October 13 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "from unremitting inventories to natural inventory taking…" And when we first start taking spot check inventories, because we haven't done it before in a formal way, there is some effort required. A move away from old ways of reacting to new ways of responding. From a step six outlook with defects, to a step seven outlook working on our shortcomings, courage, faith and confidence growing day by day…
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Decades back, working in distribution, a customer returned an electric kettle to my store saying it was broken and faulty. I could see at a glance that I had never sold that type of electric kettle in my life. With truth on my side, I refused to replace it. I don't know how we did it back then, but he was so horrible and obnoxiousness in the end I would have given him 1000 kettles just to go away as anger and resentment in me approached murderous levels. It was the first time I realised the difference about do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy? For the sake of my sanity and every member of staff who were poisoned by him and his phenomenal abilities to anger people, I learned that sanity was preferable to war and walking away was indeed the best thing to do…
How does this spot check inventory work? It is always about me and my behaviour, and not about other people and their behaviour. If I behave in a way which upsets other people, and my behaviour seems perfectly reasonable to me, if I continue I need to be truly aware of my impact on other people. I may be behaving perfectly well according to my background, culture and community, a very western oriented liberal democratic way, at the same time there are many from different backgrounds and if I am in their space I need take account of their outlooks. It is a matter of respect and not judgement. How it works in my head? Acceptance of life on life's terms, my actions as they are seen and not my intentions are often what counts today… To an extent "when in Rome, do what the Romans do…"
Unremitting inventories are not about unremitting righteousness! The twelve steps and twelve traditions are principles which enable us to understand our impact in the moment of the experience we are having. Beyond the twelve steps and twelve traditions, each person has many opinions and beliefs. In fellowship we work together to help everyone with a desire to stop drinking so recovery can work for them, not to my pattern of living, to their own pattern of living. Working together in fellowship has taught me humility and it's not about my way or the highway. Life and people are diverse, the world is becoming closer and often more conflicted rather than finding common ground. When there are breakdowns and conflicts arise most often step six plays a part, and when consensus is reached, the influence of step seven becomes more apparent as we find peacefulness with courage to change, faith in collaboration and growing confidence that respect and diversity works when we work at it daily…
The twelve steps and twelve traditions provide me with the foundations of living so I have the ability to make better choices on a daily basis and see a vision of the future. Daily, I have my feet on the ground and deal with life on life's terms. At the same time with my feet on the ground, I can dream, not impossible dreams, simply possible dreams and outcomes. Firmly rooted in living to the best each day with a vision of where I may go in the future can be very helpful. I need at the same time to be realistic about future possibilities and knowing the steps to get there. If I have no clue about next steps to my possible future, with all the humility I can muster I need ask for help from the right people, in the right places working and doing the right things which will help me today…
"God does not work in mysterious ways in my experience. God works through people most often when I find out who those people are today…" And this is in reference to letting go and letting God, letting go my ideas is the first step, and letting God is being in contact with the rest of humanity and especially people who might have a clue about what I might do to realise and cover my needs today and maybe a weather eye to the future. Letting go of my ideas, means I have room to let in new ideas about the next steps in my day-to-day and possible future. Letting go and letting God, is not handing something over to an invisible entity who mysteriously makes the world work in the right way for one person. Letting go, networking and searching and asking and learning may seem like hard work at first, very frustrating and irritating and then like anything else, naturally with humility we start to learn what life can be as we go along in the moment of now, good, bad and ugly sometimes in the moment of now…
Spot check inventories are fun, and completely empowering. I can say yes to the right actions and an emphatic no to actions trying to control people, places and things, and a really emphatic no to people trying to control me in the moment of now! Happy to bugger off and mind my own business today...
Steps 6 & 7, a six type day, easy to live in fear, wear a brave face and ego “the fig leaf” covering our shame and guilt? Or; a step seven day, where I find courage faith, and develop my confidence, feel the fear and do it anyway? At sixes and sevens? Always we find balance contingent on the day we ask for help and accept we can change today…
October 13 2010 ~ ego, fear and pride, just a moment away... back then in the thrall of alcohol, my ego was brittle, ready to break, fear a constant companion and pride made me put on a brave face. One day at a time in recovery we live, develop our courage and faith, feel more confident, we have fellowship and we need never be alone again...
