November 16 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "a daily reprieve contingent on my spiritual condition…" If spiritual is: being able to cope with reality in the moment of now, and when we cannot cope, ask for help to cope with reality? The emotional and spiritual fellowship: knowing how my mood impacts on my thinking and my actions in the moment of now, and learning in the moment is the daily reprieve…
Video For Today:
We are living in the moment, no matter what is going on in our minds. We may have feelings about the past and feelings about the future, where we make changes is in the here and now. The old ways which we know so well from step six, the fear, the wearing of a brave face, so no one knows what's going on and ego trying to cover up our feelings of inadequacy is part of it. The new ways of living, the shortcomings, those things we wish to develop: courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing, and growing confidence to be in the moment of now, to have the humility to keep on learning and humility to ask the help when we need it. Then, it is not only a daily reprieve and a return to old ways, step seven, courage, faith and confidence is the gateway to a new day, every day…
If we were able to live step seven type lives all the time, courage to change, faith that life will work out no matter what, and confidence without fear, it would be remarkable and probably foolhardy and an impossible expectation ready to create resentments along the way. Sometimes there is balance and we cope well with life and other times, we are forced into extremes of feeling, and then after the thinking goes wonky and our actions will be extreme trying to cope with situations we were not designed to deal with on an on-going basis. When we live at the extremes for long periods, behaviour becomes erratic and we get stuck and addicted to impossible regimes. We do need to keep life in the day, dealing with what is going on, feeling the feelings and knowing how they impact on our thinking and our actions today…
So often we think we need to be the problem solver, the manager, the controller, the person who knows best, because that's what we've been taught to do when we are: parents, teachers, gurus, doctors, dentists, supervisors, managers, Foreman, religious leader, religious zealot, politician, or simply the man in the street with an opinion. Just because we have an opinion and belief, it does not mean people need follow our lead. After all we are all doing it. And that's why we have conflict. Were we not all rebellious children? And why do we wonder why nobody listens that well to what we have to say? Can do, work on my own situation: mood, thinking and actions. Cannot do, dictate or instruct others: in their mood, thinking and actions. The best we can do is negotiate and find agreeable ways to live together. One day at a time? And sometimes just from moment to moment…
On a daily basis, our spiritual condition is contingent on our environment, what is happening to us and how we feel about it. Good, bad or ugly, our spiritual condition is what it is. We are driven by nature and nurture, we have feelings which we learn as we live, and the feelings impact on our thinking and our actions. Feel bad, think bad and actions are bad as well. In denial about how we feel, we pretend and think in denial of our true feelings and our actions are probably superficial and indifferent. When a person says to you, "whatever," when you are sharing something you feel deeply, they are telling you they don't care, or rather they deny your feelings, and you get very upset. Measure how people cherish you, measure how you cherish people, measure how you or others are superficial and indifferent to the feelings of those around you. If you are cherishing and show it, all well and good, it is your side of the Street which counts in being able to cope in the moment of now...
A spiritual condition based on step six, is life under threat and continues to be a dangerous way to live for any human being. A spiritual condition based on step seven, where hope springs eternal, might be achieved now and again, and some call this enlightenment. My opinion about enlightenment is being able to cope with reality, where all senses work now. A spiritual condition which fluctuates with life experience, good, bad and ugly is the best it's ever going to be. And all our emotions, instincts and learning are in play in the moment. We do not need to deny anything, we learn to cope with life on life's terms. And when we cannot cope, and cannot feel what is going on, it takes time to come back to the moment of now… True enlightenment is shit and shinola today…
If a person has more experience, has more knowledge than you do, they can be a source of help if they choose to help you. When you are asking for help, choose a person who has humility and treats you as an equal. If you find yourself in a situation where other people are telling you what to do and how to run your life, better to walk away sooner rather than later. In the fellowship of AA, some people will try and mould you like them, they will offer you an opinion on how to live the steps and traditions. That was never the intention and is never the intention of the founders, the twelve steps and twelve traditions work for everyone in a personal way, trying to follow the lead, and be like somebody else, or defer to them and put them on a pedestal will surely impede your spiritual progress in any moment. Freedom of choice, freedom of thought, freedom of belief and opinion applies to everyone, not just them, whoever them or they may be. Continue to be a rebel without a cause for as long as you can in the spiritual moment of now…
We don't need to be enslaved again by an addiction, alcohol, a substance, particular people, particular places or particular things. Out of one form of slavery, we need not adopt a new form of codependence nor encourage it through our own belief system and opinions about how life should be led. Be free and enjoy your spiritual condition today… Self-aware, prayer and meditation and coping with reality, a pretty good start to any given day… And when we cannot, we ask the help, as we learn who and where to ask the help, we will encounter a few duds along the way. And we learn from them. Very painfully..!
