Friday, 23 February 2018

Random Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals--usually brief--were inevitably followed by still less control which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better. ~ Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

The Revelation Of Silence - Anthony De Mello



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery


BEAR HUGS KETTLE

There is an anecdote of the Far West that carries a wonderful lesson. It appears that a party of hunters, being called away from their camp, left the campfire unattended, with a kettle of water boiling on it. 

Presently an old bear crept out of the woods, and, seeing the kettle with its lid dancing about on top, promptly seized it. The boiling water scalded him badly; but instead of dropping hte kettle instantly, he proceeded to hug it tightly - this being a bear's idea of defense. Of course, the tighter he hugged it the more it burned him; and the more it burned him the tighter he hugged it; and so on in a vicious circle, to the undoing of the bear. 

This illustrates perfectly the way in which many people hug their difficulties to their bosoms by constantly rehearsing them to themselves and to others. 

Whenever you catch yourself thinking about your grievances, say to yourself sternly: "Bear hugs kettle," and think about God instead. You will be surprised how quickly some long-standing wounds will heal. 

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord ... (Psalm 25:15). 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


MYSTERIOUS PARADOXES


Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one. 

A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 46

What glorious mysteries paradoxes are! They do not compute, yet when recognized and accepted, they reaffirm something in the universe beyond human logic. When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister, my capacity to love myself is increased; when I accept a pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness; when I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light; when I accept my vulnerabilities and surrender to a Higher Power, I am graced with unforeseen strength. I stumbled through the doors of A.A. in disgrace, expecting nothing from life, and I have been given hope and dignity. Miraculously, the only way to keep the gifts of the program is to pass them on.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Messages And Messengers

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

Tradition Twelve

The Twelfth Tradition reminds us of the importance of putting “principles before personalities.” In recovery meetings, this might be paraphrased, “don’t shoot the messenger!” We often get the message confused with the messenger, and negate what someone shares at a meeting because we have personality conflicts with the person speaking.

If we are having problems with what certain people have to share at meetings, we might want to seek the guidance of our sponsor. Our sponsor can help us concentrate on what’s being said rather than who’s saying it. Our sponsor can also help us address the resentments that may be keeping us from acknowledging the value of some particular person’s recovery experience. It is surprising how much more we can get out of meetings when we allow ourselves to do as our Twelfth Tradition suggests, focusing on recovery principles rather than personalities.

Just for today: I will practice the principle of anonymity in today’s NA meeting. I will focus on the message of recovery, not the personality of the messenger.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Besides our jobs, our families, our friends and our sobriety, we have something else which many of us found through A.A. That’s faith in a Power greater than ourselves, to which we can turn for help: faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God and which is on our side as long as we do the right thing. There have been many days in the past when, if we had taken an inventory, we’d have found ourselves very much in the red, without sobriety and therefore without jobs, families, friends or faith in God. We now have these things because we’re sober. Do I make one resolution every day of my life–to stay sober?

Meditation For The Day

Love the busy life. It is a joy-filled life. Take your fill of joy in the Spring. Live outdoors whenever possible. Sun and air are nature’s great healing forces. That inward joy changes poisoned blood into pure, healthy, life-giving flow. But never forget that the real healing of the spirit comes from within, from the close, loving contact of your spirit with God’s spirit. Keep in close communion with God’s spirit day by day.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may learn to live the abundant life. I pray that I may enjoy a close contact with God this day and be glad in it.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

To Deepen Our Insight, p. 54

It is necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about ourselves and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one.

Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay–and pay handsomely.

12 &12, p. 80 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

We always have choices
Decision Making


Self-pity is often rooted in the strong feeling that people or conditions have victimized us. “I never had a chance” and “You deceived me!” are common complaints that reveal self-pity.

It is astonishing and humbling to learn that we always have choices, even when other people or bad conditions are grinding us down. One of the great discoveries of the Twelve Step movement is that alcoholics could begin to recover no matter how helpless they had become, no matter how far they had slid into defeat and despair. Once a decision was made to seek sobriety as a primary goal, other choices and decisions became possible.

We choose our attitudes and responses. We have neither the power nor the right to control others, but we can choose to soften our attitudes toward them, and we can forgive and release people we don’t like.

We can always choose how we want to think and feel. It may take effort to break the habit of feeling victimized and sorry for ourselves, but our higher power will show us the way if we decide that is what we really want.

Nobody can ruffle my feathers today or make me feel oppressed and victimized. I can always make choices that will enhance my sobriety and place me on a better footing for the days ahead.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Hitch your wagon to a star.—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Millions of people are sober and have peace of mind through the Twelve Steps. Like the stars, the Steps are always there. At times, clouds block our view of the stars, but we know they are still there. Let’s view the Twelve Steps the same way.

It is said that the stars are the gate to heaven, that we pass through their beauty to get ready to enter heaven. The Twelve Steps are the gate to spirituality here on earth. We travel through their beauty on our way to a spiritual awakening. Hitch your wagon to the Steps, and get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that the Steps keep me sober. I pray that I will follow where the Steps take me.

Action For the Day: I’ll look at the stars tonight. I’ll think of them as symbols of my life touched by the Twelve Steps.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

THOUGHT


“I was a free-thinker before I knew how to think.”

— George Bernard Shaw

All of us are influenced by somebody. Not to be influenced is to remain an ignorant person. Most of us hinder our thinking, particularly around spiritual things, because of pride. We don’t like change. We find it hard to accept attitudes and opinions that differ from our own. Pride keeps us deaf and often stupid. However, the daily program of a lived spirituality encourages a variety of opinions and attitudes. We can learn from different customs, lifestyles and religions. We can be helped in our understanding of life by the stranger.

I know that I do not have all the answers. Perhaps you carry my answers. Today I am prepared to listen to you.

God, the sustainer of all religions and philosophies, help us to discover You in our differences.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

The Twelve Steps teach us that as faith grows, so does security. The terrifying fear of nothingness begins to subside. As we work The Program, we find that the basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening. We lose the fear of making decisions, for we realize that if our choice proves wrong, we can learn from the experience. and should our decision be the right one, we can thank God for giving us the courage and the grace that caused us so to act. Am I grateful for the courage and grace I receive from my Higher Power?

