.
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Step by Step #essentialsofrec #Idea #God #Recovery



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

– Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 4 (“We Agnostics“), p 55.
Today, if I expect AA to work for me, I must expect myself to work with it, and I must knock down the wall that separates me from the Power stronger than myself to begin my recovery from alcoholism. If I am struggling or even rejecting the possibility of such a Power, let me read and embrace these words from the Big Book and accept on blind faith the hope that somewhere inside me is a “fundamental idea of God.” He, God, need not be a religious entity but a spiritual one, and a “spiritual awakening,” even if it is a basic change in my psyche or character, is required if I am to achieve any kind of quality recovery. Today, I must put aside any resistance and open myself to the idea of a Power stronger than myself so that I can earn the benefits of recovery. If alcohol is stronger than me, I have to believe and hope that a force stronger than alcohol can restore me. And our common journey continues. 


Step by step. – Chris M., 2013
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec #unity #Community #Recovery



For a person to attempt to live apart from this world is as useless as for a drop of water to live apart from the ocean. God put everything in this world, and He takes nothing out. To endeavor to withdraw from the world’s activities is another way of fooling yourself. We are an influence for good or evil regardless of our attempts to hide from society at large.

When a rock falls from a cliff into the sea, it is not merely that the land is one rock less, it means the contour of the whole continent has changed. However, it is still a part of God’s Universe whether it can be seen by man or not.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily TAO /151 ACTUAL #essentialsofrec #Tao #Zen #Taoism #Buddhism

The actual
Is only actual
In one place
And one time.

When one listens to a barking dog, one might imagine emotion, pain, reaction, anxiety, and self-identification, but actually there is nothing there — just sound from a long and deep corridor, channeled out of nothingness and fading into nothingness again.

Like that dog, we may all strive, but there is truly nothing to be done. If we look deeply into our lives, there is only a thin veneer of self-generated meaning over an immense ocean of nothingness.

What we do only has meaning in the here and now. It will not remain in the next instant. Just do what you can for the present, and leave everything else to happen naturally. Work. Wash. Meditate. Eat. Study. Urinate. Sleep. Exercise. Talk. Listen. Touch. Die each night. Be born again each morning. 
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrec #Zen #Buddhism

Fields are spoiled by weeds; people, by passion. So what's given to those free of passion bears great fruit. Fields are spoiled by weeds; people, by aversion. So what's given to those free of aversion bears great fruit.

- Dhammapada, 24, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Emmet Fox - Stake Your Claim: Exploring the Gold Mine Within #essentialsofrec #Holiness #Emmet #Fox



 Holiness Unto the Lord

This phrase is used several times in the Bible, and in our ordinary King James Version the whole phrase is always printed in capitals, indicating unusual importance. Now what do these very important words mean? Well, they contain nothing less than the master key to life.

Holiness unto the Lord means that there is nothing in existence but the self-expression of God--that and nothing more. It naturally follows from this that you yourself, and every condition in your life today, are simply part of God's manifestation or self-expression, and therefore must be perfect, beautiful and harmonious. It may not seem so to the limited human mind, but nevertheless it is the Truth of Being.


This is not a mere abstract truth, but is an extremely practical matter, because to know this and to have faith in it rapidly clears up any kind of difficulty that may be in your life. Instead of a mere academic speculation it is the most powerful healing agent in existence. It will heal the body, readjust every kind of difficulty with other people, solve all business troubles, bring you inspiration and courage, and move you into your true place if you have not already found it.

These words were written upon a golden crown which surmounted the headdress of the high priest, and a later prophecy says that in the day of triumph these words shall be upon the bells of the horses. Of course, you yourself are really a high priest, as Aaron was, when you are engaged in realizing the presence of God where a negative condition seems to be, and it is in your day of triumph (when your prayer is answered) that the words will be seen upon the bells of the horses. You know those horses--and at that time the three inferior horses will have been redeemed forever.

A bell is a proclamation; a summons. Church bells are rung to proclaim that a church service is about to be held and to summon the people. And bells used for secular purposes have the same essential significance. The bells on your horses will proclaim the power of prayer and will summon other people to Higher Thought because when they see the changes that have come over you they will hasten to obtain the same blessings.

Do not accept trouble at its face value. Realize the holiness of god where the trouble seems to be. Have faith in it, and all will be well.

Fox, Emmet (2010-09-07). Stake Your Claim: Exploring the Gold Mine Within (pp. 32-33). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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Monday, 30 May 2016

As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrec


Down To Earth, p. 178

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives.

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 130 
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Be gentle...


EssentialsOfRecovery

The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec

We are very apt to travel in the direction we are headed. Even the brightest of sunshiny days appears overcast if we wear black glasses. If we enter a restaurant by the rear door, we will undoubtedly find garbage cans, smoked and grimy walls and hear the discord of pots and pans. If you enter by the front door, you will find cleanliness and order.

Let us enter each new day by the front door.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Step by Step #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Time


“The old pattern reasserted itself, but it was no longer once every six months. The intervals grew shorter. The binges were longer. They were harder to get off. I wasn’t the type that could taper off. I had to stop cold. My last binge followed the previous one by two weeks. I had just come off a good one, and I went back on to the next one.” 

– Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Lost Nearly All,” Ch 3 (“Desperation Drinking”), p 514.

Today, let me guard against the passage of time and my last drunk from fading the memory of what my drinking days were really like – pure desperation. If it is true that the best predictor of my future is my past conduct, I cannot afford to “romanticize” my drinking, that it was “fun” and that it didn’t rip a path of destruction through myself and others. God grant me the honesty and wisdom to remember the desperation that finally pushed me to ask for help after I exhausted all the denial, justifications and rationalizations. Let me understand and accept that desperation is all the awaits me again if I am not honest with myself in remembering what active alcoholism is truly like. Today, the desperation that is always there to greet me again can wait. And our common journey continues. 

