Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Jim P. - Big Book Recovery Workshop .3.



Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

“Realizing God as Truth will save you hours of work in research in any field. You will be led to the right book or the right place or the right person without loss of time, or the necessary information will come to you in some other way.” 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery



HAPPINESS COMES QUIETLY

“The trouble with us alcoholics was this: We demanded that the world give us happiness and peace of mind in just the particular order we wanted to get it—by the alcohol route. And we weren’t successful. But when we take time to find out some of the spiritual laws, and familiarize ourselves with them, and put them into practice, then we do get happiness and peace of mind … There seem to be some rules that we have to follow, but happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and free to anyone.” —DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS, p. 308 The simplicity of the A.A. program teaches me that happiness isn’t something I can “demand.” It comes upon me quietly, while I serve others. In offering my hand to the newcomer or to someone who has relapsed, I find that my own sobriety has been recharged with indescribable gratitude and happiness.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Forgiveness

“As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving. At least we know that we are no longer intentionally making life miserable for people.” —Basic Text, p. 38

In our addiction we often treated others badly, sometimes deliberately finding ways to make their lives miserable. In our recovery, we may still have a tendency to pass judgment on others’ actions because we think we know how that person should behave. But as we progress in our recovery we often find that, to accept ourselves, we must accept those around us.

It may be difficult to watch as someone’s insanity manifests itself. But if we detach ourselves from the problem, we can start living in the solution. And if we feel affected by another’s actions, we can extend the principle of forgiveness. Just for today: I will strive to forgive rather than be forgiven. I will try to act in such a way that I feel worthy of self-love.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

It doesn’t do much good to come to meetings only once in a while and sit around, hoping to get something out of the program. That’s all right at first, but it won’t help us very long. Sooner or later we have to get into action, by coming to meetings regularly, by giving a personal witness of our experience with alcohol, and by trying to help other alcoholics. Building a new life takes all the energy that we used to spend on drinking. Am I spending at least as much time and effort on the new life that I’m trying to build in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day


With God’s help, I will build a protective screen around myself which will keep out all evil thoughts. I will fashion it out of my attitude toward God and my attitude toward other people. When one worrying or impatient thought enters my mind, I will put it out at once. I know that love and trust are the solvents for the worry and frets of life. I will use them to form a protective screen around me.

Prayer For The Day

 I pray that frets and impatience and worry may not corrode my protective screen against all evil thoughts. I pray that I may banish all these from my life.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Toward Honesty, p. 17

The perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one permeates human affairs from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of selfish-righteousness can underlie the smallest act or thought. Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building and good living.

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

The deception of others is nearly always rooted in the deception of ourselves.

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

Somehow, being alone with God doesn’t seem as embarrassing as facing up to another person. Until we actually sit down and talk aloud about what we have so long hidden, our willingness to clean house is still largely theoretical. When we are honest with another person, it confirms that we have been honest with ourselves and with God.

1. 12 & 12, pp. 94-95
2. Grapevine, August 1961

3. 12 &12, p. 60 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Avoiding AA Chauvinism
Friendliness toward Others


The term “chauvinism” has often been applied to men who are prejudiced toward women. But “chauvinism” has broader meanings as well. It is a belief in the alleged superiority of one’s own nation or group. AA members can develop this peculiar chauvinism in supposing that there is some superiority in having survived alcoholism.

In the past, some of us have been particularly critical of non-alcoholics who choose to work in the alcoholism field. We may have relied on the axiom “it takes an alcoholic to understand an alcoholic” when in fact there are many people who have suffered from other problems and can understand our sufferings.

Perhaps one of the worst things about AA chauvinism is that it can offend people who could benefit from its principles and could become our allies in the work of helping alcoholics. While we have been highly successful in helping others, we still have not reached more than a small percentage of those who suffer. Additional breakthroughs are needed in the field of alcoholism, and the vital information might come from a non-alcoholic who empathizes with our suffering and wants to do something about it. Even AA has received some of its best ideas from non-alcoholics.

I will know today that membership in AA really means that I’ve found a rightful place in a larger fellowship; The Human Race. I’ll view the world as a friendly place.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


When all else fails, read the instructions.”

—Agnes Allen


The instructions for recovery are in our Twelve Step program. Yet, there are times when we feel our program isn’t working. At these times, we need to read the instructions. Have you followed the “instructions,” the wise words that are found in The Big Book, The Twelve and Twelve, and other recovery literature? When we do, we recover. It’s hard at times, and easy at others. Our problems go deeper than just staying sober. No matter what our problems, our program can help us start fixing them, if we follow the instructions. Don’t use alcohol or other drugs. Go to meeting. Talk often with sponsors and program friends. Work the Steps. Think. Easy Does It. First Things First. Listen. Let Go and Let God. One Day at a Time.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, tell me which instructions to read today. If I’m headed for trouble, help me out.
Today’s Action: I’ll read the instructions today.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

CREATIVITY


“Creative intelligence in its various forms and activities is what makes man.”

—James Harvey Robinson

Spirituality is being a positive and creative human being in all areas of my life; this I know to be true today. I am not only creative, I am a creative human being. God created me to create. I am a part of His love for the world; through me, great and wonderful events can happen. Although I am not divine, I know that I share divinity. I am special.

But with this knowledge comes tremendous responsibility because things are only going to happen if I make them happen in my life. To know that I am creative does not make me creative. I have to do something, make something, create something in my life.

Today I work at my life like a carpenter works at his wood. I chip away those things I do not want; I smooth down the rough areas of my life, and I polish up those things I want people to see. I accept responsibility for my creativity, and I thank God, on a daily basis, for it.

Teach me, O Creator of the universe, to use my life as a tool for goodness, joy and truth.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection For The Day


I have been told over and over that I must constantly work to give up my old ideas. “That’s easy for you to say, ” I’ve sometimes thought. All my life, I have been programmed, computer-style; specific inputs brought forth predictable responses. My mind still tends to reach as a computer reacts, but I am learning to destroy the old tapes and literally reprogram myself. Am I fully willing to abandon my old ideas? Am I being fearless and thorough on a daily basis?

Today I Pray

Help me to take inventory each day of my stock, of my new, healthy thoughts, throwing out the old ones as I happen upon them without regret or nostalgia. For I have outgrown those old ideas, which are as scuffed and as over as an old pair of shoes. Now, in the light, I can see that they are filled with holes.

