Thursday, 30 November 2017

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

SLOW TO JUDGE

Many years ago a professor wrote a book in which he said that he could always tell if a person were a potential criminal by the shape of his ear! This naturally created something of a furor, and a London newspaper sent a reporter to interview old General Booth, of the Salvation Army, on the subject. The reporter said, “General, you probably have an unmatched experience of human nature in the raw. Do you believe there is such a thing as a criminal ear?”

William Booth laughed loudly through his Mosaic beard, and replied, “Why, of course there is a ‘criminal ear’—and we’ve all got one. If it were not for the grace of God, every one of us would be doing time or deserving to.”

William Booth understood human nature. You never can afford to condemn another, because in his shoes you would probably have done just as badly. Have you not noticed that sometimes after condemning someone else rather pharisaically, you have shortly afterward caught yourself in a moral failure?

Wisely did the Master say, “Judge not.”

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10). 

© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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PROTECTION FOR ALL


At the personal level, anonymity provides protection or all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers, it the level of press, radio, TV, and films, anonymity tresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain.

~ “UNDERSTANDING ANONYMITY,” p. 5 

Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A. The miracle of continuous sobriety of alcoholics within A.A. confirms this fact every day. It would be harmful if the Fellowship promoted itself by publicizing, through the media of radio and TV, the sobriety of well-known public personalities who became members of A.A. If these personalities happened to have slips, outsiders would think our movement is not strong and they might question the veracity of the miracle of the century. Alcoholics Anonymous is not anonymous, but its members should be.

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

Sharing the Real Me

“Sharing with others keeps us from feeling isolated and alone.” ~ Basic Text pg. 81 
Intimacy is the sharing of our innermost thoughts and feelings with another human being. Many of us long for the warmth and companionship intimacy brings, but those things don’t come without effort. In our addiction, we learned to guard ourselves from others lest they threaten our using. In recovery, we learn how to trust others. Intimacy requires us to lower our defenses. To feel the closeness intimacy brings, we must allow others to get close to us – the real us.

If we are to share our innermost selves with others, we must first have an idea of what those innermost selves are truly like. We regularly examine our lives to find out who we really are, what we really want, and how we really feel. Then, based on our regular inventories of ourselves, we must be as completely and consistently honest with our friends as we can be.

Intimacy is a part of life, and therefore a part of living clean – and intimacy, like everything in recovery, has its price. The painstaking self-scrutiny intimacy calls for can be hard work. And the total honesty of intimacy often brings its own complications. But the freedom from isolation and loneliness that intimacy brings is well worth the effort.

Just for today: I seek the freedom from isolation and loneliness that intimacy brings. Today, I will get to know “the real me” by taking a personal inventory, and I will practice being completely honest with another person.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services IncWhy not sign up to get emails with all daily posts included?
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TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought for the Day

We have slips in A.A. It has been said these are not slips but premeditated drunks, because we have to think about taking a drink before we actually take one. The thought always comes before the act. It is suggested that people should always get in touch with an A.A. before taking that first drink. The failure to do so makes it probable that they had decided to take the drink anyway. And yet the thoughts that come before taking a drink are often largely subconscious. People usually don’t know consciously what made them do it. Therefore, the common practice is to call these things slips. Am I on guard against wrong thinking?

Meditation for the Day


“The eternal God is thy refuge.” He is a sanctuary, a refuge from the cares of life. You can get away from the misunderstanding of others by retiring into your own place of meditation. But from yourself, from your sense of failure, your weakness, your shortcomings, whither can you flee? Only to the eternal God, your refuge, until the immensity of His spirit envelops your spirit and it loses its smallness and weakness and comes into harmony again with His.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may lose my limitations in the immensity of God’s love. I pray that my spirit may be in harmony with His spirit.

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


Light from a Prayer


“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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

We treasure our “Serenity Prayer” because it brings a new light to us that can dissipate our oldtime and nearly fatal habit of fooling ourselves.

In the radiance of this prayer we see that defeat, rightly accepted, need be no disaster. We now know that we do not have to run away, nor ought we again try to overcome adversity by still another bulldozing power drive that can only push up obstacles before us faster than they can be taken down.

~ 1. GRAPEVINE, MARCH 1962 ~
© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc 
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery

SPIRITUAL PRIDE

Seeking Humility


Those of us who have found a Higher Power in our lives can feel truly blessed. We know we’re on the right path by witnessing the wonderful changes that continue to come into our lives.

One pitfall in this, however, is the risk of becoming “spiritually proud.” We sometimes feel that our beliefs are so superior that others should accept them as well. We even become critical of the beliefs of others.

If this happens, we actually will be severing our own conscious contact with our Higher Power. False pride in a new form will be back in charge. Others will sense this too, and may withdraw from us.

Our best safeguard against this trap of spiritual pride is a reminder that we don’t have all the answers. We can share our understanding with others, but we should never imply that we know what’s best for them. Spiritual growth should bring humility, not more of the pride that was destroying us.

I can leave all outcomes in God’s hands today, knowing that everything is being controlled in a spiritual way.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

~ 1 John 4:18 #fear

Love is allowing another person to be part of you. When we love someone, we feel the person inside of us. Spiritual love is letting our Higher Power become part of us. We feel our Higher Power inside of us. This is what is meant by “conscious contact” in Step Eleven.

When we were drinking and drugging, we kept others on the outside. Inside we felt bad, and we didn’t want anyone to be close to us.

We are now asked to open ourselves up to love and its healing power. Part of the joy of love comes from letting another person know us. You may even wonder, “Will people stick around if they really know me?” Love will answer, “Yes.”

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, let me trust your love. Then I can give up my fear.

Action for the Day

Today I’ll invite my Higher Power into my heart. I will practice conscious contact.

