November 13 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "self aware, prayer and meditation: looking outwards…" Yes, self-aware, and at the same time prayer, meditation is about unity, service and recovery. Looking outwards rather than being self-absorbed or selfish. Looking at the big picture, how we fit into the big picture, not running the whole show, simply being part of something, with and around people, places and things…
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In those darkest days, when the old behaviour and addictive ways were out of control, I could not see the impact I had myself or other people. There was consternation and fear inside me and those who kept on trying to help became fearful that I could not help myself and they could not save me from myself: that is the nature of addiction and no way out. My experience is joining the fellowship made it possible to learn and be supported every single day by a large number of people who were all in recovery, from a few hours to a great number of years. Some say it takes a village to raise a child… And for me to get into recovery and stay in recovery it has taken a fellowship. I have gratitude for everyone who made this possible one day at a time…
Being self-aware and able to pray and meditate, whether we believe in God or not, improves our outlook on a daily basis. With practice, being self-aware, praying and meditating is not a lengthy process. Most often comes down to this for me: "how am I feeling?" And, "why?" And then, "what can I do?" Three simple questions. And it only takes moments to find balance, knowing my mood, how it is impacting on my thinking and the actions which may follow. And if I don't know what to do, I can ask for help rather than try to tough it out and pretend to be okay when I'm not...
Every day I am challenged by my old ways and the darker side, where fear, putting on a brave face and ego will keep me selfish in my outlook. And equally challenged to live to a new set of principles which offer: faith in the next right thing, courage to change and confidence which grows with the experience. Step six the old ways and being stuck in a defensive attitude, or step seven: working on my shortcomings to be open, honest and willing to change. Sometimes one step back, and then two steps forward, or any combination. Life experience offers the challenge, the principles of the twelve steps and twelve traditions, enabling everyone to have more personal choices and personal freedom one day at a time…
How am I feeling today? The answer is simple, right now, somewhat vague and listening to the thrum of London waking up. It's going to be rush hour for millions, trying to cram in as much as they can all day long. Walking to bus stops, walking to trains and tubes and so many gazing into their mobile phones... I wonder how well each person can look out. Looking outward, self-aware and weighing up what is going on, included in a world which suits them or suits no one… In balance? Or driven out of balance? And my plan in all this: to be open, honest and willing. To help and support, to cherish people, and befriend anyone caught in difficulty if and when the time is appropriate today…
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...
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.
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."
November 13 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Despatches Finding Our Own Path
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gentle progress is all to the good. And making careful and considered steps each day. That is to walk from one room to another, making one small positive change. And then as we make a few changes, stop for a while! consolidate.
I am as is me, writing this as a reminder to me and for my blog too, I hope its ok and your name does not appear. I keep to general and specific to me as I may, so please forgive the slight dislocation in my reply. From an up day yesterday, the other maladies kick straight back in for me. So my nerve endings are hurting this morning, my right foot is playing me up, and my head is like a fog. Sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly we make progress.
I went out with the sun yesterday, smiles I mean I went out and the Sun shining was a real pick me up. With camera of course and found some more settings to help take pictures a slightly different way. I feel the need of educating and doing something to improve my photographic skills. I am sure there courses.
Mobility yesterday improved, the neuropathy although painful for having pushed too far, it may only slow me down for today, and it is not good. And the weather is not so pleasant, so gentle cycling as opposed to perambulation seems just the ticket.
As you know with the pain I have, I take some meds to impact on the nerves in my extremities and so reduce the impact of walking too far. Payback is always there, go too far and walking just feels really odd and so not too good this morning. Even with meds I cannot do too much without there being unhappy consequences
And the NARI anti-depressant is working pretty well so I do get to see life real, without the extremes, unless of course life is extreme.
When Christopher Died
My sister's partner. It was a tragedy. And the feelings at the time were awful, the sorrow and the experience was as it may be. It was extreme and in the last few months I realise I have been able to grieve in a way which is right for me. to make sense, to be sad, to feel as it was meant? I am no expert for anyone else, and see how the medical intervention which seems was needed, lifelong for me, now appears to work.
And in saying to you, the progress is good, is a good omen I feel. We are after all our own experts. And with some understanding now, that we all run our own recovery programme our own way, then I may judge what works for me and not for anyone else.
Science & God
Part of my absolute truth programme, I am taking the best advice and seeing my Doctor as and when. Which reminds me I do need get out and get my prescriptions, insulin, meds for neuropathy, meds for clinical depression. Writing about medication is easy, and still I feel the urge to chuck all the medication in the bin and see what happens.
