November 30 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "attraction is the main force in fellowship: open honest and willing, telling the truth, sharing experience, strength and hope. Attraction: what you see is what you get, WYSIWYG." What if AA were to promote itself by exposing famous personalities in order to get the attention of the still suffering alcoholic? And what if they were to slip? Actually, these are very different questions, and at the same time, the answers can be based on fear. Truth is spiritual, coping with reality is spiritual. Lying is spiritual, and not coping with reality is spiritual. Either way, learning how to cope or not cope in certain situations is the very stuff of life and sharing about both is the truth…
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How often do we actually take time to understand how the twelve steps are working and how the twelve traditions are working in our lives? Step eleven for me helps me on a personal basis to be more self-aware, understand humility and what I might be able to pray and meditate about today. Self-awareness, prayer and meditation are all about who we are, what we believe in and what we may do today. Tradition eleven, being myself and sharing the truth, sharing experience, strength and hope feels right. At the same time, I have no right ever to speak on behalf of fellowship in my opinion. Every single person has a voice, and I would not wish to speak for anyone else. A fellowship based on emotional and spiritual principles, and freedom of the individual to live a purposeful life helps everybody find a personal code of ethics and responsibilities. There is a bit of good in the worst of people, and a bit of bad in the best of people. There is good and bad in me, I'm a human being and have learned and will always learn, day by day: How the emotional and spiritual principles keep me safe one day at a time…
Quite rightly, the founders of the fellowship realised you cannot legislate and make people conform to a set of rules, laws or regulations which stop spiritual development. We learn by our mistakes and our triumphs one day at a time. We have bleeding deacons in fellowship, nay Sayers and big book exponents laying down their "belief and opinion." As if belief and opinion is truth! Truth is always in the moment of now and is progressive. What was true about fellowship back in the day, and what is true about fellowship today is based on the life experiences of its fellows. Informed truth, the foundation of living in the moment. The truth of now? A learning experience where we learn to cope, and learn how to ask for help when we cannot cope...
A Prime Minister agrees to accept the findings of a public enquiry on freedom of the press and any recommendations it might make as long as they are not "bonkers recommendations." And the public enquiry makes recommendations which are not bonkers. And at the same time having now read the findings of the enquiry, the Prime Minister finds the recommendations unacceptable. Number one, the Prime Minister has reneged on his public statements, number two, the main players and offenders and lawbreakers are up in arms that their freedom of speech need be monitored by statute, and of breaking the code of practice, fines and legal proceedings would follow. Politicians, ignoring the findings, the press demanding their rights. And the people hurt by illegal activities of lawbreakers, forgotten. Enshrined in all the arguments is freedom of expression to share the truth. Politicians and the press are exponents of the selective truth. And here we have it in a nutshell, selective truth, ignoring the victims and the excesses of those in the media who flout truth on a daily basis… The argument remains self-regulation versus legal regulation. I advocate a system of self-regulation, and at the same time if people are defamed or hurt and become victims and the law of the land has been broken, they should have access to legal help to put the record straight and lawbreakers face consequences... Mind you, I would write that would I not? Truth and wisdom are always learned as we go along in life, and we are responsible for the consequences of our actions…
How am I feeling this morning? Emotionally and spiritually. I feel okay in the moment of now. No fears bugging me, nothing outrageous bothering me particularly and acceptance of life on life’s terms in the moment of now. My physical pain is half what it was yesterday, and I can walk a little bit better this morning. I feel let down and disappointed when I look out at the media and what politicians say and do. Self-interest serves no one. And no one seems to be serving the public interest, and freedom of expression as we do in fellowship. Enlightenment means we can also see the endarkenment of others. I'm reminded of step one, two and three, I am powerless over a lot of things and life can get unmanageable if I think I do have power over others. It would be madness to go backwards