Thursday, 28 February 2019

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

FLEE DESOLATION

The moment you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, you should reject it instantly. Do not stop to say "good-by" to the error but immediately switch your attention to the Presence of God. Indeed, we may say that when error presents itself to consciousness, the first five seconds are golden.

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whose readeth, let him understand

Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains;

Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house;

Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes (Matthew 24:15-18).

Jesus teaches this lesson in his own graphic way. The hold place is your consciousness, and the abomination of desolation is any negative thought, because a negative thought means belief in the absence of God at the point concerned.

It is impossible to forget this illustration once we have taken it in.  
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

WHAT? NO PRESIDENT?

When told that our Society has no president having authority to govern it, no treasurer who can compel the payment of any dues … our friends gasp and exclaim, “This simply can’t be …”

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 132
When I finally made my way to A.A., I could not believe that there was no treasurer to “compel the payment of dues.” I could not imagine an organization that didn’t require monetary contributions in return for a service. It was my first and, thus far, only experience with getting “something for nothing.” Because I did not feel used or conned by those in A.A., I was able to approach the program free from bias and with an open mind. They wanted nothing from me. What could I lose? I thank God for the wisdom of the early founders who knew so well the alcoholic’s disdain for being manipulated.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

The Greatest Gift

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.”

Basic Text, p. 93

When we begin coming to meetings, we hear other addicts talking about the gifts they have received as a result of this program, things we never thought of as “gifts” before. One such “gift” is the renewed ability to feel the emotions we had deadened for so long with drugs. It’s not difficult to think of love, joy, and happiness as gifts, even if it’s been a long time since we’ve felt them. But what about “bad” feelings like anger, sadness, fear, and loneliness? Such emotions can’t be seen as gifts, we tell ourselves. After all, how can we be thankful for things we want to run from?

We can become grateful for these emotions in our lives if we place them in their proper perspective. We need to remember that we’ve come to believe in a loving Higher Power, and we’ve asked that Power to care for us – and our Higher Power doesn’t make mistakes. The feelings we’re given, “good” or “bad;” are given to us for a reason. With this in mind, we come to realize that there are no “bad” feelings, only lessons to be learned. Our faith and our Higher Power’s care give us the courage we need to face whatever feelings may come up on a daily basis.

As we heard early in recovery, “Your Higher Power won’t give you more than you can handle in just one day.” And the ability to feel our emotions is one of the greatest gifts of recovery.

Just for today: I will try to welcome my feelings, firm in the belief that I have the courage to face whatever emotions may come up in my life.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

We should be free from alcohol for good. It’s out of our hands and in the hands of God, so we don’t need to worry about it or even think about it any more. But if we haven’t done this honestly and fully, the chances are that it will become our problem again. Since we don’t trust God to take care of our problem for us, we reach out and take the problem back to ourselves. Then it’s our problem again and we’re in the same old mess we were in before. Do I trust God to take care of the problem for me?

Meditation For The Day

No work is of value without preparation. Every spiritual work must have behind it much spiritual preparation. Cut short times of prayer and times of spiritual preparation and many hours of work may be profitless. From the point of view of God, one poor tool working all the time, but doing bad work because of lack of preparation, is of small value compared with a sharp, keen, perfect instrument working only for a short time, but that turns out perfect work because of long hours of spiritual preparation.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may spend more time alone with God. I pray that I may get more strength and joy from such times, so that they will add much to my work.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Conviction and Compromise, p. 59

One qualification for a useful life is give-and-take, the ability to compromise cheerfully. Compromise comes hard to us “all or nothing” drunks. Nevertheless, we must never lose sight of the fact that progress is nearly always characterized by a series of improving compromises.

Of course, we cannot always compromise. There are circumstances in which it is necessary to stick flat-footed to one’s convictions until the issue is resolved. Deciding when to compromise and when not to compromise always calls for the most careful discrimination.

Twelve Concepts, pp. 39-40 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Seeking Excitement
Seeking Serenity


“I haven’t found anything to replace the excitement I felt while drinking,” a member complained. “Sure, Im grateful to be sober. But sometimes it’s so darned boring!

Let’ talk about that need for excitement, or “high.” For many of us, it was an important part of our drinking. At times, our drinking was exciting—it came with celebrations, graduations, marriage receptions, engagements, and just about anything else out of the ordinary. Along with it, we wanted other excitement: exciting love affairs, exciting experiences, exciting stories.

For us, however, excitement always ended with a crash, often a terrible one. Waking up after an exciting binge was a horrible moment. It stretched out to become horrible It never seemed to have a happy ending.

We can take this addiction to excitement in hand by recognizing it as a component of our alcoholism. We’ll still be able to be excited at times, but it must be a type of excitement that brings neither crash nor hangover.

I will not let boredom push me into actions that I know will be destructive in the long run. I do not want thrills at the expense of my self-respect and sense of well-being.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Leave yourself alone.—Jenny Janacek

We often pick on ourselves. We put ourselves down. But doing this isn’t part of our recovery.

In fact, it goes against our program. Our program is based on loving care. We have turned our lives over to a caring, loving Higher Power who will give us the answers. We are told Easy Does It. We back off. As recovering addicts, we learn not to judge. Instead, we learn to be kind to ourselves. Our job is not to figure out the world, butt to add more love to it. Let’s start with ourselves.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, stop me from judging. Help me know what You want to do. Help me work the Steps Two and Three.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll leave myself alone. I will remember that picking on myself is another from of control.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery.

PERFECTION

“He that is without sin amongst you, let him cast the first stone.”

— Jesus Christ

It is so easy for me to focus on the failings of others and miss my own. My attraction to gossip is that it is usually about other people and that keeps the attention away from me. Sometimes I am made to “feel good” by exposing the weaknesses of others.

This attitude needs to be changed if I am ever to fully enjoy the fruits of sobriety. I do not need to be drinking to behave like a drunk; gossip and character assassination are reminiscent of my past addictive behavior. I do not need the side of me that seeks to destroy the character of others. With my spiritual program, I am trying to change.

