December 26 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "courage and serenity when life is wonderful, or sad: good, bad or ugly or any combination as the day goes…" Boxing day! Waking in the early hours with a clear head, all of yesterday, included and cherished with new friends, new places and new outlooks. My approach? To be a part of a celebration where children and adults share time equally, and a new meeting with old and new friends sharing experience, strength and hope. Courage, to be open, honest and willing, respectful and part of something far bigger than me and welcomed in family and then onwards into fellowship…
Video For Today:
Learning to be comfortable being the person I am, a learner, accepting I don't know how situations may develop and letting myself into the flow with no doubts and no reason to feel anything but equal. Meeting each moment, with no expectations and no entitlements beyond equality opens the door to conviviality. Astonishingly in a new family, with bright and loving people being themselves, chaos as children create and full of laughter. Without fear, acceptance of life as it is, acceptance that people are the best they can be in the moment of now offers new beginnings and new outcomes…
A meeting out of town, the irony, I was in that part of the world five years ago on boxing day, today. I had completely forgotten going and being a part of something until I read my notes from 2007. Out of my comfort zone five years ago, and yet last night completely comfortable in the company of strangers, well almost all strangers. And listening and relating to each person's experience, strength and hope, I realised each person's journey into recovery is as hard as their neighbour on the next chair in the room. A newcomer, experiencing their first Christmas in recovery, relating the difficulties and the support within fellowship and within family, to the old timer with twenty years helping the newcomer, just one day at a time with a kind word and encouragement…
On a cold and misty night, not so many in the meeting, and yet we get warm together. We laugh and cry, we feel the connection in every word spoken as we deal with old times and new beginnings on a daily basis. Learning the difference and the choices we have, saying yes when opportunities are good choices, and saying no to choices which feel wrong. Often we say yes, and then realise we need say no as we walk away, we can stop and walk back and explain the need to say no. And we can learn to be truthful in the moment of now. I can still often find myself saying yes, when the answer would be better as a no. Emotional and spiritual progress, knowing our feelings in the moment of now helps us understand why we think the way we do and the actions we take day by day…
The beauty of fellowship, learning from the experience, strength and hope of others. It is the emotional and spiritual journey which counts. Spiritual often described as living in the moment for many, and often means more depending on our beliefs. So as I know and learn my spiritual condition as life progresses, it is always going to be, imperfectly perfect in the moment. Gratitude for a day well spent, loving people, without prejudice and cherishing them as they are. We are all always on our best behaviour, even when the behaviour can be good, bad or ugly. We show the world who we are and how we feel by what we do, our actions and not our intentions. Being truthful, open, honest and willing opens the door to serenity. With some courage we learn to be who we are today and every day…
Dear higher power, today's reflection is about accepting success or failure. I'm coming to believe that acceptance in the moment means it is not a question of success or failure, the question is knowing the truth what am I going to do now? With the principals of being open, honest and willing to keep on learning life as it is and it's not failure, it is simply progress today…
Christmas day; morning meditation; sharing a message, Skyped and called my close family. A fellowship meeting, and then home to wrap presents. Shared the story on FB. Then out for Christmas dinner with close friends. Laughter till my sides split, fun and games and electric shocks from innocent looking toys. And serious discussion about the meaning of life. Just a perfect day… To love, be loved back and useful…
A fellowship where we find emotional and spiritual living is possible. Emotional, learning my feelings as they are and not what I imagine. Spiritual, living in and coping with the moment. When my feelings fit the moment of now, I am able to be me, know what I can do and what I can do and the wisdom to know the difference. No hangovers from the past, freedom to choose right here and right now…
Sober, I am looking forward to seeing all my close family this boxing day. In the past it may have felt like an obligation, a duty, I really do not know. Now it feels exciting, included, I love my family and even though we may spark off from time to time, what matters is I feel right in my actions and free to choose, to love, be loved back and a part of today...
Acceptance is not complacency! It is living life on life's terms, even when life is difficult. Always in the action in the present moment, where our feelings match the experience we are having. Often, it can take time for our feelings to come back into balance when life experience is outside the ordinary. In the moment we do experience extremes as they are today...
Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Yes when we keep talking and expressing our feelings as they are today. We need not hide or push away tears of joy or sadness; sometimes tears feel as inconvenient as the truth. Better to express our feelings as they are in the moment of now where truth resides...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "ACCEPTING SUCCESS OR FAILURE December 26 furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 112
After I found A.A. and stopped drinking, it took a while before I understood why the First Step contained two parts: my powerlessness over alcohol and my life’s unmanageability. In the same way, I believed for a long time that, in order to be in tune with the Twelve Steps, it was enough for me to carry this message to alcoholics. That was rushing things. I was forgetting that there were a total of Twelve Steps and that the Twelfth Step also had more than one part. Eventually I learned that it was necessary for me to practice these principles in all areas of my life. In working all the Steps thoroughly, I not only stay sober and help someone else to achieve sobriety, but also I transform my difficulty with living into a joy of living."
December 26 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ All quiet on the West End Front
And A Trip East To the Tower Of London
A good day all round. I was invited by my brother to go skating to the Tower of London some time back. I said yes to the venue, no to the skating, I cannot skate and this was not a day to learn. So on the side-lines but not side-lined, just part of a family event and I enjoyed being in the company of my nephews, godson, my brother, his wife and his mother in law. Very good indeed. And a video has been posted to see what people were doing and photo’s sometime to reflect the jolly enterprise.
Lunch and Everyone
Yes a ‘proper boxing day lunch’ for all the family with sister as host. Scrumptious food, and great company. I recollect the difference in me from last year to this. I had a needed change in my diabetes regime, which laid me very low with a severe depression. And this year I feel brighter although probably more handicapped is some ways as other related conditions have manifested. A game of Monopoly played later after I had gone was won by my godson who had many hotels and no one else had any!
I do realise that acceptance is truly an answer and key to keeping on with recovery and doing my best to stay with a fairly difficult regime. And I do get caught out, in the sense of not optimising some measures to keep me on track with health.
Progress we make, perfection is not really that helpful when I see myself as far from reaching anywhere near perfect. And these days I realise how we are is just as it may be. We need not strive and push ourselves beyond endurance. That is fanaticism. And a sign of isms yet to experience if we do push so far.
I enjoyed today
And of course tonight a meeting of AA at Fulham Broadway. This was a small meeting tonight as many are out of town or with family. And it was good to be with regulars and a couple of new people. I shared of times present and times past. The ordeal and chair I did last Saturday as the Chair tonight was my host last weekend when a tough meeting got more interesting as hecklers came a heckling! It was good and seemed very short tonight, I had not realised how quick the time had gone. And after meeting chats over the washing up was excellent. I helped do the pots, with the secretary of the meeting.
Funny we all pitch in and do things at this meeting and we get along and newcomers seem to like it too.
Gently Does It
Gently does it for me, as this Christmas has been tranquil and just as it may be. Acceptance is a key.
ACCEPTING SUCCESS OR FAILURE
Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 112
After I found A.A. and stopped drinking, it took a while before I understood why the First Step contained two parts: my powerlessness over alcohol and my life's unmanageability. In the same way, I believed for a long time that, in order to be in tune with the Twelve Steps, it was enough for me "to carry this message to alcoholics." That was rushing things. I was forgetting that there were a total of Twelve Steps and that the Twelfth Step also had more than one part. Eventually I learned that it was necessary for me to "practice these principles" in all areas of my life. In working all the Steps thoroughly, I not only stay sober and help someone else to achieve sobriety, but also I transform my difficulty with living into a joy of living.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
I am glad to be a part of A.A., of that great fellowship that is spreading over the United States and all over the world. I am only one of the many A.A.'s, but I am one. I am grateful to be living at this time, when I can help A.A. to grow, when it needs me to put my shoulder to the wheel and help keep the movement going. I am glad to be able to be useful, to have a reason for living, a purpose in life. I want to lose my life in this great cause and so find it again. Am I grateful to be an A.A.?
Meditation For The Day
These meditations can teach us how to relax. We can be of service to other people in a small way at least. And we can be happy while doing it. We should not worry too much about people we cannot help. We can make it a habit to leave the outcome of the things we do to the Higher Power. We can go along through life doing the best we can, but without a feeling of urgency or strain. We can enjoy all the good things and the beauty of life, but at the same time depend deeply on God.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may give my life to this worthwhile cause. I pray that I may enjoy the satisfaction that comes from good work well done.
As Bill Sees It
MASTERING RESENTMENTS, p. 286 We began to see that the world and its people had really dominated us. Under that unhappy condition, the wrongdoing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill us, because we could be driven back to drink through resentment. We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away. This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. So we asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. Today, we avoid retaliation or argument. We cannot treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 66-67
26th December 2006
Peace and Quiet
Its been a good day overall. And not quite according to plans I may have had. And it matters not one bit. I have been out and about, met with friends, been to a superb lunch with family and had some times to recharge my batteries.
A perfect meal indeed, and with eyes bigger than are good for me, I probably ate a little too much. And now feel like I need nothing to eat ever again! Actually not true, I ate enough.
I don’t have much to relate today in reality. I saw some news and some TV. I am uncertain how many months its been since I stayed in to watch evening TV, it must be an age. And today it seemed some many regular programmes, the soaps try outdo themselves. It was like being updated with so much information, compressed into hour long specials. I watched three of these tonight, in between clearing and cleaning up. Odd that the spectaculars of years gone by are not repeated. Where are all those old shows now?
In truth TV its nowhere near real living. Although the drama’s portray events common to many, I guess I am spoiled by life itself in recent times. And I seem to watch late night TV mostly these days.
I am glad, spending as much time out and about. Not in pubs or clubs like before, and there were time I never went clubbing at all. I must have been stuck somewhere in a place of pain I guess. Not today.
Having got home earlier I forgot to check my calls. And there are a few to answer, I had left the phone ringers off. So I hope nothing was urgent.
Being out this morning with purpose was really fun seeing everyone getting their act together or just getting some friendship.
AA, my word, who would have ever thought you could roll up smashed to bits by life, and get a life back. I guess in those respects it has made life worth a go again. And tomorrow its back to normal.
Usual meetings and usual places for me. Although the world in the main is still getting over Christmas day, the sober amongst all this are probably in two minds. One set of minds will be worrying about not being caught out or drinking and breaking their preference not to drink again. Others like me most likely have gone off the idea of a drink ever again.
I was surprised actually, at lunch no one drank any wine. Or had any alcohol. I only noticed half way through the meal. And said I was surprised. Actually one or two drinks had been had, but unlike old times, all were fairly abstemious. Is it a change caused by age? Or just me being an example of where it can take a person.
None of those reasons in fact. Sometimes ordinary people just don’t drink anyway. Not like I used to. So a little lesson for me and a happy one.
Altogether its been an ok day. Silence from the skies, silence from the trains and cars.
Silence in my head, nothing annoying or untoward. No worries about that old devil in me which stirs up bad feelings and bad memories. Just a good day.
It seems to me that the therapeutic effect of sobriety is beyond all measure. As I reflect today how life gets distorted. how we fail to grow when we fix ourselves with anything, be it alcohol, drugs, food, no food, people or place and things. It seems balance is due and works if we work to balance our living.
I do feel alone and quiet tonight, it is just as it may be. I don’t feel alone is ever good for too long, but we all do need some silence and quiet no and then.
I notice over recent weeks my stamina and general health has been less than good and on reflection, much has surfaced in my memory of times gone by. I know without doubt much has held me down for a long while.
And like anyone new to the notion of choice, well it really does make a person wonder. Have I got enough time? Now that’s very easy to answer. As every day at the moment is a bonus, that I am kept well by modern science, to understand all life has shown me so far. I am gifted with experiences beyond measure. And although the balance is never quite as we might imagine, we are often better equipped when we survive and move along the good and bad of every encounter.
I am glad in many ways I have come to accept my part in my life. And without doubt the mistakes made along the way as some might think, they are not mistakes and much good came from time spent in company, even though some ended really badly.
Growing up at my age? Indeed. Can I still be driven down and low? Of course. And yet I know times do change, that nothing remains the same. Working hard at living, it will always be so, the ethic is inbuilt. I don’t see life as a free ride. Life will always make me work hard with what I have, just me in the end.
Certainly the pursuit of anything and endeavour is absolutely paramount. We need purpose. I ponder my purpose presently. And this silence today, well it is unnatural.
Silence to think and feel. I recognise silence and isolation don’t suit me these days. The silence is said sometimes to be deafening. Happily my silence right now is self-inflicted. And also makes me realise the power of fellowship. There are one or two days in the year most likely when this silence does bother me. A companion and lover, a partner. I have shared the best of times with wonderful women in my life. Not all still in this life sadly. And some so far away, they know nothing of me and me nothing of them. We live and move along, there are good things lost in our society where consuming seems to dominate. I don’t complain, it is time though for a change in the social order. And we are faced with great change, not made because we want it, but because society as is, is not really sustainable, the imbalance presently will shift. It will not be easy, and as with all change some adapt, others will find it very hard.
Economy and burn out. Sooner rather than later I suspect. There are stormy times ahead. Not yet, but close. And the world will change beyond recognition. Future generations will bear a legacy from these times and will see the world differently to us. I hope I see the changes, unlikely I feel. When I suggest soon, in near generations not in this lifetime unless the shift is made through desperation and not through choice.
Times they are a changing! This new millennium, the fastest change ever to be seen in human doings. We might not survive a thousand years. Nature and Providence has a habit of making change for us as we certainly are reluctant to give up one inch of ground for the common good of all. And we will all pay a price for our hubris. If ever it were a case of the blind leading the blind, blind ambition will be our undoing and endeavour lost to eternity.
December 26th 2005
Where Am I In The Ever Present, Present Imperfectly Perfect Moment Of Now?
Patience conquers everything and nothing strange times always, and times are moving, forever onwards to where we may find happiness, we may never know as searching clouds our path. Somehow the old adage, old phrase, "joy is in the journey and not the destination". And we all have the same destiny. Along the way where we experience all life can offer. In a village a town, in a family, on our own, we get what life is for us. Our unique experience, our one and only life provided by nature and nurture.
We never know what might happen, we can plan and miss everything, make no plan and miss nothing. We find inclusion in our world, we include because we want to, or because it may be all that is open to us. We choose how we respond. And we will feel exclusion, that hardest of hard realities, where self will may part us from our sanity. And in responding to our world, gentle is best, passionate is best, calm is best, whatever our pace is best. The best of life is its simplicity, patterned we are, with nature's gift. And when we experience each day with minds as open as we are able, we let experience inform our choice and choices. And we learn from experience to let others have their choices of experience too. Sometimes together, often apart, as we come into the world we exit same way, in the singular sense.
Let go harsh times, and recollect memories to inform our wisdom. Let go and let free those we might hold to fortune's grasp, our will not theirs. Be free and let freedom's gaze fire joy without prejudice. Love with deepest passion and hold good to nature's virtue, spiritual governance, in this perfect ever present, present. Control no one, and be free in our journey across the oceans of this world and the next, it is there, tomorrow...
December 26th 2004
Imperfectly Perfect Moment Always Now
By letting go of all that is heavy, you become free to fill with all that is light.
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