October 16 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "our daily book of life written in the moment and lived in the moment is worth a look to see what is working and what is not working…" In other words, looking at what we can do and why it works, and looking at what we cannot do and examples of why it did not work. The can do, but a personal choices. The cannot do usually based on forgetfulness and trying to rule the world…
Video For Today:
Always pushing the envelope? Trying to do more, enthusiastic and ambitious may not be realistic if we do not know the first step to take each day. Understanding my mood, the simple question: "how am I feeling right now," and then "why am I feeling like this?" And then the even more difficult question, "what do I need to do to keep the good mood if I have one, or what can help change the mood if it feels like a bad or ugly one?" When I know and understand my mood, the feelings I start with it makes it much easier to work out the why and then what to do questions...
Managing our time, making sure we know we need be aware of how we are feeling so we can then decide how much we can do today. Sometimes we are pushed into doing too much because we want to say yes and demonstrate our worthiness. Sometimes we are pushed into doing too much because we are good at something and sometimes we just get pushed around by other people because we don't know how to say no. Gandhi did suggest and this is paraphrased, "an emphatic no is better than a half-hearted yes" and it is how to say no which is so important. Indeed saying "no" can be far more important than saying yes and people need to hear it… Overwhelmed we are useless to everyone especially ourselves because we get hungry, angry lonely and tired…
When we add new tasks onto our to-do list, we might be best served to look at what we take off the to-do list so we have room to fulfil the obligations we accept. All too often the list of things to do gets bigger and bigger and we do not take notice that we have to stop some other activities. A never ending to-do list becomes overwhelming and fully consuming as a task in itself and often nothing is achieved. As we add a task onto our agenda, we must stop doing something else or there will be no time or room to complete anything. If we ignore our basic needs, enough food, enough peace, enough connection to others and enough sleep, not only do we put ourselves at risk, we risk everything with everyone… Easy to say and very difficult to do…
Spot check inventorying, anytime, anyplace and anywhere is key to knowing ourselves. How we are feeling in the moment of now, when life is happy, when life is sad, and when life is plain difficult. Feelings provoke our thinking; our thinking can be a liability or an asset. Steps six and seven at work just for today…
Spiritual experience morning meeting and we listen to the reading of the spiritual experience from the big book. My spiritual awakening happens every day, conscious contact with reality and is always of the educational variety. Coping with life as it is, learning to cherish everyone, even those who cannot cherish me. To love, be loved and useful. Emotional and spiritual progress from waking to sleep, gratitude is today…
Evening meeting, after nines at Eaton Sq. We put down the drink, and we feel life in the raw. Everything emerges from the past we can remember, from hard times and utter desolation to joyful reminiscences and tall tales. We learn how to emerge from insanity to sanity one day at a time…
October 16 2010 ~ continued to take personal inventory especially when life choices improve. When we realise that we are making progress, we need embrace our actions. We take risks and when we find success, checking out what has worked for us improves our life choices. We learn and gain knowledge, change and persevere. Being open, honest and willing, our higher power in action…
October 16 2010 ~ our daily reactions and behaviour... When I am disturbed, I need look at what I do, how I feel, why and what actions follow. A spot check on how life impacts on me helps me make the best choice on how I am impacting on people, places and things today. Choices and progress today improves my actions and outlooks.
We need be realistic in supporting our fellows in recovery. Often in a meeting, or other forms of media we can fall into the trap of suggesting people, places and things which can help another recovering alcoholic. All well and good if we know that a particular person, place or thing is ready, able and willing. And when we are asked directly to help another alcoholic in recovery, we stand a better chance of success in sharing experience strength and hope if the person asking is the person with the problem.
Often we hear great recovery from others, we like what they have to say and we might wish to know them better, as a friend, as a person we would like to get to know and even as a sponsor for the twelve step programme. It is a matter of chemistry, building trust, discovering the credentials another human has and their general demeanour.
Tradition 11 & 12 Attraction Not Promotion
Why were the founders of AA particularly cautious when stressing attraction rather than promotion?
In a very practical way, promoting sobriety, suggesting there is a formula for sobriety, selling sobriety with a guarantee is setting up the fellowship and setting up individuals to fail. Everything in the steps and traditions are suggestions, a way of living sober, where the individual alcoholic makes decisions on a daily basis to be sober.
What every alcoholic in recovery learns is we are attracted to people who show their sobriety in what they do and what they share about their experience strength and hope when asked.
Recovery fellowship works when we share how life is today, sober with choices, from newcomer to old timer, from drunken sharing to long term dry drunks commonly known as bleeding deacons. We see how it works in meetings of fellowship, and then we see how it may work in our own personal lives.