Step by step. – Chris M., 2013
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec #problem #Recovery


We are all familiar with that class of people who have a drinking problem; they know they have it and they know that they can do nothing about it themselves. They also know that we had a similar problem and that we did something about it; their own eyes bear testimony to that effect – yet they refuse to take the message we bring them. They have ears, yet they will not hear. It is not our purpose to sell them a bill of goods. Our message is only for those who want it. They aren’t ready yet, so conserve your efforts for those who are hungry for what we have to give.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 150 – Mercy #essentialsofrec #Tao #Taoism #Zen



Uphold precepts, but be merciful.
Gradually absorb, until there is no need for law.
Gain wisdom beyond right and wrong.




There was a young priest who returned to the community of his birth. Instead of the neighborhood he knew as a boy, the community was now predominantly homosexual. He was uncertain : On one hand, he had to serve the people. On the other hand, his sect forbade homosexuality and condemned it as a grave wrong. It would seem that whatever he did, he would be a hypocrite. He eventually decided to accept all who came to him but still uphold the doctrines of his sect. He saw his most important duty as mercy, and so he was able to help others without truly violating his precepts. When there are contradictions between beliefs, one must resolve them in favor of what one judges to be the higher principle.

We should not sell our ideals short for the sake of expediency or selfishness. Following a particular spiritual tradition means a full commitment to its rules in order to gain the essence of that tradition. But we cannot afford to be dogmatic. Human law is imperfect : There will always be unprecedented circumstances. Thus, we must go beyond rules and operate instead from pure wisdom. We must act with experience, flexibility, and insight. Let us so absorb integrity — experiencing both its triumphs and defeats — that we do the right thing intuitively.

Tradition is first. Mercy is greater than tradition. Wisdom is greater than mercy.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Zen #Buddhism


Know the essence of mind.
Its intrinsic essence is pure clarity.
It is essentially the same as a buddha.
Know the functions of the mind.
Its functions produce the treasure
Of teachings.
When its activity is always
Silent, myriad illusions become suchness.

- Tao-hsin (580-651)
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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Debbie G. - AA Speaker - "Grant me serene sobriety" #essentialsofrec #Speakers #Recovery


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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrec #Tolerance #Recovery


TRUE TOLERANCE

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 139


I first heard the short form of the Third Tradition in the Preamble. When I came to A.A. I could not accept myself, my alcoholism, or a Higher Power. If there had been any physical, mental, moral, or religious requirements for membership, I would be dead today. Bill W. said in his tape on the Traditions that the Third Tradition is a charter for individual freedom. The most impressive thing to me was the feeling of acceptance from members who were practicing the Third Tradition by tolerating and accepting me. I feel acceptance is love and love is God’s will for us.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrec #NA #Addiction #HigherPower


Carry Me

“We believe that our Higher Power will take care of us” 

Basic Text, p. 55

We all have times when it seems as though our lives are falling apart. There are days, or even weeks, when it seems that everything that can go wrong is going wrong. Whether it’s the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship, we doubt that we’ll survive the changes taking place in our lives.

It’s during the times when the world is crashing down around our ears that we find our greatest faith in a loving Higher Power. No human being could relieve our suffering; we know that only God’s care can provide the comfort we seek. We feel broken but we go on, knowing that our lives will be repaired.

As we progress in our recovery and our faith in our Higher Power grows, we are sure to greet the difficult times with a sense of hope, despite the pain we may be in. We need not despair, for we know that our Higher Power’s care will carry us through when we can’t walk on our own.

Just for today:
I will rely on God’s care through the painful times, knowing that my Higher Power will always be there.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrec #Recovery #God


A.A. Thought For The Day

We who have learned to put our drink problem in God’s hands can help others to do so. We can be used as a connection between an alcoholic’s need and God’s supply of strength. We in Alcoholics Anonymous can be uniquely useful, just because we have the misfortune or fortune to be alcoholics ourselves. Do I want to be a uniquely useful person? Will I use my own greatest defeat and failure and sickness as a weapon to help others?

Meditation For The Day


I will try to help others. I will try not to let a day pass without reaching out an arm of love to someone. Each day I will try to do something to lift another human being out of the sea of discouragement into which he or she has fallen. My helping hand is needed to raise the helpless to courage, to strength, to faith, to health. In my own gratitude, I will turn and help other alcoholics with the burden that is pressing too heavily upon them.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may be used by God to lighten many burdens. I pray that many souls may be helped through my efforts.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Depression #Fear


More than Comfort, p. 148


When I am feeling depressed, I repeat to myself statements such as these: “Pain is the touchstone of progress.” . . . “Fear no evil.” . . . “This, too, will pass.” . . . “This experience can be turned to benefit.”

These fragments of prayer bring far more than mere comfort. They keep me on the track of right acceptance; they break up my compulsive themes of guilt, depression, rebellion, and pride; and sometimes they endow me with the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrec #Fairness #Judgement

Guarding against disguised hostility
Fairness.

One of the pitfalls in continued recovery is the tendency to become self-righteous and judgmental. Sometimes this fuses into a hostility directed toward newcomers or chronic “slippers”. Now and then, we’ve seen grumpy older members demanding that those who slip get honest.

While we may be right in concluding that a person is not showing honesty, we have NO RIGHT to denounce or expose anyone in a group setting. Far from helping the person, we may be showing off. If there is hostility in our words or manner, the other person will certainly sense it.

The best group setting for good recovery is always one that expresses warmth, acceptance, and understanding. There are few, if any, times when a verbal assault can be justified. Before we lash out at another person’s lack of honesty, we must take an honest look at our own motives and feelings.

I’ll face the day with a feeling of goodwill and acceptance in my dealings with every person I meet. If I attend a meeting, I’ll show the same warmth and acceptance toward every person there.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrec #Judgement #Recovery


The more one judges the less on love. 

—Balzac

At times we need to make judgments about people’s behavior. We stand back and look at how their lives affect our sobriety. We have to do this to choose people whose relationships will be good for us. We have to do this before we trust someone in business. We should take a good look at the others person before we fall in love. But we decide to trust or love someone, we have to stop judging.

