November 15 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "vital sustenance: self-aware, prayer and meditation, and the big picture of life…" Sometimes life feels like we cannot keep up with it, whatever it may be. And then sometimes life feels like we are ahead the game, we have found something we need to pursue at all costs, lest we miss out… If we feel backward, and if we feel ahead of the game, most likely we are not present in the moment…
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So often we are still wondering where we fit in the big picture of life, indeed we do not know what the big picture of life is, and we have no clue what it is supposed to be, if there is a grand design to everything, that something is moving in mysterious ways. And whether or not we belong on the planet. Rest assured, if we have a pulse, we belong. Now what to do? Natural instincts give all of us firm clues about what to do. Nurture, that is the education we received from other people can be far from helpful. On the one hand, as we grow up, we are driven to consume as much as we can have of everything, and the other half of our nurturing seems to condemn our consumption of people, places and things… And somewhere we find balance?
Vital sustenance comes in the form of information, through our five senses, nature and nurture. Everything is vital to keep human beings alive? You would think so and yet we hardly ever consider these questions. Many studies of people show there are basic needs, which every human requires to live, then there are wants which we don't need. If we have enough and can be happy with enough, anything else is extra. Vital sustenance? Self-aware, through self-examination, prayer, meditation and the inner voice we have linked to conscience all play their part to help us live in the moment of now, and I guess the only place where balance is possible, or indeed imbalance is possible is in the spiritual moment of now…
Missing out? We can have times when life is moving quickly, everything seems to be important, and we are concerned not to miss an opportunity. So busy collecting information, so busy with new experiences, so busy changing, we forget our basics. The basic premise is something personal, I would like to live through this day and experience the good, the bad, and whatever ugly warts may pop up along the way, and be able to cope with it, and if I can't cope with it and ask the help soonest rather than later, because later may be too late and I've lost the plot for the whole of the day, and the rest of my life? No, not the rest of your life or my life, life is not that certain ever… Life simply keeps on changing and we can change…
Emotional and spiritual: knowing what my feelings are in the moment of now and being able to cope with life and if I cannot cope with life I can ask for help. Where does help come from? Doing enough of the work ourselves, which often means we do cope and don't need outside help, at the same time we do not live alone or in isolation, we are normally included in something somewhere. So we may be part of something and included with people we love, who love us in return. And we survive together in unity… If we have good fortune and look out for one another…
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…
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." -/-
November 15 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Loyalty And Cognitive Dissonance
How Do You Feel About Just Fucking Do It!
For years as a management type in organisations, I was always aware that management were given special responsibilities. Managers had to be loyal and true to the company. I am going back a few decades here so please tell me if I am wrong in anything written today.
Managers were expected to do more and beyond any amount of hours in their contract. The average hours worked in my day would be at least 10 or eleven hours, if not more with travel and all the rest done for company and my bank balance. It was not unusual to work 70 to 90 hours a week wherever the managerial role was carried out.
I was taught to do my best and excel. I was reasonable enough I feel, yet the work ethos was always to be perfect and do our best, bring in the revenue, the profit and all would be well. Often success was rewarded with a bonus, and yet I know full well that the bonus paid never reflected the commitment and the loyalty demanded,
These days we see people give up parenting, get someone else to pay to mind the family while both parents work.
Often dependent on two incomes and every hour squeezed into work, with fears a plenty if we don’t give our best and much more besides.
Work And Family
I see and hear much of the hardship parents put into their working lives, their family life squeezed into a few hours a day, and weekends if lucky.
Twenty Four Seven
Where is the life balance these days, as a government make it ok, social cohesion going down the toilet simply by a work ethic which cripples most parenting, cripples our potential and leaves many stretched beyond endurance. Family and Work made a daily chore rather than a daily endeavour..
I spent many a year, loyal and following the work ethic. The result was dislocation, and I never even noticed. More work, more and a bigger career, I just ended up with a work life and nothing much besides.
Assume it’s my fault, assume I am to blame, it must be me, yet everywhere I hear complaints about how people are worked, how people are treated as this thing called a resource!