If it walks like a duck and quacks, and tells you its all a load of effing crap, group therapy nonsense, it is nonsense to them, part of the experience of fellowship. It makes no sense and it is the truth as they see it right now. Effing brilliant! Behind anger is fear, and anger and fear are true for the person experiencing anger and fear. Real feelings, and hurt people hurt other people. I need respect the outlook even when my outlook is happy joyous and free. That is reality today...
Education, education and education. To broaden and deepen the meaning of life we learn as we may. Experience the best teacher? Yes and no. It depends on expectations and what we think we deserve as a result. "Pop culture:" Raises expectations of fame and fortune and reality sucks for so many today. As some spectate on those living the dream, resentments deepen, rage and anger manifest in real day to day failure. A wake up call to society, the dream works for a few and cannot be lived by everyone. New survival skills required, I am lucky to live sober with 12 steps guiding me to my needs met and wants forgotten...
Emotional education and thinking education: We feel we deserve, we think we deserve, this outlook will keep us dormant as the world still turns. Spectator skills abound, useless if we do not learn how to survive as humans putting in the right action when reality cannot deliver "the dream." Are recovery skills needed in all living for all people? All life experience, we need all of it to make sense of what is possible and not possible today...
November 16 2010 ~ living reality contingent on my spiritual condition: How do I know what my spiritual condition is today? I apply myself to living, action is always better than living in the past or watching life and judging it. If I live in what might be, I am waiting. Open, honest and willing I take part in what is going on with freedom to choose today...
November 16 2010 ~ when I know I am right, can control and manage, do the things to hold on to my way of life as I see fit, hold on to what should be happening... Lock me up or suggest I get to a meeting. To make sense of reality today, I need perspective, to let go and be open to new choices, be free of the past and live in the present moment today...
Cunning Baffling Powerful - The ‘Orrible Devil In Me!
As the song title suggests, “I did it my way,” and Frank Sinatra sang it beautifully, at the same time I really liked the way Sid Vicious sang it too, MY WAY! I learned to live life my way and was under the influence of my father during my formative years when he was around. And fortunately my mother too, her way was better and involved learning life as she went along. My Dad was more influenced by drink, fear and shame and guilt a lot of the time, but none of us knew it when we were kids, and only know now, decades later do I see how much like him I am. He died early from drink, and I nearly did too on numerous occasions.
Drink for most people is not cunning baffling or powerful, because they are not alcoholics, but for me the fascination with drink and its ability to change me, or help me find oblivion was always in me and growing. Until drink ruled me, it was cunning baffling and powerful and I could not stop. Today, I do have a reprieve from the insanity of drink on a daily basis contingent on my spiritual condition.
In some ways and in my case, I feel drink or drugs can catch us faster than the previous generation. We see it around us in our growing up years and we imitate. Just a feeling I have. My Dad was a robust individual and drank all his adult life, died at 65 from everything associated with a hard drinking life style. I am 54, have had my grazes with the grim reaper “alcohol” over the years and wonder just how much time I have taken off my life because of drink. At the same time, the years sober have been wonderful in living both the joys and horror life offers daily.
Life can be a bed of roses, and at the same time roses grow best when fertilised with horse’s droppings. Without the horses droppings we could not enjoy the smell roses so we need the droppings and the light to smell the roses? We take the rough and the smooth and learn from both. A bit like my Mum and Dad and their influences and their life experiences and what they learned? Indeed life is like that too, good and bad.
Today sober, I have many influences, I cannot change the past, I can live in the day. And keep learning life; be active in what is going on, without the fear of the ‘orrible devil in me, just for today…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A DAILY REPRIEVE" What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
Maintaining my spiritual condition is like working out every day, planning for the marathon, swimming laps, jogging. It’s staying in good shape spiritually, and that requires prayer and meditation. The single most important way for me to improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power is to pray and meditate. I am as powerless over alcohol as I am to turn back the waves of the sea; no human force had the power to overcome my alcoholism. Now I am able to breathe the air of joy, happiness and wisdom. I have the power to love and react to events around me with the eyes of a faith in things that are not readily apparent. My daily reprieve means that, no matter how difficult or painful things appear today, I can draw on the power of the program to stay liberated from my cunning, baffling and powerful illness."