May I grow in my forgiveness and acceptance of others.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

We’re taught in The Program and the Twelve Steps that the chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear — mainly fear that we would lose something we already possessed or that we would fail to get something we demanded. Living on the basis of unsatisfied demands, we obviously were in a state of continuable disturbance and frustration. Therefore, we are taught, no peace will be ours unless we find a means of reducing these demands. Have I become entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character?

Today I Pray

May I make no unrealistic demands on life, which, because of their grandiosity, can be met. May I place no excessive demands on others, which, when they are not fulfilled, leave me disappointed and let down.

Today I Will Remember

The set-up for a let-down.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ RECOVERY ~

The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want.–George Bernard Shaw

There was a time, not so long ago, that my life was much different than it is right now. My weight was skyrocketing because my eating compulsion was out of control. I couldn’t walk very far without huffing and puffing. My lower back hurt because my stomach pulled my spine out of alignment. My feet and ankles were swollen, my knees hurt, just standing was painful. I was hot all the time because my fat acted as insulation, keeping my body temperature high. My wife was hounding me about losing the weight, my doctor was taking her side, and even the kids at my son’s daycare were asking me why I was so big.

I didn’t start the recovery process (and it IS a process!) until I got to the point where I was so uncomfortable with myself that I had to do something. It wasn’t just that I was physically uncomfortable. I had to get past the comfort zone I had mentally and emotionally set up for myself; I had to get uncomfortable. I had to jump into the unknown, which was the most frightening thing I’d ever done.

Sitting around, moaning about my circumstances and suffering the physical consequences of my weight, didn’t get me anywhere. It was only when I became ready to see my life change, mentally, emotionally AND physically, that I began the footwork of this Program. That was the key to the beginning of my recovery, the getting up and actually doing something about it. When I took that first Step, the miracle began.

One Day at a Time …
I will take the necessary steps to maintain my
recovery from compulsive eating.

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


“Ultimately, nature will do the teaching.”

–Tom Porter, MOHAWK

There are things man has control over, and there are things man does not have control over. No matter how smart we get, whether it be in technology or science, there are things we will never control. The Great Spirit carefully protected and hid the control over certain things in the Unseen World. There are forces in the Unseen World that make sure humans don’t mess things up. The bottom line is, no matter what we do, nature will have the last say. Nature is the teacher, we are the students. May we honor and respect our teacher.

Great Spirit, today, help me to live in harmony with people, principles, and life.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

’m slipping when I begin to dislike the company and conversation of the Program. — Anonymous

There is a reason why a lamb gets separated from a flock. The flock will be eating on a particular pasture and a lamb will take a fancy to graze just off to the edge of the field. So the lamb takes a little nibble of this grass. Then he moves just ever so slightly further from the edge and takes another little nibble, then just a bit further and another nibble.

Each little nibble of grass takes the lamb further and further from the flock. After awhile, having eaten enough grass, the lamb pokes his head up and notices that the flock has left him. B-A-A-A-A-A! The lamb wails. How could his flock have left him?

I will begin slipping when I stop paying attention to my flock. My group will not leave me: I will leave my group. I will leave like the lamb, just one conversation, and one meeting at a time. After awhile I, too, could end up wailing for help just like the little lamb.



From the book:


                                                             Easy Does It by Anonymous
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

Many of us would have been ready to do something about our drinking problem years before we did, except for the obstinate determination not to allow the wife, mother or boss to tell us what to do.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 059 - SOURCE



Wellspring of energy
Rises in the body’s core
Tap it and be sustained.
Channel it, and it will speak.


The source of all power is within yourself. Although external circumstances may occasionally hamper you, true movement comes solely from within yourself. The source is latent in everyone, but anyone can learn to tap it. When this happens, power rises like a shimmering well through the center of your body.

Physically, it will sustain and nourish you. But it can do many other things as well. It can give you gifts ranging from unusual knowledge to simple tranquility. It all depends on how you choose to direct your energies.

We cannot say that a person will become enlightened solely by virtue of having tapped this source of power; energy is neutral. It requires experience, wisdom, and education to direct it. You may gain power from your meditations, but it is possible for two people with the same valid attainment to use it in two different ways, even to the extremes of good and evil. Finding the source of spiritual power is a great joy; deciding how to direct it is the greatest of responsibilities
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Daily Zen

When subjective feelings arrange your effort, and activity is obsessed with objects, the matter of your self is neglected; not believing in true universal knowledge in oneself, you'll never attain true awakening.

-Chen-ching 
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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

~ Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - We Agnostics, pg. 47

"We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. 'Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?' As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built."

 ~ Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - We Agnostics, pg. 47

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

..be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind... (Romans 12:2).

This is Paul's admonition.

Many people understand this in principle, but they fail to demonstrate because they do not carry it out logically in practice. During prayer, they carefully build up the new mental structure, but as soon as their time of prayer is over, in stead of faithfully preserving that structure intact they promptly knock it down again by negative thinking. Obviously, a bricklayer could work hard in this fashion year after year without ever accomplishing anything.



If you are failing to demonstrate, it is probably due to the same cause - building followed by wrecking. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

A UNIQUE STABILITY


Where does A.A. get its direction? . . . These practical folk then read Tradition Two, and learn that the sole authority in A.A. is a loving God as He may express Himself in the group conscience. . . The elder statesman is the one who sees the wisdom of the group’s decision, who holds no resentment over his reduced status, whose judgment, fortified by considerable experience, is sound, and who is willing to sit quietly on the sidelines patiently awaiting developments.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 132, 135

Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. As my recovery progressed, I realized that the new mantle was tailor made for me. The elders of the group gently offered suggestions when change seemed impossible. Everyone’s shared experiences became the substance for treasured friendships. I know that the Fellowship is ready and equipped to aid each suffering alcoholic at all crossroads in life. In a world beset by many problems, I find this assurance a unique stability. I cherish the gift of sobriety. I offer my gratitude for the strength I receive in a Fellowship that truly exists for the good of all members.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

“Pure Motives”


“We examine our actions, reactions, and motives. We often find that we’ve been doing better than we’ve been feeling.”
Basic Text, p. 42
Imagine a daily meditation book with this kind of message: “When you wake up in the morning, before you rise from your bed, take a moment for reflection. Lie back, gather your thoughts, and consider your plans for the day. One by one, review the motives behind those plans. If your motives are not entirely pure, roll over and go back to sleep.” Nonsense, isn’t it?