Today I Will Remember

The Program reprograms.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ PROCRASTINATION ~


“Procrastination, more than anything else I can think of, separates those who want to be successful from those who are.”
—Lee Silber

I would always intend to start everything “tomorrow.” As a compulsive overeater I constantly promised myself the diet would start the next day, or if a weekend was approaching, then it would be Monday. When I first found this program I still had the same attitude: I would get a sponsor in good time, I would get a food plan next week, I’d read the Big Book and other program literature when I got a moment. I thought if I just kept going to meetings something will happen.

However, I found that procrastination does not work in program any more than it does outside. I no longer wanted to be the member who was constantly sharing what a dreadful week I had with the food and other aspects of my life.

Today I have a sponsor, I have worked through all the Twelve Steps—I am still working and living the Steps—I am in good contact with my Higher Power, have a good food plan which I am following religiously, and I have recovery to bring to my shares.

One Day at a Time …
When I make a decision I follow it through with action immediately.

~ Lilian ~
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“In our story of Creation, we talk about each one of us having our own path to travel, and our own gift to give and to share. You see, what we say is that the Creator gave us all special gifts; each one of us is special. And each one of us is a special gift to each other because we’ve got something to share.”

—John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

We are all equally special. We need to focus on what is right for ourselves. As we focus on what is right for ourselves, we will start to see our special gifts. Then we can see how to share our special gifts with others. If we focus on what’s wrong with ourselves, we will not be able to see our gifts. Then we will think we have nothing to give others and we become selfish and withdrawn. The more we focus on our good, the more we see the good in others. The more we see the good in others, the more we see the gifts they have to share. What you sees is what you gets!

My Creator, today, let me use the gifts You have given me. Let me use them wisely.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


“Man cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor.”


—Alexis Carrel

A sculptor begins with an unformed piece of marble. He must be able to envision what he wants to create. Then, armed with tools and courage, he begins to chink away at the marble he does not need. Every day he examines how it looks and what he wants it to become.

Every one of us who is trying to be a better person is like the sculptor. We envision who we want to be and what kind of qualities we believe in. Some of these qualities might be kindness, good self-esteem, the ability to love and feel loved. If we are honest, we must also look with the artist’s eye at our faults. We might see some jealousy and resentment, or feelings of superiority. Our faults, human as they are, are like unwanted marble that keeps our most loving selves from taking shape. Carving away at our faults is hard work, and sometimes even hurts. Yet we do not do this work alone—we can only do it with the help of our God.

What can I chisel away today?
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The Eye Opener

In our Serenity Prayer, we accept with patience the things we cannot change in full knowledge that all emanates from God and is, therefore, Good, whether we recognize it as such or not. The courage to change the things we can, knowing full well that we are the instrumentalities through which God works. The knowledge to differentiate between the two is that to which we all aspire.

No longer can THINGS drive us to drink, for THINGS are something outside our being and can only enter our hearts and minds if we admit them. Our experience has taught us that our greatest misfortunes were frequently our ultimate good – even our years of drunken torture were a blessing in disguise, for only by this means would we have found our bigger and better way of life.


Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 017 - COOPERATION



Cooperation with others.

Perception, experience, tenacity.

Know when to lead and when to follow.



When we become involved with a fellowship, we must gradually become an integral, organic part of that organization. The relationship will be one of mutual influence : We must carefully influence the collective, and in turn, we will be shaped by the company we keep.

Influencing others requires perception. We need to know when to act, when to be passive, when others are receptive to us, and when they will not listen. This takes experience, of course, and it is necessary to take part in a great many relationships -- from our families to community associations -- to cultivate the proper sensitivity. In time, there will be moments of both frustration and success, but in either case, a certain tenacity is crucial. If we are thwarted in our initiatives, then we must persevere by either maintaining our position or changing it if a better one prevails. If we are successful, we must not rely on charisma alone, but we must also work to fully realize what the group has resolved to do.

True leadership is a combination of initiative and humility. The best leader remains obscure, leading but drawing no personal attention. As long as the collective has direction, the leader is satisfied. Credit is not to be taken, it will be awarded when the people realize that it was the subtle influence of the leader that brought them success.
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Daily Zen



The Purpose of Zen



Over the course of centuries, Zen has branched out into different schools with individual methods, but the purpose is still the same - to point directly to the human mind. Once the ground of mind is clarified there is no obstruction at all - you shed views and interpretations that are based on concepts such as victory and defeat, self and others, right and wrong. Thus you pass through all that and reach a realm of great rest and tranquility.

Zen Master Yuanwu
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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Jim P- Big Book Recovery Workshop - 2



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery



“The word treatment is usually applied to a prayer that is made for some specific purpose, as distinct from a general prayer, which is really a visit with God. You must remember that a treatment is a definite practical action, having a definite object and a definite beginning and end. It is in fact a surgical operation on the soul. Let us suppose that you decide to heal a certain difficulty by prayer. You know that your difficulty must be caused by some negative thought charged with fear and located in the subconscious mind. You therefore turn to God, and remind yourself of His goodness, His limitless power, and His care for you. As you work the fear will begin to dissolve, and the awareness of the Truth corrects the erroneous beliefs themselves. Thank God for the healing that you believe will come—and then you keep your thought off the matter until you feel led, after an interval, to treat again. He sent his word, and healed them … (Psalm 107:20).”


― Emmet Fox

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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

HITTING BOTTOM


Why all this insistence that every A.A. must hit bottom first? The answer is that few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have hit bottom. For practicing A.A.’s remaining eleven Steps means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 24

Hitting bottom opened my mind and I became willing to try something different. What I tried was A.A. My new life in the Fellowship was a little like learning how to ride a bike for the first time: A.A. became my training wheels and my supporting hand. It’s not that I wanted the help so much at the time; I simply did not want to hurt like that again. My desire to avoid hitting bottom again was more powerful than my desire to drink. In the beginning that was what kept me sober. But after a while I found myself working the Steps to the best of my ability. I soon realized that my attitudes and actions were changing – if ever so slightly. One Day at a Time, I became comfortable with myself, and others, and my hurting started to heal. Thank God for the training wheels and supporting hand that I choose to call Alcoholics Anonymous.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery.

Make That Call!

” We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected…. [But] our fellow members do understand us.” 

 Basic Text, p. 31

We need our fellow NA members-their experience, their friendship, their laughter, their guidance, and much, much more. Yet many of us hesitate to call our sponsor or visit our NA friends. We don’t want to impose on them. We think about phoning someone, but we don’t feel worthy of their time. We fear that if they ever got to know us-really know us-they’d surely reject us.

We forget that our fellow NA members are just like us. There’s nothing we’ve done, no place we’ve been, no feeling we’ve felt that other recovering addicts won’t be able to identify with. The more we let others get to know us, the more we’ll hear, “You’re in the right place. You’re among friends. You belong. Welcome!”

We also forget that, just as we need others, they need us. We’re not the only ones who want to feel like we belong, who want to experience the warmth of friendship, who want someone to share with. If we isolate ourselves from our fellow members, we deprive them of something they need, something only we can give them: our time, our company, our true selves.

In Narcotics Anonymous, recovering addicts care for one another. What waits at the other end of the telephone is not rejection, but the love, warmth, and identification of the NA Fellowship. Make that call! Just for today: In NA, I am among friends. I will reach out to others, giving and receiving in fellowship.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is more a way of building a new life than just a way of getting over drinking, because in A.A. we don’t just stop drinking. We did that plenty of times in the old days when we went “on the wagon.” And, of course, we always started to drink again, because we were only waiting for the time when we could fall off. Once we’ve gotten sober through the A.A. program, we start going uphill. In our drinking days, we were going downhill, getting worse and worse. We either go down or up. Am I going uphill, getting better and better?

Meditation For The Day

I will try to obey God’s will day in and day out, in the wilderness plains as well as on the mountaintops of experience. It is in the daily strivings that perseverance counts. I believe that God is Lord of little things, the Divine Controller of little happenings. I will persevere in this new way of life. I know that nothing in the day is too small to be a part of God’s scheme.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that the little stones which I put into the mosaic of my life may make a worthwhile pattern. I pray that I may persevere and so find harmony and beauty.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Never Again!, p. 16

“Most people feel more secure on the twenty-four-hour basis than they do in the resolution that they will never drink again. Most of them have broken too many resolutions. It’s really a matter of personal choice; every A.A. has the privilege of interpreting the program as he likes.

“Personally, I take the attitude that I intend never to drink again. This is somewhat different from saying, ‘I will never drink again.’ The latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is undertaking on a personal basis to do what we alcoholics never could do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea that God will release us from the drink obsession provided we follow the A.A. program.”

Letter, 1949
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Material things matter
The Money Problem


Now and then we have heated discussions about the role of material things in sobriety. Someone is bound to say that money can’t buy happiness and that the spiritual has to come first.

But material things do matter in our lives, and we share with others the same desire to get ahead in life. We usually like good clothes, new cars, and steady pay checks. It is somewhat hypocritical to say that money and material things don’t matter when we obviously need money and would like to have more of it.

Our problem with money and material things occurred when we made a god of them, when we saw worldly success as the end-all and be-all of life. The proper function of money is to provide for smooth exchange of the goods and services we must use in order to live. Far from denouncing spiritual gifts that should be used properly, but not worshipped. More than likely, we can appreciate material things far more than we did while drinking, despite the exaggerated love we had then for worldly things.

I will neither despise material things nor make a god of them today. I will view them as part of God’s plan, as things to use.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.

—Eric Hoffer

It’s tempting to blame others for our problems. Recovery asks us to answer for our actions. Admitting we are powerless over our actions. Admitting we are powerless over our alcohol and other drugs is a start.

Each of the Twelve Steps asks us to answer for our actions in some way. And the program shows us how to do this. Over time, we see that being responsible for our actions is the best way to live. Our self-confidence grows as we become more responsible. We start to see just how much we can do. We have gone from being drunks to being responsible people. If we can do this, then we can do anything!

Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that I'm responsible for my actions. Blaming puts distance between me and other people. Higher Power, help me to play fair.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list four times I've blamed someone else for a problem that was really my problem.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery


PROCRASTINATION


“You cannot build a reputation on things you are going to do.”

— Mabel Newcomber


Procrastination is the addicts’ game. I will give up alcohol tomorrow. Soon I will take an inventory of my eating habits. Later I will talk to him about my anger and pain. Tomorrow and tomorrow — but it never happens!

The tragedy is that we not only bring pain and problems into our lives but we keep them there. Recovery requires action; sobriety and the spiritual program demand movement.

Today I will talk about my pain.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

When we first came to The Program, whether for ourselves or under pressure from others, some of us were all but sickened by the concept of “surrender.” To admit defeat flew in the face of our life-long beliefs. We thought of the immoral rallying cities of Churchill at Dunkirk, of FDR following the attack of Pearl Harbor. And so we secretly vowed at first, that the very idea of surrender was unthinkable. Here I truly come to believe that only through utter defeat am I able to take the first steps toward liberation and strength? Or do I still harbor reservations about the principle of “letting go and letting God…”?

Today I Pray


May I really believe that the complete surrender of my whole being to a Higher Power is the way to serenity. For I can be whole only in Him, who has the power to make me whole. May I do away with of any feelings of wanting to “hold out” and never admit defeat. May I unlearn the old adage which tells me that I must “never give up” and realize that such pride-fullness could keep me from recovery.

Today I Will Remember


From Wholly His to Whole.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ FORGIVENESS ~


Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.

–Edwin Hubbel Chapin

I want recovery from my disease of compulsive eating. Part of my program of recovery is asking forgiveness for past wrongs I’ve committed against other people. It isn’t enough for me to make amends just to others, though.

Another aspect of forgiveness is that of forgiving those around me. I need to forgive them for what they may have done to me. Many times people don’t know that they’ve hurt me and maybe triggered a binge, because I’ve covered up the pain with food. But if I forgive them, then I don’t have that pain that I thought could only be soothed with food.

Finally, I need to forgive myself. I can be my harshest critic, and many times I, myself, have been the trigger for my binge. Besides, if I can find it in my heart to forgive others, then surely I can extend the same courtesy to myself.

One day at a time…

I will practice forgiveness in all its forms.

Jeff 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“If people are going to get back into balance, one of the things they have to do is seek the truth. They have to start really speaking the truth themselves, and that’s a difficult thing to do. The way it is now in the world, we don’t mind lying.”

–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG



Well everybody’s doing it. Do unto others before they do unto you. If it wasn’t for back luck I would have no luck at all. These are excuses and rationalizations for giving up accountability. Be true to yourself. Seek the truth, The Great Spirit is the truth. The truth shall set you free. This is the truth. We cannot be free if we are dishonest nor can we live a balanced life if we are dishonest. As we grow, we need to start taking stands. All warriors take stands. The warrior’s belief is constantly being aligned to truth. The warrior will always know where he/she stands.

Great Spirit, help me today to seek Your truth, not my truth. 
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

When you do something you are proud of, dwell on it a little, praise yourself for it.

—Mildred Newman

Each one of us is very good at something. Maybe it’s baseball or tennis where we display talent. Maybe we’re good in math or at giving reports. A few people are talented at being good listeners or helpful friends. To recognize our own talents we may need help from others. It’s always so much easier to see our faults, or the ways we don’t meet our own expectations.

But the fact is we are all skilled in many areas of our lives. To accept praise–better yet, to quietly give it to ourselves–is a sign of healthy growth.

What things have I done well lately?
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


We are definitely what we think – as a man thinketh, so is he. The trick for all of us is to cull out of our thinking those thoughts that are injurious to us and to retain those that are beneficial.

We conceive our own thoughts, we give them birth, we nourish and sustain them – they are our brain children. Our lives become intertwined with them, and their influence on us and our behavior is enormous.

The thoughts we have must be purely conceived, carefully trained, well disciplined and encouraged. In so doing, we surround ourselves with a group of brain children whose influence on our lives brings the happy results we can hopefully expect.


Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 016 =- ORDINARY #essentialsofrecovery


Umbrella, light, landscape, sky --
There is no language of the holy.
The sacred lies in the ordinary.

No one is able to describe the spiritual except by comparing it to ordinary things. One scripture describes the divine word as an "umbrella of protection." Another says a god is light. Heaven is supposed to be in the sky, and even ascetics who have rejected sex use erotic images to describe enlightenment. People have to resort to metaphor to state the divine.
Even esoteric languages have been invented, and they mystify the outsider. Holy words always appear that way to the uninitiated. After one learns to read them, their message becomes assimilated. We no longer worry about the images, for we have found the truth that the words were indicating.

When you buy something that has assembly instructions, you follow the directions, but you do not then venerate the instructions. Spiritual attainment is no different. Once you've gained it, instructions become secondary. Spirituality gained is no different than the ball game you play, the work you do, the car you drive, the love you make. If you constantly regard Tao as extraordinary, then it remains unknown and outside yourself -- a myth, a fantasy, an unnameable quantity. But once you know it, it is yours and part of your daily life.



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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Even if you seek tranquility, delight in goodness, and search for the source, if you don't meet someone with genuine true knowledge and understanding, it will turn instead into major error. The fault lies in false teachers.

-P'u-an  
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Monday, 15 January 2018

Random Big Book 'Alcoholics Anonymous'

"We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe." ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, Page 75~

Jim P- Big Book Workshop 1 - Recovery Speaker



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox



“Of what does the consecrated life consist? Your life is a consecrated one when you are ready at all times to do the will of God—when you are willing and anxious that God may be fully expressed through you, through your thoughts, words, and deeds, during every hour of the day. You are not concerned with the question of results. Results belong to God. Here am I; send me (Isaiah 6:8).”


― Emmet Fox


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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

AN UNSUSPECTED INNER RESOURCE


With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves. 

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 569-70

From my first days in A.A., as I struggled for sobriety, I found hope in these words from our founders. I often pondered the phrase: “they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource.” How, I asked myself, can I find the Power within myself, since I am so powerless? In time, as the founders promised, it came to me: I have always had the choice between goodness and evil, between unselfishness and selfishness, between serenity and fear. That Power greater than myself is an original gift that I did not recognize until I achieved daily sobriety through living A.A.’s Twelve Steps.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Fear


” We grow to feel comfortable with our Higher Power as a source of strength. As we learn to trust this Power, we begin to overcome our fear of life.”


Basic Text, p. 24

Powerless as we are, living on self-will is a frightening, unmanageable experience. In recovery, we have turned our will and our lives safely over to the care of the God of our understanding. When we lapse in our program, when we lose conscious contact with our Higher Power, we begin to take control of our own lives again, refusing the care of the God of our understanding. If we do not make a daily decision to surrender our lives to the care of our Higher Power, we may become overwhelmed with our fear of life.

Through working the Twelve Steps, we’ve found that faith in a Power greater than ourselves helps relieve our fear. As we draw closer to a loving God, we become more conscious of our Higher Power. And the more conscious we are of God’s care for us, the less our fears.

When we feel afraid, we ask ourselves, “Is this fear an indication of a lack of faith in my life? Have I taken control again, only to find my life still unmanageable?” If we answer yes to these questions, we can overcome our fear by turning our will and our lives back over to care of the God of our understanding. 


Just for today: I will rely on the care of my Higher Power to relieve my fear of life.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is a way of life. It’s a way of living and we have to learn to live the program if we’re going to stay sober. The twelve steps in the book are like guide posts. They point the direction in which we have to go. But each member of the group has to find his own best way of living the program. We don’t all do it exactly alike. Whether by quiet times in the morning, meetings, working with others, or spreading the word, we have to learn to live the program. Has A.A. become my regular, natural way of living?

Meditation For The Day

I will relax and not get tense. I will have no fear, because everything will work out in the end. I will learn soul-balance and poise in a vacillating, changing world. I will claim God’s power and use it because if I do not use it, it will be withdrawn. As long as I get back to God and replenish my strength after each task, no work can be too much.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may relax and that God’s strength will be given to me. I pray that I may subject my will to God’s will and be free from all tenseness.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


Eternal Values, p. 15


Many people will have no truck at all with absolute spiritual values. Perfectionists, they say, are either full of conceit because they fancy they have reached some impossible goal, or else they are swamped in self-condemnation because they have not done so.