When we love someone, we don’t stand back. We move in close. We give them all our love can offer. We don’t just think and judge. We feel. We are on their side. We look for the good in them. We don’t pick them apart. We love the whole person.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, help me to judge a little and love a lot. Help me accept the people I love, faults and all. Help me love them better.

Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll catch myself when I start to judge others. I will accept them as they are.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrec #Recovery #FrLEo


SELF


“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.”

–William Shakespeare


My addiction to alcohol led me away from “self”: today in my sobriety I am beginning to understand me. For years I blamed others for my misfortunes but today I see that I was the enemy in my life. It was a “cop-out” to blame God, family, job or life for my alcoholism – I needed to take responsibility for “self”.

Part of my recovery program today involves me not looking “outside” for answers but looking within. The answer is not in the stars, not in fate – but rather in the destiny I create by the decisions I make today. I, and I alone, forge my future.

O Lord, let me create a life that is pleasing in Your sight.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrec #Step5 #Program #Recovery

Reflection For The Day

When we fist reached The Program and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was exhilarating. We felt that the problem of isolation had been solved. We soon discovered, however, that while we weren’t alone any more, in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness. Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong. Step Five was the answer. Have I found through the Fifth step the beginning of true kinship with my fellows and God?

Today I Pray

May God help me learn to share myself, my attributes and my failings, not just as I take the Fifth Step but in a continuing give-and-take process with my friends. May I cultivate an attitude of openness and honesty with others, now that I have begun to be honest with myself. May I remember who I used to be — the child in a game of hide-and-seek, who hid so well that nobody could find her/him and everyone gave up trying and went home.

Today I Will Remember


I will be open to friendships.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrec #OA #HigherPower #Recovery

HIGHER POWER


“Think not because no man sees, such things will remain unseen.”

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Recently at a meeting I heard a person share that they weren’t sure that the program would work for them because they did not believe in God. They were very distressed. I wanted to get out the Big Book and quote to them from page 47, “When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him.”

Many of us have a problem with God in the beginning of our program. We may be atheists, agnostics, or simply have had bad experiences regarding God or His/Her people. We can choose the group, or the Higher Power of another, to be our Higher Power until we are able to begin, bit-by-bit, to define and establish a relationship with our own Higher Power. I know that when I came into the program I was very angry with God. I used the group as my Higher Power at first. Then I used my sponsor’s God of her understanding as my Higher Power because He was so loving and full of grace. We had many talks about her God. This helped me greatly until I was able to reconnect to my relationship with the God of my understanding. Today I have a full, rich and intimate relationship with my God.

One day at a time…
I will be tolerant of others’ conception of their Higher Power and will continue to grow in my relationship with the God of my understanding.

~ Carolyn H.
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrec #Crow #NativeAmerican #Humility


“Humility is probably the most difficult virtue to realize.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Two definitions of humility are; one, being aware of one’s own defects of character, and two, giving credit where credit is due. This means if you do something and are successful because God gave you certain talents, give credit to God when someone tells you how well you did; this is being humble. If you are successful at something, but had help from friends, spouse, neighbors, give credit to those who helped you; this is being humble. If you have done a task and you alone accomplished it, give credit to yourself; this is being humble. Say the truth and give credit where credit is due.

Grandfather, let me walk a truthful road today.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrec #Success #Failure


The only people who never fail are those who never try.

—Ilka Chase


A boy once asked his grandfather how he had become so happy and successful in his life. “Right decisions,” replied his grandfather. The boy thought for a while and then asked a second question, “But how do you learn to make right decisions?” The grandfather answered quickly with a twinkle in his eye, “Wrong decisions!”

We, too, will learn from our “wrong decisions,” our mistakes. Whenever we try anything, there is always the possibility of failure. We must learn to not let this keep us from trying. When we are willing to try, we have already conquered our fear. We can grow no matter what the outcome is.

What failure have I turned into success?
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Step By Step #essentialsofrec #Power #Recovery #Step2



“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” 

– Step Two
Today, whether a newcomer or veteran of the Program, if the term Higher Power discourages me because my faith has been ravaged by alcohol or the less than serene episodes of sobriety, let me re-read and understand the literal interpretation of Step Two. We are not asked or mandated by this Step to believe, but “come to believe” in the possibility of a Higher Power. If I shrug off the possibility of some being stronger and greater than myself, I need only look to why I came to AA in the first place: by doing that, I also reached out for the possibility that some help that I need desperately exists. By the same measure, if I cannot yet grasp the concept of a stronger power, let me believe that Step Two is telling me that coming to believe in and accept a Power greater than myself is a dynamic process, one that requires ongoing change. Just as I did not become sober after my last drink and probably needed weeks, months or longer to move from being dry to being sober, so it goes with developing an understanding of the principles of all Twelve Steps. Today, I will not give up if I do not believe in that Higher Power; instead, I will proceed with the promise of Step Two that I will one day find my Higher Power. And our common journey continues. 

Step by step. – Chris M.,
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec #God #Strength #Shame



Life has been hard on us, but most of it was made hard by ourselves. The hard life, however, taught us much: it strengthened our muscles; it broadened our experiences. We are better men because of it. We have known much of hunger, pain, defeat, mental anguish, despair and shame. Only the good survived this ordeal, and we can alleviate the sufferings of the world all the better because we have suffered also.

God was not punishing us …He was conditioning us.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 149 – Pivoting #essentialsofrec #Tao #Taoism #Zen



Some days, you and I go mad.
Our bellies get stuffed full,
Hearts break, minds snap.
We can’t go on the old way so
We change. Our lives pivot,
Forming a mysterious geometry.




Life revolves. You cannot go back one minute, or one day. In light of this, there is no use marking time in any one position. Life will continue without you, will pass you by, leaving you hopelessly out of step with events. That’s why you must engage life and maintain your pace.

Don’t look back, and don’t step back. Each time you make a decision, move forward. If your last step gained you a certain amount of territory, then make sure that your next step will capitalize on it. Don’t relinquish your position until you are sure that you have something equal or better in your grasp. But how do we develop timing for this process?