Today I Pray

I ask that I be given the power to act knowing that I have at least a half-chance to make the right decision and that I can learn from a wrong one. for so long, decision-making seemed beyond my capabilities. Now, I can find joy in being able to make choices. Thank you, God, for courage.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom is choosing.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

HUMILITY


To the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sun is really a sun; to the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sea is really a sea.

–G.K. Chesterton

Before I started recovery, lack of clarity was all around me and within me. There was too much fear. I was unable to acknowledge: This is who I am, and this is what’s going on, no more, and no less. I was afraid to name my husband’s abusive behaviour. I was afraid to name my complicity in it. I was afraid to name who I was and what I wanted and needed, and I was afraid to name the behaviour of those around me who wanted me to fit into their mould. My husband was scared silly that one day the world would find out that we weren’t the perfect family.

So I was not humble. I kept nurturing the fog that covered what was really going on. And boy, was I good at it. I kind of had an inkling that something wasn’t right, so, semi-consciously, I made sure that my denial was watertight. I knew that if we pretended that we were a 100% perfect family, there might be suspicions. So I made sure I’d slip in a little problem here and there.

At one point, luckily, I allowed the bubble to burst. I started naming things, loud and clear. I named them to the police, I named them to my friends and family, I named them in my poetry. I started playing with another 12-step program.

But it took me another twelve years to name that I was an overeater. In those years I gained another 70 pounds (with some yoyo dieting thrown in, of course). Humbly admitting that, yes, really, I was an overeater, was the best thing I’ve done since ridding my family of my abusive spouse. I humbly admitted that I had been abusing myself with my eating behaviours. Now I can see clearly. (I can also see more clearly how wounded my ex spouse is, making it easier for me to work on forgiving him).
One day at a time …

I accept the gift of humility. I am not afraid anymore to look reality in the eye – and what I see is as right as the sun and the sea.

~ I.M. 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“We've got to learn what’s going on today in the world, and we've got to get an education so we can survive.”

–Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWA

Indian people have the ability to adapt. In these modern times, we Native people must walk two roads. We must get educated so our people don’t lose. We need lawyers, doctors, nurses, foresters, scientists, educators, carpenters, welders. These skills are needed to help the people. While we are learning we need to remember to keep our culture, learn our dances, sing our songs, learn to speak our own language and maintain our culture for future generations.

Great Spirit, let my education never lack the meaning and value of Indian spirituality.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Say when it’s time to stop coping.

In her book Recovering from the Loss of a Child, author Katherine Fair Donnelly writes of a man whose infant daughter, Robyn, dies from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). The child had died in the stroller, while the mother was out walking her. The father had stopped to get a haircut that day and was given a number for his turn.

“It was something he never did again in future years,” Donnelly wrote. “He would never take a number at the barber’s and always came home first to make sure everything was all right. Then he would go and get a haircut. It became one of the ways he found of coping.”

I hate coping. It’s not living. It’s not being free. It reeks of surviving.

But sometimes it’s the best we can do, for a while.

Eight years after my son dies, I was signing the papers to purchase a home. It was the first home I had bought since his death. The night before he dies, I had also signed papers to buy a new home. I didn’t know that I had begun to associate buying a home with his death, until I noticed my hand trembling and my heart pounding as I finished signing the purchase agreement. For eight years, I had simply avoiding buying a home, renting one less-than-desirable place after another and complaining about the travails of being a renter. I only knew then that I was “never going to buy another house again.” I didn’t understand that I was coping.

Many of us find ways of coping. As children, we may have become very angry with our parents. Having no recourse, we may have said to ourselves, “I’ll show the, I’m never going to do well at music, or sports, or studies again.” As adults, we may deal with a loss, or death, by saying, “I’m always going to be nice to people and make them happy. Then they won’t go away.” Or we may deal with a betrayal by saying, “I’m never going to open my heart to a woman, or man, again.”

Coping often includes making an incorrect connection between an event and our behavior. It may help us survive., but at some point our coping behaviors usually get in our way. They become habits and take on a life of their own. And although we think we’re protecting ourselves or someone we love, we aren’t.

Robyn didn’t die because her father took a number and waited to get his hair cut.

My son didn’t die because I brought a new house.

Are you keeping yourself from dong something that you really want to do as a means of coping with something that happened to you a long time ago? Cope if you must, if it helps save your life. But maybe today is the day you could set yourself free.

God, show me if I’m limiting myself and my life in some way by using an outdated coping behavior. Help me know that I’m safe and strong enough now to let that survival behavior go.

From the book:




More Language of Letting Go © 2000 by Melody Beattie
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Daily Tao / 054 - ADVERSITY #essentialsofrecovery



A tree hemmed in by giants
Requires tenacity to survive.


Times of adversity inevitably confront us all. We are denied influence, people will not listen to what we have to say, and we are restricted by circumstance. In this situation, followers of Tao must rely on their determination. Without that, they cannot emerge successfully from the danger.

During times of adversity, vision and determination decide the outcome. Mere doggedness never served anyone well. Observe carefully, and try to act. If you find yourself tested by the situation, take comfort in the fact that adversity frequently forces one to consolidate one’s resources. You can often emerge from adversity stronger than before. Don’t be overcome by fear. Take calculated risks if you must, or face danger if you have to. If your mind is focused to the utmost, you will triumph.

Without the difficulty of being hemmed in, the tree in the forest would not be forced to marshal its power to grow toward the light. It must truly bring forth all its inner strength to spread its branches. If it becomes grand, it is in part because of its suffering. Thus the times of adversity can be crucial to the development of one’s inner personality.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

Let each person first direct oneself to what is right;
then let one teach others; thus the wise will not suffer.
If a person makes oneself as one teaches others to be,
then being well-controlled, that one might guide others,
since self-control is difficult. 
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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Staying on course
Power in purpose


When riding in an airplane on automatic pilot, I marvel at the way the aircraft stays on course even while bouncing and shaking through pockets of turbulence. Even more significant is the pilot’s calm indifference to these minor movements as he checks occasionally to make sure the plane continues on the right course.

