October 17 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "knowing our emotional and spiritual condition…" What would be the measures of our emotional and spiritual condition today? And do we actually know what we mean by emotional and spiritual fitness, emotional and spiritual anything? Emotional: knowing our feelings and feeling them and spiritual, coping with reality in the moment. Knowing my mood and coping with the moment of now is as good as it gets, and then we can look at our thinking and actions today in terms of coping with the good, the bad and the ugly…
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"A daily tune up," as described in the AA daily reflections reads a little like, "I need to get myself into gear and ready to go." Emotional and spiritual fitness or degrees of emotional and spiritual is for some people quite simple and for other people quite complicated. I know I can keep it simple and say to myself, "are my feelings in balance with reality no matter what the feelings are," or I can get into a complicated debate with myself trying to make a definition of spiritual life beyond reality, some bigger thing going on out there or inside me. When I keep it simple, and my feelings are in keeping with what is going on right now, I am living in the moment and coping with it. It is that simple now and for years before recovery everything seemed so complicated…
My daily tune up, I was sitting here thinking about it and looking at it in all the different ways I could imagine. The more I think about a spiritual tune up, the more complicated it gets. I start thinking about, "is there a God out there, what are the concrete measures which I can apply to myself and measure my spiritual condition? And lots more questions just turn off the light and make everything dark." And then I go back to basics, emotional and spiritual are simply that I can cope and know what is going on and feel life in the moment. A starting point and a good reminder at any time of day…
A daily tune up, in terms of hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Practical ways to restart the day any time: eat enough, reset my expectations to zero if something is making me angry, if I feel isolated find company and if I am tired take a break. A simple recalibration of the basics. And when we have a list of things we feel we must achieve and not enough time, take something off the list which is of less priority. The world will not end if we do not accomplish everything today. Progress not perfection…
Part of the daily tune up process is always understanding our part in what is going on in life and the impact we will have on other people. And if we decide we need to make changes, make sure that changes are made with the understanding and acceptance of everyone involved. There is no point in changing our whole life in one go, when the rest of the world has no idea what we are up to today. A daily reminder that we are not God is often a good starting point, as we join others on the road of destiny today…
Last night with shoes on and ready to go to a meeting: eyes goes blurred, head feels light and balance goes wonky and temperature up. Tummy upset shoes off and sit down. Doing the right thing when we feel off is not always getting to the meeting…
Daily ref: “A DAILY TUNE-UP every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.” For me, look at the big picture, as a part of life and society. It is not about me, it is always about us, the greater good and good conscience
October 17 2010 ~ a personal view: in fellowship "god" or "the power greater than us" helps us find our personal path. Everyone on the planet has their own understanding about god, a higher power and their own good conscience. We develop a personal compass of moral integrity. The common ground, open honest and willing, the experience is unique and authentic for today…
October 17 2010 ~ an appeal to good conscience or and god? Is there any difference? When we look at a simple path in recovery, the path follows our intentions to be open, honest and willing to live well for a day. Our vision is clear as we endeavour and face life on life's terms. Meditation and or prayer help us define our personal code of conduct and how to be spiritual today...
Let go and let the world happen. I am bemused by the past, where it was always about holding on. What on earth do we hold on to? We do live in a world which makes a virtue of material wealth and possessions. William Morris famously said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. And so having lived where I am for over two years, I am applying the principles of useful and beautiful to my surroundings.
Can I say the same of what manifests in my head when I wake up and what is really going on for me, emotionally and spiritually? And I am reminded I share that our goal in life has a focus, “to love, be loved and useful.”
At the same time, “we must not throw the baby out with the bath water.” As we keep a hold of what is important to us. If we can keep a hold of anything, I do wonder what it might be.
I know I have plenty of space to store items of usefulness; they are so useful I have not used them in two years, and some remnants of an old life are still around me, some items useful, and some items so useful they have not seen the light of day since I arrived.
And the same applies in all aspects of living, keep a hold of what is cherished. There is nothing wrong in cherishing, sharing and utility. At the same time we do tend to covet, that is to wish we had something beyond our means or rightfully ours. Why else gamble, or risk our spiritual and emotional wellbeing? We are all capable of fantasy, and making a reality of what is not that helpful to us. Usually a desire to keep a hold of people, places and things for whatever the reason as it happens. And this is a block to me in my spiritual and emotional progress. We all need our freedom, to be a free spirit.
We live in a world of richness and texture. Some of us seeing more and more as our lights are turned on inside our heads. My lights were good when I was very young, followed by decades of misunderstanding and misdirection.
I do not know what is right for me, means I do not know what is right for you, and I share this as everyday life changes, our circumstances change we change if we have a desire to do so.
