Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Bob D. L.A. - Recovery Speaker


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox


Daily Reflections


I ASK GOD TO DECIDE

“I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.”

-ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76


Having admitted my powerlessness and made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him, I don’t decide which defects get removed, or the order in which defects get removed, or the time frame in which they get removed. I ask God to decide which defects stand in the way of my usefulness to Him and to others, and then I humbly ask Him to remove them.
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Just for today


Surrendering self-will



“We want and demand that things always go our way. We should know from our past experience that our way of doing things did not work.”


Basic Text, p. 93

––––=––––

All of us have ideas, plans, goals for our lives. There’s nothing in the NA program that says we shouldn’t think for ourselves, take initiative, and put responsible plans into action. It’s when our lives are driven by self-will that we run into problems.

When we are living willfully, we go beyond thinking for ourselves—we think only of ourselves. We forget that we are but a part of the world and that whatever personal strength we have is drawn from a Higher Power. We might even go so far as to imagine that other people exist solely to do our bidding. Quickly, we find ourselves at odds with everyone and everything around us.

At this point, we have two choices. We can continue in our slavery to self-will, making unreasonable demands and becoming frustrated because the planet doesn’t spin our way. Or we can surrender, relax, seek knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out, and find our way back to a condition of peace with the world. Thinking, taking initiative, making responsible plans—there’s nothing wrong with these things, so long as they serve God’s will, not merely our own.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will plan to do God’s will, not mine. If I find myself at odds with everything around me, I will surrender self-will.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day



A.A. Thought For The Day

We should remember that all A.A.’s have “clay feet.” We should not set any member upon a pedestal and mark her or him out as a perfect A.A. Its not fair to the person to be singled out in this fashion and if the person is wise she or he will not wish it. If the person we single out as an ideal A.A. has a fall, we are in danger of falling, too. Without exception, we are all only one drink away from a drunk, no matter how long we have been in A.A. Nobody is entirely safe. A.A. itself should be our ideal, not any particular member of it. Am I putting my trust in A.A. principles and not in any one member of the group?

Meditation For The Day


The inward peace that comes from trust in God truly passes all understanding. That peace no one can take from you. No person has the power to disturb that inner peace. But you must be careful not to let in the world’s worries and distractions. You must try not to give entrance to fears and despondency. You must refuse to open the door to distractions that disturb your inward peace. Make it a point to allow nothing today to disturb your inner peace, your heart-calm.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may not allow those about me to spoil my peace of mind. I pray that I may keep a deep inner calm throughout the day.
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As Bill Sees It


The Building Of Character, p. 204

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.

If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does he render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.

12 & 12, p. 65
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Walk In Dry Places

Sensing Rejection
Self-Esteem and Maturity


We laugh when a recovering person tells how he “learned to quit just before he got fired.” We sometimes can tell when a rejection is coming, and we take steps…. such as quitting.. To avoid further pain and humiliation.

In the recovery process, there still may be times when we sense a coming rejection. If it does come, we must remember that rejections is part of living. People receive rejection for all sorts of reasons, including wrong ones.

When we do sense any kid of a rejection in the works, our best course is to let it happen, accept it, and put it behind us. If we are living our program, we don’t need to feel pain or humiliation, as rejection is simply part of normal human experience.

I’ll try today to be as accepting as possible in everything I do. If others choose to reject me, I will also accept this without resentment or self-reproach.
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Keep It Simple

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.

—Laurence Couglin

“Do I talk to much?” Most of us wonder this sometimes. There are some ways to find out.

Asked yourself these questions: “How much do I know about people in my life?”

“What do they think and feel?” “Do I listen to them?” “Do I often feel that I say too much?”

Then ask a few trusted friends these questions: “Do you think I talk to much?” “How well do you think I listen to you?”

Silence help us listen—to ourselves, to others, and to our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day:
 Higher Power, help me enjoy the silent moments in my day.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think before I speak. what do I really want to say.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


WEALTH

“The only question with wealth is what you do with it.”
–John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Prosperity, if it is truly to be appreciated, needs to be shared. Wealth only makes sense when it is put to use for the benefit of the many. To horde treasure is to miss the value of that treasure. Money makes the world go around but it can only produce joy and excitement when it is spent or put to work.

This is also true for those who have a “wealth” of ideas or talents – they need to be expressed, shared and valued by others to be of any real benefit. A writer needs to write, a musician needs to play, a painter demands a canvas — and the world needs to appreciate.

God is at work in His world and He requires recognition. Let me find You in the talents that You have shared with me.
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A Day At A Time



Reflection For The Day

Today I’ll try to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to not only accept it but to appreciate it. Today, I’ll not expect too much of anyone — especially myself. I’ll try to remember that contentment comes from gratefully accepting the good that comes to us, and not from being furious at life because it’s not “better.” Do I realize the difference between resignation and realistic acceptance?

Today I Pray

May I not set my sights unrealistically high, expect too much. May I look backwards long enough to see that my self-set, impossible goals were the trappings of my addiction; too often I ended up halfway there, confronted by my own failure. Those “foiled-again,” “I’ve-failed-again” feelings became monumental excuses to give in to my compulsion, which blanketed my miseries. May I avoid that sick old pattern. May I be realistic.

Today I Will Remember

Good is good enough.
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One Day At A Time




CHOICES


“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.”


–William Jennings Bryan

I have often wished that my life were easier. I have resented the fact that others seemed to have been given a free ride, whereas I have had to walk the distance. I often prayed that on waking one morning, I would find that the shadow I cast the day before had been vastly reduced overnight.