and try live life like I used to, and expect something different to happen. Let go and let good people come to the fore and find their causes and don't undermine them. Step ten and spot-check inventory, am I being truthful, how am I feeling and why and what to do to help the situation overall, rather than serve any personal self-interest which serves no one but me. A little bit of prayer, meditation, improving and helping me understand my responsibilities today: to be as well as I can be, to have purpose and endeavours and be a part of life, an active participant in the moment and one day at a time. And help people if they ask, and ask if they need help… It is a way of life. Practising these principles in all our affairs keeps me on track just for today… To err is human, and so is forgiveness when God works through people…
There is no “why me?” in recovery, it is more a case of “why not me?” The same for any killer ailment or disease if we realise the truth is “why not me?” we can stop blaming ourselves or anyone or even god. It is in our nature, genes and providence and we can seek help. Fear and self-loathing can keep us sick, faith and asking for help can open up possibilities, never about guarantees or certainties today…
“Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A.” What you see is what you get “WYSIWYG.” Humility offers the opportunity to learn about life every day with the key principles; to be open, honest and willing. I can ask for help from anyone anywhere at any time. When I ask those who can help do, those who cannot don’t, and I learn the wisdom and know the difference just for a day…
At any time in recovery, we will fail at some endeavour and need try and try again. I would never judge anyone trying to follow the path of others in sobriety. A killer disease which gnaws at our emotional, physical and spiritual core, without respite ends life so often. The clarity to thoroughly follow the path takes time. It takes a fellowship to keep me sober, just as it takes a village to raise a child…
November 30 2010: Fellowship: the work of the many, sharing experience strength and hope daily which makes sobriety possible. And meetings; what you see is what you get on the day. We are all making progress daily. Today, a snapshot can be good or bad depending on what disturbs us. Always real, always progress not perfection...
November 30 2010: Anonymity for sanctuary to find sobriety and truth. In the rooms we do not hide our success or failure or if we slip back. AA works for me because sobriety is one day at a time. We cannot guarantee anything; life is difficult, sober however we are able to live, to love, be loved and useful one day at a time...
AA Daily Reflections: "PROTECTION FOR ALL" At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers. At the level of press, radio, TV, and films, anonymity stresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain. “UNDERSTANDING ANONYMITY,” p. 5
Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A. The miracle of continuous sobriety of alcoholics within A.A. confirms this fact every day. It would be harmful if the Fellowship promoted itself by publicizing, through the media of radio and TV, the sobriety of well-known public personalities who became members of A.A. If these personalities happened to have slips, outsiders would think our movement is not strong and they might question the veracity of the miracle of the century. Alcoholics Anonymous is not anonymous, but its members should be."
November 30 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Twelve Steps Not Two Steps
Out And About
I need to be on the move, exercise my body, exercise my head. Emotional and Physical.
And The Third Exercise - Spiritual
I am fairly convinced these days if we are physically as good as we can be, and emotionally receptive, then our spiritual progress is somehow possible on a daily basis.
Spiritual Progress is not Linear
We humans go back and forth around spiritual, we have our beliefs, our faith and our courage. Indeed my fellowship of AA helps me see what sort of progress I can achieve each day.
No Guarantees - for us in a spiritual way
Of course we need every experience a human can have to understand spiritual. And its pretty easy really as experience comes our way as we live, and there are no rules to growth.
Growth Spiritual is not Nirvana Not the Elysium Fields
It is every hard knock on our being, every loving moment, every natural part of physical and emotional experience.
Truth - Absolute
As we move along in living, as we seek truth or truth plainly seeks us out, or as life offers, gives, takes away and generally happens, truth with least filters and denials helps us keep our spiritual contact of now.
Ever Present in the Present Moment
Our focus on now, this one moment in time never to repeat, as we move along we get wisdom and often confusion too as we make sense of our living. As we imagine the past, as we consider the future so often we forget this present moment.
“If I can get through this tight bit of life, if I can just endure and endeavour a bit longer” So often teased and persuaded to be gratified later, and not in the now. Heaven is no place to end up and wonder why we missed the purpose of living!
If we can describe a purpose to living, maybe its happiness, joy, sad reflections, our denials, our imagination, our beliefs, if we can look back? What can we say about our impact in this world?
Nature and our world teaches, and we elaborate develop and make our living as we can. Sometimes we can see great rewards spiritually in understanding the place we are now. Impacted and made so by experience.
Love and Hate
We love and don’t hate. We hate and don’t love. We learn where balance is struck and can apply. Somewhere in the middle? Not so as my experience has led me this way and that. I cannot live in hate and keep my spiritual progress. I cannot understand love without hate and every gradient and hue in between.
Courage, faith and confidence help us understand our path in life. Fear, brave facing and ego can make us poorer students when we forget all our complete nature of all manner of attributes in our emotions.
Designed for Fear, Designed for Faith
Spiritual learning comes from both these extremes and somewhere in between as we humans can move from one outlook to the other in the blink of an eye.
Love Hate - Faith Fear - Courage Brave - Esteem Ego
All part of the spiritual of now, our minds can turn this way and that as we live life. If we live it we grow with it. If we deny it, filter it, then life is less than we may find.
Let Life happen, be courageous in our fears, be confident when our ego is rising, be courageous when bravery requires, be confident and know where ego’s drift.
Be human and let humanity rise above denials and filters each day presents. Find truth as truth is, not bent by human touch. A tall order? I think so, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly we progress on this journey of life, a day at a time.
30th November 2006
One day at a time?
Can we keep going one day at a time, sometimes it collapses to just by the hour. In truth my week so far has been like the Curate’s egg, good in parts. Sometimes we need to make a list of the good things we do and how we are doing…
Tonight though’ it seems like I failed to help and take account of where someone is and what they are about. There was no time, there was no opportunity, there was no way to help. That feels pretty awful. I want to deny I could not help, that the situation could be better, but I don’t know what I may do. When someone feels so low, its as bad can be and when there seems no way out there is always self-destruction. I know the person feeling this way is not alone, but they are so low I don’t know if their friend will be enough. I am powerless as things are and don’t quite know what to do but wait. Wait for what though, news of bad news, news of no news, news things are better. I have no way to help or intervene. I resolve I must wait, there is nothing more to do. I also know those who feel so low, they can ask for help from me and their friends so I am not alone in this feeling of being powerless or being empowered to help. There is also implied a threat to hurt and harm, which I cannot undo from where I am.
As far as the week is concerned, I have been left feeling somewhat side-lined and made less than just normal size, an adjunct to someone in their living. And this feels very unhelpful too. And there have been one or two using y time to help themselves and take more than I want to give, one way connections drain and do not sustain, especially when there is no listening to what I may say or how I am. Its ok to some extent and then I realise its just always going to be like this.
In my own world I am right sized, just ordinary like anyone else. Like anyone else merely human and can do just human things. I can be compassionate, passionate, surviving just about getting by and then some happiness turns up unexpected with some better understanding of human doings. That we all are doing our best, and sometimes the best thing we do is wait a while. Maybe that is the next best thing.
To bide ones time? Resist the pen and tongue and wait a while..
Biding one’s time is not easy, to not write, to not call, to not do anything, because nothing will ever make the difference, and that is powerful learning about powerlessness over people, places and things. Yet the inside me, I still feel there must be something I am missing. Like a dog with a bone, chewing and guarding my feelings and my notions, wondering if, and realise its not happening as nature may intend. Certainly I realise now I cannot expect nature and providence to fix something which cannot be fixed. People are where they are, they are meant to get there and get out of whatever it may be, sometimes with support and sometimes by their own devices.
Was a great meeting and it was a real catalyst to understanding the party which is over and the party just beginning. My new party, in sobriety, its not so smooth, it has bigger bumps, it can be joyful and it can be sad. Its just tonight though’, I wish sometimes for silence rather than talk, and where it may lead. Leading nowhere no doubt. I have reasons to be happy, I am one day along on my path, resolved to find some occupation and live with what I may do, and what I am not able to do. Incapacity, it somehow seems a bit stretchy and bit elastic, as one thing or other may pack up, another sense or capacity comes to the fore.
Newcomers to our fellowship
That bewildered and frightening moment of walking into a fellowship meeting where we see and hear what alcoholics are doing with their lives. The fear churns as much as any rattles and shakes we may have. We feel sick, we feel horrid and there because we are worried or have been pushed through the doors to these mad people who seem to profess they are getting their sanity back just one day at a time. Its as bad can be, that first meeting where we see normal people doing normal things like talk about where they were, where they are now and where they may go tonight and tomorrow. The fear is palpable as we sit with mad people made sane just one day at a time.
I felt the panic
I did, I felt their panic as they sat there and listened and laughed at ghastly recollections and horrid drunken tales, our experiences. And as they felt the ease with which we talk of our monumental screw ups, they seem to relax a little and only fear they may have, to try drink their tea without spilling it!
I felt their movement to relax a little as it seemed anything they may have done, its been done before by someone else. That their experiences so fresh are no different to ours. That it’s a safe place to share cock ups and dismay and sadness as much as hope for sober days and happier times without a drink.
Without a drink
My God its clocking up, the days for me. I am learning to live my life all over again with new tools and new outlooks and new ways to make life work. I have fellowship in abundance all around me and I go as I may and get there on the bike because walking just plain hurts too much…
A little help from my friends
And with a little help from my friends it works just for a day. Like some kind of magic, I keep faith and stay sober, knowing no amount of drink will ever be enough to make me drunk enough, and one drink will never quell a thirst once alerted. One drink is one too many for me these days. I am not tempted, for I know there is no point. And quite certain it will kill my quest to live again, free and unhindered rather than fettered to a substance, thing or being.
My fellowship are there for me
And tonight I know this without doubt, some meetings just make me feel like I belong at last. Is it any wonder I go daily? I just know what it’s about these days, helping each other, no pay expected, no conditions set, just plain there to help as best one can. Maybe this is why I feel so concerned tonight because I cannot help as I might wish. Someone has a well so deep I don’t know how to help them from where I am. And I know its not me who can. Its really their friend who may if they can open up, talk and let out the troubles. And I don’t know what their real situations is either. I have to wait, or make things worse than they are I can only speculate.
So in a week
From happy as a sand boy in some respects, to sadness and feeling used by some not so strong in their ways. And a supporter and relied upon in other ways not so noble, as the premise of the help is really a come on and help me and maybe this might lead somewhere. Some guile and manipulation, just plain old using, seems transparent to me, future and distant possibilities leaving the door open in their eyes to more. I see the truth even if they don’t themselves. There is no door or future as nature and providence don’t play to this tune.
Isolation and Panic
People do get scared and panic. They fear the lonely slog of days to come, where self-reliance and nothing but their resolve and endeavour can make it work. And some endeavours are not helped by fellowship when we need learn new ways and rules of living. We need to have fellowship to sustain the endeavour, we cannot do the endeavour for another…
And that fear that cripples can creep in and freeze and torture as we make our way. It was never worldly endeavour that made for fear in me, it was the horrors of loneliness and abject isolation which made for my dark desolate nightmares that spread into days weeks and months. And then to years as my final ruination came about. Ruined in every element that counts for us. And of course that rock bottom was merely a taste of things to come.
How am I feeling right now
Now I have written it, I will read it through. Old times and nightmares gone, some new ones around, at the same time its always this way. And yet there is joy about too, as glimpses come to new and better times.
Keeping our heads above water
Sometimes when we feel we are drowning in sorrow, something absurd and comforting happens. For me tonight it was sharing my truth which led to understanding of others that I am just like them, broken and rebuilding just with care and one day at a time. From hell to today, the difference is remarkable.
Along the way I learn humanity and feel the seep to good for myself and others. Courage and fortitude. I feel the human touch and love from my fellows tonight, for sharing simple truth and no denials, no ego there today and none tonight, just human and right sized with human capacity to live and help as I may. I am humbled by friendship I never understood till now. Now I know: I know the difference…
I wish it were so for so many more… those journeys yet to start and those almost done as time takes its toll on we humans so frail with strengths so deep. A clutter of spiritual dichotomies, living in the ever present, present moment of now!
Rest and hold to truth, for the truth will set us free.
November 30th 2005
Men Of Peace
If we are asked we are all men and women of peace. We fight against injustice, we argue against prejudice. Even we are as prejudiced as those we might accuse. Somewhere, somehow bias slips into our belief and faith, so we believe our cause is just and right. After all, in our own eyes we seek the best we can for our community and ourselves. An Englishman abroad, a man of peace travels to Iraq to be peaceful. And he finds he is captured and held hostage. And he is there before the world, an old man of peace, someone of strong views, someone who cares with passion about peace. And he is lost, worse he is seen as a spy, as someone who is an asset to trade in the madness of Iraq. The media and news splash the image of this man of peace across the world, for all to see. And this man of peace may wonder why he is held hostage, why his personal mission has gone so badly wrong and why he has misjudged the personal risk of his crusade.
Common sense would suggest it is not in his interest, yet we may commend him for his bravery. At best his attempt may seem naive, yet we are still uncertain what his mission might have been. Being an Englishman, I see typically English behaviour at work in this catastrophe. Typically we fight causes we might do well to understand before we proceed and dig deep into our conscience before we interfere further where we have no business. There is something in us, which makes us believe we might do better, might make good and might make a difference. We might do better to let well alone, another country we do not understand and are badly equipped to deal with. Like a missionary embarking on a crusade, the outcomes most often end in calamity and smack of Empire, Imperialism and an attitude of mind best humbled in reflection. As a journey begun as a quest, a mission of right over wrong, we fail to understand the elements we might face. Bravery is never the issue, intent is for the common good, but the action is not ours and we have most likely no business being involved as we may believe. And other men of peace pay as hard a price, when better able and equipped, to know the rightness of their case, their belief and commitment to the fundamentals of human rights.
And we applaud them, revere them and stand in awe of them. And we knew as we heard them, their rightness and their fortitude would cost them the ultimate price of life itself. Our modern day heroes, stand tall in our minds, our feelings quite in keeping to revere and admire, their struggle, their dedication and their stand for all men. And as we see some stand tall in our minds eye, we may forget for every man who ever found a voice, that thousands and millions paid an equal and terrible cost.. When we hear of one man held hostage to war, we might do well to remember a whole nation is
held to ransom as in Iraq. Hostages to fortune and misdeeds for centuries, will not be put to rights in a handful of years. As we might question the sanity of one man, for his bravado and rightness of cause, we may do well to reflect that governments are no better and might question their own sanity and rightness of action. To put right wrongs of decades is surely the folly of right over wrong...
November 30th 2004
Friends come in all shapes and sizes. And they have so many different ways of looking at the world. I realise more that as times goes by, the company I keep helps me see the world with different eyes. As seen by me, and seen by them, ever present are the subtle changes in outlook.
Often my world as I see it, its limited until, with exasperation sometimes, a whole new view opens and enables me to comprehend everything in a new light.
I realise the eyes I have are decades old, seeing so much and filtering the world to my view. So happily as I listen and see events from fresh perspectives I get enrichment beyond my wildest dreams. So broadened , outlook shifts and moves, we break the taint of prejudice and greet diversity with respect.
And so very Zen in times like these,
" the usefulness of any vessel, is in its emptiness " Now I get it! Again and again....
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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