Yet I think that we should not hold this view. It is not the fault of great ideas that they are sometimes misused and so become shallow excuses for guilt, rebellion, and pride. On the contrary, we cannot grow very much unless we constantly try to envision what the eternal spiritual values are.

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

“Day by day, we try to move a little toward God’s perfection. So we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt for failure to achieve His likeness and image by Thursday next. Progress is our aim, and His perfection is the beacon, light-years away, that draws us on.”

1. Grapevine, June 1961

2. Letter, 1966 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Never too late
Self expression



Many of us lament the fact that we wasted youthful years when we should have been earning college degrees or perfecting a skill. Many of us simply do not feel we can take up something new because we missed the opportunity to try it when we were younger.

We are now learning that age is mental, not really physical. Some people seem aged and beaten at twenty-five, while others act sprightly and young at sixty. Moreover, we can find wonderful examples of people who blossom out in new activities without any thought or concern about age barriers. It is never too late for a person to study, to take up a new trade or profession, to follow a new scientific or artistic interest, or to begin other lessons.

If we are using age as a reason for not following our heart’s desire, we should ask if we are really finding ways to avoid responsibility for our own performance in life. We may be seeking excuses to spare ourselves the struggle and effort tha tare always required when we do something new or challenging.

It is never too late to be the people God intended us to be.

I will give some thought today to the excuses I’ve been using for not making better use of my talents and opportunities.


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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Don not wait for the last judgement, it takes place every day.

–Albert Camus

“Later.” How often have we said this? This trick help us avoid the tasks of the day. Life is full of task–many fun, some boring, others hard. Can I accept the task my Higher Power gives me, easy or hard?

When we used alcohol or other drugs, we’d avoid task, if they became hard for us. We believed we had more control than we really did. We started to believe we could control outcomes. What we really were doing was setting ourselves up for a great fall. We had to face the fact that when our Higher Power had given us a task, we said no, and turned away. Thus, we turned away from the guiding hand of our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day: God, help me face You and the tasks You give me. Make me a grateful student of life.

Today’s Action: Today I will talk with friends. I will tell them what tasks I’m working on.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

POPULARITY


“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity, opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment.”

— Albert Einstein

Part of my growth in sobriety is learning to say “no”. For years as a practicing alcoholic I tried to please every body with the result that I pleased very few and became exhausted in the process! I have learned that sometimes I need to be unpopular in order to remain serene; unpopular to practice my spiritual program.

To understand the gift of God’s creation requires the acceptance that we are not the same and, as people, we will have different opinions and attitudes. Truth has many shades. To be unpopular at times is reality; truth is always real.

I pray that I might always say and do what I believe to be right, regardless of public opinion.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofreocvery


Reflection For The Day


I must never forget who and what I am and where I come from. I have to remember the nature of my illness and what it was like before I cam to The Program. I’ll try to keep the memory green, yet not spend my time dwelling morbidly on the past. I won’t be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to others, so others will give to me.

Today I Pray

May I never forget the painful days of my addiction. May I never forget that the same misery awaits me if I should slip back into the old patterns. At the same time, may such backwards glances serve only to bolster my own present strength and the strength of others like me. Please, God, do not let me dredge up these recollections in order to outdo or “out-drunk” my fellow members. Like others who are chemically dependent, I must be wary of my desire to be center-stage in the spotlight.

Today I Will Remember

I do more when I don’t “outdo.”
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

GOD OF MY UNDERSTANDING

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us.”


–John Lennon


Like many people, I originally came to Program primarily seeking help with my compulsive overeating. My main concern was to gain control of my weight and my appetite. I was expecting some kind of diet program, but I found something quite different.

I already considered myself religious and didn’t think I needed much help in this area. I also wasn’t particularly interested in working on my shortcomings, but I was willing to overlook these “problem” areas of Program because I was so desperate for help.

Well, I did get my weight and appetite under control, but I got much more than that. Program’s concept of being able to work with a God of my own understanding may have been the most radical and personally-enlightening theological tidbit I’ve ever had the pleasure of tripping over. It changed everything I thought I knew about spirituality and God. Through this shift in my understanding, my Higher Power began to change me and help me with my COE by gradually removing all of my past baggage and encumbrances.

Even though I’ve now reached my recovery goals, my purification continues daily, as does my spiritual growth. I went searching for a diet that actually worked and instead found a whole new way of life. Whoda thunk?

One day at a time…

I will continue to nurture my relationship with the God Of MY Understanding by working the tools of recovery.

~ Rob. 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

It’s all spirit and it’s all connected.”

–Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN

If everything is connected, we cannot disconnect. To disconnect is not a real choice. This is why we are always spiritual no matter what we do. Every alcoholic is spiritual. All our brothers and sisters are spiritual. We may not be behaving correctly, but nevertheless, we are spiritual. Our choice is to live out of harmony with spiritual ways or in harmony with spiritual ways. Everything is spiritual.

Great Spirit, give me the knowledge to be in harmony with the spirit today.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but only waits to be provoked
. ~ Katherine Anne Porter

We often enter into our relationships believing there is one perfect way to act, and if we can only find that way, we’ll be successful, accepted. But there is no such thing as one best way to be with another person. The wonder of any relationship is that it involves two imperfect people.

Believing that perfection will ensure love is addictive thinking. Love is a gift that must be given freely, there is nothing we can do to control someone else’s choice to love us or not love us. All we can do is our part by learning each day to love as best we can. It may be difficult to find within ourselves such qualities as emotional maturity, separateness, honesty, forgiveness, patience, and self-respect. But those are the very qualities we must cultivate to love someone else.

It can be frightening to trust another person enough to take risks and let go of the outcome. But love is a risk that’s worth it.

I am learning that I don’t need to be perfect to be accepted and loved by others. I’m also learning that I don’t need to expect perfection from others to love and accept them.

From the book:


Answers in the Heart by Anonymous

Answers in the Heart © 1989 by P. Williamson and S. Kiser. All rights reserved. 

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The Eye Opener



Looking back at our ambitions and aspirations, we can recall many things we wanted and which we thought would make our lives complete. Some of them were impossible; they were the offspring of childish dreams and, later on, alcoholic wishing. Some of those things were possible for others but unattainable for us with our limited abilities.

We can now accept the fact that those things were not for us and wouldn’t have been good for us if we had had them. Some of them we obtained and wished we hadn’t. Their realizations were nothing compared to our expectations and, the more we got, the more we wanted. Ambitions were never realized because the more we advanced, the more the horizons receded.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 015 - TIME #essentialsofrecovery


The river, surging course,
Uninterrupted current.
Headwater, channel, mouth.
Can they be divided?

Each day, we all face a peculiar problem. We must validate our past, face our present, plan for the future.
Those who believe that life was better in the "old days" sometimes are blind to the reality of the present; those who live only for the present frequently have little regard for either precedent or consequence; and those who live only for some deferred reward often strain themselves with too much denial. Thinking of past, present, and future is a useful conceptual technique, but ultimately they must be appropriately balanced and joined.

We must understand how the past affects us, we should keep the present full of rich and satisfying experiences, and we should devote some energy each day to building for the future. Just as a river can be said to have parts that cannot be clearly divided, so too should we consider the whole of our time when deciding how to spend our lives.



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Daily Zen

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. 

Buddha 
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Sunday, 14 January 2018

Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

NO REGRETS

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.83

 Once I became sober, I began to see how wasteful my life had been and I experienced overwhelming guilt and feelings of regret. The program’s Fourth and Fifth Steps assisted me enormously in healing those troubling regrets. I learned that my self-centeredness and dishonesty stemmed largely from my drinking and that I drank because I was an alcoholic. Now I see how even my most distasteful past experiences can turn to gold because, as a sober alcoholic, I can share them to help my fellow alcoholics, particularly newcomers. Sober for several years in A.A., I no longer regret the past; I am simply grateful to be conscious of God’s love and of the help I can give to others in the Fellowship.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery.

A Loving God


” Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us…. The only suggested guidelines are that this Power be loving, caring, and greater than ourselves.”

Basic Text, p. 24

We’ve been told that we can believe in any kind of Higher Power we want as long as it is loving and, of course, greater than ourselves. Some of us, however, have trouble with these requirements. We either believe in nothing but ourselves, or we believe that anything that could be called “God” could only be cold-hearted and unreasonable, sending us bad luck on a whim.

Believing in a loving Power is quite a leap for some of us, for many reasons. The thought of turning our will and lives over to the care of something we think might hurt us is sure to fill us with reluctance. If we come into the program believing that God is judgmental and unforgiving, we must overcome those beliefs before we can be truly comfortable with the Third Step.

Our positive experiences in recovery can help us come to believe in a loving God of our own understanding. We have been given relief from a disease that has afflicted us for a long time. We’ve found the guidance and support we need to develop a new way of life. We’ve begun to experience a fullness of spirit where once there was only emptiness. These aspects of our recovery have their source in a loving God, not a harsh, hateful one. And the more we experience recovery, the more we’ll trust that loving Higher Power. Just for today: I will open my mind and my heart to believe that God is loving, and trust my loving Higher Power to do for me what I cannot do for myself.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we first came into A.A., a sober life seemed strange. We wondered what life could possibly be like without ever taking a drink. At first, a sober life seemed unnatural. But the longer we’re in A.A., the more natural this way of life seems. And now we know that the life we’re living in A.A., the sobriety, the fellowship, the faith in God, and the trying to help each other, is the most natural way we could possibly live. Do I believe it’s the way God wants me to live?

Meditation For The Day


I will learn to overcome myself, because every blow to selfishness is used to shape the real, eternal, unperishable me. As I overcome myself, I gain that power which God releases in my soul. And I too will be victorious. It is not the difficulties of life that I have to conquer, so much as my own selfishness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may obey God and walk with Him and listen to Him. I pray that I may strive to overcome my own selfishness.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Newcomer Problems, p. 14

The temptation is to become rather possessive of newcomers. Perhaps we try to give them advice about their affairs which we aren’t really competent to give or ought not give at all. Then we are hurt and confused when the advice is rejected, or when it is accepted and brings still greater confusion.

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

“You can’t make a horse drink water if he still prefers beer or is too crazy to know what he does want. Set a pail of water beside him, tell him how good it is and why, and leave him alone.

“If people really want to get drunk, there is, so far as I know, no way stopping this–so leave them alone and let them get drunk. But don’t exclude them from the water pail, either.”

1. 12 & 12, p. 111
2. Letter, 1942 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

If God be for us
Good Orderly Directions


Sometimes we find help and power in staying sober, yet feel naked and alone when facing other problems. It is almost as if we see our Higher Power as a “sobering-up God” who has said, “I’ll help you with drinking problem, but you’re on your own in everything else.

The true way to practice AA’s principles in all of our affairs is to view everything as spiritual, as being under God’s direction and influence. God is with us in our homes, in the shop, on the highway, or wherever we go. There is no place and no action that is beyond God’s scrutiny and power.

We should reflect on this truth at times when we are frustrated or when others threaten us. We should not expect God to aid us in manipulating or dominating others. God will be with us as a protecting, guiding presence in all our activities and relationships. And when we truly understand this, we will find surprising reserves of courage in situations that used to frighten us. This is true even when we are not certain of the outcome of a situation.


I will know that God is with me in all of my affairs today, in all that I think, say, or do. 
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

If you play with a thing long enough, you will surely break it. —Anonymous

Some things shouldn’t be played with. Our recovery program is one these things. When we play with our program, we’re taking a risk. We play with the program by missing meetings. Or by not calling our sponsors. Or by skipping the Steps we think are to hard. It’s okay to play. But it’s not okay to play with our program, we risk our lives.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know that I must work this program with care and respect.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make two list. On one list, I’ll write ways I work on my program. On the other list, I’ll write ways I play with my program. And I’ll put my energy into working the program.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery


RESPONSIBILITY



“The fault is in us.”


— Hannah Arendt

As a drunk I would blame everybody for my problems: My family was too controlling. I did not have people around who understood me. I worked too hard and the people were too demanding. The weather was awful!

Today I accept my involvement with my past predicament. Bad things happened to me because I created them in my life. And this means that good and creative things can also happen in my life if I create them. I need not remain the problem. I can be the solution!