Wallowing in self-pity has taken me nowhere. It has wasted time that I could have spent reaching my recovery. I could choose to waste my days wishing for something that I obviously don’t have — and will never have — unless I actively do the legwork to obtain it. I could sit back and expect the world to come to my door, but I would find that it passes me by.

Often I find myself slipping down the emotional slide into the depths of depression. In those dark times, walking through life is as easy as walking waist-deep through wet tar. It’s a place where the sun never shines, thus its warm rays don’t land on my skin.

Recovery comes only when I make the choice and do the work needed to attain it.

One day at a time …

I choose to use the wisdom, strength and shelter of God; my Higher Power. I choose to follow the Twelve Steps and use the tools provided in the recovery program. I choose to be guided by the Big Book. In essence … I choose life

~ Sue G
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day



“ … the greatest strength is in gentleness.”


–Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

Our Elders have taught us many lessons about becoming a Warrior and how to think and act like one. We have been told about the power of gentleness. We have been told about the power of the stillness. Physical power is about effort. Mental power is the opposite. It’s about being effortless or less any effort. Gentleness is one of the greatest attributes of the Warrior and one of the greatest mental powers. It takes a lot of love to be gentle. Gentleness is not an ego word. Gentleness is the weapon of the Great Spirit.

My Creator, today I will be gentle with myself and with others. I will listen to the whisper of my heart and learn the power of being gentle.
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Today’s Gift


There is no reality except the one contained within us.

—Herman Hesse

Claude Gellee painted lovely pictures of the English countryside. Europeans loved his landscapes with their blue hues and mild distortions. But when the people went for the carriage rides in the country, they were disappointed because it didn’t look the way Gellee had painted it. Then someone discovered that if you held blue glass up to your eyes and looked through it, the trees and hills and sky looked just like a Gellee painting! Soon everyone was looking through “Claude glasses” when they traveled.

We often let others do our seeing for us. We get lazy and rely on the images of television and movies, instead of really seeing with our own eyes. Our world becomes distorted and we lose sight of the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Each of us carries reality inside ourselves, and as we grow stronger within, we discover that we can see clearest when we trust our own eyes. There is a glorious world, full and rich, just waiting for us to glimpse it.

Will I see the world through my own eyes today?
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The Eye Opener

We alcoholics feared loneliness as much as anything else on earth. Even the companionship of the bull pen was preferable to being alone. The quality of our company made no difference, for it was preferable to our own thoughts; certainly, it was not as critical. We just couldn’t stand our own company.

In AA, we were told to establish conscious contact with the Man Upstairs and we marveled at the ease with which this was accomplished after a little effort on our part. Now we are never less alone than when we are alone.


Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 204 - ACCOMPLISHMENT


The more you cultivate,
The more you accomplish.
Why doubt?
When distance separates you from others,
They cannot overtake you.


In the beginning of training, it may seem as if you are doing very little. You compare yourself to your teachers and to more accomplished people, and you may despair at every reaching their levels. But if you are diligent, then it is inevitable that you will make something of yourself. Once you reach such a plateau, you will be able to relax a bit and contemplate where you are on your journey.

One of the most refreshing things to realize is that you now have something that no one can take away from you. Spirituality is yours to keep, yours to touch. No one else can gain access to it, yet this precious accomplishment can sustain and guide you. If will give you increased health, and it will give you knowledge that you could not gain through normal means. Once you tap into this source, you have gained a foothold on the spiritual path.

Uncertainty will not plague you. Who can argue with you? You have seen it yourself. So once you have reached this milestone on your journey, it is proper to rejoice a little, indulge in a little contentment. Then take up the journey once again.
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Daily Zen

Summary of Zen Practice


When you're settled in Zen, your mind is serene, unaffected by worldly distractions. You enter the realm of enlightenment, and transcend the ordinary world, leaving the world while in the midst of society. 

~Zen Master Fenyang
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Monday, 22 July 2019

Life is a banquet but there are many starving fools Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

~ Leo Buscaglia

BIG BOOK - ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS - Chapter 6 - To Wives (pg 104 & 105)

WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS, our book thus far has spoken of men. But what we have said applies quite as much to women. Our activities in behalf of women who drink are on the increase. There is every evidence that women regain their health as readily as men if they try our suggestions. But for every man who drinks others are involved-the wife who trembles in fear of the next debauch; the mother and father who see their son wasting away. Among us are wives, relatives and friends whose problem has been solved, as well as some who have not yet found a happy solution. We want the wives of Alcoholics Anonymous to address the wives of men who drink too much. What they say will apply to nearly everyone bound by ties of blood or affection to an alcoholic. As wives of Alcoholics Anonymous, we would like you to feel that we understand as perhaps few can. We want to analyze mistakes we have made. We want to leave you with the feeling that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness too great to be overcome. We have traveled a rocky road, there is no mistake about that. We have had long rendezvous with hurt pride, frustration, self-pity, misunderstanding and fear. These are not pleasant companions. We have been driven to maudlin sympathy, to bitter resentment. Some of us veered from extreme to extreme, ever hoping that one day our loved ones would be themselves once more.

  BIG BOOK - ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS - Chapter 6 - To Wives (pg 104 & 105)

Daily Reflections




“THE GOOD AND THE BAD”



“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.”

-ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

The joy of life is in the giving. Being freed of my shortcomings, that I may more freely be of service, allows humility to grow in me. My shortcomings can be humbly placed in God’s loving care and be removed. The essence of Step Seven is humility, and what better way to seek humility than by giving all of myself–good and bad–to God, so that He may remove the bad and return to me the good.

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Just for today




Spiritual death



                      “For us, to use is to die, often in more ways than one.”

Basic Text, p. 82

––––=––––

As newcomers, many of us came to our first meeting with only a small spark of life remaining. That spark, our spirit, wants to survive. Narcotics Anonymous nurtures that spirit. The love of the fellowship quickly fans that spark into a flame. With the Twelve Steps and the love of other recovering addicts, we begin to blossom into that whole, vital human being our Higher Power intended us to be. We begin to enjoy life, finding purpose in our existence. Each day we choose to stay clean, our spirit is revitalized and our relationship with our God grows. Our spirit becomes stronger each day we choose life by staying clean.

Despite the fact that our new life in recovery is rewarding, the urge to use can sometimes be overwhelming. When everything in our lives seems to go wrong, a return to using can seem like the only way out. But we know what the consequence will be if we use—the loss of our carefully nurtured spirituality. We have traveled too far along the spiritual path to dishonor our spirit by using. Snuffing the spiritual flame we have worked so hard to restore in our recovery is too dear a price to pay for getting high.

––––=––––
Just for today: I am grateful that my spirit is strong and vital. Today, I will honor that spirit by staying clean.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day



A.A. Thought For The Day

One of the finest things about A.A. is the diversity of its membership. We come from all walks and stations of life. All types and classes of people are represented in an A.A. group. Being different from each other in certain ways, we can each make a different contribution to the whole. Some of us are weak in one respect, but strong in another. A.A. can use the strong points of all its members and can disregard the weaknesses. A.A. is strong, not only because we all have the same problem, but also because of the diversified talents of its members. Each can contribute his part. Do I recognize the good points of all my group’s members?

Meditation For The Day

“And greater works than these shall ye do.” Each individual has the ability to do good works through the power of God’s spirit. This is the wonder of the world, the miracle of the earth, that God’s power goes out to bless the human race through the agency of so many people who are actuated by His grace. We need not be held back by doubt, despondency and fear. A wonderful future can lie before any person who depends on God’s power, a future of unlimited power to do good works.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may not limit myself by doubting. I pray that I may have confidence that I can be effective for good
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As Bill Sees It


True Tolerance, p. 203

Gradually we began to be able to accept the other fellow’s sins as well as his virtues. We coined the potent and meaningful expression “Let us always love the best in others–and never fear their worst.”


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

Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong. When this happens, we approach true tolerance and we see what real love for our fellows actually means.

1. Grapevine, January 1962

2. 12 & 12, p. 92 12 & 12, p. 65


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Walk In Dry Places

The Right Place for my Type
The Right Work


“You cannot change your type, but you can make yourself a brilliant success I that type,” Wrote Emmet Fox. This is a reminder for people who are discontented with their lot in life, and this includes most people who participate in 12 Step programs.

There are many different TYPES of people, and all types are good. We only need t find where our type is required and then do our best in that place. We will have immediate advantages, because all of our energies and talents will then be applied in the right way.

We should never spend a moment envying other types of people who are brilliantly successful in their activities. Our happiness is to be found in our place, not theirs.

If I’m doing what’s right for my type, I’ll give it my very best. If I’m in the wrong place, I’ll know that my Higher Power is guiding me toward the right outlet for my talents.

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Keep It Simple


… for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


—Luke 17:21

We want so much to be good. Even when we used alcohol or other drugs, we wanted to believe we were good people. But we often felt we couldn’t measure up. We thought we had to live by a set of rules that we could never follow.

Now we’re finding the goodness inside us. Goodness isn’t something we do. Goodness is just being what we already are. Our Higher Power speaks to us in many ways, including through our hearts and minds. We don’t have to try so hard top be good. We just learn to relax and invite our Higher Power to be part of our lives.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, You have put peace, knowledge, love and joy in my heart today. Help me to always find these things.

Action for the Day: How’s my Higher Power like a loving king or queen? How can I have a kingdom inside me? I’ll talk with my sponsor about this today.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


LIVING


“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

–Marcus Aurelius

For years I did not live I simply existed. What many people take for granted I did not have: friends, vacations, job satisfaction, gratitude, family, communication and love of self. An aspect of my disease, my denial, was that I thought I was happy without having any evidence for such a feeling. Indeed, my lifestyle indicated progressive isolation. That’s illusion. A recovering alcoholic priest shared that early in recovery he saw a sunset and remarked, “How long has that been happening?” Like him, I missed so much!

Life is to be lived or endured. My spiritual recovery means that every day I reach out to life and grasp it, hold it, smell it–and smile.

God of life, let me live today. Let my “high” be the glory of the day.

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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day
The Program has taught me that the essence of all growth for me is a willingness to change for the getter. Following that, I must have further willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails, and to courageously take every action that is required.

“I am and know and will;
I am knowing and willing;
I know myself to be and to will;
I will to be and to know.”


– Saint Augustine3

Is willingness a key ingredient of my life and the way I work The Program?

Today I Pray

I pray for willingness to do what I can, willingness to be what I can be — and what is sometimes hardest — willingness to be what I am. I pray, too, for energies to carry out my willingness in all that I do, so that I may grow in the ways of God and practice the principles of The Program in all my affairs.

Today I Will Remember

“I am and know and will.”