November 16 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Of Nightmares and Confusion
When I woke in the early hours out of a shocker of a nightmare, all about times past, it left me confused and feeling pretty awful. Of late I had forgotten the impact of nervous breakdowns and much that assailed me in my working career. Nasty indeed, and then broken sleep ad more confused thinking.
Coping and Troubleshooting
So often because of life experience and toughness we don’t realise just how far we wander into danger by toughing out hard times in life. Going it alone, without emotional support we become used to holding much inside and not showing what is happening on our outsides.
The Best Boss I Ever Had
He knew me pretty well from day one, even the parts I chose to hide with skilful evasion, yet he knew. Part science part intuitive, as we reveal our experiences of life, some recognise what it takes to do the hard time in endeavour. And when we think we are playing our cards close to our chest, another experienced player can see our bluff as well as our strengths.
The Worst Boss I Ever Had
Deserves credit for the breakdown of me. And so do I. Being a good worker and solid supporter I realised mistakes made in accepting employment with this organisation and this boss. I am reminded from time to time of all the malpractice, all the lies told, the abuse ignored and final moments where even I with every coping strategy found death preferable to any life. Beaten down as logic has no fair ending, abuse has no place in reason, tyranny has no place in my heart. It took a sick individual to break me, and glad he did. It won’t happen ever again and it is his good fortune we have not met these last few years. I forgive every day, and still recognise there is no value in confrontation as a single act would not relieve my pain nor offer opportunity for another to make their life turn for good. Denial has its uses for those who are not able to recognise their malfeasance and their part in malpractice. I hope they live a long while and find guilt their constant companion, until of course they realise… smiles as you can see human I am.
There are no conditions on forgiveness nor any need to be so enraged these days. I accept my humanness as I accept it is not for me to put right anything, nor interfere. I have no energy most of the time for any need for news of ill winds. Most of the time I could care less.
I felt unable to pull myself together and no matter what I made mistake after mistake trying to write a few sentences. So easy to write some days, and then this morning quite unlike me, to be tongue tied and out of sorts. A meeting at high noon at Eaton Sq.
Yes Eaton square has gone through some patchy times. A bit like me when I am out of sorts and old nightmares come to haunt. When we in fellowship try regulate more than is good for us then as a group we can be led off the map of sobriety. And this is not so now at High Noon.
Good sense and sensibilities were share today, my head started clearing and whilst part of me kept feeling like coming home and finding some sleep, the weather kept me out.
Sunshine And This Day
This day will never be the same again. I feel this every time I am out and taking photos. I love seeing people going through London, living here, enjoying here, being as they are here and now.
Even though it’s a struggle sometimes I force myself to get going and see what might be seen. London as we do, it changes every day. Nothing is ever the same when we our looking at life as we may.
Was where I started and then Parliament and from our centre of democracy to Whitehall, with Downing Street, to Trafalgar, to Covent garden, to China Town and then to Piccadilly. And finally to Harrods just round the corner from me. And my head is better for a stirring rally at Eaton square and my feelings are back in this day and not in the past or stuck in a labyrinth of painful feelings generated from last night’s nightmare.
Home for an hour or two and now ready to get going again. To another meeting where no one has a name but the one they choose, anonymous as is right, providing a safe sanctuary to share and make good our heads.
As is life, when we are present we can make it work, just for a day.
16th November 2006
Step Out Step up - Step Changes
Odd times again for me, a lot of my living is, or has improved. And still there are hard times ahead. Its real life and life is all elements, for good and bad..
I first heard of step changes being in Consultancy. You know where big companies get consultants in to help them smash old traditions and deploy new methods of working, and sometimes they just chuck away bits and people. Step change was a term for ruthless and relentless change for the good. What good it has ever done is not too certain as a consultant has two things on their minds, the number of days consulting time to bill the client, and how to get out of the firing line as soon as possible. Consultants do work hard and suffer consequences beyond the immediate and get paid fat fees often for doing the dirty work companies cannot do themselves.
Steps though these days are different for me, I am not a consultant, and not a step change junkie particularly when it comes to other people. However I am a step change junkie when it comes to me.
So what steps do I do?
I do steps, small ones and big ones every day following a bunch of suggestions from my mates in a fellowship of men and women who don’t drink anymore, because it makes them loopy and fucked up. We are a bunch of recovering alcoholics, making a day work, daily and that’s it.