Many things that happen to us each day are no more important than the routine turbulence and aircraft encounters. But as sick, compulsive people, we sometimes view every disturbance as a terrible storm and become panicky or enraged over things that are of little consequence in the long run. “I could accept a major calamity, but a broken fingernail ruined my day,” one speaker said at an AA meeting.

We can set our lives on “automatic pilot” by choosing continuing recovery as our major goal and letting all things fall in line with that. The turbulence of ordinary living cannot deflect us from our true course if we calmly accept it as natural, unavoidable, and non-threatening. Even if a real storm blows up and gives us anxious moments, we can stay on the recovery course we have chosen.

Disappointments and annoyances are part of the human condition. I will be cheerful and optimistic today even if I am bounced around a bit. There is within me an automatic pilot, through which my Higher Power leads me to continued recovery and true fulfillment as a person.
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Random Big Book - 'Alcoholics Anonymous'

I have seen hundreds of families set their feet in the path that really goes somewhere; have seen the most impossible domestic situations righted; feuds and bitterness of all sorts wiped out. I have seen men come out of asylums and resume a vital place in the lives of their families and communities. Business and professional men have regained their standing. There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us. ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill's Story, Page 15~

How To Listen - Anthony De Mello



Daily Dose of Emmet Fox

CHANGE FROM WITHIN



Man is a mental being, and to know this is the first step on the road to freedom and prosperity, for as long as you believe yourself to be primarily physical, a superior kind of animal, you well remain in bondage - in bondage, that is to say, to your own habit of thought, for there is no other bondage.

Since you are a mental being, you will see how foolish it is for you to endeavor to improve you conditions by altering you environment while leaving your mind unchanged. To attempt this is to foredoom yourself to disappointment. Mind is cause, and experience is effect. If you do not like the experience or effect that you are getting, the obvious remedy is to alter the cause and then the effect will naturally alter too.




Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also (Matthew 23:26)
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

GUIDANCE

… this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice, and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however… haltingly, toward His own likeness and image.


AS BILL SEES IT, p. 51

As I began to understand my own powerlessness and my dependence on God, as I understand Him, I began to see that there was a life which, if I could have it, I would have chosen for myself from the beginning. It is through the continuous work of the Steps and the life in the Fellowship that I’ve learned to see that there is truly a better way into which I am being guided. As I come to know more about God, I am able to trust His ways and His plans for the development of His character in me. Quickly or not so quickly, I grow toward His image and likeness.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

God’s Will, Or Mine?

“We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Step Ten

In Narcotics Anonymous, we’ve found that the more we live in harmony with our Higher Power’s will for us, the greater the harmony in our lives. We use the Tenth Step to help us maintain that harmony. On a daily basis, we take time to look at our behavior. Some of us measure each action with a very simple question: “God’s will, or mine?”

In many cases, we find that our actions have been in tune with our Higher Power’s will for us, and we in turn have been in tune with the world around us. In some cases, however, we will discover inconsistencies between our behavior and our values. We’ve been acting on our own will, not God’s, and the result has been dissonance in our lives.

When we discover such inconsistencies, we admit we’ve been wrong and take corrective action. With greater awareness of what we believe God’s will for us to be in such situations, we are less likely to repeat those actions. And we are more likely to live in greater concord with our Higher Power’s will for us and with the world around us.

Just for today: I wish to live in harmony with my world. Today, I will examine my actions, asking, “God’s will, or mine?”
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Now we can take an inventory of the good things that have come to us through A.A. To begin with, we’re sober today. That’s the biggest asset on any alcoholic’s books. Sobriety to us is like good-will in business. Everything else depends on that. Most of us have jobs, which we owe to our sobriety. We know we couldn’t hold these jobs if we were drinking, so our jobs depend on our sobriety. Most of us have families, wives and children, which either we had lost or might have lost, if we hadn’t stopped drinking. We have friends in A.A., real friends who are always ready to help us. Do I realize that my job, my family and my real friends are dependent upon my sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

I must trust God to the best of my ability. This lesson has to be learned. My doubts and fears continually drive me back into the wilderness. Doubts lead me astray, because I am not trusting God. I must trust God’s love. It will never fail me, but I must learn not to fail it by my doubts and fears. We all have much to learn in turning out fear by faith. All our doubts arrest God’s work through us. I must not doubt. I must believe in God and continually work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may live the way God wants me to live. I pray that I may get into that stream of goodness in the world.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

“Loners”–but Not Alone, p. 53

What can be said of many A.A. members who, for a variety of reasons, cannot have a family life? At first many of these feel lonely, hurt, and left out as they witness so much domestic happiness about them. If they cannot have this kind of happiness, can A.A. offer them satisfactions of similar worth and durability?

Yes– whenever they try hard to seek out these satisfactions. Surrounded by so many A.A. friends, the so-called loners tell us they no longer feel alone. In partnership with others–women and men–they can devote themselves to any number of ideas, people, and constructive projects. They can participate in enterprises which would be denied to family men and women. We daily see such members render prodigies of service, and receive great joys in return.

12 & 12, p. 120 
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


To thine own self be true.

–AA medallions

Sometimes we hear that we have a “selfish program.” Being “selfish” means that we ask for help when we need it. We only go to places that are safe for us, no matter what others are doing. Being selfish comes to mean safety for us.

Being selfish doesn’t mean we act like brats. We must act in ways that show respect and love—for ourselves and for others. being selfish means we do what is good for us. What is good for us? First, we have to save our lives by stopping our drinking and drugging. Next, we start working the Steps. We come to know a loving Higher Power. This is how we come to know our true self.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be true to myself and my values. Help me be “selfish” about spending time to talk with You each day.

Action for the Day: I’ll list ten ways I need to be “selfish” in recovery. If I get stuck, I’ll be “selfish” and ask for help.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

PATRIOTISM

“For us, patriotism is the same as the love of humanity.”

