Monday, 29 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 30 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection" Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 29 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Invent...



Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 28 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Invent...



Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 27 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Invent...



Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 26 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Invent...



Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 25 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less I...


Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 24 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less I...


Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 23 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less I...



Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Monday, 22 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 22 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less I...



Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 21 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less I...



Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, AA Step 4,  Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Step Four Collection"

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 13 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 13 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" In the moment of now: awareness of your emotions and considering how they might influence your decision-making in a given situation is important in your approach to life. How am I feeling, why and what to do, means we can be assertive in expressing how we feel. "How are we feeling?" Offers the opportunity to be assertive with each other and have empathy or least try to develop empathy in any situation in life…

Video For Today:

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Courage Faith Confidence"

 

What about fear and anxiety? Often when we are fearful there is a good reason, something is happening now, which triggers our emotions and is obvious. What is less obvious, can be a profound recollection. Often we might find ourselves caught in a lie when we are trying to be agreeable, and find common ground and then suddenly we feel caught out. That sensation when the lie is discovered… Anger at ourselves and resentment; followed by cover up in some way. Why did I do that!?

 

Step four highlights the fear, pride and ego which we used to protect ourselves in the past. And at the same time it highlights what we can do in the future, be truthful and have the courage to change. Some of us need to develop courage, faith and confidence to start from scratch every day, and say to people that we really don't know the answers, we don't have the experience that they are sharing, and thank goodness we have a fellowship where it's okay not to know anything and start over at any time…

 

I can remember discussing my situation with a Professor of psychiatry, about writing my CV after I had a nervous breakdown. His suggestion was to lie through my teeth, and not tell anyone what had happened to me because he saw I still had potential to go back to an old life which had burnt me out. I did try with some success, but the outcome was I used alcohol as a barrier between me and what I used to do, alcohol kept me doing the same old same old, to the point where I could not stop drinking. It was a disaster to lie about the nervous breakdown because it kept me in denial, kept me fearful of being found out, and my egg shell ego cracked in no time at all. And a five-year struggle into another rock bottom and complete mental breakdown…

 

Fear, pride and ego often keep as going doing things which will inevitably cause major problems down the line. In the United Kingdom, people might have called it, "the Dunkirk spirit." The point about the Dunkirk spirit was a true fight for life, in the firing line, and for freedom and democracy. Applying the same principle to things we do, which are bad for us, whether it is material gain, or romantic extremes, is madness and insanity. Very often some of us were encouraged to do things we were good at, and although we were good at doing these things, and we thought it was a good idea because of the success and the opportunity offered, it was entirely the wrong thing for us to be doing and entirely wrong and against our own interests. Work hard and play hard. Back in the day, I did work hard and play hard, because I thought, playing hard was the reward for doing the work I was good at, and ended up burning out as a result… Fear, pride and ego, I didn't even know that was driving me, I thought it was ambition. Actually it was fear of failure…

 

Some of the things we learn in the safe self appraisal. The fearless moral inventory, can be very upsetting because we understand suddenly that we have been driven to do things because we thought we ought to do them, we thought we should be successful. And we found things we were good at, and we found things other people appreciated. We became chameleons, we could blend in, we could be the life and soul of the party, and the loneliest person on the planet. One of the worst and most horrible experiences which happened over and over again, was waking up with someone we hardly knew, yearning for love and yet the cold touch of dawn could be the loneliest moment in the company of a stranger. And sometimes the stranger was me, lost without any idea of my identity…

 

How am I today? I bought a new telephone two months ago, a mobile phone and today, two months later I discovered I can speak into the phone rather than write texts. I'm really pleased because the touchscreen letters are so small, and my fingertips seem too big. The problem is when I find something I like, for example being able to speak into my telephone and write a text, I get excited and might send out lots of texts which are completely meaningless, just because I can and its new… I'm laughing at myself, having sent a really long text to somebody, they simply replied with an "x" and I don't think they know about voice to text on their mobile? And I've been up all night, blood sugars all over the place, has a really bad impact on the old body, and I'm still waiting for my shower to be fixed. Why am I not angry? Simple, repairs were on schedule and somebody was sick. And I only found out having waited all day, I just haven't got the energy to berate and belittle the repair people in some way. And it would not be right to be angry and resentful, trying to impose and assert my right to have things fixed right now. I am powerless over people, places and things and if I imagine I can jump the queue for my repair to be done, I will get nowhere and simply feel angry and resentful, all day long. The sky is blue right now, I feel good having learned something this morning about voice texting, so bugger the repairs and I hope the guy gets well enough to get back on schedule sometime soon. I feel good, I feel happy and learning something new, its just great. Courage, faith and confidence that things will come right. Eventually, and maybe not today, indeed certainly not today, and I'm still laughing…

 

April 13 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 4 "Inventory" | Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "the false comfort of self-pity" it took me a while to understand what self-pity meant. Old ideas and thinking, "what have I done to deserve this!" "Why me?" "I work as hard as they do and yet they have more." "Why can't I take the edge off with a drink, it's not fair!"

Video For Today:

2009 - 2012

Just because I work harder, do more than them, have the right qualifications, have all the experience in the world… Why didn't you pick me, I want you and I need you and I want you! I can forget so easily that what might suit me in all respects does not suit you at all no matter how good a candidate I might be as a worker, a partner or anything else. As I have choices today, you have choices today too and we are equal to saying yes and to saying no as we choose and feel right in the moment of now…

 

It is easy to create rejections and easy to create resentments in ourselves and other people. The spot-check inventory helps me every day to take a helicopter view not only of my needs and wants, it also helps me to take account of the needs and wants of everyone around me. Step four including my grudge list helped me stop fearing like I deserved anything and even if I worked as hard as I could there would be no guarantee, simply the opportunity to be on the journey and not worry about the destination…

 

I can recollect feeling horrible about my situation in work and personal relationships. There was always a feeling tomorrow would be a better day and I would work hard and with every ounce of energy to be successful. I didn't know where I was going and I really didn't understand success. I was successful over and over again and failed to see or understand. Like an athlete we can train and work for years to be the best and still fail to enjoy the journey. And when we set a target investing everything in the destination, we are blinkered beyond belief and miss living in the day where we can change and make new decisions and new choices in the moment of now…

 

Step four, highlighting my fears, pretending to be okay with everything and the prideful ego making me cover up my failings. Covering up meant more often than not, I could not develop courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and the confidence to move ahead, move sideways or simply completely change direction. Step four, part of the journey and freedom to start again, ask the help and be happy and flexible just for today…

 

Only when I write these words, about step four and spot check inventories and actually do spot check inventories do I get the benefit of seeing the difference in what we call defects, my defects being extremes where fear, pretending and prideful ego keep me in the dark, and what we call shortcomings where I lack the courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing with help if needed and the confidence to keep on trying new ways and learn from my mistakes.

 

DonInLondon 2005-2011

 

"AA Spiritual Twelve Pack": Acceptance, Surrender, Faith, Open Mindedness, Honesty, Willingness, Moral Inventory, Amends, Humility, Persistence, Spiritual Growth & Service.. All about progress and good for today. To be included, make choices and live in harmony as life situations offer in the moment of now...

 

As we develop our: faith, courage and confidence, we let go; fear, brave facing and ego. Less doubt, less self-pity ~ Maya Angelou "Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable" -/- Acceptance of today and choices as they may be...

-/-

AA Daily Reflection: THE FALSE COMFORT OF SELF-PITY... Self-pity is one of the most unhappy and consuming defects that we know. It is a bar to all spiritual progress and can cut off all effective communication with our fellows because of its inordinate demands for attention and sympathy. It is a maudlin form of martyrdom, which we can ill afford. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 238

The false comfort of self-pity screens me from reality only momentarily and then demands, like a drug, that I take an ever bigger dose. If I succumb to this it could lead to a relapse into drinking. What can I do? One certain antidote is to turn my attention, however slightly at first, toward others who are genuinely less fortunate than I, preferably other alcoholics. In the same degree that I actively demonstrate my empathy with them, I will lessen my own exaggerated suffering.

-/-

As Bill Sees It ~ Blind Trust..? "Most surely, there can be no trust where there is no love, nor can be real love where distrust holds malign sway. "But does trust require that we be blind to other people's motives or, indeed, to our own? Not at all; this would be folly. Most certainly, we should assess the capacity for harm as well as the capability for good in every person that we would trust. Such a private inventory can reveal the degree of confidence we should extend in any given situation.

"However, this inventory needs to be taken in a spirit of understanding and love. Nothing can so much bias our judgment as the negative emotions of suspicion, jealousy, or anger. "Having vested our confidence in another person, we ought to let him know of our full support. Because of this, more often than not he will respond magnificently, and far beyond our first expectations." LETTER, 1966

-/-

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        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF5F3EC98C6012A4

April 2013 | AA Twelve Step Playlist        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3BFA6062268A289D

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:    

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC9C8658CBFCF357E

AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/aareflections.cfm

AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=359

Friday, 12 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 12 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 12 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" The living amend: what is the living amend to you? In my case, the living amend is to oneself, stop the blame, stop the guilt and shame and then forgive everything, every day. If we can understand our new direction, to be open, honest and willing, then we stop the blame game. And if we stop the blame game with ourselves and find forgiveness, then we can stop the blame game with everyone else and start to live life on life's terms…

Video For Today:

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Courage To Change"

 

Step four: it may seem like a giant project if it is not broken down. My way of breaking down the fearless moral inventory was to divided up into five-year chunks, simply because I was quite old when I got to step four and when I stopped drinking. In each five-year chunk, there was plenty to be angry and resentful about. State of the nation, the state of my bank balance, the state of my romantic interludes, the state of my career, the fact that drink was always a recipe to take the edge off and fix my feelings, even though I did not realise I was truly fixing my feelings because they were so raw and unhappy with reality…

 

Step four: each five-year chunk of the who what when where how and why… I began to see my part in matters as much as anybody else's. There was a bit of the bad in the good times, and there was good in the bad times for each and everyone. It was not all my responsibility. And it was not all my fault. And when I started to see that just being there in those times meant I had a part to play, then I could see everyone was doing the best they could even when their behaviour was the worst for me. Of course I really didn't take account of how it looked for them back in the day, or I did more than that, I totally took their point of view, and accepted quite a lot of rubbish behaviour, because I needed connection and some sort of intimacy… And the same was true for people with me…

 

Step four: we begin to see the difference between the old life, where fear, pride and ego would keep us doing the same thing over and over again, and hoping that life would get better. We never did make life better, because pride, ego and fear kept us in a loop. And then the irony: stopping drinking, asking ourselves to have courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and learning to be confident by making lots of mistakes and coming up with new solutions...

 

Step six and step seven: it took a long time for the penny to drop. Step six defects are all found in fear, pride and ego and on any day I can revisit fear, pride and ego. Step seven, my shortcomings, lack of courage to change, lack of faith and lack of confidence. On any given day, step six, can worm itself back in with fear, pride and ego, when people are particularly unpleasant. And then I need to remember, it's me who needs courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and being confident enough to walk away or find a new path if that is appropriate today. We don't lose our personality traits, because we all have them, even if they are considered defects, it is because they are extreme, because we are in extreme circumstances or we behave in an extreme way, when there is no need to today…

 

When you see a parent smack a child on the backside in public, your reaction may be? Anger and resentment that a grown-up hits a child, that you got smacked when you were young and then you'd started doing the same thing? Or it could be a hundred other reactions taking the point of view of the child, taking the point of view of the parent, what led to that extreme behaviour? We may not know, but we can ask ourselves is that what we want to do, if we were in the same situation? I don't know the answers, because I am not actually aware of all the facts. Sometimes when we observe other people's behaviour, it will cause a deep reaction in us. We need to learn how triggers in other people and in ourselves causes extreme reactions so we can deal with them today…

 

Step four: we find our assets and liabilities, we start to understand why things happened, how we behaved, who did what and why. And always, no matter what we do, we were part of either the problem or the solution, or both. This self-help self appraisal can be so useful and becomes a real starting point to understand more about ourselves, what makes us tick and how we get things done. When I talk about or write about what makes us tick: its our drive, our emotions, our desires and needs and feeling loved above all. No amount of material gains will ever feel enough, ask anyone who has abundance, it is not the amount, it is usually the desire for more and more of something. Desire is an emotion, a part of being loved. And being able to love others...

 

How am I feeling this morning? I am hoping and feeling okay about this morning, at the same time I am not expecting anything, even though there are repairs scheduled to be done in my home. I have set my expectations to zero, when it comes to repairs over the recent weeks because each repair man seems to start from scratch, just like me, not knowing anything until they get here. I just realised it might have been a financial matter as new budgets would have been signed off last week, and my repair is quite costly. Anyway, I will never know that, unless I go digging into budget matters of the landlord which frankly are of no interest to me in the long-term. We can so easily get sidetracked and diverted from good purpose today. I feel tired, I don't feel angry, I'm not hungry, and I don't feel lonely. Three out of four is good, and at the same time I know that tiredness is not like it used to be because of other chronic conditions. So I need to be careful and make time to deal with health issues and be myself with anyone I may meet today. Be equal with everyone, no matter what, they too have a right to be here! Open, honest and willing, courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and be confident enough to fail and try a new way today... I can only do one at a time, multitasking is not helpful to me today…

 

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 12 2012 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" Today's AA daily reflection: "giving up insanity…" Step four provides a clearer understanding of our attitudes and behaviour, some of our old ways are "liabilities" and every new day provides opportunity to improve our attitudes and behavioural "assets." People places and things may drive us bonkers at any time, rather than reacting we can respond with a pause to reflect…

Video For Today:

2009 - 2012

If the weather is cold, we put on a coat. If the weather improves and it is warm, we take the coat off. A natural response and reaction to our immediate situation. More difficult to respond and react in an open, honest and willing way with courage faith and confidence, when confronted with difficult people, difficult places and difficult things to do. We can change and not go into the old insanities which closes us down thinking angrily "here we go again!"

 

For a very long time in various industries my role was to challenge the status quo, looking at what worked with people and organisations and how to develop best ways to improve. And with some simple principles, being open, encouraging honesty, working to improve fair dealing and promote integrity in all relationships. Encountering business practice which was the very opposite caused me to break down when I realised I began to adopt behaviour encouraged day in day out. Smashed and broken by my own ethics and principles, a period of psychosis and breakdown followed when I realised everything I believed in was not wanted. The insanity of trying to do the right thing with the wrong people in the wrong places, helped me lose everything…

 

Sometimes our reasons and motives are not very clear when we have conflicting goals. Surviving and maintaining a certain way of living compromised me as a person, I simply wanted to fit in and be successful and live the dream. Unfortunately I had no clarity around the dream… And disappointment with myself and my way of life made me seek oblivion from the horror of what became not only a nightmare also a "day mare" and unrelenting pain. Ironically drink kept me alive and as a friend reminded me recently the last six months of drinking and the first six months of sobriety was like a Dickens novel A Tale Of Two Cities, "it was the worst of times, and the best of times..."

 

When I stop drinking with the help of fellowship, it was the worst of times leading up to that first sober day and then it became the best of times. And those first few months of the best of times were excruciatingly wonderful. And as each day starts I do remind myself of powerlessness and unmanageability. What it is to feel a touch of madness when life is difficult and I can ask the help these days to find some sanity and live it. Letting go trying to control, trying to be in charge of anything but my own outlook and behaviour. We may influence others; at the same time everyone has a right to their own outlook. Step four reinforced the serenity prayer and what it stands for, accepting the things I cannot change and courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference can help me achieve serenity just for today…

 

DonInLondon 2005-2011

 

Step Four assets and liabilities. Our emotional and spiritual programme, I found self-appraisal of my assets and liabilities not easy. Spiritual, finding the truth is always a challenge. Feelings at extremes cannot be sustained and become liabilities. Fear, a brave face and ego do not help. Courage, faith and confidence based on reality work well. A balance of all feelings makes life what it is today, real!

 

As we live step four, and learn daily inventory in step ten, we learn more about ourselves and our conduct. Two helpful steps in a twelve step package. Twelve principles of living, for ourselves and our conduct. Twelve steps useless and destructive when we apply them to, take inventory and judge others...

 

We need to drop the word "blame..." Step Four and Step ten are a reality check, how we were and how we are. We can improve our self-awareness. This does not make us expert counsel when supporting others in recovery. We remain one voice, sharing our experience strength and hope, our reality changes daily "I look at modern life and I see people not taking responsibility for their lives. The temptation to blame, to find external causes to one's own issues is something that is particularly modern. I know that personally I find that sense of responsibility interesting." Edward Zwick -/- Avoid Pedestals and Guru's

-/-

AA Daily Reflection: GIVING UP INSANITY... Where alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 38

 

Alcoholism required me to drink, whether I wanted to or not. Insanity dominated my life and was the essence of my disease. It robbed me of the freedom of choice over drinking and, therefore, robbed me of all other choices. When I drank, I was unable to make effective choices in any part of my life and life became unmanageable. I ask God to help me understand and accept the full meaning of the disease of alcoholism.

-/-

As Bill Sees It ~ God-Given Instincts... Creation gave us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn't be complete human beings. If men and women didn't exert themselves to be secure in their persons, made no effort to harvest food or construct shelter, there would be no survival. If they didn't reproduce, the earth wouldn't be populated. If there were no social instinct, there would be no society. Yet these instincts, so necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions. Powerfully, blindly, many times subtly, they drive us, dominate us, and insist upon ruling our lives.

 

We tried to shape a sane ideal for our future sex life. We subjected each relation to this test: Was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed. 1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 42 1. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, P. 69

-/-

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

-/-

 

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        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF5F3EC98C6012A4

April 2013 | AA Twelve Step Playlist        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3BFA6062268A289D

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:    

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC9C8658CBFCF357E

AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/aareflections.cfm

AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=359

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 11 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 11 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" For example: twelve steps to help with in everyday life: what happens when you wake up? Have you got a head full of thinking about what you have to do, and how do you feel about that? I need to get up and get washed, I'm in a rush, I've got things to do. And if I don't get started now, I'll never catch up. I must do this, I must do that, and I am already hungry, angry, lonely and tired! I haven't got time to think about recovery right now…

Video For Today:

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Feeling Then Thinking"

For example: I've had a sleepless night, only a couple of hours of sleep or less, my head is churning with all the things I am worried about. Deadlines, what people think of me, I'm short of money, where did my romance go, why does it always happen to me? I haven't got time to put recovery into practice right now. It's all right for some, they seem to live and breathe recovery, but they don't have my problems, and my problems are getting in the way of anything to do with spiritual. And spiritual is for wimps, emotional nonsense is not something for me.

 

For example: I want to follow the old dream, where I can do anything, I can be with anyone, and the world is at my feet. I am frustrated by life, it never seems to be quite what it was supposed to be. Other people got the breaks and I didn't. And when I got my break, somebody undermined me. I don't like the way the world is, what am I going to do to get ahead, and be number one in my work or family or both. When will people really see me and what I'm worth. Why don't people do what I tell them to do. Why doesn't anyone see my point of view. They undermined me, they robbed me of my chances, no wonder I drank, no wonder I had another affair, no wonder the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. There is no God. And I haven't got time for anything to do with this recovery nonsense, life is too short. Those people in fellowship, I don't know where they are, I reckon they are on another planet. A bit like Brazil, where the nuts come from…

 

For example: If I am pulled back into the negative way of thinking, and the madness of how it life used to be starts to rule my actions, I will completely forget about emotional and spiritual, because that is just what happens. When I forget to check out my mood, in the most straightforward way, H.A.L.T. hungry, angry, lonely and tired, forgetting these feelings will place me in a negative mood all day long. Are we that simple? In our decision-making, so often we are driven by thoughts, we forget what is driving them, feelings drive our mood, feelings drive us mad, feelings can help us get back to sanity. We are so programmed to believe that thinking rules everything and that thinking comes first, because we have been taught to think. And there are very few lessons in emotions: "feelings always drive what happens next." Using thinking to explore your emotional and spiritual life? Truth, love and wisdom: explore the truth of how you are feeling right now, explore who you love and how important love is in your life. And then ask yourself, what do I need to do today? Who takes time to understand their mood right now? Probably people who know it's a good idea to know your mood and then understand why you're thinking is quite wonky today…

 

For example: I feel good, I think good, and I have good outcomes, sometimes it works out my way, often it just works out the way it can. I feel bad, I think bad and the outcomes are bad, and I knew it would be that way! It felt ugly, and the more I thought about it, it was very ugly and outcomes were ugly as well. When I felt good, I was not hungry, angry, lonely and tired, but when life was going bad, it just got me down and I couldn't get out of it. And when it was ugly, I felt so angry and horrible. I could not sleep. And I missed breakfast, I was late, and nothing was going well… Why didn't I consider doing a step ten last night and writing a gratitude list, and why have I forgotten to do this for ages, or given no time to me to work out how to start again. Why don't I do the basics, basics are for wimps! Or are they?

 

How am I feeling this morning? When I woke up, I felt thirsty, blood sugars too high, need insulin, inject insulin. What is my mood? How am I really feeling? The true answer right now is I felt better for a cup of coffee. I felt worse, listening to the news, because I have time to do so. I felt better doing a couple of morning routines. And then of course I am reminded of my morning meditation which takes a few seconds: "step one, I am powerless over people places and things and if I try control them, life will get unmanageable. Step two, doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result is mad. Step three, let go my way, being the only way, and ask for help if I feel I need it." "Can do cannot do and wisdom to know the difference." That few second meditation in my head or spoken aloud, it takes as much time as it does to switch on the kettle, go for a pee and flush the loo. Those few seconds focusing on, can do cannot do and then the big question, how am I feeling? If you know your starting point with your mood, you will know what needs to be done. Usually if we feel H.A.L.T. Hungry or angry or lonely or tired, or all of them, we need conscious contact with someone and in recovery, hopefully we can…

 

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 11 2012 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" Today's AA daily reflection: "a word to drop: blame" the key for me in all this notion of blame is to remind myself of the serenity prayer, "serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference..."

Video For Today:

2009 - 2012

Step four is clearly difficult when our heads are full of old attitudes and behaviour where we may have blamed the world for our woes. In the writing of our inventory, which is sometimes called the grudge list we start to see where the blame is, most often continuing to do the same old things expecting something to happen which is different. A lot to do with step two in my case, where being restored to sanity is contingent on my ability to remember what I can and cannot do today and need remind myself on a daily basis with the serenity prayer and a reminder to self, "I need ask for help when needed!"

 

Practising and living life with the benefit of the twelve steps really helped in early days after step four and step ten and spot-check inventories continually let me see my part in all matters. Often my part where situations will not to my liking meant I was either in the wrong situation or expecting the situation to change with regard to people, places and things. In the past I have lingered too long in the wrong place with the wrong people trying to do the right thing! Stopping old behaviour and having the courage, faith and confidence to move on, let go and very often say no… Especially in the finance and romance departments…

 

Key triggers to relapse and disaster are often highlighted, especially activities involving finance and romance. Spot checks of my part in matters, where I might be wanting rather than needing finance and romance to work will always place me in risky situations. Romance and finance are absolutely part of life and if we are fearless and rigorous and honest, rather than needy and sneaky and hoping against the odds, chances are we feel better able to cope with reality, especially when we are successful…

 

Yesterday, a medical consultation regarding physical and emotional ailments. I set my expectations to zero, and during the hour and a quarter wait, at the diabetic clinic, I read up on what the consultation ought to be based on information on the leading diabetes UK website. If I had set my expectations to those suggested on the website as to conduct of the consultant, I would have walked away full of anger and resentment. Utilising the program and with zero expectations I was able to walk away with a modicum of anger and resentment, and reciting the serenity prayer put me back on track for the rest of the day… No blame, medical services do not set their own standards, it is a political and historical mess…

 

DonInLondon 2005-2011

 

Steps one to nine are in an order for a reason. When I came into fellowship under my own steam, my then sponsor suggested the practice of step ten, eleven and twelve were good to practice from the outset. Step ten, what disturbed me and a gratitude list. Step eleven, pray and meditate. Twelve, get to meetings every day, be there and listen...

 

As we wake, dreams fade, feelings and thoughts emerge. How am I feeling, why and what to do, a thousand thoughts not yet formed ~ Kahlil Gibran "In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed" -/- Step three and acceptance, opens up our choices for today...

 

No single human source is a higher power, truth is developed through learning our own wisdom and wisdom from many others life experiences. We can find it difficult to listen and hear truth ~ Leo Buscaglia "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around" -/- Listening and hearing truth, a human skill we can develop...

-/-

AA Daily Reflection: A WORD TO DROP: "BLAME" To see how erratic emotions victimized us often took a long time. We could perceive them quickly in others, but only slowly in ourselves. First of all, we had to admit that we had many of these defects, even though such disclosures were painful and humiliating. Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 47

 

When I did my Fourth Step, following the Big Book guidelines, I noticed that my grudge list was filled with my prejudices and my blaming others for my not being able to succeed and to live up to my potential. I also discovered I felt different because I was black. As I continued to work on the Step, I learned that I always had drunk to rid myself of those feelings. It was only when I sobered up and worked on my inventory, that I could no longer blame anyone.

-/-

As Bill Sees It ~ Spot-Checking A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today's spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day's march. The consideration of long- standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.

The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes. TWELVE AND TWELVE PP. 90-91

-/-

 

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        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF5F3EC98C6012A4

April 2013 | AA Twelve Step Playlist        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3BFA6062268A289D

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:    

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC9C8658CBFCF357E

AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/aareflections.cfm

AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=359

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 10 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 10 2013 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" What is spiritual? "Spiritual direction is a process of accompanying people on a spiritual journey and helping them grow closer to God (or the sacred, the holy, or a higher power). Spiritual direction helps people learn how to live in peace, with compassion, promoting justice, and as humble servants of that which lies beyond all names..." In my life, and this is my personal opinion, spiritual is the universal truth, love and wisdom of now. Everything is spiritual, and in the moment, we develop the truth and love through action. The opposite or negative spiritual: lies, hate and ignorance. Like vices and virtues, we all have the capacity as we are on our spiritual journey to be positively spiritual and negatively spiritual, it depends on our intentions and actions. And what we actually do today…

Video For Today:

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Everything Is Spiritual"

"Nothing, absolutely nothing is wasted in God's economy..." When we express that something has been a waste of time, we forget that as human beings we are all learning together and separately on our spiritual journey today. I know my notion of spiritual is not for everyone, because I am still unable to describe God, beyond the universal truth of now, which includes everything, people, places and things, and how we are developing and coping one day at a time. Universal truth is far bigger and greater than me, because I don't know the universal truth of now. Like everyone else, the truth of now is as good as it gets, and then the truth changes as people, places and things change. Living reality is spiritual, nothing excluded, and everything to learn. Everyone is a learner in this day, even when we do not think we have made progress and feel the "waste of time," nothing is wasted unless we keep on doing the same things over and over and expect a different result…

 

I'm sure that the last couple of days in the UK has brought up a lot of wounds which have happened over the decades because of leaders and their particular outlooks and values. And these are spiritual matters, everything is spiritual in this world. And to suggest that the diversity of beliefs and opinions which make people the way they are ought not to be included in any sort of debate makes the spiritual life a very narrow and difficult state of affairs. The recall of our UK Parliament to discuss the death of a previous prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, it is a spiritual matter and the consequences of treating her death and her funeral as a matter of "state" will cause problems. The cost, 10,000,000 pounds, that will provoke some people, and what provokes most people to one side or another is what the iron Lady did whilst in power. There is no point in me elaborating any further, it is a spiritual matter which has been made bigger and broader because of the desire to place value far and above that which is deserved and that which is fostered as a political ideology. This is the truth of now, and then the truth will keep on changing about this matter and it is spiritual, as people, places and things are impacted by events today and each day subsequently...

 

How does diversity, tolerance and love affect me in sobriety? The celebration of a politician with iron will and notoriety for being determined and expressing clear views about what they wanted to do, and then did it. There is no argument, about what happened and what Margaret Thatcher did in my own mind. I simply disagree with the direction she took our country and the impact on people, places and things. And the good news in our country is we can disagree, and we have the political system which allows everyone their point of view. The reason I mention this is because in the world of fellowship, we have a right to be here, we have a right to be ourselves and we recognise diversity, and above all, we recognise our similarities as human beings. I am allowed to express my opinion, and you are allowed to express your opinion, I hope you do, because without you and your opinion, how on Earth am I ever going to get to the truth, which is important right now?

 

In my family, my mum and dad probably had very different views politically, and yet without doubt, they loved each other dearly. Having different beliefs and opinions did not get in the way of love. And chatting with my sister yesterday, who did not get a fair hearing ever from my dad, she loved him, even though he was the most difficult individual with very abusive verbal behaviour towards anything that did not suit him. And I agree, I loved my dad, but he was so full of prejudice. It made it very difficult to see beyond his views on life and love the man who we was. But we did love him. And at the same time, we often hated his behaviour and what he did. This is all part of being human and spiritual. I'm pretty sure my father hated what Margaret Thatcher represented, at the same time, he would have respected her? No, I respected her right to do what she did, my father simply was prejudiced in all respects. And the spiritual path for me, I can have my own belief and opinion about anything, and people may still love me. And I do believe within fellowship, the understanding which helps me most is: we can love people, and hate their behaviour at the same time. And hopefully the same is true, the other way round, sometimes people will dislike our opinions, beliefs and outlooks, and still love us as we love them…

 

So how am I feeling this morning? What is really important to me is to understand where I am today. I do not feel anger or hate about anything, I feel I've come to terms with lots of what has happened over the years. And the reason why is because fellowship started me back on a journey of discovery, and one of the things reinforced from step four is that everyone has a right to be here today. No matter what, no matter what has happened in the past, I would prefer everyone to be loved and cared for, to bring out the best of humanity in all its peculiarities. To respect and honour truth, to keep on learning the truth, to keep on learning about love and how to be with people. To be generous and forgiving, we don't forget, what we learn if we are lucky is how to cherish the good and love the good of people even when they hold different beliefs and different opinions, because how else would we learn the best path forward, not just for today, for every day…

 

 

Alcoholics Anonymous | April 10 2012 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory" Today's AA daily reflection: "all about growing up…" This is particularly poignant this morning, I have an appointment with a medical consultant this morning. And to aid the discussion of my physical and emotional health, I have written a brief history of my life from 1967 to date. And it's all about growing up…

Video For Today:

2009 - 2012

April in the daily reflections from AA is all about step four and writing a brief summary of what happened to me is very enlightening, disturbing and very fruitful. First and foremost accepting the past and what happened, the why and how. Knowing what my part in matters were and how I can change on a daily basis, sometimes making progress, no actually always making progress, especially at the extremes of good and bad times…

 

I've been in touch with an old friend, actually I'm not sure what the status of our relationship is. But I'm reminded just how difficult those early days in recovery are especially when returning to sobriety one day at a time. So easy to forget how fearful it was to come to a meeting of the Fellowship. And in those early days, newcomers meetings and stopping the drink and returning to sobriety is against all the odds…

 

Self-appraisal, an honest and fearless look at what happened in our lives, is truly difficult. Why me? Why not me? Then a brief history and then a thorough fearless look at assets and liabilities. Step four shows us how resilient and tenacious we have been even when we have been self-harming. And the prejudice we have against ourselves becomes clear as we continue our journey and live the twelve steps... Letting go and letting good happen, endeavour and acceptance and as we let go self-prejudice our prejudice against others may disappear with time… Especially when we are reminded what it is like to be a newcomer every day…

 

DonInLondon 2005-2011 

 

Fear and suspicion in early days kept me looking for the cracks in fellowship, or that there was something more than what I saw on a daily basis. I realised there was nothing but what I saw was what there was, a huge diversity of people with one similarity, to be unique and authentic individuals free and sober for today...

 

"Now" is about endeavour, understanding the possible, striving with hope and living the truth of now ~ Thomas Kempis "Great tranquillity of heart is his who cares for neither praise nor blame." -/- Right sized and equal with our fellows.. life is what it is

-/-

AA Daily Reflection: GROWING UP ~ The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 115

Sometimes when I’ve become willing to do what I should have been doing all along, I want praise and recognition. I don’t realize that the more I’m willing to act differently, the more exciting my life is. The more I am willing to help others, the more rewards I receive. That’s what practicing the principles means to me. Fun and benefits for me are in the willingness to do the actions, not to get immediate results. Being a little kinder, a little slower to anger, a little more loving makes my life better-day by day.

-/-

As Bill Sees It ~ Surveying the Past ~ We should make an accurate and really exhaustive survey of our past life as it has affected other people. In many instances we shall find that, though the harm done to others has not been great, we have nevertheless done ourselves considerable injury. Then, too, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness, very deep, sometimes quite forgotten. Therefore, we should try hard to recall and review those past events which originally induced these conflicts and which continue to give our emotions violent twists, thus discolouring our personalities and altering our lives for the worse... "We reacted more strongly to frustration than normal people. By reliving these episodes and discussing them in strict confidence with somebody else, we can reduce their size and therefore their potency in the unconscious." 1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, PP. 79-80 2. LETTER, 1957

-/-

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        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF5F3EC98C6012A4

April 2013 | AA Twelve Step Playlist        

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3BFA6062268A289D

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:    

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC9C8658CBFCF357E

AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/aareflections.cfm

AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=359