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

FATE

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul”

~ William E. Henley 

Things do not just happen; I make them so. For years, I thought getting well depended on my family getting well. I rooted my recovery in the recovery of others. I was the typical codependent.

Then somebody said, “Why don’t you start taking responsibility for your own life?” I thought about that remark for weeks. I am sure I had heard a similar sentiment a hundred times, but that night, that special night, I was ready to hear it. That was a spiritual moment.

Today I believe such spiritual moments produce a spiritual process I must keep alive. I am the deciding factor in what happens to me and what I achieve. God created me to be involved in my recovery.

May I always steer my life in the direction of truth and love.

© 2008 Leo Booth
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day
If you’re a negative thinker and are not yet ready to do an about-face, here are some guidelines that can keep you miserable for just as long as you wish to remain so. First, don’t go to meetings of the Program, especially discussion groups. If you somehow find yourself at a meeting, keep your mouth shut, your hands in your pockets, and your mind closed. Don’t try to solve any of your problems, never laugh at yourself, and don’t trust the other people in the Program. Above all, under no conditions should you try to live in the Now. Am I aware that negative thinking means taking myself deadly serious at all times, leaving no time for laughter—and for living?

Today I Pray
If I am feeling negative, may I check myself in the mirror that is the group for any symptoms of a closed mind: tight lips, forced smile, set jaw, straight-ahead glance—and no glimmer of humor. God, grant me the ability to laugh at myself—often—for I need that laughter to cope with the everyday commotion of living.

Today I Will Remember
To laugh at myself.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

BOUNDARIES

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.

~ Joseph Fort Newton 

When I was growing up I remember always being lonely and I never had many friends. In order to protect myself from the pain of rejection, or perhaps because I didn’t have self-esteem or believe in myself, I gave the impression that I didn’t need people. I was probably thought of as a snob. I thought that people didn’t like me because I was shy and introverted, but I had built up around myself an impenetrable protective wall which didn’t invite anyone in. It was small wonder that I spent many lonely nights buried in a book or food or any other solitary pursuit for that matter.

In my adult years I became a people-pleaser in the hopes that people would like me more. That even spilled over to include my children as well, which meant that I wasn’t able to say no to them or anyone else unless they stopped loving me. I would say yes when I really meant no, and consequently I was always filled with resentment and felt even lonelier than ever. I didn’t know how to set boundaries and was terrified that if I said no, people wouldn’t love me anymore.

I now know that when I set boundaries, it is an affirmation of my worth, and in most cases I am respected and liked by those people who are really my true friends. My children, too, have benefitted from my having set boundaries with them, and they have more respect for me than before. I am beginning to realize that it is just fine to do what is right for me, and that it doesn’t have to jeopardize any of my relationships.

One day at a time . . .
I am learning that it is right for me to define my boundaries with those that I love, knowing that I set these boundaries in love and friendship, rather than hostility, and that I am still a lovable person.

~ Sharon S
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.

— Anne Frank

Newcomer
I get upset and discouraged about what’s in the news. So much of it is about violence and tragedy, lying and competition. What’s going on our there is so different from what I see at meetings. I wish that everyone had what we have.

Sponsor
Sometimes it does seem as if the world “out there” is on a binge of some kind. And addictions themselves, of all kinds, are still widespread and causing considerable damage. But what about the healing, the taking of responsibility, the turning around of lives? News of recovery, changes in consciousness, spiritual growth, and service is not what sells papers, but it is a real and vital part of what’s happening in the world. Twelve Step recovery has been around for less than a century, but its healing principles have entered the awareness and lives of millions of people around the world.

When we think about what our individual lives were like before recovery and what fundamental changes we’ve been able to make in a short time, it gives us hope and a sense of what’s possible.

Today, I’m blessed with hope. I let change begin with me.

From the book:



If You Want What We Have © 1998 by Joan Larkin
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery




Many who are active in AA work come to feel that they just can’t carry on any longer. There is so much to do; so little time can be spared to do it; so few to do the work. There is a limit to their endurance. After all, a guy has just so much health, strength and patience.

When the burdens get too heavy and too numerous, take it up with the Big Boss, tell Him you like to do His work but that it is more than you can handle – ask Him for more help – and you’ll get it.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 334 – Dipper #essentialsofrecovery


Bamboo dipper, granite basin.
Crust of ice over inky reservoir.
Moon shimmers in the dipper
Until fullness drains away.


Some people are like dippers. No matter what they try to gather up, it ends up flowing out again. For such people it is exceedingly difficult to accumulate anything in life.

If you are like the dipper, that is all the more reason to concentrate the resources that you have. Poverty of any kind need not be a deterrent if you know how to utilize the wealth you possess. You must embrace your fate, work with it, and take advantage of it.

Ultimately, we cannot truly grasp anything permanently in life. We are born naked, we die naked, and in point of fact we live naked. What we take to us — our clothes, our wealth, our relationships — are all external to us. They are easily taken away from us by bruising fate.

We try to internalize our experiences and our understanding. Even that can be taken away by stress, senility, poor memory, disorganized thinking, drugs, or shock. Truly, we are all dippers. The little that life offers us dribbles away.

Perhaps even the poorest of situations is rich, because all the futility of life leads us to embrace Tao. After all, it is bigger than all infinities and more subtle than the slightest wisp. To feel it requires great strength. To sense it requires a dragonfly’s delicacy. When you tire of trying to hold on to life, you will find the means to enter Tao.

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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

My teaching does not require anyone to become homeless or resign the world unless he wants to, but it does require everyone to free himself from the illusion that he is a permanent self and to act with integrity while giving up his craving for pleasure.

-Majjhima Nikaya 
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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

PASSIVE BEFORE GOD

To be sensitive is good, because sensitive people are aware of a thousand interesting or beautiful things where the obtruse person gets nothing. To do any creative work you have to be sensitive; because the creative worker is a “receiving set” for divine Mind.

A world-famous tenor, who was literally fretting himself to death over unimportant matters, broke down in my office, and said that God was cruel to make him so sensitive. I replied, “If you had the hide of a rhinoceros you might be a happier man, but you would not be at the Metropolitan.”

In an electric circuit any given point is said to be positive to any point below it, and negative to any point above it. Current passes always from the positive to the negative, and never the other way. Now, if you are positive in this sense to everything but the action of God, no negative things can come back at you. On the other hand, you are receptive (or “negative” in the purely electrical sense of this ambiguous word) to all good—the direct inspiration of God, the prayers of other people, and all the beautiful and interesting vibrations in the universe.

Here is an affirmation that, intelligently used, will save you much unnecessary bombardment by negative thoughts: I am positive to everything but the action of God.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). 


© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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“ACTIVE GUARDIANS”


To us, however, it represents far more than a sound public relations policy. It is more than a denial of self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant and practical reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A. In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 183 

The basic concept of humility is expressed in the Eleventh Tradition: it allows me to participate completely in the program in such a simple, yet profound, manner; it fulfills my need to be an integral part of a significant whole. Humility brings me closer to the actual spirit of togetherness and oneness, without which I could not stay sober. In remembering that every member is an example of sobriety, each one living the Eleventh Tradition, I am able to experience freedom because each one of us is anonymous.

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

Our Higher Power’s Care

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

~ Basic Text pg. 55 

Our program is based on the idea that the application of simple principles can produce profound effects in our lives. One such principle is that, if we ask, our Higher Power will care for us. Because this principle is so basic, we may tend to ignore it. Unless we learn to consciously apply this spiritual truth, we may miss out on something as essential to our recovery as breathing is to life itself.

What happens when we find ourselves stressed or panicked? If we have consistently sought to improve our relationship with our Higher Power, we’ll have no problem. Rather than acting rashly, we will stop for a moment and briefly remind ourselves of particular instances in the past when our Higher Power has shown its care for us. This will assure us that our Higher Power is still in charge of our lives. Then, we will seek guidance and power for the situation at hand and proceed calmly, confident that our lives are in God’s hands.

“Our program is a set of principles,” our White Booklet tells us. The more consistently we seek to improve our conscious appreciation of these principles, the more readily we will be able to apply them.

Just for today: I will seek to improve my conscious contact with the Higher Power that cares for me. When the need arises, I know I will be able to trust in that care.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

The A. A. way is the way of sobriety, and yet there are slips. Why do these slips occur? Why don’t we all accept A.A. and stay sober from then on? There are many reasons, but it has been proved without exception that once we have become alcoholics we can never drink successfully again. This has never been disproved by any case we know of. Many alcoholics have tried drinking after a period of sobriety from a few days to a few years and no one that we know of has been successful in becoming a normal drinker. Could I be the only exception to this rule?

Meditation for the Day
“We are gathered together in Thy name.” First, we are gathered together, bound by a common loyalty to God and to each other. Then, when this condition has been fulfilled, God is present with us. Then, when God is there and one with us, we voice a common prayer. Then it follows that our prayer will be answered according to God’s will. Then, when our prayer is answered, we are bound together in a lasting fellowship of the spirit.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be loyal to God and to others. I pray that my life today may be lived close to His and to theirs.

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

Out of the Dark

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun.

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

“A clear light seems to fall upon us all — when we open our eyes. Since our blindness is caused by our own defects, we must first deeply realize what they are. Constructive meditation is the first requirement for each new step in our spiritual growth.”

~ 1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 98 ~
~ 2. LETTER, 1946 ~

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

NONE ARE OBLIGATED TO US

Service


Service is considered an essential part of AA. As Dr. Bob said, AA is really love and service.

If this service is delivered in the right spirit— the true AA spirit—no sense of obligation is created. If others feel they are incurring an obligation, they will resent us in time. Moreover, our carrying of the message will be flawed.

The proper way to look at service is to see it as something we perform for our own benefit. While we hope that it will benefit others, that does not have to happen in order for us to benefit. Our good comes from the giving of service, not the measurement of its results for others. No one is obligated to us; nor does anyone have the right to complain if our services did not help. We serve entirely for our own benefit.

For my own good, I’ll give service today. I want it to be effective for others, but I realize my real purpose is to help myself.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

One is happy as the result of one’s own efforts.
~ George Sand 

Happiness is not an accident. It comes from following the spiritual voice found in each of us. This isn’t always easy. Sometimes, the voice tells us to do things we’re afraid of. For Example, if we’re lonely and the voice tells us to call someone on our phone list, we may make excuses to not do it. Again, the voice may say, “Just make the call. It will be okay.” If we follow the voice, we will find happiness.

The spiritual voice inside us speaks of care and love. It will never tell us to hurt others or ourselves. It’s our Higher Power’s voice . It’s what Step Eleven calls “conscious contact.” If we follow this guiding voice, it will lead us to happiness.

Prayer for the Day:
I pray that I’ll come to know my Higher Power by listening to the spiritual voice in me.

Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll meditate and listen to my higher power gentle voice within.

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

TRUST

We Become civilized, not in proportion to our willingness to believe, but in our readiness to doubt.”
~ H. L. Mencken 

A civilized nation is a spiritual nation. A civilized person is one who seeks truth and is willing to change. I want to be such a person living in such an environment.

Sobriety is adventurous because it is bigger than simply not drinking. Recovery seeks to address all areas of my life and all situations. An example is trust. When I was drinking, I trusted no one because I felt everybody was like me—that is, out for themselves and therefore not trustworthy.

Today I know the real enemy in my life is me. I am the one who brings pain into my life. But now I am beginning to love myself by my decision not to drink. Today I am willing to trust.

Spirit of truth, help me freely trust others and myself.
© 2008 Leo Booth
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

Contrary to what some people think, our slogan, Let Go and Let God, isn’t an expression of apathy, an attitude of defeatism, or an unwillingness to accept responsibility. Those who turn their backs on their problems are not “letting go and letting God,” but, instead, are abandoning their commitment to act on God’s inspiration and guidance. They neither ask for nor expect help; they want God to do it all. In seeking God’s guidance, do I realize that the ultimate responsibility is mine?

Today I Pray
May I not allow myself to be lazy just because I think God is going to do everything anyway. (Such apathy reminds me of my old powerless self, the one that moaned that the world was going up in smoke, civilization was going down the drain, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.) Neither may I use “letting God” do it as an excuse for shrugging off my problems without even trying. May God be my inspiration; may I be an instrument of God.

Today I Will Remember

God guides those who help themselves.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade?”
~ Benjamin Franklin 

In the cups of my illness I was a chameleon and people-pleaser. I was afraid to stand on my own opinions and be myself. My fear of rejection kept me always looking for ways to fit in. I was running from life because I was afraid that I would be found to be a fraud and a compulsive eater. I played dumb in school and with my friends. I was afraid to be smart. I was afraid to have differing opinions. Shame kept me hiding inside of myself and inside of my suit of fat. I was afraid to be me.

Since coming to the program I am learning more each day that it is okay for me to be me. It is more than okay; it is essential. I can spread my wings and let myself out of my self-imposed cage ~ and I can go for a flight gliding on the breeze with ease. My first steps were wobbly, but this program promises me that the sunlight is there and it is okay to come out of the shade and be whom I really am. I have something to offer the world. We all do. It is up to us to find it in our deepest heart’s desire.

One day at a time…
I can take one small step to match my insides to my outsides.

~ Lanaya
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“Life, the circle, a measurement with no beginning and no end.”

~ Phillip Deere, MUSKOGEE-CREEK 

The circle teaches us how the Creator made things and how to live. It teaches us how we should look at creation. Life travels in a circle. In the East is the baby, to the South is the youth, in the West is the adult and in the North is the Elder. Then we return to the Earth Mother to start the cycle again. We observe what is `around us’ from the center of the circle. This develops our point of view. We must be careful not to become self-centered.

Great Spirit, let me observe life from the circle’s point of view.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

The price of dishonesty is self-destruction.

—Rita Mae Brown

There once was a woman who told her husband what she thought he wanted to hear. She told him she was happy when she wasn’t. She told him she liked his friends when she didn’t. She tried to figure out what he wanted so she could do it for him. She felt hurt when he didn’t do the same for her. She felt he should also try to read her mind and do what she wanted without her having to express it. She was scared to tell him how she really felt.

However, her pain and resentment grew so much she couldn’t stand it any longer, so she told him her true feelings. He was so used to hearing her lies that he called her a liar when she told the truth. Now she knew how much she had hurt herself by trying to please him at the cost of her own honesty and needs.

Honesty is necessary for a good relationship with anyone. When we lie to ourselves, we cannot tell the truth to others. By being honest, we open our doors to others, we trust them with our true feelings, and they love us for who we really are.

Who can I tell how I really feel today?
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Reflection for the Day

Now that I know I can’t use bottled courage, I seek and pray for 24-hour courage to change the things I can. Obviously, this isn’t the kind of courage that will make me a strong and brave person for life, able to handle any and all situations courageously. Rather, what I need is a persistent and intelligent courage, continuing each day into the next one – but doing today only what can be done today and avoiding all fear and worry with regard to the final result. What does courage mean to me today?

Today I Pray

May I tackle only those things which I have a chance of changing. And change must start with me, a day at a time. May I know that acceptance often is a form of courage. I pray not for super-bravery, but just for persistence to meet what life brings to me without being overcome by it.

Today I Will Remember

Courage is meeting a day at a time.

From the book:


A Day at a Time (Softcover) by Anonymous

A Day at a Time © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

We find in life exactly what we are looking for. In your drinking days you courted trouble constantly and you probably found more than your share of it.

Today we are looking for a better way of life and this, too, we find at every turn.

We get what we want if we put forth sufficient effort to look for it, if we have the ability to recognize it when we see it, and the tenacity to hold on to it when once we grasp it.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 333 – Donkey #essentialsofrecovery


Dismount your donkey at the summit.

Some places in this world are very hard to climb, and people use animals. Each person can only ride one, and each animal might have a different name. The riders go up the trail in different orders, and they discuss their varying opinions about their experiences. They may even have conflicting opinions : One traveler may think the trip thrilling, another may find it terrifying, and a third may find it banal.

At the summit all the travelers stand in the same place. Each of them has the same chance to view the same vistas. The donkeys are put to rest and graze; they are not needed anymore.

We all travel the path of Tao. The donkeys are the various doctrines that each of us embraces. What does it matter which doctrine we embrace as long as it leads us to the summit? Your donkey might be a Zen donkey, mine might be a Tao donkey. There are Christian, Islamic, Jewish, and even Agnostic donkeys. All lead to the same place. Why poke fun at others over the name of their donkey? Aren’t you riding one yourself?

