Wednesday, 30 November 2011

November 30 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 30 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

There is no “why me?” in recovery, it is more a case of “why not me?” The same for any killer ailment or disease if we realise the truth is “why not me?” we can stop blaming ourselves or anyone or even god. It is in our nature, genes and providence and we can seek help. Fear and self-loathing can keep us sick, faith and asking for help can open up possibilities, never about guarantees or certainties today…

“Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A.” What you see is what you get “wysiwyg.” Humility offers the opportunity to learn about life every day with the key principles; to be open, honest and willing. I can ask for help from anyone anywhere at any time. When I ask those who can help do, those who cannot don’t, and I learn the wisdom and know the difference just for a day…

At any time in recovery, we will fail at some endeavour and need try and try again. I would never judge anyone trying to follow the path of others in sobriety. A killer disease which gnaws at our emotional, physical and spiritual core, without respite ends life so often. The clarity to thoroughly follow the path takes time. It takes a fellowship to keep me sober, just as it takes a village to raise a child…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 30 2010: Fellowship: the work of the many, sharing experience strength and hope daily which makes sobriety possible. And meetings; what you see is what you get on the day. We are all making progress daily. Today, a snapshot can be good or bad depending on what disturbs us. Always real, always progress not perfection...

November 30 2010: Anonymity for sanctuary to find sobriety and truth. In the rooms we do not hide our success or failure or if we slip back. AA works for me because sobriety is one day at a time. We cannot guarantee anything; life is difficult, sober however we are able to live, to love, be loved and useful one day at a time...

AA Daily Reflections: "PROTECTION FOR ALL" At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers. At the level of press, radio, TV, and films, anonymity stresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain. “UNDERSTANDING ANONYMITY,” p. 5

Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A. The miracle of continuous sobriety of alcoholics within A.A. confirms this fact every day. It would be harmful if the Fellowship promoted itself by publicizing, through the media of radio and TV, the sobriety of well-known public personalities who became members of A.A. If these personalities happened to have slips, outsiders would think our movement is not strong and they might question the veracity of the miracle of the century. Alcoholics Anonymous is not anonymous, but its members should be."


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

November 29 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 29 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Tenacious and not a quitter, see things through, I would fall in love, do everything to make a relationship work. And with work whatever hours to get the job done. I would do anything to make anything possible. A can do man. Now I am a can do, cannot do man, learning the wisdom to know the difference one day at a time…

Self seeking and denial, stubbornness and defiance are not so good for me today. These characteristics made me successful for many a year with the wrong people, in the wrong places and with things which have no value in recovery. Letting go and seeing the truth, how to love and be loved back with the right people in the right places at the right time, makes living in the moment imperfectly perfect. And humility to keep learning is tough and so rewarding just for today…

Prayer and meditation alert me to my part in life. It is never going to help me know your part in matters and tell you. I can change me, my attitudes and behaviour. My feelings and mood will always tell me why I think the way I do. Angry, I will blame you, hurt I may blame myself, balanced I will have no need of blame. Whatever my feelings, if I know what they are I can see solutions rather than problems today…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 29 2010 ~ Unity, service and recovery! My favourite past times involve greeting and making the tea, difficult in recent times. From turning up to doing the chores we all do what we can. They may be called commitments or chores, I always feel better for having done something like useful in my case silence may be key...

November 29 2010 ~ Active guardians of the principles: to be open, honest and willing to live sober today and in fellowship: practice unity, service and recovery. We do what we are able to do, and share experience, strength and hope as we may. Truth is my spiritual compass, not my opinion, the truth as it is with love and wisdom today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "ACTIVE GUARDIANS” NOVEMBER 29 To us, however, it represents far more than a sound public relations policy. It is more than a denial of self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant and practical reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A. In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 183

The basic concept of humility is expressed in the Eleventh Tradition: it allows me to participate completely in the program in such a simple, yet profound manner; it fulfils my need to be an integral part of a significant whole. Humility brings me closer to the actual spirit of togetherness and oneness, without which I could not stay sober. In remembering that every member is an example of sobriety, each one living the Eleventh Tradition, I am able to experience freedom because each one of us is anonymous."


Monday, 28 November 2011

November 28 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 28 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

A newcomer says

in a meeting “there is nothing wrong with the twelve step process, but there is something wrong with you lot, this is my last meeting and you lot talk fucking bollocks.” He may be right, as we work out what to do with our bollocks one day at a time.

We chatted after the meeting and he was convinced he would take care of his own bollocks. I hope he can, and if not the door is always open, after all its just for a day…

I work with attraction not promotion today. As I have come to

understand, attraction is “what you see is what you get.” And promotion is more of a fixing nature, a guarantee of success. I am attracted to the good, the bad and the ugly as we share experience strength and hope. And we redeem ourselves

in what we do daily. Our consequences are what they are. How we live sober improves our outlook today…

I am attracted to these spiritual principles to live life "real" ~ "Forgiveness" "Acceptance" "Surrender" "Faith" "Open-

mindedness" "Honesty" "Willingness" "Inventory" "Amends" "Humility" "Persistence" "Spiritual-Living" "Service"

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 28 2010: attraction not promotion. Is it better to be open and honest,

with "what you see in fellowship is what you get in fellowship?" I for one found it difficult, not perfect ever, it took several attempts before sober stuck. Rarely have we seen a person fail once we understand how to be sober one day at a time...

November 28 2010: warts and all! Promotion by personality can lead back to illusions of power rather than powerlessness over people places and things. We lean on the many for support, not individuals or they fall trying to save us.

Unity and strength in fellowship, love the foundation of all we do for each other...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "ATTRACTION, NOT PROMOTION" Through many painful experiences, we think we have arrived at what that policy

ought to be. It is the opposite in many ways of usual promotional practice. We found that we had to rely upon the principle of attraction rather than promotion. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 180-81

While I was

drinking I reacted with anger, self-pity and defiance against anyone who wanted to change me. All I wanted then was to be accepted by another human simply as I was and, curiously, that is what I found in A.A. I became the custodian of this

concept of attraction, which is the principle of our Fellowship’s public relations. It is by attraction that I can best reach the alcoholic who still suffers. I thank God for having given me the attraction of a well-planned and established program of

Steps and Traditions. Through humility and the support of my fellow sober members, I have been able to practice the A.A. way of life through attraction, not promotion."


Sunday, 27 November 2011

November 27 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 27 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Self prejudice: not feeling good enough, preferring a fantasy rather than reality. What will people think if they know the truth about me? The truth is I drank for decades because life was difficult and now I don’t drink because life is difficult. I can cope with reality, be truthful and if people are prejudiced against me or anyone in recovery, I can fuck off and mind my own business today…

Should there be a public face to fellowship? I would suggest no. Fellowship has the broadest appeal to those with a desire to stop drinking because no one can represent the views of anyone else on anything. I cannot represent you and you cannot represent me. How we share experience, strength and hope is always a personal choice inside and outside fellowship. Open, honest and willing to be truthful works well for me…

Beautiful autumn turquoise skies, a few hours of daylight and I can appreciate the array. Clouds dark and light grey wispily drift. I can see with clarity in the moment, nothing else on my mind but the imperfectly perfect moment of now. There may be a million worldly worries of deep concern, and still a moment of complete acceptance and serenity listening to the universe…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 27 2010 ~ limelight? If we are open, honest and willing in our endeavours, we share experience, strength and hope with humility. What would I do if I slipped or relapsed because of my life situation? For me to share the truth, ask for help and support where I know there is wisdom and love, in the fellowship of AA...

November 27 2010 ~ Life is full of peril, we are all subject to tragic moments, ourselves, family and communities. Anonymity serves a purpose in recovery and in recovery I have found, open honest and willing, truth love and wisdom are key principles to live my life. I am an open book today. Unique and authentic we are always...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "THE PERILS OF THE LIMELIGHT" In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world — a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm which the most ardent members would find hard to match. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 182

It is essential for my personal survival and that of the Fellowship that I not use A.A. to put myself in the limelight. Anonymity is a way for me to work on my humility. Since pride is one of my most dangerous shortcomings, practicing humility is one of the best ways to overcome it. The Fellowship of A.A. gains worldwide recognition by its various methods of publicizing its principles and its work, not by its individual members advertising themselves. The attraction created by my changing attitudes and my altruism contributes much more to the welfare of A.A. than self-promotion."


Saturday, 26 November 2011

November 26 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 26 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Feelings are often an inconvenient truth, and then we think we ought not have these feelings. If we have natural feelings, and natural instincts our thinking is usually okay. Extreme feelings, we need talk them through with our spiritual guides, god and good conscience, and in my case anyone with a clear head who can listen...

Honesty, truth and humility are essential to learning life and being willing to change. When I am open honest and willing anyone anywhere can help me. When I hide the truth from you about my sobriety and my need to be sober, you are less able to help me. In my community, which includes fellowship, family and many other connections, the truth helps anyone anywhere to keep me safe today. Fear of people knowing all about me will make me silent, faith will keep open. I need never fear who I am or what people think of me today...

As a fellowship there are hazards in publicity. And the debate on publicity has been lively since AA began. There is no public face to fellowship which keeps everyone equal within our society. Anonymity keeps people safe and is sacrosanct to me, so we all find the truth of who we are. Truth improves our spiritual living. Truth is my foundation for spiritual living in the moment of now. Truth keeps me open honest and willing, enough fear and developing faith in living sober one day at a time

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 26 2010 ~ hazards of judging motives. Do I judge you by my standards, and do you judge me by your standards will always lead to a failure to communicate. Prejudice and judgments lead to anger and resentments. In the solution of sober living, with courage faith and confidence, acceptance is the key for me today...

