Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 25th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 25th

Daily Reflections

ENTERING A NEW DIMENSION

In the late stages of our drinking, the will to resist has
fled. Yet when we admit complete defeat and when we become
entirely ready to try A.A. principles, our obsession leaves
us and we enter a new dimension – freedom under God as we
understand Him.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 283

I am fortunate to be among the ones who have had this awesome
transformation in my life. When I entered the doors of A.A.,
alone and desperate, I had been beaten into willingness to
believe anything I heard. One of the things I heard was,
“This could be your last hangover, or you can keep going
round and round.” The man who said this obviously was a
whole lot better off than I. I liked the idea of admitting
defeat and I have been free ever since! My heart heard what
my mind never could: “Being powerless over alcohol is no
big deal.” I’m free and I’m grateful!


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I don’t believe that A.A. works because I read it in a book
or because I hear people say so. I believe it because I see
people getting sober and staying sober. An actual demonstration
is what convinces me. When I see the change in people, I can’t
help believing that A.A. works. We could listen to talk about
A.A. all day and still not believe it, but when we see it work,
we have to believe it. Seeing is believing. Do I see A.A. work
every day?

Meditation For The Day

Try saying “God bless her (or him)” of anyone who is in
disharmony with you. Also say it of those who are in trouble
through their own fault. Say it, willing that showers of
blessings may fall upon them. Let God do the blessing. Leave
to God the necessary correcting or disciplining. You should
only desire blessing for them. Leave God’s work to God. Occupy
yourself with the task that He gives you to do. God’s blessing
will also break down all your own difficulties and build up all
your successes.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may use God’s goodness so that it will be a
blessing to others. I pray that I may accept God’s blessing so
that I will have harmony, beauty, joy, and happiness.


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As Bill Sees It

Each Man’s Vision, p. 116

“Beyond a Higher Power, as each of us may vision Him, A.A. must
never, as a society, enter the field of dogma or theology. We can
never become a religion in that sense, lest we kill our usefulness by
getting bogged down in the theological contention.”

<< << << >> >> >>

“The really amazing fact about A.A. is that all religions see in our
program a resemblance to themselves. For example, Catholic
theologians declare our Twelve Steps to be in exact accord with their
Ignatian Exercises for Retreat, and, though our book reeks of sin,
sickness, and death, the Christian Science Monitor has often praised
it editorially.

“Now, looking through Quaker eyes, you, too, see us favorably.
What happy circumstances, these!”

1. Letter, 1954

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Walk in Dry Places

Fixing needs____ Inventory.
AA pioneers once thought of their work as “fixing” drunks. That was dropped in AA, but “getting a fix” survives in the drug culture
The truth is, we can’t fix anybody, nor can we fix any problem with a destructive, mood altering drug.  What we’re really seeking … what every compulsive person really seeks….  Is to fix the conflicting needs that tear us apart at the seams.
We can fix many of those needs over time if we practice Twelve step principles.  “That searching and fearless moral inventory”, humbling though it may be, will expose  the fierce drives that are consuming us.  Sharing the truth about ourselves with others helps us understand both what is right and what is wrong in our lives.  The power to change ourselves, when we desire it, comes from a Higher Power… God as we understand Him.
Somebody has summed this process up this way:  “Need a fix? Fix the need!”  We can use that idea to fix our needs today by following the Twelve step program. At times, we may not even by completely aware of our real needs.  This too will be revealed to us as we continue in this program.
I’ll start my day by affirming that there’s no need that can cause me to do anything destructive.  As any problem arises, I learn how to fix my needs in healthy ways.

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Keep It Simple

You’re never to old to grow up.—Shirley Conran
Some of us have spent many years trying not to grow up. As children, we watched the adults around us. They may not have seemed happy. “Is life all hard work for grown-ups?” we wondered. No, it’s not hard work. There are lots of good things about growing up. We can take charge of our life. We can learn to take care of ourselves. We can learn to share feelings with good friends. We can make our world safe enough for us to express feelings again. We learn how to love others. We do have choices.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me grow up into a happy, grateful adult.
Action for the Day:  There are happy grown-ups. I’ll find one to be my sponsor.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.  –Helen Keller
There is wonder in the moment, if we but look for it, let it touch us, believe in it. And with the recognition and celebration of the wonder comes the joy we desire and await.
Being wholly in tune with the present moment is how we’ll come to know the spiritual essence that connects all of life. We search for peace, happiness, and contentment outside of ourselves. We need instead to discover it within us, now and always, in whatever we are experiencing.
We can let our experiences wash over us. Longing for a different time, a distant place, a new situation breeds discontent. It prevents us from the thrill, the gifts offered in this present moment. But they are there.
We can practice feeling joyful in the present, be thrilled with the realization that right now, all is well. All is always well. Life is full of mystery and wonder and each moment of our awareness adds to the wonder.
I am moving forward; we all are. I am on target. I am participating in a glorious, wonderful drama. Let me jump for joy. I have been specially blessed.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

THERE IS A SOLUTION

Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason—ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor—becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.

pp. 20-21

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

THE PERPETUAL QUEST – This lawyer tried psychiatrists. biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking.  She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.

I thought I had found part of the answer when I stumbled into a private controlled-drinking program, which helped me, during the initial thirty-day mandatory period of abstinence, to hook a very large rug, row by row, well into many late nights.  “One more row!”  I kept saying, gritting my teeth against a drink.  My period of abstinence also helped me get a better job in the corporate world, away from all those hard-drinking criminal lawyers, and a new three-story, four-bedroom house.  Just what every single woman needs!  It helped me to quit the psychiatrist.  During this abstinence, I also got out of a sick relationship, which reproduced the violence of my childhood.

p. 391

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Six – “An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”

These adventures implanted a deep-rooted conviction that in no circumstances could we endorse any related enterprise, no matter how good. We of Alcoholics Anonymous could not be all things to all men, nor should we try.

p. 157

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God, when I am faced with a tough decision,
help me be gentle with myself and others
as I sort out, with your help, what’s right for me.
–Melody Beattie

Every moment is an opportunity for Love.
Where there is hatred, may we bring Love.
Where there is prejudice and injustice, may we bring Love.
Where there is insecurity and small-mindedness, may we bring Love.
Where there is fear in any form, may we bring the illuminating Light
of Love.
We do not open our hearts ‘when’; we open them ‘in spite of.’
God grants us the opportunity and power to transform every
negativity into everlasting love.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Faith is like electricity. You can’t see it, but you can see the light.”
–Anonymous

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IMPERFECTION

“In the country of the blind the one
eyed king can still goof up.”
–Anonymous

For years I tried to control everything and everybody. Things had
their place; there was a correct code of behavior for doing things;
everything had to have its place. I felt responsible for the universe and
everybody in it.

Today I can laugh at my mistakes and the mistakes of others. When I
catch myself organizing the world, I remember where the “perfect”
yesterdays got me – and I laugh. God made me with a navel and flat
feet; I would have preferred something different but there is a loving
message within my imperfections. It is okay to goof up!

Today I relax in the humor of being human. Thank You for making me
an angel in the dirt.

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“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I
press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called
me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14

“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you.”
Matthew 25:34


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Daily Inspiration

To allow past problems into your present moments can make you feel depressed, worried and overwhelmed. Lord, help me to let go of that which I can do nothing about so that I can take care of that which I can.

Take care of yourself so that you may give care to others. Lord, may I never totally ignore myself and my feelings for the sake of others and fit in time daily to refresh my spirit.

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NA Just For Today

Embracing Reality

“Recovery is a reality for us today”
Basic Text, p. 97

Pain and misery were realities in our using lives. We were unwilling either to accept our living situation or to change what was unacceptable in our lives. We attempted to escape life’s pain by taking drugs, but using only compounded our troubles. Our altered sense of reality became a nightmare.

Through living the program of Narcotics Anonymous, we learn that our dreams can replace our nightmares. We grow and change. We acquire the freedom of choice. We are able to give and receive love. We can share honestly about ourselves, no longer magnifying or minimizing the truth. We accept the challenges real life offers us, facing them in a mature, responsible way.

Although recovery does not give us immunity from the realities of life, in the NA Fellowship we can find the support, genuine care, and concern we need to face those realities. We need never hide from reality by using drugs again, for our unity with other recovering addicts gives us strength. Today the support, the care, and the empathy of recovery give us a clean, clear window through which to view, experience, and appreciate reality as it is.

Just for today: A gift of my recovery is living and enjoying life as it truly is. Today, I will embrace reality.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Unused capacities atrophy, cease to be. –Tillie Olsen
Those of us who have suffered a broken bone and had to put up with a cast for several weeks know how hard it is to use muscles that have been inactive for so long. They have gotten weak from lack of use, and we have to begin to develop our strength all over again.
The same thing happens if we don’t use our other capacities. If we don’t constantly use our minds to think and learn, we become dull people, almost incapable of new thoughts and insights. If we don’t use our hearts to love, we become uncaring and insensitive–much like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. If we don’t use our creative talents–to draw or write or sew, or whatever it is we’re into–we lose the ability to do those things.
On the other hand, like our muscles, our other capacities can be strengthened and developed by daily use. We exercise our hearts by being kind and loving, our minds by thinking, our imaginations by being creative. In this way, we become spiritually powerful, a force for good in the world.
How can I exercise my assets today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The natural world is a spiritual house…. Man walks there through forests of physical things that are also spiritual things that watch him with affectionate looks. –Charles Baudelaire
As we live this program, we learn to see the spiritual in physical things. Whatever we see or hear, whatever happens in our lives may carry a spiritual message. Some of us will say, “God is telling me something.” Others, whose understanding of God takes another form, will say, “There is a spiritual message in this if I can read it.”
But many men, having had relationships that were abusive and painful, find it hard to imagine the spirit of things watching them with affection, and not hostility. Many of us have been used, and we have used others. We don’t expect affectionate relationships, but could it be that the spiritual world loves us and we don’t know it? Perhaps if we think about this for a while, we also will become more loving.
The generosity of God is expressed in all kinds of physical things. I will remember that the spiritual is affectionate toward me.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content. –Helen Keller
There is wonder in the moment, if we but look for it, let it touch us, believe in it. And with the recognition and celebration of the wonder comes the joy we desire and await.
Being wholly in tune with the present moment is how we’ll come to know the spiritual essence that connects all of life. We search for peace, happiness, and contentment outside of ourselves. We need instead to discover it within us, now and always, in whatever we are experiencing.
We can let our experiences wash over us. Longing for a different time, a distant place, a new situation breeds discontent. It prevents us from the thrill, the gifts offered in this present moment. But they are there.
We can practice feeling joyful in the present, be thrilled with the realization that right now, all is well. All is always well. Life is full of mystery and wonder and each moment of our awareness adds to the wonder.
I am moving forward; we all are. I am on target. I am participating in a glorious, wonderful drama. Let me jump for joy. I have been specially blessed.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Finding Our Own Truth
We must each discover our own truth.
It does not help us if those we love find their truth. They cannot give it to us. It does not help if someone we love knows a particular truth in our life. We must discover our truth for ourselves.
We must each discover and stand in our own light.
We often need to struggle, fail, and be confused and frustrated. That’s how we break through our struggle; that’s how we learn what is true and right for ourselves.
We can share information with others. Others can tell us what may predictably happen if we pursue a particular course. But it will not mean anything until we integrate the message and it becomes our truth, our discovery, our knowledge.
There is no easy way to break through and find our truth.
But we can and will, if we want to.
We may want to make it easier. We may nervously run to friends, asking them to give us their truth or make our discovery easier. They cannot. Light will shed itself in its own time.
Each of us has our own share of truth, waiting to reveal itself to us. Each of us has our own share of the light, waiting for us to stand in it, to claim it as ours.
Encouragement helps. Support helps. A firm belief that each person has truth available – appropriate to each situation – is what will help.
Each experience, each frustration, each situation, has its own truth waiting to be revealed. Don’t give up until you find it – for yourself.
We shall be guided into truth, if we are seeking it. We are not alone.
Today, I will search for my own truth, and I will allow others to do the same. I will place value on my vision and the vision of others. We are each on the journey, making our own discoveries – the ones that are right for us today.

Today I am practicing looking at all beings with the eyes of compassion. Not only do I feel good when I come from a place of love and understanding, I also feel useful and connected. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Connect with Peace

Om ah hum varja guru padma siddi hum. Om mani padme hum.
–A Buddhist Chant

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary. Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
– A Catholic Petition

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
–A Non denominational Prayer

People have many ways of seeking and finding peace. Mantras– chants and prayers that align the mind with peaceful thoughts, with the river of peace that runs through our universe– are one way of returning to our center. Do you have a favorite prayer, a religious chant, or a saying that helps you? That puts you back on track? That takes you mind to that place of peace within your soul?

Value the mantras that touch and heal your mind, the sounds and thoughts that align you with peace. Find and value the words and prayers of your religion, the thoughts that work for you, that connect you to your center. These will help you discover your connection with the universe, the flow of life, the certainty that all is well. You and your life are on track. Know you’ll be given all the guidance and grace you need.

