Monday, 8 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 8 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 8 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" step four: "creation gave us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn't be complete human beings." First sentences in the twelve and twelve. Natural instincts hardwired into our consciousness, our brain. We have five senses, hardwired to provide instant information. Without these hardwired instincts, we would not be human beings. And for whatever reason, when our instincts are out of balance, our desires for something or someone, probably imbalanced because they do not fit societies codes and morals… The fearless moral inventory highlights where we may be out of step with common codes of behaviour which have been established for generations…

Video For Today:

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Feeling And Thinking"

On Saturday, a friend suggested I might be going out with my camera to take photos and they were right, I felt like getting out. I absolutely love taking photographs of people, places and things because I love to see the truth of now. The season is changing and the mood of people is changing. The way places look in the spring, and all sorts of things come to life at this time of year. I feel it and have a desire to be out there. Saturday, still cold and the mood outside in the world seemed depressed. And then out on Sunday, sunshine and warmth, warming people, warming up places, and things are happening. My natural feelings: to be in the world and observing and taking part. And seeing the truth of now… I feel attracted to the warmth of the world, the warmth of people, places and things coming alive at last, after a long winter. I am of nature and I love nature and I love people. From the glamorous girl posing for a film crew, to the drunken man shouting on the steps of Saint Martin's in the fields about the world coming to an end, I see it and feel it in the moment of now…


If I were to think about what is wrong. Right now, the washing facilities need repairing, the drainage pipes are blocked and in another life, I would pick up the phone and call Pimlico plumbers who would sort it out in a couple of hours. It's only been three weeks since the washing facilities broke down, and the drains backing up to the kitchen made life complicated over the weekend. If I were to raise expectations above what is possible for my landlord to do, and felt an entitlement to special treatment, over and above other people in the queue, my resentments could quickly pull me down into darkness and obscurity. I would become, "Don, the obscure…" Hiding away and rattling and raving at the unfairness of my plumbing system, not being fixed in the way I used to fix everything with a wad of cash in my pocket… Without the wad of cash in my pocket, and with a smile on my face, I do revel at being able to get out yesterday and take photos on my rambling on the electric bike, because my feet don't work too well these days. And if I were to feel downtrodden because I can't tread too far, and because of nerve damage in all my extremities, except the one down below which seems to be okay, I could be trudging the road and the journey with a depression, the size of the universe… Step four is important, my natural desires are good, but the ravages of time mean that some things are no longer possible and can be done as they used to be. The fearless moral inventory, and then step five, six and seven, change my outlook from an old life of fear, pride and ego to a new life of courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and confidence to be me as I am just for today…


Step four being the "pile of old life," the extremes beyond natural desires for the love, inclusion, career, you name it, it was always about being with the right people, in the right places with the right things, working to extremes and playing to extremes. And eventually, the old life becomes more and more superficial, because we just cannot maintain unatural extremes to fill the gap of something we crave more than anything, that being love and affection. Of course, if we had understood what was missing, we might think we would have behaved differently. If our life experiences had been different, then maybe if we had not tried to be the poster boy or the poster girl for the Zeitgeist:"the spirit of the age," we would not have tried so hard and failed so miserably to understand the essence of living. The younger people get to AA, the better in my opinion. Mine was a hard long road into desolation and misunderstandings about life because of failure and disappointment in my youth. We identify the truth, the recollections and the resentments and we let them go. There is no rush to fill the enormous gap when we stop our addiction. There is no fix in the new life, there is simply room to grow a new life and find what is right. By being open, honest and willing to change, we all find our freedom of choice on the journey of life, and whatever endeavour we choose today…


I haven't mentioned self-help books for a long time, because I thought I wanted to write one and it would be inspirational for other people. And I wanted to rewrite the big book, I wanted to rewrite the twelve and twelve, I wanted to make an impression? This was in the first ninety days of my recovery as I devoured as much literature as I could. I saw spelling mistakes and as well as that I felt there were mis-takes in the writing as well. And then I realised every story and every sentence was written in the raw, and my attempt to edit and impose my identity on it was pride and ego rising to the fore. People kept saying progress not perfect, and people kept saying just give it time, and people kept saying listen to the similarities and look for the similarities, because we are all different. My story is no more glorious or inglorious than any other. These days I do believe that we write our own book of self-help, we may not write it all down or write any of it down at all, and yet we share equally, and with equality, one day at a time… By all means write your self-help book because it will help you, and in doing so, you are sharing experience strength and hope and there may be similarities which makes all the difference to one person in the world. Usually it is you…


All around us, the world is thinking hard about what next to do, aiming for the stars, being driven to extremes. We think about living the dream, fantasy and endeavour are good. And yet in our emotional and spiritual fellowship, we are always getting back to basics and standing on our own two feet. Emotional and spiritual: living in the moment of now, and all five senses working normally, we feel life as it is, and either we can cope with this reality. Or maybe we need some help with this reality? Humility to ask depends on all the twelve steps, because without humility progress is extremely difficult. The big world opens, if we are willing to ask for help and see what opportunities there may be, rather than using just our own resources, which led to calamity in the past. Feelings in the moment of now, from our senses, hardwired to help us when we are able to identify if we are: H. A. L. T. If we are hungry, angry, lonely and or tired. Courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing, and growing confidence to live life as nature intended, with all our senses working in the moment of now… And on top of all that we have our intellect and thinking capacities, working away trying to control what nature intended, just for a day? Feeling and thinking can be at odds on any given day…


If we are feeling extremes, anxiety and urgency, usually we have left something unfinished or we simply want to move on. And in the first ninety days of recovery, I used to go to a meeting called "after eights," and it was at eight in the evening. After eights referred to the people who spoke first, and shared their experience strength and hope of being eight years sober, and what life was like in later sobriety. I couldn't even think of being eight years sober, it was an impossible thing to come from one day sober, to people being over eight years sober, and in some cases twenty thirty forty and fifty years sober. And then I got eight years continuous sobriety and wondered what all the fuss was about. What happened along the way? Patience and progress were not measured in years, patience and progress was only relevant one day at a time. And when people share, their wisdom of the years is really profound about the basics to keep fellowship working one day at a time. A fellowship of love, just for today and every day… There is no rush to an ending, and even when we hit milestones in life, they feel right sized hopefully and then another milestone happens today…


Alcoholics Anonymous | April 8 2012 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" Today's AA daily reflection: "an inside look, natural desires and instincts…" Step four is not a fearful moral inventory, it is a fearless moral inventory. The facts as we see them, written down to illustrate how we felt "our emotions at the time" and what happened and the consequences…

Video For Today:

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It is very difficult sometimes to work out what a natural instinct is, and our desires. And to what extent we may have found ourselves in other addictive behaviour around people places and things. The more we feared we were out of control or warped in our outlook the less likely we would share our shame and guilt with others. Once we take the lid off and realise that natural instincts and desires, often fantasies are not reality and need to be shared so we get a more balanced understanding of what happened…


As a psychiatrist once said to me, "fantasy is a very necessary part of the human psyche." It is when we cannot differentiate between what is possible and natural, and what is not possible and in the realms of dreams and fantasies that we cannot find the wisdom to know the difference…


Fearless and thorough can be very revealing when we look at our history, a self-appraisal for our personal growth. So often we find that our actions and behaviour are so repetitive we get to a point when we want to stop looking and start wondering what to do about life today. However we tackled step four, if it reveals what got in the way of our progress, in my case fear, putting on a brave face and ego "my defects of character" and the things I lacked most, which now seem to be broadly courage, faith and confidence in just being another human being on the planet "shortcomings, lack of growth and self-esteem..."


Step four is like any other step in the programme when it is approached in an open honest and willing way. Making it so big that it cannot be done is a mistake many people fall into. As soon as we stop drinking and start getting sober, we are already on all the steps. I went to meetings where the scrolls with the 12 steps and 12 traditions were hung on the wall and easily seen. Very often the scrolls are lost and meetings continue without them. And imagination makes some of the steps more difficult than others when we don't see them all in context every day…


DonInLondon 2005-2011


April is a review of what step 4 means to me in my videos. A return to balance in my outlook and natural instincts, my feelings and being in the moment of now. When life is at extremes of good or bad, my feelings are too. This is where step 4 and then step 10 are in action and work in the moment. The big picture improves with guidance and wisdom from others. Higher Power and people rock!


Truth Love & Wisdom: help me find who I may become today, letting go old fears opens up the door to new living, understanding how to be just me today. Balance and understanding our feelings, making choices based on real experiences, we let go expectations of doom or omnipotence, the difference between back then, and what is now..


AA Daily Reflection: AN INSIDE LOOK We want to find exactly how, when, and where our natural desires have warped us. We wish to look squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and ourselves. By discovering what our emotional deformities are, we can move toward their correction TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p.43

Today I am no longer a slave to alcohol, yet in so many ways enslavement still threatens-my self, my desires, even my dreams. Yet without dreams I cannot exist; without dreams there is nothing to keep me moving forward. I must look inside myself, to free myself. I must call upon God’s power to face the person I’ve feared the most, the true me, the person God created me to be. Unless I can or until I do, I will always be running, and never be truly free. I ask God daily to show me such a freedom!


As Bill Sees It ~ Review the Day When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? We must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflections, for that would diminish our usefulness to ourselves and to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, P. 86


Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4 Inventory, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,


Just For Today, and every day cherish always...


April 2013 | AA Big Book Playlist

April 2013 | AA Twelve Step Playlist

April 2013 | AA Step Four Reading Video Link:

April 2013 | AA Video Reading How It Works:     

April 2013 | AA Video Reading A Vision For You:    

April 2013 | Video Daily Playlist Step Four:

AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections

AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve

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