It has to be intuitive. On certain days, we come to our limits, and our tolerance for a situation ends. When that happens, change without the interference of concepts, guilt, timidity, or hesitancy. Those are the points when our entire lives pivot and turn toward new phases, and it is right that we take advantage of them. We mark our progress not by the distance covered but by the lines and angles that are formed.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrec #Zen #Buddhism


Constantly be aware,
Without stopping.
When the aware mind is present,
It senses the formlessness of things.
Constantly see your body as empty
And quiet, inside and outside
Communing in sameness.
Plunge the body into the realm
Of reality, where there has
Never been any obstruction.

- Tao-hsin (580-651)
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Saturday, 28 May 2016

AA Speaker "Iron" Mike P. “Laughter is good Medicine” #essentialsofrec #AA #Speakers



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Random Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous #essentialsofrec #AA #BigBook



Maybe we are divorced, and have remarried but haven’t kept up the alimony to number one. She is indignant about it, and has a warrant out for our arrest. That’s a common form of trouble too.

Although these reparations take innumerable forms, there are some general principles which we find guiding. Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be. We may lose our position or reputation or face jail, but we are willing. We have to be. We must not shrink at anything.

Usually, however, other people are involved. Therefore, we are not to be the hasty and foolish martyr who would needlessly sacrifice others to save himself from the alcoholic pit. A man we know had remarried. Because of resentment and drinking, he had not paid alimony to his first wife. She was furious. She went to court and got an order for his arrest. He had commenced our way of life, had secured a position, and was getting his head above water. It would have been impressive heroics if he had walked up to the Judge and said, “Here I am.”

We thought he ought to be willing to do that if necessary, but if he were in jail he could provide nothing for either family. We suggested he write his first wife admitting his faults and asking forgiveness. He did, and also sent a small amount of money. He told her what he would try to do in the future. He said he was perfectly willing to go to jail is she insisted. Of course she did not, and the whole situation has only since been adjusted.

Chapter 6 Into Action (pg 79)

Freeing the Spirit - AA Grapevine February 1984 #essentialsofrec



Step Eleven


ONE OF THE key ideas, it seems to me, in the successful practice of the Twelve Steps as a recovery program is contained in the words "conscious contact." The only way I could arrive at any degree of consciousness regarding the physical and the mental/emotional aspects of my recovery, and of my alcoholism itself, was through application of the first ten Steps. Also very helpful was jumping over the fence and making excursions into the Twelfth.

Approaching the Eleventh, then, I already had a good working knowledge of the limitations imposed on me by my threefold disease. That degree of awareness provided a comfortable lead-in to an understanding of the third aspect of alcoholism, the spiritual. Time was, whenever I'd be called on at an AA meeting to share on this Step, I'd become a guru and soar into guru-land. I didn't share my experience; I taught a lesson on spirituality, a how-you-too-can-become-spiritual lesson. (In my early AA years, it was called "pontificating"--but only if someone else did it!)

I see my drinking years, for the most part, as a prolonged effort to improve my conscious contact with reality and with a Power greater than reality. Occasional insight told me that drinking was not the best way. Yet I could cite bands of men and women down through the ages who had practiced severe mortification of the flesh in their pursuit of contact with something beyond ordinary attainment. That was their way, I told myself, and drinking was mine. Alcohol seemed to open doors to a high spiritual life that remained beyond my mortal reach.

Before coming to AA, I spent upwards of two years in psychoanalysis, a therapy that helped a great deal with many of my problems. With my one major problem, however--alcoholism--it offered no practical help whatsoever. My analyst once made an observation that was beyond my understanding at the time but stayed with me, perhaps because of the mystery it posed. In response to my frequent complaints about a fire in my innards, she asked me whether I had ever poured kerosene into a lighted stove. The result, she said, would be similar to pouring spirits on a spiritual fire--conflagration!

What was the source, or cause, of that spiritual fire? I don't really know. Down through my sober years thus far, I have been satisfied to think of it as a manifestation of longing for reunion with something--in AA, we call it a Power greater than ourselves. Some of us call it God.

Once, at a Step meeting, a woman told of her return to church in the belief that it was the only way her prayers would be heard. On her first visit, she was quite surprised to find people there. She had long ago concluded that nobody went to church anymore. Now, she had become a regular churchgoer. For her, church was the most comfortable place for praying.

I was unable to accept churchgoing in my early AA years; so I sought other kinds of help in working this Step. There are certain books promoting peace of mind that I enjoy reading. Perhaps the most attractive book as an aid to meditation is our own Conference-approved reader As Bill Sees It.

Recently, I spent a ten-month period eleventh-stepping myself. My objective was to find out whether I was working at the right job, or whether I should be using my God-given talents in another capacity. I felt I knew what I wanted to do, but because I had been trapped in one job for a very long time, I was no longer sure I could distinguish between wishful thinking and intuition.

During the day or as I lay in bed at night, I'd repeat the words of the Step, each time emphasizing and dwelling on different ones.

What came of that eleventh-stepping adventure? From an unexpected source, I was summoned to a job interview. No, I didn't get the job; but that interview led to another, and this time I did get the job. It was the kind of work I had long believed I wanted to do, with the very organization I most wanted to work with. Happy ending, with the Eleventh Step to thank? No. I was fired. How come? I wasn't equal to the job. Apparently, I had misread God's will for me. Then, it became a matter of praying for the power to accept what I've heard some AAs refer to as not a spiritual awakening but a rude awakening!

Just as the earlier Steps had granted me physical freedom from alcohol and mental/emotional freedom from the stigma of alcoholism, so did my introduction to Step Eleven represent an unprecedented experiment in freedom of the spirit. No longer would I have to say, "Get me out of this mess, and I'll never do such and such again." No more bargaining, no more dictating, no more all-or-nothing! Thy will, not mine, be done!

Incidentally, there are ways other than prayer and meditation by which I can continue to improve my conscious contact with a Power greater than myself--for example, sharing in the maiden talk of a newcomer, rejoicing at the return of a member who had relapsed, and (not to be underestimated) the continuing wonder of waking up each morning sober.