Attraction is what we see and can find connection to and believe is real, promotion of a concept or idea of recovery is not so helpful. “If you want what we have [sobriety]” “and are willing to take action, work at sober life one day at a time…”
“Rarely have I seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our steps” Many people read this as a guarantee. And many people forget the thoroughness required in the suggestions, the utterly defeating pain as life progresses slowly in early days and many fall, and trip and eventually find their way with support and doggedness.
No gurus and no superior methods, keep it simple, work hard and know this is a life threatening situation if we pick up a drink. And when we get to fellowship nothing is working as we might wish, so we need stress we need never drink or drug again if we put in the action.
No cure, simply one day sobriety contingent on our spiritual condition. Never promote an ideal, share the reality of recovery, life on life’s terms and living reality as it is. It is a beautiful world when we can see the truth, and find our path with needs met and wants forgotten.
Recovery needs to be attraction to real life and real sobriety, no fixes or guarantees. Promoting recovery falls into guarantees and promises which have no foundation. Never promote people places or things with guarantees that they or it might be the answer. Suggestions always lead to competent life choices for those striving and struggling, acceptance is the key to living today…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "THROUGHOUT EACH DAY this is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84
During my early years in A.A. I saw Step Ten as a suggestion that I periodically look at my behaviour and reactions. If there was something wrong, I should admit it; if an apology was necessary, I should give one. After a few years of sobriety I felt I should undertake self-examination more frequently. Not until several more years of sobriety had elapsed did realize the full meaning of Step Ten, and the word “continued.” “Continued” does not mean occasionally, or frequently. It means throughout each day."
October 16 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ - Prayer and Meditation, helps me?
Faith Courage and Confidence
Some days are harder than others to muster up and get the strength to not only greet the day, we need live it as well. Yesterday was really good overall. I checked a few things with the council about small concerns and got a very positive response. The off to south London to see a friend I have got to know these past few years.
On the way back, on the number 12 bus to Oxford Circus, I was checking out my camera and decided to get out and take some photos of Trafalgar Sq., Leicester Sq., Eros and Piccadilly.
Afternoon sun in autumn, has its qualities and stirs up good memories for me, And some sad ones too for people no longer in my life. Either gone completely or just somewhere else in the world and I hope as happy can be.
I have just about come to understand the full impact of past experiences and how best they are understood.
Truth is the Key
And as hard as truth can be, it is far better than denials. Denials of how I have been and how others were.. It’s just as maybe. And as Truth is God in my current understanding, then truth does set us free. And as freedom marches, so too forgiveness for life has been.
I realise had I been better able to understand the truth of everything, then my path would have been quite different. And really now I see my path was as it could have been with what I knew.
If anything I realise the truth, the absolutes of it. And of course I saw it all, yet denied truth over and over as love turned me this way and that. And of course fear had a lot to do with my behaviour. Fear of abandonment. That led me to abandon many along the way, as I had learned to abandon myself.
Sorrow is Not Self Pity
I do have sorrow for times past, and understand sorrow and self-pity are quite different. Sorrow experienced with esteem is not the same as self-pity experienced with Ego driving us and our behaviour.
These things we learn if here long enough to see through our denials and half-truths.
A dark Tuesday morning here in London, and medical assessments for most the day. Later..
And On Prayer and Meditation
The video explains what I mean utilising steps ten and eleven of the AA fellowship. Ten is a list of how the day has worked or not worked, followed by step eleven, a quiet half hour to reflect, resolve and change my outlook as it need be and then let my mind be still a while until turmoil comes another day.
16th October 2006
[email to me] Hi Don,
I'm not sure how I would feel if I heard a story similar to mine, although there must be one somewhere. One thing that crossed my mind was, if I heard a similar story, and had not got ill would I be judgemental? Would I understand? I wish I could say yes to both but I don't know. And that’s hard because there will always be people out there ready to judge.
I can understand about beliefs, faiths and outlooks being as they were in youth. I feel as though I can now maybe achieve some of the dreams I had then. A bit more understanding of myself and some much needed armour plating who knows. I am starting to enjoy life in a simple and rewarding way. A day at a time.
I hope you are having a good day and enjoy a relaxing evening.
[from me Don] Thanks
agree with all you say, especially this judgment issue, it will always be there and inventory taking, as long as we take our own and are conscious of what we do, we do break the patterns which leads to judgmental! the day was excellent overall,
Sunday Bloody Sunday - Not Me!