Where we go, what we do, how we conduct ourselves, all about purpose and we all have a moral understanding of right from wrong. In this enlightened world, the amoral elements are few and far between? A question always on a personal level, answered in our conduct today. Yet our world is full of those who have and those who have nothing. And the world is in material crisis. We are all touched by it, and we all have our personal responses.
Today is always about the actions we take. And today as I shed and release some material elements, so too a feeling of freedom in a desire that everyone I know feels a sense of spiritual and emotional wellbeing on their path. In the written passage of acceptance in the big book of AA, and the philosophy of just for today; “as I give to the world, so the world will give to me” means a great deal.
In truth, we do not bring anything but our being into this world, and when done we take nothing out in the material sense. Our impact is in what we have done, emotionally and spiritually. What we take with us beyond this world I have no real understanding to share or enlighten, other than a sense of peace in the knowledge that if I were to go today, my last breath might be offering hope to another on their journey. A good feeling, to be letting go, being useful in the moment of now, not hindering anyone’s progress as nature and providence offer today.
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A DAILY TUNE-UP every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
How do I maintain my spiritual condition? For me it’s quite simple: on a daily basis I ask my Higher Power to grant me the gift of sobriety for that day! I have talked to many alcoholics who have gone back to drinking and I always ask them: “Did you pray for sobriety the day you took your first drink?” Not one of them said yes. As I practice Step Ten and try to keep my house in order on a daily basis, I have the knowledge that if I ask for a daily reprieve, it will be granted."
October 17 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In The Life’ The darkest days are the hardest
I just listened to a video post which took me back to those very dark days where there was little of me left, just a machine for processing alcohol. I am glad I never really understood the drug scene or how to do it without a feeling of complete guilt. Glad for not so much common sense, just enough gumption to maybe know deep down it would hook me further into a darker place and dark times.
Who We Are
Who and what we are is where we start to change when we either utilise alcohol or drugs to modify our moods and feelings. What seems so easy and simple and makes us have a good time bites us back.
If we are already prone to be depressed or need to fix our outlook, we are ready for addiction. Drugs amplify our natural state. So if we are gloomy, although we may find oblivion a while and then our frame of mind plummets down.
If we are naturally higher and happy the elixirs we choose can amplify them too, and then we tend to crash and burn badly. Paranoia will be our patient companion as we slip down into our private world of desolation.
High and Low Moods
As our highs get higher and our lows are as low can be, alcohol and drugs merely amplify the way we are. So we can be soaring up or dropping like a stone into an abyss. These mind boggling extremes are the hell we evoke and can walk away from if we are lucky as we stop before addiction is made, or we face a hell beyond our wildest nightmares as we fall into dependence and powerlessness.
Behaviour on the Edge
How we behave in early dependence can be alluring. We speed at living and whatever fills our days, be it work or living a life, it speeds up, fragments and we find our achievements reflect often our obsessions for life. Work, romance, love, sadness, all experienced as rapid phases as we search for our next elevation to happiness. And then it evaporates into addiction and sour living, gut wrenching pain inside and out.
I heard a great chair this evening and lots of shares reflecting all of the above. We have lived extraordinary times. And yearn for plain ordinary, and extraordinary living as ordinary to anyone without an addicts head. And ordinary is peace.
To relish a day. To be happy in our life sized living, equal to others and the equal of what we need do to live as we may, sober. As we find peace the tragedy of our living turns to another chapter, one where real life is just amazing for its richness.
Spiritual awakenings are not as we imagine, they are not blinding revelations, they are hard, they require effort and living experience in sobriety. We need find our path forward as hurtful as any other, as rich as any other, and as frustrating as any other. We simply live life and find our spiritual truth, the truth of now.
When a person makes a video with pain and hurt so evident as I saw last night, I recognise that hell on earth and recall my own. Not the self-inflicted wound many with prejudice imagine as there is no will left in an addicts life. Just human processing of a poison which will kill us dead before our time. We need not do it. And we need friendship, fellowship, family, and any power we may find to help us realise we need never be that alone again, or self-harm to destruction, a day at a time..
Old behaviour is the hardest part we need let go. Our honest look at our living, our experience is the foundation for our courage and strength to face normal living once again. And we remain vigilant if we are able, in unity to find hope again as life can be turned around.
There is hope a day at a time!
17th October 2006
[from a friend] Hi Don,
I like it. 'the few who made it back to childhood,'! I do feel like that sometimes. That life is all shiny and new. Maybe this time though (for me) forewarned and forearmed!
This disease that never goes away. It touches so many lives but there is still so little understanding around it. I used to get upset by ill-informed comments about 'druggies' and 'alkies'. Nowadays I shrug it off. If people don't want to understand someone else's disease, then I have to accept that.