October 13 2010 ~ poor me, pour me a drink... is that how it used to be? Until I realised I drank because I could not stop, my world was full of resentment and anger at myself and allowed me to feel the world was against me and did not care. No alcohol today, whatever I feel it is usually real and I have choices, life is what it is...
I feel good and go to a meeting, I feel bad and I go to a meeting, I don’t know how I feel and I go to a meeting. Meetings of my fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous, where I have learned how to be sober one day at a time. Why is it “my” fellowship rather than “the” fellowship? It is mine because I am part of it, included, have freedom to be me within it and have choices in how to live today.
When I first heard that AA could help me stop drinking, I did not go and find out. I would have had to admit I was an alcoholic, an addict to alcohol that I could not stop drinking and I was on the floor at rock bottom in my life.
It took me years to recognise my will power had failed, that life was unmanageable from the park bench where I resided. That numerous trips to hospital and numerous accidents along the way to the park bench had just been bad luck and it was beyond my control. A Catholic priest came to give me the “last rights” when I was in hospital in intensive care. And I suggested to him to, “fuck off” because I was not a Catholic and he said “right now, don’t be so fussy.” I survived yet again still I clung to my life situation being simply my bad luck.
And every excuse to everyone, I can get better and I can sort myself out. I promised myself, and promised tomorrow I will quit. Tomorrow was far distant enough to make a drink seem right today.
When I was wounded and left alone, alone and lost, no way out I could not save myself, and no one person could help me back on to my feet, I felt it could get no worse. Every day was the same, wake up, drink, feel ill, wretch with every sip, seek oblivion and never want to wake up again. But I did keep waking up. That moment of clarity, “it cannot get any worse, I am still here and I cannot do this alone.”
Admit I am an alcoholic; I did as the years rolled on. Admitting was the first breakthrough in a long time. I cannot do this alone. And then the real job began.
I went to rehab, three months clean, rage boiled, and nothing was working to take the edge off my horrible life. Then relapse, homeless and then another moment with bottle in hand, my life held in the balance by a bottle. I took the first slug, and knew in that moment, another would be another and another. I poured it away. And I said to myself, I will for the first time give it a go one day at a time and see if I can make it.
I let go ego, and shared my fears, let go my brave face and owned up to what I was, and who I am today. In recovery one day at a time and what keeps me ticking along as life is difficult, not just for me but for everyone, is my fellowship Alcoholics Anonymous.
No rules, no conformity, no fees or dues, simply sharing experience strength and hope. Suggested steps, to be open, honest and willing to learn life daily and develop wisdom. To be a part of a fellowship and help; with the principals of unity and service, to help others keep in recovery, a day at a time…
I cannot change the past; I can live in the present and keep learning what my choices are today. Choices today, in the moment as life is and not as it was, nor a future fantasy without foundation.
Here we all are, in the ever present moment, imperfectly perfect experiencing life as may be, all a part of providence and nature… today.
AA Daily Reflections ~ "UNREMITTING INVENTORIES Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Alcoholics Anonymous Page 84
The immediate admission of wrong thoughts or actions is a tough task for most human beings, but for recovering alcoholics like me it is difficult because of my propensity toward ego, fear and pride. The freedom the A.A. program offers me becomes more abundant when, through unremitting inventories of myself, I admit, acknowledge and accept responsibility for my wrong - doing. It is possible then for me to grow into a deeper and better understanding of humility. My willingness to admit when the fault is mine facilitates the progression of my growth and helps me to become more understanding and helpful to others."
October 13 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Judge Not - only me maybe
I do judge me and have standards, and often I find my judgement is out of kilter with reality. Yet reality is always there and I need understand living more and judging anything less with a prejudice which is unfair.
Strange word and often can mean so many things in different contexts. If I had been given a profile of me as I am now, and asked twenty years ago a simple question, would I want to know that person? I would find it hard to say yes. Labels hurt us all to easily I realise now.
So having sussed myself out as unacceptable to me if I were judging with the eyes of me back then twenty years back, I realise today may outlook has changed as wisdom comes with experience. It’s only now in hindsight that I realise I would not want to be the way I was twenty years ago again! So it’s a two way street for ourselves as much as anything.
Seems a better path for me these days. Indeed have judgments about what is right for me, as to anyone else, really the Zen or Buddhist way is to let people find out for themselves what works for them. After all we are diverse and different.