"Quiet times" are of huge value to me. As recounted in Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, AA's co-founder practiced a quiet time of from thirty minutes to an hour every morning, when he read from inspirational books and meditated, a practice he continued into his later years.

In a piece that our other co-founder, Bill W., wrote for the Grapevine (June 1958), he said, "I've just finished rereading the chapter on Step Eleven in our book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This was written almost five years ago. I was astonished when I realized how little time I had actually been giving to my own elementary advice on meditation, prayer, and guidance--practices that I had so earnestly recommended to everybody else!"

It still amazes me that those two men who bore the burden of our pioneer years continued to believe and to work at improving their conscious contact with a Power greater than themselves. And all the other early members who carried the AA message the length and breadth of the land--before the Eleventh Step was written, they, too, relied on a Power greater than themselves. They, too, prayed for knowledge of his will and for the power to follow through.

The Step worked for them in those days, and it works for me today. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that it will work for all those alcoholics yet to come through our doors. But as always, "First Things First." Before we can release the spirit from its imprisonment, we must first imprison the spirits in the bottle. We place the bottle on the shelf, place ourselves in the hands of AA as we understand it, and prepare for the adventure of sobriety. For me, it's an adventure un-thought of and undreamed of in all the years of my drinking life.


W. H.
Manhattan, New York

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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrec #Rights #Recovery

EQUAL RIGHTS

At one time or another most A.A. groups go on rule making
benders. . . . After a time fear and intolerance subside.
[and we realize] We do not wish to deny anyone his chance
to recover from alcoholism. We wish to be just as inclusive
as we can, never exclusive.

“A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED.” pp. 10, 11, 12

A.A. offered me complete freedom and accepted me into the
Fellowship for myself. Membership did not depend upon
conformity, financial success or education and I am so
grateful for that. I often ask myself if I extend the same
equality to others or if I deny them the freedom to be
different. Today I try to replace my fear and intolerance
with faith, patience, love and acceptance. I can bring these
strengths to my A.A. group, my home and my office. I make
an effort to bring my positive attitude everywhere that I
go.
I have neither the right, nor the responsibility, to judge
others. Depending on my attitude I can view newcomers to
A.A., family members and friends as menaces or as teachers.
When I think of some of my past judgments, it is clear how
my self-righteousness caused me spiritual harm.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrec #recovery #AA


A.A. Thought For The Day


In A.A. we learn that since we are alcoholics we can be
uniquely useful people. That is, we can help other alcoholics
when perhaps somebody who has not had our experience with
drinking could not help them. That makes us uniquely useful.
The A.A.s are a unique group of people because they have taken
their own greatest defeat and failure and sickness and used it
as a means of helping others. We who have been through the
same thing are the ones who can best help other alcoholics. Do
I believe that I can be uniquely useful?

Meditation For The Day


I should try to practice the presence of God. I can feel that
He is with me and near me, protecting and strengthening me
always. In spite of every difficulty, every trial, every
failure, the presence of God suffices. Just to believe that
He is near me brings strength and peace. I should try to live
as though God were beside me. I cannot see Him because I was
not made with the ability to see Him else there were no room
for faith. But I can feel His spirit with me.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may try to practice the presence of God. I
pray that by doing so I may never feel alone or helpless again.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Alcoholism #BillW


A.A.–the Lodestar, p. 147

We can be grateful for every agency or method that tries to solve the
problem of alcoholism–whether of medicine, religion, education, or
research. We can be open-minded toward all such efforts and we can
be sympathetic when the ill-advised ones fail. We can remember that
A.A. itself ran for years on “trial and error.”

As individuals, we can and should work with those that promise
success–even a little success.

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

Every one of the pioneers in the total field of alcoholism will
generously say that had it not been for the living proof of recovery in
A.A., they could not have gone on. A.A. was the lodestar of hope and
help that kept them at it.

Grapevine, March 1958
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Courage


Everyday risks…. Courage

We have to take certain risks if we hope to achieve anything. Applying for a job entail a risk of reject. Saving money carries a risk of losing it. Falling in love can result in heartbreak.
We have to take such risks because life is ordered that way. We are hear to learn, and learning includes pressing into unknown situations where we could fail.
God could have created us in such a way we could either avoid risks or not unduly concerned about the. Animals, for example, live with risks but do no seem to worry about them.
We must accept risk as part of God’s plan for us. We also are given tools for working with uncertainties. We have our innate intelligence and a capacity for prudent, reasoned action. We have friends who will help us. Above all, we have our Higher Power, who guides and directs
us through all sorts of risky conditions.

I cannot face life without also facing uncertainties. Today I’ll accept risk as a prt of ordinary living.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Hope #Courage


Who dares nothing, need hope for nothing.

—Johann Fredrich von Schiller

As we grow in recovery, we’ll need to change our behaviors, values, and beliefs to stay sane. This take courage. Courage is doing what is needed in spite of fear.
Courage means facing what we can’t change. We can’t change the fact that we have hurt people. We can’t change the fact we have an illness. And we can’t change the fact that we need help from others.
Courage also means facing those things we can change. We need courage to be honest, to have faith, and to be humble. And we need courage to let people know how important they are.

Prayer for the Day: Courage is more than being tough. Courage means being human. Higher Power, grant me the courage to stay sober and live a spiritual life.


Action for the Day: Today, I’ll have an attitude of courage. I’ll talk in my meeting. I’ll offer help where it is needed. I’ll have the courage to say no when needed.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrec #Alienation #Loneliness


Reflection For The Day

We’ve all had times when we felt alienated, when it seemed we had nowhere to turn and no one to turn to. When we don’t know which way to turn, when there seems to be no one to help us, even then we’re not alone or without help, the presence of God is always with us. When we need strength or courage or comfort, God is there with us as the help we need. Even before we turn to God, His love reaches out to us; His loving Spirit in us hears our cry and answers us. Do I truly believe that I no longer need be alone?

