December 27 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "problem solving… No problems, no decisions required? Or no problem, just a situation to live in…" Living in the solution requires a problem? It's a bit like trying to work out if something is right or if something is wrong, using our thinking. Better to start by understanding my mood in the moment of now. If I know what my mood is, and pay attention to the feeling, then I know the impact of my emotions on my thinking and action. Feel happy, think happy and behave and be happy. Feel bad, think bad, behave and be bad. Feel joy, think joyfully and behave and be joyful. Feel resentment, think resentfully and behave and be resentful in the moment of now…
Video For Today:
Changing the way we perceive our situation, from the old ways which were all about control and thinking ourselves into "hopefully" happiness did not work that well. To the new ways of living, emotional and spiritual life, always in the present moment. Knowing my feelings in the moment of now does not require a deep reflection, it is recognising the automatic response we have to our situation, that we are emotional beings, not in control of our feelings and very often not in control of anything, and always better off, never trying to control anything other than choices as each moment grows into a new moment. When people say they can be happy and sad at the same time, be laughing and crying, it is true, because we can feel a multitude of feelings in each moment and if you try to sort them all out at once, you will be in a deep thought process which means you're probably getting stuck trying to work out how to control the feelings as they erupt, in the ever present, imperfectly perfect moment of now…
Yesterday, boxing day and an evening meeting at the spiritual hut. I got there early, the chairs were laid out differently, there was no tea, it was cold, it was rainy, it didn't rain on the way there and it didn't rain on the way back. A beautiful chair by a person I have known for some years and the change in their outlook was very profound. Generally, over some years, a transformation from trying to control everything and problem solve recovery to a Buddhist philosophy that life is simply experience in the moment of now… I'm sure that does not do justice to their journey or anyone else's. It illustrates to me, more than anything that each person can change if they are: open, honest and willing to live life on life's terms. It is about living reality in the moment immersed and aware of the choices possible in the present where all the actions always happen… I loved it. And all the sharing, always about unity, service and recovery, and that the outcomes for each individual are personal, similar and still completely different because although we are on our own unique journey we are still together all at the same time...
It was good to get to the meeting early, the feeling of simply being in the company of familiar faces and strangers, all of us with our own stories of Christmas. Some experiencing their first Christmas sober, rattling and mad as Hatters and a bit angry, to say the least. And I remember those Christmases quite well. To those with a few Christmases on the clock of life, some of them were good, some of them were bad, some of them plain old ugly. It's not about controlling Christmas, and it's not about some version of goodwill to all men, it's about living in the real Christmas, and the real day of now...
There was a reading, picked out of the, "as Bill sees it…" Book of reflections, about believe in God, or simply belief in good… And the Buddhist who was asked about our principles, the twelve steps and twelve traditions, reflected that the word God was not their choice in their philosophy, their choice of word would be simply "good" from the reading on page 223, "one fellowship ~ many faiths." I like both the word God and the word good. We all have an inner voice, a conscience which can be "good, bad or ugly" depending on what is going on in our lives. And we are lucky and fortunate to be able to learn through experience, which path we can choose. We can choose an old life and all the old patterns and defy reality, we can choose the path of truth and live reality and the degree to which it will be a life to "good, bad or ugly," is then a personal choice every human need make from moment to moment… May your God or good, be with you today…
Dear higher power, how you feeling today? In recent times I have been discussing who you are with friends in fellowship. It seems to me that no one has been able to offer an answer about you and what you do. It seems to me that you are probably the most practical problem solver in the universe. When I look to nature and providence, and listen to my inner voice and listen to others, I learn and get closer to knowing the solution, just for today…
Powerless over people, places and things: When I feel okay and no pressure it is quite easy to accept powerlessness. And when the pressure is on I need to remind myself that my voice and my outlook are equal to anyone else's ideas and outlook. Sharing equally, if we can means we can work in harmony rather than conflict. It is never about being right, it is about being in the solution today…
Woke up feeling happy, and I think happy and my actions are based in happiness. Emotional and spiritual well-being, is knowing my mood and feelings and spiritual is being in the moment of now. Wake up feeling angry, then I think angry and my actions can be based on anger. My actions will influence what I continue to feel, my mood and how I think and what I do today…
There is a proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms - a physical, an emotional, a mental and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. Acceptance ~ Surrender ~ Faith ~ Open Mindedness ~ Honesty ~ Willingness ~ Moral Inventory ~ Amends ~ Humility ~ Persistence ~ Spiritual Growth ~ Service
Spiritual problem solving, as if there were any other kind. Fellowship, all about spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Spiritual is often described as mind, body and breath in the moment of now. When I am in the moment where my feelings match my reality, feelings match my experience in the moment, what you see is what you get today...
Problem solving and decision making, is all about action in the moment and often about formulating plans. When I am on my own, problem solving and decision making is assertive behaviour. When I am with others problem solving and decision making need take account of everyone, a mutual outcome with empathy. Life is a two way street today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "PROBLEM SOLVING quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 42
Through the recovery process described in the Big Book, I have come to realize that the same instructions that work on my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I am angry or frustrated, I consider the matter a manifestation of the main problem within me, alcoholism. As I walk through the Steps, my difficulty is usually dealt with long before I reach the Twelfth suggestion, and those difficulties that persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry the message to someone else. These principles do solve my problems! I have not encountered an exception, and I have been brought to a way of living which is satisfying and useful."
December 27 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Easy does It - Feelings Never Lie
Missing In the Action - Truth
Where do we go in our insulated thinking? Probably to a place of wishful thinking, judgment and maybe worse as we are insular, we see the world our way, and we want the world to be our way. That is not going to happen ever.
Early Steps in AA Alcoholics Anonymous
As you know by now my outlook on life has been changing. And changing the more I keep a sober head, the more I share my emotions and the more I find some truths in living with due care and attention. Early steps in AA are all about finding our right size in this world and finding our own path to truth.
AA is about Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Well Being
And a whole lot more I suggest, to help us make life better a day at a time and sober, and of course more connected to life, the world and everything we hold close and value. Life itself was an issue for me and with three good chronic ailments I live as can be and to the good of good conscience.
Out and about on the bicycle, I got caught out as my blood sugar plummeted and also I will pay a price as the neuropathy will make walking hard work tomorrow. Just as it may be, the payoff though is today I got about and was part of life.
AA Meeting Tonight
Indeed the AA meeting tonight was a step meeting, step two which is:
“Came to believe that a power greater than me could restore me to sanity.”
As those who may read my journal of life and recovery know, I am now satisfied and feel happy to suggest I have many higher powers than me. Most often I recognise the fellowship of AA has provided a safe place for me to develop my physical, emotional and spiritual self these past few years.
The contentious issue is always spiritual and as the news today has shown yet again, if we are not tolerant of others spiritual path, faith and their understanding of God, we are in dangerous waters.
My spiritual is just me and my outlook, no one else’s. I have no affiliation to any sect, creed or anything resembling any organisation. And of course I need respect anyone’s outlook and what they have come to understand concerning belief in God or no belief in God. And always knowing I am not God has helped me find a way to live in harmony with people. I have no monopoly or intention to judge another’s faith. I may however be sure to avoid challenging and never undermine wellbeing and good conscience.
AA - has it got a Spiritual Answer? I do not know there is just one spiritual answer, more likely as many answers as there are humans
Spiritual is as we perceive this world for me, that what we see and encounter is reality and in reality we find the spiritual connection. We are never superior to others and their outlook, we just find our own path. As for me God is Truth. Truth is all around us and those who deny or filter Truth to fit a doctrine and any other form of delusion is not my business.
AA provides us recovering humans with tools to witness our Truth and Spiritual connection. Our choice based on experience, strength and hope is my guess tonight.
And AA does not endorse one view over another. So my humble beliefs are just so, they work and I can find acceptance, tolerance and love for all mankind, even when we do the worst we can possibly do, or I lose my humanity and my purpose. My purpose is to live in good conscience and experience life as it presents, not try make it my way or undermine your way.
Hurts and Resentments
Most hurts I have had over the years are often because I felt I was doing the right thing most of the time, and resentments about life were often because life as it was, it was unsustainable and I was powerless over people places and things. The resentment maybe is my luck has been average to low, life experience as it may be. And some of my choices led me away from my spiritual development for a good three decades. Not so good.
Wisdom learned along the way is now paying dividends and my overall outlook is better than it ever was, including the fact that with three chronic conditions regarding my health, I am able to get by and make of life what it can be.
So a good day overall, in the thick of crowds shopping, in the thick of fellowship and understanding life a day at a time.
I heed others wisdom [ a higher power than me] and heed my history, my outlook and of course my spiritual connection is now understood for today.
Life Changes and Outlooks
We can easily change again and again as we develop our understanding of life. Nothing is set in stone as we get along or we get stuck defending and not developing. Time always marches on. Maybe we need do the same a day at a time.
PROBLEM SOLVING "Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems." ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 42
Through the recovery process described in the Big Book, I have come to realize that the same instructions that work on my alcoholism, work on much more. Whenever I am angry or frustrated, I consider the matter a manifestation of the main problem within me, alcoholism. As I "walk" through the Steps, my difficulty is usually dealt with long before I reach the Twelfth "suggestion," and those difficulties that persist are remedied when I make an effort to carry the message to someone else. These principles do solve my problems! I have not encountered an exception, and I have been brought to a way of living which is satisfying and useful.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
I need the A.A. principles for the development of the buried life within me, that good life, which I had misplaced, but which I found again in this fellowship. This life within me is developing slowly but surely, with many set-backs, many mistakes, many failures, but still developing. As long as I stick close to A.A., my life will go on developing, and I cannot yet know what it will be, but I know that it will be good. That's all I want to know. It will be good. Am I thanking God for A.A.?
Meditation For The Day
Build your life on the firm foundation of true gratitude to God for all His blessings and true humility because of your unworthiness of these blessings. Build the frame of your life out of self-discipline, never let yourself get selfish or lazy or contented with yourself. Build the walls of your life out of service to others, helping others find the way to live. Build the roof of your life out of prayer and quiet times, waiting for God's guidance from above. Build a garden around your life out of peace of mind and serenity and a sure faith.
Prayer For The Day ~ I pray that I may build my life on A.A. principles. I pray that it may be a good building when my work is finished.
As Bill Sees It ~ FALSE PRIDE, p. 285 The alarming thing about pride-blindness is the ease with which it is justified. But we need not look far to see that self-justification is a universal destroyer of harmony and of love. It sets man against man, nation against nation. By it, every form of folly and violence can be made to look right, and even respectable.
It would be a product of false pride to claim that A.A. is a cure-all, even for alcoholism. 1. GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1961 2. A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 232
Walk In Dry Places Limiting Gossip No harm to others. "When you've told me their names, do not tell me their faults," a person said at an AA meeting. She was explaining how careful we must be to keep gossip within tight limits. However, it is possible to identify people in gossip without actually speaking their names. We can give so many facts that the listener can identify whom we're discussing. This is no less malicious and thoughtless than actually naming the person.
We can avoid these dangers by giving up both the desire to gossip and the wish to listen to gossip. We will always have matters to gossip about; we can always find weaknesses in those we envy, faults in people we want to see taken down a notch or two. But if we persist in the program, we should find ourselves moving out of this limited way of thinking. We'll put severe limits on gossip at the same time. I'll sidestep gossip if it starts to find a way into my life today. Under God's guidance, I have better things to do.
27th December 2006
An End to My Boxing Day
Not quite but nearly. This is another milestone for me. A third sober boxing day in a row. They only count these days if they are in a row. So the start of the twelve days of Christmas has been pretty ok. I have seen all my nearest and dearest, enjoyed their company and seen everyone sober, including me. So what a difference from years gone by, where the booze flowed and everyone got squiffy.
Its eleven years since I had some fun over the long holiday. Eleven years ago, the clinical depression I was experiencing then was as low as it may go. It was one jumping off point. Work had been hard and the world had given me many accolades to good work done and everything I had achieved was valued. Except by me.
We need others to share our company and keep us safe. At the time everyone in my family was working as hard at living as me. I feel we were all exhausted that year. I had long before started to isolate and feel something was wrong as deep can be in my world. It was. Had I realised where life had taken me, and I did have choices, maybe it would have been different. Surprisingly looking back as we do, it was the end of me in my career. Had I realised I was as ill as I was, I would have ended things then. Nothing, absolutely nothing gave me joy or reason to live that Christmas. And now its turned around, albeit briefly, for my depressions they come and go as they will. These days though I don’t make them worse with anything and do as I am told by medical people. And of course I have a fellowship which helps me with darker days where life loses all its meaning. It passes.
So today overall I am very grateful to have seen everyone close to me in my family. There are people on this earth I want to say hello to and let them know how much I have cared about them over the years. And it seems there is no opportunity to do so, without old times being brought to the surface. And actually inappropriate most likely. We all have good memories. I have a whole storehouse of connections, to people places and things. In the good times of living before exhaustion and my grip on reality was lost.
There are also others who will know me as a nuisance and quite frankly a nightmare to know. And one or two who will prefer I am never seen again. Its mutual I assure you. And that’s life.
It is, we will find those we are comfortable with, others who will drive us mad and dangerous again, and these days I am more able to spot them and say no. I have choices today, and today I keep to safe ground and explore adventures as they unfold, rather than wishing for a particular end or scenario.
Some connections this Christmas and just before seem lost to time, and rightly amends have been made along the way. For we are all allowed to be ourselves in this world. Its all our stomping grounds, we need be careful of our toes and others toes we might tread upon.
A quiet end, the rumble of airplanes and traffic and trains and the underground has come back. It means life returns to normal. And life is getting better and more manageable. Although the ailments have abated, some are going to progress and limit me further as time goes by. Its part of accepting life on life’s terms.
In my fellowship, well its just like life. We have dogmatic people, lucid people, mad people, people being restored to sanity. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly some return to sanity and others just become more and more bonkers, even without a drink inside them.
A happy affair and everyone catered for, we had peace and harmony, and times to reflect on who has been lost along the way. Some sad moments and overall many good moments of connection.
My Nephews and Godson, well they are growing to men. They seem to absorb life. So good to see, and so good they are pretty close and get on. Its hard to get on when the world teaches competition and suggests it’s a dog eat dog world.
I had made the assumption that all my family were aware of my current situation. Well funnily enough, not quite so. As I don’t always communicate or maybe its just we hear what we want to hear. But actually not all know how things are and why. So it turned out to be a good opportunity to share and update. This no doubt helps them understand why cycling is good most of the time provided I follow my regime of self-maintenance, and walking is getting increasingly hard to do. Hence me getting about dangerously on the roads in London, not through choice but necessity, as its important to exercise and keep fit, even if walking is extraordinarily painful. I must I feel or consequences will happen sooner rather than later.
Acceptance truly is the key today
And tonight’s meeting where we had a brand new person, who must be absolutely gutted to make it to AA before New Year’s Eve, I wonder what makes someone that desperate? And the reason may or may not be known sometime.
Encounters of the AA kind are always a shock to new people. As we let go our best friend which made us able to cope with more life than is good for us, until of course it stops working and we are drunk yet high and dry in life. The phrase having “drunk myself sober” is the worst moment for an addict. It means there is no relief from despair when this occurs, and this is where either people hit rock bottom or die most often, broken as if beyond repair.
The truth is stark and hollow and has nothing good to offer. Until there is time back into sobriety. And it requires utmost care and friendship. It requires desperation and admitting what we have become. And it takes time as we find out to be restored not back to what we were, most likely a new person, the true person emerges.
Overall its been pretty good
Beyond my wildest dreams is to have respect for myself and everyone, including disagreeable people, who have equal rights to me. Of course the consequence are what they are as we move along make life work as best we can. We find love again.
Happy we are just a day at a time. I met a very kind person tonight from another country. Its good to feel our humanity and our context, and know its just in the day. And to find all living has attractions and we never lose our inner self and who we are, we can find ourselves any day with a little help from our friends. And in my case today, a very supportive family indeed. I love them all.
December 27th 2005
Tsunami The Day After A Silent Moment Of Nature
Beyond our hearing and beneath the sea, turmoil as the earth cracks and shifts, perceptible to none who woke to an ordinary day. Across the earth, our science picks up on traumatic movements and we are informed. We know an event of magnitude has hit and we cannot quite believe the news that devastation is abroad. And we are yet to know the extent of this significant natural heave of the earth as it settles in unsettled patterns. A steady trickle makes the breaking news get more and more disturbing as we hear the worst has happened across countries far away, and near enough to feel the brush of horror. Disbelief, then a sense of doom as news darkens every hour and loss of life grows beyond any expectation. A force of nature as calamity hits every sense and holiday is lost and gloom deepens, a world is touched. Loss beyond imagination. A year ago and life returns in part to shores so distant. Some of us know them first hand, I do not, fewer now and still surviving. Hurt by nature's power and left stranded by modernity.
For modernity puts another value on their lives, their living and their future. Not all to the good as we find old prejudice clouds new beginnings. Grief lies scattered and hurting
Amongst a desert of despair. Memories acquaint us with tragedy. Not forgotten, but far, far away as others are caught in nature's grind. One day our response to all that nature gives and deals us, it may improve and be the better for mankind’s evolution as we learn to coexist. Mighty nature deals harsh blows, humanity far worse across this earth. Powerless hands mourn sad times. Times against humanity...
December 27th 2004
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference"
So simple a notion, to accept the things I cannot change.... A gift of powerlessness. A gift which makes the world an easier place in which to live. Courage.... there are things in this world I can change, I have the gift of influence without power or control over people places and things. Courage, a gift we all have. Wisdom, that which we get from experience. Experience teaches us we have no power or control over most anything but ourselves, a truly awesome understanding of nature.
The gift of knowing these elementals will secure harmony in our own mind and let go foolish notions where boundless ego dwells. Experience, a gift of life, easy to squander and as easy to recollect.
Serenity, the acceptance of the moment.. as it moves forever onward, 'carrying us across the oceans of this world...'
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