Tuesday, 8 January 2013

January 8 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 1 "Powerless" | Alcoholics Anonymous

January 8 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 1 "Powerless" | Alcoholics Anonymous What was a weakness is now a strength, no need to feel powerful with a drink inside me, no need to imagine future success. One day at a time, finding the measure of success in emotional and spiritual living. Emotional, knowing my feelings, spiritual, in the moment of now. It does not mean I will always be coping with what is going on, the strength is in asking for help when needed from anyone anywhere at any time, including most importantly our good conscience...

Video For Today:

Vulnerability Becomes A Strength


We all have a conscience, and depending on how we have learned life, our conscience will drive us to do what is good, what is seen as bad and what is seen as ugly. We may not like the consequences of our actions, and so often we don't even think about the consequences of what we do under the influence of something, we just want to do it. Like an ad campaign, which suggests: "just do it!" If we just do things because we are driven to do them, without applying some common sense and gumption, the world would be in more chaos than it is and nobody would ever find any serenity in anything...


Under the deception of teaching me something useful, my father showed me how to make homebrew at a very early age by throwing rhubarb and sugar into a bucket with water, put it in a dark cupboard and waiting for it to ferment into a very rough wine. To improve its flavour, throw in a few raisins, and a few weeks later a very rough liquor to be ingested and cause a new experience in my head. Giddy and carefree, for a little while and then a headache, and then a desire for more giddiness and more carefree feelings and a complete withdrawal from reality. Great moments of release from reality. I guess back then reality was not that good, and my look back with a sober head, reality was pretty awful, no wonder I was in the thrall of home brewing from an early age…

All sorts of neat tricks to make alcohol from anything, beekeeping became a fun activity in itself, producing honey, and then producing mead, and getting a pat on the back for my enterprise from my dad. He seemed to enjoy any sort of alcohol, and any sort of medication which might produce a different way of feeling. In hindsight I feel he'd probably used us children as guinea pigs, or a way of endorsing his natural inclination to find substances which took away reality as soon as possible. Generally, my dad was very angry about the world and he had good reason to be angry. And his way of dealing with reality was to get out of it as soon as possible on a daily basis. I think we used to call it, taking the edge off, and I joined in enthusiastically as much as I could, because I thought that's what people did…


Taking the edge off reality, taking the edge off the good, the bad and the ugly, meant my perception of the world was probably at extremes most of the time. And one of the elements of recovery, which has been the most productive, is learning about feelings and how they impact on my thinking and the actions I take. Somebody said recently. Feelings are not truth, and I waver on agreeing. I know feelings are very real, they inform me of my spiritual condition right now. When my feelings do not match reality, that they are exaggerated in some way and stop me seeing the truth, although the feelings are real, I still need to find the truth of now. Feelings are the truth in the moment, and then finding reality is another matter in spiritual living, simply living in the reality of now…


My dad died early because of drink and substance abuse. There is no doubt about it, and it is a wonder he lasted as long as he did. I feel he would have made better decisions about his own life had he not been pickled most of the time. He would have learned a better path with better choices based on better information. And the world was mad when he was growing up, and the world is still mad, as mad as hell about a lot of things. Depending on your nature, and learning how to cope with life, we can all be driven mad daily. The tools of the fellowship program, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, help me work out what I can do and cannot do on a daily basis. And to put the right value on my life, to live an emotional and spiritual experience, where my feelings fit with reality and I can cope, I cope mostly by including people and asking their opinions, and sharing outcomes through negotiation, rather than trying to impose my will and my ideas on anyone. We are all interdependent, and fellowship has taught me how to be equal, included and find unconditional love works for one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Imperfectly perfect in the ever present, present moment of now…


Even when other people around us have a different set of rules, or rather, it simply ways of living life, we don't have to join in with their way of living. If their way of living is unhelpful, bullying or simply a bad practice, we need not join in with them. Easy to say and very difficult to do. If we feel that we ought to be like them, we need to challenge our own outlook and our own behaviour. One of the things I know most often happens is that we think we can change another person's attitude and behaviour, and especially how they feel about the world. I am powerless over people places and things, and when I remind myself that I can change my outlook, my choices and my destination, with due care and attention, I'd need not undermine other people and what they are about. We will encounter many people in fellowship with different ideas and beliefs, attitudes and outlooks, and just because they may be loud in their opinions, we do not have to join in with them. As individuals we decide our right choice in the moment of now, and often this is a difficult path, and the serenity prayer helps always in the can and cannot do and accepting the wisdom we learn one day at a time…


I am going to make mistakes today, and if I break down the word mistake to miss and take it is like something which can be redone or completely rebuilt. If I can forgive my fall into alcoholism and all the consequences which led me astray and into a very small world inside my head, I need to be able to forgive everyone everything in the moment of now. Forgiving people does free me from trying to persuade people to my point of view, forgiving people frees me from bad feelings about them, and restores me to sanity faster than anything I know, forgiveness is a daily practice for oneself and for other people, at the same time, actions have consequences. And some people we let go as they are harmful to our outlook and our way of life today…


January 8 2012 | Daily Reflection|


Yesterday; at the hut for our lunchtime spiritual meeting. We read the spiritual experience and then a five-minute chair and raised hands. Newcomers, and old timers new to our area. Chair about acceptance of who we are today. Feels like all the meetings recently have been about courage to change as life is changing. Acceptance; of the past so important and letting go. Opening the door to let go and let the world in, asking for help when it's needed and helping others when they ask. No expectations, no resentments and a clear view to what might happen today…


Video For Today:

Video 2012

Today's AA daily reflection is about "do I have a choice?" And my experience is we do have choices today. Sober and sobriety can smack of puritanism. But I didn't get sober to be a puritan; I got sober so my natural instincts would work again. The good news is my natural instincts work again; even better news is I see when other people's natural instincts are working well for them. And I also like the natural instincts of women to like men, or whatever combination floats your boat works as we live and breathe sober today…


Do I have a choice today? I wake up in the morning, as myself how am I feeling? If I feel good I am likely to be thinking good and my actions will result in good things. If I feel angry waking up, my thinking is angry and my actions are likely to be angry as well. Whatever mood I wake up with, as long as I ask myself what it is, I can influence what happens and make choices. But if I wake up with a hangover and don't think my actions may be to act out badly all day long…


I didn't get sober to be a puritan, I love being sober so I may enjoy every single aspect of nature and providence, that is my natural instincts and where life may take me today. Life is all about change, and the funny thing about acceptance is we accept what happened, and accept life is going to be changing forever. Most likely changes for the good when we know what can be done, like to do  each and every day. Can do and cannot do and wisdom to know the difference today… Now how hard is that?


DonInLondon 2005-2011


Powerless over People Places Things ~ Henry David Thoreau "Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution."



Open honest and willing… freedom living in the moment of now


Freedom ~ Thomas Jefferson "Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits."


Powerless over People Places Things ~ Henry David Thoreau "Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution."


Open honest and willing... freedom living in the moment of now


Inner Calm ~ "The greater the demands on us, the more we need to sustain our inner calm and stability."



God Is Truth ~ God Works Through People ~ God Is Love ~ Listen To The Inner Voice, Listen To Others, Love In The Moment...


What is the worst thing that can happen when there is a newcomer in one of our meetings?


AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections


AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve


January 2013 | Step One Reading Video Link:

January 2013 | Video Reading How It Works:

January 2013 | Video Reading A Vision For You:

January 2013 | Playlist About Step One:


don@doninlondon.com |

"music for airports" By Brian Eno | http://www.enoshop.co.uk/ |

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