Today I Pray


May I never be alone, even in a place by myself, if I take time to talk to my Higher Power. May He be my companion, my joy, my ever-present help in trouble. May the knowledge of His constant presence fill me with calm, so that I will not fear either the solitude of my own room or alienation in a roomful of people.

Today I Will Remember

Listen for the presence of God.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrec #OA #Serenity

Serenity

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm,
but peace amid the storm.”

Anonymous Quote


Why is serenity so important to our recovery? Because darkness cannotexist where there is light! If we can maintain a serene state of mind as established through our faith in HP and the BB Promises, negative emotions and behaviour will have no power over us. Stress, fear, compulsiveness, obsessiveness, resentment, guilt, shame, willfulness, doubt, distrust, greed and envy, have no power over a mind that is kept in serene repose. Serenity allows us to see situations clearly and makewise decisions. Most importantly, by maintaining a serene mind, we keep the door to our High Power open.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will face each challenge with grace and serenity.


~ Rob R.
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Today’s Gift. #essentialsofrec #Ability #Recovery


Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. 

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The little rabbit stood alone, watching her family and friends hop and skip about her in the forest, playing her favorite rabbit game. Try as she might, each time she attempted to join in, she tripped about awkwardly. When this happened, the other rabbits laughed uproariously at her and called her “Grace.” Soon even she forgot her real name. But in the moments when Grace was alone, she danced around the trees with ease. She was as smooth and graceful as any ballerina. An old owl sat high above her one night, watching her intently. The moonlight streamed through the treetops like a soft spotlight and he sat and watched as little Grace moved in and out of the moonbeams. Finally he said, “Grace, you are more graceful than any creature I’ve ever seen.” Grace was startled that someone had been watching her, but listened carefully to the wise owl’s words as he continued. “You have carried this beauty within you all the time, but locked it inside when you tried too hard.” If we remember to relax and trust in ourselves, we, too, will discover that we are able.


What hidden ability can I set loose today?

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Step by Step #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Step4 #Inventory


Today, I realize that my moral inventory in the Fourth and amends of the Eighth are not confined to my wrongs of commission but also apply to my wrongful acts of omission. With that awakening, my Fourth and Eighth Steps, hopefully, will be more honest. My moral inventory and amends I have tried have focused on things I have done or said, but they have not included my wrongs of having not said or done what I should have. Maybe I neglected or refused to return love or support that someone showed me in my darkest days, or maybe I didn’t answer someone’s call for help for whatever reason. Today, I return to my Fourth and Eighth Steps to decide if I owe restitution not for what I did, but for what I didn’t do. And our common journey continues. 

Step by step. – Chris M., 2013
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec #love #God #Recovery


Love is as necessary to a human being as sunshine is to a plant. Without it, the soul of man withers, shrivels and dies. Fortunate is the man who has love given to him, but even more fortunate is he who earns it. The only way to earn love is to love. Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself.

He who hoards love shall lose it, but he who scatters love about him as he moves through life finds that it takes root and surrounds him on every side.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 148 – Translation #essentialsofrec #Tao #Taoism #Zen



Place the word Tao
Into your heart.
Use no other words.




Why do so many people seek foreign religions? Why are so many of our philosophies translations from other languages? Surely we are all human beings, with hearts and minds, two hands and two legs. Each of us needs spirituality, but why must we always look abroad?

People who investigate Tao ask whether they have to be Chinese to benefit from it. It is true that part of the study of Tao is strictly Chinese. It is also true that this Taoism has never been exported — unlike Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, or Judaism — and has never been preached beyond the Five Sacred Mountains of China. It is elitist, to protect itself from coarse unbelievers. But this Taoism is not the Tao you need.

The true Tao is of no nationality, no religion. It is far beyond the conceptions of even the most brilliant human being, so it cannot be the property of one race or culture. The need to understand Tao is universal; people just give it different names in their native languages. Tao is the very essence of life itself, so those who are alive always have the possibility of knowing Tao. It is meant to be found in the here and now, and it is within the grasp of any sincere seeker.
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Emmet Fox - Your Master Demonstration #essentialsofrec #Emmet #Fox



There are two or three fundamental principles with which we are all acquainted, and I in which we believe--at least in theory. Unfortunately, however, there are still many people who give assent to these principles but yet realize them only slightly. Of course, there are also some who have at least a fair realization of what they mean, but not one of us has anything like a full realization.

As soon as we succeed in getting a strong realization (even though not one hundred percent) things will being to move for the better in our lives with a power and rapidity that we have not yet even dreamed of.


The first thing you must being to realize is that there is nothing that prayer cannot accomplish. Many people are perfectly ready to accept these principles as theories but they think that even if they could be made to work, the task would call for extraordinary and exceptional beings. But you have to know that you must being to realize not only that they apply to you personally but that your own prayers can work the miracle. So this applies not only to the prayers of others for you but to your own prayers for yourself or for your loved ones.

This is true because it is God who is the Healer, and the potency of your prayer will depend solely on the faith that you put into it and not upon any other quality.

These things being true--and they are---I am going to suggest that you personally, whoever you are who is reading this, begin to work along these lines immediately. By this I mean, naturally, that you will begin to work for greater realization of the fundamental truths quoted above, and not be satisfied to say that you that you already know them and accept them.

Most of you have had at least one or two very remarkable demonstrations, or answers to prayer, but in most cases they have happened only occasionally. Now begin to make them occur more and more often, and determine also to make your Master Demonstration this year.

By the Master Demonstration of your life I mean demonstrating whatever is most important in your life; by far more important than anything else whatever. When you succeed in that it will in itself naturally change your life infinitely for good, and apart from the actual demonstration you will find that you have taken an incalculable step forward on the spiritual path.

Fox, Emmet (2010-09-07). Stake Your Claim: Exploring the Gold Mine Within (pp. 34-35). Harper Collins, Inc. Kindle Edition.
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Friday, 27 May 2016

Learn from It...