Sounds like good advice from your dad. Treating people with superficial and indifferent acts. I may bring that up at Wednesdays group. I reckon it may evoke a lot of feeling. And to be cherished...that makes me feel sad. It seems like a long time ago.
Well CBT seems to be giving me food for thought! I have become aware that my afternoon 'naps', are in fact me avoiding trying to fill my time! So today I have changed that by spending quiet time reading and posting. That will free me up for family later!
And Don, I'm happy for you, that you can forgive all and everything. I still have issues here. But hearing you gives me hope as I'm still younger in recovery. I know it is definitely there in my heart.
Take care XXXX
[from me Don] Thanks ,
Well it’s been ok, got more to do with physio and more tomorrow with hydro tomorrow. And this will keep me on the mend. My overall strength really went over the first year with diabetes and I am astonished how much ground I lost! Time and care. I am slower in the morning with neuropathy setting in overnight and need time to get going, but its ok.
I am a fan of CBT in the right hands and right reasons. It does great things with real professionals and can build a good set of tools to make things understandable, feelings and thinking wise.
Acceptance and forgiveness are a daily thing xxxx, nothing is ever the same one day to the next and we need to make our way with care. Acceptance is really, really the programme in action and never stops as forgiveness needs forgetfulness and reminders as time dishes them out. Forgiveness is actually a tool of recovery from wrong doings, our own and others, and consequences live on forever.
We cannot change time, we can change our outlook if we have time and opportunity as can everyone else. Where there is no change in others, forgiveness stands as life turned out that way, but we need not let bad things back into our lives. We need make our way with care and attention to our own choices hereon in! Not easy, a daily chore…
Tonight and so to life in the making
No it’s not rude! It’s what I do on Mondays, I make the tea, and it’s OK, I am not alone, the Tea girl helps me and we work together to make the Teas and Coffees for lots of us at our meeting. Mind you we are both a little mature to be called boy and girl. So it’s ok, to realise that as we get into our recovery programme it is a bit like growing up sometimes fast and sometimes slow.
It’s been ok for me and my colleague in the tea department. And tonight we had a step meeting where we had a chance to discuss Step 7:
"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings"
For those in the know its Him, God. And for those of us who are still uncertain about what God is or what our understanding of Him might be, its Providence and Nature as I like to feel.
So with a clear head, which is no longer pickled I am more likely to be aware of my shortcomings and they may be removed with time and Providence, as nature intends. Or as I get more comfortable being me, I realise what scares me, face it and move along in a more balanced outlook. This is all so easy if we keep it uncomplicated, but we folk who have been around the block make it all so difficult.
We try to find the hidden meaning, we try to see how we are different and we had every reason for this and that. But in truth it really comes down to this, removing our fears and getting on with living with what we have, just for today and just within our ability.
Not hard or difficult, until we are about and in life, with work and every other thing we may deal with.
I realise my most obvious shortcoming was not realising sooner the nature of my illness and disease, and now applying myself to recovery, life is getting better at long last.
I know I am banging on about the difference these last few days, but it is significant.
Even my pains and aches are more manageable, I don’t push too far. I monitor and look after my diabetes and follow the suggestions for the clinical depression. I am experiencing some good rather than horrid. And use of every therapy I know is making the difference.
AA a programme of action and reflection. Action centred learning as we go, therapy as we need one to one and in groups. A tool kit in the steps of our programme and books to back it up.
Now why does it take so long to get with it and be ourselves for once? Because all our lives most likely we have not been ourselves and not been able to find out who the blinking heck we are.
Our speaker tonight made the point just as it is, simply this, we need to experience life to make it work, and simply a day at a time. It takes time to recover and be in recovery, for we are never recovered. We make life work as it will, not with our will, just by the hour or the day as can be made so. We use choice as our guide and acceptance of what can be, and let go what cannot, developing our wisdom of the truth as we keep to our sober path.
Simple as that, it’s just life makes it every other way as our minds wander to wilful outcomes and wishful feelings and thinking. Who said it was easy to make our experience? Not me, for experience comes at a high price, to be in the fellowship and then apply ourselves to living as we do, to good conscience.
So how am I tonight? Sorry some of my mates are upset with their lot. And sorry for the sadness that life brings. And sorry some feel like going out there again to drink tonight. It’s not been good for friends around me altogether tonight and I am uncertain what I can do. As I intend to keep with it and keep going back, it’s made me able to make of life what I can a day at a time.
I am less hopeful for one or two tonight and that is beyond me, powerless over people places and things, blimey if only? No it’s just the way it is. Acceptance is the key in all these endeavours, daily as life happens.
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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