No matter how long we’ve been clean, almost all of us have mixed motives behind almost everything we do. However, that’s no reason to put our lives on hold. We don’t have to wait for our motives to become perfectly pure before we can start living our recovery.

As the program works its way into our lives, we begin acting less frequently on our more questionable motives. We regularly examine ourselves, and we talk with our sponsor about what we find. We pray for knowledge of our Higher Power’s will for us, and we seek the power to act on the knowledge we’re given. The result? We don’t get perfect, but we do get better.

We’ve begun working a spiritual program. We won’t ever become spiritual giants. But if we look at ourselves realistically, we’ll probably realize that we’ve been doing better than we’ve been feeling.

Just for today: I will examine myself realistically. I will seek the power to act on my best motives, and not to act on my worst.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we first came into A.A., the first thing we did was to admit that we couldn't do anything about our drinking. We admitted that alcohol had us licked and that we were helpless against it. We never could decide whether or not to take a drink. We always took the drink. And since we couldn't do anything about it ourselves, we put our whole drink problem into the hands of God. We turned the whole thing over to that Power greater than ourselves. And we have nothing more to do about it, except to trust God to take care of the problem for us. Have I done this honestly and fully?

Meditation For The Day


This is the time for my spirit to touch the spirit of God. I know that the feeling of the spirit-touch is more important than all the sensations of material things. I must seek a silence of spirit-touching with God. Just a moment’s contact and all the fever of life leaves me. Then I am well, whole, calm and able to arise and minister to others. God’s touch is a potent healer. I must feel that touch and sense God’s presence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that the fever of resentment, worry and fear may melt into nothingness. I pray that joy, peace and serenity may take its place.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Who Is To Blame?, p. 222

At Step Four we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened? Though a given situation had not been entirely our fault, we often tried to cast the whole blame on the other person involved.

We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and became willing to set these matters straight.


Page 67  
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Selling myself
Personal Relations


Thoughtful people tell us that every person has to “sell” himself or herself in daily work. As alcoholics, we can find that threatening. Uncertainty and the fear of rejection or failure put us under.

We can avoid this stress and tension by putting all responsibility for results in God’s hands. While it is true that we want to succeed and to be accepted, we can never be sure that our idea of success is the right one. There are times when our strong determination to succeed at all costs makes us overbearing and demanding in our approach. We may be so anxious to appear competent and knowledgeable that we overreach our selves and make stupid blunders.

God can show us how to handle each day’s affairs in an orderly, reasonable way. It is not necessary to win every argument or to make every sale. We can sell ourselves more effectively when we go through the day calmly and take a genuine interest in the ideas and concerns of others.

I will look upon my customers and fellow workers as friends and allies. I don’t have to bludgeon every person into accepting my point of view. If I am sincerely trying to follow God’s will in all my affairs, others will sense my sincerity and will be glad to consider what I have to say.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Without work all life goes rotten.

—Albert Camus

Work is more than earning money. Work means using our time and skills to make life better for those around us. Our work can be our hobbies. Growing food or growing flowers can be our work.

Raising children or caring for older people who need help can be our work. Building homes or helping people live in them can be our work. Thanks to our program of recovery, we can do our best work again. What a change from the drugged-up and hung over days when we didn’t do anything well. We are sober, and we have something to offer.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see that work makes me part of the human family. Help me do Your will in my work today.

Action for the Day: Good work teaches us good habits. How do the things I’ve learned in my work help me in my recovery program? I’ll list five ways.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

FACTS


“To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another.”

— John Burroughs

When I was drinking, I was always confusing fantasy with reality. Lies got mingled with the facts and the facts became exaggerated. It was almost impossible for me to distinguish between reality and fantasy, imagination and fact. My life was a complicated lie.

Today I have a program of “rigorous” honesty; I must be rigorous and stop the game before it starts. I need to practice the principles of recovery in every area of my life. The spiritual road involves a comprehensive journey and nothing need be left out.

God, who created the mountains, help me to take responsibility for the grit between my toes.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

If I live just one day at a time, I won’t so quickly entertain fears of what might happen tomorrow. As long as I’m concentrating on today’s activities, there won’t be room in my mind for worrying. I’ll try to fill every minute of this day with something. Then, when the day is ended, I’ll be able to look back on it with satisfaction, serenity and gratitude. Do I sometimes cherish bad feeling so that I can feel sorry for myself?

Today I Pray

That I will get out of the self-pity act and live for today. May I notice the good things from dawn to nightfall, learn to talk about them and thank God for them. May I catch myself if I seem to be relishing my moans and complaints more often than appreciating the goodness of my life.

Today I Will Remember

Today is good.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ FIGHTING ~


And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone …


–The Big Book, page 84

When one goes through life at full speed ahead as I have done, it’s hard to really step back and look at one’s life. Everything is happening too fast and each day seems to blend into the next and, before you know it, the next segment of life seems to take over.

When I began my Twelve Step recovery program, I found myself slowing down … examining my life … observing those around me … and reflecting on my past. I began to know who I was and I didn’t like one of the things I discovered: I was a fighter. I didn’t accept people, places or things unless and until they met my expectations of what they should be. I tried to control situations that I should have walked away from. I clung to people I should have distanced myself from. I tried to manipulate things that were toxic to me, and make them un-toxic … and, in the process, did myself great harm.

When I first read those words from the AABB, “We have ceased fighting anything or anyone,” I felt it didn’t apply to me … because at that point, I hadn’t categorized myself as a fighter. It took living and working the Steps to realize that. And it took living and working the Steps to take the action necessary to stop being a fighter.

Life is calmer now. Relationships are smoother. I sometimes miss the excitement of going through like as though I were on a roller coaster … but I won’t go back there. Serenity means too much to me. Fighting is something I have put away forever.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will direct my thinking and doing to those things in my life which will contribute to a meaningful and pleasant journey.

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

“The Old Ones have always said that no matter who despises or ignores you, no matter who keeps you from entering their circles, it is right to pray for them because the are like us, too.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA


You don’t know how an apple tastes until you taste it. You don’t know what a fish tastes like until you eat it. You don’t know how it is to be a woman unless you are one. You don’t know what it means to have a baby until you have one. So it is with the natural laws. An example: the natural law of forgiveness says, if you hate someone, pray for the person to be blessed with happiness, joy and all the blessings of the Great Spirit. You will not know about this law unless you do it. The natural law says love others as you love yourself. If you hate yourself or feel guilt in some area of yourself, you will tend to judge and condemn your neighbor. You cannot give away what you don’t have. You teach your children by your example, not by your words. The natural laws are written in our hearts.

Great Spirit, teach me how to look into my heart.
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Today's Gift


Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit – and man is his own gardener.
— John Leonard

Evil thoughts and destructive attitudes are not forced on us by fate. They are choices we make as we act and react to events in our lives.

Before the Program, when negative things happened, our first reaction was to choose to react negatively: “Life’s not fair.” “Why did that have to happen to me?” “I hate them for doing that.” “I’m going to get even if it’s the last thing I do.” It is easy to react positively when good things happen. But we have often chosen to react negatively to even good events.

Good can be found in even the worst situations if we look for it. Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start. Defeat can allow rebuilding in a new and better way. Evil teaches us what is good. Death brings new life. Admitting our powerlessness finally gave us the freedom to make choices.

By choosing good thoughts and attitudes, the garden of my soul will thrive. By choosing bad ones, it will shrivel and die.

From the book:


Easy Does It by Anonymous
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The Eye Opener

We know from past experiences that we actually invited all our troubles to enter our lives. We left the door wide open for them. Getting sober does not necessarily mean we have closed all the doors, for some of us have only closed the front door and left the back door wide open.

The chances are that you are not only vulnerable through the door marked Alcohol. As you advance to the front, watch well both flanks and the rear.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 058 - OPPORTUNITY



A green bird darting in the night.
Will you be able to see it?
Will you be able to catch it?
Cling to Tao like a shadow.
Move without a shadow.


Times of oppression and adversity cannot last forever. How is the transition made to new and better situations? In the midst of great difficulty, a tiny opportunity will open, if only by chance. You must be sharp enough to discern it, quick enough to catch it, and determined enough to do something with it. If you let it pass, you will be filled with regrets.

Stick to Tao like a shadow. Wherever it goes, you go. As soon as it throws something your way, catch it by sheer reflex. It is like the bird : If you try to catch it, you will miss. If you are always with it, moving at its speed, as much a part of it as its own shadow, then it is easy to seize it.

When you act, however, you in turn must have no shadow. In other words, what you do must leave no messiness, no leftover consequences, nothing that will haunt you later. That is one of the ways in which you avoid creating more bad situations for yourself : Your every movement is traceless.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

From Bamboo Forest Temple,
I faintly hear the evening bell.
Twilight touches the brim of your hat
As you turn and enter dark blue hills.

- Lui Ch’angt-ch’ing (710-785) 
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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - William D. Silkworth, M.D. ~ THE DOCTOR'S OPINION (pg. xxx)

However, he did become "sold" on the ideas contained in this book. He has not had a drink for a great many years. I see him now and then and he is as fine a specimen of manhood as one could wish to meet. I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through, and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - William D. Silkworth, M.D. ~ THE DOCTOR'S OPINION (pg. xxx)

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery

PRIMING THE PUMP

An understanding faith is the life of prayer. It is a great mistake, however, to struggle to produce a lively faith within yourself. That can only end in failure. The thing to do is to act as though you had faith. Act out what you wish to demonstrate, and you will be expressing true faith. This is the right use of the will, scientifically understood.

Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done (Matthew 21:21).

This statement of Jesus is perhaps the most tremendous spiritual pronouncement ever made, Jesus knew the law of faith, and proved it many times. We shall move mountains when we are willing to believe we can, and then not only will mountains be moved, but the whole planet will be redeemed and re-formed according to the Pattern in the Mount.

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

NO ORDINARY SUCCESS STORY


A.A. is no success story in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a story of suffering transmuted, under grace, into spiritual progress.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 35

Upon entering A.A. I listened to others talk about the reality of their drinking: loneliness, terror and pain. As I listened further, I soon heard a description of a very different kind–the reality of sobriety. It is a reality of freedom and happiness, of purpose and direction, and of serenity and peace with God, ourselves and others. By attending meetings, I am reintroduced to that reality, over and over. I see it in the eyes and hear it in the voices of those around me. By working the program I find the direction and strength with which to make it mine. The joy of A.A. is that this new reality is available to me.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Remorse


“The Eighth Step offers a big change from a life dominated by guilt and remorse.”

Basic Text, p. 38

Remorse was one of the feelings that kept us using. We had stumbled our way through active addiction, leaving a trail of heartbreak and devastation too painful to consider. Our remorse was often intensified by our perception that we couldn’t do anything about the damage we had caused; there was no way to make it right.

We remove some of the power of remorse when we face it squarely. We begin the Eighth Step by actually making a list of all the people we have harmed. We own our part in our painful past.

But the Eighth Step does not ask us to make right all of our mistakes, merely to become willing to make amends to all those people. As we become willing to clean up the damage we’ve caused, we acknowledge our readiness to change. We affirm the healing process of recovery.