Human Resources [ HR Personnel ]
Human Resources, the term given to the management of people, the cost, the training and development, the most expensive part of most businesses costs.
Human Resources a cold term given to objectifying people. A robot like approach to management of the most profound resource any business or enterprise has. And yet treated as an object.
Human Resources often feel they are the minders of the organisation, they believe their mission is to optimise the usefulness of people and ensure they are rewarded as the company decides.
Human Resources often have codes of practice established, and often these practices are bent as far can be, in favour of the company of course! Any they tell the workforce that they are the ones who keep the rules about how staff are to work and be treated fairly.
Human Resources, they calculate the cost of every human the best they can get and at what price and how to make sure the optimum value is derived as a consequence.
Human resources are not the people you may think they are. Human resources are there to establish best practice, and also take the commercial considerations into account. A Human Resource Unit and Manager are there to pay the least for the most effort, and that is the truth of human resource functions.
We are all asked to be loyal, made to feel less than if we don’t give something for nothing in these bright days of new living. Where everything is about and has always been about profit and shareholders, management bonus and some sort of half-hearted bonus and incentive scheme for people lower down at the coal face of business life.
Cognitive [our thinking ] Dissonance [ lack of consistency or compatibility between actions or beliefs ]
Actions and Beliefs
We are told if we are good we will benefit, we are told if we are good there will be more reward. Yet so often as an organisation exploits it forgets to reward as it should and as it suggested.
Still this fallacy continues in many organisations including governments too. We are empowered to do more, to make that extra effort, to give more and give more. And we believe it as we watch and join in, and take on more and more. And still as we get some jam on our bread, a bonus a bit of this and that, and yet the work gets increased the pressure put on as we are driven by targets and appraisals, self-assessed which is the dirty trick in this game.
Empowering and Self-Assessed
How can this be, that we are empowered to make our own targets, our own assessment? Of course as most forget the questions in appraisal are loaded to positive, to constructive, to comforting words which says we are good, when in fact we have no good to be gained.
When the Chips are Down
Yes when it comes down to the front line, the chips are really down, as a business needs everyone to do their utmost to perform. Maximum Profit for optimising the resources.
Often we work more than, we work as hard as and then we appraise as we do. And then as the chips are down and the result are paramount we know what happens most often.
We are Empowered to Just Fucking Do It [ JFDI Management Styles]
And our bosses say when all is ok, how are we feeling? And we feel quite happy. And then as times get hard and maximum effort is required we realise we are asked or told,
“How do you feel about fucking doing it!” So we seem to understand or not..
How do I Feel these Days as a burnt out case? I just fucking did it, like everyone else. And it broke me apart. More Later or another day..
15th November 2006
Gratitude is an odd reminder of times past when there were days weeks and months where the world seemed ok. And then as I delve a little deeper the thin veneer of pretence comes away to reveal many years of torture, I wonder if I am becoming sane at last. Seems like there have been decades of desperation, and no wonder the balance of a life sought in recovery is so appealing. Not being driven nuts by others and the way of life adopted and spent in pursuit of unhappiness.
The pursuit of Unhappiness
And there is the clue, in the pursuit of happiness we are often left with a feeling of making our way to a goal, and forgetting the endeavour we undertake to get there is worth every moment. Having had my own stuffing well and truly knocked out of me over the years, I am sometimes wondering what is this all about, this life we have and what is its purpose. Indeed one can get very confused when we forget our purpose is simply living and surviving most often and then a little bit more on top when endeavour leads to joy.
What is it all about this life we lead?
There are fine textbooks to give us a clue, and yet often we are quite clueless what we are about and what we get from living. We often hide from reality as denial runs its course through our thinking and never in our feelings. We use thinking to deny most our feelings until we find our honesty somewhere along the way. Even animals do this in our company, as they are trained by us and domesticated into our ways. Animals were never made to be enslaved yet we do, as we do with ourselves and people we might connect to and keep in our lives.
We do go through long periods of life where we can be disconnected and dislocated. Where once we found the world bright and then everything seems to turn out wrong. What can we do? We can maybe get real with our circumstances and look at what is possible and what is impossible. We can find the balance along the way if we look hard enough and long enough and get some perspective.