At the same time the similarities in human kind are so similar, if we have the same experiences we often can be categorised as we humans are apt to do.
Time is short so I will add more later if time permits
13th October 2006 [all about last year]
[email to me] Hi Don,
You and AA. From what I read and my understanding, I would say it's something you are passionate about. I don't like the word obsessed. It sounds too selfish, and that’s not something I hear in your posts at all.
Spangled what a brilliant word. Much nicer than some terms I have had quoted at me in the past!
I think getting to know why we drank in the first place is the hardest step. For me it was really staring me in the face since my very early years. It's loneliness for me. That was with me from day 1 I 'm sure.
Even in a home with sisters, mum and dad I was always different and lonely. So now I have been able to identify the 'gap' and work hard to keep safe. It's sad that some people never get to understand whets missing. I'm still a long way off fully understanding, but I have hope every day.
And a higher power. That's something I never thought about.
But today I know there is something that has helped and watched over me.
I have to fill out some CBT forms today. My counsellor thinks they may help to 'unstick me'.
I'm always open to new ideas that may help. Then tonight I am going to see ,'The Devil Wears Prada' I will be wearing Primark
[from me] Hi there,
I just wrote a long reply but it’s the Friday 13th gremlins!
I agree with you passion for all things is being restored just a day at a time mind, and obsession is not me these days. At the same time I know my chemistry pretty well and the difference between a good and awful outlook is really chemistry with me.
I have done CBT and been involved from both ends, it works with the right issues and counsellor. I am a fan in the right context. And recently revisited it. It was by agreement that the Doctor/Counsellor and I ended the session as my insides had been thoroughly excised over the years and the action centred work has been on-going a long time. Which is why my passion for AA is strong. No matter where I go, just for an hour most days to learn about us humans. And as an hour a day is less time devoted to drinking by many, it’s truly a passion and not an obsession, although for the purpose of this message board it may seem so. My other passions come back as they will, as does the darkness.
There is balance to be found as time allows and mood enables. Accepting reality is quite the new vogue in me...
Spangled is another person's word I picked up along the way, so it’s not one of my own.
And talking to a friend this morning they felt my honesty and exposure here is more than they might feel comfortable doing. As my intention is honesty and helpfulness, it would seem unhelpful to share half the truth.
And as I am not facing prejudice here it feels ok. Prejudice exists all too near, and from quarters who may know better. It’s not my problem.
I feel it was right to be out in this message board, as one person has found it helpful. And so it has been worth it. How we find our way in life...
Better an open book than one never read. And life has extraordinary &magic; as we share truth.
I have been fixing new bits so the bike its festooned with lights in the dark. I am sad though as the cycling may have to stop as the hip is really playing up. Hopefully it’s a transition and not something more long lasting. The feet and pain from the diabetic neuropathy has been much better now I pace the distance, cycling takes the pressure off a lot which is why I have been keen. Acceptance though' in all matters, a day at a time leads to understanding of limits I may best observe.
Enjoy ‘The devil wears Pravda.’ I watched part of the film Dunkirk on the box yesterday, its futility and showing inevitable stupidity and loss of life cut deep in me. As does conflict in the world. I cannot escape those desolate moments it evokes, nor would I want to. I need be reminded of the reality of such things we contend with. It’s all part of living.
Balance is part of the key when my chemistry allows. And other elements. As to where I am today? I am aware where I am and accept today as is. Now that's progress good or bad as it is, today.
Have fun, it is allowed! And sometimes we forget it is..
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
Step 10 "Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. There's the spot-check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There's the one we take at day's end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due. Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.'s go in for annual or semi-annual house-cleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.”
October 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
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I do not speak for Alcoholics Anonymous I speak for myself. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of unique and authentic people who speak for themselves where they will to share experience, strength and hope about recovery on a daily basis. Anonymity affords sanctuary to find how to live sober and be open, honest and willing to learn life day by day. For me "truth," "love" and "wisdom" offer the best spiritual experience by living reality today. Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Traditions: steps to be open, honest and willing to learn, traditions to live unity, service and recovery.
Spiritual principles ~ Forgiveness Acceptance Surrender Faith Open-mindedness Honesty Willingness Moral-inventory Amends Humility Persistence Spiritual-growth Service
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