Find rituals that help you believe that peace is yours, rituals that connect you to the Divine in the universe. Ask for peace. Ask in a way that works for you.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Be as clear as possible

Marcia doesn’t like to hurt other people’s feelings. So when she doesn’t want to date or see someone anymore, she doesn’t tell them that. She lies. But she calls it “being nice.” She either sets up some dramatic scene that justifies her getting mad and breaking up, or she gives them an excuse that leaves them hanging.

Let go of the drama. Tie up loose ends. If you know where you’re at with someone, you can be diplomatic, but be as clear as you can be.

Be clear with yourself,too. Watch the behavior of other people. Are they making excuses to you why they can’t be with you? Are you making excuses about why they don’t call? Some of us wait a long time for someone who’s not even thinking about us.

Stop telling others what they want to hear, when that’s not the truth. Stop telling yourself what you want to hear, when what you’re telling yourself isn’t true, either. Don’t leave other people hanging. Don’t put yourself on hold.

Be as clear as you can be, with other people and with yourself.

It’s ths compassionate thing to do.

God, help me know that I don’t have to create dramas to get what I want. Help me live my life from a place of centered, diplomatic honesty, even when that means I need to tell people something they’d rather not hear.

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In God’s Care

When we spiritually awaken, our whole life changes from being hard and painful to becoming easier and happier, more pleasant and pain-free.
~~Jerry Hirshfield

Most of us awaken spiritually very slowly. Looking back on our more dangerous times and our miraculous survival helps us to believe that at least something like a guardian angel must have never been far away. And yet, much of the time many of us still struggle with the day-to-day turmoil of our recovery, trying to manage outcomes that are not ours to manage.

We complicate most events by our need to control what is clearly up to God to control. When we let go the outcome is generally to our satisfaction. Always, in time, we see that the outcome benefits us generously. We can’t do what belongs to God to do. Our job is simply to move aside.

The pain of forcing open a door or pushing through a decision can be relinquished forever if we simply trust God.

Life is often only as hard and painful as we in our self-centeredness make it.

I will not try to do God’s work today.

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Shifting with the Tide
Energetic Motion

by Madisyn Taylor

With each moment, we are given opportunities to create change using nothing more than our awareness.

Since our lives are constantly in motion energetically, change is a constant element of our existence. As dynamic as that energy is, it is not random or haphazard in nature—the shifts in energy that are constantly taking place are the result of our choices. The formulation of intention, a change in perspective, or the creation of a goal can transform our lives in blink of an eye. We think positive thoughts and the world becomes a brighter place. Or we decide who we want to be and become that person. With each passing moment, we are given innumerable opportunities to create change using nothing more than our awareness.

In the span of a single second, our lives can change immeasurably because energy moves at a pace more rapid than anything we can consciously fathom. Though we may not at first be sensitive to the vibrational shifts taking place, our choices are ultimately at the heart of these transformations. We can typically recognize the consequences of key decisions because we anticipated the resultant energetic shifts. But many, if not most, of the choices we make each day are a product of instantaneous reactions, and these still have a significant impact on the energy of our existence. It is for this reason that we should learn to wield what control we can over these shifts. If we bear in mind that all we think and all we do will shape the existence we know, we can deliberately direct the energetic motion of our lives.

Each day, you make an infinite array of decisions that cause energy shifts in the world around you. In many cases, these transitions are almost imperceptible, while in others the change that takes place is palpable not only to you but also to those in your sphere of influence. Your awareness of the immediate energetic consequences of your thoughts and actions can guide you as you endeavor to make the most of the autonomy that defines you as an individual. The myriad choices you make from moment to moment, however inconsequential they may seem, represent your personal power, which sanctions you to transform the energetic tide of your existence with nothing more than your will. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

I have much more to be grateful for than I realize. Too often, I don’t remember to give thought to all the things in my life that I could enjoy and appreciate. Perhaps I don’t take time for this important meditation because I’m too preoccupied with my own so-called woes. I allow my mind to overflow with grievances; the more I think about them, the more monumental they seem. Instead of surrendering to God and His goodness, I let myself be controlled by the negative thinking into which my thoughts are apt to stray unless I guide them firmly into brighter paths. Do I try to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude?”

Today I Pray

May god lead me away from my pile-up of negative thoughts, which make for detours in my path of personal growth. May I break the old poor-me habits of remembering the worst and expecting the most dire. May I turn my thoughts ahead to a whole new world out there. May I allow myself to envision the glory of God.

Today I Will Remember

Keep an attitude of gratitude.

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One More Day

Every tub must stand on its own bottom.
– Thomas Fuller

As we accomplish each goal in our lives, we feel a tremendous sense of pride. Whether from success at the job, in school, or in a volunteer capacity, achieving a goal is personally gratifying.

The challenge that chronic illness presents is to reorganize our goals so they are still practical and attainable. If we spend our time complaining rather than changing, we may never fear to live successfully with the illness. It’s not going to go away. Things will never be the same as before. Accepting this fact is a colossal challenge.

My faith in myself has waned with the onset of my illness. I am just realizing that I can still depend upon myself.

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Food For Thought

Forgetting Food

Abstinence enables us to stop being preoccupied with food. We decide that we will have three meals a day with nothing in between, and we have a definite plan for those meals. Whenever cravings or thoughts of food begin to distract us, we put them out of our mind. We remember that food has proved to be a false friend, and we no longer permit it to control our life.

Through OA, we have found new interests and activities. We have friends to call when we are lonely or upset. When we are feeling shaky, we can go to a meeting. Perhaps our new energies have led to involvement in community activities, new jobs, hobbies and projects.

Each of us faces a certain amount of sluggishness and inertia when we decide to get involved in something new. It is easier to stay in the same old rut, since we often fear what is untried and unknown. Let us not permit apathy or anxiety to weaken our resolution. Escape into food and overeating is no longer an option.

Keep my thoughts on the new possibilities, which You have opened for me.

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One Day At A Time

~ Understanding ~

Understanding is the wellspring of life.
The Bible, Book of Proverbs

Early on in my recovery I became aware that understanding myself and my disease was going to be a tool of success. For many years I lived day after day in my addiction, bemoaning it, suffering in it, struggling against it, and adopting the world view of my condition. I came to believe that losing weight was the answer to all my problems … if I could stick to a diet. Because I couldn’t, the thoughts of worthlessness, ignorance, shame and guilt were repeatedly reinforced.

In working the Steps, the idea of recovery through understanding myself was born. Through knowledge of my Higher Power, and by His guidance, the understanding of my past and my present have given me keys to freedom from compulsive overeating. I welcome working the Steps because they have opened doors of my heart to mend the past and receive hope for the future. Understanding who I am and why I’m like I am, allows me to be abstinent and to develop new ways of coping with the stresses of life. Understanding the disease frees me from guilt and shame and releases self-acceptance.

One Day at a Time . . .
I continue to seek knowledge and understanding as a way to recovery.
~ Diane ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department of our lives. When we do that, we find it solves our problems too; the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful thing. – Pgs. 116-117 – To Wives

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Get a sponsor, get a program, get into service, get a Higher Power in your life, pray every day, go to 90 meetings in 90 days, work the steps or die. Get a life. Wake up and smell the recovery.

When I am tempted to think these clean and sober people at meetings are full of ****, let me remember that they’re full of clean and sober **** and I’d do well to listen.

Appreciating Life

I have the gift of life. I am here. I am alive, with all of my senses and able to experience the magic of this incredible world. Whatever this day has in store for me, I am open to receive. I will act on my day and allow my day to act on me. I am open. I will take steps that I know will make my day feel good, productive and pleasurable, and then I will let the rest happen. Each day presents me with gifts and surprises, if I know how to unwrap the present, if I remember how to be astonished or pleased.

Life itself is the gift.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Sobriety often brings us effects we never expected, like becoming the person we used to resent!

I used to resent people whose standards I could not live up to. Now, by the Grace of God, I am one!

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Respect the anonymity of others.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Positive energy attracts positive energy. Today my Higher Power continues to guide my growth so that I am more and more open. I am becoming free and unblocked and am attracting all that is good and right in my life.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I couldn’t handle the grog – and I was no longer my own boss. – Koori 1st Step. Australia.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 25

The Light
I approached AA with fear and hesitation.
Then, urged by the dread of what was behind me, I took tiny delicate steps onto this new path.
When I found the footing was firm, each tentative move brought me a little nearer to trust.
Confidence grew, faith in my Higher Power expanded,
and I came to recognize a light I had not known existed.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 542-543

Thought to Ponder . . .
Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A R T = Always Remain Teachable.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Self-restraint
“Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.
We must avoid quick-tempered criticism
and furious power-driven argument.
The same goes for silent scorn.
These are emotional booby traps
baited with pride and vengefulness.
We can neither think nor act to good purpose
until the habit of self-restraint
has become automatic.”
Bill W., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 91

Thought to Consider . . .
The Seven T’s – Take Time To Think The Thing Through.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ACTION
Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Choices
From “‘Use Me'”:
“The voice that answered was calm and sweet beyond description. ‘You have the strength. All you have to do is use it. I
am here. I am with you. Use Me.’
“I was born again that day. From that moment, the compulsion was lifted. In the eleven years since, I have found in
sobriety what I was searching for in the bottle. I wanted peace; God gave me peace. I wanted acceptance; God
accepted me. I wanted to be loved; God assured me that He loved me.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 33

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“AA has given each and every one of its groups and members the inalienable right to be unerringly wrong, which has
many times resulted in the liberty to be foolish, the sovereignty to self-destruct, and the self-determination to learn from mistakes.”
Bowling Green, Kentucky, April 2012
“Safe in the Storm,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“‘There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which
is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in
everlasting ignorance that principle is contempt prior to
investigation.'”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Appendice II, Spiritual Experience, pg. 568~

“To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis
are not always easy alternatives to face.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, Page 44~

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Essence of Growth
Let us never fear needed change. Certainly we have to discriminate between changes for worse and changes for
better. But once a need becomes clearly apparent in an individual, in a group, or in A.A. as a whole, it has long since
been found out that we cannot stand still and look the other way.
The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder
whatever responsibility this entails.
GRAPEVINE, JULY 1965

Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, I thank you for this day. I ask for forgiveness for any wrong that I may do. Help me in my journey today as I share your kindness and wisdom.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 24th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 24th

Daily Reflections

“HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE”

We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot
subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once
was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own
misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of
misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity
to demonstrate His omnipotence.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 133

For years I believed in a punishing God and blamed Him for my
misery. I have learned that I must lay down the “weapons” of self in
order to pick up the “tools” of the A.A. program. I do not struggle
with the program because it is a gift and I have never struggled when
receiving a gift. If I sometimes keep on struggling, it is because I’m still
hanging onto my old ideas and “. . . the results are nil.”


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In twelfth-step work, the third thing is conviction. Prospects must be
convinced that they honestly want to stop drinking. They must see and
admit that their life is unmanageable. They must face the fact that
they must do something about their drinking. They must be absolutely
honest with themselves and face themselves as they really are. They
must be convinced that they must give up drinking and they must see
that their whole life depends on this conviction. Do I care enough
about other alcoholics to help them reach this conviction?

Meditation For The Day

There is no limit to what you can accomplish in helping others. Keep
that thought always. Never relinquish any work or give up the thought
of any accomplishment because it seems beyond your power. God will
help you in all good work. Only give it up if you feel that it’s not God’s
will for you. In helping others, think of the tiny seed under the dark,
hard ground. There is no certainty that, when it has forced its way up
to the surface, sunlight and warmth will greet it. Often a task seems
beyond your power, but there is no limit to what you can accomplish
with God’s help.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may never become discouraged in helping others. I pray
that I may always rely on the power of God to help me.


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As Bill Sees It

Blind Trust?, p. 144

“Most surely, there can be no trust where there is no love, nor can
there be real love where distrust holds its malign sway.

“But does trust require that we be blind to each 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, jealously, 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

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Walk in Dry Places

Guidance and Power in making Decisions.
Higher power
The Twelve Step movement grews out of an earlier society that emphasized taking “quiet times” and seeking continous guidance in a group setting. While this isn’t usually practiced by 12 step groups anymore, such exercises are still recommended for individuals.
Our needs in seeking guidance are twofold; FIRST, we msut reach a belief that our higher power is always available to supply the guidance and power we need. SECOND, we must take care to set aside personal opinions and prejudices while letting real guidance come through. We can easily fall into serious error by assuming that our own impulses and prejudices are “the will of God” for ourselves and others.
How can we identify real guidance when it comes?  Usually, we have a sense of peace and rightness about a God-inspired  decision. This will be accompanied by a confidence that the correct way will bed shown to us, perhaps a step at a time. The right decision will also be morally correct, involving no harm to others.
I’ll seek the guidance of my Higher power in all things today, knowing that I have within myself the capacity to heed such guidance and follow it.

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Keep It Simple

The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost. —G.K. Chesterton
Every day we take so much for granted. But we can count certain blessings: a roof over our head, food, clothing, family, and friends, freedom, a Higher Power we trust. These things are special.
Thinking about them wakes up our happiness. Our recovery program shows us how happy. we just have to remember to do what it tells us!
Step Ten helps us wake up our happiness. Each evening, as we think about our day, we can give thanks for the things we love: our recovery, our health, and the special people in our lives. If we spend part of our day thinking about these important areas, we wont lose them.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me make the most of my blessings today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll tell five people I love that I’m glad to have them in my life. And I’ll tell each of them one reason why.