November 26 2010 ~ Hazards of publicity are often a binding conundrum in motive. Narcissism or the opposite, selflessness... Attraction, what you see is what you get, face to face. Promotion: a guarantee of fixing a problem. Spiritual and human, the acceptance of life on life's terms, the humility to keep learning life one day at a time...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "THE HAZARDS OF PUBLICITY" People who symbolize causes and ideas fill a deep human need. We of A.A. do not question that. But we do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 181

As a recovered alcoholic I must make an effort to put into practice the principles of the A.A. program, which are founded on honesty, truth and humility. While I was drinking I was constantly trying to be in the limelight. Now that I am conscious of my mistakes and of my former lack of integrity, it would not be honest to seek prestige, even for the justifiable purpose of promoting the A.A. message of recovery. Is the publicity that centers around the A.A. Fellowship and the miracles it produces not worth much more? Why not let the people around us appreciate by themselves the changes that A.A. has brought in us, for that will be a far better recommendation for the Fellowship than any I could make."


Friday, 25 November 2011

November 25 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 25 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

As there are no rules laws or regulations in fellowship, we cannot violate traditions or the steps, but we can violate each other’s understanding of a tradition or a step. Being respectful of each other and our opinions, a desire to be sober today, life is more likely to work to the good, and less to conflict? The freedom is to live truth not opinion, to share experience, strength and hope, not fiction. Spiritual living is living the truth as it is right now today…

The fellowship public relations policy: is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films. Attraction, what you see in fellowship is what you get as a daily experience. Promotion implies we can fix people, we cannot fix a person, a person desires sobriety today and keeps sober today with freedom to choose.

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 25 2010 ~ Truth, love and wisdom has become my spiritual base after many years of being in a wilderness of material wants and desires. Living to truth, not my interpretation of what it ought to be, learning to love and be loved without expectation keeps me right sized. Wisdom learned in doing and from others today...

November 25 2010 ~ Anonymity feels right when we know there is prejudice. We need time to find recovery. At the same time anonymity can be the roughest form of self harm, a denial of who we are becoming today. Truth need be my compass, or I run the risk of fear of being found out, a brave face to cover up. I feel right sized today...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "A POWERFUL TRADITION" In the years before the publication of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous,” we had no name. . .by a narrow majority the verdict was for naming our book “The Way Out.” . . .One of our early lone members. . . found exactly twelve books already titled “The Way Out.”. . . So “Alcoholics Anonymous” became first choice. That’s how we got a name for our book of experience, a name for our movement and, as we are now beginning to see, a tradition of the greatest spiritual import. “A.A. TRADITION: HOW IT DEVELOPED.” pp. 35-36

Beginning with Bill’s momentous decision in Akron to make a telephone call rather than a visit to the hotel bar, how often has a Higher Power made itself felt at crucial moments in our history! The eventual importance that the principle of anonymity would acquire was but dimly perceived, if at all, in those early days. There seems to have been an element of chance even in the choice of a name for our Fellowship. God is no stranger to anonymity and often appears in human affairs in the guises of “luck”, “chance,” or “coincidence.” If anonymity, somewhat fortuitously, became the spiritual basis for all of our Traditions, perhaps God was acting anonymously on our behalf."


Thursday, 24 November 2011

November 24 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 24 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

When writing a life story as part of step 4 in the fellowship, I needed to write down where life worked and where life broke down. As a result I needed to really accept my part in all matters. This made possible the transition from not blaming the world or me, and still accepting consequences and making amends for the past and immediate amends today. To love, be loved and useful, cherishing life today…

Working with what works to be sober today. Back in the day I thought I knew better, and I did judge the world and everyone in it “As Don saw it.” Today, the more I know, the less I know. It is a good day when I know what makes me tick, and it’s even better now I don’t know what makes anyone else tick. If I have to learn what works for me, I need learn what works for you; assumptions are resentments under construction…

I guess I may be described as a Big Book enthusiast, and also a 12&12 is where I get even more help learning life today. I don't mind what people think, its what works daily and keeps me fitter than otherwise. I would not want to be a dry drunk today...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 24 2010 ~ Emotional, spiritual and physical, sober today. Sober is the priority so I may experience reality as it is right now. Emotional being: knowing how I am feeling right now, why, and what to do. Spiritual being: connected to reality right now and present. The universal search for truth, love and wisdom, we find it in the moment of now...

November 24 2010 ~ I can share my experience strength and hope, it does not mean my answers are right for you. It may help another person focus on what is right for them. I draw wisdom from any and every source to help me in my actions to be sober, to love, be loved and useful. Living reality as it may be today...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "A UNIVERSAL SEARCH" NOVEMBER 24 be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87

I do not claim to have all the answers in spiritual matters, any more than I claim to have all the answers about alcoholism. There are others who are also engaged in a spiritual search. If I keep an open mind about what others have to say, I have much to gain. My sobriety is greatly enriched, and my practice of the Eleventh Step more fruitful, when I use both the literature and practices of my Judeo-Christian tradition, and the resources of other religions. Thus, I receive support from many sources in staying away from the first drink."


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

November 23 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 23 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Just because you are good at something does not mean you should. We can become excellent in many roles in life; it does not mean it is good for us or even the path we should take. Sometimes necessity drives us, nature and providence, economy and need. Freedom of choice takes time and need be based on reality, not fantasy. Spiritual is reality and living it, fantasy is often based on superstition, dreams and fear that reality cannot live up to our expectations today…

If you ask for help, I can suggest and support but not instruct. If I ask for help, listen and make better choices I learn and grow. I need enough fear to keep safe, enough faith to broaden my experience. And sometimes learning is at the extremes of feeling and often more helpful when there is a balance in feelings and experiences. When we take it to the limit all the time, we can break and some never recover to live a life again…

What may get in the way of my emotional and spiritual growth? Not knowing what emotional and spiritual growth means to me, because for years it was going on, limited by my outlook and starved by my lack of understanding. Today I realise it is so simple I could not see it. To live open, honest and willing, to learn what my feelings are right now and cope with the situation I am having today…

Emotional ~ a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific incident causing physiological and behavioural changes in the body. And the spiritual experience, for me is living in the moment where feelings fit with reality, not exaggerate or underplayed. I feel the moment and can cope with what is going on today…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 23 2010 ~ if I am learning who I am on a daily basis, living reality and not fantasy, feeling the moment of now, happy or sad as life experience is, then I am fit spiritually. With humility, the capacity to keep learning continues. So easy to falter, become judgmental and prejudiced, then I block my spiritual progress and likely yours too today...

November 23 2010 ~ I can feel hurt by my history, and if I fall into what if's and why not's I am stuck. I need see the world as it is today, feel the feelings and understand them, not push away half of what nature has given me. Anger and resentments are part of what we feel daily until we accept life on life's terms. I accept I am human today...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "ONLY TWO SINS" there are only two sins; the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 542

Happiness is such an elusive state. How often do my “prayers” for others involve “hidden” prayers for my own agenda? How often is my search for happiness a boulder in the path of growth for another, or even myself? Seeking growth through humility and acceptance brings things that appear to be anything but good, wholesome and vital. Yet in looking back, I can see that pain, struggles and setbacks have all contributed eventually to serenity through growth in the program. I ask my Higher Power to help me not cause another’s lack of growth today — or my own."


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

November 22 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 22 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Holding our face up to the light, or when we hold our face in our hands in the dark, both experiences are just as they may be right now. Happy or horrible, horribly unhappy, or tragically funny, this is life in the moment. We can cope with help and support in fellowship and outside fellowship. Enough fear to be alert, enough faith to keep on going sober today…

Beautiful day, my sister in town and we spent the morning together. A friend in fellowship drops in and meets her! We sit and chat, my sister leaves and then another wonderful conversation about life. We agree life is one day long, and whatever happens today, if we cope with it, understand unconditional love, we can go to bed happy enough. And if we don’t wake up tomorrow, we have missed nothing!

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 23 2010 ~ Life on life's terms? Why was it so difficult to stop my alcoholic drinking? Drink had become the reward when life was good, the way to oblivion when life was so hard I could not cope. Alcoholics Anonymous offered the solution to my problem, unbearable in early days to give up my best friend which was killing me slowly daily...

November 23 2010 ~ Suggestions from happy people and sad people who had stopped their drinking made me suspicious. My refusal to accept my alcoholism in early days, my paranoia, and my rejection of the solution took a while. I look back but don't stare at the horror. Sober and with help I can cope one day at a time...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "HOLD YOUR FACE TO THE LIGHT” NOVEMBER 23 Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 3

One Sunday in October, during my morning meditation, I glanced out the window at the ash tree in our front yard. At once I was overwhelmed by its magnificent, golden colour! As I stared in awe at God’s work of art, the leaves began to fall and, within minutes, the branches were bare. Sadness came over me as I thought of the winter months ahead, but just as I was reflecting on autumn’s annual process, God’s message came through. Like the trees, stripped of their leaves in the fall, sprout new blossoms in the spring, I had my compulsive, selfish ways removed by God in order for me to blossom into a sober, joyful member of A.A. Thank you, God, for the changing seasons and for my ever-changing life."


Monday, 21 November 2011

November 21 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 21 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

What we see is what we get today. In fellowship we see progress and not perfection. We hear about success and calamity within moments. We hear about love and loss, we learn over and over that fellowship and recovery are about living life real. We are attracted to truth, not lies, we attracted to humanity, not perfection. We learn to love each other. Attraction to truth: and not promotion of a fiction, not fixing, learning and coping with reality today. Anonymity is sacrosanct to help us find our truth. Anonymity is a personal decision always. And we need never be ashamed of the truth, the hardship, the journey, progress and not perfection, every one of us imperfectly perfect in the moment of now...

Sometimes, the meeting before the meeting and the meeting after the meeting gives us so much more than we may ever expect. Truly wonderful getting to know people we would never have otherwise met is a true gift. Fellowship: freely given, freely received, and unconditional. To love, be loved and useful today...

