Saturday, 19 January 2019

Jim P. - Big Book Recovery Workshop 4.



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

GOD IS PRINCIPLE

The seventh main aspect of God is Principle, and this is probably the one that is least understood. What does the word principle mean?

Consider a few generally accepted principles. "Water seeks its own level." This is a principle. It is not only the course taken by a particular drop of water in a particular locality. It is true of all water everwyere. "The angles of any triangle always add up to 180 degrees." It makes no matter what kind of triangle on may consider; as log as it is a triangle , this principle holds. These principles were true a billion years ago and they will be true a billion years hence.

Jesus Chris the same yesterday, and today and for ever (Hebrews 13:8)

Prayer is answered because God is principle, eternally manifest in the same way. When we pray rightly we bring ourselves into harmony with His Law of Being. Prayer does not ask God to change the laws for our temporary convenience, but it tunes us in, so to speak, with divine Principle; if God were to make exceptions because we were in great difficulties (which, because of His nature, He could never do) we should never know where we stood. If the law of gravity were occasionally suspended without notice, say, because a very important man had fallen off a roof, you know what would happen to the world.

Each of the seven main aspects is a distance quality like the elements in chemistry. A chemical element, as you know, is just itself and nothing else. Oxygen is an element because there is nothing in it buy oxygen. Water on the other hand is a compound, a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. There are many attributes of God, such as wisdom, beauty, joy, and so forth, but they are compounds, made up of two or more of the seven main aspects. Wisdom, for example, is the perfect balance of Intelligence and Love.



Beauty is the perfect balance of Life, Truth, and Love. In any true work of art, you will find that these three aspects are balanced. There are many such relationships and interdependencies - "Thou canst not pluck a flower without the trembling of a star."
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


ROUND-THE-CLOCK FAITH


Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.16

The essence of my spiritually, and my sobriety, rests on a round-the-clock faith in a Higher Power. I need to remember and rely on the God of my understanding as I pursue all of my daily activities. How comforting for me is the concept that God works in and through people. As I pause in my day, do I recall specific concrete examples of God’s presence? Am I amazed and uplifted by the number of times this power is evident? I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my God’s presence in my life of recovery. Without this omnipotent force in my every activity, I would again fall into the depths of my disease – and death.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery


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

Some of us seem to make mountains out of molehills with our problems. Even those of us who’ve found some measure of serenity have probably blown a problem far out of proportion at some time in our recovery-and if we haven’t done so yet, we probably will before long!

When we find ourselves obsessed with a complication in our lives, we will do well to sharply remind ourselves of all that is going right. Perhaps we’re afraid we won’t be able to pay our bills for the month. Instead of sitting at the calculator, adding our financial liabilities over and over, we can take stock of our efforts to reduce expenses. Following this mini-inventory, we continue with the task at hand and remind ourselves that as long as we are doing the footwork, a loving Higher Power will care for our lives.

Mountain-sized problems happen sometimes, but we don’t need to create them. Trust in a loving God of our understanding will put most of our problems in their proper perspective. We no longer need to create chaos to feel excited about our lives. Our recovery gives us countless real-life opportunities for excitement and drama.

Just for today: I will take a realistic look at my problems and see that most of them are minor. I will leave them that way and enjoy my recovery.
pg. 19
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

On the foundation of sobriety, we can build a life of honesty, unselfishness, faith in God, and love of our fellow human beings. We’ll never fully reach these goals, but the adventure of building that kind of life is so much better than the merry-go-round of our old drinking life that there’s no comparison. We come into A.A. to get sober, but if we stay long enough we learn a new way of living. We become honest with ourselves and with other people. We learn to think more about others and less about ourselves. And we learn to rely on the constant help of a Higher Power. Am I living the way of honesty, unselfishness, and faith?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that God had already seen my heart’s needs before I cried to Him, before I was conscious of those needs myself. I believe that God was already preparing the answer. God does not have to be petitioned with sighs and tears and much speaking, before he reluctantly looses the desired help. He has already anticipated my every want and need. I will try to see this, as His plans unfold in my life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may understand my real wants and needs. I pray that my understanding of those needs and wants may help to bring the answer to them.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Disagreeable or unexpected problems are not the only ones that call for self-control. We must be quite as careful when we begin to achieve some measure of importance and material success. For no people have ever loved personal triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel elated. Blinded by prideful self-confidence, we were apt to play the big shot.