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One Day At A Time


FALSE BELIEFS


“There is only one cause of unhappiness; the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”


–Anthony de Mello

As a child of poverty, neglect, and a family that moved frequently, I was always an “outsider.” I was looked on as “unacceptable.” As an adult I moved away, married, and lived in the same community all the rest of my years. I’ve had the same friends and lived a very respected life. Yet internally I was still “unacceptable” ~ always feeling “less than” others. I never even told my husband or children about those aspects of my childhood. There were parts of me I never shared with anyone. I did not question the idea that I was still an “unacceptable” person, though there was lots of evidence to discount that idea.

Since joining The Recovery Group program and sharing that pain with my sponsor and others, that pain-filled inner child has been freed and has integrated with the person that I am today. This freeing process has enabled me to finally see and feel the love, the acceptance, and the respect that has always been there for me.

One day at a time …

I will reach out to others at meetings and within our Recovery Group ~ especially those who have had a childhood similar to mine. It has been a tremendous gift to be able to go back, take that neglected little girl by the hand, and bring her into my world to live with me.


~ Karen A.


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Elder’s Meditation of the Day

In this universe, all activities, events, and entities are related. Indians believe that everything in the universe has value and instructs us in some aspect of life. Everything is alive and is making choices that determine the future, so the world is constantly creating itself… With the wisdom and time for reflection that old age provides, we may discover unsuspected relationships.

—Vine Deloria, Jr, STANDING ROCK SIOUX

We are all connected. This is what the Elders have told us for a long time. If we are connected to all things, then whenever we harm anything, it causes harm to ourselves. If we destroy the air, then we will be affected by what we breathe in. If we poison the Earth, we poison ourselves. We must respect our Mother Earth and She will respect us in return. We must open our eyes and obey the spiritual laws that govern the Earth and ourselves.

Grandfather, today allow me to honor and respect the things You have made. Let me see the beauty of all things.

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Today’s Gift


A good laugh heals a lot of hurts.


—Madeleine L’Engle
The ability to laugh at ourselves has always been important. In old days, fools and jesters held an important place in the royal courts. Today we have clowns who make us laugh.

If we look closely at a clown’s face, we will often notice a bit of sadness around the eyes. Clowns are able to move easily from sad expressions to ones full of delight very easily. For all of us, laughter and tears come from the same deep well inside. And often, after a good cry, we find ourselves ready to laugh, easily and joyfully.

Laughter is a gift waiting for us on the other side of our sadness.

Can I begin to laugh by smiling now?

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Daily Tao / 203 - INVISIBILITY



Invisibility is the best advantage.
But if forced to a confrontation,
Come out with all your skill.


There was once a roadside vendor who sold rheumatism formulas to the passersby. He was a cheery old man who was faithfully at his spot for years. One day a young bully began to harass the vendor. The old man tried very hard to avoid the confrontation, but eventually the bully became convinced that he had a coward to abuse as he pleased. When the moment of attack came, the old man defeated him with superior boxing skills. Significantly, the old man was never seen again. He had manifested his superiority at a critical moment, but once he had exposed himself, he disappeared.

In this competitive world, it is best to be invisible. Go through life without showing off, attracting attention to yourself, or making flamboyant gestures. These will only attract the hostility of others. The wise accomplish all that they want without arousing the envy or scorn of others. They make achievements only for the sake of fulfilling their inner yearnings.

Yet it is inevitable that you will have to prove yourself at one time or another. When that is necessary, then you must marshal all your skills and do your very best. Prove yourself when it is demanded, and when you must prove yourself, be superior. At that moment, it is no time to talk of philosophy and humility. Act. Do. Then fade back into invisibility.

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Daily Zen

He who for himself or others craves not for sons or power or wealth, who puts not his own success before the success of righteousness, he is virtuous, and righteous and wise.

- Buddha

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Sunday, 21 July 2019

Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book - The Man Who Mastered Fear

He spent eighteen years in running away, and then found he didn’t have to run. So he started A.A. in Detroit. All this changed when I was thirty years old. My parents died, both in the same year, leaving me, a sheltered and somewhat immature man, on my own. I moved into a “bachelor hall.” These men all drank on Saturday nights and enjoyed themselves. My pattern of drinking became very different from theirs. I had bad, nervous headaches, particularly at the base of my neck. Liquor relieved these. At last I discovered alcohol as a cure-all. I joined their Saturday night parties and enjoyed myself too. But I also stayed up weeknights after they had retired and drank myself into bed. My thinking about drinking had undergone a great change. Liquor had become a crutch on the one hand and a means of retreat from life on the other.

  Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book - The Man Who Mastered Fear
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The Principles of Step11 - AWARENESS OF GOD - Dr. David S.

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox


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Daily Reflections


A PRICELESS GIFT

By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of release from our more devastating handicaps. We enjoy moments in which there is something like real peace of mind. To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety–in other words, to all of us–this newfound peace is a priceless gift.

-12 & 12, p. 74

I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a heart that is willing to receive God’s grace in all my affairs; in this way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result of surrender. It has been proven that an act of surrender, originating in desperation and defeat, can grow into an ongoing act of faith, and that faith means freedom and victory.
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Just for today



Surrender is for everyone


“If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery.”

Basic Text, p. 95

––––=––––

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!

After we’ve been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to oldtimers. We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves—and we do. The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough. But it’s what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.

Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble. When we find that “applying the principles” on our own power just isn’t working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender. When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves. And when we discover that self-therapy isn’t so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another.”