EssentialsOfRecovery

Scott R. A.A. Speaker #essentialsoffrec #AA #Speakers


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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrec #maudlin #Guilt



NO MAUDLIN GUILT

Day by day, we try to move a little toward God’s perfection. So we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt… 

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 15

When I first discovered that there is not a single “don’t” in the Twelve Steps of A.A., I was disturbed because this discovery swung open a giant portal. Only then was I able to realize what A.A. is for me: A.A. is not a program of “don’ts”, but of “do’s.” A.A. is not martial law; it is freedom. A.A. is not tears over defects, but sweat over fixing them. A.A. is not penitence; it is salvation. A.A. is not “Woe to me” for my sins, past and present. A.A. is “Praise God” for the progress I am making today.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrec #courage #NA #Strength



 Meeting The Day’s Challenge

“…the decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage.” 

Basic Text, p. 26

A challenge is anything that dares us to succeed. Things new and unfamiliar serve as challenges, whether those things appear good or bad to us. We are challenged by obstacles and opposition from within ourselves and from without. New and difficult things, obstacles and opposition, all are a part of “life on life’s terms” Living clean means learning to meet challenge.

Many of us, consciously or unconsciously, took drugs to avoid meeting challenge. Many of us were equally afraid of failure and success. Each time we declined the day’s challenge, we suffered a loss of self-esteem. Some of us used drugs to mask the shame we felt. Each time we did that, we became even less able to meet our challenges and more likely to use.

By working the NA program, we’ve found the tools we need to successfully meet any challenge. We’ve come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, a Power that cares for our will and our lives. We’ve asked that Power to remove our character defects, those things that made our lives unmanageable. We’ve taken action to improve our conscious contact with that Higher Power. Through the steps, we’ve been given the ability to stop using drugs and start living.

Each day, we are faced with new challenges. And each day, through working our program of recovery, we are given the grace to meet those challenges.

Just for today:
I will ask my Higher Power to help me squarely meet today’s challenge.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrec #Step12 #Continuance

A.A. Thought For The Day

In twelfth-step work, the fifth thing is Continuance. Continuance means our staying with prospects after they have started on the new way of living. We must stick with them and not let them down. We must encourage them to go to meetings regularly for fellowship and help. They will learn that keeping sober is a lot easier in the fellowship of others who are trying to do the same thing. We must continue to help prospects by going to see them regularly or telephoning them or writing them so that they don’t get out of touch with A.A. Continuance means good sponsorship. Do I care enough about other alcoholics to continue with them as long as necessary?

Meditation For The Day

Every strong and beautiful flower must have a strong root in the ground. It must send a root down so that it may be rooted and grounded while at the same time it sends a shoot up to be the flower that shall gladden the world. Both growths are necessary. Without a strong root, it would soon wither. The higher the growth upward, the deeper must be the rooting. My life cannot flower into success and helpfulness unless it is rooted in a strong faith, or unless it feels deeply secure in the goodness and purpose of the universe.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that my life may be deeply rooted in faith. I pray that I may feel deeply secure.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrec #Inventory #Recovery #BillW


Spot-Checking, p. 132

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.

The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.

12 & 12, pp. 90-91
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrec #importance#Respect #People


Who is important?
Respect for people.


The Twelve step movement grew out of an earlier society, the Oxford group, whose members believed in “key People.” They embraced the idea that attracting promising individuals with high standing would, in turn, attract others.

We’ve also had such people in AA and other 12 step groups, and we are grateful for their examples and efforts. We’ve learned, however, not to view one person as more important than another’s. We could even harm a recovering person by focusing on his or her personal prestige in the community. Our purpose is to help people get well, not to run a club emphasizing social standing.

We’ll find our program working much better if we treat all people equally, and view them as equal in the sight of God. We have a standing in God’s sight that is eternal and everlasting.

I’ll extend kind and generous thoughts toward every person I meet today. We are all children of equal standing in the sight of God.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Self-Will


It’s only by forgetting yourself that you draw near to God.

—Henry David Thoreau

The biggest danger we face as recovering people is self-will. Do we try to control others?

Do we always put ourselves before others? Are we full of self-pity? These are all ways that bind us to our self-will.

In recovery, we put our lives in the hands of a loving God. Here, we find a new home. Our goal is to lose as much of our self-will as we can. We than put love in place of self-will. Recovery is truly about love.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I pray and offer my self-will to You, Self-will is a danger to my sobriety. I pray that I may be closer to You than to myself.

Action for the Day:
I’ll list the areas that self-will get in my way. I’ll read my list every day next week, and I’ll try to put love in place of self will.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrec #Motives #Fr.LEo


MOTIVES


“Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”

–Michelangelo

I must always “think big”, not in an egotistical sense but as an adventure in spirituality. When I had a small God, I always remained a small person, with small aspirations and dreams. Today I have an all-embracing inclusive God that fills the universe. Today I have hope in my dreams.

As an alcoholic I missed so much. I observed very little about myself and God’s world, people and friends became inconsequential; nothing really mattered except the desire to drink. My spiritual potential was lost in my alcoholism.

Today I am realizing my potential and I can risk in sobriety. My motto has become “go for it”. Behind my dreams is my growth. I have a sense of so much joy in the world that I wish to enthusiastically experience my life.

God, I am so grateful to be alive.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrec #Self-Talk #Recovery


Reflection For The Day

When I have only myself to talk to, the conversation gets sort of one-sided. Trying to talk myself out of a drink or a pill or a “small wager” or just one chocolate eclair is sort of like trying self-hypnosis. It simply doesn’t work; most of the time, it’s about as effective as trying to talk myself out of a case of diarrhea. When my heart is heavy and my resistance low, I can always find some comfort in sharing with a true and understanding friend in The Program. Do I know who my friends are?

Today I Pray


May I be convinced that, as part of God’s master plan, we were put here to help each other. May I be as open about asking for help as I am ready to give it, no matter how long I have been in The Program. May the experiences of countless others be enough to prove to me that “talking myself out of it” seldom works, that the mutual holstering that comes from sharing with a friend usually does.

Today I Will Remember

When I ask for help, I am Helping.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrec #OA #overeaters #Recovery


Balance

“I’ve learned that you can’t have everything … and do everything … at the same time.”