Attraction Not Promotion - Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films... Promotion of a "fix" is never on the agenda, attraction to the truth and how recovery works, "if at first we don't succeed, whilst we draw breath we can try again." Sharing the truth, that fellowship provides the conditions and tool kit to be sober one day at a time, freedom to make better choices sober is as good as it gets. There is no blame attached to people in fellowship, addiction is the culprit, a life and death struggle with something we are powerless over. Fellowship, an imperfectly perfect solution? Always and never a fix today...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 21 2010 ~ how am I feeling, why and what can I do today? In the spirit of unity service and recovery, if I know my mood and feelings, I can reflect and collect my thoughts to make the best of this day by helping others in fellowship. And I can practice these principles in all my affairs, right sized and human today...

November 21 2010 ~ Sharing experience strength and hope of what I have learned in recovery might help a newcomer. And when a newcomer shares the experience strength and hope, I listen and learn. Fellowship is all about learning from each other and having the humility to be human. Humility, the ability to learn and change always...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "SERVING MY BROTHER" The member talks to the newcomer not in a spirit of power but in a spirit of humility and weakness. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE p. 279

As the days pass in A.A., I ask God to guide my thoughts and the words that I speak. In this labour of continuous participation in the Fellowship, I have numerous opportunities to speak. So I frequently ask God to help me watch over my thoughts and my words, that they may be the true and proper reflections of our program; to focus my aspirations once again to seek His guidance; to help me be truly kind and loving, helpful and healing, yet always filled with humility, and free from any trace of arrogance. Today I may very well have to deal with disagreeable attitudes or utterances — the typical stock-in-trade attitude of the still-suffering alcoholic. If this should happen, I will take a moment to centre myself in God, so that I will be able to respond from a perspective of composure, strength and sensibility."


Sunday, 20 November 2011

November 20 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 20 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Yesterday: a meeting and sharing from the heart. Not mushy or fuzzy, simple reality. What it is like to feel the grip of sleeplessness when there is no reason to be wide awake in the middle of the night. Surrounded by love we can still feel the ice cold fear. And we can feel the fear as we feel powerless over calamity. Feelings are real, and when there is no evidence to fear, we can settle. When there is reason to fear and real calamity, we have fellowship and any other number of people we may ask for help. We need not hide; we need find expression with the right people in the right place and at the right time...

My way: just me, thy way; the many ways of living and wisdom around us. Over time and I do believe it takes whatever time it takes we do learn that isolated feelings and isolated thinking have let us down and made life more difficult than it need be. Fear of asking in case of ridicule, feeling shame and guilt will keep us in the dark. Courage and faith to ask for help, from anyone and everyone, know it is good not to know the answers. Wisdom resides in the many and we need only ask for help. Those who can help will, those who cannot will not. Our response either way is always learning in the moment of now...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 20 2010 ~ “I did it thy way,” or “I did it my way...” My way or the Thy Way! Expectations are resentments under construction in a world where we are all linked and have common ground, family, community and work. If it were all my way, what a narrow and small outlook I would have, I love the big picture and sober today...

November 20 2010 ~ Thy will and my will, what is the difference? Simple and only complicated by a selfish outlook, my uninformed outlook. Lost in alcohol back then, alone and unable to function, to now and able to see the big picture of life. Perspective is always there if I look to good, good conscience and fit with reality today...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "THY WILL, NOT MINE” when making specific requests, it will be well to add to each one of them this qualification. .” ... If it be Thy will.” TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 102-03

I ask simply that throughout the day God place in me the best understanding of His will that I can have for that day, and that I be given the grace by which I may carry it out. As the day goes on, I can pause when facing situations that must be met and decisions that must be made, and renew the simple request: “Thy will, not mine, be done.” I must always keep in mind that in every situation I am responsible for the effort and God is responsible for the outcome. I can “Let Go and Let God” by humbly repeating: “Thy will, not mine, be done.” Patience and persistence in seeking His will for me will free me from the pain of selfish expectations."


Saturday, 19 November 2011

November 19 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 19 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Connoisseur ~ expert; especially : one who understands the details, technique, or principles of an art and is competent to act as a critical judge... that was me with a drink in hand and a head brimming with judgments. Expert drinker; expert worker; expert lover; after all I must have been given the quantity of consumption? Was I deluded? Indeed I was, blunted by indulgence made superficial and indifferent by excess and success, life was meaningless. Today I am a learner, how to live and cherish is a daily exercise, to love and be loved, unconditional and then to be useful in whatever endeavour may come my way today... A learner always in the moment of now...

As I understand it, the word serenity is defined as: clear and free of storms or unpleasant change, "the serenity in the aftermath of the tornado was remarkable." In the grip of addiction my emotional and spiritual core, my inner storms fuelled by fear, covering up and a never feeling good enough and fixing myself to cope with reality was a living hell. Serenity today is knowing my feelings are real, feelings shape my thinking and actions, living the truth of now I can cope and ask for help when I do not know what the next right action may be. I cannot fix reality to my way; I can live reality, life on life's terms. Serenity is acceptance and freedom of choice today...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 19 2010 ~ practicing these principles in all our affairs... happy or sad, serious or light hearted we do take stock of where we are today. And sometimes when life is tough and I feel angry or resentful, all I need do is remind myself that each day sober has been made possible by a fellowship which supports me all the way...

November 19 2010 ~ what has fellowship given me? The ability to cope with reality, which some suggest is spiritual. Indeed I do believe reality is our spiritual life. Practical and pragmatic we are in unity, service and recovery. Prayer and meditation reminds me always to remember the still suffering alcoholic each and every day...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "I WAS SLIPPING FAST” We A.A.’s are active folk, enjoying the satisfactions of dealing with the realities of life... So it isn’t surprising that we often tend to slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really necessary. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96

I had been slipping away from the program for some time, but it took a death threat from a terminal disease to bring me back, and particularly to the practice of the Eleventh Step of our blessed Fellowship. Although I had fifteen years of sobriety and was still very active in the program, I knew that the quality of my sobriety had slipped badly. Eighteen months later, a check-up revealed a malignant tumour and a prognosis of certain death within six months. Despair settled in when I enrolled in a rehab program, after which I suffered two small strokes which revealed two large brain tumours. As I kept hitting new bottoms I had to ask myself why this was happening to me. God allowed me to recognize my dishonesty and to become teachable again. Miracles began to happen. But primarily I relearned the whole meaning of the Eleventh Step. My physical condition has improved dramatically, but my illness is minor compared to what I almost lost completely."


Friday, 18 November 2011

November 18 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 18 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Outstanding ability to be stubborn and defiant? I was and really did not know, I thought I was simply determined and tenacious, not a quitter and able to keep on going when others would give up. Served me well I thought in matters of romance, finance and work... just because I was good at many ways of living, it did not mean those ways of life were right for me. Today I learn what is good for me sober today...

Alcohol was my best friend for a long, long time helping me to live with all aspects of life. At least I thought so back in the day. Happy me, pour me a drink, poor me and pour myself a drink. In company we fixed ourselves with a drink, took the edge off and then so often took our clothes off too... Tall and short stories of times past. Today, now my feelings fit the reality I am living, no more taking the edge off, I know when to keep my clothes on and take them off in the right place with the right person and at the right time... Progress not protection, one lay no one day at a time...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 18 2010 ~ Why me... Why not me? Daily life was tough back then in the grip of alcohol and today it is still tough. I smile when writing these words and then feel happier knowing exactly what is going on for me, how I am feeling, why and what I can and cannot do. The difference? Truth, love and wisdom, and freedom today...

November 18 2010 ~ Meditation and prayer helps me develop clarity and purpose. I have clarity today, unlike before, and driven to prove my value one way or another. When I am angry and resentful, and reflect on my part in matters, there is no shame or guilt in asking for help and wisdom from others today…


AA Daily Reflections ~ "A SAFETY NET" Occasionally. . . We are seized with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won’t pray. When these things happen we should not think too ill of ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can, doing what we know to be good for us. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

Sometimes I scream, stomp my feet, and turn my back on my Higher Power. Then my disease tells me that I am a failure, and that if I stay angry I’ll surely get drunk. In those moments of self-will it’s as if I’ve slipped over a cliff and am hanging by one hand. The above passage is my safety net, in that it urges me to try some new behaviour, such as being kind and patient with myself. It assures me that my Higher Power will wait until I am willing once again to risk letting go, to land in the net, and to pray."


Thursday, 17 November 2011

November 17 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 17 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

The difference between loneliness and solitude: Back then when and endless supply of drink seemed like my best friend, I would isolate from the world because reality was just too painful. I had a right to drink away my life, after all, life had become empty and lonely as heartbreak followed heartbreak. I had lost my ability to love, be loved and make sense of the grand design to experience life. Today, solitude offers time to reflect and meditate and be a part of the grand design of providence and nature, know how to love, be loved and a part of reality, to laugh and cry, to feel joy and sadness as experience offers, away from ego's drift and into the moment of now...

With a critical eye, many of us have learned to judge our fellows. Indeed we have become expert and professional, able to dismantle and see what makes life tick. People, places and things are undone with a scientific disposition we can unravel what were once mysteries. As observers we are often trapped in the negative, as participants we are active in the outcomes. Observation and isolation can keep us in the problem; participation and action move us into the solution today. In the solution, day by day we can feel life as it is, cope with reality. The journey in fellowship, emotional and spiritual living in the moment of now, living and building step by step, the journey not the destination lives and beats within...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 17 2010 ~ "All by myself, I wish I was..?" I learn every day the difference between solitude and isolation. Solitude provides me with time to reflect on what is working or not working in my life, and the freedom of my choices today. I can reflect in solitude and ask for help when I need it, sharing how I feel is freedom today...