––––=––––

Just for today: I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own. I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power—I will do something that says, “I surrender.”
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As Bill Sees It



The Hour of Decision, p. 202

“Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary as this process is. We cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When there is doubt about our logic, we wait upon God and listen for the voice of intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may well gain sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic.

“If, after an exercise of these two disciplines, we are still uncertain, then we should ask for further guidance, and, when possible, defer important decisions for a time. By then, with more knowledge of our situation, logic and intuition may well agree upon a right course.

“But if the decision must be now, let us not evade it through fear. Right or wrong, we can always profit from the experience.”

Letter, 1966
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Walk In Dry Places



Creating good impressions
Attitude


There’s a saying that we have only one chance to make a good first impression. That’s true, but we always have the opportunity to make good lasting impressions.

The secret of making good impressions is contained in one word: ATTITUDE. Whatever we really feel will be expressed to others as our true character and the impression we give will be authentically us.

The way to control the impressions we are making is simply to continue cultivating an attitude that’s consistent with humility, acceptance, and graciousness. We should have others’ best interests at heart without being meddlesome. We should be genuinely helpful.

This attitude will create any good impressions we need to make.

Working to make sure I’m thinking the right way. I’ll forget about the impressions I’m making. If my attitude is right, the impression will take care of itself.
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Keep It Simple


There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.

—Gore Vidal

Many of us used a “know it all” act to keep people away. We kept everyone around us on edge. They were afraid of our judgments, just we were secretly afraid of theirs. Why were we so busy with everyone else’s life? So we didn’t have to look at our own! We were afraid of what was happening to us. But we didn’t want to see how sick we were becoming. Now we’re not afraid. We don’t need to keep people away. We don’t need to run their lives. We have our life to live. And we’re enjoying it.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You are the expert, not me. Teach me. I am Your student.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list the ways I chased away those who cared about me.. I’ll work on the Steps on these items for the next week.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


IGNORANCE

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.”

–Alfred North Whitehead

How little I understood when I was living as an alcoholic. How little I wanted to know. Ignorance was bliss in my addiction. And the real tragedy was that I was ignorant of the extent of my ignorance! I had no idea how serious my alcoholism was, how pervasive in all areas of my life it had developed, how destructive and negative I had become until I was made to “see” reality in treatment. Reluctantly I opened my eyes to see my ignorance and I knew I needed to change my attitude if I was to recover.

The enemy of the spiritual life is ignorance because it stops us from realizing that the strength and healing power of has spirituality been given by God — all we need do is discover it and appreciate it.

I pray that I and others will have the courage to confront the ignorance in my life.
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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day
When we’re faced with some condition or situation not to our liking, how can we have faith that all things are working together for good?  Perhaps we have to ask ourselves just what is faith.  Faith has its foundation in truth and love.  We can have faith, if we so choose, no matter what the situation.  And, if we so choose, we can expect ultimate good to come forth.  Have I made my choice?
Today I Pray
May I be grateful for my God-given ability to make a choice.  Out of this gratitud3e and my sense of the nearness of God, I have chosen faith.  May the faith, as my chosen way, become strong enough to move mountains, strong enough to keep me free of my compulsion, mighty enough to hold back the tide of temptations which threaten me, optimistic enough to look past my present pain to ultimate good.
Today I Will Remember
With faith, nothing is impossible. 
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One Day At A Time

GROWING OLDER

“I think, therefore I am.”

–Rene Descartes

Before beginning my recovery process with our online groups, I used to look in the mirror and want to cry. I’m not a young, lovely creature anymore. I’m showing my age. Inside I’m still a young girl, but now I have a grandma’s face.

The Twelve Steps to recovery have opened up a whole new world to me ~ and it is a world that is ageless. Its principles are timeless: honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, love, forgiveness, self-discipline, perseverance, spiritual awareness and service. Maturing without benefit of these principles would be choosing to simply get old.

Through my program of recovery, I have been inspired to keep my body strong and well — the way my Higher Power made it. I am encouraged to stay as attractive as possible for as long as possible, out of concern for myself and for others. By the time I reached the 9th Step, the worry lines in my face began to soften … now they look like smile lines. It seems that participating in our program of recovery has reversed my age.

One day at a time …

I will grow older, but also much wiser.


~ SAG
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day


“You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.”


–Cochise “Like Ironweed” CHIRICAHUA APACHE

Come into my heart this morning. Allow me this day to live in the now. Help me to see all the beauty You have created in all things. Let me know myself. Today, as I make mistakes, let me see them as lessons. Guide me. When I see others make mistakes, let me honor them for where they are. Let me realize that they are Your children and only You, my Grandfather, knows what is really going on. When my lips move, let the words be Your words.

Allow me to have the courage to speak Your truth.
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Today's Gift

One faces the future with one's past.

-- Pearl S. Buck

We are never divorced from our past. We are in company with it forever, and it acquaints us with the present. Our responses today reflect our experiences yesterday. And those roots lie in the past.

Every day is offering us preparation for the future, for the lessons to come, without which we'd not offer our full measure to the design, which contains the development of us all.

Our experiences, past and present, are not coincidental. We will be introduced to those experiences that are consistent with our talents and the right lessons designated for the part we are requested to play in life. We can remember that no experiences will attract us that are beyond our capabilities to handle.
You are reading from the book:
The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg
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The Eye Opener



To the new persons on our Program who might be confused about the Moral Inventory, it would seem that for a starter it will suffice if they will sum up each night their actions on the past day. If their honest appraisal of that day meets their approval, if it is definitely better than the days preceding, then actually the Moral Inventory is in operation whether recognized as such or not. If daily you are making a moral study of your thoughts and actions, your defects will be noticeable and you will instinctively take steps to correct them.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 202 - UNEXPECTANT

Meditate with no thought of gain.
Expect no ambitions to be fulfilled;
Only then will the inner force manifest.