Now that we’re in A.A. and sober, winning back the esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance against the dangers of big-shot-ism, we can often check ourselves by remembering that we are today sober only by the grace of God and that any success we may be having is far more His success than ours.

12 & 12, pp. 91-92 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Willpower Isn’t the Power
Power


We almost universally agree that willpower simply does not work as a direct force in overcoming alcoholism. The alcoholic who believes that a strong will and determination bring sobriety is probably headed for disaster.

In the same way, willpower is ineffective in dealing with a number of personal problems. In fact, the mustering of willpower seems to strengthen the problems or cuase them to take other forms. We know that we are using willpower on problems when there is a great deal of tension and anxiety in letting our Higher Power handle matters in a way that brings contentment and satisfaction. When excessive will is involved, we usually suppress feelings that ought to be expressed in positive ways.

The solution is not to fight problems in ourselves or in the outer world. By turning all matters over to the Higher Will, we will find the best way to deal with the evils within ourselves and with the opposition in our world. “Self-will run riot” was a problem in drinking, and it can be equality destructive in sobriety. Our will should be joined with the Higher Will for true success in living.

I will rely on my Higher power as I go through the day. God can do the many things I cannot do for myself.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Study sickness when you are well.

—Thomas Fuller

Now is the time to learn about our sickness–chemical dependency. It is a chronic illness. That means it never goes away. We have to live with it the best we can. Luckily, we can live with it–very well! Our program of recovery is so simple, and it feels so good, that we think we’ll never give it up. But we can’t take our recovery for granted. Our disease is “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” The more we know about it, the less we’ll let it fool us. Some days we may find we’re headed toward a slip. We must learn to recognize the first trouble signs in ourselves so we can get help to stay sober.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, my addiction is “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” Don’t let me use alcohol or others drugs again. Thank you for my sobriety today.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll learn my warning signs: I’ll list ten old thoughts, feelings, and actions that were part of my illness. I’ll share this with my sponsor.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

EQUALITY


“Treat all men alike. Give them all the same laws. Give them all an even chance to live and grow.”

~ Chief Joseph

Today it is important for me to remember that I am not the only human being in this universe; I need to respect and be considerate of others. Spirituality requires that I treat all people with dignity and respect because they carry something of God within them — the image of God is with all men. In this way I show and give respect to self.

As an alcoholic I was selfish and demanding, wanting my way all the time. Sobriety teaches me that “the way” must include others; my fellow men are part of my life and journey. I cannot live in isolation and be sober.

O Spirit of the World, teach me to respect all men as a service to myself.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

It was far easier for me to accept my powerlessness over my addiction than it was for me to accept the notion that some sort of Higher Power could accomplish that which I had been unable to accomplish myself. Simply by seeking help and accepting the fellowship of others similarly afflicted, the craving left me. And I realized that if I was doing what I was powerless along to do, then surely I was doing so by some Power outside my own and obviously greater. Have I surrendered my life into the hands of God?

Today I Pray

May God erase in me the arrogant pride which keeps me from listening to Him. May my unhealthy dependence on chemicals and my clinging dependence on those nearby be transformed into reliance on God. Only in this kind of dependence/reliance on a Higher Power will I find my own transformation.