Let me discover Your answer in my response to life.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

I admitted that I couldn't win the booze and chemical battle on my own. So I finally began to accept the critically important fact that dependence on a Higher Power could help me achieve what had always seemed impossible. I stopped running. I stopped fighting. For the first time, I began accepting. And for the first time, I began to be really free. Do I realize that it doesn't matter what kind of shoes I'm wearing when I'm running away?

Today I Pray

May I know the freedom that comes with surrender to a Higher Power — that most important kind of surrender that means neither “giving in” nor “giving up” but “giving over” my will to the will of God. Like a weary fugitive from spiritual order, may I stop hiding, dodging, running. May I find peace in surrender, in the knowledge that God wills hat I be whole and healthy and He will show me the way.

Today I Will Remember

First surrender, then serenity.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ RECOVERY ~


Survival is nothing more than recovery.

–Dianne Feinstein
As a very young child, I had a loving relationship with my Higher Power. I talked to God all the time about the things I didn’t understand. I asked for His help in making me a better person, daughter, granddaughter, etc.

Then, as happens in dysfunctional families, things got worse. Being the youngest, I became the scapegoat for people who didn’t know how to express anger and pain properly. I, too, learned inappropriate ways to express my feelings. I also began to turn against my Higher Power. Why wasn’t He helping me? Why was He letting me be so unhappy? Why wasn’t He answering my prayers? Why hadn’t I awakened thin yet?

It took me many years to destroy my relationship with God, but thankfully, it only took a few years of the Twelve Step program for me to rediscover my former relationship with Him. As my eating disorders have been lessened and abstinence has become the norm in my life, I am very grateful for the Higher Power in my life today. I truly feel as if I’ve gained something I once lost. Thanks to recovery, I’ve also gained things I never had or don’t remember having. I have a peace, serenity, acceptance, understanding and love that I can never remember experiencing before. The more I trust in my Higher Power, the more rewards of recovery become mine.

One Day at a Time . . .

I will work my program and be grateful for the level of recovery I’m currently experiencing. When I feel a lack of growth within myself, I will look at how far I’ve come and trust that my growth is in my Higher Power’s time, not mine.

~ Rhonda H. ~ 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofreovery


“It is a native tradition to sit in a circle and talk-to share what is in your heart.”

–John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

The talking circle is also a listening circle. The talking circle allows one person to talk at a time for as long as they need to talk. So much can be gained by listening. Is it a coincidence that the Creator gave us one mouth and two ears? The power of the circle allows the heart to be shared with each other. What we share with each other also heals each other. When we talk about our pain in the circle, it is distributed to the circle, and we are free of the pain. The talking circle works because when the people form a circle, the Great Mystery is in the center.

My Creator, give me the courage to share, and the courage to listen. 
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.

—Muriel Rukeyser

There was once a storyteller who told many people of her life. They listened and heard their own stories in hers. Hearing her story, they didn’t feel so lonely anymore. Hearing about someone else who had lost things and people she loved, who had felt lonely, scared, and unsure of herself, let them feel less crazy when similar things happened to them.

Because of the healing they felt through hearing someone else’s story, some of the listeners decided to become storytellers themselves. As they recounted their stories, they found that letting out secrets that had bothered them for years freed them to feel good about who they were and who they had always wanted to be.

What secrets can I share today?
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

Within our ranks we have many faiths and creeds. All of us seek and find our Power greater than ourselves in our own way and give Him a personality according to our own understanding. Yet withal, we abide in peaceful toleration and respect the faiths that we each have found.

Even those of us who are still groping in uncertainty and doubt are gradually acquiring faith. Tennyson once said, “There is more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.”

Here we don’t care WHAT you believe; we only ask that you believe. Have some anchor, so that when the waves of alcoholic thinking start again to roll, you will be moored to something substantial enough to enable you to ride out the storm.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 014 - POSITIONING #essentialsofrecovery


Heron stands in the blue estuary,
Solitary, white, unmoving for hours.
A fish! Quick avian darting;
The prey captured.

People always ask how to follow Tao. It is as easy and natural as the heron standing in the water. The bird moves when it must; it does not move when stillness is appropriate.
The secret of its serenity is a type of vigilance, a contemplative state. The heron is not in mere dumbness or sleep. It knows a lucid stillness. It stands unmoving in the flow of the water. It gazes unperturbed and is aware. When Tao brings it something that it needs, it seizes the opportunity without hesitation or deliberation. Then it goes back to its quiescence without disturbing itself or its surroundings. Unless it found the right position in the water's flow and remained patient, it would not have succeeded.

Actions in life can be reduced to two factors : positioning and timing. If we are not in the right place at the right time, we cannot possibly take advantage of what life has to offer us. Almost anything is appropriate if an action is in accord with the time and the place. But we must be vigilant and prepared. Even if the time and the place are right, we can still miss our chance if we do not notice the moment, if we act inadequately, or if we hamper ourselves with doubts and second thoughts. When life presents an opportunity, we must be ready to seize it without hesitation or inhibition. Position is useless without awareness. If we have both, we make no mistakes.

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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Don’t cling to your own understanding. Even if you do understand something, you should ask yourself if there might be something you have not fully resolved, or if there may be some higher meaning yet.

-Dogen  
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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

BEGIN TODAY The first step that the earnest student must take to locate the Inner Light within himself is to settle on a definite method of working, selecting whichever one seems to suit him best, and then giving it a fair trial. Merely reading books, making good resolutions, or talking plausibly about the thing will get him nowhere. Get a definite method of working, practice it conscientiously every day; and stick to one method long enough to give it a fair chance. You would not expect to play the violin after two or three attempts, or to drive a car without a little preliminary practice. Get to work on some concrete problem, choosing preferably whatever it is that you are most afraid of. Work at it steadily; and if no improvement at all shows itself within, say, a couple of weeks, then try your method on another problem. If you still get no result, then scrap that method and adopt a new one. Remember, there is a way out. The problem really is, not the getting rid of your difficulties, but finding your own best method for doing it. … Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you (John 16:23).”

~ Emmet Fox 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT


“We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”

—ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85 

The most common alcoholic fantasy seems to be: “If I just don’t drink, everything will be all right.” Once the fog cleared for me, I saw—for the first time—the mess my life had become. I had family, work, financial and legal problems; I was hung up on old religious ideas; there were sides of my character to which I was inclined to stay blind because they easily could have convinced me that I was hopeless and pushed me toward escape again. The Big Book guided me in resolving all of my problems. But it didn’t happen overnight—and certainly not automatically—with no effort on my part. I need always to recognize God’s mercy and blessings that shine through any problem I have to face.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Surrender To Win


“Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat.”  —Basic Text, p. 22

Complete defeat—what a concept! That must mean surrender. Surrender—to give up absolutely. To quit with no reservations. To put up our hands and quit fighting. Maybe to put up our hand at our first meeting and admit we’re addicts.

How do we know we’ve taken a First Step that will allow us to live drug-free? We know because, once we have taken that gigantic step, we never have to use again—just for today. That’s it. It’s not easy, but it’s very simple.

We work the First Step. We accept that, yes, we are addicts. “One is too many, and a thousand never enough.” We’ve proven that to ourselves enough times. We admit that we cannot handle drugs in any form. We admit it; we say it out loud, if necessary.

We take the First Step at the beginning of our day. For one day. This admission frees us, just for today, from the need to live out our addiction all over again. We’ve surrendered to this disease. We give up. We quit. But in quitting, we win. And that’s the paradox of the First Step: We surrender to win, and by surrendering we gain a far greater power than we ever imagined possible. Just for today: I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I will surrender to win.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, we were living an unnatural life physically and mentally. We were punishing our bodies by loading them with alcohol. We didn’t eat enough and we ate the wrong things. We didn’t get enough sleep or the right kind of rest. We were ruining ourselves physically. We had an alcoholic obsession, and we couldn’t imagine life without alcohol. We kept imagining all kinds of crazy things about ourselves and about other people. We were ruining ourselves mentally. Since I came into A.A., am I getting better physically and mentally?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that my life is being refined like gold in a crucible. Gold does not stay in the crucible, only until it is refined. I will never despair or be despondent. I now have friends who long for me to conquer. If I should err or fail, it would cause pain and disappointment to them. I will keep trying to live a better life. Prayer For The Day

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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

The Shared Gift, p. 13

A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.

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

Faith is more than our greatest gift; its sharing with others is our greatest responsibility. May we of A.A. continually seek the wisdom and the willingness by which we may well fulfill that immense trust which the Giver of all perfect gifts has placed in our hands.

1. Service Manual, p. 5

2. Grapevine, April 1961 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

The need for approval.
Raising self-esteem.


Although drinking behaviour may have been defiant and antisocial, most of us wanted others to think well of us. If we are not watchful, this need for approval can tyrannize us in sobriety.

A fierce need for approval can drives us to do more than our share of talking at discussion meetings. On the other hand, the fear of disapproval may cause us to “pass” when we really do have something to say. Outside of the fellowship, a strong desire for others’ approval can make us anxious and unsure of ourselves. In the same way, a strong fear of being rejected or criticized can make us afraid to act.

In sobriety, we can free ourselves from an unreasonable desire for approval. When we learn to like ourselves more, we do not need constant reassurance and applause from others. We may also discover that we have been doing certain things against our will simply because we wanted somebody’s approval. This is our fault, not theirs, and we can get such practices out of our lives when we no longer need them. I will accept myself as I am today. I will give others the approval that I desire for myself. I will not try to win approval by being a people-pleaser.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

“The junkie can never start to cure himself until he recognizes his true condition.”

—Malcolm X

Now we know what the problem is. Now we can do something about it. The truth of our problem is, we can’t handle alcohol or other drugs. They handle us. They control us. The Steps ask us to face the truth.

And the truth sets us free. What a wonderful gift! We feared the truth, but now it’s our friend. It’s a relief.

Facing the truth means we’re honest. And honestly is our best friend in recovery. It’s like a cozy fire on a winter’s night. Honesty is how we get well. It’s also what will keep us well. Do I truly believe I can’t use alcohol or other drugs?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know that I must work this program with care and respect. Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make two list, On one list, I’ll write ways I work on my program. On the other list, I’ll write way I play with my program. And I’ll put my energy into working the program.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery


ACCEPTANCE


“Treat the other man’s faith gently; it is all he has to believe with.”

—Henry Hoskins

I said that I was a nonviolent drunk. Today I am able to see that I was sarcastic and verbally violent, and this was no less painful or destructive to the victim. A target for my anger and venom was the faith and beliefs of others, especially when they differed radically from my own. My alcoholism made me a prejudiced and bigoted man, a prisoner of my arrogance.

My sobriety teaches me to be accepting and tolerant of the views and opinions of others. A spirituality that embraces all men—rather than a narrow and restrictive religion—is my prescription for life. I have exchanged bigotry for freedom, and I am happy in God’s world. I pray that my acceptance of my fellow man, regardless of culture or creed, may lead to understanding.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

The Program and my friends in the fellowship have provided me with a whole new set of tools for living. Even the slogans that once seemed so trite and corny are now becoming an important part of my daily life: Easy Does It; First Things First; This, Too, Will Pass. If I use all of my tools regularly and well, they’ll also help rid me of such negative feelings as guilt, anxiety, rebellion and pride. When I’m feeling depressed, do I use the tools that have been proven effective? Or do I grit my teeth and suffer in painful silence.

Today I Pray

I praise my wonder-working Higher Power for giving me the tools for recovery, once I admitted I was powerless over alcohol or other drugs or addictions and gave myself over to the will of God as I understand Him. I give thanks for the Twelve Steps, and for the fellowship of the group, which can help me see myself honestly. I give thanks for those words and phrases which become, as we understand them more completely, banners in our celebration of sobriety.

Today I Will Remember


Pass on the passwords to recovery.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

CHANGE


“If you would truly wish to understand something, try to change it.”
—Kurt Lewin

There is nothing more powerful to me than this one thought. My entire program teaches me to change the fellow who came in or he will surely drag me back out. Without change there is no hope. Without hope there is no peace or serenity.

The “how to” is simply and strongly told in the Big Book of AA. On page 28 it is plain that we must find and maintain a spiritual fitness in order to survive. Change is the key to open the door, and change is impossible without a power greater than ourselves. This, truly, is the easier, softer way. May you find Him now.

One day at a time …
I am willing to allow the God of my understanding to change the person I was into the person He wishes me to be.

~ Danny 
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