December 31 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "our emotional and spiritual development, with help of fellowship, for a whole day!" I attended two fellowship meetings yesterday, the first all about living in the moment, and living in the solution. The second, all about living in the moment and living in the solution… Same message in two meetings, and for me fantastic reinforcement in what I believe. And emphatically, a fellowship with one primary purpose. And emphatically one fellowship with many faiths. My faith? Learning what the next right thing may be in the moment of now…
Video For Today:
One fellowship, many faiths… From religious, to secular, to living in the moment of now and being able to cope. However we do it, thinking always leads back to control. Understanding our emotional and spiritual is all part of meditation. Trying to think our emotions and what they ought to be will yield nothing. Trying to understand our mood in the moment of now is always the starting point when it comes to formal meditation for me. How am I feeling? Why and what to do next. Right now I feel good, so likely my thinking is good and my intentions and actions are likely to be good. Looking outwards, open honest and willing to be helpful as I am in life and part of society today…
The end of another year in recovery. And a year where learning about my feelings impacting on my thinking and then my thinking impacting on the actions which are possible in any moment of now. Progress in learning how to say an emphatic no to things which are not good for me and I don't feel like doing. And Gandhi's quote which is summarised as, "an emphatic no is better than a half-hearted yes." It is all part of learning, learning what is acceptable, learning what is unacceptable. Learning that I have never really had power over what goes on in life, and the illusion of control has been smashed. Powerless over alcohol, and very happy to be powerless over alcohol and I need not drink one day at a time. And I need not feel the need to be powerful over people, places and things…
One of the speakers yesterday mentioned that the fellowship of AA was their primary source in recovery. And over the years they had been to many different fellowships for different addictions to substance and behaviours. I must say I have attended other fellowships, and that the core of all fellowships are the twelve steps to live a life with freedom of choice. In my case, the fellowship of AA provides an answer to addiction relating to any substance and any behaviour around people places and things. One fellowship for everything. And yet I know, every fellowship has its place for those of any background needing particular help with particular addictions. One fellowship is no better nor worse than the other. My only advice, do one set of steps, and learn the principles, the principles work if we work them one day at a time…
The best advice, keep on listening, keep on relating and find like-minded individuals in recovery, who can help you for a day. Sponsors can help, and also sponsors can hinder. Sponsors in an ideal world can help you learn the steps and traditions in the fellowship. How we then live the principles, the twelve steps and see how the twelve traditions fit into the framework of our living will always be a unique experience for each individual. One fellowship, learning by experience, becoming stronger and more hopeful and so many ways to live sober as there are people in fellowship. Our good fortune is we learn what we can do and cannot do on a daily basis, we learn to cope with reality, we learn that love is always at the core of our existence…
Humility… Learning to ask for help from anyone anywhere about anything which impacts on anyone today. Asking for help, powers up the people around us, powering up the people around us to help us is a key to opening the doors to new living and new possibilities. Asking for help means we will have to sort, and sift as we often can be overwhelmed with suggestions and solutions. We still need to work at solutions and the power that works through people will only diminish if we are selfish and remain dormant. Humility, this impacts on our courage, faith and confidence to keep on taking another step, a new path, retracing our steps when needed, and learning what works in life one day at a time…
The last day of my regular daily reflections and the start of my sabbatical to explore interests and possibilities. Sharing experience, strength and hope openly since 2004, has taken many hours a day, writing and sharing and replying privately to many fellow travellers in recovery over the years. So many places to share and so many people sharing their wisdom openly wherever they feel able has helped me enormously in recovery. At the same time, where would I be without face-to-face contact, and the benefit of loving friends close? I would not be here without their help one day at a time. And face-to-face, recovery in the moment, with love at the core works in the ever present, imperfectly perfect moment of now… Treasured and cherished companion's trudging the road of destiny together with love always… May your God, may your good, may your good conscience be with you today and every day…
When I feel right, I probably think right and then my actions may be right. Unburdened from the past, and not fearful of my future, I can live in this one day. When I feel wrong, my thinking may be wrong and my actions wrong too, and if it all goes wrong, I have fellowship and the humility to keep on learning just for a day…
Last day of the year, looking back I have had less fear, no need to put on a brave face or hide away from anything or anyone. With help and support, my faith and courage have helped me build confidence in living one day at a time. Living the truth, and being open honest and willing will guide me into the New Year. With truth and honesty I can ask for help at anytime and anywhere…
Time flies in recovery, so many new friends and connections, the feeling of included and not excluded helps me find peace and serenity. I hope when you encounter me, I am myself and what you see is what you get. No need to cover up or fear you finding me out as less than, or untruthful. Being a learner is key to my spiritual living and always just for today…
"I don’t have to make New Year’s resolutions! I can make every day a New Year’s day!" A day at a time, when I was living in the problem, it was a never ending nightmare. A day at a time living in the solution, my feelings fit the experience I am having. I am able to love, be loved back and useful. Happy ordinary, very extraordinary living today...
Realising I am powerless over people, places and things has let me be free to see my part in living today. No longer confounded or imprisoned by "my way" I see the big picture of life. The big picture, where I am included, know my feelings fit the experience I am having, I have freedom of choice based on reality, simply for today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "The idea of “twenty-four-hour” living applies primarily to the emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking, we must not live in yesterday, or in tomorrow. As Bill Sees It, p. 284
A New year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes-a time to consider directions, goals, and actions. I must make some plans to live a normal life, but also I must live emotionally within a twenty-four hour frame, for if I do, I don’t have to make New Year’s resolutions! I can make every day a New Year’s Day! I can decide, “Today I will do this . . . Today I will do that.” Each day I can measure my life by trying to a little better; by deciding to follow God’s will and making an effort to put the principles of our A.A. program into action."
December 31 2007 - January 1 2008
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Home Safe And In Fellowship
Past Present And Future
Adventures in the past, all good? Most were in my recollections, the difficult new years were those towards the end of my drinking career. Drink had caught me in a trap, I crossed a line in 2002.
The invisible line which made me dependent on alcohol. I had been a good drinker most of my life and the typical scrapes I got into with drink involved most often ending up in strange places and maybe with people I liked or loved. All to the good as drinking stories from the past used to make me smile, and still do sometimes as the good of this was often in good company and often doing what anyone else might. And then as time went by the drink was paramount and my isolation and depressions came in waves. I have had clinical depression for all my life I now realise with professional help to make me understand.
Now sober for some years and living in the day. Life has become more manageable and more in keeping with the person I feel I might be. it’s a hard lesson to realise that much of the success in the past was predicated on what I thought looked right rather than following my path. These days with fellowship, professional support for other ailments I got in recovery, and of course family and friends, each day works as it may, soberly and just for a day.
Would I have ever made so many videos on you tube had things been different? I doubt it as the life led before recovery was one of looking right and not one of being right in myself and the world. These days I have a chance, I have choices and make life work in the day.
I am a learner always and feel happiest being so. Learning life and gaining wisdom, helping myself and others reap the benefits of sobriety. Sober is a new wealth for me. I saw some people tonight receiving their ‘chips’ of sobriety from one month sober to thirty nine years sober. What a gift and to see life is better sober in all elements, physical, emotional and spiritual is a wonderful event.
I need not worry too much about the future, it will be here soon enough, and being a day at a time person, the new year is welcome as the old one ends. My life has more serenity than before. I look back at living and hard times with open eyes and less denials. I know I made huge mistakes and would make amends where possible and as time goes by.
Feeling love and being part of the world again, it is a new world for me. As mentioned my old life is far away, the old life where prosperity was measured materially. These days wealth is how I fare in living a day at a time, understanding my emotional, spiritual and physical conditions! Not about money or power or material wealth. And of course I cannot take that with me wherever I go.
Love is the Key these days. For 2008?
I have no real clue, I have choices, I have opportunity to live carefully and with better understanding. To be present.
Present - the Ever Present, Present
Less to Ego’s Drift, more towards courage, faith and confidence to let each day happen and be a part of the picture as it may be. I need keep safe in fellowship, be clear and gain wisdom. Be a part of family, be a part of friendships and be happy as one can be. There will be joy and sorrow in this coming year, just for now, a day at a time…
Daily Reflections January 1 2008
"I AM A MIRACLE" The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 25
This truly is a fact in my life today, and a real miracle. I always believed in God, but could never put that belief meaningfully into my life. Today, because of Alcoholics Anonymous, I now trust and rely on God, as I understand Him; I am sober today because of that! Learning to trust and rely on God was something I could never have done alone. I now believe in miracles because I am one!
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
When I came into A.A., was I a desperate person? Did I have a soul-sickness? Was I so sick of myself and my way of living that I couldn't stand looking at myself in a mirror? Was I ready for A.A.? Was I ready to try anything that would help me to get sober and to get over my soul-sickness? Should I ever forget the condition I was in?
Meditation For The Day
In the new year, I will live one day at a time. I will make each day one of preparation for better things ahead. I will not dwell on the past or the future, only on the present. I will bury every fear of the future, all thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all my dislikes, my resentments, my sense of failure, my disappointments in others and in myself, my gloom and my despondency. I will leave all these things buried and go forward, in this new year, into a new life.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that God will guide me one day at a time in the new year. I pray that for each day, God will supply the wisdom and the strength that I need.
As Bill Sees It Spiritually Fit, p.280 Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn't think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so.
We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status. His only chance for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland icecap, and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of Scotch and ruin everything! Alcoholics Anonymous, p.100-101
31st December 2006
Chairs and Shares and Things Spiritual
In our fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous we tend to follow the words of the AA preamble we have for every meeting we attend. it’s a bit of a reminder for everyone why we attend meetings, because most of us forget why on a daily basis.
AA preamble: “Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.”
Important ways of Living Well
As it clearly states in the preamble, we are not allied to any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution. And we don’t want to be controversial. We don’t endorse or oppose any causes. And we want to be sober a day at a time.
It was useful this year, to use the sentiments of the preamble over Christmas and over this New Year I will do the same. I shall have no opinion or any feeling for controversy. I will be powerless over people places and things, and be happy just for the hour, or the morning, afternoon and evening. The words in the preamble make it easy to sail through any engagement with other alcoholics and especially any family and friends we might feel try pigeon hole us one way or another. And truthfully it lets us let other people “be” as well. We just occupy our space and get on with getting on. And happily for me, it seems everyone else did much the same this year. And for this I am very grateful.
No Argy Bargy, at all this Christmas and it was a delight and we all got on.
Anyway back to where I need to explain what’s all this about
There seems great misunderstandings about spiritual in our fellowship. And as I have mentioned in recent times spiritual is actually making the best of reality today. Anyone who studies the spiritual path gets to learn we are trying to get our Mind, Body and Breath focussed in this present moment of now. And as AA call it, being in the day. The spiritual path therefore is quite easy to understand, it means we see real life on real terms without blinkers of denial and blinkers from alcohol and drugs.
Mind Trips we Have
When we indulge in drugs or alcohol, or whatever we use to fix our inner feelings, we are simply fixing ourselves. Mind altering drugs like LSD are the far end of not seeing life on life’s terms, its an inner kingdom of imagination and, well quite frankly just the size of our head and imagination. So when people say they have mind expanding trips from drink and drugs, actually what they have is a brain full of clashing images and memories, not at all spiritual, more in keeping with mixing all the primary colours together as an artist might and coming up with something very brown and turgid, and quite meaningless.
So the spiritual programme as I perceive it is quite easy to get in AA. It is simply being in tune with the moment, where we can use all our senses to experience the reality of life.
Other people’s Spiritual and God ( God is optional in AA )
This is a problem and we need not step on any toes here. Many people have a firm belief in God. And it is their experience of life and their belief. I need not undermine in any way, any other persons opinion, nor may they do the same with me.
My Spiritual - Providence and Nature
Is simply acknowledging we are all from Providence and Nature, and we work best with a clear head. When it comes to values and principles of living, I do firmly believe we all have a conscience. And good conscience developed with clarity keeps us on track and firmly in the day where we can be spiritual.
Just for a day.
What gets in the way of Spiritual and Good conscience?
Life seems to throw up all manner of conflicts where we can respond and react from the good of us and the bad of us.
Every Feeling and Attitude to life has an Opposite
Yes it does from Love to Hate, Ego to Esteem. As we work out how we want to be, most likely it involves more Love and confidence and less on Ego and Hate.
The same goes for Bravery to Courage, Fear to Faith, Ego to Esteem. So when we feel courage, faith and esteem, we are more likely to find our spiritual fulfilment.
When we feel fear, we need to be brave, when we have fear and bravery we most often defend our Ego, our attitude to superior ways of life and behaviour. Of course Pride and Arrogance fit close with fear bravery and ego, where humility acceptance fit close with courage faith and esteem.
How we live Life
We need every element of our human condition to find our path to good living and hopefully to good conscience. Where we have courage, faith and esteem, we have nothing to defend and we live in our spiritual moment.
As the same time we cannot forget we will find our fears require bravery and ego, when we find ourselves threatened or under torment. We develop both sides of our emotions and see the good and bad of how we develop and where mankind gets things right and very, very sadly out of spiritual, in the emptiness of our darker emotions, more like a hell on earth as most experience when driven bonkers by drugs and alcohol.
How come we have both good and bad?
I honestly don’t know why we are made up as we are. Except we know when we are to the good and also when we are to the dark of living. And what triggers most of our dark times is when we grow in ignorance and in fear of our lives and livelihood, our place in the world feels under threat. So we have reactions and responses and we learn what works for us the best.
As to Why
Do we need to argue it? Do we need to defend what we feel is to good conscience. These are questions we have as we live. For Providence and Nature and happenstance determine much of what we are and what we become. Why, why, why. There is no real answer or ever going to be an answer which provides absolute resolution of anything connected to faith and belief.
I was challenged tonight
Someone quite rightly asked me what I meant about courage and faith and esteem in our fellowship. And my reply is quite simple. I get courage and faith from our fellowship which is about developing our spiritual path, to live life real in this moment of now. When I live with courage and faith, my esteem is right, and I feel equal to living. When I feel fear, I have always needed to be brave, when fear and bravery were my needs and my attitude, I felt threat and ego stepped in to quell my self doubts about defending something about me. Fear strips our feelings and reason, moves us to hate and aggression. Esteem and responsiveness to challenge can enable acceptance of many ways of life and reality as it is today. So we find forgiveness for ourselves and others on the path of life.
We all make them daily, hourly and even by the minute. When we can accept our humanity, we move more easily and with confidence, and enable the same in others.
My mistakes are so many, I have much wisdom both sides of path to enlightened living. So while wisdom is helping me, experience can hinder me. And I need to keep an open outlook as best I can.
We simply Learn
Yes we do to live life on life’s terms. What we get is what we get. There is no deserved or reserved place where we fit. We just learn to live as we may, and make it an endeavour with good conscience.
Is Life Fair?
Life is neither fair or unfair, life is life. Good conscience and our endeavours hopefully make our path more understood through time. And acceptance is a real key to making life work as it is, just for today…
So where does this leave me tonight, on the eve of the eve of the New year. I write this journal the night before you most likely read it, or for some its already new year’s eve.
Tomorrow is another day, a future I can be part of, simply because I have found a path to greet life on life’s terms. Sounds fatalistic like that? Well not for me, for I never know where life will take me and tonight I am glad to be sober and to be me. What more? Who knows? Not I!
31st December 2006
End of 2006
A short and reflective message today. Just to wish everyone a happy new year and hope for 2007. After the last few days its my sincere hope that we all get some courage, faith and confidence to be ourselves as we determine with the best choices open to us. I have a friend returning to our fellowship, another celebrating a year in sobriety and many messages of good will. And I hope the same for everyone. We need not hurt each other or judge each other, we need just one gift, life itself. And this I have for today. May it be so for as long as may be, a day at a time, and with an open mind learning wisdom and love. Now that’s as much as I need say, best wishes to all,
DonInLondon / DonInChelsea / Don Oddy
December 31st 2005
This question is always there, how to validate. To support or corroborate on a sound or authoritative basis, who we are and what we are. There as so many challenges we face, we get confused and wonder at ourselves, our feelings and our reason. We often feel the need to check ourselves out. We need only look in a mirror once, and then we are hooked, checking and ensuring we portray who we are. Or we don't because we reject what we see for some reason or another. Animals do it, they are fascinated by reflection, and so are human beings. We look and preen as nature intended, we look again and figure there is more to us than we see in the mirror.
At least we hope there is more than this thin veneer. Yet, so often we are challenged and assessed and codified in the blink of an eye. We do it to ourselves and we do it to others we meet. Not such a bad thing to do? Certainly we need that gumption in our minds eye, we need check for predators, we need check for danger and as important we check for safety.
We spend so much time in validation of others and ourselves. We take a split second preview and base a lifetime’s judgment on that assessment and then we seek to endorse that moment. In our validation we find, if we are to take expert testimony, our own, and that of the scientific world, proves assumptions made in that dramatic moment is usually right and by exception wrong. So why is it we find our validation process off the mark, less than, and inferior? Simply we take what we see and then deny it, we shrug it off. We then exercise filters and factors we have learn which confuse and story that gift of perception. The gift nature gave to keep us from harm’s way. Smiles and take an endorsement out with you today and see the world trusts you and you trust yourself...
December 31st 2004
In life our song reaches every moment, sing with great heart your melody. When we survive great catastrophe, at home in our own world, we can rejoice and move on. We experience the powerlessness of world catastrophe, we can contribute in our own way to alleviate and support. It feels hopeless sometimes, yet the simple act of kindness connects us all. Our humanity, our gift to our fellow man will open doors of opportunity.
Indeed the ripple effect of life is boundless. Acts of kindness, and humanity deepen our collective conscience and the world is touched. We have great depth, memory and capacities for love. Love life...
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