November 17 2010 ~ Loneliness for me is about isolation, hiding away when I do not feel right. When I need help, an open honest and willing outlook helps me. I was never one to complain to others, I just let fear gnaw away at my gut. Isolation will let fear grow, sharing my concerns daily helps me make progress today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "OVERCOMING LONELINESS" Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the feeling that we didn’t quite belong. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 90

The agonies and the void that I often felt inside occur less and less frequently in my life today. I have learned to cope with solitude. It is only when I am alone and calm that I am able to communicate with God, for He cannot reach me when I am in turmoil. It is good to maintain contact with God at all times, but it is absolutely essential that, when everything seems to go wrong, I maintain that contact through prayer and meditation."


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

November 16 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 16 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

If it walks like a duck and quacks, and tells you its all a load of effing crap, group therapy nonsense, it is nonsense to them, part of the experience of fellowship. It makes no sense and it is the truth as they see it right now. Effing brilliant! Behind anger is fear, and anger and fear are true for the person experiencing anger and fear. Real feelings, and hurt people hurt other people. I need respect the outlook even when my outlook is happy joyous and free. That is reality today...

Education, education and education. To broaden and deepen the meaning of life we learn as we may. Experience the best teacher? Yes and no. It depends on expectations and what we think we deserve as a result. "Pop culture:" Raises expectations of fame and fortune and reality sucks for so many today. As some spectate on those living the dream, resentments deepen, rage and anger manifest in real day to day failure. A wake up call to society, the dream works for a few and cannot be lived by everyone. New survival skills required, I am lucky to live sober with 12 steps guiding me to my needs met and wants forgotten...

Emotional education and thinking education: We feel we deserve, we think we deserve, this outlook will keep us dormant as the world still turns. Spectator skills abound, useless if we do not learn how to survive as humans putting in the right action when reality cannot deliver "the dream." Are recovery skills needed in all living for all people? All life experience, we need all of it to make sense of what is possible and not possible today...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 16 2010 ~ living reality contingent on my spiritual condition: How do I know what my spiritual condition is today? I apply myself to living, action is always better than living in the past or watching life and judging it. If I live in what might be, I am waiting. Open, honest and willing I take part in what is going on with freedom to choose today...

November 16 2010 ~ when I know I am right, can control and manage, do the things to hold on to my way of life as I see fit, hold on to what should be happening... Lock me up or suggest I get to a meeting. To make sense of reality today, I need perspective, to let go and be open to new choices, be free of the past and live in the present moment today...

Cunning Baffling Powerful – The ‘Orrible Devil In Me!

As the song title suggests, “I did it my way,” and Frank Sinatra sang it beautifully, at the same time I really liked the way Sid Vicious sang it too, MY WAY! I learned to live life my way and was under the influence of my father during my formative years when he was around. And fortunately my mother too, her way was better and involved learning life as she went along. My Dad was more influenced by drink, fear and shame and guilt a lot of the time, but none of us knew it when we were kids, and only know now, decades later do I see how much like him I am. He died early from drink, and I nearly did too on numerous occasions.

Drink for most people is not cunning baffling or powerful, because they are not alcoholics, but for me the fascination with drink and its ability to change me, or help me find oblivion was always in me and growing. Until drink ruled me, it was cunning baffling and powerful and I could not stop. Today, I do have a reprieve from the insanity of drink on a daily basis contingent on my spiritual condition.

In some ways and in my case, I feel drink or drugs can catch us faster than the previous generation. We see it around us in our growing up years and we imitate. Just a feeling I have. My Dad was a robust individual and drank all his adult life, died at 65 from everything associated with a hard drinking life style. I am 54, have had my grazes with the grim reaper “alcohol” over the years and wonder just how much time I have taken off my life because of drink. At the same time, the years sober have been wonderful in living both the joys and horror life offers daily.

Life can be a bed of roses, and at the same time roses grow best when fertilised with horse’s droppings. Without the horses droppings we could not enjoy the smell roses so we need the droppings and the light to smell the roses? We take the rough and the smooth and learn from both. A bit like my Mum and Dad and their influences and their life experiences and what they learned? Indeed life is like that too, good and bad.

Today sober, I have many influences, I cannot change the past, I can live in the day. And keep learning life; be active in what is going on, without the fear of the ‘orrible devil in me, just for today…


AA Daily Reflections ~ "A DAILY REPRIEVE" What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

Maintaining my spiritual condition is like working out every day, planning for the marathon, swimming laps, jogging. It’s staying in good shape spiritually, and that requires prayer and meditation. The single most important way for me to improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power is to pray and meditate. I am as powerless over alcohol as I am to turn back the waves of the sea; no human force had the power to overcome my alcoholism. Now I am able to breathe the air of joy, happiness and wisdom. I have the power to love and react to events around me with the eyes of a faith in things that are not readily apparent. My daily reprieve means that, no matter how difficult or painful things appear today, I can draw on the power of the program to stay liberated from my cunning, baffling and powerful illness."


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

November 15| AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 15 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

The inner voice of feelings, so often choked off, suppressed and silent as reality is lived. The phrase: "suck it up," dealing with our feelings in silence and "soldier on." "Today I may be hurt and I will not show it." Putting our feelings to one side, and thinking we will deal with them later is often the reason we took a fix of drink or something to get over them. Feelings inform us now, what to do and how we are thinking about the next action. Step four, dealing with the mountain of hurts, and steps 10 and 11 maintenance of our spiritual condition, no mountain of hurt living in the moment of now...

A rush to judgment can rebound as old thinking and actions put us at war with ourselves and our fellows. A pause in reflection, the serenity prayer and seeing the can do, cannot do makes a difference. We can quickly see the big picture, it is not all about me, it is about us. I can change me and my attitudes, share my truth, how I feel and why, then my actions are in asking, not telling, empathy and reason may prevail just for today...

Back in the day, the idea of prayer never seemed to be an issue, I did not pray, or did I? I guess now it was prayer and medication. Today it is prayer and meditation to improve my contact with god. For me god is the truth of now, being able to love and be loved back, and useful in the world. No need of my old medication, alcohol, I can see with more clarity what I can and cannot do today…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 15 2010 ~ Similarities and "war stories", we share experience strength and hope. The insanity of self destruction whether we were street drinkers or behind lace curtain drinkers, the desolation and consequences are the same, the gilded cage or prison cell, both a living hell. All equal in our journey to hell and back, and simply sober today...

November 15 2010 ~ fearless and thorough in practicing the steps; not instantly perfect, simply progress in action. We can hear another share the revelation as the steps make sense at last. As enthusiasm for sobriety fuels our sharing, humility is key. Sometimes quickly usually slowly, it took me a long time to find out how to live sobriety one day at a time… -/-

AA Daily Reflections ~ "VITAL SUSTENANCE" Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS p. 97

Step Eleven doesn’t have to overwhelm me. Conscious contact with God can be as simple, and as profound, as conscious contact with another human being. I can smile. I can listen. I can forgive. Every encounter with another is an opportunity for prayer, for acknowledging God’s presence within me. Today I can bring myself a little closer to my Higher Power. The more I choose to seek the beauty of God’s work in other people, the more certain of His presence I will become." -/-

Monday, 14 November 2011

November 14 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 14 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

I know now that for a long time my feelings of fear and putting on a brave face made my life difficult. Fear of not being good enough in relationships and the fear of expressing love in case it was not wanted. Today I can feel love and express it, share and be unafraid. I may not be loved back or I may be, and that is good for me today. Love is unconditional, we can cope, live reality, let go and move along. Smiles here, "Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass." Desiderata

A surprise, a knock on the door and a friend is there, a moment in their company and the world lights up. Inspired and happy, the day is brighter. In recovery, a moment can bring a whole day into perspective, reinforce all the reasons why we live one day at a time, see all the possibilities, keep our feet on the ground, work out what we can do and cannot do, moment to imperfectly perfect moment, experience and wisdom is making the difference today...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 14 2010 ~ Intuition and inspiration: I hear inspiration in recovery as we share experience, strength and hope with each other in meetings, the power of the many experiences greater than my own. As I practice recovery principles in all my affairs: truth, love and wisdom grows and improves my intuition as I live sober today...

November 14 2010 ~ Prayer and meditation helps me improve my conscious contact with reality. I can be human sized in my emotional and spiritual living. Always in the action, understanding my feelings and actions as they are happening, no longer burdened by the past or fearing the future, coping in the moment of now...


AA Daily Reflections ~ "INTUITION AND INSPIRATION" we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86

I invest my time in what I truly love. Step Eleven is a discipline that allows me and my Higher Power to be together, reminding me that, with God’s help, intuition and inspiration are possible. Practice of the Step brings on self-love. In a consistent attempt to improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power, I am subtly reminded of my unhealthy past, with its patterns of grandiose thinking and false feeling of omnipotence. When I ask for the power to carry out God’s will for me, I am made aware of my powerlessness. Humility and a healthy self-love are compatible, a direct result of working Step Eleven."


Sunday, 13 November 2011

November 13 AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 13 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

A phrase often said in recovery, "Look back don't stare." Look back and learn for me, and sometimes a good hard look to see what happened and then understand. How I was impacted by the past, early life, choices based on fear, a brave face, a stiff upper lip. Today, decisions and choices based on courage faith and confidence, a spiritual path in reality. Less fear and superstition: Letting go and letting good into my life today...

Freedom from self will, leading to open honest and willing live life on life's terms. Living reality: gaining wisdom and experience to develop our outlook. Freedom from the bondage of self, to more informed choices a day at a time. From excluded and isolated, to be included and involved a part of life again. We make progress and learn how to cope and often thrive in the moment of now...

Remembrance day and Veterans weekend. If we had known more: "Old soldiers never die; they simply fide a-why!’ That’s what they used to sing along the roads last spring; That’s what they used to say before the push began; That’s where they are to-day, knocked over to a man." ~ Siegfried Sassoon... Today we know more, my Dad never knew what ailed him from his experiences in war, never learning how to cope with life again...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 13 2010 ~ You promised me a miracle... NO that's promotion! What you see is what you get in fellowship, warts and all. We are as good as today, sometimes happy, sad, joyous, hateful and resentful, or simply experiencing life on life's terms? It is attraction always as we may be today, coping with reality, and learning all the way...