–Oprah Winfrey

Learning about balance has been a struggle throughout my life; both as an addict and as a mother, friend, lover, sister… and woman. I’m not sure if it is my addiction that causes me to be over-zealous when it comes to giving too much to too many, or if my desire for love has manifested my addiction out of a need to feel full and satisfied. For me, finding that spot where a relationship is comfortable and not one-sided, where work is just ‘work’ and not all that nourishes my life… where school is an enhancement and not a crutch for hiding and isolating, is a hard place to for me to find. I see patterns within my life where I consistently struggle for harmony and balance. Why isn’t one of anything enough? No matter what it is that is in my life; relationships, work, eating, shopping, I have to work at managing balance so that things flow at the right pace, otherwise, my entire life is off kilter.

But today, I don’t need to struggle. I don’t need to overdo my relationships or my work. I can do just one thing and know that the rest will be there tomorrow. Today I have the gifts that have been given to me to manage my life.

One Day at a Time . . .

I pray that God will help me to manage and balance my life so that I can do a good job with all things, especially living.

~ Pamela
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrec #Native #Elders #Lakota


“One of the things the old people taught me about the spirits was to never have a doubt.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA


The spirit world is sometimes hard to believe in because we can’t see it. Our minds convince us to seek proof for everything. We need to believe that the Unseen World exists and the Unseen World is guided by principles, laws, and values. If we have doubts, we can pray to the Great Spirit to remove the doubt. He understands how difficult it can be sometimes, so He’s always ready to help us during our doubtful times. We are lucky to have such an understanding and helpful Father.

Great Spirit, today, divorce me from doubt.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrec #Fear #Experience


If your life is ever going to get better, you’ll have to take risks. There is simply no way you can grow without taking chances.

—David Viscott

One sunny day a caterpillar who was afraid of the dark came to a tunnel, which lay squarely in its path. It had a choice of going back where it started, or summoning the courage to crawl into the darkness. “What shall I do?” wondered the caterpillar. “If I go back home, I won’t get where I want to go, but I’m so afraid!”

Just then, a voice called out from the tunnel. “I can hear you, Mr. Caterpillar. I am Mr. Beetle. I am here in the tunnel and I can see the other end. If you come through, you won’t lose your fear of the dark, but you will get where you want to go.”

We are all like the caterpillar once in a while. But if we let our fear stop us from doing things, which are necessary to our growth, we will never realize what courage we really have.

Is my fear a necessary part of new experiences?
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Step by Step #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Steps



Today, I have to give overdue appreciation to the spouse, companion, brothers and sisters, parents, children and friends who wanted to help me as I spiralled out of control but who I shut out, who were and are still there as I inch toward recovery. In being focused on my own recovery and working the Steps, I have probably been negligent to admit that the hell I put someone else through might have been worse than my own. And I have to acknowledge that they, too, have their own recoveries to work. Today, I will be grateful and offer to anyone who stayed with me a simple thank you and, to them, my superior amend is that, today, I can and will stay sober. And our common journey continues. 


Step by step. – Chris M., 2013
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrec #Restraint #Recovery


To follow the letter of the law is not enough. You can be moral without difficulty in “solitary.”

Do not let your morality be simply restraining and abstaining. Be constructive in your goodness. Be good for something.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 147 – Subservience #essentialsofrec #Recovery #Tao #Taoism #Zen



Out-of-season rain
Dashes crowns of princely trees.
Perplexed travelers ask for reasons,
Huddling under worn eaves.




Those who follow Tao make much of knowing and acting in conformity to the cycle of seasons. They have made a science of studying the exact ways in which events progress. Some have become so skillful that their lives are admired as nearly magical. Yet when things happen out of turn, even these wise ones are surprised.

Such is the case with unseasonable rain. It is supposed to be hot summer, yet it is a day like midwinter. What is there to do but to accept it? Following cycles does not mean that you can then expect things to occur with precision and regularity. The actual ways that circumstances develop will always remain beyond complete regimentation. Nature doesn’t act according to human theories. Rather, our sciences are imperfect at analyzing nature.

The follower of Tao is always flexible and adaptable to circumstance. Even if there is personal desire to do something and advance preparation has been made, the follower must nevertheless bow to nature. Knowing how to put aside personal priorities in order to fulfill the demands of the time is among the greatest of skills.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrec #Zen #'Buddhism



The fundamental teaching of Buddhism is nothing but the doctrine of One Mind. This Mind is originally perfect and vastly illuminating. It is clear and pure, containing nothing, not even a fine dust. There is neither delusion nor enlightenment, neither birth nor death, neither saints nor sinners. Sentient beings and Buddhas are of the same fundamental nature. There are no two natures to distinguish them. This is why Bodhidharma came from the west to teach the Ch’an method of “direct pointing” to the original true Mind.

- Han-Shan Te-Ch’ing
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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Live Life Now...


EssentialsOfRecovery

Random Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous #essentialsofrec #BigBook #Quotes

The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

Until I was thirteen I attended public schools, with regular promotions and average grades. I have never shown any particular talents, nor have I had any really frustrating ambitions. At thirteen I was packed off to a very fine Protestant boarding school in Virginia, where I stayed four years, graduating without any special achievements. In sports I made the track and tennis teams; I got along well with the other boys and had a fairly large circle of acquaintances but no intimate friends. I was never homesick and was always pretty self-sufficient.

~ The Vicious Cycle p. 221 

Daily Reflections #essentialsofrec #Positivity #Recovery


TURNING NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE

Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks. If you will bear this in mind. I think that your slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down. 

AS BILL SEES IT , p. 184

In keeping with the pain and adversity which our founders encountered and overcame in establishing A.A., Bill W. sent us a clear message: a relapse can provide a positive experience toward abstinence and a lifetime of recovery. A relapse brings truth to what we hear repeatedly in meetings – “Don’t take that first drink!” It reinforces the belief in the progressive nature of the disease, and it drives home the need for, and beauty of, humility in our spiritual program. Simple truths come in complicated ways to me when I become ego driven.
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