We should put aside both the donkeys and our interim experiences once we arrive at the summit. Whether we climbed in suffering or joy is immaterial; we are there. All religions have different names for the ways of getting to the holy summit. Once we reach the summit, we no longer need names, and we can experience all things directly.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

- Buddha 
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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Random Big Book - "Alcoholics Anonymous"

"A word about sex relations. Alcohol is so sexually stimulating to some men that they have over-indulged. Couples are occasionally dismayed to find that when drinking is stopped the man tends to be impotent. Unless the reason is understood, there may be an emotional upset. Some of us had this experience, only to enjoy, in a few months, a finer intimacy than ever. There should be no hesitancy in consulting a doctor or psychologist if the condition persists. We do not know of many cases where this difficulty lasted long." ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 134

DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

THE KAFFIR DIDN’T KNOW

About the middle of the last century, a traveller was journeying along through what was then a remote part of South Africa. One day while smoking his pipe outside the hut in a native village, he noticed a group of little naked children playing what was evidently a native version of the time honored game of marbles. He watched the game idly for a while, and then something about the rough stones caught his attention. They were quite small pebbles, dull, but—here his pulse began to steeplechase. He spoke to the children’s father, with studied carelessness, and the Kaffir said, “Oh yes, the children like these little stones. They have some more in the hut,” and he brought forth a small basket containing several more.

Repressing his excitement, the traveller took out a large plug of tobacco, worth perhaps twenty or thirty cents in our money, and said, “I would like to take the stones home for my children. I will give you this tobacco for them. Are you willing?” The Kaffir laughed and said, “I am robbing you but if you insist, all right,” and the bargain was sealed—which not only enriched the stranger but led in time to the great discovery of the South African diamond fields.

The fate of the Kaffir is really the fate of most human beings. Man holds a fabulous treasure in his possession—the power of the Spoken Word—and yet, in most cases, he does not know it.

The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure . . . to bless all the work of thine hand . . . (Deuteronomy 28:12). 

© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

ATTRACTION, NOT PROMOTION

Through many painful experiences, we think we have arrived at what that policy ought to be. It is the opposite in many ways of usual promotional practice. We found that we had to rely upon the principle of attraction rather than of promotion.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 180-81 

While I was drinking I reacted with anger, self-pity and defiance against anyone who wanted to change me. All I wanted then was to be accepted by another human simply as I was and, curiously, that is what I found in A.A. I became the custodian of this concept of attraction, which is the principle of our Fellowship’s public relations. It is by attraction that I can best reach the alcoholic who still suffers.

I thank God for having given me the attraction of a well-planned and established program of Steps and Traditions. Through humility and the support of my fellow sober members, I have been able to practice the A.A. way of life through attraction, not promotion.

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

Being Ourselves

“To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.”

~ Basic Text pg. 35 

Humility is a puzzling concept. We know a lot about humiliation, but humility is a new idea. It sounds suspiciously like groveling, bowing, and scraping. But that’s not what humility is at all. True humility is, simply, acceptance of who we are.

By the time we reach a step that uses the word “humbly;” we have already started to put this principle into practice. The Fourth Step gives us an opportunity to examine who we really are, and the Fifth Step helps us accept that knowledge.

The practice of humility involves accepting our true nature, honestly being ourselves. We don’t have to grovel or abase ourselves, nor must we try to appear smarter, wealthier, or happier than we really are. Humility simply means we drop all pretense and live as honestly as we can.

Just for today: I will allow knowledge of my true nature to guide my actions. Today, I will face the world as myself.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

The A. A. way is the way of sobriety. A. A. is known everywhere as a method that has been successful with alcoholics. Doctors, psychiatrists, and the clergy have had some success. Some men and women have gotten sober all by themselves. We believe that A.A. is the most successful and happiest way to sobriety. And yet A.A. is, of course, not wholly successful. Some are unable to achieve sobriety and some slip back into alcoholism after they have had some measure of sobriety. Am I deeply grateful to have found A. A.?

Meditation for the Day
Gratitude to God is the theme of Thanksgiving Day. The pilgrims gathered to give thanks to God for their harvest which was pitifully small. When we look around at all the things we have today, how can we help being grateful to God? Our families, our homes, our friends, our A.A. fellowship: all these things are free gifts of God to us. “But for the grace of God,” we would not have them.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be very grateful today. I pray that I may not forget where I might be but for the grace of God.

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

I Am Responsible . . .

When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help,
I want the hand of A.A. always to be there.
And for that: I am responsible.

~ DECLARATION OF 30TH ANNIVERSARY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION, 1965 ~
<< << << >> >> >>

DEAR FRIENDS:
Since 1938, the greatest part of my A.A. life has been spent in helping to create, design, manage, and insure the solvency and effectiveness of A.A.’s world services — the office of which has enabled our Fellowship to function all over the globe, and as a unified whole.

It is no exaggeration to say that, under their trustees, these all important services have accounted for much of our present size and over-all effectiveness.

The A.A. General Service Office is by far the largest single carrier of the A.A. message. It has well related A.A. to the troubled world in which we live. It has fostered the spread of our Fellowship everywhere. A.A. World Services, Inc., stands ready to serve the special needs of any group or isolated individual, no matter the distance or language. Its many years of accumulated experience are available to us all.

The members of our trusteeship — the General Service Board of A.A. — will, in the future, be our primary leaders in all of our world affairs. This high responsibility has long since been delegated to them; they are the successors in world service to Dr. Bob and to me, and they are directly accountable to A.A. as a whole.

This is the legacy of world-service responsibility that we vanishing oldtimers are leaving to you, the A.A.’s of today and tomorrow. We know that you will guard, support, and cherish this world legacy as the greatest collective responsibility that A.A. has or ever can have.

Yours in trust, and in affection,

Bill

~ Bill W. died on January 24, 1971
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery

SPACES IN TOGETHERNESS

Friendship


One of the beautiful aspects of AA is the bonding that develops among members. We truly do achieve a closeness with some people that is unlike anything we ever had before.

The danger in such friendships is that we may become too close in some ways. Without realizing it, we may be making too many demands on others’ time. This can become suffocating to them and eventually detrimental to the friendship.

In such situations, we need to remember the words of Kahlil Gibran: “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” However close we feel to others, we must allow them their space.

We should also remember to respect others* privacy as well as their anonymity. AA should give us close friendships, but not to the point of suffocation.

I’ll remember today not to overstep my boundaries in any friendship. There must be spaces in our togetherness.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.

~ Bernard Malamud 

Sobriety is freedom. With this freedom, we have a responsibility to help other addicts who still suffer. The program tells us this in Step Twelve. We do this by telling our stories and offering hope.

We must be ready to care, to give ourselves. This is what spirituality is about. When we help others, we prepare the road for those who enter the program after us.

Tradition Five of the Twelve Traditions says, “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” It means we get better by helping others.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, help me create more freedom. Bring me to where I’m needed. Help me carry the message well.

Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll think of ways I can help the addict who still suffers. Then I’ll chose one way I can be of help. I’ll talk with my sponsor about it, and I’ll follow through with my plan.

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

CERTAINTY

“The certainties of one age are the problems of the next.”
~ R. H. Tawney ~

At times, I was a religious bigot. I did not know, but now I see how closed and narrow my thinking was. I craved certainty because I felt it would give me security and happiness—but it never did. I argued dogmas I did not believe; such is the plight of the unhappy hypocrite!

Today I live only in the certainty of the moment. I know what worked for me yesterday will work for me today if I am open to love, truth, honesty, and change. Change is not necessarily difference if I see it as part of a process rather than as an isolated event. The one thing of which I can be certain is change. The God of truth is revealed in change; my acceptance of this fact is spirituality in action.

May I grow in the spiritual life by my desire to change and be tolerant. 

© 2008 Leo Booth
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

Our faith in God’s power—at work in us and in our lives—doesn’t relieve us of responsibility. Instead, our faith strengthens our efforts, makes us confident and assured, and enables us to act decisively and wisely. We’re no longer afraid to make decisions; we’re not afraid to take the steps that seem called for in the proper handling of given situations. Do I believe that God is at work beyond my human efforts, and that my faith and trust in Him will bring forth results far exceeding my expectations?

Today I Pray
May my trust in my Higher Power never falter. May my faith in that Power continue to shore up my optimism, my confidence, my belief in my own decision making. May I never shut my eyes to the wonder of God’s work or discount the wisdom of His solutions.

Today I Will Remember
Our hope in ages past, our help for years to come. 

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

GOODNESS 

Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness is in itself an act of happiness.
~ Count Maurice Maeterlinck ~

While in the disease, most of the goodness I tried to do was for ulterior motives. It was only in recovery that I learned to give unselfishly and without strings to help another. In doing so, I have found happiness beyond measure. I can create my own happiness in the service of my Higher Power and other compulsive overeaters. I can make the promise of a “new happiness and a new freedom” come true.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will do acts of goodness.
~ Judy N.
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ELDER MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

“People say that crisis changes people and turns ordinary people into wiser or more responsible ones.”

~ Wilma Mankiller, CHEROKEE 

There is a saying, conflict precedes clarity. The Medicine Wheel teachings say, in order for something to change it must first go through a struggle. When a crisis enters our lives, other powers are there to help us. We will learn some lessons. Will I honor and respect the next crisis?

Great Spirit, if a crisis occurs today, let me learn the lessons of wisdom. 
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Gratitude


Sometimes in life, things happen too fast. We barely solve one problem when two new problems surface. We’re feeling great in the morning, but we’re submerged in misery by nightfall.

Every day we face interruptions, delays, changes, and challenges. We face personality conflicts and disappointments. Often when we’re feeling overwhelmed, we can’t see the lessons in these experiences.

One simple concept can get us through the most stressful of times. It’s called gratitude. We learn to say thank you for these problems and feelings. Thank you for the way things are. I don’t like this experience, but thank you anyway.

Force gratitude until it becomes habitual. Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.

Today, I will be grateful. I will start the process of turning today’s pain into tomorrow’s joy.

From the book:



The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


Knowledge is of great value and nothing of value is acquired without price. Wisdom is even more to be desired than knowledge, which can be but an accumulation of facts. Humility is greater than wisdom for there is no real wisdom without humility. The wise are humbled by the knowledge of the limitations of their knowledge.

No man is born with these characteristics, they are born of the vicissitudes of life. Sorrow, despair, and failure are their breeding grounds.



Published by Hazelden
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Daily Tao - 365 / REVERENCE #essentialsofrecovery

An ocean of ink in a single drop,
Trembling at the tip of my brush,
Poised above stark white paper,
A universe waits for existence.

Everything we do should be imbued with reverence, and so one would think that we should begin with this concept. But no. Reverence only comes with experience and care. Only when we tire of our excesses can there be esteem.
Those of us who contemplate our world soon come to have a great sense of wonder. The perfection of the stars, the beauty of mountains and streams, the invigorating quality of clean ocean air fill us with feelings of celebration. In our own small way, we must create and bring order to our lives each day. We must be responsible, and at the same time express the wonder of all that we know as human.

A painter poises above blank paper. It is not the painting to come that is as important as that single moment when all things still lie in a state of potential. Will something ugly or beautiful be created? The stately determination to make something worthy of the materials and the moment is reverence. 
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery



One day as I was meditating, I saw a rusty gutter, and I suddenly felt sad and sorry that it was going bad and rusty. I experienced that life was impermanent. I learned Dharma from that gutter.

-Mae Chi Boonliang, "Women's Buddhism, Buddhism's Women"
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Monday, 27 November 2017

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

A SMILE IS AN INVESTMENT

Most people feel intuitively that the simplest things in life are the most important, or, if you prefer, that the most important things in life are found to be the simplest. This is a very profound discovery. What is more important to us than breathing, for instance?

Another simple thing that is of great moment is a smile. A smile affects your whole body from the skin right in to the skeleton, including all blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. It affects the functioning of every organ. It influences every gland. Even one smile often relaxes a number of muscles, and when the thing becomes a habit you can easily see how the effect will mount up. Last year’s smiles are paying you dividends today.

The effect of a smile on other people is no less remarkable. It disarms suspicion, melts away fear and anger, and brings forth the best in the other person-which best he immediately proceeds to give to you.

A smile is to personal contacts what oil is to machinery, and no intelligent engineer ever neglects lubrication.

Rejoice evermore (1 Thessalonians 5:16).


© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

THE PERILS OF THE LIMELIGHT

In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world—a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm which the most ardent members would find hard to match.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 182 ~

It is essential for my personal survival and that of the Fellowship that I not use A.A. to put myself in the limelight. Anonymity is a way for me to work on my humility. Since pride is one of my most dangerous shortcomings, practicing humility is one of the best ways to overcome it. The Fellowship of A.A. gains worldwide recognition by its various methods of publicizing its principles and its work, not by its individual members advertising themselves. The attraction created by my changing attitudes and my altruism contributes much more to the welfare of A.A. than self-promotion.

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

Seeking God’s Help

“At times during our recovery, the decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage.”

~ Basic Text pg. 26 

When we take the Third Step, we decide to allow a loving Higher Power to guide us and care for us in our daily lives. We make the decision to allow this guidance and care into our lives. Some of us believe that, once we’ve made the Third Step decision, God leads us; from that point on, it’s just a matter of paying attention to where we are led.

The Third Step decision is an act of faith, and asking for God’s help is a way of renewing that act of faith. Putting faith to work in our daily lives gives us all the courage and strength we need, because we know we have the help of a loving Higher Power. We trust that our needs will be met. We can tap into that faith and trust just by asking.

Just for today: I will remind myself that I’m not alone by asking my Higher Power for help each step of the way.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

Continuing our thoughts about the rewards that have come to us as a result of our new way of living, we have found that we have gotten rid of any of our fears, resentments, inferiority complexes, negative points of view, self-centeredness, criticism of others, over-sensitiveness, inner conflicts, the habits of procrastination, undisciplined sex, wasting money, boredom, false perfectionism, jealousy, and envy of others. We are glad to be rid of our drinking, and we are also very glad to be rid of these other things. We can now go forward in the new way of life, as shown us by A.A. Am I ready to go forward in the new life?

Meditation for the Day
“He that has eyes to see, let him see.” To the seeing eye, the world is good. Pray for a seeing eye, to see the purpose of God in everything good. Pray for enough faith to see God’s care in His dealings with you. Try to see how He has brought you safely through your past life so that now you can be of use in the world. With the eyes of faith you can see God’s care and purpose everywhere.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have a seeing eye. I pray that with the eye of faith I may see God’s purpose everywhere.

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


The Great Fact


We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order.

But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the great fact for us.

To the Newcomer:

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the road of happy destiny.

May God bless you and keep you — until then.

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, P. 164 


© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery



Limiting Gossip
No harm to others.

“When you’ve told me their names, do not tell me their faults,” a person said at an AA meeting. She was explaining how careful we must be to keep gossip within tight limits. However, it is possible to identify people in gossip without actually speaking their names. We can give so many facts that the listener can identify whom we’re discussing. This is no less malicious and thoughtless than actually naming the person.

We can avoid these dangers by giving up both the desire to gossip and the wish to listen to gossip. We will always have matters to gossip about; we can always find weaknesses in those we envy, faults in people we want to see taken down a notch or two. But if we persist in the program, we should find ourselves moving out of this limited way of thinking. We’ll put severe limits on gossip at the same time.

I’ll sidestep gossip if it starts to find a way into my life today. Under God’s guidance, I have better things to do. 
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery

NOBODY OD’S ON AA

Balance Do people really need daily AA meetings, perhaps even two or three a day? Frequent meeting attendance is usually considered beneficial in AA, but non-members may frown on the practice, especially if a person is neglecting other responsibilities in the meantime.

One thing to remember is that nobody can really “OD” on AA. The worst that can happen from attending so many meetings would be eventual boredom from too much of the same thing. But no harm can come from too much of what is essentially a good practice.

If a person is attending lots of meetings, this schedule may eventually be cut back to allow time for other activities. It’s better, especially in early recovery, to attend too many meetings than too few. We also have to let each person decide how many meetings are required at any stage in his or her recovery.

I know that everyone needs a balanced life, but that cannot happen without secure recovery. Meetings are my best way of staying active in the fellowship.


© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by day, in all the thousand, small, uncaring ways.

~ Stephen V. Benet 
Our Twelve Step program promises us a new way of life. But most of us won’t just wake up one day with a new attitude. We only gain this new way of life if we get involved.

The Twelve Step are tools to build a new life. The more we use a tool, the easier it is to use. The same goes for the Twelve Steps, just as carpenters depend on their tools. If we only wait for the new way of life, it’ll never come. The quicker we get involved, the quicker we’ll get fixed.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, help me get involved. Help me build a new way of life.

Action for the Day:
Today, I’ll look for ways to use the Twelve Steps. If I have a problem, I’ll first stop and think of how the Twelve Steps can help me solve it.
Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation

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FR.LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

OPPORTUNITY

“Whenever science makes a discovery, the devil grabs it while the angels are debating the best way to use it.”

~ Alan Valentine 

Sometimes I spend so long deciding what to do that I miss the opportunity. I can fabricate outcomes to the point of impotence. Nowhere is this truer than in relationships. I see someone I like and go home thinking about what I could have said or done. I create happenings in my mind that never happened in fact. I miss the spiritual opportunity of risk.