Remorse is no longer an instrument we use to torture ourselves. Remorse has become a tool we can use to achieve self-forgiveness.

Just for today: I will use any feelings of remorse I may have as a stepping-stone to healing through the Twelve Steps.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

One Fellowship–Many Faiths, p.223

As a society we must never become so vain as to suppose that we are authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect that every one of A.A.’s principles has been borrowed from ancient sources.

A minister in Thailand wrote, “We took A.A.’s Twelve Steps to the largest Buddhist monastery in this province, and the head priest said, “Why, these Steps are fine! For us as Buddhists, it might be slightly more acceptable if you had inserted the word ‘good’ in your Steps instead of ‘God.’ Nevertheless, you say that it is God as you understand Him, and that must certainly include the good. Yes, A.A.’s Twelve Steps will surely be accepted by the Buddhists around here.'”

St. Louis oldtimers recall how Father Edward Dowling helped start their group; it turned out to be largely Protestant, but this fazed him not a bit.

A.A. Comes Of Age
1. p. 231
2. p. 81

3. p. 37 
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

When we came into A.A., we came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves. We came to believe in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, and to whom we could turn for help. Each morning we have a quiet time. We ask God for the power to stay sober for the next twenty-four hours. And each night we thank Him for helping us to keep sober for that day. Do I believe that each man or woman I see in A.A. is a demonstration of the power of God to change a human being from a drunkard to a sober person?

Meditation For The Day

I should pray for more faith as a thirsty man prays for water in a desert. Do I know what it means to feel sure that God will never fail me? Am I sure of this as I am sure that I still breathe? I should pray daily and most diligently that my faith may increase. There is nothing lacking in my life because really all I need is mine, only I lack the faith to know it. I am a king’s son who sits in rags and yet all around me are stores of all I could desire.

Prayer For The Day

I pray for the realization that God has everything I need. I pray that I may know that His power is always available.
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

The Fix that Never was
Recovery


In all of the despair and defeat that went along with drinking, most of us held to the ideal of a “fantastic fix”—– a drinking experience so fulfilling and complete that it would solve our problems and leave us searching no more.

Compulsive disorders, like alcoholism seem to include this delusion. The gambler looks for the big score, the overeater seeks the total enjoyment of food, and the sex junkie searches for the perfect partner. But the search never ends, because our compulsions always drive us to seek stronger wine and greater excitement.

The only fix that will ever work has to be rooted in sobriety and right living. When we think and live properly, free from addiction, we find a fix that really works. We find continuous satisfaction instead of soaring excitement, sound relationships with other people instead of ego-gratifying encounters, and purpose instead of drifting.

The peak experience we had been seeking is a fix that never can be. We can be truly “fixed” only by staying sober.

I will live calmly and gratefully today, forgetting the drive for excitement that was destroying me. My Higher Power knows who I am and what I should be doing.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Forewarned. forearmed: being prepared is half the victory.

—Miguel de Cervantes

There will be hard times in our program. There will be hard times in our lives. That’s the way the life is. It helps if we accept this. Then we can prepare for tough times. We can prepare by getting a good set of habits and sticking to them. We can make it a habit to give time to our program each day. Sticking to good habits is like having a savings account: when hard times come, we can take the “investment” we’ve made and overcome our problems.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me accept that there will be hard times. Help me prepare for them. With Your help, I’ll stay close to You, my friends, and the program.

Action for the Day: I’ll put something into my program “savings account” today. I’ll make that extra call. I’ll read a little longer or go to an extra meeting.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

UNIQUENESS


“Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based upon excellence of performance.”

— James Bryant Conant


Everybody has a gift and a special feature that is unique to themselves. Unfortunately so many people are so busy admiring the gifts of others that they miss their own; they are so caught up in the lives of others that they miss the “specialness” of their own existence. One of the symptoms of my alcoholism was low self-esteem. Of course I acted a role of confidence. I pretended that everything was okay. I wore the mask of success — but deep within myself, I was always waiting for the world to find out that I was a fake, that something was missing in my life.

In recovery I have discovered God’s powerful gift of spirituality and I know that through my life a uniqueness exists in the world. I have the capacity to make the day better — not only for myself but also for others.

Thank You for the “specialness” of my life.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

“What if…” How often we hear these words from newcomers to The Program. How often, in fat,we tend to say them ourselves. “What if I lose my job?” “What if my car breaks down?” What if I get sick and can’t work?” “What if my child gets hooked on drugs?” What if — anything our desperate imaginings can project. Only two small words, yet how heavy-laden they are with dread, fear and anxiety. The answer to “What if…” is, plainly and simply, “Don’t project.” We can only live with our problems as they arise, living one day at a time. Am I keeping my thoughts positive?

Today I Pray

May I grow spiritually, without being held back by anxieties. May projected fears not hobble my pursuits or keep me from making the most of today. May I turn out fear by faith. If I will only make a place for God within me, He will remove my fears.

Today I Will Remember

I can only borrow trouble at high interest rates.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ MEMORIES ~

Some memories are realities … and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.

–Willa Cather

When one is young, the world is large and the thought of exploring it is exciting. Each year that we live we add to our memory chest … and by middle age those memories are substantial. I have found as I have grown older that I remember more of the good things that have happened in my life than the bad. The good things seem to become sharper as time goes by … and the bad seem less so. It’s almost as though the memory has turned into a “feeling” rather than a specific event.

When I work on the fourth and the eighth Steps, my life flashes before me and, like one of those calendars from an old movie, time whizzes by and people who have been part of my life hurtle through space … each triggering a memory.

Memories aren't made more poignant by time. One might think that a decade of recurring events might be remembered with more clarity than a year … but I have found in the case of my own memories that it is the quality and intensity of time that produces the kind of memories Willa Cather talks about. A year or two or three, given the right circumstances, can produce the feelings we love our memories to trigger, more than those experienced during a lifetime. And a lifetime of memories can be dwindled into just moments.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will cherish my memories ~ Because I may never experience the reality of some of them again.