Dislocation happens most often when we don’t get our way. We are inclined to be mawkish about it. We suffer and sulk and indeed become moribund and morbid about all our connections to living. Hate generates as much self-hate and loathing. And energy expended trying make things as we would control and keep it our way lead to the greatest heartaches.
Better to let things happen be in good company and make the most of every connection we make as we go. To keep our loyalty to ourselves and the pursuit of happiness, it does not require great material wealth it only requires we wake up and make the most of what we have. Sometimes this is so hard as every day has peril in it, and it is beyond our power to change anything external.
And even when we have things not quite right with us we will find much to keep us on an even keel if we just remind ourselves of what we have achieved, having gratitude for breathing can be enough when the rough times arrive.
We need keep faith with our good conscience when everyone seems to have lost theirs. Sometimes we might be left alone in our feelings and we need keep reminding ourselves of our path. We need not judge by external reference, that if we keep faith with emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing we have a better chance to make good on what we endeavour.
And I feel this more now as asking and sharing sometimes leads to possibilities and to knock backs, it matters not which way my path turns or does not come good if I have made a plan, it is how I respond either to the good or adverse situations I find myself having.
Adversity, we will always have it in us, to wish and be thwarted or wish and have them fulfilled. Best make wishes and dreams daily for the day, longer dreams lead to great joy in reaching them or great sadness as toil is lost to time and we forget our endeavour along the way.
Even simple kindness to ourselves is often forgotten when ego plays its game. I feel ego’s touch and know it is the other side of esteem for who and what I am. I am me and complete in this moment of now, vulnerable and true, strong and with faith, courage found in serenity, and not in exasperated ego.
Serenity, the clue to peace and harmony, gifted when we learn how to live, just this one day and endeavour. We meet all we may with clear minds and conscience as we find this path to enlightenment. No drug of life can enhance the truth of this day, not one bit as is meant and lived in real time and good conscience.
Out and About
In between starting this writing, I have been out and experienced some changes in my patterns, my fellowship meeting was cancelled close to me and so ended up a bit further away. As it happens on the way I met a fellow on the way and we cycled down to the King’s Rod in Chelsea and found a meeting there.
Tonight I heard a share from a friend who has been around a few months longer than me. It was honest and somewhat bleak in some respects. As life is, and at the same time as I know where my mood is heading, I don’t share such starkness as was told. Somehow there is insulation in me, and not cotton wool to protect me. There is some faith in life, Nature and Providence, and how my attitude is towards it. Yet there are tests to living every day…
Of my friend out and about and in love. There is sorrow in love unrequited there. And similar feelings have been mine in the past and no doubt will occur again. We might have many wishes, and still reality beckons and keeps my path straight.
Love, as we understand it… I wonder how well we do understand love, its equality, its mystery, its everything we are. And how easy we make it something else when we are not quite in balance. Forever love is accepted now in my heart. And so to now, where it will flourish and how, this is a happy mystery, some things known and others yet to be. Best and better to be happy as we go along and let life and this endeavour lead where it goes, not driven as a driven man in ego’s drift, and thank good conscience and whatever keeps my path true to me and our world of now…
November 15th 2005
On War and Common Sense
it’s a couple of days past the ceremonies for remembrance of two world wars in my country.
Saying "my country" sets a worry going in my own mind. It smacks of me being partisan when I would not wish to be, or ever pit one nation state against another. Old enough to recollect what it is like to see the faces of those engaged in world war conflict. Old and aware enough to see the same expressions on those faces who march in remembrance, past memorials to the dead, their lost comrades in arms. Decades go by and we are still remembering and I wonder how well we are learning.
We continue to be at war somehow somewhere. Even after the war to end all wars has been fought, we fight on. For we live in a world, which is forever playing the game of "catch up". As we mature in our view, another nation forms and is learning what it is to be a nation, so the world evolves ever so slowly in its war like ways. Ever so slowly, for the warmongers have no recollection of our "glorious dead" and we are as forgetful as necessity dictates for more fighting and more war.