For years I behaved this way. I always thought I was not good enough, not important enough. The syndrome of low self-esteem convinced me I was less than other people. Today it is better. My growth includes reaching out to others. I make a point of saying hello. I have the courage to risk a friendship or relationship.

Let me not debate myself into sickness and isolation. 

© 2008 Leo Booth
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

The Program shows us how to transform the pipe-dreams of our pasts into reality and true sense of purpose, together with a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. It’s all right to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, we’re taught, but our feet should remain firmly planted here on earth. Here’s where other people are; here’s where our work must be accomplished. Do I see anything incompatible between spirituality and a useful life in the here and now?

Today I Pray
May my new “reality” include not only the nuts and bolts and pots and pans of daily living, but also my spiritual reality, my growing knowledge of the presence of God. May this new reality have room, too, for my dreams—not the drug-induced, mind-drifting fantasies of the past or the remnants of my delusions, but the products of a healthy imagination. May I respect these dreams, anchor them in earth’s possibilities, and turn them into useful creativity.

Today I Will Remember
Heaven has a place in the here and now.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovvery

NEW BEGINNINGS

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.
That will be the beginning.

~ Louis L’Amour 

During my life I’ve always found it hard to start anything. I don’t know whether it comes from being a compulsive overeater, but I do know that I took my time in starting a recovery program. Maybe it was a fear that, if I didn’t succeed, I could never start over.

Luckily, this is a very forgiving program. If I slip, I can get up and start over. I don’t have to stay down. In fact, I can be down, but I can never be counted out, because all I need to do is begin again. My Higher Power helps me stay on track, and it comforts me to know that, if I fall, I can be picked up and allowed to continue my journey to recovery.

One day at a time . . .

I will remain “higher powered” and start over if I need to.

~ Jeff 


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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“The Natural Law is a spiritual law. Its powers are both light and dark.”

~ Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman Traditional Circle of Elders ~

There are some characteristics that are evident in the system which the Creator made. He made balance, harmony and polarity. In other words, every (+) plus has a (-) minus. Every positive has a negative; every up has a down; every problem has a solution. The Spiritual Law is the same — it has light and dark. Both are good, so both need to be honored. Lessons can be learned on both sides.

Great Spirit, teach me the powers of the Natural Laws.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.

— Madeline Bridges

Sometimes we feel lazy or bored, and then we don’t do our best work. Perhaps we are daydreaming instead of listening closely to what a friend is trying to tell us. When we are not really paying attention to our activities or the people around us, we’ll likely miss out on something important because we do receive in equal measure what we give. And this truth works in every aspect of our lives.

When we treat our friends, our families, even people we don’t know well with kindness, we’ll experience kindness in return. Our own actions and attitudes toward others are what we can expect from others as well.

From the book:



Today’s Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery

Sorrow and happiness are mental states, but the effect they have upon our nervous system and our blood pressure is a recognized fact.

The “Atmosphere” of a hospital and its staff can lengthen or shorten the duration of an illness.

We alcoholics spent years driving nails into our coffins; let us spend today drawing those nails out.

Published by Hazelden 
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Daily Tao / 331 – Sieve #essentialsofrecovery


A coarse sieve catches little.
A fine mesh catches more.
If you want the subtle, be refined,
But prepare to deal with the coarse.



The irony of spiritual living is that you become more sensitive and more subtle. Therefore, you become intolerant of the coarse. There is not much choice in this. If you want to catch the subtle things in life, then you must become refined yourself. But the coarser things will then accumulate all the more quickly. A coarse sieve in a rushing stream will hold back only debris and large rocks. A fine mesh will catch smaller things, but it will also retain the large.

Some people attempt to cope with this by becoming multilayered. They set up a series of screens to their personalities, from the coarse to the subtle so that they can deal with all that life has to offer. This is quite laudable from an ordinary point of view, but from the point of view of Tao, it is a great deal of bother.

What do we do? If we remain coarse, then only the coarse comes to us. If we become subtle, then we gain the refined but are plagued with the coarse as well. If we become multilayered, then we create a complexity that isolates us from Tao.

The solution lies in floating on the current of Tao, uniting with it. That way we no longer seek to hold or to reject.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

A person of wisdom should be truthful, without arrogance, without deceit, not slanderous and not hateful. The wise person should go beyond the evil of greed and miserliness.

Do not get excited by what is old, do not be contented with what is new. Do not grieve for what is lost or be controlled by desire.

-Sutta-nipata, translated by H. Saddhatissa 
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Sunday, 26 November 2017

DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX

HOW MUCH CONVICTION?

What do you really believe? It is as a man thinketh in his heart that matters, says the Bible, and this means the heartfelt conviction as distinct from mere formal assent.

If you want to know what you really believe, simply watch what you do. We always do what we believe, although we frequently talk differently. If you feel that you are not making the most of your life, change your beliefs. Your present beliefs must be wrong if they are not producing harmony and satisfaction.

Start believing in health; start believing in prosperity; start believing in the Christ in those about you; start believing that your own divine Selfhood is rapidly unfolding. Act as though you believed these things and the results will surprise you.

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul. . . . Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as was told me (Acts 27:23-25). 

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

THE HAZARDS OF PUBLICITY

People who symbolize causes and ideas fill a deep human need. We of A.A. do not question that. But we do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us.

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 181 

As a recovered alcoholic I must make an effort to put into practice the principles of the AA. program, which are founded on honesty, truth and humility. While I was drinking I was constantly trying to be in the limelight. Now that I am conscious of my mistakes and of my former lack of integrity, it would not be honest to seek prestige, even for the justifiable purpose of promoting the A.A. message of recovery. Is the publicity that centers around the A.A. Fellowship and the miracles it produces not worth much more? Why not let the people around us appreciate by themselves the changes that A.A. has brought in us, for that will be a far better recommendation for the Fellowship than any I could make.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc
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