November 13 2010 ~ On a daily basis we try to look outwards at the bigger picture of life. I try not to be egocentric and selfish, that is me. Sometimes I am more able to look out and help my fellows in recovery and when I do not, the horror of the past haunts me again. A brush with old behaviour sharpens my "out looking" today...

LOOKING OUTWARD" We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no requests for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87

As an active alcoholic, I allowed selfishness to run rampant in my life. I was so attached to my drinking and other selfish habits that people and moral principles came second. Now, when I pray for the good of others rather than my “own selfish ends,” I practice a discipline in letting go of selfish attachments, caring for my fellows and preparing for the day when I will be required to let go of all earthly attachments.


AA Daily Reflections ~ "LOOKING OUTWARD" We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no requests for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 87

As an active alcoholic, I allowed selfishness to run rampant in my life. I was so attached to my drinking and other selfish habits that people and moral principles came second. Now, when I pray for the good of others rather than my “own selfish ends,” I practice a discipline in letting go of selfish attachments, caring for my fellows and preparing for the day when I will be required to let go of all earthly attachments."


Saturday, 12 November 2011

November 12 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 12 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

The problem we have with wisdom! Where do we get wisdom from? If it was not invented here in my head through experience, can I learn from other sources? We can share experience, strength and hope. Then we learn what we can do and cannot do and the wisdom to know the difference based on life, action and reality…

Conflicting emotions, not really being sure about anything is all part of life. We develop connections and bonds with many people as we open up to the world. And denial of upset or simply not being able to make sense of love, our desires and all the real truths of life is what makes reality worthwhile.

What I need from you is simple truth as it unfolds. A relationship based on truth is spiritual. And truth is the spiritual foundation of life for me. The conflict which upsets us most is denial of the truth and trying to make the world different from what it is and who we are. As the days unfold, we find the truth and we get to know more about who we are. We find ways to be ourselves in this wonderful and ever evolving existence.

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 12 2010 ~ morning feelings and mood... sometimes I have no clue how I feel or what my mood is when I wake up. Unless of course I ask myself "how am I feeling, why and what can I do?" With some reflection I can make sense of what is possible and not possible. The serenity prayer is always a good to start my day...

November 12 2010 ~ today I can love, be loved and useful... was it Einstein who said "behind everything there is purpose?" Today with some courage, faith and fortitude I can be sober, be included, have choices and freedoms, and work with the reality of now. Sometimes my head is in the clouds, but my feet are on firm ground today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "MORNING THOUGHTS" Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164

For many years I pondered over God’s will for me, believing that perhaps a great destiny had been ordained for my life. After all, having been born into a specific faith, hadn’t I been told early that I was “chosen”? It finally occurred to me, as I considered the above passage, that God’s will for me was simply that I practice Step Twelve on a daily basis. Furthermore, I realized I should do this to the best of my ability. I soon learned that the practice aids me in keeping my life in the context of the day at hand."-/-

Friday, 11 November 2011

November 11 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 11 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Acceptance of life on life’s terms, acceptance I am powerless over people, places and things. Forgiving of everyone, we are the best we can be even when it feels the worst for others. All these things help with self acceptance, progress not perfect and sober today…

Judge not? We all need see the world as it is and make decisions about what to do next. I can change me, my attitudes and behaviour. I cannot change you. And when I judge not, can forgive me and accept the world is as it may be, I feel included and not on the outside looking in today…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 11 2010 ~ 11/11/ a day to remember all conflicts. I remember my Dad and his life experiences, the impact of war and peace. His last few days were sober after decades of being lost. In recovery I have learned to understand what happened, to be able to feel compassion, to love others, to be loved back and useful today...

November 11 2010 ~ reality is our spiritual living. What we do today, our attitudes and behaviour is the sum total of our spiritual endeavours. From the darkest moments to the lightest, our conduct today in recovery is the measure we have of our sobriety. Sometimes we feel right with the world, sometimes not, the choice is ours today... -/-

AA Daily Reflections ~ "SELF-ACCEPTANCE" We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

I pray for the willingness to remember that I am a child of God, a divine soul in human form, and that my most basic and urgent life-task is to accept, know, love and nurture myself. As I accept myself, I am accepting God’s will. As I know and love myself, I am knowing and loving God. As I nurture myself I am acting on God’s guidance. I pray for the willingness to let go of my arrogant self-criticism, and to praise God by humbly accepting and caring for myself." -/-

November 10| AA 12 Steps In Action |

November 10 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Fellowship: organised chaos and an anarchic democracy kept me coming back, a place where I truly belong, freedom to find out who I am just for today...

A sense of belonging took a while when I first got to AA. Full of fear, putting on a brave face and shame and guilt could have catapulted me back out into drinking. A few people shook my hand, said it was going to be okay. I would feel awful for a while, but there was hope. Courage, faith and self esteem have grown to help me live one day at a time, and face the music and dance…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 10 2010 ~ a sense of belonging is wonderful when life is wonderful. And what is wonderful even when life seems full of disaster, I am not alone anymore. With fellowship and community, I learn what I can do today, and what I cannot. Open, honest and willing to live reality rather than fantasy today...

November 10 2010 ~ from exclusion to inclusion is a great feeling. To be a part of life and know we are no longer alone. Fear of being found out kept me isolated a long time, a brave face meant you did not really know me. Now it is okay to be me, feel life as it is and have a sense of purpose today, to live the life I have...

Attraction Rather Than Promotion

We had a Prime Minister come to power in the UK who stressed the need for “education, education and education!” And that I can relate to, because education is the key in changes we need keep making as life keeps changing. Or we get stuck.

Alcoholics Anonymous is unity and strength in numbers, we benefit and lean on the many who share experience strength and hope. What we see is what we get, we find those in fellowship who are like minded in their recovery and identify with them. For every person we may relate to on a personal level, there will be another we cannot fathom. And so we find attraction rather than promotion is a key to sobriety. We all lean on fellowship, if we rely heavily on one person, the burden becomes too much.

Tolerance and love, part of our spiritual living. I can recall hearing many denounce AA over the years, many in the meetings absolutely livid that “Alcoholics Anonymous” is a cult, a bunch of weird people with 12 steps and 12 traditions and a lot of “god botherers.” This is not my experience of AA, but sometimes we might wonder what we are. In straightforward terms sometimes we look for the differences and not the similarities, because we do not want what some people have. I choose to look for similarities, starting with “sober today.”

Why? The Critics

We become open to criticism when we forget what the fellowship is, nonprofessional, and simply people sharing on a daily basis what is working and not working. AA is as good as it is today because we are AA and sometimes we fall short, and sometimes we get it just about right. What we see is what we get.

Daily – one day at a time

We neither over promise nor under sell; we share reality as we see it. The hazards we face daily are the same as anyone else, so in truth the people we see daily in fellowship are AA. And sometimes we do not sparkle, because that is life.
Unity Service and Recovery

Everything is summed up in the AA preamble we read out in meetings:

“ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety”

This is attraction to reality and not promotion of a fantasy!

AA Daily Reflections ~ "A SENSE OF BELONGING" Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

That’s what it is – belonging! After a session of meditation I knew that the feeling I was experiencing was a sense of belonging because I was so relaxed. I felt quieter inside, more willing to discard little irritations. I appreciated my sense of humour. What I also experience in my daily practice is the sheer pleasure of belonging to the creative flow of God’s world. How propitious for us that prayer and meditation are written right into our A.A. way of life."

November 9 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Our inner voice of reflection, meditation and prayer can drive us mad. My inner voice now very focussed on looking for answers outside me, where reality flows and the answers to my problems today. “The truth is out there” and happy to learn, feel life as it is and live reality. Accepting life is difficult; no battles to fight can do and cannot do and wisdom to learn the difference works today…

“Sharing is by raised hand and I get to choose,” said the secretary. He chose his mates, old timers and all men, except for a female visitor. With hand raised I looked him in the eye on several occasions, he held my gaze and picked others. If he had picked me, his friends would disapprove, fear of not fitting in and political correctness. Step six a key and step seven always the answer, “faith.”

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 9 2010 ~ from dark to light is a way to describe my transition from active alcoholic to recovering alcoholic. From bleak times to living in reality. Even when life is most challenging and there can be a major catastrophe, I need not drink. A sober head learning wisdom, support from fellowship and from family and community, life balance is possible today

November 9 2010 ~ prayer and meditation opens me to a world of wisdom, working on solutions and not creating problems. I can pray and meditate for good rather than self interest. Prayer and meditation is something we all do informally when that inner voice is talking to us. When we pray or listen for answers we connect to god or simply good conscience today...

Are You Willing?

A daunting prospect in the extreme for anyone: in a haze from alcoholism or addiction to be willing to consider giving up what seems to make life possible. Even when we have experienced so much devastation to our emotional and physical health, we cannot see what sobriety can be, we have lost touch with reality. Or simply the reality of addiction has distorted our ability to cope with reality.

From the pages of AA Chapter five:

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.”

Broken down humans are not particularly capable of grasping anything simple, like the idea stop drinking and go to meetings, because the cravings of addiction simply make us want what we cannot do without, “a fix.”

Zealots [People with a hard core message and no compassion]

It is true, that we rarely see a person fail if they thoroughly follow the simple instructions for sobriety. BUT with recovery I have often found the best way to encourage a person to be open, honest and willing to change is to share experience strength and hope and not to tell them what to do. If I had been told what to do, I would have done the opposite.

Attraction Not Promotion

Attraction is sharing and being open, honest and willing, so a newcomer is listening to what has worked for others and not a barrage of “truisms.”

Promotion is like the medicine man with his snake oil. An elixir to cure all maladies we may encounter. And I know in sobriety, recovery is today and just for today, contingent on my ability to deal with life today, contingent on my mood and spiritual outlook. Simply reality and always reality is the gift we get sober.

Just because you are sober, you don’t have the right to tell me what to do, but if you share experience strength and hope with me, I may be able to listen.

Willing To Go To Any Lengths?

On my first day sober, was I willing to go to any lengths when I was asked by a potential sponsor? The answer was an emphatic yes, I said yes out loud, and in my head I waited for him to say more and then work out if he was a zealot on a mission, or an ordinary bloke who wanted to help. I was ready to bolt and head for the pub if he mentioned god or anything like it.

Keep Coming Back

Were his words, and see if anything catches your attention and if it seems confusing, ask me about it. He said it is a programme of attraction, not promotion, and he could not tell me anything, or I would get drunk. He was right, drunk and death seemed a better prospect.

I did keep coming back, I did feel like drinking for a while, I did listen, and ask him for help when I could not understand. And when anyone mentioned anything I might not agree with, he simply said, be yourself and learn what works for you. He is dead, from natural causes, but he was right, attraction not promotion...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "STEPPING INTO THE SUNLIGHT" But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 10 sometimes I think I don’t have time for prayer and meditation, forgetting that I always found the time to drink. It is possible to make time for anything I want to do if I want it badly enough. When I start the routine of prayer and meditation, it’s a good idea to plan to devote a small amount of time to it. I read a page from our Fellowship’s books in the morning, and say “Thank You, God,” when I go to bed at night. As prayer becomes a habit, I will increase the time spent on it, without even noticing the foray it makes into my busy day. If I have trouble praying, I just repeat the Lord’s Prayer because it really covers everything. Then I think of what I can be grateful for and say a word of thanks.

I don’t need to shut myself in a closet to pray. It can be done even in a room full of people. I just remove myself mentally for an instant. As the practice of prayer continues, I will find I don’t need words, for God can, and does, hear my thoughts through silence."

November 8 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Good news, we humans are always full of feelings about life and thinking about life. Our feelings about our situation influence how we think and we ponder, reflect and meditate naturally all day long. We can be processing a thousand reflections and be happily getting nowhere. Or consider one reflection and take it somewhere. Sober and free to consider our choices today…

Prayer and meditation, for the believer, the agnostic and the atheist is an automatic process. Whatever we call it, we have an inner voice which speaks to us. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes so fast we cannot keep up, and sometimes so slow we cannot bear it. So maybe it is a good idea to practice what is certainly a never ending story, “what are we going to do now?!”

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 8 2010 ~ an individual adventure in living a unique and authentic life with prayer and meditation? Yes is the answer for me, I can pray and meditate to be right sized in my emotional and spiritual balance. Feelings based on my current situation, spiritual in my ability to cope with real life today and just for today...

November 8 2010 ~ how we are feeling today is dependent on how life is today if we are living in the moment. Old experiences can make us push feelings aside or revel in them and we can swing to extremes very easily. Our thinking and memories can hinder our spiritual progress to experiencing real life right sized today...

Over Thinking – Under Feeling

How to live and emotional and spiritual programme, there is only way, and that is your way. The good news is we find our balance in living as we progress in our spiritual and emotional outlooks by experiencing life as it is, real life today and find how we can be included, have freedom of choices and feel open to be loved, love people and useful.

Over thinking makes for elaborate tortures where we try fit everything and control everything, especially how we feel about things. It can be ruinous to our emotional and spiritual balance on a daily basis. Indeed every time we start a sentence with “I think,” we are skipping over the obvious. We have already felt something about our situation, because our thoughtful response has already been impacted by our mood and our emotional balance.

Under feeling is a reaction to our life experiences which can shape our general outlook. The world is a good place, the world is against me. We push away emotions which do not fit with our mood or suppress emotions which we do not wish to share because we might feel vulnerable if we did share them.

“I think…” I should, we should, and you should
“I feel…” good or bad, happy or sad, great that you asked me

Assertive “How am I feeling?” [Mood] “why?” and “what can I do?”

Empathy “How are we feeling? [Mood] “why?” and “what can we do?”

I have discussed with many professionals what happens in our day to day activities, what comes first, feelings or thinking. The answer is heavily biased to feelings come first, our mood and emotions are always with us and we can ask ourselves the obvious question, “how am I feeling now” before we start the thinking process.

Automatic Thinking!

Once we have found the answer to life we can be very dogmatic and difficult to change. Automatic thinking is based on being right, and not taking account of the rest of the world and what the world is doing. We can be very irritable with people, places and things which do not fit our automatic thinking. That we have the answer and you do not. Caution always comes to the fore when we become emphatic and unreasonable in our outlook based on our ability to be right.

Emotional Flexibility

If we can understand our mood and feelings in the moment, then our thinking can be very helpful. We find ways to express our feelings and our thoughts adjust to fit our current experience.
The ability to cope with life is contingent on our spiritual condition, our feelings and our responses to what is going on.
Of course I may be completely wrong, simply the evidence of life will teach me where the truth is today.


AA Daily Reflections ~ "AN INDIVIDUAL ADVENTURE" Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 101

My spiritual growth is with God as I understand Him. With Him I find my true inner self. Daily meditation and prayer strengthen and renew my source of well-being. I receive then the openness to accept all that He has to offer. With God I have the reassurance that my journey will be as He wants for me, and for that I am grateful to have God in my life."

November 7 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

I have learned that sobriety is a one day programme, I wake up and start sober and need remind myself of step one, two and three. Powerless over alcohol, people, places and things today or life becomes unmanageable. A return to old ways is insanity, and help is always on hand to keep well. Letting go and not knowing the answers opens me up to asking for help.

Spiritual living has been described as “the ability cope with reality.” Good, bad and indifferent, life experience drunk or sober is always a spiritual journey. The quality of my spiritual experience is always contingent on me being open honest and willing. Learning the truth of now and with humility asking for help is key.

Living the truth of now is my spiritual foundation. Sharing experience strength and hope is a two way street. Truth is always evolving as we human beings evolve and make progress. If people in the world do not know my truth, all of it, they are disabled by me and fear of being found out as less than perfect. I prefer open, honest and willing so I can get the help I need today

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 7 2010 ~ guilt and shame nearly killed me back then in addiction to alcohol. I refused to believe I was ill and had a malady that I could stop my drinking through self-will and willpower. When I realised I could not stop self-harm and harming others, I asked for help. Humility saved my life and made possible recovery one day at a time...

November 7 2010 ~ good conscience, I feel we all have a conscience. Once I realised I needed help I let go self-obsession and self-harm. I can let go and let good happen with help today, and just for today, I have this choice. I have learned to let go self-will and self-harm in recovery. I do not fear the word god; god is truth love and wisdom for me today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "LET GO AND LET GOD" praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96

When I “Let Go and Let God,” I think more clearly and wisely. Without having to think about it, I quickly let go of things that cause me immediate pain and discomfort. Because I find it hard to let go of the kind of worrisome thoughts and attitudes that cause me immense anguish, all I need do during those times is allow God, as I understand Him, to release them for me, and then and there, I let go of the thoughts, memories and attitudes that are troubling me.
When I receive help from God, as I understand Him, I can live my life one day at a time and handle whatever challenges that come my way. Only then can I live a life of victory over alcohol, in comfortable sobriety."

November 6 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Elemental living helps me accept that life is difficult always and if I accept life is difficult, I need often ask for help to improve my conscious contact with reality today. I need to look beyond my opinions and beliefs to find the truth of now. I keep learning how to love and be loved back without conditions. And I need experience to develop wisdom, and hear your wisdom of life too. Truth, love and wisdom, all elements improving my freedom and choices today…

“Going with the flow.” For me it feels like waking up and saying out loud, “hello world what’s new?” Of course there is no answer I can see or hear. And at the same time my inner voice answers, “routines, I am sober, wash, coffee, check my blood sugars, insulin and a morning reflection on life.”

Great chair yesterday, included waking up from drinking and using dreams. Rare yet vivid dreams where we are drinking and the horror still thick as we wake. And then breaking through into reality and the relief the experience; simply a dream. The shock “OMG” moment, “was that real?” And then we share about the dream. Expression is key to letting go and letting out a tormenting reminder and freedom and relief of sober reality.

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 6 2010 ~ if I could keep a positive outlook all the time, I certainly would be joyful and happy. Life is full of up and down moments which are beyond my control. When I can feel my emotions as they are and in the moment of what is happening, feelings tend to be "right sized." I don't need to pretend anymore, I feel life as it is, not as I might wish today...

November 6 2010 ~ going with the flow is much easier for me now. No longer tortured by addiction, each day I can wake up with a clearer perspective, reflect that I am part of life, included as I may be and as my life is developing day by day. Prayer and meditation keep me balanced, able to cope as life changes every moment. Hopefully no catastrophes today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "GOING WITH THE FLOW Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him… TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96

The first words I speak when arising in the morning are, “I arise, O God, to do Thy will.” This is the shortest prayer I know and it is deeply ingrained in me. Prayer doesn’t change God’s attitude toward me; it changes my attitude toward God. As distinguished from prayer, meditation is a quiet time, without words. To be centred is to be physically relaxed, emotionally calm, mentally focused and spiritually aware. One way to keep the channel open and to improve my conscious contact with God is to maintain a grateful attitude. On the days when I am grateful, good things seem to happen in my life. The instant I start cursing things in my life, however, the flow of good stops. God did not interrupt the flow; my own negativity did."

