November 19 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "slip sliding away… One day at a time…" An emotional and spiritual fellowship helping anyone to be sober one day at a time. Fellowship, a large number of people, with one primary purpose, to stay sober and help each other. Maintenance of our emotional and spiritual condition is awareness and involvement and keeping it simple. Sobriety is worn like a loose garment, plenty of room, plenty of space and only takes what it takes to cope with reality today…
Video For Today:
Yesterday here in London UK, the weather was bright and exceptional, the quality of light in the autumn and the change of the season brings warmth in the cold. An early meeting, and out with my camera and coffee at a cafe at the side of the lake was peaceful and serene. And the excitement of being able to feel all the elements and my senses working made me feel giddy and happy. The meeting, full of despair and then hope about what it is to be a human being, vulnerable and able to learn what to do by asking for help, followed by fun conversations with strangers. If we are not slip sliding away from the reality of now, every emotion is a spiritual touchstone, breathtakingly real in the imperfectly perfect moment of now…
When we cannot get to meetings, there is every form of communication open and on offer to help us where available. And we have hard copy literature when the other media is unavailable. Face-to-face, we benefit most. And ironically, although we may not be able to converse in the moment, we can relate to people, places and things so much easier than before, when we were cut off and unable to face our feelings about our situation and unable to cope with reality. When we find a routine, keep on making the effort to be in touch with each other in recovery, we don't lose sight of the daily reprieve and we keep learning about life as it is and it can be today…
Slip sliding away usually involves forgetfulness, because things are either going really well. Or they are going really badly. At either extreme, when we are really happy, we may forget what keeps us on track. And when we are really unhappy, we feel like we may be failing in some way, that something isn't working and that, no matter how much effort we are putting in, there is no payback and no serenity. At either extreme, the amount of time required to keep on track and follow are good routines might take a little longer because we resist the need to do so. We are prone to take back control of those things we thought we had control over: people, places, things and substances… A natural forgetfulness? Or a desire to play God? Maybe all I need do is remind myself that I am human. In recovery. I need self-awareness, prayer and meditation, and be involved in fellowship one day at a time...
How am I feeling this morning? Sunday was a good day, participating in fellowship. Meeting a charity walk, on the embankment of the River Thames, collecting donations for diabetes research. As a type I diabetic, a welcome surprise and a few photos snapped from willing participants, as I was making my way to Battersea Park. The Gondola restaurant, by the lakeside and an espresso and a reminder of good times and a romantic sober interlude from years back. And then chats with strangers and more photo snaps. And then a close encounter of the female kind, happy flirting with no intent. And a return home, excitingly disturbed by encounters and also peaceful and serene. Phone calls, happiness, a siesta and some reflections later. I feel calm this morning, knowing the world and even my world will be full of the good, the bad and the ugly, I can play my part in it, whatever it may be just for a day…
Connoisseur ~ expert; especially : one who understands the details, technique, or principles of an art and is competent to act as a critical judge... that was me with a drink in hand and a head brimming with judgments. Expert drinker; expert worker; expert lover; after all I must have been given the quantity of consumption? Was I deluded? Indeed I was, blunted by indulgence made superficial and indifferent by excess and success, life was meaningless. Today I am a learner, how to live and cherish is a daily exercise, to love and be loved, unconditional and then to be useful in whatever endeavour may come my way today... A learner always in the moment of now...
As I understand it, the word serenity is defined as: clear and free of storms or unpleasant change, "the serenity in the aftermath of the tornado was remarkable." In the grip of addiction my emotional and spiritual core, my inner storms fuelled by fear, covering up and a never feeling good enough and fixing myself to cope with reality was a living hell. Serenity today is knowing my feelings are real, feelings shape my thinking and actions, living the truth of now I can cope and ask for help when I do not know what the next right action may be. I cannot fix reality to my way; I can live reality, life on life's terms. Serenity is acceptance and freedom of choice today...
November 19 2010 ~ practicing these principles in all our affairs... happy or sad, serious or light hearted we do take stock of where we are today. And sometimes when life is tough and I feel angry or resentful, all I need do is remind myself that each day sober has been made possible by a fellowship which supports me all the way...
November 19 2010 ~ what has fellowship given me? The ability to cope with reality, which some suggest is spiritual. Indeed I do believe reality is our spiritual life. Practical and pragmatic we are in unity, service and recovery. Prayer and meditation reminds me always to remember the still suffering alcoholic each and every day...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "I WAS SLIPPING FAST” We A.A.’s are active folk, enjoying the satisfactions of dealing with the realities of life... So it isn’t surprising that we often tend to slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really necessary. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96
I had been slipping away from the program for some time, but it took a death threat from a terminal disease to bring me back, and particularly to the practice of the Eleventh Step of our blessed Fellowship. Although I had fifteen years of sobriety and was still very active in the program, I knew that the quality of my sobriety had slipped badly. Eighteen months later, a check-up revealed a malignant tumour and a prognosis of certain death within six months. Despair settled in when I enrolled in a rehab program, after which I suffered two small strokes which revealed two large brain tumours. As I kept hitting new bottoms I had to ask myself why this was happening to me. God allowed me to recognize my dishonesty and to become teachable again. Miracles began to happen. But primarily I relearned the whole meaning of the Eleventh Step. My physical condition has improved dramatically, but my illness is minor compared to what I almost lost completely."
November 19 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ An Odd Day
A particularly odd day
Having spent hours working on new pages and updating my You Tube to be less prone to spamming I was pretty much in need of a time out. I got two. One was a step meeting to go make tea, and be a part of. And see my sister afterwards for a chat. With my sister its good and always so, we cheer each other up to an extent. We have time to learn and enjoy each other’s outlook.
Tradition two meeting with a twist and turn. All about doing the right thing, having a group with a conscience. A group kept safe on principles before personalities.
As it happened some returning researchers to our fellowship and a some newcomers. We might wonder what to do at a tradition two meeting, it’s a bit of a stretch to make sense of anything in AA when we are new.
Newcomers come first?
In our fellowship the newcomer is by far the most important person in the room regardless of tradition in my opinion and tonight it was a bit sad. Our chair did exactly what I might have tried to do if I had been the person speaking first - indeed I had been asked although unaware until I checked my phone later in the day.
Anyway Elder Statesmen and Bleeding Deacons
Elder Statesmen are the old timers who know the Fellowship and have years of wisdom and experience. Such esteemed people do exist in AA. At the same time it seems we had some Bleeding Beacons present too.
Tradition Two talks of Elder Statesmen and Bleeding Deacons. The Elder are seen often as first amongst equals because of their wisdom, Bleeding Deacons are a bit of a different kettle of fish. Bleeding deacons know the programme, the fellowship and their own outlook, the Deacons are those often seen sharing their knowledge and not necessarily wisdom.
Is knowing what the fellowship is all about and having experience enough to understand that a meeting is above all a fellowship meeting is to help alcoholics get to a place of sobriety and be able to keep sober for the day at a time we have.
Is not sitting and pontificating on finer points of fellowship when newcomers are there. Knowledge of the greater good for the group we might feel is to be somewhat flexible.
Saying newcomers have no business in a tradition meeting, it is a bit like wondering where the horse is and why it bolted. I feel sad to share this has happened.
The utter sadness is when people have their agenda so tight they need quote chapter and verse and sit in judgment on others in open forum, offer their knowledge as wisdom, well you can guess what my feelings are. and I also know writing this puts me a step nearer to Bleeding Deaconism for myself.
Wisdom and Group Conscience
Indeed we need wisdom of the years in sobriety. Years of sobriety and no need to quote or brag about what a person has done when the group forms a view one way and theirs. As we endeavour we understand why Elder statesmen often tip over to be Bleeding Deacons. As anger and ego are always a part of the makeup of any character we may encounter then we need ask ourselves about the primary purpose and step twelve.
We need flexibility to ensure those who come into AA, even when it’s a serious moment and maybe a point to be shared, we need ask ourselves what is important right here and now?
The simple answer need be for 'the greater good' and the absolute imperative of helping a newcomer be welcome and not be a hindrance. Our pontificating is pointless to the newcomers, and newcomers need safety, and not debate.
Traditions & Steps
So important, the traditions, the glue that makes for our wellbeing, the steps about personal sobriety.
When a newcomer asks after a meeting what impression they might have had from our tradition meeting tonight? I can say I have encountered many meetings which are just as this one today. Beyond comprehension.
A chair who tailored their share to the newcomer and covered the tradition so well, and some who shared their experience generally and inclusively for the newcomer. Some who just need voice their happiness or their pain. And some who take no account of the newcomer at all.
My observations tonight were sharp, my outlook somewhat sad. My feeling overall, that some did try to help newcomers. No mollycoddling just an attempt to rebalance a newcomers view that maybe we might all be mad, but some of us do care. And hopefully they will come back.
Where Bleeding Deacons are full of knowledge, Elder Statesmen full of wisdom. One in the same as we are both, we need make sure we know the differences of these approaches to life we can adopt. A matter for twelve steps and living the programme and not just knowing it. So many know it, and don’t live it, they merely complain about it. Bleeding Deacons we can be, we may prefer the Epithet of ’old timer’ or elder statesman. We need earn our wisdom in living, not evaluating or judging. We can be either as our personality, our experience and our behaviour manifests.
Some of us need look in the mirror more often and ask that simple question:
Who am I?
"My name is Don, alcoholic, as sober as experience has enabled and just for a day"
We need wisdom not trite knowledge delivered without any regard for who and where we are. Truly, we can all do better…
19th November 2006
Peace and Quiet
Yes for me today is about peace of mind and a quiet head. I got to bed late and woken up early by a call. Its ok, and yet my head feels like it needs more time to relax. We are so often moving fast we have not time to lie still and let nature help sort our feelings and thoughts
We can deny them, and yet they are always in us. And we can suppress them, and be in denial about them. Feelings are what they are. And having feelings can be the very devil, when feelings appear inappropriate to what we think is right or wrong.
How we ever get to our thinking, its what we learn to do, how we are conditioned and how we are able to make sense everything. When people lose their reason, it’s a hard world to live in. Reason helps us make sense of every feeling which flits across our inside.
Our conscience determines what we do. And if we are imbued with good conscience, we align our thoughts, we appreciate the feelings we have and then can live as we are able to choose.
Made with a clear and good conscience, consistent with feelings we have and then backed up by reason and we are happy.
When we consider how complicated we all are, moving along in our own way and at a pace we determine, or not always as sometimes the world is slow or more speedy, the opportunity to be in this place of balance is quite difficult and scary.
Living on auto pilot and on our wits
We do both. Much of life is understood and routine, where we fail is most often in out of the ordinary and where feelings are there we cannot agree of feel right about. Thinking gets thrown out, and choices made are often contrary to our judgment and conscience.
No wonder finding peace and balance is difficult, we might just be aware it’s the same for everyone. That everyone has their learning and unique place in the journey of life. And where we find harmony and balance we may keep with our outlook as we find our way to spiritual connection in the here and now. For indeed it is just now, this ever present moment of now, where our deeds occur, our history is formed and we make our path to the future.
The true gift of now, is towards being complete, when we are able to bring mind, body and breath into the moment of now, the ever present, present moment where we have choices and opportunity, best we keep safe with our inner voice and feelings as we navigate the here and now of living, or we may find denial and thinking make good nothing. And nothing is where our devil inside makes us imagine and forget all our senses as we try fix the impossible, history and the future as we may will it and forget no amount of willpower will ever make life different from this one day and present moment, with ourselves or others. As we move on in good conscience, we have the gift of reality forever with us, and our connection assured as can be, now how hard is that? Simple to our feelings and conscience… made more complicated by our thinking and wishes. Best wish for a real moment and have clarity rather than illusions and mystery which serve no one but the deluded.
November 19th 2005
Intellect vs. Feeling
just as the highest tower needs a deep foundation, so too our higher thinking is based on going deep within.
Actually any old tower needs foundations or it will end up like Pisa. A thoughtful fellow made that one and it stands today. What is forgotten as we cruise around our intellect is the other side of our being. That is our feeling and nature. Almost lost in our reverie. Our high tower construct with deep foundation, the trick of nurture and thinking, is balanced hopefully by nature and feeling. Or we get no kick from life and its meaning.
As happy as... is made of feeling and emotions we are gifted at birth. Let us hope our intellect and nurture does not get the better of a great grand design, our human spirit all things metaphysic.
November 19th 2004
Your ability to recognize the specialities of others makes you a natural leader.
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: