December 23 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "unity, service and recovery. Adjustable legs in recovery, just like a tripod…" Sometimes I don't feel very unified, sometimes I'm not able to be of service and sometimes recovery is difficult. It would be difficult to devote three equal amounts of time to unity, service and recovery. Three legs of a stool, three even legs, will produce a level stable platform. In fellowship we work together, to provide a stable platform for everyone to keep their balance in recovery. Sometimes one of my legs may fall short, fortunately there are many legs in recovery!
Video For Today:
If I cannot help you, which is a very common occurrence, there are probably people who can. And that is the beauty of fellowship, working together in unison, we make up for each other's gaps in abilities, skills, time and acceptability to the newcomer. If somebody asks me for help in recovery, I do ask myself the basic question, "am I the right person to help this person today?" Just because I happen to be in front of them, or the end of a telephone, or at the end of some connection or other, I need to ask myself, am I ready? And sometimes I am not the right person, I'm not in the right place, and I might be overwhelmed by other matters. So I need everything in the toolkit to help the newcomer, knowing other people who can help or might help, knowing where to get help and how quickly it can be marshalled. It's not about me, it is about unity, service and recovery…
On my desk at the moment, glancing to my left, copy of the daily reflections, and a copy of the twelve steps and twelve traditions. I certainly open the daily reflections every day, and most days the twelve steps are working in practice, practising the twelve steps in daily life. And with the twelve steps and twelve traditions at my elbow, I do read through the twelve traditions regularly. I accept the words as they are and when they were written. The world continues to move along, different outlooks, different attitudes and behaviour, and different perceptions about addiction and recovery. Maybe one perception needs most adjustment in these enlightened times, the attitude of self-prejudice which blights personal recovery, and hinders very often the concepts of unity, service and recovery…
When we get beyond self-prejudice, that is a feeling that in some way addiction was a personal choice and that we are to blame, recovery is then a choice to be made one day at a time. And even then, recovery is contingent on our spiritual condition. Our spiritual condition is knowing what our feelings are in the moment of now, and being able to cope. And if we cannot cope, seek help as soon as possible. Our spiritual condition is contingent on what is happening right now, and sometimes when the world throws us into turmoil, we are very vulnerable. And if we do not seek help soonest, we can almost be back in the malady in the blink of an eye. Nobody is immune to life and what it may throw our way. One day at a time, we do the best we can with what we have, and if we should stumble for whatever reason, we keep coming back and find balance with the help of our fellows in recovery…
One of the most exhilarating examples of personal development in the UK in my experience, was the winner of a dancing competition. The winner, who gained a medal in the Olympics as an athlete, spent thirteen weeks learning how to dance. With the benefit of one set of skills which have been developed over the years, they were then able to learn a completely new discipline which complemented their previous experiences. Flexibility to learn, flexibility to move out of one skill into a new skill shows that a person can learn and change. And learning to change and cope with life without alcohol, or a singular skill which no longer supports life, is the very hardest challenge for any human coping with life today… Never underestimate the support and help any individual needs to make a complete life change, it cannot be trained, because life as it is, is the teacher. People need daily support, sometimes by the hour, sometimes by the minute to keep on a new path of living. The carrot and the stick do not work, what works? Love and support, principles and toolkit, right people in the right place with the right things, oh and a bit of luck one day at a time…
I do agree with the statement that M Scott Peck had made in his book the road less travelled: "life is difficult…" And life is difficult and will always be difficult was his message. At the same time, if you do read it, it will go on to say or speculate that if we accept that life is difficult, it ceases to be an issue and we keep on learning how to cope in the moment of now, by the minute, by the hour and by the day. And the way we reinforce this is to keep on having the support of people around us to reinforce the changes we are making. I have heard in our UK press and media, politicians using the phrase "step change" and sadly politicians really do not understand what step change means to most people. And the people if they were capable of "step change" or those who advocate step change without realising they have no intention of making any changes in their own behaviour [politicians and bureaucrats] whatsoever. And that is why they remain out of touch, do not see the calamities about to undermine them in their role in government. More often than not, making step changes produces psychosis of the worst kind, being told to tread a new path which is ill-defined, and reverting to the old path which is well trodden. And the psychosis? Is being stuck between the old well-trodden path, and the new path where there is no success and no incentive to be successful. In the fellowship of AA, we have well defined and well-trodden ways which work, the twelve steps to develop an open, honest and willing approach to life, and the twelve traditions, which hold the whole show together. Most of the time!
Dear higher power, I went to the after a meeting last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I shared about the old life, where work and career took over and I became a workaholic. I would always say yes to each new challenge. I now know just because I may have been good at something it does not mean that is what I should be doing. Life is completely different today, I say yes to what is good for me and now know, that the word no is a complete sentence…
The daily reflections are all about unity service and recovery today. Unity, it is the many voices in Fellowship which make the difference. Service, by just being there we are part of Fellowship. And recovery is always just one day long. We share experience strength and hope, which changes as we change and we are no longer a hostage to our past. Now that is a miracle if…
Without doubt learning how to put the 12 steps into practice has made the difference for me. Not driven by fear and no need for a brave face and no ego to blind me. Now with enough courage faith and confidence one day I live free from fear and unfair obligations. I choose and fit with life and people around me today. Life will always have its ups and downs, and it was ever thus…
December 23 2010 ~ I strive daily to be: open, honest and willing. Knowing how I am feeling, why and what to do next to live truth in the moment. When my feelings match my current situation I feel grounded today. Whether my feelings are happy or sad, if they fit my current life situation, I am not in denial. I do not need to "fake it to make it today..."
December 23 2010 ~ unity service and recovery offer me freedom to share a message of experience strength and hope. One voice amongst many today, we are all unique and authentic on our emotional and spiritual path. The gift of wisdom from others, those still in the problem or happily in the solution, helps me on my path of living for today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "RECOVERY, UNITY, SERVICE Our Twelfth Step - carrying the message - is the basic service that AA’s Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence. THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, P. 160
I thank God for those who came before me, those who told me not to forget the Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity and Service. In my home group, the Three Legacies were described on a sign which said: “You take a three-legged stool, try to balance it on only one leg, or two. Our Three Legacies must be kept intact. In Recovery, we get sober together; in Unity, we work together for the good of our Steps and Traditions; and through Service-we give away freely what has been given to us.” One of the chief gifts of my life has been to know that I will have no message to give, unless I recover in unity with A.A. principles."
December 23 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Messages From Faraway
Distance No Object these Days
How true even the Queen Of England is on You tube! “TheRoyalChannel” Is worth a look and feels ok to watch moments from history.
Distance and communication is worldwide as never before. And more opportunity to hear and see what others think about, what their interests are and how they envisage, live life.
And for me the opportunity to share my recovery and addiction to alcohol.
An alcoholic in recovery I am, a day at a time. Addictions kill most people or rather dependency kills a lot of people. We can be dependent on anything, people places and things. And take away what we depend on most, we will either die or learn to live without it. Most often we die of a broken heart, or from natural causes.
As time has gone by over the past few years, other ailments from living longer have caught up with me or have actually been diagnosed correctly as something I may have had all my life. So currently, three chronic conditions, type 1 diabetic, clinical depression and a recovering alcoholic. Chronic is as suggested, never going away and a part of me and my living. Its not unusual, we all get older and find our truth, and then we can allow for changes and move along with due care and attention.
A good habit to have and I share as best I can via my website and via You Tube. I am glad to see Monarchy has decided to You tube too. What a great addition to our fellow you tubers to find the Monarch of England joining in and including us in their personal stories and escapades! No for the same reason as me I would suggest.
Yesterday and Today
With me as ‘Chair’ at Worlds end where my recovery really got stared, it was a good meeting and really boisterous. From no days sober to decades sober, it was good to hear from everyone.
And meetings are better for a little disruption, we need every potential newcomer to stay to keep us on track and knowing what we face.
Posh Hats and Chelsea
Yes Chelsea is a place where ‘posh hats’ live. And like anywhere we might end up, Chelsea is choc-a-bloc with alcoholics. Posh Hats and Homeless sit side by side and listen and share stories of what it is like to be an alcoholic and how to keep recovery going.
Aspiring Posh Hats
Some who come to live in Chelsea are nouveau riche, still alcoholic and have heirs and graces they adopt and they get cross with rolling drunks in meetings, still full of the old ego and bravado that material wellbeing brings they forget they are not only alcoholic, they can forget how unspeakably horrible they were in addiction. And they complain often when disruptive elements come into the rooms. They forget we are powerless of people places and things, especially the not quite sober who make it to the rooms of AA.
Tolerance and Love
Most often we get back to accepting quickly with tolerance and love and not trying to control those of us still trying to find whatever wits we have left.
We need be tolerant and love even the most horrible specimens we once were ourselves or we lick out those who make the fellowship possible, the newcomers of course. The primary purpose is to stay sober and help another alcoholic or we fail ourselves and the future of the fellowship.
Posh or Tosh
We live and rub along as we may, we all speak our truth as asked and share as we will. We talk tosh and posh and get along when we realise we are still only moments from becoming active in addiction when we fail to help those who need it now. As we discard we also discard ourselves. So we need keep the doors open for every new fellow, no matter how low he or she may be.
All quiet on the roads, and a full number at Eaton Sq., the after nine group, so called as people who chair are over nine years sober. The aim to share what it is like nine years and more in recovery. A good meeting and much nostalgia about the past, I love it for the stories and the message of recovery over the years. It seems it can just get better and better the longer we keep sober and our minds are free to develop as they can. Wisdom is a key.
So far today, lunch with my Mum and sister at the Bibendum, next door to where I live. A great treat for me as I was invited. A lovely lunch out, which cost more than I spend on two weeks groceries, now there is a difference. To be treated so is a gift of recovery and love from family. Acceptance is a key.
December 23, 2007
We have definitely left that dream world behind. It was only a sham. It was a world of our own making and it was not the real world. We are sorry for the past, yes, but we learned a lot from it. We can put it down to experience, as we see it now, because it has given us the knowledge necessary to face the world as it really is. We had to become alcoholics in order to find the A.A. program. We would not have got it any other way. In a way, it was worth it. Do I look at my past as valuable experience?
Meditation For The Day
Shed peace, not discord, wherever you go. Try to be part of the cure of every situation, not part of the problem. Try to ignore evil, rather than to actively combat it. Always try to build up, never to tear down. Show others by your example that happiness comes from living the right way. The power of your example is greater than the power of what you say.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may try to bring something good into every situation today. I pray that I may be constructive in the way I think and speak and act today.
As Bill Sees It
WHEN CONFLICTS MOUNT, p. 289
Sometimes I would be forced to look at situations where I was doing badly. Right away, the search for excuses would become frantic. "These," I would exclaim, "are really a good man's faults." When that pet gadget broke apart, I would think, "Well, if those people would only treat me right, I wouldn't have to behave the way I do." Next was this: "God well knows that I do have awful compulsions. I just can't get over this one. So He will have to release me." At last came the time when I would shout, "This, I positively will not do! I won't even try." Of course, my conflicts went right on mounting, because I was simply loaded with excuses, refusals, and outright rebellion.
23rd December 2006
Choice - Empowerment
Nice word, about many things we either have or don’t have control over. Many of us come into the world and come to believe we have or don’t have choices. That we control or don’t control, people places and things. Sometimes we hear good messages about choice and other times the message may be right and the listening and the interpretation loses the point about choice.
Tonight it was a bit like this. And thank goodness listening was where I left the sharing. I did not share a word tonight, sometimes it is better to leave well alone.
So many issues to do with power in this world. Empowerment. The word which seemed the most important in the last decade for many in their personal and private lives.
Empowerment, its not the fault of the word, its probably the fault of those trying to explain what empowering is and means.
I don’t know I am competent at this time to be any better or worse at helping anyone get to this place of being in power with the right things, the choices we have.
As this world continues to make us all feel out of control most of the time. Powerless over people, places and things. The word itself is not the culprit, it is what people think or feel it is.
Power to make choices, to say yes to or say no to people, places and things. Not to have power over or power exerted on us. Its all a bit of a conundrum.
Freud, a chap from some time back in the past and others in the more recent past, well there have been so many studies made it is hard to make sense of power.
Power - Inclusion, Control and Friendship (Love)
Now we are back to where it goes a little mad and insane. Power to include people places and things, Control of or under the control of people places and things, and Love a power in its own right, and often beyond us to be able to make any choices.
It all comes down to personal choices in the end.
This thing we have or don’t have around our behaviour and the behaviour of others. This emotional drift to confidence and to ego. Somewhere in all this we choose what we do with our lives, the people, the places and things we include or exclude, and we have some or no control and we have love inside for ourselves and for others.
Choices can be limiting when we are under the sway and influence of any of these elements and most often its people. And sometimes when we are addicted to behaviour like drinking alcohol, we lose all our power completely, and life is, as is said so often, completely unmanageable.
In AA’s first step - Alcoholics Anonymous
We agree we have no power over alcohol at all and if we drink, or when we drink we are unmanageable and lost to reason and control. And we all know this, yes some of us took it to addiction as the world was so horrible we sought oblivion, and often just drank because we had nothing else we could do.
Robbed and choices were stolen from us. And its all about recalibrating, making good our power and choices in recovery from addiction.
It’s a real shame we humans don’t get it. Powerment is adopting the right amount of power for ourselves and choices in living. It is about choice, what we care to do and how we conduct ourselves.
So many make mistakes, think and feel they have more power than actually they have, or foolish people let them have too much power and control.
And we all know where power gone mad ends up, in self will run riot. Where ego rules and confidence is lost.
Where power is unhelpful and mostly misunderstood is in the mind of those living with fear, bravery and ego. For those who have courage, faith in themselves, and the confidence or esteem if you like, then their power tends to be for themselves and about doing the right thing in their good conscience.
Power and Empowerment
We can feel powerful just to the right amount, or we can be misguided and deluded by power.
So many people have utilised their power and their good conscience to help themselves as they may. I am one for sure from my past and life experiences, around choice and doing the next right thing for me. Which is why I got broken down, got disillusioned, started from a place of misunderstanding this world and generally making my life harder as I knew no other way.
Rules of engaging in life
No one has a rule book and we can only get to working out how we may live taking account of where and when we are.
The gift of choice, to say yes, to say no, to feel right about choice is all well and good as long as we understand our place of good conscience and wellbeing. How we feel right sized in our own mind is crucial.
As one person found tonight they had been completely disempowered by being nice and being calm when underneath they seethed and hated what had happened to them and been driven to anger turned inwards. I felt that feeling as many times in my life I have braved the worst of ridicule when I might have told with confidence a person to stop behaving that way. And often stayed too long as I know now, putting up with bad treatment and still being obliging and, well quite honestly these days I will put up with far less of bad behaviour, and just move on and let go. If and when people trample on my feelings, my friendship and my kindness and leave me feeling less than, the answer is simple, they change or get less of me and less contact and actually they can take a running jump into the nearest lake.
So the lessons for me
I am powerless over places, things and people. Lesson one is fine. And when I try exert my will over the externals I will always find things pretty well screwed up.
I have choices, to challenge, to respond, to change and modify. And I have the choice to let go and move on. I need not make my life worse under the influence of people places and things where there is no mutuality. Power always resides in good choice and good conscience. Wisdom comes from our vast experience. And courage comes from doing the next right thing.
We learn in the moment of now where power may be, and where we are better utilising our precious existence. We are not here to change the world, we are here to enjoy it and be part of it. Just a day at a time of course.
Where we use good process to help us in our feelings and our intentions, our choices are greater as we let go and move on, not being a hostage to ill fortune.
We are always prisoners to our fear, our bravery and our ego as we hang on too often in the wrong places and at the wrong times. Be swift to recognise battles which will never be worth making, make empowering choices to keep safe and happy with where we can and where we need move, when power hurts us or hurts others when used poorly and without good conscience.
Easy to share, hard to do, if we lived forever it would always be so. Let go and move on, be flexible and we need keep our faith, our courage and our connection with confidence to this ever present, spiritual, imperfectly perfect moment of now!
December 23rd 2005
Hold On Tight
Festivals upon me, my world in a grip, wanting me here and there, I cannot find time or space to say all I could this time around. And what if they find me and ask me out to festival? To join a celebration of pagan times. The winter solstice, our ancients who worshipped the sun, knew this time well, we dark to dark is nearest and light its least and weak upon the far horizons.
I praise their knowledge, those ancients, with time to measure our earths turn, sense the seasons change and build monoliths to mark their passage.
Old souls in transition in our modern age, we know as much and much more again. Moved by our turning world and spinning reveries. Our primal touch within speaks loud and batters at our will, to set free our spirit and move without control, let go our sensibility and feast!
Our primal stir, let go! We find as slumbers lost, our exact nature from the gloom, let out! We marvel at our rally and find our circumspect spectre, as doubt creeps past to present and our true self let out! Awake to that noise of reverie ringing as loud as fractured recollections haunt or weary rise. Best celebrate our solstice and return of light as dark is losing to eternity. Acceptance is the key...
December 23rd 2004
Sign of Strength
To admit my mistakes is a sign of strength.
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
“Awakening as the result of what? The result, or consequence of taking the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is a Spiritual Awakening. Please reflect that this step does not say the awakening comes as the result of taking steps 1 through 11, those preceding Step 12. On the contrary, the awakening comes as the result of taking these (all of the twelve) steps, including Step 12. (If you disagree, that is wonderful. Keep on digesting these steps.)” Big Book Bunch
December 2012 | Playlist About Step Twelve: Step Twelve Playlist
AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve
AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections
December 2012 | Step Twelve Reading Video Link:
December 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
December 2012 | Video Reading A Vision For You:
December 2012 | Video About Grief And Depression