I remember the U2 Album coming out and how much it hard with friends who had been through the mill. And seeing the Ulster Talks going on, not in Ulster? Anyways it is good to see that time does have impact and see things can change, and no one wants it how it was before. Are we all growing up a bit? And what of these hard ads about drink as well. We in the fellowship seem a bit surprised there isn’t more done. But then we know the consequences of drink, and we still seem to be here, the few who made it back to childhood! And beyond.
Seems we all have to grow up sometime
And we did actually, and most of us who are still standing, have been very adult and at the same time fallen into a disease. Not many about realise it is a disease, this thing of alcoholism. Some still think it’s a bunch of no hopers without the will to sort themselves out, and that’s people in the fellowship too. We can be so unforgiving if we get a bit ahead and don’t see, it was the fellowship that saved our bacon. And we do have a disease which never goes away.
That was some of the background to where I got to today in my first meeting. I didn’t go out till nearly six and there are two close together so made two anyway. My first was packed and I got the doorman’s job of letting in stragglers, which was fine because it was just my first of two meetings, and I was able to recoup what I may miss in the first. And I did. I liked both meetings, full of the usual experience, strength and hope. And the first just mellowed me out for the next.
When there are a lot of people and just an hour to share it can be difficult. But I managed to just listen and accept that was my lot in the first. And there was more time at the second it being 90 minutes.
I saw friends and we had little time as I was nearly late, and one of my friends is not at all happy, but we shall talk when we can later or tomorrow, and that’s anonymous stuff anyway. For me though, the peace and tranquil moments are still with me.
And with a bit of a hurry to the next one, no time to ponder or be there to chat if I was to continue on to meeting two. But they didn’t want to go into detail then and there anyway. So down through Chelsea and the traffic is bad, so I cycle with due care in between everything in the one way down to Chelsea Reach. And drop off a book to another person I know with much on their mind about another load of tosh to do with another "church" not so divine and drumming up trade in the rehab business. Their passion to oust them as impostor’s is palpable. If I had resource and time I would too, but I don’t and cannot have the same passion for outing them as fallible and destructive and plain wrong in some things they do to people. It would destroy me trying to stop them. And there are bigger guns out there doing just that anyway. Futility is easier to spot for me and fight the battles which can be won. I am human and sensitive and not an army!
In the second meeting I realise just how sensitive we all are, all human’s that is. We like to believe we are tough and can handle ourselves. If we suppress our feelings and our drives, we often create the pattern to become fixers, and fixing either ourselves or others, with whatever is handy and alcohol is often easiest. Then drugs. And often people use people and chocolate too. It’s all part displacing our feelings and suppression of our truths.
Just before my Dad died he said to me a lot of things, especially the measures we might use to understand how we are valued. He said see how people treat you with superficial or indifferent acts, and see how they are friendly or cherish if it’s your girlfriend/partner or boyfriend(girlfriend in my case). He wanted to explain his regret with my Mum and him in doing this. And was worried my partner was away from me and treated me superficially and indifferently. He was right of course and the cherishing side had been lost along the way. And it has taken many years for me to accept that we do these things to each other. No because we are bad, but because we don’t always learn the difference.
And tonight hearing others and their sadness at the indifference and superficiality of things going on, when really people needed to be loved and cherished, it all made sense. And of course we need forgiveness and acceptance.
And this isn’t po’ faced forgiving with some grudge or other. It is that God-like forgiveness Alexander Pope suggests: "To err is human, to forgive is divine." And as I mentioned yesterday or the day before, it’s actually "To err is human, to forgive is humanity!" That’s my version and it’s the truth.
We do have this capacity to be forgiving and forgiven a so we get to acceptance of how things are and why, and the consequences. As we understand the truth, and not what we would wish it or will it to be.
And without doubt when we are troubled and hurt, we need to ask and reflect that others who harm us are able to enjoy what we would for ourselves. That we wish them a peaceful and harmonious life, or they will continue to be nasty b*****s forever, and that there is no way forward in that. And such a point of view takes as long as it takes.
And for simple people like me, who has been kicked quite badly over the years, my forgiving has taken a long, long time. Yet I do now forgive all and everything that has happened.
And this gives me peace of mind. And knowing the consequences of forgiving, it need not mean further hurt or connection to it. And there is mending in acceptance of life as it is. So we can move along and make new ways to live and have new experience and new connections wherever they may be.
Like you say, it is slow and steady progress, two steps forward and then one back or round and round until it sinks in and acceptance let’s go and new living in.
So there we go, nice and easy, just took me blinking years and a good talking to for a couple years till I could hear truth. No that ain’t so bad in a lifetime? Duh!
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
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Ten Reading Video Link:
October 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
October 2012 | Video Reading Into Action :
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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