In the competitive world, we give expression to our ambitions, shrewdness, and aggressiveness. We must do this to survive. In the meditative world, we cannot use these attitudes. What works well on the outside will not serve us on the inside.

When we meditate, we must expect no gain. If we look for results, then those results will elude us. In contrast, if we suspend our ambitions, then the results will manifest very quickly. It may sound like absurd mysticism, but it is an undeniable, empirical truth. If you have no expectations, you will feel the divine. If you strive and have selfish desires, then you will feel only frustration.

When the mind is occupied with meditating for gain, it creates a barrier to precisely the results that you want. Spirituality is a mode that is far beyond the machinations and imaginations of the rational mind. It is created by an aspect of the mind that is not a part of everyday thought. In fact, the part of the mind that brings spirituality is very nearly antithetical to the common ways that we think. Therefore, we can only reach this type of spirituality by suspending our everyday thinking.
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Daily Zen

To be selfless is to be all-pervading. To be all pervading is to be transcendent.

Lao Tzu 

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Saturday, 20 July 2019

The Eye Opener

Those of us who have our drinking tamed do not necessarily have our thinking or our actions under control. We are not under control until all our actions are under the domination of our intelligence, and our intelligence cannot properly function until we have thoroughly schooled it into instinctive sober and sane thinking. This constitutes one whale of a big job, one that will last a lifetime - but we can start on it today.

Hazelden Foundation

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- Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book - The Man Who Mastered Fear

He spent eighteen years in running away, and then found he didn’t have to run. So he started A.A. in Detroit.

 Spring came. I went for first walk. Half a block from the house. I tried to turn the corner. Fear froze me in my tracks, but the instant I turned back toward home, this paralyzing fear left me. This was the beginning of an unending series of such experiences. I told our family doctor—an understanding man who gave hours of his time trying to help me—about this experience. He told me that it was imperative that I walk around the entire block, cost me what it might in mental agony. I carried out his instructions. When I reached a point directly back of our house, where I could have cut through a friend’s garden, I was almost over powered by the desire to get home, but I made the whole journey. Probably only a few readers of this story will be able, from personal experiences of their own, to understand the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment I felt after finishing this seemingly assignment.

  - Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book - The Man Who Mastered Fear
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The Principles of Step10 - PERSEVERANCE - Dr. David S.

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox


You must not under any pretense allow

your mind to dwell on any thought

that is not positive, constructive, optimistic, kind.

- Emmet Fox
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Daily Reflections


SHORTCOMINGS REMOVED

But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.

-12 &12, p. 75

When I put the Seventh Step into action I must remember that there are no blanks to fill in. It doesn’t say, “Humbly asked Him to (fill in the blank) remove our shortcomings.” For years I filled in the imaginary blank with “Help me!” “Give me the courage to,” and “Give me the strength,” etc. The Step says simply that God will remove my shortcomings. The only footwork I must do is “humbly ask,” which for me means asking with the knowledge that of myself I am nothing, the Father within “doeth the works.”

I thank my Higher Power for letting me know that He works through other people, and I thank Him for our trusted servants in the Fellowship who aid new members to reject their false ideals and to adopt those which lead to a life of compassion and trust. The elders in A.A. challenge the newcomers to “Come To”–so that they can “Come to Believe.” I ask my Higher Power to help my unbelief.
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Just for today




Step One



“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Step One

––––=––––

The First Step begins with “we,” and there’s a reason for that. There is great strength in making a verbal admission of our powerlessness. And when we go to meetings and make this admission, we gain more than personal strength. We become members, part of a collective “we” that allows us, together, to recover from our addiction. With membership in NA comes a wealth of experience: the experience of other addicts who have found a way to recover from their disease.

No longer must we try to solve the puzzle of our addiction on our own. When we honestly admit our powerlessness over our addiction, we can begin the search for a better way to live. We won’t be searching alone—we’re in good company.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will start the day with an admission of my powerlessness over addiction. I will remind myself that the First Step starts with “we,” and know that I never have to be alone with my disease again.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

We must be loyal to the group and to each member of it. We must never accuse members behind their backs or even to their faces. It’s up to them to tell us themselves if anything is wrong. More than that, we must try not to think bad things about any members, because if we do, we’re consciously or unconsciously hurting that person. We must be loyal to each other if A.A. is going to be successful. While we’re on this lifeboat, trying to save ourselves and each other from alcoholism, we must be truly and sincerely helpful to each other. Am I a loyal member of my group?

Meditation For The Day

Carry out God’s guidance as best you can. Leave the results to Him. Do this obediently and faithfully with no question that if the working out of the guidance is left in God’s hands, the results will be all right. Believe that the guidance God gives you has already been worked out by God to produce the required results according to your case and in your circumstances. So follow God’s guidance according to your conscience. God has knowledge of your individual life and character, your capabilities and your weaknesses.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may live according to the dictates of my conscience. I pray that I may leave the results to God.
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As Bill Sees It

Unlimited Choice, p. 201


Any number of alcoholics are bedeviled by the dire conviction that if they ever go near A.A. they will be pressured to conform to some particular brand of faith or theology.


They just don’t realize that faith is never an imperative for A.A. membership. that sobriety can be achieved with an easily acceptable minimum of it, and that our concepts of a Higher Power and God–as we understand Him–afford everyone a nearly unlimited choice of spiritual belief and action.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


In talking to a prospect, stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him.