— Mohandas Gandhi

Today I am on the side of mankind. I am convinced that my welfare is generated by the peace and stability of the world. The love and joy that produces spiritual growth stems from my relationships in the world: we cannot exist alone.

Today I strive to bring the world and people together; we must not seek to be the same but rather rejoice in the richness of difference.

Drugs always divide, separate and isolate; spirituality unites. Today I am an optimist for mankind because of what has happened in my own life.

Thank You for a humanity that can be shared.

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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

When I came to The Program, I found people who knew exactly what I meant when I spoke finally of my fears. They had been where I had been; they understood. I’ve since learned that many of my fears have to do with projection. It’s normal, for example, to have a tiny “back-burner” fear that the person I love will leave me. But when the fear takes precedence over my present and very real relationship with the person I’m afraid of losing, then I’m in trouble. My responsibility to myself includes this: I must not fear things which do not exist. Am I changing from a fearful person into a fearless person?

Today I Pray


I ask God’s help in waving away my fears — those figments, fantasies, monstrous thoughts, projections of disaster which have no bearing on the present. May I narrow the focus of my imagination and concentrate on the here-and-now, for I tend to see the future through a magnifying glass.

Today I Will Remember

Projected fears, like shadows, are larger than life.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ CHILDLIKE ~


Anxiety is the rust of life, destroying its brightness and weakening its power. A childlike and abiding trust in Providence is its best preventive and remedy.
–Tyron Edwards

Like so many of us in OA, I grew up as a little adult. My parents didn’t know better – treating me like an adult seemed a good way to them of both showing love to me and making their difficult post-war life easier. Providence was something that intervened once in a while, and in ways that were weighty and important. God was there – but God had to attend to serious matters.

There was little room in God’s and my parents’ life for the seemingly unimportant details of a child’s world. I had no trouble internalizing that message. I learned very soon that no-one was going to take care of my “little” problems and anxieties, that I had to shove them out of the way, and that I could do that very well by daydreaming, by making sure I was the little adult my parents were so proud of – and by eating.

The trouble was that there were times when these coping mechanisms didn’t work seamlessly and those anxieties would break through. Panic attacks were the result, and dogged attempts to do more of the insanity: more retreating from the world, more “adult” behaviour, more eating.

One of the things I’m learning in recovery is that paradoxically, in order to really grow up, I need to risk the vulnerability of being more childlike. I need to learn that my Higher Power is not too busy worrying about world peace to listen and deeply care about my little booboos. I need to, I WANT to develop an abiding trust that I am safe with and cared for by my Higher Power, like a baby in a mother’s arms.
One day at a time … I let go of the rust of anxiety so that like a child, I may marvel at and participate in the brightness and wonder of God’s world.

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

“In the Indian way, we are connected to that flower if we understand its spirit, the essence of its life.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Everything on our Earth is alive. Every rock, every plant, every animal, every tree, every bird, every thought is alive. This is true because everything is made by the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is alive. We need to slow our lives down each day and realize, consciously, that this is true. First we need to realize it, second, we need to acknowledge it, third, we need to appreciate it and, finally, we need to go on.

Great Spirit, let me see life through Your eyes. Today let me be alive.
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“In the Indian way, we are connected to that flower if we understand its spirit, the essence of its life.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Everything on our Earth is alive. Every rock, every plant, every animal, every tree, every bird, every thought is alive. This is true because everything is made by the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is alive. We need to slow our lives down each day and realize, consciously, that this is true. First we need to realize it, second, we need to acknowledge it, third, we need to appreciate it and, finally, we need to go on.

Great Spirit, let me see life through Your eyes. Today let me be alive.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery



A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.
— Lao-tzu

Imagine yourself with a pile of dirt in front of you and building plans for a one-story structure. It would be easy to think, “Oh, this is impossible – it will never get done.”

But the architect hires people to help. A foundation is built, and then the frame. From there, step by step, the rest is filled in. We have all watched a building take shape and become a finished product.

Building plans are like the goals we all have. We want to be a better person or friend, a better artist or athlete. Reaching a goal is like putting up a building. Once we have a goal, we need a strong foundation to support us. All of us need the help of others to reach our goals.

From the book:



                                        Today’s Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

You cannot know and appreciate wisdom unless you are also acquainted with a liberal amount of pure folly. Folly provides the lessons that really stick in our memories and provide danger signals to govern our decisions in our future conduct.

For that reason, the lessons learned overnight in a jail cell outlast those acquired after long periods of study. Believe you me, those lessons are seldom forgotten.


Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 053 - IMBALANCE



Sleepless nights.

Diet, mind, conditions

Hold the possibility of correction.


Whenever you feel out of sorts, or cannot sleep, or find it hard to work and think, you are separated from Tao. If you want to get back in touch with it, ask yourself three questions : Am I eating right? Is my mind tamed? Is my world safe?

It is not facetious to look at the way you eat whenever you feel out of step with life. Many problems can be alleviated by feeling better physically, and even if this doesn't remedy things, it will give you a good basis for coping. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Take the time to understand proper nutrition and eat a large variety of foods according to the seasons. The skillful use of foods is far superior to medicine.

Next is the difficult mind that seems to have its own interests, habits, and excesses. The only way to counter this is to guard against worry, stress, intellectualism, scheming, and desires. This can only happen through a strong philosophical grounding and by methodical meditation.

Finally, environmental factors such as weather, natural and man-made disasters, and socioeconomic problems can break our unity with Tao. To cope with this, gain as much control over your environment as possible. Keep your home a haven, have control over your work place, and be independent enough to face emergencies. It is inevitable that one will fall in and out of Tao. The wise arrange their lives so that they can always return to balance.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery


Trust has nothing to do with moral courage. It occurs when we have nowhere else to turn, when we reach the end of our need to control.


-Rodney Smith, "Lessons from the Dying"
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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Random Big Book - 'Alcoholics Anonymous'

When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn't. ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53

People Help Or Damage Themselves - Athony De Mello



DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX



QUARANTINE YOUR TROUBLES



When you are praying or "treating" about a particular thing, you should handle it, mentally, very carefully indeed. The ideal way is no to think about it at all except when you are actually praying about it. Moreover, to talk to other people about it is exceedingly likely to invite failure.