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

“In our modern world today, we may seem like drowning men because of the loss of much of our spiritual tradition.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Our spiritual tradition shows us the way to live in harmony, balance and respect. The tradition taught us how to behave and how to conduct ourselves. The spiritual way taught us to pray and to purify ourselves. Handed down from generation to generation were the teachings about a way of life. Our relationship to Mother Earth and to each other was very clear. The Modern World does not relate to spirituality but to materialism. If we do not allow spirituality to guide our lives, we will be lost, unhappy and without direction. We are spiritual beings trying to be human, not human beings trying to be spiritual. It is said, Know thyself.

Grandfather, lead me to spirituality.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

The more I learn of others’ problems, the more my own problems automatically dissolve.

— Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche


Newcomer

The second part of Step Eight says, “became willing to make amends to them all.” I have to admit that this is a lot harder for me than simply recognizing that I’ve caused harm. I don’t know if I’m ready to talk to certain people.

Sponsor

The willingness to make amends to everyone we've harmed, even those who may have harmed us, is something that we don’t have to force or strive for. We become willing as part of yet another gradual process in recovery. We have begun to recognize that everything is interrelated, that whatever we've done to others, we've also done in some measure to ourselves. This is true not only of any harm that we've done, but also of the compassion that we've begun to feel. As we come to understand the impact of addiction on our lives, as we release our secrets and are met with gentleness and understanding, as we participate in the healing laughter at meetings, we replace old feelings of shame with compassion. Our new capacity to feel compassion for ourselves restores and revitalises our understanding and care for others.

We become willing to make amends when we realize that in doing so, we are healing ourselves.

Today, I cultivate openness and compassion toward others.

From the book:


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

Frequently we are asked, “Why waste your money on that guy? He’s a phony if ever I saw one.” We have all heard this and often it was true but, after all, the monetary loss each month was way below our old whiskey bills. Every once in a while, the long shot does come in and the payoff is tremendous.

It is simply a case of betting on people instead of horses. These bets on people can’t lose, for if the phony abuses your generosity, the fault is his, not yours, and he is debited and you are credited by the Great Bookkeeper who has charge of the Treasury where “neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal.”

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 057 - PREDILECTION #essentialsofrecovery



Those who follow Tao do so
From their own predilection.
There are no promises,
Yet the rewards are immeasurable.


Of all the spiritual traditions, following Tao is among the least popular. Its adherents are poor and veiled with humility. In comparison, many traditions offer heaven, forgiveness, comfort, ecstasy, belonging, power, and wealth. Tao offers only three things : sound health, a way through the bewilderment of life, and liberation from the fear of death.

That is why there are so few followers of Tao. There is no glamor, there is no congregation, there is no ranking. You are either in the state of Tao, or you are temporarily out of it. When you die, you die.

You have to be tough to follow Tao. If you can avoid being discouraged by poverty, isolation, and obscurity, you will find an unshakable devotion that will last your entire life, and rewards will come in slow and subtle ways. You may not be suddenly rich and influential, but you will discover, to your great delight, that there is a secret source of sustenance. Once you taste that, all your doubts will fade, and both poverty and loneliness will be easier to bear.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

True spiritual practice is not founded on attainment or on the miraculous, but on seeing life itself as a true miracle. 
In the words of a Zen master,

My magical power and miraculous gift:
Drawing water and chopping wood. 
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Monday, 25 February 2019

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox #essentialsofrecovery


REGISTER JOY


The principal revelation of the Justus Christ teaching is the omnipresence and availability of God, and the bleief that God not only transcends His universe but is everywhere immanent in it - that He indwells in it.


If you really believe in the existence of God you should be happy and cheerful. God has all power, and God is good; so life must be good too.


Meet the world with a smile. You owe this to God, to your fellows, and above all, to yourself. If you go about with a face like an east wind, what can you possibly expect to attract from the world? We all know people who carry a fixed, frozen, mirthless, almost professional, smile. Such a smile is just a permanent wave in the face.

Smile, even if it takes a little effort, and keep it up until it becomes spontaneous, as it will. In the graphic language of Hollywood, register joy, and hold it!

For ye shall go out with joy... (Isiah 55:12).
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

THE CHALLENGE OF FAILURE

In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 31

How thankful I am today, to know that all my past failures were necessary for me to be where I am now. Through much pain came experience and, in suffering, I became obedient. When I sought God, as I understand Him, He shared His treasured gifts. Through experience and obedience, growth started, followed by gratitude. Yes, then came peace of mind — living in and sharing sobriety.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

Sick As Our Secrets

“It would be tragic to write [out an inventory only to] shove it in a drawer These defects grow in the dark and die in the light of exposure.”

Basic Text, p. 31

How many times have we heard it said that we are only as sick as our secrets? While many members choose not to use meetings to share the intimate details of their lives, it is important that we each discover what works best for us. What about those behaviors we have carried into our recovery that, if discovered, would cause us shame? How much are we comfortable disclosing, and to whom? If we are uncomfortable sharing some details of our lives in meetings, to whom do we turn?

We have found the answer to these questions in sponsorship. Although a relationship with a sponsor takes time to build, it is important that we come to trust our sponsor enough to be completely honest. Our defects only have power as long as they stay hidden. If we want to be free of those defects, we must uncover them. Secrets are only secrets until we share them with another human being.

Just for today: I will uncover my secrets. I will practice being honest with my sponsor.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

Some people find it hard to believe in a Power greater than themselves. But not to believe in such a Power forces us to atheism. It has been said that atheism is blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. That’s practically impossible to believe. I think we all can agree that God is a power greater than ourselves. It certainly was in my case. I was helpless before the power of alcohol. Do I remember the things that happened to me because of the power of alcohol?