Today I Will Remember

I am God-dependent.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ OPPORTUNITIES ~

Tiger, tiger, burning bright, In the forest of the night, What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy dreadful symmetry?
–William Blake

This quote from mystic and poet William Blake expresses the sense of wonder and awe I have about God, who can make a being like a tiger, an aggressive carnivore. God, who I suppose to be kind and loving, makes beings that are potentially dangerous to me. The question “Why?” stirs in my mind, alongside fears about what God may have in store for me.

“Fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom,” says one religious text. I can feel grateful for the stirring fear, and question, as the seeds of new wisdom.

A quick thought enters, “I can also feel grateful for the chance to flex my faith muscles and to increase their strength. Maybe that’s why God makes tigers and their ilk.”

A habit of staying detached from the emotions life arouses in me heightens my perceptions of what life has to offer, highlights what God has to offer in each situation and the reasons I have for being grateful. This is essential to my recovery. It’s the spine of an attitude of gratitude that also nurtures remembrance of God, and conscious contact with Him.

One Day at a Time …
I thank God for what I have already learned, for all opportunities to learn more, and for the chance to perfect “skill in action” in my recovery way of life.

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

“Heal yourself-your physical and spiritual bodies. Regenerate yourself with light, and then help those who have poverty of the soul. Return to the inner spirit, which we have abandoned while looking elsewhere for happiness.”

–Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU

It is difficult to look inside ourselves, especially when we see conflict or confusion. During times of conflict we need to realize that we are talking to ourselves about our thoughts. This conversation is printing in our subconscious and forming our beliefs. During times of conflict we need to ask the spirit to control our self-talk. Only thorough finding that inner place and going there during troubled times will we ever find happiness.

Great Spirit, You are my peace and you dwell within me. Let me look for You within myself.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

—Chinese proverb

Even the strongest, most loving families always have room for growth. There is no such thing as a “perfect” family. If our family is far from perfect, that’s okay. It only matters that we are working at getting better. Often, runners will say they can remember many days when they just did not feel like running; however, once they started, they felt more energy and were easily able to run the distance they had set for that day.

Whatever we need to do, we can do in small acts–a chore done without being asked, a helping hand with the dishes, a soft word, a surprise gift for no reason. These are small things, easily done. Love is made of small things; what is large is the love with which they are accomplished.

When we begin to work on our relationship with our family, we will feel the new energy, and quickly we will find ourselves making progress.

What is the first thing I can do today to improve my relationship with my family? 
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The Eye Opener


In AA we are truly only concerned with the internal and not the external qualities of the man. What you wear or fail to wear in the matter of clothes is of no consequence. If you are clean inside, the outside eventually cleanses itself.

Evening gowns and tuxedos are all right for formal affairs, but a well-dressed heart and mind is for everyday wear and is a greater adornment than silks and jewels.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao /019 - Initiative


Let us not be confused

With kaleidoscopic reality.

Using wisdom and courage to act,

Let us not add to the confusion.



The world is a storm of myriad realities, yet we cannot allow ourselves to be swept into the vortex. To do so is to be lost and to lose the true center where all understanding will come. We must act, but in the right way.

Action must be guided by both intellect and experience. We learn from teachers, elders, and others. But we must also test what we learn in the world. It is not enough to simply meditate, and it is not enough just to have theoretical knowledge. We need both in order to be wise.

Only when wisdom, courage, timing, and perseverance are combined can one have a sound basis for initiative. The action must be complete. It must burn clean; it cannot leave any bad ramifications or lingering traces. An act that leaves destruction, resentment, or untidiness in its wake it a poor one. Then initiative is insufficient, and Tao has not been attained.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery


Flow with whatever may happen
and let your mind be free;
Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.
This is the ultimate.

-Chuang Tsu 
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Friday, 18 January 2019

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


WOULD A DRINK HELP?



By going back in our drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 23

When I was still drinking, I couldn’t respond to any of life’s situations the way other, more healthy, people could. The smallest incident triggered a state of mind that believed I had to have a drink to numb my feelings.  But the numbing did not improve the situation, so I sought further escape in the bottle. Today I must be aware of my alcoholism. I cannot afford to believe that I have gained control of my drinking – or again I will think I have gained control of my life. Such a feeling of control is fatal to my recovery.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

The Simple Inventory


” Continuing to take a personal inventory means that we form a habit of looking at ourselves, our actions, our attitudes, and our relationships on a regular basis.”


Basic Text, p. 41

The daily inventory is a tool we can use to simplify our lives. The most complicated part of taking a regular inventory is deciding how to start. Should we write it out? What should we examine? In how much detail? And how do we know when we’ve finished? In no time, we’ve turned a simple exercise into a major project. Here’s one simple approach to the daily inventory. We set aside a few minutes at the close of each day to sit quietly and check out our feelings. Is there a knot, big or small, in our gut? Do we feel uncomfortable about the day we’ve just finished? What happened? What was our part in the affair? Do we owe any amends? If we could do it over again, what would we do differently?

We also want to monitor the positive aspects of our lives in our daily inventory. What has given us satisfaction today? Were we productive? Responsible? Kind? Loving? Did we give unselfishly of ourselves? Did we fully experience the love and beauty the day offered us? What did we do today that we would want to do again?

Our daily inventory doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. It is a very simple tool we can use to keep in daily touch with ourselves.

Just for today: I want to keep in touch with the way I feel in living this life I’ve been given. At the end of this day, I will take a brief, simple inventory.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day


The new life can’t be built in a day. We have to take the program slowly, a little at a time. Our subconscious minds have to be re-educated. We have to learn to think differently. We have to get used to sober thinking instead of alcoholic thinking. Anyone who tries it, knows that the old alcoholic thinking is apt to come back on us when we least expect it. Building a new life is a slow process, but it can be done if we really follow the A.A. program. Am I building a new life on the foundation of sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

I will pray daily for faith, for it is God’s gift. On faith alone depends the answer to my prayers. God gives it to me in response to my prayers, because it is a necessary weapon for me to possess for the overcoming of all adverse conditions and the accomplishments of all good in my life. Therefore, I will work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may so think and live as to feed my faith in God. I pray that my faith may grow because with faith God’s power becomes available to me.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


Companion and Partner, p. 18


“Dr. Bob was my constant companion and partner in the great A.A. adventure. As the physician and great human being he was, he chose work with others as his prime A.A. vocation and achieved a record which, in quantity and in quality, none will ever surpass. Assisted by the incomparable Sister Ignatia at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, he–without charge–medically treated and spiritually infused five thousand sufferers.

“In all the stress and strain of A.A.’s pioneering time, no hard word ever passed between us. For this, I can thankfully say that the credit was all his.”

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

I took my leave of Dr. Bob, knowing that he was to undergo a serious operation. The old, broad smile was on his face as he said almost jokingly, “Remember, Bill, let’s not louse this thing up. Let’s keep it simple!” I turned away, unable to say a word. That was the last time I ever saw him.

1. Letter, 1966
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 214 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery


The Greatest Thing In The World
Love and Goodwill


In a famous sermon, Henry Drummond described love as a spectrum with nine ingredients. Love is patience, kindness, and generosity; it is humility, courtesy, and unselfishness. Finally, it is also good temper, gentleness, and sincerity. Drummond called love the “greatest thing in the world.”

Growth in sobriety includes improvement in all the nine ingredients that make up love. It has been fashionable in recent years to talk and sing about love as something the world needs, and we have an opportunity to practice love when we strengthen the qualities that make us loving people. And if we are uncomfortable with love as a word, we can call it goodwill.

If we are practicing the elements of love or goodwill, we won’t have to sing about it or tell people what we’re doing. They will see the change in our own lives and will be attracted by it. Love acts the part, and even people who cannot define love will respond to it. If love is present in our AA activities, it will cover a multitude of sins and will make up for many other shortcomings.

I’ll try to practice the nine ingredients that make up love. Around difficult people, I’ll remember that God’s love is always present with us.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

The reality is that changes are coming….they must come. You must share in bring them.–John Hersey

Change. It’s scary. It’s hard. It’s needed. Sometimes it feels bad. But one thing is for sure: it keeps on happening. Just when our life seems settled, it changes. We can’t stop life. We can’t stay this age forever. The world changes. Life moves on. There are always new things to do and learn. Changes means we’re always beginners in some ways. We need to ask for wisdom and courage. We get it by listening, by praying, by meditating. When we ask, our Higher Power will teach us to be part of good changes.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me believe that Your plans call for good changes.

Action for the Day: Today I’ll think about the changes in my life. I’ve lived through a lot. I’ll be okay when more changes come, with God’s help. I can keep on growing.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

GLUTTONY

“Gluttony is not a secret vice.”

— Orson Welles

The unspoken disease of food: hide in food, bury anger with food, cry behind food. Food addiction — eating, forever dieting, starving — is the hidden disease that is becoming more obvious. But are we talking about it? Recovering alcoholics minimize it and get lost in ice cream and doughnuts. For many people the pain around food is as real as alcohol or any other drug. And the family and relationships suffer.

Today I am willing to talk about it. Spirituality affects all my life and this involves my eating habits and body weight. God does not make junk and so I choose not to eat junk. Today I choose to talk about the buried emotions that I am stuffing behind the food. That is a step towards living.

When I bless the food at meal time, may I also bless my abstinence.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

If we are determined to stop drinking or using other chemicals, there must be no reservations whatever, nor any lurking notion that our allergy of the body and obsession of the mind will some day reverse themselves. Our regeneration comes through the splendid paradox of the Twelve Steps: Strength arises from complete defeat, and the loss of one’s old life is a condition for finding a new one. Am I convinced that in powerlessness, Power comes? Am I certain that by releasing my life and will, I am released?

Today I Pray

May I know power through powerlessness, victory through surrender, triumph through defeat. May I learn to relinquish any trace of secret pride that I can “do it by myself.” Let my will be adsorbed and steered by the omnipotent will of God.

Today I Will Remember

Let Go and Let God
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ LOVING WORDS ~


One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.
–James Earl Jones

Many years ago I had difficulty in expressing feelings of love and caring and warmth and concern. Contrary to this, I had no difficulty in expressing criticism, unkind words or constant critiques. Over the years I have learned so much about myself and others … and now I can express feelings to my friends and loved ones about everything.

Those who are imprisoned by emotional constipation do little to make life better for themselves or for others. To be able to look at someone in your life and tell them you love them is such a beautiful gift. To tell a store clerk that you like something about them makes their heart sing. To look a little child in the eyes and tell them they have a good heart and you admire them takes them through the rest of the day on wings.

One Day at a Time . . .

Here’s to letting the words out of hearts.

~ Mari ~ 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ LOVING WORDS ~


One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.
–James Earl Jones

Many years ago I had difficulty in expressing feelings of love and caring and warmth and concern. Contrary to this, I had no difficulty in expressing criticism, unkind words or constant critiques. Over the years I have learned so much about myself and others … and now I can express feelings to my friends and loved ones about everything.

Those who are imprisoned by emotional constipation do little to make life better for themselves or for others. To be able to look at someone in your life and tell them you love them is such a beautiful gift. To tell a store clerk that you like something about them makes their heart sing. To look a little child in the eyes and tell them they have a good heart and you admire them takes them through the rest of the day on wings.

One Day at a Time . . .
Here’s to letting the words out of hearts.

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

“Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit.”

–Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

Be still and know. All new learnings, all ideas about new things, creativity, daydreaming and mental effectiveness come to those who learn about silence. All warriors know about the power of silence. All Elders know about stillness. Be still and know God. Meditation is about the place of silence. This is the place to hear God’s voice. We can find tremendous amounts of knowledge in the place of silence. This is the sacred place of God.