Is it likely that we will never achieve that place of equality, where war is redundant? Or is it in our human nature to be at war and deliver it when nations feel there is no other option?
War needs inequality to spark to life. War needs its supporters, and it seems there are plenty who feel the war option remains open even when it is the sign of complete failure.
When we go to war, we have failed already. Vague recollections of Churchill and his feelings revealed his comprehension of any war as a failure. That in Victory the battle is lost and the cost is more war eventually. How then do we find our leaders going to war, and how so in these formidable times? What are we protecting and what are we stamping out?
Our current infatuation with a war on terror is so deadly, we will not see its true cost for many generations as we struggle to understand the terror we all face. And on the faces of those who remember first-hand what war really involves, I am hesitant to judge what we might do in these modern times to put an end to our wars. In doing so I would argue the case as some would see, to perpetuate aggression rather than an ending to punitive military action.
How do we face up to our Nations behaviour and how do we move all nations to amicable living in this complicated and ever more closely connected world?
If we do not resolve our differences and recognize our diversity, it will not be a human hand that perpetuates the catastrophe of our forever wars. It will be nature itself, which sets the balance of living for all mankind.
Our world, its ecology, is being consumed by humanity, ever increasing and now seen as limited. Our planet will no doubt have the final say in our human living conditions as it has ultimately in the past with every predator that walked the Earth. How ignoble and sad that we as humans had not the sense to take care of our environment. How sad our future generations are as expendable current human stock expended on war and its like.
When we are willing to wreck our environment without due care, it is no wonder our leaders have little regard for our citizens.
Ask the common man if he would go to war, and he may wonder what malady and madness might evoke its need. As a politician, ask a leader, ask someone who has more to protect than just their own life, and there is the foundation and argument for any war. The common man has no thirst for war, just nation leaders who have lost their argument and their reason. And in truth when reason is lost, it is insanity, which guides us to our battles.
Man and his evolution, so slow, corruptible in every generation will find the prospect of extinction first before reason might tip the balance and surrender to our gift of common sense.
Plain and simple the gift of common sense. Common ground for all, and the sense to recognize the value of all humanity. Our human gift of common sense and the never-ending tragedy of warlike leaders who have lost their sensibilities. We need sharpen our senses and see our folly and learn from history, rather than what we do now, remember our wars and our dead and make more of them…
November 15th 2004
Humility, Humiliation and Power
Humility is one of the most powerful gifts we learn. Humility is the gift of being able to see our errors of action and in acknowledging them, changing our behaviour and moving on, we grow as individuals. Our humility enables great depth of learning about ourselves, our adoption to new possibilities and ways of living.
Humiliation is quite different. The error of our ways pointed out by others, where the power is placed upon us leads to pronounced feelings of inadequacy. Humiliation is the product of others over us. Humiliation often leads to anger, frustration and the desire to even the score over time. Humiliation damages, it has no long term useful purpose, it enables schisms and untold abominations of behaviour. Humiliation is the path of aggression and lends others to be hostage to ill fortune.
Power, a most important asset is best kept, utilised and welded when outcomes empower all and not just a part of or one side. Power ill-used embodies humiliation, destroys understanding and causes inevitable conflicts with lethal effects.
Oft people look for understanding, and humility best kept, owned and shared as a person sees fit will yield great personal discovery and serve as example to others. Pointing out defects of others, however well-meaning will inevitably lead to loss of esteem and bitterness. Take care with human hand, enable humility in oneself and leave others to derive their own by your example.
Humility is an inner peace, a learning to befriend oneself even in times of utter despair at outcomes least desired. Humiliation born out of righteous indignation, it serves no one, fills our lives with egocentric aggressiveness. Breaking down and humiliating people is seen by some to be their gift of learning. Take care from whom we learn and take care of yourself. Judging others is wilful, extremely disturbing to inner peace and smacks right back in full measure. As humbly we walk and share our travels, so too others learn the similarities of paths to peace. The rod of righteousness delivers equal blows until humiliation is seen to be the master of no one, the hurry of indignation and the devil on everyone's back. Care of our inner humility is just your concern, a powerful gift shared by our own example, not making an example of others...
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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