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Each Day a New Beginning

It’s ironic, but until you can free those final monsters within the jungle of yourself, your life, your soul is up for grabs.  –Rona Barrett
We all have monsters. Maybe it’s depression over the past or present circumstances, or resentment about another’s behavior, or fear of new situations. Maybe it’s jealousy of other women. The more attention we give the monsters, the more powerful they get. The harder we try to resist the jealousy or depression or fear, the greater it becomes.
The program offers us the way to let go. And we find the way through one another. When we share ourselves fully with one another, share our monsters with one another, they no longer dominate us. They seek the dark recesses of our minds, and when we shine the light on them, they recoil. The program offers us an eternal light.
I will let the program shine its light in my life today. My monsters will flee for the day.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

Young people may be encouraged by this man’s experience to think that they can stop, as he did, on their own will power. We doubt if many of them can do it, because none will really want to stop, and hardly one of them, because of the peculiar mental twist already acquired, will find he can win out. Several of our crowd, men of thirty or less, had been drinking only a few years, but they found themselves as helpless as those who had been drinking twenty years.

p. 33

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

A DRUNK, LIKE YOU – The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.
Much to my surprise the weekend went well–no problems–and in the next session I told my counselor so.  She said, “What about the meeting?”  I said, ,”What meeting?”  She said, “The A.A. meeting.”  I said, “What A.A. meeting?  We never talked about that.”  She said I had agreed to go to an A.A. meeting.  So out came a meeting list.  She explained about open and closed meetings.  I decided on one I thought would be okay for me–a men’s discussion group.  They would be my kind of people, and the time fit into my schedule.  The meeting list started on Sunday.  I never started a project or anything else on Sunday.  Monday was my M.A.S.H. night.  Tuesday was Tuesday Night at the Movies, and I am a big old-movie fan.  So Wednesday is when I decided to try this A.A. meeting.

pp. 400-401

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Eight – “Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

It is significant, now that almost no A.A. in our Fellowship breaks anonymity at the public level, that nearly all these fears have subsided. We see that we have no right or need to discourage A.A.’s who wish to work as individuals in these wider fields. It would be actually antisocial were we to forbid them. We cannot declare A.A. such a closed corporation that we keep our knowledge and experience top secret. If an A.A. member acting as a citizen can become a better researcher, educator, personnel officer, then why not? Everybody gains, and we have lost nothing. True, some of the projects to which A.A.’s have attached themselves have been ill-conceived, but that makes not the slightest difference with the principle involved.

p. 171

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“Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form
of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.”
–John (Jay) McCloy

I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst
from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable
misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to
them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to
sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can
choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I
have – life itself.
–Walter Anderson

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for
responsibility.
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness
without action.”
–Benjamin Disraeli

Appreciate the time that you have been given. Don’t procrastinate,
because you just may not get the chance to do something you have
been meaning to do.
–unknown

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for
those who love, time is eternity.
–Henry Van Dyke

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

IMMATURITY

“My mother loved children – she
would have given anything if I
had been one.”
–Groucho Marx

For too many years I allowed myself to be treated as a child. I played
the child role in order to avoid responsibility. Part of my
people-pleasing was living as a thirty-year-old child! I was afraid to
say “no”. Afraid to disappoint or hurt another’s feelings. Afraid to tell
my parents how they were hurting me by their need to control my life.
God, when I think about it, I spent years feeling guilty and afraid.

Today I am willing to deal with this pain in my life; today I am willing
to talk about it. My biggest relief comes in knowing that I am not
alone. There are millions of us out there. The difference is I have a
program today that enables me to talk about it.

God, help me to be child-like without being childish. Help me to grow
into maturity with a smile.

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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to
the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
Psalm 37:1-9


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Daily Inspiration

Do not be upset by events of the past, rather be upset by the time and energy you are devoting to them. Lord, help me to enjoy each moment by completely letting go of the past.

Appreciate every moment of life because even in your darkest moment God is with you. Lord, I know that when things become too difficult for me, You will take my burden and carry me. I am not afraid.

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NA Just For Today

Risking vulnerability
Page 150

“As we grow, we learn to overcome the tendency to run and hide from ourselves and our feelings.”

Basic Text, p. 85

Rather than risk vulnerability, many of us have developed habits that keep others at a safe distance. These patterns of emotional isolation can give us the feeling we are hopelessly locked behind our masks. We used to take risks with our lives; now we can take risks with our feelings. Through sharing with other addicts, we learn that we are not unique; we do not make ourselves unduly vulnerable simply by letting others know who we are, for we are in good company. And by working the Twelve Steps of the NA program, we grow and change. We no longer want or need to hide our emerging selves. We are offered the opportunity to shed the emotional camouflage we developed to survive our active addiction.

By opening ourselves to others, we risk becoming vulnerable, but that risk is well worth the rewards. With the help of our sponsor and other recovering addicts, we learn how to express our feelings honestly and openly. In turn, we become nourished and encouraged by the unconditional love of our companions. As we practice spiritual principles, we find strength and freedom, both in ourselves and in those around us. We are set free to be ourselves and to enjoy the company of our fellow addicts.

Just for Today: I will openly and honestly share with another recovering addict. I will risk becoming vulnerable and celebrate my self and my friendship with other NA members. I will grow.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Spring does not ask an audience, but shapes each blossom perfectly, indifferent to applause. –Joan Walsh Anglund
In the spring each blossom brings its own shape, color, and fragrance. The lilacs come early to spread their lavender splash. Apple trees burst into white, cherry blossoms into pink, and each weaves its unique and pleasant perfume.
They don’t bloom because someone told them to, or because they will receive anything in return. They bloom for the pure joy of blooming. They bloom because that is what they are here to do.
Each one of us blooms in our own time, with our own color and fragrance. Every one of us is a special and important blossom, and we are all part of the tree of life.
How will my day today help me grow?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Edith Bunker: I was just thinking. In all the years we been married, you never once said you was sorry.
Archie Bunker: Edith, I’ll gladly say that I’m sorry – if I ever do anything wrong.
–Norman Lear
We can laugh at Archie because we see a part of ourselves in him. We have lived in a cloud of denial, blind to our faults. If we weren’t actually blind to them, perhaps we just refused to admit them because we did not dare. Changing this pattern takes time and determination. We make progress in recovery when we stop focusing on what is wrong with others and start being accountable for ourselves. We grow when we are willing to amend our lives and accept forgiveness for our mistakes.
A feeling of self-respect flows into us when we stand up and say “I did something wrong.” This statement also says, “I have the strength to face my responsibilities and repair my mistakes.” It is surprisingly helpful to our self-esteem, and it improves our relationships.
Today, I will be accountable for my actions and will admit my mistakes.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It’s ironic, but until you can free those final monsters within the jungle of yourself, your life, your soul is up for grabs. –Rona Barrett
We all have monsters. Maybe it’s depression over the past or present circumstances, or resentment about another’s behavior, or fear of new situations. Maybe it’s jealousy of other women. The more attention we give the monsters, the more powerful they get. The harder we try to resist the jealousy or depression or fear, the greater it becomes.
The program offers us the way to let go. And we find the way through one another. When we share ourselves fully with one another, share our monsters with one another, they no longer dominate us. They seek the dark recesses of our minds, and when we shine the light on them, they recoil. The program offers us an eternal light.
I will let the program shine its light in my life today. My monsters will flee for the day.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Letting the Cycles Flow
Life is cyclical, not static. Our relationships benefit when we allow them to follow their own natural cycles.
Like the tide ebbs and flows, so do the cycles in relationships. We have periods of closeness and periods of distance. We have times of coming together and times of separating to work on individual issues.
We have times of love and joy, and times of anger.
Sometimes, the dimensions of relationships change as we go through changes. Sometimes, life brings us new friends or a new loved one to teach us the next lesson.
That does not mean the old friend disappears forever. It means we have entered a new cycle.
We do not have to control the course of our relationships, whether these be friendships or love relationships. We do not have to satisfy our need to control by imposing a static form on relationships.
Let it flow. Be open to the cycles. Love will not disappear. The bond between friends will not sever. Things do not remain the same forever, especially when we are growing and changing at such a rapid pace.
Trust the flow. Take care of yourself, but be willing to let people go. Hanging on to them too tightly will make them disappear.
The old adage about love still holds true: If its meant to be, it will be. And if you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, the love is yours.
Today, I accept the cyclical nature of life and relationships. I will strive to go with the flow. I will strive for harmony with my own needs and the needs of the other person.

Today I dare to believe in the beauty of love. Today I trust I am being led to love by love and my day will be full of love. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Rituals Connect Us with Faith

I stopped in at the Franciscan monastery, a short visit to look around. I bought a keychain, returned to my car, than realized I had misplaced my keys. I went back inside and talked to the receptionist. Just then a short priest joined our conversation. He had a bald head encircled by a short fringe of hair and he wore a flowing black robe. “Let me show you what I do when I lose something,” he said. “I ask St. Anthony for help.”

The next moment, the priest was spinning in a circle, clapping his hands in a joyful prayer. “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please look around. Something’s been lost and cannot be found.” He stopped, looked at me, then smiled. “Now you’ll find your keys,” he said. He was right. Within thirty seconds, we found the keys. They were on a counter in a place we had looked twice before. For some reason, we just hadn’t seen them.

But I found something more wonderful than my keys. I had witnessed a delightful man expressing pure, innocent joy for a ritual that helped him and others through the days.

What are the rituals that are important to you, that awaken joy, innocence, and faith in you? Do you allow yourself to use these rituals freely? What were the rituals you enjoyed as a child, the ones that brought you comfort? Do you remember them? Engage in these rituals. Use them freely. Share them with others, as the priest did with me.

Rituals connect us to faith. They’re faith in action. Rituals are reminders of our connection to God. They bring us back to God and ourselves.

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More language of letting go

Say when it’s time to begin

I have a friend who is always planning to start a writing project “as soon as she gets organized.” She has read nearly every book, attended every seminar, and bought all the tapes on the subject. She has closets full of organizers, drawers stuffed with folders, and several related computer programs. There’s only one problem. Instead of starting, she hides behind a mask of “firsts.” “I’ll start writing, but first I’ve got to learn this program.” “I’ll listen to that tape, but first I’ve got to read this book.”

Are you hiding behind a mask of firsts? Is there always something that keeps you from beginning? Take off the mask. Start the project. Ask that special person for a date. Do that Fourth and Fifth Step. Stop making excuses. Eliminate them.

Learn to say when it’s time to begin.

God, please help me eliminate excuses from my life. Show me how full my life can be when I pursue my dreams.

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Feeling Overwhelmed
Breathing into Order by Madisyn Taylor

Difficult situations are opportunities to be our best selves, hone our skills and rise to the occasion.

Sometimes we may feel like there is just too much we need to do. Feeling overwhelmed may make it seem like the universe is picking on us, but the opposite is true: we are only given what we can handle. Difficult situations are opportunities to be our best selves, hone our skills and rise to the occasion.

The best place to start is to take a deep breath. As you do, remind yourself that the universe works in perfect order and therefore you can get everything done that needs to get done. As you exhale, release all the details that you have no control over. The universe with it‘s infinite organizing power will orchestrate the right outcome. Anytime stress begins to creep up, remember to breathe through it with these thoughts.

Then, make a list of everything you need to do. Note what needs to be done first, and mark the things others may be able to do for you or with you. Though we often think no one else can do it correctly or well, there are times when it is worth it to exhale, let go of our control, and ask for help from professionals or friends. With the remaining things that feel you must do yourself, take another breath and determine their true importance. Sometimes they are things we’d like to do, but aren’t really necessary. After taking these quick steps, you will find you have a plan laid out, freeing you from frenzied thoughts circling in your head. With calming deep breaths, you are now free to focus more fully on our priorities. Herbal teas or flower remedies along with wise choices about caffeine and food can help keep us from becoming frantic too. But with nothing further from us than our breath, we can breathe in our best intentions and let the rest go with an exhale. Keeping ourse! lves centered and breathing into and through life’s challenges helps us learn what we are truly capable of doing, and we will find we have the ability to rise to any occasion. Remember you aren’t being picked on, and you are never alone. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Getting over years of suspicion and other self-protective mechanisms can hardly be an overnight process. We’ve become thoroughly conditioned to feeling and acting misunderstood and unloved — whether we really were or not. Some of us may need time and practice to break out of our shell and the seemingly comfortable familiarity of solitude. Even though we begin to believe and know we’re no longer alone, we tend to sometimes feel and act in the old ways. Am I taking it easy? Am I learning to wear The Program and life like a loose garment?

Today I Pray

May I expect no sudden, total reversal of all my old traits. My sobriety is just a beginning. May I realize that the symptoms of my disease will wear off gradually. If I slip back, now and then, into my old self-pity bag or my grandiosity, may I not be discouraged, but grateful. At last, I can face myself honestly and not let my delusions get the best of me.

Today I Will Remember

Easy Does It.

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One More Day

Quote: Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this — that you are dreadfully like other people.
– James Russell Lowell

Scientist have long known that all human bodies have essentially the same structure. In this day and age, one person’s heart — or even other organs — can be implanted into another human being’s body.