When a new problem presents itself to you, decline to consider it except in the light of Truth. I call this "Putting a subject in quarantine." Even an old long-standing problem can be "put in quarantine" today, if you mean business and will resolutely break the habit of constantly thinking over that problem. Whenever you think about any subject, you are treating it with your thought - either for good or for evil.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever... (Proverbs 12:19).
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

I'M PART OF THE WHOLE

At once, I became a part–if only a tiny part–of a cosmos…. 

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 225

When I first came to A.A., I decided that “they” were very nice people–perhaps a little naive, a little too friendly, but basically decent, earnest people (with whom I had nothing in common). I saw “them” at meetings–after all, that was where “they” existed. I shook hands with “them” and, when I went out the door, I forgot about “them.” Then one day my Higher Power, whom I did not then believe in, arranged to create a community project outside of A.A., but one which happened to involve many A.A. members. We worked together, I got to know “them” as people. I came to admire “them,” even to like “them” and, in spite of myself, to enjoy “them.” “Their” practice of the program in their daily lives–not just talk at meetings –attracted me and I wanted what they had. Suddenly the “they” became “we.” I have not had a drink since.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Self-Pity Or Recovery – It’s Our Choice

“Self-pity is one of the most destructive of defects; it will drain us of all positive energy.” 

Basic Text, p. 77

In active addiction, many of us used self-pity as a survival mechanism. We didn’t believe there was an alternative to living in our disease&151or perhaps we didn’t want to believe. As long as we could feel sorry for ourselves and blame someone else for our troubles, we didn’t have to accept the consequences of our actions; believing ourselves powerless to change, we didn’t have to accept the need for change. Using this “survival mechanism” kept us from entering recovery and led us closer, day by day, to self-destruction. Self-pity is a tool of our disease; we need to stop using it and learn instead to use the new tools we find in the NA program.

We have come to believe that effective help is available for us; when we seek that help, finding it in the NA program, self-pity is displaced by gratitude. Many tools are at our disposal: the Twelve Steps, the support of our sponsor, the fellowship of other recovering addicts, and the care of our Higher Power. The availability of all these tools is more than enough reason to be grateful. We no longer live in isolation, without hope; we have certain help at hand for anything we may face. The surest way to become grateful is to take advantage of the help available to us in the NA program and to experience the improvement the program will bring in our lives.

Just for today: I will be grateful for the hope NA has given me. I will cultivate my recovery and stop cultivating self-pity.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

I go to the A.A. meetings because it helps me in my business of keeping sober. And I try to help other alcoholics when I can, because that’s my part of my business of keeping sober. I also have a partner in this business and that’s God. I pray to Him every day to help me keep sober. As long as I keep in mind that liquor can never be my friend again, but is now my deadly enemy, and as long as I remember that my main business is keeping sober and that it’s the most important thing in my life, I believe that I’ll be prepared for that crucial moment when the idea of having a drink pops into my mind. When that idea comes, will I be able to resist it and not take that drink?

Meditation For The Day

I will be more afraid of spirit-unrest, of soul- disturbance, of any ruffling of the mind, than of earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm of my spirit has been broken by emotional upset, then I must steal away alone with God, until my heart sings and all is strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times when evil can find an entrance. I will beware of unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no matter what turmoil surrounds me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that no emotional upset will hinder God’s power in my life. I pray that I may keep a calm spirit and a steady heart.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

To Guard Against A Slip, p. 52

Suppose we fall short of our chosen ideals and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth.

It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. These are facts out of our experience.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 70 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery


Unexpected Disappointments
Acceptance.


As life unfolds, we sometimes get unexpected disappointments that seem undeserved — the car breaks down, a business deal goes sour, or a close friend betrays us. As alcoholics, most of us don’t handle such things too well. “Why me, Lord?” we often respond.

Our best approach is simply to view life as a mixture of bitter and sweet, knowing that we’ve been given real mastery over conditions. We cannot always be sure that a disappointment really is as bad as it seems to be, and sometimes it can become a step toward our good. As one alcoholic phrased it, “some of the worst things that have happened turned out to be the best.”

It’s good to face the day with optimism, with confidence, and even with some excitement about the opportunities ahead. If we’re maintaining sober thinking, everything that happens today will be transformed into gains for tomorrow — all our tomorrows. We’re on a spiritual journey that goes far beyond anything we’re doing here and now.

I won’t expect to be disappointed today, but I’ll know that nothing can really upset or disturb me without my permission.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

It easier to speak of love, than to practice it.
–Anonymous

Do we help our neighbor who is in need? We must help when we see the need, not just when it fits our schedule. In the program, this becomes our goal. We work at helping out. For example, when someone is needed to run the meeting, we offer. We see that the needs of the group are also our needs. We are the group. Over time, the idea of service spreads to the rest of our lives. Maybe we help a family down the street. We start to see that we have something to offer the world; ourselves. We start to see that the needs of the world are also our needs. We are an important part of the world.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, make me quick to act when I see a need. Please don’t let my fear stop me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list what I have to offer the world. I will think of two ways I can use these gifts my Higher Power has given me.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

 ART


“Only work which is the product of inner compulsion can have spiritual meaning.”
— Walter Gropius

I have developed, in my recovery, an awareness of the beauty of this world and an appreciation of what man can produce. Sobriety has made art accessible. Today I can see beauty in paintings, sculpture, music, literature and the natural “art” of nature.

Spirituality is always creative and it is at the center of all that is good, noble and inspiring. Although I am not an artist, I can appreciate and have a feeling of “belonging” to the beauty of this world — in a sense it all happens and takes shape through me. The rediscovery of spirituality has brought the world and the universe into my life.

Help me to have the desire to recreate Your splendors through my experiences.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

Do I waste my time and energy wrestling with situations that aren't actually worth a second thought? Like Don Quixote, the bemused hero of Spanish literature, do I imagine windmills as menacing giants, battling them until I am ready to drop from exhaustion? Today, I’ll not allow my imagination to build small troubles into big ones. I’ll try to see each situation clearly, giving it only the value and attention it deserves. Have I come to believe, as the second of the Twelve Steps suggest, that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity?

Today I Pray

God, keep my perspective sane. Help me to avoid aggrandizing petty problems, trying to much significance to casual conversations,making a Vesuvius out of an anthill. Keep my fears from swelling out of scale, like shadows on a wall. Restore my values, which became distorted during thee days of my chemical involvement.

Today I Will Remember

Sanity is perspective.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ PROGRESS ~

” … I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.”

–Marie Curie


I have always been the queen of quick fix, so if I wanted something to happen, it had to happen today if not yesterday. So coming into the program was very hard for me, in that for the first time I have had to realise that recovery is not an overnight thing. For a perfectionist like me, that has been a very hard lesson to learn, in that I don’t have to have perfect recovery. My journey in this program has been an up and down one, with many slips along the way, and everytime I have slipped, I have had to remember that I may think I’m a failure, but I’m only a failure if I fail to pick myself up. In the past if I made a mistake, I was a total and utter failure, but I know now that all I have to do each time is to pick myself up, dust myself off and start over.

The other thing I’ve learned in the program is that I also always need to remember where I came from, and when I look back, I can see the progress I have made. My self esteem is growing, and even though I still seem to slip back into the old character defects from time to time, they are nowhere near as bad as in the past. I am able to forgive people whom I thought I would never be able to forgive, and I make amends whenever the need arises, and as a result my relationships with people have improved dramatically.

One Day at a Time . . .

May I remember that in this program, it is always progress and not perfection that counts.

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


“Every thing or living being that exists in this world, be it trees, flowers, birds, grasses, rocks, soil of the earth, or human beings, has its unique manner of existence – its essence, its spirit that makes it what it is. That is what is meant by connectedness.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Scientists are finally realizing what the Elders have taught for thousands of years – everything is connected. Because everything is interconnected, whatever you do to any one thing, you do to everything. If you poison any part of the earth, the poison eventually affects everything else. If you poison the plants, the birds will eat the plants, which poisons the birds. The birds are eaten by humans which poisons the humans. The humans will have babies who could be deformed because the plants were poisoned. We must learn to live in harmony with the earth. We must learn to think good things. Every good thought is felt by everything, which causes everything to be happy.

Creator, let my thoughts only be good thoughts.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery


I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.

— Pablo Picasso

Some of us were taught not to place a lot of value on money. After all, it’s only money, and money can’t buy happiness. True enough. While many of us don’t place much value on money, we manage to value the possessions that money can buy. The result is that we treat money frivolously and spend it recklessly.

We know it’s true that love and the quality of our relationships are far more valuable than money. We also know we can’t put a price tag on good health. We begin, however, to appreciate and to value money for what it is — a means to an end and a responsibility. When we value money, we’re less likely to spend it carelessly or frivolously. We’re more likely to save it and to put it to good use.

Today I give my cash the same value I place on my most treasured material possessions.



From the book:



                                       Letting Go of Debt © 2000 by Hazelden Foundation
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

The effectiveness of AA is largely built upon understanding and human sympathy. These characteristics were not acquired from a book but learned the hard way as we, too, traveled the long dark alley of despair in search of a helping hand and an understanding heart.

Creeds and ideologies are for preachers and students to debate and reason, but our doctrine of love and understanding has nothing to do with reason; frequently it is contrary to reason, as it comes from the heart and not the head.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 090 - LONGEVITY


Contemplate in the morning.

Pull weeds in the afternoon.

The joys and labor of a single day

Are part of a whole journey.





If all you want is spiritual realization, it isn't that difficult. For the average person, a dozen years under the guidance of a good teacher will probably give it to you. That's shorter than what it takes to be a good musician, athlete, or artist. It's even shorter that the time it will take you to collect your pension. If you have the good fortune to study with the right person, you can succeed in a relatively short amount of time.

But after you get it, then what? Many of us place such an emphasis on attaining realization that we may forget to put it in context. What actually matters is to walk Tao, maintaining vitality until we meet our end in a timely way. Spiritual realization is essential, but it is not everything.


A starving person dwells inordinately on the thought of food. Likewise, a spiritually hungry person can only think of realization. One who has food can place it in the right context, just as one who has understanding can place it in the correct perspective. Followers of Tao therefore do not emphasize enlightenment as an ultimate goal. For them, realization is a means, not an end. Their emphasis is on the act of living. They use the word longevity, not because they want to live forever, but because it symbolizes their determination to live the entire course of their lives well.
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DAILY TAO / 052 - NONCONFORMITY



The world is dazzling,
I alone am dull.
Others strive for achievement,
I follow a lonely path.


Followers of Tao are nonconformists. The conventional label our behavior erratic, antisocial, irresponsible, inexplicable, outrageous, and sometimes scandalous. We hear other voices, respond to inner urgings. We have no interest in the social norm; we only care about following Tao. It does not matter if no one can understand us, for we are nurtured by something most people do not sense. Awakening to this inner urge, and distinguishing spiritual impulses from the merely instinctual, is one of the crucial goals of self-cultivation.

We all have many voices, personalities, ambitions, and tendencies within ourselves. The ability to distinguish between them, and the ability to silence all the voices save for Tao’s, is imperative if one is to reach this state of being. Once one is in touch with the true Tao, there are no doubts, and the murmuring of others cannot have any effect. One is as comforted as a child at its mother’s breast.

The more one walks in Tao, the more one is interested in self-perfection. All that matters is constant cultivation to be with Tao. This is a lonely path. There are others who follow Tao, but it is not always possible to meet them. That is why is takes someone both sensitive enough to hear the call and strong enough to walk the solitary path.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery



The problem is not materialism as such. Rather, it is the underlying assumption that full satisfaction can arise from gratifying the senses alone. Unlike animals whose quest for happiness is restricted to survival and to the immediate gratification of sensory desires, we human beings have the capacity to experience happiness at a deeper level which, when achieved, can overwhelm unhappy experiences.