Meditation For The Day

The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race. Gradually the spiritual is overcoming the material in our minds. Gradually the moral is overcoming the unmoral. Faith, fellowship, and service are cures for most of the ills of the world. There is nothing in the field of personal relationships that they cannot do.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may do my share in making a better world. I pray that I may be part of the cure for the ills of the world. 
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

Leadership In A.A., p. 224

No society can function well without able leadership at all its levels, and A.A. can be no exception. But we A.A.’s sometimes cherish the thought that we can do without much personal leadership at all. We are apt to warp the traditional idea of “principles before personalities” around to such a point that there would be no “personality” in a leadership whatever. This would imply rather faceless robots trying to please everybody.

A leader in A.A. service is a man (woman) who can personally put principles, plans, and policies into such dedicated and effective action that the rest of us naturally want to back him up and help him with his job. When a leader power-drives us badly, we rebel; but when he too meekly becomes an order-taker and he exercises no judgment of his own–well, he really isn’t a leader at all.

Twelve Concepts, pp. 38-39 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Malicious Gossip
Honest Motives


“Without really knowing what was happening, I said something bad today about a person I secretly resented. When it occurred to me that my remark could come back to hurt me, I had a moment of panic,” an AA member said. “With little reflection, however, I realized that the more serious problem was the dishonesty that caused me to belittle somebody behind hie back!”


We are growing up when we come to see that gossip feeds on our own insecurity and self-deception. When we are unwilling to part company with gossip, we devise subtle ways to keep it in our lives. We can gossip by steering the conversation to a topic that is likely to bring revealing comments. We also gossip by reveling in lurid accounts of others’ sins and failings. We should even ask ourselves if we are gossiping when we “discuss” another member who is not living up to our ideas of true Twelve Step standards. This is often prefaced by the remark, “I don’t want to take Joe’s inventory, but…..”

We cannot live freely and happily if we practice gossip in any form. The practice may be hidden, but it leaves us with guilt, fear, and shame. We cannot gossip and be completely trustworthy and reliable.

I will truly mind my own business today. Forgiving myself for past excursions into gossip, I will say nothing about others behind their backs. If somebody has gossip to share, I will politely move to another topic.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

—William James

Step Two speaks of believing. For many years, we had given up believing in ourselves, in a Higher Power, and in others. We believed in getting high. Now our program tells us to believe in love. We are lovable, and we can love others without hurting them. Of course, believing is an important part of recovery.

To believe means to put aside our doubts. To believe means to have hope. Believing makes the road a little smoother. So, believing lets the healing happen a little faster. All of this is how we get ready to let in the care of our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for the courage to believe. I’ll not let doubt into my heart. I can recover. I can give myself totally to this simple program.

Action for the Day: I’ll list four times doubt got in my way. And I’ll think of what I can do to not let that happen again.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

AMBITION


“The child without ambition is like a watch with a broken spring.”

— R. W. Stockman

It is not wrong to have ambition. It is not wrong to want to be “somebody”. The tragedy is that this has to be said!

For too long we have played the tapes in our head that discouraged ambition and creative pride. We confused humility with timidity and self-abuse. We waited for things to happen, rather than made them happen.

Today I know that I am a creature of God — created to create. God is at work in my life. I am part of His miracle for the world.

O God, may I always have ambition for those things that are good and true.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

Before we came to The Program, fear ruled our lives. Tyrannized by our addictions and obsessions, we feared everything and everybody. We feared ourselves and, perhaps most of all, feared fear itself. these days, when I am able to accept the help of my Higher Power, it makes me feel capable of doing anything I am called to do. I am overcoming my fears and acquiring a comfortable new confidence. Can I believe that “courage is fear that has said its prayers…”?

Today I Pray

God grant that through faith in Him I may overcome my obsessive fears. I have been running scared for so long it has become a habit. God help me to see that I may be purposely clinging to my fears to avoid making decisions, perhaps even to shirk the responsibility of success.

Today I Will Remember

Fear keeps me safe from risk-taking.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


~ STARTING OVER ~


Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.

–F. Scott Fitzgerald


Before coming into this program I was, and probably still am to a certain extent, a perfectionist, so one of the things I really struggled with is being able make mistakes without feeling bad about myself. So when I came into the program, I decided that I was going to do this program perfectly, and proceeded to do just that. I followed a meal plan, lost weight and worked the steps, and I really thought I had it made. But I hadn’t counted on the fact that this is a disease, and it is both cunning, baffling and powerful. So when I had my first slip, I was devastated and felt a real failure.


Fortunately for me, with the help of many loving sponsors over the years, I have realised that I am not a failure if I slip, but I am only one if I fail to get up. This program has enabled me to learn that when I make a mistake, I am not that mistake, and that all I need to do is to pick myself up and start over. In the old days if I failed at a diet, I would never have been able to pick myself up so soon, and it would always be an excuse to carry on eating and start the diet again on Monday. Now I know that my abstinence can even start at the end of the day, rather than waiting till tomorrow, next week or even next month. I am slowly starting to let go of the guilt I feel when I slip, and am also learning to love myself even when I do flounder, because with the love and support I am given in this program, I know I can always start over.


One day at a time…


I will remember that I can start afresh any time I like, and don’t need to feel as if I have failed.

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


“The Creator was responsible for the existence of everything, a part of the Creator’s spirit exists in everything and thus all things are connected.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

The Creator designed nature, people, and all things as an interconnected system. Everything is connected to each other. This connection exists in the Unseen World. The same way our body parts are all port of the body – the parts are separate but also connected. If a part of our body is in pain, the rest of the body recognizes this pain as its own. In other words, the pain of one is the pain of all. This is also true of every interconnected system. Because we are connected, we should respect and take care of our Earth and each other.

Great Spirit, let me treat everyone, today, as if they were You.
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Today's Gift #essentialsofrecovery

Our awesome responsibility to ourselves, to our children, and to the future is to create ourselves in the image of goodness, because the future depends on the nobility of our imaginings.

— Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

The world we live in depends on the responsible contributions each of us makes. And this world is just as good as are the many talents we commit ourselves to developing and offering. None of us is without obligation to offer our best to our family, friends, or strangers, if our hope is to live in a good world. The world can only be as good as each of us makes it.