Other similarities come to mind as we live the day-by-day struggles of having a long-term medical condition. We share the frustrations, the unshed tears, pain, and hopelessness with all people whose state of health is forever altered. But we also share in joy, in pleasure, in the small and large successes we all can achieve as we move on with our lives. We are different, but we are also so very much the same.

Despite my physical limitations, I am more like all other people than I am different from them. Today, I will look for the similarities.

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Food For Thought

Self-Sabotage

There are some times when we seem bent on self-destruction. We may be disgruntled about the demands and responsibilities of the day and determined to punish ourselves for our inability to cope easily. Why we subvert our own best interests is often a mystery, but we all know the frustration and despair of not doing what we should do and doing what we should not do.

Often, we engage in self-sabotage when we are being emotional about a situation instead of viewing it rationally. We usually find that we have forgotten or refused to turn the problem over to our Higher Power. Frequently, we have allowed resentments to build up and cloud our perception.

Whether we turn to food and overeat or whether we indulge in other types of negative, destructive behavior and emotions, we are sabotaging ourselves. We are the ones who suffer the most from our destructiveness. No one else can disturb our serenity unless we permit them to do so.

May I remember to turn to You in times of distress.

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One Day At A Time

PERFECTION
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing,
is giving up on being perfect and
beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
Anna Quindlen

“Perfect”…to me that word sounds like: “Do it again. You didn’t do it right.” That’s the message I get from the voices in my head. The messages of perfectionism tell me over and over that I did it wrong. It’s a powerful weapon when you use it as a whip against yourself, just like negative messages when you look in a mirror. I have a choice every single moment of every single day to either pick up that whip and hurt myself, or to “get out of my own way” and be kind. I can choose to look in the mirror and be thankful, and to look at myself and feel love. It takes a lot of practice, but it is worth it.

If you love yourself more than you love anyone else, you can feel happiness again. You can create again. You can look at your shadow and say good things about it too! It’s another beautiful you ~ unique and wonderfully made.

One day at a time…
I will celebrate the beauty of myself today and everyday.
~ Karen

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If you have been successful in solving your own domestic problems, tell the newcomer’s family how that was accomplished. In this way you can set them on the right track without becoming critical of them. The story of how you and your wife settled your difficulties is worth any amount of criticism. – Pg. 100 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

It is our experience in recovery that a Power greater then ourselves places the answers before us that we need to hear when we need to hear them. Often we don’t like the answers and ignore the reality of them. But we can face reality now, if we choose.

Please give me the strength to see this through to the next hour. Help me face the reality of recovery and not slip back to the insanity of using.

Staying with Myself

Today, I see that having my own life begins inside of me. It is not just a function of what I do, but the attitude with which I move through my day. Having my own life is about checking in with myself to see how I’m doing. It’s wearing a sweater if I’m cold and taking a break if I’m tired. It’s making sure that I’m having enough fun in my life, paying attention to what I enjoy doing, doing more of that and finding ways of reducing what doesn’t feel good. Having a life is letting myself have my own unique likes and dislikes, and acting on them in constructive ways. It is not organizing my life so that it is good enough for everyone else, forgetting that it needs to be good enough for me as well. I occupy the center of my own life.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

You may not always know what is right but you sure know what is wrong. Anytime you have to give excuses for why you do what you do, it’s wrong.

If I have to explain or excuse it, then I can do without it.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

In a bar, we got sympathy–as long as our money lasted. In AA, we get understanding for nothing.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I dare to believe in the beauty of love. Today I trust I am being led to love by love and my day will be full of love.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than the fear of letting go. – Unknown origin.

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AA Thought for the Day

May 24

Our Third Legacy: Service
All I thought about as I was making the coffee was making the coffee
and how people could enjoy it.
At my sponsor’s suggestion, I stood near the coffeepot
and welcomed everyone who came by.
I must have experienced a million smiles in a very short time.
And when I pushed the broom all I concentrated on
was the dust rising from it as I moved across the floor.
My troubles were gone for the time that I was doing these things.
And so it can be for you. If you can’t live and you can’t die, make coffee.
– The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA, p. 65

Thought to Ponder . . .
Into service out of self.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A B C = Ashtrays, Brooms, Coffee.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Compulsion
“It helped me a great deal to become convinced
that alcoholism was a disease,
not a moral issue;
that I had been drinking as a result of a compulsion,
even though I had not been aware
of the compulsion at the time;
and that sobriety was not a matter of willpower.
I was afraid to let go of what I had
in order to try something new;
there was a certain sense of security in the familiar.
At last, acceptance proved to be the key
to my drinking problem.
When I stopped living in the problem
and began living in the answer,
the problem went away.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417 4th Edition

Thought to Consider . . .
I have learned what a heart full of gratitude feels like.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
PACE
Positive Attitudes Change Everything

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“To mollify the Trustees it was decided that the author’s royalty [for the ‘Big Book’] which would ordinarily be mine [Bill
W.’s] could go to the Alcoholic Foundation. I have now forgotten just what his hopes were, but they were fantastic. I
was not quite so optimistic, but I did feel sure that the proceeds of the book would enable several of us to become full-
time workers and to set up a general headquarters for our society. Whether this worked out or not, I was nevertheless
convinced that our fellowship ought to own and control its own literature.”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 157

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“While wealth and authority lie at the foundation of many a noble institution, we of AA now apprehend, and thoroughly
well, that these things are not for us. Have we not found that one man’s meat is often another man’s poison?”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1947
“Will AA Ever Have a Personal Government?”
The Language of the Heart

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 64~

“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could
not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that
either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53~

Surrounded by so many A.A. friends, these so-called loners tell us they no longer feel alone.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 120

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Most surely, there can be no trust where there is no love, nor can there be real love where distrust holds its 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.’

Prayer For The Day: Lord Jesus, you promised to be with your people always, and so we know that you are with us in good times and bad. Nothing that ever happens to us can separate us from your love. Help us always to be positive in our attitude that we may seek and find the best in people and in situations, and so draw good out of all that happens to us. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 23rd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 23rd

Daily Reflections

SPIRITUAL HEALTH

When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out
mentally and physically.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p 64

It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my
spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by
my material successes and my intellectual power.
Intelligence is not incompatible with humility, provided
I place humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is
the ultimate goal for many in the modern world. To be
fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a
spiritual illness.
To recognize and to admit my weakness is the beginning of
good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual health
to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to
recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute
it. My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that
the better I get, the more I discover how much help I
need from others.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The Twelfth Step of A.A., working with others, can be
subdivided into five parts, five words beginning with the
letter C; confidence, confession, conviction, conversion,
and continuance. The first thing in trying to help other
alcoholics is to get their confidence. We do this by telling
them our own experiences with drinking, so that they see
that we know what we’re talking about. If we share our
experiences frankly, they will know that we are sincerely
trying to help them. They will realize that they’re not alone
and that others have had experiences as bad or worse than
theirs. This gives them confidence that they can be helped.
Do I care enough about other alcoholics to get their confidence?

Meditation For The Day

I fail not so much when tragedy happens as I did before the
happening, by all the little things I might have done, but did
not do. I must prepare for the future by doing the right thing
at the right time now. If a thing should be done, I should deal
with that thing today and get it righted with God before I
allow myself to undertake any new duty. I should look upon
myself as performing God’s errands and then coming back to Him
to tell Him in quiet communion that the message has been
delivered or the task done.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may seek no credit for the results of what I do.
I pray that I may leave the outcome of my actions to God.


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As Bill Sees It

A.A.’s School of Life, p. 143

Within A.A., I suppose, we shall always quarrel a good bit. Mostly, I
think, about how to do the greatest good for the greatest number of
drunks. We shall have our childish spats and snits over small
questions of money management and who is going to run our groups
for the next six months. Any bunch of growing children (and that is
what we are) would hardly be in character if they did less.

These are the growing pains of infancy, and we actually thrive on
them. Surmounting such problems, in A.A.’s rather rugged school of
life, is a healthy exercise.

A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 233

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Walk in Dry Places

Avoid the paralysis of analysis
Practical Spirituality
The good news of the Twelve step program is that we have a Higher Power whose presence serves as a source of guidance and understanding as we go through each day.  Letting this power work through us is only a matter of will…..   God drawsas near to us as we wish to draw near to God.
As we let our Higher Power work, we remember that no scientific explanation for this process is necessary. We could paralyse our spiritual activity by trying to analyze it, thus bringing about an undesirable “paralysis or analysis.”   It’s also not necessary to win another’s  endorsement of what we’re trying to do.  We must not be influenced by any scorn or ridicule of our efforts.
All that’s necessary is that we know God in our own lives and stay faithful to our program.  We let the presence of God work freely and smoothly as we go about our business.
I’ll work today with the comfortable knowledge that God is really doing work through me. 

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Keep It Simple

The present will not long endure.—Pindar
At certain moments, our best friend is time. Time is a gift given us. Time helps us heal. We need to know that when things are tough, these times will pass, and peace will return. Our Higher Power can be like a parent who comforts a child when there’s a storm outside. The parent gently reminds the child the sun will shine again.
Tough times come and go. There will be times when life is ugly and very painful. We can’t be happy all the time. Remember, our Higher Power is always there. We must have faith in this. A saying often heard in the program is, “This too shall pass.”
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, remind me that things will get better. Even if they get worst for a while, they will get better. Let this be my prayer in hard times.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll list times in my life when I thought I couldn’t go on. I’ll remember the pain, but I’ll also remember how time was my friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Give as much of yourself as you can to as much of your higher power as you can understand.  –S.H.
The more we are in concert with God, the greater will be our pleasures in life. Recognizing our partnership with our higher power makes every decision easier, facilitates the completion of every task, and removes all uncertainty about our value to this world, particularly to those persons around us.
Knowledge that we are never alone, that in every circumstance our best interests are being cared for, softens whatever blow we encounter. The blows teach us; they are the lessons the inner self has requested, and let us never forget we have a ready tutor to see us through every assignment.
The more we rely on God to see us through the mundane activities as well as the troubling experiences, the greater will be our certainty that all is well, our lives are on course, and a plan is unfolding little by little that has our best interests at its center.
My understanding of God and the power of that presence is proportionate to my reliance on that power. Not unlike the power of electricity, I can plug into the source of the “light” of understanding and for the strength to see my way through any experience today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

This case contains a powerful lesson. most of us have believed that if we remained sober for a long stretch, we could thereafter drink normally. But here is a man who at fifty-five years found he was just where he had left off at thirty. We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever. If we are planning to stop drinking , there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.

p. 33

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

A DRUNK, LIKE YOU – The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.
I used to watch a lot of late-night movies–it was my time to relax by having a few drinks, a habit that started in night school when I had a full-time job and was studying chemistry at night.  I had seen movie versions of what happened to people who had drinking problems  The Lost Weekend, Days of Wine and Roses, and others.  And so I was nervous about raging, losing control, and maybe being violent as my wife has said I was.  So we picked up the kids and the booze (all of it) and took all to my wife’s parents.

p. 400

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Eight – “Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

We think the answer is “No. Members who select such full-time careers do not professionalize A.A.’s Twelfth Step.” The road to this conclusion was long and rocky. At first, we couldn’t see the real issue involved. In former days, the moment an A.A. hired out to such enterprises, he was immediately tempted to use the name Alcoholics Anonymous for publicity or money-raising purposes. Drunk farms, educational ventures, state legislatures, and commissions advertised the fact that A.A. members served them. Unthinkingly, A.A.’s so employed recklessly broke anonymity to thump the tub for their pet enterprise. For this reason, some very good causes and all connected with them suffered unjust criticism from A.A. groups. More often than not, these onslaughts were spearheaded by the cry “Professionalism! That guy is making money out of A.A.’s Twelfth Step work. The violation in these instances was not professionalism at all; it was breaking anonymity. A.A.’s sole purpose was being compromised, and the name of Alcoholics Anonymous was being misused.

p. 170

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Upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa said:
“What can you do to promote world peace?
Go home and love your family.”
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that
everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no
coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
–Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“There’s no elevator, you have to take the steps.”
–unknown

“Yard by yard it’s very hard. But inch by inch, it’s a cinch.”
–Anon.

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“If we take care of the inches, we will not have to worry about the
miles.”
–Hartley Coleridge

This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love;
the more they give, the more they possess.
–Rainer Maria Rilke

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

EFFORT

“Do what you can, with what
you have, where you are.”
–Theodore Roosevelt

Because we are not perfect, we need only do our best. Because our
recovery from addiction is an on-going process, we will discover that
our best is improving on a daily basis. It is so easy to beat ourselves up
emotionally by thinking that our best is not good enough. Even after
years of recovery we still hear the old tapes: “People do not want to
listen to you.” “Is that all that you can do?”

We need to remember that the disease of addiction still lives in our
recovery. However, our honest attempts at dealing with a problem or
helping another with a problem – provided they are honest attempts –
will usually be more than sufficient.

Today I accept my best attempts with gratitude and I am not too proud
to seek the advice of another.

God, accept the best that I can offer as an instrument of Your peace.

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He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 21:23

All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received
them, and they shall be granted.
Mark 11:24


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Daily Inspiration

Instead of overreacting, try underreacting because this response shows wisdom, patience and peace. Lord, help me respond to situations in a manner that allows me to solve problems rather than create more.

Be sensitive to the feelings of others and show the same forgiveness and compassion that the Lord gives to you. Lord, give me the wisdom to know when to speak and when to listen.

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NA Just For Today

Amends And Sponsors

“We want to be free of our guilt, but we don’t wish to do so at the expense of anyone else.”
Basic Text, p. 39

Let’s face it: Most of us left trails of destruction in our wakes and harmed anyone who got in our way. Some of the people we hurt most in our addiction were the people we loved most. In an effort to purge ourselves of the guilt we feel for what we’ve done, we may be tempted to share with our loved ones, in gruesome detail, things that are better left unsaid. Such disclosures could do much harm and may do little good.

The Ninth Step is not about easing our guilty consciences; it’s about taking responsibility for the wrongs we’ve done. In working our Eighth and Ninth Steps, we should seek the guidance of our sponsor and amend our wrongs in a manner that won’t cause us to owe more amends. We are not just seeking freedom from remorse—we are seeking freedom from our defects. We never again want to inflict harm on our loved ones. One way to insure that we do not is by working the Ninth Step responsibly, checking our motives, and discussing with our sponsor the particular amends we plan to make before we make them.

Just for today: I wish to accept responsibility for my actions. Before making any amends, I will talk with my sponsor.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
The prayer of the chicken hawk does not get him the chicken. –Swahili Proverb
Imagine flying high over the grassy plains searching with piercing eyes for dinner down below. The sun is warm on our backs as we catch the heated updrafts and rest, always watching, always praying, that dinner will be provided for the little ones back in the nest.
Dinner will be provided, of that the hawk is sure. It has faith. But the faith and the prayer will not put the chicken in its talons. It is going to have to keep looking, and, when it spots the prey, its wings will fold back, and its sleek body will plummet out of the sky. It will brake quickly with broad wings and clasp the unsuspecting supper on the fly.
Like the hawk, once we have prayed, we must get to work. Our goal isn’t going to be done for us. We can pray for the strength and wisdom we will need to get it done, and that prayer will be answered. But, as the hawk knows, it’s up to us to do the work.
What is my goal today, and my first step toward it?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
You see, I just can’t stop! Or tie myself to any one. I have affairs that last as long as a year, a year and a half, months and months of love, both tender and voluptuous, but in the end – it is as inevitable as death – time marches on and lust peters out. –Philip Roth
Fears of intimacy, of learning about ourselves in a committed relationship, have kept many of us lonely. Focusing on the need for a sexual high helps us avoid the intimacy we fear. Whether we are in a long-term relationship or not, thinking that sex is love limits our chances for a comfortable intimacy. Sex is an expression of an intimacy that already exists, rather than a way to become intimate.
Many of us fear closeness beyond the romantic stage. Others of us have pursued closeness, but when we met our own emptiness we said that wasn’t the right person for us and ran in search of another excitement. The problem for us isn’t the choice between singleness and marriage, but between letting someone truly know us or not.
I will set aside my fears and learn the pleasure of intimacy.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Give as much of yourself as you can to as much of your higher power as you can understand. –S.H.
The more we are in concert with God, the greater will be our pleasures in life. Recognizing our partnership with our higher power makes every decision easier, facilitates the completion of every task, and removes all uncertainty about our value to this world, particularly to those persons around us.
Knowledge that we are never alone, that in every circumstance our best interests are being cared for, softens whatever blow we encounter. The blows teach us; they are the lessons the inner self has requested, and let us never forget we have a ready tutor to see us through every assignment.
The more we rely on God to see us through the mundane activities as well as the troubling experiences, the greater will be our certainty that all is well, our lives are on course, and a plan is unfolding little by little that has our best interests at its center.
My understanding of God and the power of that presence is proportionate to my reliance on that power. Not unlike the power of electricity, I can plug into the source of the “light” of understanding and for the strength to see my way through any experience today.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Enjoyment
Life is not to be endured; life is to be enjoyed and embraced.
The belief that we must square our shoulders and get through a meager, deprived existence for far off rewards in Heaven is a codependent belief.
Yes, most of us still have times when life will be stressful and challenge our endurance skills. But in recovery, were learning to live, to enjoy our life, and handle situations as they come.
Our survival skills have served us well. They have gotten us through difficult times – as children and adults. Our ability to freeze feelings, deny problems, deprive ourselves, and cope with stress has helped us get where we are today. But were safe now. Were learning to do more than survive. We can let go of unhealthy survival behaviors. Were learning new, better ways to protect and care for ourselves. Were free to feel our feelings, identify and solve problems, and give ourselves the best. Were free to open up and come alive.
Today, I will let go of my unhealthy endurance and survival skills. I will choose a new mode of living, one that allows me to be alive and enjoy the adventure.

I do not need to know anything about this day beyond this moment. This moment is perfect…just as it is and I can handle anything in this moment. My Higher Power gives me all the strength I need today to handle whatever comes up in this moment. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Trust That Guidance Will Come

Trust and act on the guidance you have now.

Some parts of our lives appear like a long, paved highway. We can see exactly where to go; we have a panoramic view. Other times, it may feel like we’re driving in the dark with only one headlight on a winding road through the fog. We can only see a few feet in front of the car.

Don’t worry if you can’t see that far ahead, if you only have a glimmer of light to guide your path. Slow down. Listen to your heart. Guidance will come. Trust what you hear. Do the small thing. Take the one step. Go as far as you can see.

Then go back to your heart, and you’ll hear the next step. It may be a step of immediate action, or deliberate inaction. Sometimes you may have to quiet down, wait, and prepare yourself to hear what you’re to do next.

Trust and act on the guidance you have now, and more will come.

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More language of letting go

Say when the time is right

If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.
– Maurice Chevalier

“I’m just waiting for the time to be right!” is a common excuse we use. We can sit on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment, but never get in the game. Sometimes, the time doesn’t feel right. I was too old when I started to sky dive, too poor when I started writing, too enmeshed with an alcoholic husband when I began recovering from codependency, and too involved with my addictions when I began recovery. The time may never be right. You can choose to wait until someday arrives, or you can begin now.

Is there a dream hidden away in your life, something you wanted to do but put off for so long that you’ve almost forgotten what it is? Maybe the time is right to pull it out again. Get the college course guide and sign up. Go to a local gym and start working out. Take a chance.

The right time for the journey is when you begin it. Why not today?

God, motivate me to live a fuller, richer life.

Activity: Pull out your wish list. Choose one thing on your list that has been quietly waiting for the time to be right. Decide that the right time is now. Then begin.

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The Status Quo
Life as We Know It by Madisyn Taylor

Our lives can sometimes become status quo and that is ok as long as we aren’t keeping it that way on purpose.

When our lives are going well, and sometimes even when they aren’t, we may find ourselves feeling very attached to the status quo of our existence–life as we know it. It is a very human tendency to resist change as though it were possible to simply decide not to do it, or have it in our lives. But change will come and the status quo will go, sooner or later, with our consent or without it. We may find at the end of the day that we feel considerably more empowered when we find the courage to ally ourselves with the universal force of change, rather than working against it.

Of course, the answer is not to go about changing things at random, without regard to whether they are working or not. There is a time and place for stability and the preservation of what has been gained over time. In fact, the ability to stabilize and preserve what is serving us is part of what helps us to survive and thrive. The problem comes when we become more attached to preserving the status quo than to honoring the universal givens of growth and change. For example, if we allow a situation we are in to remain stagnant simply because we are comfortable, it may be time for us to summon up the courage to challenge the status quo.

This may be painful at times, or surprisingly liberating, and it will most likely be a little of both. Underneath the discomfort, we will probably find excitement and energy as we take the risk of unblocking the natural flow of energy in our lives. It is like dismantling a dam inside ourselves, because most of the work involves clearing our own inner obstacles so that the river of our life can flow unobstructed. Once we remove the obstacles, we can simply go with the flow, trusting the changes that follow. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When newcomers to The Program experience the first startling feeling that they’re truly among friends, they also wonder — with almost a sense of terror — if the feeling is real. Will it last? Those of us who’ve been in The Program a few years can assure any newcomer at a meeting that it is very real indeed, and that it does last. It’s not just another false start, not just a temporary burst of gladness to be followed, inevitably, by shattering disappointment. Am I convinced that I can have a genuine and enduring recovery from the loneliness of my addiction?

Today I Pray

Please, God, let me not be held back by my fear of recurring loneliness. May I know that the openness which warms me in this group will not suddenly close up and leave me out. May I be patient with my fear, which is swollen with past disappointments and losses. may I know that the fellowship of the group will, in time, convince me that loneliness is never incurable.

Today I Will Remember

Loneliness is curable.

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One More Day

Prayer, crystallized in words, assigns a permanent wave-length on which the dialogue has to be continued.
– Dag Hammarskjold

Many of us have all but forgotten how to pray. We don’t mean to avoid prayer — it just happens. Instead of prayer, we look to ourselves for answers or to others for our well-being. Our spiritual lives have become stagnant.

The reality of illness has, for many of us, underscored the limited power we have over some areas of our lives. We have no power over diagnoses, prognoses, remissions, or side-effects of medications. Whether out of anger, pain, depression, or hopelessness, a need arises to find balance in a world suddenly gone crazy. We may then trun to a Power greater than ourselves to provide the comfort we so desperately need. We pray; we meditate. We find peace.

I don’t have to carry my burdens alone.

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Food For Thought

Thinking Thin

Our mental attitude has much to do with our physical reality. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” If we think in terms of being thin, it is easier to adjust our appetite to the smaller amount of food, which we require. In the past, we may have been eating enough for two people. Large numbers of us in OA have lost the equivalent weight of at least one whole person.

By using our imagination to picture ourselves as thin, active, and healthy, we help our bodies adjust to the new image. Our old, fat self may want more to eat, but the thin person we are becoming does not need more. The fat self may grumble at leaving a comfortable chair to go out for a walk or at climbing a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. A sharp mental image of a new, thin self helps provide the necessary motivation to get up and go.

God does not intend us to be distorted and encumbered with excess weight. He will help us see the person we are meant to be.

May I become the person You intend.

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One Day At A Time

OPPORTUNITY
“In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
Albert Einstein

Pain, struggle, and difficulty can be catalysts for changes in me. If I am having so much difficulty living the way I do, then surely my current means of coping and survival are not working. The insanity of it all was that in spite of all the proof I saw that those methods did not work, I continued to live the same way — and suffer the same difficulties and struggles — for many years. Then opportunity for change knocked on my door. I found TRG online.

The Recovery Group program has shown me that there are much better ways to deal with life than to stuff myself with food, fear, resentments, and anger. The methods and tools I have been given here work. My defects still rear their ugly heads, but I no longer live focused on — or living in — those defects. Now I direct my thinking to program material, prayer and program works. What a gift that has been! Joy is mine for today ~ for the taking!

When I find that what I am doing today is not working, what do I need to do? As a COE with no recovery I would have kept doing what wasn’t working. That made no sense, but that’s what I did. Now when I struggle with the food, I look at my thinking, ’cause thinking affects how I feel and feelings impact my compulsions. When the thinking starts to spiral downward I know I need to act. I need to read program material, contact a program person, pray and meditate, and/or do program service. I need to use the tools to get me focused back on recovery.

One day at a time…
I will be mindful of my thinking, and when negative or self-pitying thoughts arise, I will remember that I have the opportunity now to redirect and refocus anew on recovery.
~ Karen A.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

It relieved me somewhat to learn that in alcoholics the will is amazingly weakened when it comes to combating liquor, though it often remains strong in other respects. My incredible behavior in the face of a desperate desire to stop was explained. Understanding myself now, I fared forth in high hope. For three or four months the goose hung high. I went to town regularly and even made a little money. Surely this was the answer – self-knowledge.

But it was not, for the frightful day came when I drank once more. The curve of my declining moral and bodily health fell off like a ski-jump. After a time I returned to the hospital. This was the finish, the curtain, it seemed to me. My weary and despairing wife was informed that it would all end with heart failure during delirium tremens, or I would develop a wet brain, perhaps within a year. She would soon have to give me over to the undertaker or the asylum. – Pg. 7 – Bill’s Story

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Is yesterday something that you worry about? Some yesterday? Whatever its mistakes, faults, blunders, or pains it has passed forever beyond your control. You cannot erase a single word or deed from your ‘yesterdays.’ On this road of recovery, we find it best to simply worry about right now.

Right now I am safe. Right now I am abstinent. Right now I am not harming myself. Right now I am relying on a Power Greater then myself to see me through this.

My Interaction with My World

I elicit a particular response from the world about how it sees me based on what I’m putting out there. I get a response, then I take in that information, process it well or badly, consciously or unconsciously, and it becomes a part of me. A part of my wiring psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. Who I am is a product of who I am. Those of us who had great starts in life are lucky, but all of us can do a lot about who we are, and forgiveness is one of those tools that has the power to transform our lives. There’s much more to it than meets the eye, more work and more benefit.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

There will be times when people around you act like absolute jerks. If they are a jerk and the problem is with them, time will reveal it. Likewise, if you are the jerk and the problem is with you, time will reveal it. Do the next right thing and give time time.

Today, I don’t let assholes rent space in my head.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

How we treat others is a consequence of the depth of our own spirituality.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I do not need to know anything about this day beyond this moment. This moment is perfect just as it is and I can handle anything in this moment. My Higher Power gives me all the strength I need today to handle whatever comes up in this moment.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I had nowhere else to go. I crept into the meeting I’d gone to before I’d decided I could still drink. I’d hit rock-bottom. Drinking and sobriety were both unbearable. I sat in the back row, ready to flee again. There was an odd man who I’d seen before at the meeting. He never mixed with anyone. He’d spotted me come in and after a time he came and sat closer than I’d seen him sit next to anyone – still a few rows away, but close for him. Anyway, I stayed through to the end of the meeting. I didn’t hear much, I sat there, lost, not knowing what to do, where to go. I noticed this man had moved closer, four or five seats away, and he said: ‘Are you all right?’ I said, ‘ It hurts.’ And he said; ‘I know.’ Then he moved off. That’s all I could have taken then. And that’s all it took: One alcoholic reaching out the hand of AA to another. No matter how shaky either hand was. – Anonymous woman. Australia.

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AA Thought for the Day

May 23

One Day At A Time
I was a very good student of alcoholism. I studied for twenty-four years.
My habit patterns became totally based on how to continue drinking day in and day out.
I became a past master of denial, an artist with self-pity,
and by the time I heard the thumping of dirt and pebbles
as they would soon be shoveled onto the lid of my coffin, the habit patterns
had become permanent and I couldn’t stop drinking even when I wanted to. . .
Thank goodness, I was told at meetings that I could now live one day at a time.
– AA Around The World, p. 65

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I don’t drink today, I have the hope of a tomorrow.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
O D A A T = One Day At A Time.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Acceptance
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed, it is because I find
some person, place, thing, or situation
– some fact of my life –
unacceptable to me, and I can find
no serenity until I accept that person,
place, thing, or situation as being exactly
the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens
in God’s world by mistake.
Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;
unless I accept life completely on life’s terms,
I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much on what
needs to be changed in the world
as on what needs to be changed
in me and in my attitudes.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417 4th Edition
Note: Dr. Paul O., author of these words, passed away 5.12.00.

Thought to Consider . . .
“My serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.”
Dr. Paul O., Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ABC
Acceptance, Belief, Change

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Inspiration
>From “This Spirit Touch”:
“At some time, perhaps in a more moderate way, nearly everyone has experienced this spirit touch of God, the fleeting
feeling of insight, love, joy, and ‘The world is right.’ Once, I thought that only unusual circumstances made these
moments possible. Actually, I now think, they are forecasts of what one can have if one is willing to take the time and
make the effort. Peace, love, and joy can be sought through quiet thinking and honest prayer. The wholeness, the new
awareness, that is produced affects one’s relationship with God and man to a degree greater than would seem possible
in ordinary life.”

1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 65

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“The word ‘alcoholic’ does not turn me off anymore; in fact, it is music to my ears when it applies to me.”
July 1975
“One of Those Bad Cons Nobody Can Reach,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation
of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to
alcohol.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33~

“First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 62~

Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we
set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 59

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Within A.A., I suppose, we shall always quarrel a good bit. Mostly, I think, about how to do the greatest good for the
greatest number of drunks. We shall have our childish spats and snits over small questions of money management and
who is going to run our groups for the next six months. Any bunch of growing children (and that is what we are) would
hardly be in character if they did less.
These are the growing pains of infancy, and we actually thrive on them. Surmounting such problems, in A.A.’s rather
rugged school of life, is a healthy exercise.

Prayer For The Day: Dear heavenly Father, thank you that You called me to be Your servant. Lord, give me the grace to serve You well. I do thank You for Your wisdom also. Guide me daily in the things that I must do and show me my priorities. Help me to be sensitive to the needs of those around me. Lord, I am looking to You to meet all of my needs. Give me peace and confidence when I must deal with situations that are difficult for me. May I speak the truth in love and be open myself for correction when You see something in my life that needs changing. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 22nd

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 22nd

Daily Reflections

STEP ONE

WE . . . (The first word of the First Step)
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

When I was drinking all I could ever think about was “I, I, I,”
or “Me, Me, Me.” Such painful obsessions of self, such soul
sickness, such spiritual selfishness bound me to the bottle for
more than half my life.
The journey to find God and to do His will one day at a time
began with the first word of the First Step . . . “We.” There
was power in numbers, there was strength in numbers, there was
safety in numbers, and for an alcoholic like me, there was
life in numbers, If I had tried to recover alone I probably
would have died. With God and another alcoholic I have a
divine purpose in my life . . . I have become a channel for
God’s healing love.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

What impresses us most at an A.A. meeting is the willingness
to share, without holding anything back. And pretty soon we
find ourselves sharing also. We start telling our own
experiences and by so doing we help the other person. And
when we’ve got these things off our chest, we feel a lot
better. It does us a lot of good to share with some other
poor unfortunate person who’s in the same box that we were
in. And the more we share, the more we have left for ourselves.
Do I know that the more I share, the better chance I’ll have
to stay sober?

Meditation For The Day

Constantly claim God’s strength. Once convinced of the right
of a course of action, once reasonably sure of God’s guidance,
claim that strength now. You can claim all the strength you
need to meet any situation. You can claim a new supply when
your own supply is exhausted. You have a right to claim it and
you should use your right. A beggar supplicates, a child
appropriates. When you supplicate, you are often kept waiting,
but when you appropriate God’s strength in a good cause, you
have it at once.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may claim God’s strength whenever I need it. I
pray that I may try to live as a child of God.


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As Bill Sees It

God-Given Instincts, p. 142

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. 12 & 12, p. 42
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 69

***********************************************************

Walk in Dry Places

Emotional sobriety may be elusive
Serenity
It is easy to know when one is maintaining sobriety as far as alcohol is concerned.  Emotional sobriety is more difficult to measure, because is it usually gauged by our behavior and feelings in response to people and situations.
If we lack emotional sobriety, we are likely to end up in “dry drunks”.  This means we lose emotional control under pressure or when threatened. We may think we have this control, yet find ourselves falling apart when seemingly small problems come up.
Maybe we have to accept that we will never have all the emotional control that we admire in others. This emotional sensitivity may even be part of our alcoholism. Most important, we must ensure that emotional binges do not become binges involving real booze.
Nor should wed judge ourselves too harshly when we undergo another emotional binge, or “dry drunk.” Such judgmental attitudes, even toward ourselves, may be a form of false pride.
Today I’ll seek all the serenity I can find. If I lose my cool temporarily, I’ll accept it as part of my general problem and get back to orderly thinking as quickly as possible. 

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

Showing up is 80 percent of life.—Woody Allen
Life is full of things we don’t want to do. Yet when all parts of us( mind, body, spirit) show up, things go okay. By being there, we can learn about ourselves and help others.
Showing up means we care about our program. It means we speak up at meetings. It means we care about our family, our friends, the world. It means we listen when a friend has a bad day. It means seeing ourselves in others. It means we talk  to someone who bothers us. Showing up means we laugh when something seems funny. It means we cry when we feel sad. We’re important, and we need to bring our mind, body, and spirit with us—wherever we go. Have I learned to show up, all of me?
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me show up for my life. Help me show up to do my part in Your plan today.
Today’s Action:  As I go through my day, I’ll think about how I’m showing up for my life. I’ll be proud of myself for doing my part.

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Each Day a New Beginning

The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things.  –Jean Baer
Our behavior tells others and ourselves, who we are. Frequently, we find ourselves behaving in ways that keep us stuck or embarrass us. Or we may feel deep shame for our behavior in a certain instance. Our behavior will never totally please us. But deciding we want to change some behavior and using the program to help us, is a first step.
Remember, imperfections are human and very acceptable. However, changing a particular behavior, maybe deciding to take a walk every morning rather than sleeping 30 extra minutes, will change how we feel about ourselves. And a minor change such as this can have a remarkable effect on our outlook, our attitudes.
The dilemma for many of us for so long was the fear we couldn’t change. But we can. And we can help each other change, too.
One small change today–a smile at the first person I meet–meditation before dinner–a few minutes of exercise–will help me chart a new course. I will encourage another woman to join me in this effort too, and I will be on my way.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

A man of thirty was doing a great deal of spree drinking. He was very nervous in the morning after these bouts and quieted himself with more liquor. He was ambitious to succeed in business, but saw that he would get nowhere if he drank at all. Once he started, he had no control whatever. He made up his mind that until he had been successful in business and had retired, he would not touch another drop. An exceptional man, he remained bone dry for twenty-five years and retired at the age of fifty-five, after a successful and happy business career. Then he fell victim to a belief which practically every alcoholic has—that his long period of sobriety and self-discipline had qualified him to drink as other men. Out came his carpet slippers and a bottle. In two months he was in a hospital, puzzled and humiliated. He tried to regulate his drinking for a little while, making several trips to the hospital meantime. Then, gathering all his forces, he attempted to stop altogether and found he could not. Every means of solving his problem which money could buy was at his disposal. Every attempt failed. Though a robust man at retirement, he went to pieces quickly and was dead within four years.

pp. 32-33

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

A DRUNK, LIKE YOU – The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.
During one session she suggested that I try not drinking at all one weekend.  “Okay,” I said.  She also suggested that I send the kids off somewhere for the weekend because I might be irritable.

p. 400

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Eight – “Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

No individuals have been more buffeted by such emotional gusts than those A.A.’s bold enough to accept employment with outside agencies dealing with the alcohol problem. A university wanted an A.A. member to educate the public on alcoholism. A corporation wanted a personnel man familiar with the subject. A state drunk farm wanted a manager who could really handle inebriates. A city wanted an experienced social worker who understood what alcohol could do to a family. A state alcohol commission wanted a paid researcher. These are only a few of the jobs which A.A. members as individuals have been asked to fill. Now and then, A.A. members have bought farms or rest homes where badly beat-up topers could find needed care. The question was–and sometimes still is–are such activities to be branded as professionalism under A.A. tradition?

pp. 169-170

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You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because
you stopped laughing.
–unknown

God cannot help those who do not seize opportunities.
–Chinese Proverb

Help yourself and God will help you.
–Dutch Proverb

“No one grows old by living, only by losing interest in living.”
–Marie Beynon Ray

“There is just one life for each of us: our own.”
–Euripides

Too often we under estimate 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.
–Leo Buscaglia

***********************************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

EARTH

“This could be such a beautiful world.”
Rosalind Welcher

The beauty that I see in the world also reveals a sadness – a sadness in
knowing that it could be a much more loving and accepting place for
everybody. If only we would get together in our difference instead of
demanding sameness.

We destroy so much God–given beauty by our desire to control,
understand and arrogantly pursue a philosophy of selfishness – and we
all lose.

But my spiritual hope for tomorrow comes in the creative choices I
make today.

Let me be a good steward in Your world because it is Your gift to me.

***********************************************************

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and
dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many
seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates
his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must
follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will
honor the one who serves me.”
John 12:24-26


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Daily Inspiration

To be happy, we must live in the present. Living in the past often brings painful memories and living in the future can bring worry and fear. Lord, when my thoughts slip away, help me quickly return my attention to where I am at this moment.

God is always at work in your life. Notice His light on the events of your day. Lord, I sometimes look without really seeing. Help me to pause and notice.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Symptoms Of A Spiritual Awakening

“The steps lead to an awakening of a spiritual nature. This awakening is evidenced by changes in our lives.”
Basic Text, p. 48

We know how to recognize the disease of addiction. Its symptoms are indisputable. Besides an uncontrollable appetite for drugs, those suffering exhibit self-centered, self-seeking behavior. When our addiction was at its peak of activity, we were obviously in a great deal of pain. We relentlessly judged ourselves and others, and spent most of our time worrying or trying to control outcomes.

Just as the disease of addiction is evidenced by definite symptoms, so is a spiritual awakening made manifest by certain obvious signs in a recovering addict. We may observe a tendency to think and act spontaneously, a loss of interest in judging or interpreting the actions of anyone else, an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment, and frequent attacks of smiling.

If we see someone exhibiting symptoms of a spiritual awakening, we should be aware that such awakenings are contagious. Our best course of action is to get close to these people. As we begin having frequent, overwhelming episodes of gratitude, an increased receptiveness to the love extended by our fellow members, and an uncontrollable urge to return this love, we’ll realize that we, too, have had a spiritual awakening.

Just for today: My strongest desire is to have a spiritual awakening. I will watch for its symptoms and rejoice when I discover them.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
If it’s sanity you’re after, there’s no recipe like laughter. –Henry Rutherford Elliot
A smile is the earliest form of communication. A human infant smiles in the first few weeks of life. As the child grows, it learns how to turn the smile into a laugh–a joyous response reflecting pleasure.
A sense of humor, a feeling of fun, and an ability to laugh are all signs of emotional maturity. Healthy laughter frees us; it is the sunshine that makes life’s shadows interesting. When we develop the ability to see the humor in a situation, we gain the ability to handle it.
We were born with smiles. They are as much a part of us as our teeth and hair. Polished and cared for, our smiles can grow into a sense of humor that will help us through the painful times.
How can I turn troubles into smiles today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. –Rollo May
Those of us who go around trying to be right and do everything right are likely to betray ourselves. We stifle our impulses and control our intuition because we can’t be certain that we are correct. As a spiritual exercise, we could stop now and listen to our inner selves and state our own ideas. What comes out may break the illusion of perfection and free us to proceed with life.
We all have original ideas if we just notice them. What images come to mind while listening to music? What do our dreams tell us? New insights sometimes come by physical activity. Conversation with a friend can help lead us to our wisdom. Our growing strength as recovering men requires that we listen to our own messages and then take some risks to express them.
Today, I will take risks by stating my ideas. I will stand up for myself by listening to my intuition.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things. –Jean Baer
Our behavior tells others and ourselves, who we are. Frequently, we find ourselves behaving in ways that keep us stuck or embarrass us. Or we may feel deep shame for our behavior in a certain instance. Our behavior will never totally please us. But deciding we want to change some behavior and using the program to help us, is a first step.
Remember, imperfections are human and very acceptable. However, changing a particular behavior, maybe deciding to take a walk every morning rather than sleeping 30 extra minutes, will change how we feel about ourselves. And a minor change such as this can have a remarkable effect on our outlook, our attitudes.
The dilemma for many of us for so long was the fear we couldn’t change. But we can. And we can help each other change, too.
One small change today–a smile at the first person I meet–meditation before dinner–a few minutes of exercise–will help me chart a new course. I will encourage another woman to join me in this effort too, and I will be on my way.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Times of Reprogramming
Do not ask for love unless you’re ready to be healed enough to give and receive love.
Do not ask for joy unless you’re ready to feel and release your pain, so you can feel joy.
Do not ask for success unless you’re ready to conquer the behaviors that would sabotage success.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could imagine ourselves having or becoming – and then immediately receiving – what we wanted? We can have and be the good things we want. All good things are ours for the asking. But first, groundwork – preparation work – must be done.
A gardener would not plant seeds unless the ground was adequately prepared to nurture and nourish those seeds. The planting would be wasted effort. It would be wasted effort for us to get what we wanted before we were ready.
First, we need to become aware of our need or desire. This may not be easy! Many of us have become accustomed to shutting off the inner voice of our wants, needs, and desires. Sometimes, life has to work hard to get our attention.
Next we let go of the old programming: the behavior and beliefs that interfere with nurturing and nourishing the good. Many of us have strong sabotaging programs, learned from childhood, that need to be released. We may need to act as if for a while until the belief that we deserve the good becomes real.
We combine this process with much letting go, while we are being changed at the core.
There is naturalness to this process, but it can be intense. Things take time.
Good things are ours for the asking, if we are willing to participate in the work of groundbreaking. Work and wait.
Today, God, give me the courage to identify the good I want in my life and to ask for it. Give me also the faith and stamina I need to go through the work that must be accomplished first.

Today I choose to feel love in this moment. Today I choose to let love fill my day and bring joy. –Ruth Fishel

**************************************************

Journey to the Heart

Learn the Art of Joyful Living

Let’s pretend for a moment we have a friend who’s with us much of the time. This friend watches us, watches our lives and circumstances, and comments: Oh, that’s too bad. That’s terrible. That’s awful. You could be doing better. You’re not doing very well. What’s wrong with you? Why did you do that? This friend isn’t very pleasant, but many of us have brought such a friend with us through much of our journey.

Now, let’s imagine something different. Let’s imagine a friend, a constant companion, who laughs a lot. This friend laughs at traffic, laughs at delays, laughs at long lines. Even laughs at setbacks. Of course, this friend doesn’t mock us or laugh at us when we’re in pain. This friend is compassionate and gentle, and has an open heart. But he or she helps us laugh, even when we hurt.

This friend has learned the art of joy, the art of living, and the art of living joyfully.

Let’s bring along the friend who knows the art of joyful living to help us learn the same.

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More language of letting go

Say when the price is too high

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
–Henry David Thoreau

Consider the young man who was doing great in his high school studies, then suddenly started to fall behind. One day a teacher pulled the young man aside and asked him what happened. The student told him that he had asked his father for a car, and the father told him that if he earned the money, he could have one. The student, being industrious and hard working, went out, got a job, saved the money, and bought the car. But then the car needed insurance, gas, and maintenance, so the student kept the job to keep up the car. The job took up more and more of his time, until finally he began to fall behind in his studies.

“Why don’t you just get rid of the car?” asked the teacher.

“Get rid of the car?” came the reply, “but how would I get to my job?”

How often we feel that if we just get that new car, that new boyfriend or girlfriend, that promotion, or the condo in the good neighborhood, we will find happiness and contentment– only to discover that the thing just brings with it more pain, more costs, and more bother than it’s worth. The new sports car runs only half the time, the new partner needs more care than your dog, the promotion eats up your weekends, and the new condo won’t allow pets.

Things don’t bring true happiness. Instead, they often sap your strength and leave you emptier than you were before. Think about the true cost of a thing before you pursue it– in time, lifestyle changes, energy, maintanence, and money. Can you really afford the amount of life that the thing will take from you in return for the happiness it brings? Are you willing to pay the price?

God, help me be aware of the true cost of the things in my life.

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Setting the Tone
Starting Your Day Well by Madisyn Taylor

A gentle, reflective, and thoughtful morning will prepare you to create a gentle, conscious, and thoughtful day.

The choices you make upon waking can have a profound impact on your day. If, still drowsy, you hit the ground running, rushing to prepare yourself to face your worldly obligations, you will likely feel fatigued and overwhelmed for most of your day. A leisurely and relaxing morning, on the other hand, can energize and excite you, as well as give you the courage to meet the challenges waiting for you. By beginning your day in a focused and centered fashion, you make it your own. You set the tone of your expectations and choose the mood you will use to respond to your circumstances. A gentle, reflective, and thoughtful morning will prepare you to create a gentle, conscious, and thoughtful day.

The simplest way to eliminate the rush from your morning routine is to rise earlier. Getting children into routines and getting themselves ready as much as possible will also give you more time. Though this may seem like a hardship at first, you will soon grow to love the extra minutes or hours that afford you an opportunity to really enjoy watching the sun come up or connect with your loved ones before you go in your separate directions. There are many more ways you can constructively use the time you gain. A mere half-hour of introspection in which you examine your goals, thank the universe for the richness in your life, and contemplate the blessings you will receive this day can lift your spirit and help you formulate lasting positive expectations. Likewise, you can solidify your day’s intention through spoken affirmations or the words you record in a journal. Or, if you want little more than to enjoy your day, devote a portion of your personal time to activities that bot! h ground and delight you, such as meditation, yoga, chanting, singing, reading, or listening to music. If you feel, however, that there is little room for change in your start-of-the-day routine, try to make each activity you engage in upon waking a ritual in its own right. The time you spend everyday savoring a soothing cup of tea or washing away tension in a hot shower can serve as a potent reminder of the need to care for yourself no matter what the hour.

Your morning is yours and should reflect not only your practical needs but also the needs of your soul. When you center yourself at the start of your day, you will likely find it easier to remain centered during subsequent work, play, and downtime because the overall sense of serenity you create through your choices will stay with you throughout the day. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When I first listened to people in The Program talking freely and honestly about themselves, I was stunned. Their stories of their own addictive escapades, of their own secret fears, and of their own gnawing loneliness were literally mind-blowing for me. I discovered — and hardly dared believe it at first — that I’m not alone. I’m not all that different from everybody else and, in fact, we’re all very much the same. I began to sense that I do belong somewhere, and my loneliness began to leave me. Do I try to give to others what has been given freely to me?

Today I Pray

May I begin to see, as the life stories of my friends in The Program unfold for me, that our similarities are far more startling than our differences. As I listen to their accounts of addition and recovery, may I experience often that small shock of recognition, a “hey-that’s-me!” feeling that is quick to chase away my separateness. May I become a wholehearted member of the group, giving and taking in equal parts.

Today I Will Remember

Sameness, not Differences.

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One More Day

Happiness is like time and space — we make and measure it ourselves; it is as fancy, as big, as little, as you please; just a thing of contrasts and comparisons.
– George du Marier

Happiness is a reference point, a relative state of mind to which we compare other emotions. Being happy is one of our ultimate goals. How we get there or if we get there often depends on how we live and how we treat other people.

When we were children, many of our needs were taken care of by others. Now, it is more often we who must create our own happiness. We are no longer children dependent on others for our dreams and joys. We are adults, free to make our happiness in any form or shape we wish.

My happiness depends on me, not on others.

************************************

Food For Thought

When in Doubt, Don’t

If a particular food is not on our plan, we do not eat it. When in doubt, leave it out. If there is a question in our minds about the advisability of eating a certain food, we are most likely better off without it. Whether we are losing weight or maintaining our weight loss, there will be some foods we choose to avoid, since past experience has proven that we cannot handle them in moderation.

The principle of “when in doubt, don’t” may extend to other areas of our lives. If we are unsure of a particular course of action, it is best not to go rushing into it. As we learn to listen to the inner voice, we become more responsive to the leading of our Higher Power. Our knowledge of His will for our lives becomes more solid and we develop a firm basis for decision.

When we are willing to wait for direction, it comes. Indecision may be turned over to our Higher Power for His clarification.

Give us prudence, Lord, to follow Your lead.

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One Day At A Time

~ FAITH ~
The inability of the materialistic mind to grasp the idea of the Life Eternal
is no proof of the non-existence of that life.
‘Abdu’l-Baha

I grew up in a family where there was no belief in the existence of God, although we were told that it was up to us to decide where to put our faith.

I struggled through various addictions and disorders, but never forgot that one special time as a child, where I spontaneously went down on my knees one night to pray to God, who for a few moments had suddenly become very real.

As an adult, my belief in a Higher Power came and went like the breeze, so that some days I was an atheist, others an agnostic, and at other times filled with an awareness that God is in all things.

I am grateful that my addiction to overeating has brought me to this Twelve Step program. Every day I come to believe that a Power greater than myself can restore my sense of balance, and I make sure that I put in effort to maintain my conscious connection with God.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray that my spiritual faculties and aspirations will daily increase, and that I will never allow the material senses to veil my eyes from the light of my Higher Power.
~ John M. ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. – Pg. 86 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Right now you can concentrate on getting through withdrawal one hour at a time. Don’t worry about tomorrow morning or next week, just this hour, just this day. You’ve already made it without anything for this long–now keep going forward!

Fill me with the knowledge that I can do anything for just this hour, just this day.

Forgiveness

Today, I am willing to take a leap of faith into a process of forgiveness. My willingness to consider forgiveness as an option says that I want more out of life and relationships, that I am engaged and alive. I am willing to feel, to love and be loved. This implies that I value myself more than I value winning, prevailing or revenge. Forgiveness is the ultimate statement of self-love. If I love myself I don’t want to do things to hurt myself. Some things aren’t within my control but forgiveness is. I can’t always make sure I don’t get hurt but I can have much to say about how I react to getting hurt.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

God is the answer, now what is the problem? Problem with the word ‘God?’ According to Random House Dictionary–Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, and Principle are all synonymous for ‘God.’ The above statement could just as easily be ‘Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, and Principle are the answers. Now what is the problem?’

Today, I let go of the labels that stand between me and my understanding of God.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

An alcoholic is an individual who takes the most simple program and works on it until he has eventually reduced it to its most complicated form.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I choose to feel love in this moment. Today I choose to let love fill my day and bring joy.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress. – Thomas Edison

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AA Thought for the Day

May 22

The Book
By 1937, some of us realized that AA needed a standard literature.
There would have to be a book. . .
Well, we did quarrel violently over the preparation and distribution of that AA Book.
In fact, it took five years for the clamor to die down.
Should any AA’s dream that the old-timers who put the Book together
went about in serene meditation and white robes, then they had best forget it.
The inspiration that readers now say they find in the volume
must have got there by the grace of God only!
– The Language of the Heart, p. 133

Thought to Ponder . . .
Walk softly and carry a Big Book.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
B I G B O O K = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Daily Reprieve
“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action
and rest on our laurels.
We are headed for trouble if we do,
for alcohol is a subtle foe.
We are not cured of alcoholism.
What we really have is a daily reprieve
contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Thought to Consider . . .
The road to recovery is always under construction.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
ACTION
Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Inspiration
From “This Spirit Touch”:
“At some time, perhaps in a more moderate way, nearly everyone has experienced this spirit touch of God the fleeting
feeling of insight, love, joy, and ‘The world is right.’ Once, I thought that only unusual circumstances made these
moments possible. Actually, I now think, they are forecasts of what one can have if one is willing to take the time and
make the effort. Peace, love, and joy can be sought through quiet thinking and honest prayer. The wholeness, the new
awareness, that is produced affects one’s relationship with God and man to a degree greater than would seem possible
in ordinary life.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 65

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“Over the years I’ve gone to different types of groups to meet different needs in my life or to share experience, strength,
and hope about a particular problem I was struggling with. Some days I’ve been part of the solution for another suffering
alcoholic; other days I’ve been the one who was suffering.
“Thanks to our Fifth Tradition, no matter what my needs or my location I can find an AA group where I can talk about —
and listen to — not drinking one day at a time, practicing the principles in all of my affairs, and being happily and usefully whole.”
Kensington, Md., May 1996
“A Consistent Message,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“It did not satisfy us to be told that we could not control our
drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in
full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives. These
things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent
with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as
well. In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out
this physical factor is incomplete.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Doctor’s Opinion, pg. xxvi~

“We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We
have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun
to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our
enemies, for we look on them as sick people.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, Pg. 70~

And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of
vitally needed support.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 97

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

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.