November 5 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Reflection and meditation… when there is no answer, I need look outwards for another question. It is not so much about right and wrong, it is about what will be the solution, just for today…

Life… to love, be loved and useful. Natural living where our instincts and conscience find balance: when we feel at one with ourselves and our surroundings, all our senses alert and tuned into now. There is peace in not knowing what happens next, and open and willing, and as our universe speaks, I may listen today…

Serenity: today in not knowing the answers. Fear craves certainty, faith waits with patience as each question comes so will the answers. And when there is no answer, all I need do is ask another question, and then find what works for today…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 5 2010 ~ faith is... the ability to cope and experience peace of mind. My faith in living improves each day in recovery when I face reality. And faith is living life, not being afraid of joy, and not being afraid of sadness. An emotional and spiritual journey of recovery and discovery made possible one day at a time...

November 5 2010 ~ “grant me my wishes” or “live life as it can be today.” Faith grows when we can live to good conscience and be realistic today. Real, open honest and willing to learn, we need not be looking over our shoulder to see if we might be found out, shame and guilt fade as we laugh and learn, learning we are human today...

Step Eleven "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” there are hundreds of specific types of meditation. The word, 'meditation,' means many things dependent upon the context of its use. People practice meditation for many reasons, within the context of their social environment.

Meditation is a component of many religions, and has been practiced since antiquity, and the in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous the same is true. As there are as many people in the fellowship, we all practice some form, formal or informal of meditation and prayer.

In my experience we all pray and meditate, to what end, and whether we know it or not, we have our conscience talking to us all the time. That inner voice which is serene or chatting at a thousand thoughts a second or somewhere in between, something is going on in our heads.

My meditations and prayer – I can only speak for myself on this step

For me, meditation and prayer are about how to love, be loved and useful. And how to cherish people, and life in general, looking at the big picture of life as it is, real life right now. And what I can do and cannot do today. Useful in my world is being useful to me and others in the communities where I live. Being able to love others as they are right now, and not some idea or fantasy and let them be themselves. To love myself was often very hard, because I always felt I ought to improve me and my situation to an ideal I could never define. So to love myself is to take an interest in living and enjoy the good and look to help when life is difficult for me and those I love.

We have an inner voice, which can tell us life is good and we are part of our communities. Or the inner voice may reflect our anger and resentments and the unfairness of life today. Or somewhere in the middle I find most days.

The most effective prayer for me any day at any time is the serenity prayer:

To God or and Good Conscience:

“Grant me the Serenity
to Accept the things I cannot Change
Courage to Change the things I can
And Wisdom to know the Difference”

AA Daily Reflections ~ "THE QUALITY OF FAITH” This ... has to do with the quality of faith… In no deep or meaningful sense had we ever taken stock of ourselves. . . . We had not even prayed rightly. We had always said, “Grant me my wishes” instead of “Thy will be done.” TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p.32
God does not grant me material possessions, take away my suffering, or spare me from disasters, but He does give me a good life, the ability to cope, and peace of mind. My prayers are simple: first, they express my gratitude for the good things in my life, regardless of how hard I have to search for them; and second, I ask only for the strength and the wisdom to do His will. He answers with solutions to my problems, sustaining my ability to live through daily frustrations with a serenity I did not believe existed, and with the strength to practice the principles of A.A. in all of my everyday affairs."

November 4 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Everything happens in sobriety: births, marriages and deaths, careers, redundancy, money, no money, belief in something and belief in nothing. Usually needs met and wants forgotten. Sober, anything can happen, and in recovery we live life, in the malady we are the living dead…

Appraise, pray and meditate. All part of what we do, we feel a certain way about our situation and then we think about what to do. Fear of being open honest and willing, will lead to fearful outcomes, faith and being open honest and willing, more likely to lead to better outcomes, inclusion and happiness…

Our inner voice speaks to us all day long, working out how we feel, how our situation is, and what are we to do. Some suggest it is our conscience. If it is, life seems to work when we take account of the big picture and how fit, but when self-interest rules our outlook, expectations can cause resentments. When we set our expectations to zero, life is full of surprises and beyond those wildest dreams…

Issues of later sobriety meeting last night: The principle share made clear how important it is to share truth, be open and let people know our situation day by day. Secrets keep us stuck. Faith helps us let go shame and guilt, fear keeps us in the dark. Fear the problem, faith the solution always today…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 4 2010 ~ in fellowship meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, what you see is what you get. Attraction to experience strength and hope, wisdom shared, truth shared about recovery today. We don't promote or over promise, we cannot or we fall into delusions and fantasy. Open, honest willing to share life as it is, not as we might imagine today...

November 4 2010 ~ over time I have come to understand the usefulness of prayer and meditation. Asking in good conscience through prayer and meditation helps me to see the big picture of life and the choices open to me are realistic today. Focus and clarity comes through reflection and asking for help where I may find it moment by imperfectly perfect moment...

Higher Power In Fellowship – A personal view because we all have one and it is right for each of us

I belong in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Sober today and likely to get to bed without a drink. I went to a meeting and there were many people there, from a few days sober, to decades sober. We share experience strength and hope with each other. At the beginning of the meeting, just this meeting, we say our name and how long we have been sober. My first time at this meeting I was just a few days sober and now it has become years. Still I listen with care to newcomers, those still feeling the horrors of drink and where it took them.

Although we have different amounts of time sober I am always struck by the equality we have in sobriety. After all we live in this one day, in the present moment. At the same time, the years, decades or simply our first day sober, we have something to share about life, our feelings and our path of living.

Fifty people in a room, fifty days of experience sober plus all the experiences of the years alive either drinking or not drinking, we share what is important to us. What is making life work and what is making life difficult. So fifty people, adding up their sobriety wisdom turns out to be not just fifty days of today, it is fifty people times their days weeks and years of sober life. And in an hour we have hundreds of years of sobriety to draw upon if we ask for help; there is probably someone who can help.

Is there higher power than me in my life today? Of course always the sum of our wisdom in fellowship exceeds that which resides in one person. It may seem obvious, and yet we can forget that the man or woman who walks into the meeting has first-hand knowledge of what we do not wish back in our lives. And we can share what sober life is about, just for today.

A power greater than us will not make life easier, it often means we need work harder at our living and learn and change as life changes. The good news is we have the tool kit today:
Meetings, suggestions and principles to live well and have a bigger life than we could have imagined and we all work hard, even when we think we do not.

Our higher power is experience strength and hope, learning and developing our emotional range, understanding our spiritual life is contingent on our sobriety, and that spiritual is our ability to cope with real life as it is today, good or bad, easy or difficult.

Truth, love and wisdom are elemental for us humans I feel. Finding out the truth often needs to be checked out because we are all good at selecting what we feel is right and ignoring the obvious everyone else may see. Love is something we learn about every day is so many ways. And wisdom is forever changing. Ghandi suggested that God is truth, love and wisdom. I hope I keep learning truth, more about love and with humility knowing that my wisdom is just as far as I have understood today.

Humility is my connection to the higher power, whatever the higher power may be so I may keep on learning and live life today. Sober it is infinitely better, I am part of life rather than judging it, and making the choices open to me with a free spirit and more open mind as life affords…

AA Daily Reflections ~ "A DAILY DISCIPLINE NOVEMBER 4 when they [self-examination, meditation and prayer] are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 98

The last three Steps of the program invoke God’s loving discipline upon my wilful nature. If I devote just a few moments every night to a review of the highlights of my day, along with an acknowledgment of those aspects that didn’t please me so much, I gain a personal history of myself, one that is essential to my growth, or lack of it, and to ask in prayerful meditation to be relieved of those continuing shortcomings that cause me pain. Meditation and prayer also teach me the art of focusing and listening. I find that the turmoil of the day gets tuned out as I pray for His will and guidance. The practice of asking Him to help me in my strivings for perfection puts a new slant on the tedium of any day, because I know there is honour in any job done well. The daily discipline of prayer and meditation will keep me in fit spiritual condition, able to face whatever the day brings – without the thought of a drink."

November 3 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

A wonderful morning, being part of a solution and part of a process, courage and faith, able to be a friend and be there for another human is as good as gets. To love be loved and useful today…

Listening and meditation: or listening and reflecting on the big picture of what is happening around me. I can see my part in life, from starting over and learning everything anew. And then asking for help to find my path, with humility to learn I do not bow and scrape, simply asking for help, clarity and seeing what I can and cannot do. As I put in the action and practice, make mistakes, make progress and listen and learn, life runs more smoothly today...

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 3 2010 ~ in another time I was trained to observe and listen, to evaluate and make judgments based on evidence. In the past life became so distorted I could hear nothing but the rush to oblivion drink provided. Today I can review, reflect and be more aware of how I am feeling, why and what to do. No longer alone, I can listen to wisdom today...

November 3 2010 ~ yes, yes, I hear what you say... And in my mind I am shouting just shut the **** up. Because the chatter in my head is bad enough without your advice! I need a meeting, to listen and calm down. Sometimes we shut out everything when the pressure is on and simply a meeting in fellowship can quiet fear, I can share and start again...

Today I am feeling pretty good spiritually; I am more in the moment, more able to live now. And although I may be suffering quite a lot of pain physically, I feel good enough for now. Why? Today I am not alone even in solitude…

Breaking the patterns of the past is not easy, some things we have learned to do to the point we do not know we are doing the. We have rituals and all sorts going on. From lucky charms, to warnings in rhymes, we can be very superstitious creatures.

In recovery we learn that sober we can face most of what happens, we have nothing to fear often, except the fear of fear. We don’t know what we fear but that feeling creeps in somewhere. And then we can have a committee in our heads chattering all sorts. We don’t deserve what is happening, we do deserve better and when this happens we are not in the present, we are either recollecting old times, or and fantasising about future times.

Maintenance Steps – living life sober one day at a time

Step ten, eleven and twelve, described by many as the maintenance steps keep us on a sober outlook just for a day. Step ten to see where we are disturbed in our daily living, and is often counterbalanced by our daily gratitude list. Step eleven is all about reflection and meditation and prayer as we practice as individuals. And our spiritual wellbeing is contingent on our attitudes and behaviour on a daily basis as we put the steps into our daily living.

Is it difficult to get sober? Some find it easy, I found it difficult. Is it easy to keep sober? Some find it easy, I find it a daily challenge which I can relish and love, or find horrible and hate as life happens.

So much easier sober today, I forget alcohol, but when I do have recollections I am always firmly glued to the present where life will work as well as it can and not the horror of back then in addiction.

AA Daily Reflections ~ "FOCUSING AND LISTENING" NOVEMBER 3 There is a direct linkage among self – examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Page 98

If I do my self – examination first, then surely, I’ll have enough humility to pray and meditate – because I’ll see and feel my need for them. Some wish to begin and end with prayer, leaving the self – examination and meditation to take place in between, whereas others start with meditation, listening for advice from God about their still hidden or unacknowledged defects. Still others engage in written and verbal work on their defects, ending with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. These three – self – examination, meditation and prayer – form a circle, without a beginning or an end. No matter where, or how, I start, I eventually arrive at my destination: a better life."

November 2 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Where did the fear start? No safe place, home felt uneasy unpredictable. A wrench in my gut and an argument ensued. Me: hiding from the anger which came with the drink. For decades, unresolved feelings pushed away and far down inside. Faith listens today, fear may rise, but I am no longer crippled and hiding in the dark…

Principles of: “truth, love and wisdom.” The truth of now: how to love be loved back; and then wisdom from everyone around me, all happening in the moment of now. Now this is the higher power working in reality and being able to cope with all my feelings as life happens…

Back in the day, events would happen; I would be uneasy and not sure. Always felt like my feelings were playing catch up. I would walk away numb, and then feel extremes of emotion and drink to stop reality impinging on my world. From fear and fantasy: to faith in reality, spiritual progress just for today…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 2 2010 ~ "I can't believe it’s happening to me!" A good start to my day, with connection to fellowship already made. A friend calls and my spirits lift. I may not feel a hundred per cent, far from it just now, but I am connected and a part of something bigger than me, life as it is and choices to make. A ray of happiness sparks me up today...

November 2 2010 ~ Optimism with faith and courage... even when we face the darkest of days, when life is bleak, we can find faith and courage in making the best choices open to us. Faith and courage often comes from others we can turn to, friends, family and fellowship. Life is always spiritual and now in the present moment...

Real optimism is when we know the next steps and choices open to us. Often in a moment of anxiety we can freeze and have an “I can’t believe it moment” which is a shock to the system in a good or fearful way. Good shocks to the system can be as paralyzing as bad shocks to the system!

We can find the next steps and path as long as we can keep a hold on reality and what is happening. We learn how to do this every day, or we are prone to get stuck in old feelings and thinking.

When something good happens after a long period of ordinary life which may feel like drudgery, we are not sure what to do. In the olden days for me, I would celebrate with a drink, these days more likely a cup of coffee, a chat with a friend and try keep my feet on the ground rather than imagine happy times are here to stay. I do not invest time in speculating beyond the present, I need keep a weather eye to possibilities and how they might happen, if I put the action into the next step.

When a bad event happens, I also need get myself back to reality after a nasty shock. And sometimes that can be very difficult if a major change has happened.

Powerless over people, places and things is all about step one of the recovery steps for me in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. If I were to try manage other elements besides me, I always know these days the result is unmanageability, I can manage choices I have based of real life, not on a life I might imagine or wish for.

Courage and Faith

All about optimism and being realistic too, with courage and faith we can see a way forward to good outcomes. This does not mean we limit ourselves, this means we can see a way forward. And often we consult those who can help and those we trust, whoever they may be.

Prayer and Meditation Daily – Step Eleven in Alcoholics Anonymous

Good Conscience – Higher Power - God - Suggestions from another source

“Step Eleven is all about communication with your Higher Power. Many refer to prayer as talking to God, and meditation as listening. Both are required for a strong relationship. Read all you can from outside sources about prayer and meditation. Experiment with it and find what works best with you.

Try to establish a daily routine for prayer and meditation. The best times are when you wake up and right before going to sleep. The book "Alcoholics Anonymous" gives instructions for what do to when you wake up and before going to sleep. Keep track of your progress by writing in a journal. There is lots of wiggle room to allow you to discover what works best for you.”

Spiritual is often described as the ability to cope with reality, what is going on in our lives just now. Prayer and meditation can help us focus and gain clarity on best choices open to us. We live now and need focus on now. Prayer and meditation helps us develop our best choices. The serenity prayer helps in every real life situation, what we can do and cannot do, and learning the wisdom to know the difference.

“To God” – and or in “Good Conscience”

“grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference”


AA Daily Reflections ~ "KEEPING OPTIMISM AFLOAT" the other Steps can keep most of us sober and somehow functioning. But Step Eleven can keep us growing. . . . THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 240

A sober alcoholic finds it much easier to be optimistic about life. Optimism is the natural result of me finding how to gradually be able to make the best, rather than the worst, of each situation. As my physical sobriety continues, I come out of the fog, gain a clearer perspective and am better able to determine what courses of action to take. As vital as physical sobriety is, I can achieve a greater potential for myself by developing an ever-increasing willingness to avail myself of the guidance and direction of a Higher Power. My ability to do so comes from my learning–and practicing–the principles of the A.A. program. The melding of my physical and spiritual sobriety produces the substance of a more positive life."

November 1 | AA 12 Steps In Action |

Asking for help was my real moment of clarity. I said to myself “it cannot get any worse and asking for help won’t do me any further harm and I am tired of hiding and my will power is done.” If god works through people, or conscience tells me I need ask for help, why not? Nothing I tried worked anymore…

Living on the edge is highly addictive with the high and low roller coaster chemical extremes, naturally manufactured or ingested. We are a chemistry set, with much more, often set to self-destruct in the pursuit of happiness...

Spiritual principles to live life "real" ~ "Forgiveness" "Acceptance" "Surrender" "Faith" "Open-mindedness" "Honesty" "Willingness" "Inventory" "Amends" "Humility" "Persistence" "Spiritual-Living" "Service"

"Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

"Tradition 11: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films. Al-Anon Addition: We need guard with special care the anonymity of all A.A. members.
When discussing their personal recovery with the media, members who are identified by their full names -- such as the case of those who are already well known in the media -- they should not also identify the specific name of their 12 step recovery group.
If members wish to discuss the benefits of membership in a specific 12 step group, such as Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous, they then should not identify themselves except by first name only.


Many recovering members have the attitude "When I was drinking, everybody knew I was the town drunk, why should I hide my identity now that I am recovering?"

The answer is, for the good of the fellowship. The example is given of a famous athlete or television personality -- a role model for youth -- who gets into recovery and announces to the entire world that A.A. has saved his life. What happens if that person relapses? The kids say, "Well, so much for A.A.!"

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religion or a church.

Steer clear of A.A.’s who try to con you into believing in their understanding or name of God as being "right". They are at variance with the steps and traditions of A.A. However, it is quite proper to lend ones own conception of the Spirit to another member until they are comfortable with their own conception—which could be the same one, still.

A.A. has no formula or dogma about God that you must or should accept. (Although careful reading of the Big Book and the 12 & 12 do offer some pre-conceived notions that you may or may not adopt. Some of these are that God is one, all-powerful, universally present, forgiving and loving.)

It is quite acceptable to use the A.A. Group as a Higher Power for a while, or to borrow an understanding from another A.A. member or a church. But, eventually the Spirit you come to have conscious contact with will be that which is manifest to you personally.

You may or may not "understand" your God. The extent to which you have a mental grasp of the name or nature of God is not what is being talked about. " Understanding" refers to the choosing, not the knowing.

The point of the phrase is that the name and nature of the Higher Power you came to seek in Step 2 are yours and yours alone. Your Spirit will be revealed to you as you come nearer to your Spirit.

The method of prayer & meditation: We often hear it said in meetings that the speaker "hits his knees every morning." Not being brought up Catholic or Muslim, we envisioned that slapping of the knees might be spiritually significant in A.A. When we discovered that the act of prayer was being referred to, we asked why A.A. tells us to get on our knees to pray. We were informed that A.A. makes no such suggestion. In fact, reference to praying on the knees, in the original draft of Step 7, was explicitly removed to prevent the misconception that such a practice was suggested. Moreover, to be on one’s knees as a prior condition to prayer will prevent prayer at many opportunities during the day. If you or your sponsor think that you should be on your knees for correct prayer, then by all means do so. It might just be the best way to pray.


"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. The A.A. Steps & Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in love." ~ "We find it amazing that the newcomer can start the A.A. program without any specific beliefs or, for that matter, without any beliefs whatsoever. All a person needs is the open-mindedness and the willingness to believe that WE BELIEVE this program works..."

DonInLondon 2005-2010

November 1 2010 ~ November and step eleven, prayer and meditation. I am free today to make choices based on the reality of now. Prayer is not wishing for something impossible, prayer is hope based on the possible and practical. Meditation is listening... what is your meditation today?

November 1 2010 ~ We cannot change the wind? Some elements are beyond our powers to change, indeed for me I am happy to be powerless over people, places and things. At last I see more clearly what I can do today and cannot do today. Freedom of choice and my consequences delivered as life is and as I learn who I am today...

AA Daily Reflections ~ "I CANNOT CHANGE THE WIND" NOVEMBER 1 It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85

My first sponsor told me there were two things to say about prayer and meditation: first, I had to start and second, I had to continue. When I came to A.A. my spiritual life was bankrupt; if I considered God at all, He was to be called upon only when my self-will was incapable of a task or when overwhelming fears had eroded my ego. Today I am grateful for a new life, one in which my prayers are those of thanksgiving. My prayer time is more for listening than for talking. I know today that if I cannot change the wind, I can adjust my sail. I know the difference between superstition and spirituality. I know there is a graceful way of being right, and many ways to be wrong."