The main thing is that he is willing to believe in a Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual principles.


1. Grapevine, April 1961
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93
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Walk In Dry Places


Spiritual guidance.


If we go through the day with a confidence that our Higher Power is with us, events will go better than they would if we hadn’t held to this belief. We will be more effective in everything we do. We will actually have more power in all activities.


This is what is meant in the Eleventh Step; “the power to carry that out.” Knowing that the Higher power is in our lives, we also find the power to do what we believe to be God’s will for us. As this confidence strengthens and is seasoned by experience, it becomes part of our nature.


Eventually, we’ll sense our Higher Power working in our lives. We can learn to accept this with the same sure belief that we accept the sun’s rising and the changing of the seasons. And we’ll have the power to do whatever must be done by us.

A conscious contact with God can raise my daily activities to higher levels, giving me the power of achievement.
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Keep It Simple


Living so fully. I can’t image what any drug would do for me.


—Joan Baez

When we were using alcohol and other drugs, our lives kept getting emptier. We tired to keep new things out of our lives. We were scared and tired. We saw feelings as bad. So we got high instead of feeling them.

Now we can live fully every day. We don’t want to block our feelings. We aren’t afraid to opening up to new things and people.

And the more we open up, the happier we are. Our feelings are free. They bounce around. They don’t get stuck. We feel alive. Sure, we feel pain and fear sometimes. But we feel joy, love, and laughter too. And, more and more often, we feel alive.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, please help me live fully today. Help me notice my feelings.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list five things I’ve enjoyed in the last twenty-four hours.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


WORRY

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.”

–Winston Churchill

I know I can worry myself into the grave. I can project an incident into a calamity. I can make mountains out of molehills.

I worried about what people meant by what they said; I always looked for a hidden criticism; I worried about what people did not say; I worried about what people were thinking or were going to do or were plotting. If I had nothing to worry about, then I worried because I felt I should have something to worry about! I created most of the worry in my life.

Today I have a program that helps me deal with this. Of course I still worry, but I have a “checklist” that keeps me sane and allows me to laugh at the insanity of my projections. Today the worry in my life is less destructive and negative.

Let me bring my worry to You in prayer. Then let me sleep!
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A Day At A Time


Reflection For The Day

“It is the privilege of wisdom to listen,” Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote. If I try as hard as I can to cultivate the art of listening — uncritically and without making premature judgments — chances are great that I’ll progress more rapidly in my recovery. If I try as hard as I can to listen to the feelings and thoughts expressed — rather than to the “speaker” — I may be blessed with an unexpectedly helpful idea. The essential quality of good listening is humility, which reflects the fact that God’s voice speaks to us even through the least of most inarticulate of His children. Does a holier-than-thou attitude sometimes close my mind to the shared suggestions of others?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power keep me from being “holier-than-thou” with anyone whose manner or language or opposite point of view or apparent lack of knowledge turns me off to what they are saying. May I be listening always for the voice of God, which can be heard through the speech of any one of us.

Today I Will Remember

Hear the speech, not the speaker.
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One Day At A Time


BEFORE AND AFTER



“The Light of God surrounds me.
The Love of God enfolds me.
The Power of God protects me.
The Presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is … and all is well.”


–James Dillet Freeman
Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was walking in darkness.
Now God’s Light is all around me.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was lonely and felt no one cared.
Now I’m enveloped in God’s love.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, my life was out of control.
Now God is the Higher Power in my life.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was lost in my disease of compulsion.
Now God looks out for me.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was isolated and alone.
Now anywhere I go, I know I don’t go there by myself …
for God is with me.

One Day at a Time …

I remember that wherever I am, God is … And all is well.

~ Jeff
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day


“When you begin a great work you can’t expect to finish it all at once; therefore, you and your brothers press on and let nothing discourage you until you have entirely finished what you have begun.”

–Teedyuschung, DELAWARE

All things have their seasons. All thoughts are real. We must think to cause action and each action creates results. Big visions require many thoughts. It takes a series of thoughts to create a series of actions. A series of actions creates a series of results. These results are what makes vision become real. If we are here to serve the Creator then we can expect to be accomplishing big visions. How do we do this? One step at a time.

Let me focus on what needs to be done today. Give me clear thoughts to accomplish the results that you, my Creator, would have me accomplish.
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Today’s Gift


It is terribly amusing how many different climates of feeling one can go through in a day.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When we travel by canoe down a river we can notice the changes that take place. In one spot the river is wide and the water moves slowly. Around the next bend the river narrows and the current speeds up. Ahead of us we see rapids waiting to test our skill.

Our feelings can also change as quickly as the river. We may have times in our day when we feel good about ourselves. Then, all of a sudden, someone may tease us about something. We begin to feel like the scared canoeist shooting the rapids for the first time. How wonderful it is to know that we are never given a test we can’t handle, that everything that happens in our lives is for the sake of our growth, and that we are watched over at all times by God.

How can I use today’s obstacles for my own growth?
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Daily Tao / 201 - APPEARANCES



Some look fierce, but are mild.
Some seem timid, but are vicious.
Look beyond appearances;
Position yourself for the advantage.


Without experience, we are easily fooled by appearances. A large man speaks loudly, so we judge him crass and belligerent, but he may turn out to be quite kind. If we approach him defensively, we may not notice his good points. On the other hand, when we meet a petite and quiet woman, we may become complacent in our attitude. If she turns out to be a treacherous person, our laxity contributes to our victimization.