Am I doing the right thing with the medication? This quandary has been a bugbear for me. As you know I have gone cold turkey so many times with medication in the past. the consequences were always alarming, even after a year without and not a drink, the awful truth as the professionals have determined is I slump into unimaginable depths until it is experienced over and over. And then try the meds again. This time I have persisted and found they do work. Why? Because I followed the directions, adjusted my expectations to just being normal, the first time I do feel normal some of the time.
And these slumps are in recovery with a head equipped from ‘back in the day’ with every coping strategy, every intellectual trick up my sleeve, every process honed from years of counselling and developing others.
Science has taught me I need to find balance which was never there. The high and lows, although it would be hard for anyone else to see it, were profoundly out of the ordinary I saw for others. I am like my friend of thirty plus years sober, knowing the problem and hiding it as I learned all my life. Most of the time no one really knows what is going on with my depression, I hide it as unacceptable even now. And the admission last week in a meeting, well I could do it, as my old friend did first. And it took a load off to do it.
God is Truth - so I need heed science I feel, empiricism not scepticism.
And in Rehab years back, the awful beating of myself, the horror of experiences as my chemistry had nothing to calibrate to reality, nothing working to a par. And still I wanted to be free of meds which gave me balance, and now helps me walk these days and insulin of course, without it I die quickly.
Up until recently I have felt undermined by popular opinions in the rooms and blind prejudice based on inferior thinking and feeling. I am less than because I need meds to find the balance I never had, and indeed I am more balanced today. That does not stop the disruptive nature of anxiety. Also people pleasing and not telling my truth of the recovery so often in case people write me off as a mental idiot and without grit to do recovery clean and clear of medical interventions.
In other words their prejudice can make me feel so less than, that I might consider suicidal endeavours based on clap trap and stupidity of purists who with Puritan Hats, sit there suffering often and not daring to admit their awful living. We can be joyous indeed when we stop listening to fairy tales and start understanding science, biology, the nature of faith and courage and of course the spiritual.
Faith and Courage
All very learnable, and in practice it makes us progress. Faith in Truth is where I am now. As to the truth others manufacture as they mysticise [I know, no such word until now] their Godliness and higher connections to spiritual trails or are those trials?
Having been in the mire over the God concept for 50 plus years, I can know share safely that I have found Ghandi my inspiration, “God Is Truth”
In essence the absolute truth of everything, the universe, the molecules, the spirit and connection, most always ephemeral and never eternal.
Absolute truth, not my opinion, not my faith, not my courage, for I am aspiring to truth in my endeavours.
Every Helping Hand
I need heed all hands on deck to keep me safe. Left to my own endeavours I would have perished long ago. So my sadness as people behave with absolute prejudice in recovering dramas, to be perfect and feel always pious and sanctimonious, preach and lead lemmings to the cliff top, I need take notice of truth and not dogma. Fortunately like any group of people we will find dogma at the extremes and most people in the middle where its safe to be human and not divine.
AA, honest willing and open? We all try to be. And still old Humbug’s will come out with their humbuggery, I need heed what is said and not worry anymore about what works for me. I feel I know my path just for today. So the big issues for me are keeping my head on straight trying to be useful to others and not feeling less than when others present their view of Cold Inhospitable Recovery based on...
My People Pleasing
I also realise my people pleasing nature has taken me on travels over the years which are very helpful in understanding what may be right for others, is poison to me. So I am following science, professional counsel as I was too, for guidance and suggestions. And of course my sponsor and mentor, one in fellowship, one an eminent professional, help me through most trials today. They support and challenge me, as do the best of fellows in AA!
Leaning on Me?
Thanks for being concerned, in truth you are always welcome to do just that. And of course make up your own mind on all choices. I have always been concerned though, because we are both prone to fall in between what we know is right for us and still reluctant to follow the best path, that is our own with us listening at the right mouthpiece.
Speaking for myself I am now strong enough in my courage and faith, and of course the spiritual connection [Absolute Truth] to make best choices on evidence and not meta-bollocks so often churned out by those without other conditions save for two, and that is ignorance and prejudice formed in pink clouds, an extreme form of fantasy which pervades and offers fear and retribution, rather than love and compassion.
So now its time to go, and sally forth!
See you later, Don x
13th November 2006
Don’t Think Life - Do Life
So easy for us clever folks to sit and observe and watch the world go by. And as clever people we do watch, we observe, we appraise and take a tally on what we see.