-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Contrasting soul feelings with worldly feelings - Anthony De Mello



Random Big Book ' Alcoholics Anonymous'

"We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear." ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 68

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox



WITH ALL SAILS SET

God intended us to have dominion over our lives, to be the captains of our souls.


Of course, in the ship of life, you cannot make port unless all sails are set. You must pursue the spiritual life wholeheartedly. You cannot expect to reach port if you are faithful in your prayers and meditations for a time, and then for a time you forget God.

You are the captain of your soul when you can say with Jesus, I and my father are one (John 10:30).

...the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works (John 14:10).
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER


At this juncture, his A.A. sponsor usually laughs.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 26

Before my recovery from alcoholism began, laughter was one of the most painful sounds I knew. I never laughed and I felt that anyone else’s laughter was directed at me! My self-pity and anger denied me the simplest of pleasures or lightness of heart. By the end of my drinking not even alcohol could provoke a drunken giggle in me. When my A.A. sponsor began to laugh and point out my self-pity and ego-feeding deceptions, I was annoyed and hurt, but it taught me to lighten up and focus on my recovery. I soon learned to laugh at myself and eventually I taught those I sponsor to laugh also. Every day I ask God to help me stop taking myself too seriously.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Powerlessness, Personal Responsibility


“Through our inability to accept personal responsibilities, we were actually creating our own problems.”

Basic Text, p. 13

When we refuse to take responsibility for our lives, we give away all of our personal power. We need to remember that we are powerless over our addiction, not our personal behavior.

Many of us have misused the concept of powerlessness to avoid making decisions or to hold onto things we had outgrown. We have claimed powerlessness over our own actions. We have blamed others for our circumstances rather than taking positive action to change those circumstances. If we continue to avoid responsibility by claiming that we are “powerless;” we set ourselves up for the same despair and misery we experienced in our active addiction. The potential for spending our recovery years feeling like victims is very real.

Instead of living our lives by default, we can learn how to make responsible choices and take risks. We may make mistakes, but we can learn from these mistakes. A heightened awareness of ourselves and an increased willingness to accept personal responsibility gives us the freedom to change, to make choices, and to grow.

Just for today: My feelings, actions, and choices are mine. I will accept responsibility for them.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Liquor used to be my friend. I used to have a lot of fun drinking. Practically all the fun I had was connected with drinking. But the time came when liquor became my enemy. I don’t know just when liquor turned against me and became my enemy, but I know it happened, because I began to get into trouble. And since I realize that liquor is now my enemy, my main business now is keeping sober. Making a living or keeping a house is no longer my main business. It’s secondary to the business of keeping sober. Do I realize that my main business is keeping sober?

Meditation For The Day

I can depend on God to supply me with all the power I need to face any situation, provided that I will sincerely believe in that power and honestly ask for it, at the same time making all my life conform to what I believe God wants me to be. I can come to God as a business manager would come to the owner of the business, knowing that to lay the matter before Him means immediate cooperation, provided the matter has merit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may believe that God is ready and willing to supply me with all that I need. I pray that I may ask only for faith and strength to meet any situation.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

The Coming Of Faith, p. 51

In my own case, the foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith: a faith that, despite all worldly appearances to the contrary, causes me to believe that I live in a universe that makes sense.

To me, this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice, and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however little and haltingly, toward His own likeness and image. Before the coming of faith I had lived as an alien in a cosmos that too often seemed both hostile and cruel. In it there could be no inner security for me.

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

“When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And all was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God’s love; I was alone no more.”

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. Letter, 1966 
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Out Of Defect. . . Strength, p. 49

If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to alcohol.

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

Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of my complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 33

2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 46
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

A day of Acceptance
Releasing the Past


“We will not regret the past nor fear the future,” goes one of the promises in Twelve Step programs. Neither the past nor the future should control what we’re thinking and doing today. After all, if our higher power is everything, no person or action can be outside of this supreme control.

Today, I will rise above anything that was said or done in the past. I will also hold the idea that the future is bright with promise, and that this promise will be fulfilled. Nobody’s opinion or criticism can be unsettling to me if my beliefs and self-worth are anchored in my Higher Power.

It’s true that there might have been lots of wreckage in the past…. Even more recently when we have been living sober. It doesn’t matter. I amazing ways, our higher power sometimes turns negative conditions into future benefits. This was actually what happened when our compulsive condition led directly to a new way of life.

I will accept life today and will look for unexpected blessings. No person or group can keep me from good as I accept God’s direction in my life.

“In all your ways acknowledge [God who] shall direct your paths.” I’ll remember this frequently as I go about the day.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Let Go and Let God.

—Twelve Step slogan

Some days we might ask ourselves, Is it worth it? We feel alone. No one seems to care.

Life seems hard. Recovery seems hard. This is when we need to slow down and take a look at what’s going on. We’re feeling this way because we’re off our recovery path. We may be back into wanting people to see things our way. We want control. Remember, all problems are not our problems. All work is not our work. We can’t have everything the way we want it. But we can do our part and let go of the rest. Than we can feel better.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me remember my only work today is to do Your will for me. It is not my job to be You.

Action for the Day: I’ll talk with my sponsor or a program friend today. I’ll talk about how to deal with things that seems to pull me down.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. —

Spanish proverb

Gossip can kill the trust in a Twelve Step program. We all need to feel safe when we share our personal lives with others. We need to know our private business won’t spread around.

We can do two things to help keep the trust in our groups, and in the rest of our lives too. First, don’t gossip. Second, don’t listen to gossip about others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me mind my own business today. Help me honor the trust of my friends by not gossiping.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think of two ways to stop someone from telling me gossip. Then, I’ll put those ways to use.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

CHRISTIANITY

“Going to Church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.”
— Laurence J. Peter

I cannot help but believe that the truth of Christianity is about bringing the world and mankind together, rather than creating divisions and resentments. It must be much bigger than what we do or say in any building. Christ’s truth seeks to discover God in the splendour of His varied world. In this sense, Christianity is an aspect of the world’s spirituality!