Sometimes people are exactly as they appear. Other times, they are only showing camouflage.

Humans, like animals, have different strategies for survival. Coloring, movement, scent, and so on are all ways in which animals practice deception. People are no different. They promise a great many things, but they seldom come through. They proclaim lifelong friendships, and yet they never return again. They promise you many things, but they are only looking for a way to take advantage of you. We must learn to clearly discern the personalities of others in spite of the facades they project.

Position yourself in the most advantageous way at all times. Use experience to pierce the trickery of others. That is the right way to cope with appearances.
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Daily Zen

Recognition

Zen enlightenment is as if you have been away from home for many years, when you suddenly see your father in town. you know him right away without a doubt. There is no need to ask anyone else whether he is your father or not.

Zen Master Foyan
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Friday, 19 July 2019

Big Book - Chapter 6 - Working With Others - (pg 101 & top 102)

We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status. His only chance for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland Ice Cap, and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch and ruin everything! Ask any woman who has sent her husband to distant places on the theory he would escape the alcohol problem. In our belief any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed. So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties. To a person who has had experience with an alcoholic, this may seem like tempting Providence, but it isn’t. You will note that we made and important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, “Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?” If you answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead!

  Big Book - Chapter 6 - Working With Others - (pg 101 & top 102)

Brené Brown: Listening to shame



Principle Of Step 9 - DISCIPLINE - Dr. David S.



Daily Reflections


FALSE PRIDE, p.209


Many of us who had thought ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help.

-12 &12, p. 75

Many false notions operate in false pride. The need for direction to live a decent life is satisfied by the hope experienced in the A.A. Fellowship. Those who have walked the way for years–a day at a time–say that a God centered life has limitless possibilities for personal growth. This being so, much hope is transmitted by the elder A.A.s.

I thank my Higher Power for letting me know that He works through other people, and I thank Him for our trusted servants in the Fellowship who aid new members to reject their false ideals and to adopt those which lead to a life of compassion and trust. The elders in A.A. challenge the newcomers to “Come To”– so that they can “Come to Believe.” I ask my Higher Power to help my unbelief.
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Just for today




Fulfilling our dreams



“Dreams that we gave up long ago can now become realities.”

Basic Text, p. 71

––––=––––

All things begin with a dream. But how many of us fulfilled our dreams while using? Even if we managed to complete something we had started, our addiction usually robbed us of any pride in our accomplishment. Perhaps when we used, we dreamed of the day when we would be clean. That day has come. We can use this day to make our dreams come true.

To fulfill our dreams we must take action, but our lack of self-confidence may keep us from trying. We can begin by setting realistic goals. The success we experience when we attain our initial goals allows us to dream bigger dreams the next time around.

Some of our members share that when they compare the ambitions they had when they first got clean with what they have actually achieved in recovery, they are astounded. In recovery, we often find more dreams come true than we could ever have imagined.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will remember that all things begin with a dream. Today, I will allow myself to make my dreams come true.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Gossip about or criticism of personalities has no place in an A.A. club room. Every man in A.A. is a brother and every woman is a sister, as long as he or she is a member of A.A. We ought not to gossip about the relationships of any man or woman in the group. And if we say about another member, “I think she or he is taking a few drinks on the side,” it’s the worst thing we could do to that person. If a woman or a man is not living up to A.A. principles or has a slip, it’s up to her or him to stand up in a meeting and say so. If they don’t do that, they are only hurting themselves. Do I talk about other members behind their backs?

Meditation for the Day

To God, a miracle of change in a person’s life is only a natural happening. But it is a natural happening operated by spiritual forces. There is no miracle in personalities too marvelous to be an everyday happening. But miracles happen only to those who are fully guided and strengthened by God. Marvelous changes in people’s nature happen so simply, and yet they are free from all other agencies than the grace of God. But these miracles have been prepared for by days and months of longing for something better. They are always accompanied by a real desire to conquer self and to surrender one’s life to God.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may expect miracles in the lives of people. I pray that I may be used to help people change.
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As Bill Sees It

Source of Strength, p. 200

When World War II broke out, our A.A. dependence on a Higher Power had its first major test. A.A.’s entered the services and were scattered all over the world.

Would they be able to take discipline, stand up under fire, and endure the monotony and misery of war? Would the kind of dependence they had learned in A.A. carry them through?

Well, it did. They had even fewer alcoholic lapses or emotional binges than A.A.’s safe at home did. They were just as capable of endurance and valor as any other soldiers. Whether in Alaska or on the Salerno beachhead, their dependence upon a Higher Power worked.

Far from being a weakness, this dependence was their chief source of strength.

12 & 12, pp. 38-39
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Walk In Dry Places


Hurrying up to wait?
Practicing Serenity.


We often urge ourselves to hurry up when there’s no good reason for it. At such times, all we really do is create needless tension and anxiety.

The slogan “EASY DOES IT” is our answer to such calls to hurry. The slogan suggests that we simply move into the rhythms of life and “go with the flow.”

It’s not hurrying but steady effort that finally brings achievement. We’ve had entirely too much hurry and impatience. What we really need is confident, persistent effort in the right direction. We should be especially reminded of hits when we see anxious, impatient people speeding through traffic only to be forced to wait at traffic lights, risking life and limb to save a few seconds. A good seady pace is what we need, and it will win the game.

I”ll be active today, but not overactive. I’ll look for rhythm and efficiency in everything I do.
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