Individually and collectively our power to mold the outer circumstances of our lives is profound. Our personal responses to one another and our reactions to events that touch us combine with the actions of others to create a changed environment that affects us. No action, no thought goes unnoticed, unfelt, in this interdependent system of humanity. We share this universe. We are the force behind all that the universe offers.

Whether I acknowledge the depth of my contribution is irrelevant. It is still profound and making an impact every moment and eternally.




From the book:



                                        The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery


Few of us who are successfully working the AA Program have failed to notice the almost immediate influence our sobriety has brought about, not only in our homes and jobs but in the community as well.

Some of us who a short time ago stood before the judge and got the usual “$10 or 10 days” are now frequently closeted in the Judge’s Chambers at his invitation to assist him in his handling of the alcoholic problem.

We know what we were, we know what we are, now let us be what we can be.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 056 - MUTENESS #essentialsofrecovery



The more you dwell in the spirit,

The farther you are from common ways.

If you want to speak of Tao's wonders,

Few will listen.


If you spend a long period of time in study and self-cultivation, you will enter Tao. By doing so, you also enter a world of extraordinary perceptions. You experience unimaginable things, receive thoughts and learning as if from nowhere, perceive things that could be classified as prescient. Yet if you try to communicate what you experience, there is no one to understand you, no one who will believe you. The more you walk this road, the farther you are from the ordinary ways of society. You may see the truth, but you will find that people would rather listen to politicians, performers, and charlatans.

If you are known as a follower of Tao, people may seek you out, but they are seldom the ones who will truly understand Tao. They are people who would exploit Tao as a crutch. To speak to them of the wonders you have seen is often to engage in a futile bout of miscommunication. That is why it is said that those who know do not speak.

Why not simply stay quiet? Enjoy Tao as you will. Let others think you are dumb. Inside yourself, you will know the joy of Tao's mysteries. If you met someone who can profit by your experience, you should share. But if you are merely a wanderer in a crowd of strangers, it is wisdom to be silent.
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

A farmer’s horse ran away. His neighbors gathered upon hearing the news and said sympathetically, “That’s such bad luck.”
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The horse returned on his own the next morning, and brought seven wild horses with it. “Look how many more horses you have now,” the neighbors exclaimed. “How lucky!”
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. “How awful,” the neighbors said. “It looks like your luck has turned for the worse again.”
The farmer simply replied, “Maybe.”
The following day, military officers came to town to conscript young men into the service. Seeing the son’s broken leg, they rejected him. The neighbors gathered round the farmer to tell him how fortunate he was.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.


 - Zen Horse by Seizan Aoyama 
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Sunday, 24 February 2019

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - Working With Others, pg. 98

Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.

 ~ Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition - Working With Others, pg. 98

Tom M. From Maine - Recovery Speaker #essentialsofrecovery


AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery


MAKING YOUR OWN FORTUNE

You think, and your thoughts materialize as experience, and thus it is, all unknown to yourself as a rule, that you are actually weaving the pattern of your own destiny, here and now, by the way in which you allow yourself to think, day by day and all day long.

Your fare is largely in your own hands. Nobody but yourself can keep you down. Neither parents, nor wives, nor husbands, nor employers, nor neighbors; nor poverty, nor ignorance, nor any power whatever can keep you out once you have learned how to think.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).


© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery


A THANKFUL HEART

I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know.

~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37 ~

My sponsor told me that I should be a grateful alcoholic and always have “an attitude of gratitude”—that gratitude was the basic ingredient of humility, that humility was the basic ingredient of anonymity and that “anonymity was the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” As a result of this guidance, I start every morning on my knees, thanking God for three things: I’m alive, I’m sober, and I’m a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Then I try to live an “attitude of gratitude” and thoroughly enjoy another twenty-four hours of the A.A. way of life. A.A. is not something I joined; it’s something I live.

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



A New Influence

“Personality change was what we really needed. Change from self-destructive patterns of life became necessary.”

~ Basic Text, p. 15 ~

In early life, most of us were capable of joy and wonder, of giving and receiving unconditional love. When we started using, we introduced an influence into our lives that slowly drove us away from those things. The further we were pushed down the path of addiction, the further we withdrew from joy, wonder, and love.

That journey was not taken overnight. But however long it took, we arrived at the doors of NA with more than just a drug problem. The influence of addiction had warped our whole pattern of living beyond recognition.

The Twelve Steps work miracles, its true, but not many of them are worked overnight. Our disease slowly influenced our spiritual development for the worse. Recovery introduces a new influence to our lives, a source of fellowship and spiritual strength slowly impelling us into new, healthy patterns of living.

This change, of course, doesn’t “just happen.” But if we cooperate with the new influence NA has brought to our lives, over time we will experience the personality change we call recovery. The Twelve Steps provide us with a program for the kind of cooperation required to restore joy, wonder, and love to our lives.

Just for today: I will cooperate with the new influence of fellowship and spiritual strength NA has introduced to my life, I will work the next step in my program.

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


A.A. Thought for the Day

When we came to our first A. A. meeting, we looked up at the wall at the end of the room and saw the sign: “But for the grace of God.” We knew right then and there that we would have to call on the grace of God in order to get sober and get over our soul-sickness. We heard speakers tell how they had come to depend on a Power greater than themselves. That made sense to us and we made up our minds to try it. Am I depending on the grace of God to help me stay sober?

Meditation for the Day

Share your love, your joy, your happiness, your time, your food, your money gladly with all. Give out all the love you can with a glad, free heart and hand. Do all you can for others and back will come countless stores of blessings. Sharing draws others to you. Take all who come as sent by God and give them a royal welcome. You may never see the results of your sharing. Today they may not need you, but tomorrow may bring results from the sharing you did today.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may make each visitor desire to return. I pray that I may never make anyone feel repulsed or unwanted.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation 
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