My addiction made me a small man with a small god. Constantly focusing on the differences in the world stopped me from seeing the glaring similarities; my exclusiveness kept me a lonely man. The world of black and white, rather than shades of creative colour, is a sick and dangerous world to live in. Jesus Christ reveals for me the “man for others”; the bridge by which reconciliation and harmony can be achieved. His message for me is not so much a series of dogmas as a revealed journey into Truth.

In the created stranger, help me to discover the friend.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

We are often told in The Program that “more will be revealed.” As we are restored to health and become increasingly able to lve comfortably in the real world without using chemicals, we begin to see many things in a new light. Many of us have come to realize, for example, that our arch enemy, anger, comes disguised in many shapes and colors: intolerance, contempt, snobbishness, rigidity, tension, sarcasm, distrust, anxiety, envy, hatred, cynicism, discontent, self-pity, malice, suspicion, jealousy. Do I let my feelings get the best of me?

Today I Pray


May I recognize that my anger, like dancer at a masquerade, wears many forms of many faces. May I strip off it’s several masks and know it for what it is.

Today I Will Remember

Anger wears a thousand masks.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Secrets


There were deep secrets hidden in my heart, never said for fear others would scoff or sneer. At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power.

–Deidra Sarault

I’ve heard it said in program that we are only a sick as the secrets we keep. If that is the case, then I was very sick when desperation forced me through the doors of ths wonderful fellowship.

Not one of my friends or family knew what I was doing around food, as most of it was done in secret, and I was always careful to remove all the evidence. I couldn’t believe that anyone would love me if they knew what I was doing around food, and felt that I was either really bad or totally crazy, or both. But for the first time ever, I was able to come clean about what I was doing around food, and I wasn’t judged or frowned upon. The love and acceptance I have received here has been totally overwhelming, but in addition I found out that others had done the same or similar things to what I had done, and so for the first time ever, I felt that I wasn’t alone. Not only have I been able to talk freely about my food and what I had been doing, as well as what it was doing to me, but in the fourth and fifth step, I was finally able to share with another person my darkest deepest secrets, that for years I’d thought had made me this terrible person. It was in fact in sharing all the things that I’d thought of as so bad, that I came to realise that it was only my magnifying mind that had made them appear so, and that in fact they really weren’t bad at all. I would never have found that out, had I not been in this program, and I’m so grateful for the relief that sharing all these things has given me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to get honest and share with my sponsor and others in this program, all the things that are bothering me, whether it be food or other issues, so I can be relieved of the pain that all my secrets are causing me.

~ Sharon

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“When a community does something together, that community is very happy, jovial, connected, and unified.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

The Indian People have always been able to adapt. If the hunting changed, we found new hunting grounds. If the earth changed, we moved to a better place. If the river changed course, we followed the river. But with every change, we kept our Indianness and spirituality. Our culture and spirituality have always been our strength. Our culture and spirituality taught us to live in harmony. We must change with the times, but we must maintain our culture and spirituality, always living in harmony.

Great Spirit, You have taught us to survive. Let me always maintain my Indianness. 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

So many times we hear people say, “Don’t preach to me about God. He has no time for the likes of me.” It is hard for us alcoholics to conceive of a God, whom we have gone out of our way to alienate, who has time for the likes of us – yet we know that He does have time for us and has demonstrated this fact in hundreds of cases, just as though He had nothing else in the world to do.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 049 - BEAUTY


Lavender roses.
Incarnate fragrance,
Priestly hue of dawn,
Spirit unfolding.

Even on the road to hell, flowers can make you smile. They are fragile, ephemeral, uncompromising. No one can alter their nature. True, you can easily destroy them, but you will not gain anything; you cannot force them to submit to your will.

Flowers arouse in us an instinct to protect them, to appreciate them, and to shelter them. This world is too ugly, too violent. There should be something delicate to care about. To do so is to be lifted above the brute and to go toward the refined. When we offer flowers on our altar, we are offering a high gift. Money is too vulgar, food too pedestrian. Only flowers are unsullied. By offering them, we offer purity.

The tenderness of flowers arouses mercy, compassion, and understanding. If that beauty is delicate, so much the better. Life itself is fleeting. We should take the time to appreciate beauty in the midst of temporality.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Even though the training in ethics takes many forms, the ethics of abandoning the ten non-virtues is their basis. Of the ten non-virtues, three pertain to bodily actions, four to verbal actions, and three to mental actions.

The four verbal non-virtues are:

1. Lying: deceiving others through spoken words or physical gestures.

2. Divisiveness: creating dissension by causing those in agreement to disagree still further.

3. Harshness: abusing others.

4. Senselessness: talking about foolish things motivated by desire and so forth.

The opposite of these ten non-virtues are the ten virtues, and engaging in them is called the practice of ethics.


From "The Pocket Dalai Lama," edited by Mary Craig, 2002.

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Monday, 19 February 2018

Random Big Book "Alcoholics Anonymous"

So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties. To a person who has had experience with an alcoholic, this may seem like tempting Providence, but it isn't. You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, 'Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?' If you answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead. Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 101

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

THINE THE GLORY

Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever (Matthew6:313).

This is a wonderful gnomic saying summing up the essential truth of the Omnipresence and the Allness of God.

We know that God is the only power, and so, when we work, it is really God working by means of us. Just as the pianist produces his music by means of, or through his fingers, so may mankind be thought of as the fingers of God. His is the Power. If, when you have anything to do, you hold the thought, "Divine Intelligence is working through me now," you will perform the most difficult tasks.



The wondrous change that comes over us as we gradually realize what the Omnipresence of God really means, transfigures every phase of our lives, turning sorrow into joy, age into youth, and dullness into light and life. This is the glory!

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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

I'M NOT DIFFERENT


In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high bottoms, ” the women said they were different; . . . The Skid-Rower said he was different . . . so did the artists and the professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners. . . . nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are finally down.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 24

I cannot consider myself “different” in A.A.; if I do I isolate myself from others and from contact with my Higher Power. If I feel isolated in A.A., it is not something for which others are responsible. It is something I’ve created by feeling I’m “different” in some way. Today I practice being just another alcoholic in the worldwide Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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