Great Spirit, teach me the power of silence.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


The stream that was locked up for the winter now ripples and gurgles along its way.

—John F. Gardner

Winter presents us with a frozen world, silent, sometimes forbidding. It seems like such a harsh time, forcing us indoors, letting us out only when we’re wrapped in extra woolens, extra boots, extra hats and mittens. But beneath the snow’s blanket, the earth is resting. Just as we sleep at night, the earth naps, nurturing its roots and bulbs, replenishing its moisture and minerals, refreshing itself. Spring is the earth’s first stirring; it opens one eye, then another, wiggles a toe, stretches, yawns. The earth rises, shaking leaves off, brushing twigs away. It sends new shoots up to welcome the day.

We, too, are part of nature, and as such we experience our own seasons. Sometimes we are happy, full of energy, always able to handle obstacles. When we are down, when things seem to be too much for us to handle, we must remember that it is natural and proper to feel that way, and that soon, without our even trying, a new season will lift our hearts.

When I feel low, what can I do best?
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The Eye Opener


We admit that for US, whiskey is bad; but whether it is bad for someone else is simply a matter for them to decide.

We have no fight with alcohol itself, its brewers, distillers, distributors or retailers. We say its abuse is bad, but we do not curse the darkness; rather we tend to positive, constructive efforts to help that individual who is groping in the darkness. For him, we light a candle of Hope which becomes a beacon upon which he may set a new course to a peaceful harbor where the weary alcoholic may find peace and rest.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 018 - SPECTRUM

Pure light is all colors.

Therefore, it has no hue.

Only when singleness is scattered

Does color appear.



When we see pure sunlight streaming down upon us, it is a pure radiance so bright that we can discern neither details nor hues from its source. But when light strikes the gossamer wings of a dragonfly, or when it shines through misty rain, or even when it shines on the surface of our skin, it is polarized into millions of tiny rainbows. The world explodes with color because all the myriad surfaces and textures fracture the light into innumerable, overlapping dimensions.

The same is true of Tao. In its pure state, it embodies everything. Thus, it shows nothing. Just as pure light has all colors yet shows no color, so too is all existence initially latent and without differentiation in Tao. Only when Tao enters our world does it explode into myriad things. We say that everything owes its existence to Tao. But really, these things are only refractions of the great Tao.

Colored light, when mixed together, becomes pure, bright light again. That is why those who follow Tao constantly speak of returning. They unify all areas of their lives and unify all distinctions into a whole. There cannot be diversity within unity. When our consciousness rejoins the true Tao, there is only brightness, and all color disappears.
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Daily Zen

Irrigators guide the water. Fletchers shape the arrow shaft. Carpenters shape the wood. The wise control themselves.
- Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. 
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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 60

"Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas: (a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives. (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. (c) That God could and would if He were sought."


 ~Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Page 60

Walking Meditation


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

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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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19

"Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people´s shortcomings and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which make us more useful to others."

 ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 19

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


~ 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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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 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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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

BIG BOOK - - Alcoholics Anonymous - HE LIVED ONLY TO DRINK - p. 446


“I had been preached to, analyzed, cursed, and counseled, but no one had ever said, ‘I identify with what’s going on with you. It happened to me and this is what I did about it.'” On looking back at my life, I can’t see anything that would have warned me or my family of the devastation that alcoholism had in store for us. To our collective memory there was no drinking on either side of the family. We were from a long Southern Missionary Baptist tradition. My father was a minister, and I attended his church every Sunday with the rest of the family and, like them, was very active in religious work. My parents were also educators; my father was principal of the school I attended, and my mother taught there. They were both champions of community outreach and well respected. There was caring and togetherness among us. My maternal grandmother, herself a deeply religious woman who lived with us, helped raise me and was a living example of unconditional love.

~  BIG BOOK - - Alcoholics Anonymous - HE LIVED ONLY TO DRINK - p. 446

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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