At first encounter the fellowship of equals is mind boggling. Not an organisation, no hierarchy, nobody in charge and yet it keeps people alive, living and well for decades just by following a few simple ways of living. And the simpler the better, for indeed we are clever people who can bend anything out of shape in order to get our own way given half a chance.
Steps of living
With a simple bunch of suggestions there are millions around the world who have given up their favourite addiction, and killer addictions. They get on with real life in the moment and by the day. We look after our physical and emotional wellbeing just a day at a time. And for those who realise that real time by the day living is the true spiritual experience, we get some spiritual too. Just by following some suggestions.
Mad as Hatters
Well we were once and can be again, which is why the fellowship has meetings all over the world helping groups working together to keep sober just daily. And you know it works, when we work at life.
Working at Living - Step Changes
If I were a businessman, I would try include AA steps into the organisation, but it would probably fail. Because they are merely suggestions and everyone has their own way of life and living. But one thing is solid, we are men and women who benefit from sharing wisdom and working together in one common purpose - just sobriety.
Taking a few steps to complete freedom, to making good decisions and applying the right measures to life, well it makes our lives a whole lot better.
We very human fuck ups, get better and better at living and join in again with everyone and get to live like normal people may, or might believe they can. We do it because it works, and we work hard at being sober and experiencing real life every day.
As my last meeting was less than an hour ago, I feel ok, and I am full of peace, because I know I have done whatever I could today and left it at that. Not buggered by drink or compulsions and happily able to deal with my being just now, and tomorrow is just another day.
How Am I
I am ok, worried with usual day to day, encountering my own humanity and compassion, subject to sadness here and there, and able to experience joy as it occurs and I keep faith with the here and now. Am free from fears, as fears kept me down for many a year. I am vulnerable and do my best to make good.
I can feel whatever the day presents, and live reality, with less denial than any other time in my life. I can love and be loved, and not be worried if it is ok or not, it is love as love is and not more or less anything else. I can appreciate depth, can appreciate highs and lows. Can accept my capacities are just what they are. I live one day at a time, acknowledge my journey and endeavour, live now, and let the future be as meant, not now!
A few simple steps, for complicated people like me, just took fifty years to get it, got it and good for the day. About time!
November 16th 2005
How Equal Might We Be?
"what might diversity mean. What might it embrace. What is diversity really about. And what about similarities. And what about value we might give our fellow human beings? A topsy turvy moment!"
If we embrace diversity we have another key to living. Diversity is about equality for me. It means no one person is bigger or smaller than any other. That the value of everyone is the same. That the life experience of a road sweeper is the equal of a leader of a nation. The value of life is the same whoever it may be. That the joy one person experiences are no
more or less than any other. That the sadness we might experience is no more or less profound than our fellow. So whether we are a Leonardo with paintings revered for centuries or the person painting a wall as a Janitor, the real value or absolute value is constant. We just know more about one
than another and therefore a greater appreciation. This is consistent I presume (a big one in presumptive terms) with our good conscience, and for those who believe with and in God. Diversity is the experience we get. Similarity is our template. Nature provides our raw material, our similarity, nurture our difference. So if we accept diversity we know our true value, our mutuality. We as humans are coextensive. Our "zeitgeist" if you like is moving towards diversity. How far are we in our evolution? One step forwards and inevitably two back as the pressure of prejudice pulls us backward into the abyss of anarchy.
We know in our good conscience the essence of how we might live, we accept our imperfect perfect and our own personal journey. And as a collective, humanity rushes to fix when only our nature and time will do the job.
November 16th 2004
If you are ready to alter some of the current outcomes in your life then you will need to start with your beliefs. There are many categories. First there are 'fatal beliefs' - "I can't, I'm not able, I never will." These are the beliefs we have about ourselves, that set the boundaries and limitations of ourselves. Then there are 'blocker beliefs' - "My kid is stupid...my boss is an idiot...did you see that crazy person?" These are beliefs about others and, for however long they last, they block the flow of energy in a relationship. They are bricks in the walls we build between each other. Then there are 'survival beliefs' - "Get what you can while you can....there is not enough to go around...you have to look after number one." These beliefs would have us live in fear and anxiety, otherwise known as insecurity. We can choose our beliefs. But first we may have to let go unhelpful notions that have crept in over the years, now living comfortably 'below stairs' and seem to be part of our inner furniture. If you want different outcomes in your life, change your beliefs first. Clean up down stairs!!
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
About Psychosis And Depression: