November 8 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 11 Daily Meditation Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "self awareness, then prayer and meditation without boundaries…" When I look in the mirror I only see me, and I am aware of what is going on inside me if I choose to look and understand. Prayer and meditation opens up the world. Prayer and meditation are about the big picture, inclusion and the possibilities ahead for today. Self-awareness is in the serenity prayer, serenity: to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference… Inner wisdom, most often, the humility to ask for help and guidance and direction. When we are uncertain better to open up than close down…
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AA daily reflections suggest that spiritual growth is with God as I understand him. I am happy that Gandhi expressed God, to be truth and to be love. And spiritual is everything in the moment of now and being able to cope with reality. Truth, love, all in the moment of now and being able to cope. On my own, I only have one view, and through prayer and meditation and asking for help, I get a bigger picture and inclusion in the possibilities today. Truth and love, a philosophy, a spiritual connection to now, a belief, which feels right inside me. Simply progress day by day, learning, truth and love in the moment. There will also always be the opposite of truth and love in the moment and fifty shades of grey may make the difference to wisdom today…
Self-awareness, prayer and meditation, when we are in a step six frame of mind: the old patterns, old feelings leading to old thinking and old actions can lead into very introverted and introspective conclusions that life is against us and nothing is fair and we can blame everything on everyone else. Self-awareness, prayer and meditation, when we are in step seven frame of mind: new patterns, new feelings, leading to new thinking and new actions can lead into very open, honest and willing approaches to the world and reality as it is right now… Of course, there may be not only fifty shades of grey in between, there may be many versions and shades of grey today…
How am I feeling this morning? Emotionally: as I hear the crash of empty wine bottles in the background as the restaurants are emptying out for the waste disposal engineers, I feel happy to be throwing out my empty plastic bottles which contained mineral water. In other words, I'm happy to be sober today, it is early though and a bit of prayer and meditation around steps 1 to 3, and asking myself, am I likely to have an old behaviour day? The old ways, selfishness and self obsession caused by disease. Or am I more likely to have a step seven sort of day, new feelings, new attitudes and new behaviour? In the past, I was any shade of grey you wanted, today I am me, black and white, colour, three-dimensional, omnidirectional, finding out who I am simply moment by moment, today…
M Scott Peck wrote the book: the road less travelled, and the opening sentence was "life is difficult." And although I would like to make mine: "life was difficult," we all know it is not that simple. Mind you like M Scott Peck, as he was described in his obituary, "a chain-smoking, gin sodden philanderer," I guess that was me too to an extent, being any shade of grey to feel human and loved. I still smoke, the other two, however are at bay one day at a time. To be able to love other people, to be able to be loved back and find usefulness in the day, always far better with self-awareness, prayer and meditation to see how we fit in the big picture of life, moment by moment, imperfectly perfect and coping with reality today…
Good news, we humans are always full of feelings about life and thinking about life. Our feelings about our situation influence how we think and we ponder, reflect and meditate naturally all day long. We can be processing a thousand reflections and be happily getting nowhere. Or consider one reflection and take it somewhere. Sober and free to consider our choices today…
Prayer and meditation, for the believer, the agnostic and the atheist is an automatic process. Whatever we call it, we have an inner voice which speaks to us. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes so fast we cannot keep up, and sometimes so slow we cannot bear it. So maybe it is a good idea to practice what is certainly a never ending story, “what are we going to do now?!”
November 8 2010 ~ an individual adventure in living a unique and authentic life with prayer and meditation? Yes is the answer for me, I can pray and meditate to be right sized in my emotional and spiritual balance. Feelings based on my current situation, spiritual in my ability to cope with real life today and just for today...
November 8 2010 ~ how we are feeling today is dependent on how life is today if we are living in the moment. Old experiences can make us push feelings aside or revel in them and we can swing to extremes very easily. Our thinking and memories can hinder our spiritual progress to experiencing real life right sized today...
Over Thinking - Under Feeling
How to live and emotional and spiritual programme, there is only way, and that is your way. The good news is we find our balance in living as we progress in our spiritual and emotional outlooks by experiencing life as it is, real life today and find how we can be included, have freedom of choices and feel open to be loved, love people and useful.
Over thinking makes for elaborate tortures where we try fit everything and control everything, especially how we feel about things. It can be ruinous to our emotional and spiritual balance on a daily basis. Indeed every time we start a sentence with “I think,” we are skipping over the obvious. We have already felt something about our situation, because our thoughtful response has already been impacted by our mood and our emotional balance.
Under feeling is a reaction to our life experiences which can shape our general outlook. The world is a good place, the world is against me. We push away emotions which do not fit with our mood or suppress emotions which we do not wish to share because we might feel vulnerable if we did share them.
“I think…” I should, we should, and you should
“I feel…” good or bad, happy or sad, great that you asked me
Assertive “How am I feeling?” [Mood] “why?” and “what can I do?”
Empathy “How are we feeling? [Mood] “why?” and “what can we do?”
I have discussed with many professionals what happens in our day to day activities, what comes first, feelings or thinking. The answer is heavily biased to feelings come first, our mood and emotions are always with us and we can ask ourselves the obvious question, “how am I feeling now” before we start the thinking process.
Once we have found the answer to life we can be very dogmatic and difficult to change. Automatic thinking is based on being right, and not taking account of the rest of the world and what the world is doing. We can be very irritable with people, places and things which do not fit our automatic thinking. That we have the answer and you do not. Caution always comes to the fore when we become emphatic and unreasonable in our outlook based on our ability to be right.
If we can understand our mood and feelings in the moment, then our thinking can be very helpful. We find ways to express our feelings and our thoughts adjust to fit our current experience.
The ability to cope with life is contingent on our spiritual condition, our feelings and our responses to what is going on.
Of course I may be completely wrong, simply the evidence of life will teach me where the truth is today.
AA Daily Reflections ~ "AN INDIVIDUAL ADVENTURE" Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure,
something which each one of us works out in his own way. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 101
My spiritual growth is with God as I understand Him. With Him I find my true inner self. Daily meditation and prayer strengthen and renew my source of well-being. I receive then the openness to accept all that He has to offer. With God I have the reassurance that
my journey will be as He wants for me, and for that I am grateful to have God in my life."
November 8 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Patience As Time Moves Us Along
Wisdom comes with time and patience, most often from experience. And sometimes we know where we feel the edge of reason bite. Reason and intellect keep us doing the right things of course, yet feelings and impatience often push us to go that extra mile, that extra millimetre or whatever the measure may be. Maybe the measure is feeling not good enough and every fear that offers.
We all push and learn from endeavour, and sometimes we have to slow and get with the day. So often our boundaries make us feel the wishes, the promises of living might be a little easier.
A great meeting tonight [ last night] for me in AA, Alcoholics Anonymous. Honest sharing, feelings of warmth and compassion. Feelings of love and care, feelings of open exchange. People just sharing where they are today. A real mixture of fellows we are, and all sober today.
As time went on, I realised my usual expression of being ok felt a bit tardy. These last few days, waiting results for health, my brother awaits news. And of course we all do. He is a strong man, and has found of late he may have one of my maladies [ not alcohol I may share], yet we need wait and see. I know its not the end of the world to have an added complication to manage. And hopefully he has a manageable condition. Time and patience.
A good friend of mine coming down with a cold makes light, and as we all do, the minor things which come and go regularly don’t really bothers us. Unless of course there is an underlying uneasy feeling we are all prone to get from time to time.
And yet it seems the small of life is not present or a worry. Bigger things to deal with like being on the edge of a major shift in my mood. I know the feelings and the onset of darker days, I am hoping they are just transitory, and it would be inconvenient to me to have a deep depression manifest just now. I have enough to contend with presently. I can wait and see. Time tends to right these episodes, its just a question of how much time.
Reactions To Others And Their Circumstances
We can feel as if we share the same pain, as surely we all have felt worries and concerns. In fellowship we do find a way to keep on going and support and be a part even when our heads may scream for silent moments and let the torrid mood envelop as surely it can.
I keep safe and realised I have increased meetings and kept close to fellowship as some sort of automatic reaction has steered me to good places and great connections.
Friends and Fellows
And family of course. We have had a rather big dollop of pain as loss or death has led to sadness.
Self Pity vs. Sorrow
Sorrow is natural and self-pity can become an issue when we grieve. Self-pity is in our anger, sorrow in our acceptance? I do not feel its that neat a fit. We need wallow and feel pain, and still as sorrow can make us unable to cope a while we do deal with these feelings as life enables and what we come to understand. Love always is behind most these feelings. Love aches for the return we cannot have to old familiar ways.
Me and My Living - Past to Present to Future
As the songs goes - “lean on me”
There are one or two leaning and its ok to be a leaning post when times are grim. I have yet to understand completely why me, and yet know I need follow the same advice. I have friends to lean on too, and they let me as in their own way, their very presence and listening does the job really well.
Works in family and fellowship as we let those we know best help us do a bit of leaning. The process so easy, yet often difficult as we learn to be vulnerable, learn to ask and some things we might ask chew deep on our inner feelings of self-worth. We are worth it and need to be open to our needs, especially as it right sizes us to human size over and over again. Stoic we can be, and not like stone, or we crumble to dust and never let our truth out.
8th November 2006
Brave Hearts May Perish
Its been an odd few days on the one hand very good on the other pretty unhelpful. The unhelpful parts of my days seem to centre around others and how they are feeling presently. And often it’s the impact their living has on mine which makes me feel off and out of sorts with myself.
One thing I can do is own my part in all affairs which touch me. Being human: and as faulty or imperfect as the next, and driven by a mad inside by motivation to be perfect as I can, means I have a hard time coping with things. Sometimes I need to switch off the phone and give myself a break. To enjoy solitude and happy with time to myself is a good feeling. For a few weeks now, I have been out and about, and done things not just for me, but for others and have cut down nurturing time for yours truly. The outcome is a sorry feeling and a need to bring back balance.
Being Brave overcomes Fear
I have often thought of being brave, keeping on going to the last man is standing. I used to do this last man standing with alarming regularity, and being a stoic type, so often the last one standing or awake and most often then, alone for thoughts and fears to creep into my thinking and feeling.
Fear is an odd thing, we need it in the right amount to avoid obvious dangers, yet we can be driven by fear to the point where we end up brave and defiant. Brave and defiant often is an extreme as is fear, they go hand in hand. Fear cuts us, Bravery and facing things at all costs, its as mad as the fear. We may know our bravery in our fear, and fear in our bravery.
Take the fear away and there is no need for bravery. Bravery gone and fear disappearing and we have a gap. And usually a big one, we fill with something else. All too often to get over fear, and the need to be brave, we deploy coping strategies like for me, and for many years, drink. Take away the drink, the fear and the bravery, all those things we did to obsessive levels to cope, the gap is enormous. And this enormous gap, after years of fear and bravery and drink, it needs filling.
Friendship and Courage
I realise these days, as life got so intense, I made use of every brave element, every fearful element and plenty of drink to fill the gaps in my living. These days, I find the gap in me quite pleasantly filled with two new elements. Friends from a fellowship and courage to face life on life’s terms, as real as the moment of now.
I know I bang on endlessly about this present moment and quite rightly for indeed it is our interface with all living. What we do now, its all we are, and ever will be. This present moment, gone in a blink of an eye, and then another and another. This is reality, ticking by. Courage to face it as it is, without old fears and brave faces, with friendship and fellowship to support us, this is real living in the moment, the ever present, present moment of now.
Tonight the meeting of my fellowship was all about good reminders of olden times and intense living, as brave as I was, it was equal to the fear needed to be braved. As fear is removed from me daily, replaced with courage and fellowship, the need for bravery and coping is less daunting. Simply we make progress as we move along, sometimes quick, more often slow and carefully, with some support and kind gesture from those who know our troubles.
Facing life alone and in isolation, it is no wonder we falter and trip ourselves up. Connection and debate, outward looking and free thinking, these elements make my days work as I work at living them, simply a day at a time. Whatever would I do without fellowship? Life would feel and resemble a small world of me, alone and isolated, separate and desolate of what makes us tick, simply humanity. Our humanity and humility, keep us safe as we learn life, always and forever present, just like we may be, with a little help from my friends…
November 8th 2005
The Brush Of Old Acquaintance ~ the brush of old acquaintance the touch of concern to feel. Concern lets loose every heartfelt moment of loss. Hard to contain the merest hint of composure... lest a flood of sadness might consume me completely and remove all pretence of dignity. Maybe that is the power of old acquaintance, with concern and care in mind, and yet as powerless as me to affect any change in my circumstance. There are no hero’s left in my world, least of all me. Just us humans... And we say acceptance is the key…
Let this broken moment mend and shape reality as it floods home and sets in silent reflections.
November 8th 2004
Why Do Things Take So Long?
We don't have much of it, its always slipping away, we feel like we need more of it and one thing is for sure, our time expires.
In our modernity it seems so many things are linked together, dependent and necessary. We are obliged to use our time for many things we feel unimportant, a waste of and really not good use of time. The essence I am learning is, the world is not fast enough to run to my clock, that my clock and others time.... others time is slower than mine? No, others have time for themselves and their priorities. Things do run like clockwork when we regulate our time and become aware of others time.
I learned long ago that impatience with people was of no practical value, patience with myself and a weather eye to using time proves very helpful. Every possible hindrance is a moment of reflection, not a demand to be heard. Listen to that inner voice chattering in my head and I find that I don't have time on my hands. A moments reflection puts my world to order, that in due course all elements will fall into place or be discarded.
Time, the one thing I never gave to myself, becomes a friend savoured in reflective moments, evens my perspective and sees me through the day. What a gift my friend time has become.
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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