What do we most often do? We might speculate, we may think we get it and we may think we can do anything and everything. And in our idle moments of speculation we might decide what is good and bad for us. We may decide this and that, we might measure in our own minds eye whether its something which we might do, or can do, and do we do it? Not blinking likely!
We are so often measuring and comparing what we have, what we might have and what others have, we lose sight of ourselves and our purpose. We are here to live life.
For every Guru I have met who actually does add value to their living, they are out in the world doing something. And most often we are sitting and listening and wondering if that is right for me or for someone else. Ever read an inspiring book and felt good, then a couple of days later we feel worse?
Its because most of what we read and digest we just put into our heads and do nothing with it, we don’t change one thing in our lives…
Step 1 to Enlightenment
Stop reading about and looking at the life you might have. Start looking at the life you have and the next best thing you might do. Change one small thing for the good and do it for a week. Give up something which is not useful to you, just one thing.
Give up reading self-help books!
Stop reading about it and do something new. Go for a walk and breathe. If you can’t walk just breathe, change something in your pattern of life. Stop thinking it and do it!
Now how hard is that?
Bloody hard for most of us so stuck in patterns we cannot change a thing, because we have fear and inertia! Fear requires bravery to have the fortitude to maintain an unbalanced life.
Have faith and make a change for the good, just one thing and do it for a week, as long as you give up something there will be room for it to continue if you feel better for it.
Stop reading self-help books!
Live something different today, you know it makes sense. Make a note of it, keep a diary of your routines.
Stop reading self-help books!
Start living something new in your life. Something small which makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t make a song and dance of it, just tell yourself and do it. Let others know if its good and share it. Be connected to other people.
Stop reading self-help books!
Self-help is doing something different and making a new routine, be a ROUTINE FREAK!
Stop reading self-help books.
While you were reading the self-help book nothing has changed. Work out something new to do from today or tomorrow morning and do it for a week.
Stop reading self-help books.
Yes you have guessed it, self-help books get on my wick!
November 13th 2005
our personal gifts we are often unaware of our personal gifts. Our gifts of personality, our feelings and expression, our thinking and experience seen by others we know. When we share time with our fellows and family, we are able to share what we take for granted, we rarely see our own gifts because we learn not to, in case we lose our 'cool'. In reality it is very 'cool' to know ourselves as others know us, it promotes synergy and real growth in us. What we accept as normal, our best way of living is no mystery to us. We live on in blissful ignorance, never quite aware, the what, or the why which makes us unique and authentic citizens of this world. If we experience the love of others and are aware of it, we are indeed fortunate human beings. We are less expressive of in our love of others, than we might wish for many reasons.
People see in us our quality, our strength and our frailty, they most often accept us and spend no time in considering our value. Our value is implicit and explicit in their sharing time and life events. And we are the same, we weigh in our minds eye, the value of others and generally we accept most people. Our minds eye, an elaborate gift, we see the surface of our fellows and the depth of their value. All in the blink of an eye, what a gift we have.
Nature’s emotional gift, the super ordinate gift is love. We spend a lifetime learning how we might express this gift of nature. We learn through nurture how love develops as we grow and mature. Love is the gift of nature and nurture, and we find expression of love in our family and society. Expression of love is as simple and complex as we humans can devise, limitless and never ending. A true gift...
So when we consider our gifts and put them to scrutiny, our greatest gift most often taken for granted takes on new meaning. Our resonance and new depth, helps our feeling and our expression of love. We experience more profoundly what nature gave and nurture informs.
How are our gifts today? Do we recognize them, do others? Assuredly we do and they do as far as we are aware. Like any other gift, the more often enacted, the more breadth and depth we experience. Thank nature and nurture for that!
November 13th 2004
The most important places to keep clean and tidy are my mind and heart. If I allow thoughts to flourish that I wouldn't want to see the light of day, I can never have any real self-respect. By starting each day in quiet reflection and pouring positive, loving thoughts into my mind, I gradually clean out cynicism and unkindness.
A beautiful November morning, the Sun as strong as it can be, creeps across a low arc this time of year. The thin air, the cold, the crisp breath we take snatched in case it burns. Wrapping up well to keep warm, the elements of nature make us sleepy, taken back to times when sleeping away the cold was all we had. Celebrations of the season take shape, as reminders of faith appear. How strange these times are as the world connects more closely, each in the global village share more thoughtfully, feeling the touch of distant eyes. What we see, as hope emerges, are similarities, understanding dimming differences with the passing of time.
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
“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. For the content of prayer, see Step 11b that follows.” BB Bunch
November 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Eleven Reading Video Link:
November 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
November 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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