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, thank you for all that you do. I ask you to forgive me when I judge others. Help me be more understanding and forgiving as no one is perfect, least of all me.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings May 21st

Bsober Listen

Sorry to be gone so long. Medical issues. Should be good for a while now.

Bsober

Daily Reflections

PROGRESSIVE GRATITUDE
Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 29

I am very grateful that my Higher Power has given me a second
chance to live a worthwhile life. Through Alcoholics Anonymous, I
have been restored to sanity. The promises are being fulfilled in my
life. I am grateful to be free from the slavery of alcohol. I am grateful
for peace of mind and the opportunity to grow, but my gratitude should go
forward rather than backward. I cannot stay sober on yesterday’s
meetings or past Twelfth-Step calls; I need to put my gratitude into
action today. Our co-founder said our gratitude can best be shown by
carrying the message to others. Without action, my gratitude is just a
pleasant emotion. I need to put it into action by working Step Twelve,
by carrying the message and practicing the principles in all my affairs.
I am grateful for the chance to carry the message today!


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In twelfth-step work, the third thing is conviction. Prospects must be
convinced that they honestly want to stop drinking. They must see and
admit that their life is unmanageable. They must face the fact that
they must do something about their drinking. They must be absolutely
honest with themselves and face themselves as they really are. They
must be convinced that they must give up drinking and they must see
that their whole life depends on this conviction. Do I care enough
about other alcoholics to help them reach this conviction?

Meditation For The Day

There is no limit to what you can accomplish in helping others. Keep
that thought always. Never relinquish any work or give up the thought
of any accomplishment because it seems beyond your power. God will help
you in all good work. Only give it up if you feel that it’s not God’s will
for you. In helping others, think of the tiny seed under the dark, hard ground.
There is no certainty that, when it has forced its way up to the
surface, sunlight and warmth will greet it. Often a task seems beyond
your power, but there is no limit to what you can accomplish with
God’s help.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may never become discouraged in helping others. I pray
that I may always rely on the power of God to help me.


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As Bill Sees It

To Take Responsibility, p. 145

Learning how to live in the greatest peace, partnership, and
brotherhood with all men and women, of whatever description, is a
moving and fascinating adventure.

But every A.A. has found that he can make little headway in this new
adventure of living until he first backtracks and really makes an
accurate and unsparing survey of the human wreckage he has left in
his wake.

<< << << >> >> >>

The readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to
take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is
the very spirit of Step Nine.

12 & 12
1. p. 77
2. p. 87

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Walk in Dry Places

Forgetting past failures
Living today.
“You never do anything right!”  Some of us carry this accusation deep in our minds, perhaps from childhood.  We remember past mistakes and failures, sometimes dregging them up again when new failures occur.
When we do this, we unduly burden ourselves with a past that should be released and forgotten. The result of past mistakes was a feeling of inadequacy and helplessness that prolonged our sickness.  IN those troubled days, we were trying to solve our problems inways that actually made the problems worse.  On that path, there was no hope of a real solution.
Today our failure and mistakes are but signs that we are will human and still fall short of perfection.  But now we can use failure to good advantage and even learn from it.  Our best progress will come when we separate ourselves from the mistakes and failures of the past.
Today I will not believe that “I never did anything right!”  I will go through the day knowing that I am capable and effective, and have the help of my higher power in everything I do.

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Keep It Simple

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me.—Virginia Satir
Let’s keep this in mind: each of us is special in our own way. Often, we’re hard on ourselves because we’re different.
Our Twelve Step groups pull our differences together. We listen and learn from our differences.
We learn to see that each one of us is different—and this is important. Our program and the Steps stay alive for us, because each new person brings a different way of seeing things. Let’s celebrate our differences instead of trying to be alike.
Prayer for the Day:  Today, is a day to celebrate that, in all of the world, there is only one me. Thank-you, Higher Power, and help me see clearly how special I am.
Action for the Day:  I’ll make a list of what makes me special. I’ll share this with a friend or my sponsor and my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning

One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness–simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.  –George Sand
We are as happy as we make up our minds to be, so goes the saying. But happiness is the result of right actions. We prepare for it daily. We chart our course. Many of us have to first determine where we want to go before we can decide on the chart. We have perhaps passively floated along for years. But now the time is right to navigate, to move toward a goal.
We may have fears about moving ahead. We can be courageous, however. Strength is at hand, always, if we but ask for it. We can make a small beginning today. And every day, we can do at least one thing we need to do to bring us closer to our goal. Accomplishment, however small, nurtures good feelings. Happiness is the byproduct.
Today is wide open. I will decide on a course of action and move ahead. All around me help is available for the asking.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years. Certain drinkers, who would be greatly insulted if called alcoholics, are astonished at their inability to stop. We, who are familiar with the symptoms, see large numbers of potential alcoholics among young people everywhere. But try and get them to see it! *
* True when this book was first published. But a 1989 U.S./Canada membership survey showed about one-fifth of A.A.’s were 30 and under.

pp. 33-34

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

A DRUNK, LIKE YOU – The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.
The meeting went okay.  We talked about somebody’s problem with an anonymity break at his doctor’s office.  The people at the meeting were telling him stuff that made no sense to me, like “Live and Let Live,” “Easy Does It,” “One Day at a Time,” “use the Serenity Prayer,” “talk to your sponsor,” and as we went around the table it came my turn.  Since they were all saying they were alcoholics, it wasn’t too hard for me to say my name and, “Hi, I’m an alcoholic,” and suggest that the man should go to another doctor.  He thanked me very much, and after the meeting he said to be sure and come back next week.

p. 401

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Eight – “Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

This is the exciting welter of events which has finally cast up A.A.’s Tradition of nonprofessionalism. Our Twelfth Step is never to be paid for, but those who labor in service for us are worthy of their hire.

p. 171

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“I’d never trade my worst day sober for my best day drunk.”
–unknown

“If you do what you have always done, you’ll get what you’ve always
gotten.”
–Anon

He who learns, teaches.
–African Proverb

“You must get good at one of two things: sowing in the spring or
begging in the fall.”
–Jim Rohn

“Don’t ever slam a door; you might want to go back.”
–Don Herold

“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege
and adventure to discover our own special light.
–Mary Dunbar

God bids me to do the right and loving thing.
–SweetyZee

” For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

God knows our hearts and wants better for us than we can dream.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

VARIETY

“The growth of the human mind is
still high adventure, in many ways
the highest adventure on earth.”
–Norman Cousins

Today my life is an adventure. I am prepared for the unusual; I expect
the confusion of life; I revel in God’s reflected difference within
creation: variety and the acceptance of variety is part of my joy in
living.

God is to be found in the “odd” things in life: The dance, relationships,
Charlie Chaplin, jogging, the pet dog and the sincere hug. The
adventure we find in life reflects our adventure in God.

Spirituality is seeing beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary: “The
Kingdom of God is within”.

May I always seek to find You in the smallest and strangest places.

***********************************************************

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give
you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am
gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your
souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21


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Daily Inspiration

The best way to guide your own behavior is to make a commitment to always be a good example. Lord, may I be a reflection of Your love.

Should you find your energy lapsing, a sure remedy is to give someone a helping hand or a word of support and make their day. Lord, You are patient with me and loving. May I be the same with the people in my life.

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NA Just For Today

“Good” And “Bad” Feelings

“A lot happens in one day, both negative and positive. If we do not take time to appreciate both, perhaps we will miss something that will help us grow.”
IP No. 8, “Just for Today”

Most of us seem to unconsciously judge what happens in our lives each day as good or bad, success or failure. We tend to feel happy about the “good” and angry, frustrated, or guilty about the “bad.” Good and bad feelings, though, often have little to do with what’s truly good or bad for us. We may learn more from our failures than our successes, especially if failure has come from taking a risk.

Attaching value judgments to our emotional reactions ties us to our old ways of thinking. We can change the way we think about the incidents of everyday life, viewing them as opportunities for growth, not as good or bad. We can search for lessons rather than assigning value. When we do this, we learn something from each day. Our daily Tenth Step is an excellent tool for evaluating the day’s events and learning from both success and failure.

Just for today: I am offered an opportunity to apply the principles of recovery so that I will learn and grow. When I learn from life’s events, I succeed.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Do we really know anybody? Who does not wear one face to hide another?
–Francis Marion
A woman in her fifties watched her mother in her eighties struggle against the wrinkles in her face and neck, trying to hide them, pretend they weren’t there. She wanted her mother to accept that she was getting older but found her unwilling to listen.
Haven’t we all run into this situation? We can learn so much just by remembering that what is right for one person may not be right for another, and others are entitled to decide how they want to behave. Often, we are just worried about ourselves, concerned, for instance, with our own ability to age gracefully. We don’t need someone else to do it for us. We can take care of ourselves.
What do I worry about in another that I can take care of in myself?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
For him who confesses, shams are over and realities have begun; he has exteriorized his rottenness. If he has not actually got rid of it, he at least no longer smears it over with a hypocritical show of virtue. –William James
On the path we are following, confession is a frequent part of our experience. We admit our powerlessness; we make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and admit our wrongs; we make amends to people we have harmed; and we continue with personal inventory, promptly admitting our wrongs. With each of these Steps we grow spiritually. By expressing on the outside what we privately know inside, we feel relief and gain self-respect.
Sometimes we have harbored and protected a real rottenness inside that needed to be exposed so we could change. Other times, what we felt was rottenness turned out – under the light of confession – to be only a human foible in need of airing. In either case, we grew stronger as we drew closer to reality and gave up the show of virtue by admitting our mistakes.
I will walk the path of recovery today by confessing my wrongs promptly.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness–simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain. –George Sand
We are as happy as we make up our minds to be, so goes the saying. But happiness is the result of right actions. We prepare for it daily. We chart our course. Many of us have to first determine where we want to go before we can decide on the chart. We have perhaps passively floated along for years. But now the time is right to navigate, to move toward a goal.
We may have fears about moving ahead. We can be courageous, however. Strength is at hand, always, if we but ask for it. We can make a small beginning today. And every day, we can do at least one thing we need to do to bring us closer to our goal. Accomplishment, however small, nurtures good feelings. Happiness is the byproduct.
Today is wide open. I will decide on a course of action and move ahead. All around me help is available for the asking.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Loving Ourselves Unconditionally
Love yourself into health and a good life of your own.
Love yourself into relationships that work for you and the other person. Love yourself into peace, happiness, joy, success, and contentment.
Love yourself into all that you always wanted. We can stop treating ourselves the way others treated us, if they behaved in a less than healthy, desirable way. If we have learned to see ourselves critically, conditionally, and in a diminishing and punishing way, its time to stop. Other people treated us that way, but its even worse to treat ourselves that way now.
Loving ourselves may seem foreign, even foolish at times. People may accuse us of being selfish. We don’t have to believe them.
People who love themselves are truly able to love others and let others love them. People who love themselves and hold themselves in high esteem are those who give the most, contribute the most, and love the most.
How do we love ourselves? By forcing it at first. By faking it if necessary. By acting as if. By working as hard at loving and liking ourselves as we have at not liking ourselves.
Explore what it means to love yourself.
Do things for yourself that reflect compassionate, nurturing, self love.
Embrace and love all of yourself – past, present, and future. Forgive yourself quickly and as often as necessary. Encourage yourself. Tell yourself good things about yourself.
If we think and believe negative ideas, get them out in the open quickly and honestly, so we can replace those beliefs with better ones.
Pat yourself on the back when necessary. Discipline yourself when necessary. Ask for help, for time; ask for what you need.
Sometimes, give yourself treats. Do not treat yourself like a pack mule, always pushing and driving harder. Learn to be good to yourself. Choose behaviors with preferable consequences–treating yourself well is one.
Learn to stop your pain, even when that means making difficult decisions. Do not unnecessarily deprive yourself. Sometimes, give yourself what you want, just because you want it.
Stop explaining and justifying yourself. When you make mistakes, let them go. We learn, we grow, and we learn some more. And through it all, we love ourselves.
We work at it, and then work at it some more. One day we’ll wake up, look in the mirror, and find that loving ourselves has become habitual. Were now living with a person who gives and receives love, because that person loves him or herself. Self-love will take hold and become a guiding force in our life.
Today, I will work at loving myself. I will work as hard at loving myself as I have at not liking myself. Help me let go of self-hate and behaviors that reflect not liking myself. Help me replace those with behaviors that reflect self-love. Today, God, help me hold myself in high self esteem. Help me know Im lovable and capable of giving and receiving love.

I celebrate myself today. I am alive. I am growing. I am willing to do all I am able to do to be the best of who I am. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey to the Heart

Awaken to Your Heart’s Contentment

One day, you’ll awaken to discover your life is all you wanted and hoped it would be.

Oh, you’ll not find everything just the way your head said you wanted it. It might not be the way you planned. But you’ll awaken to your dreams– your dreams of joy, love, and peace. Your dream of freedom.

You’ll see beyond the illusions. You’ll transcend your old limiting beliefs. You’ll wake up and notice that your past is just as it needed to be. You’ll see where you are today is good. You’ll notice that you laugh a lot, cry a lot, smile a lot.

You’ll look at tomorrow with peace, faith, and hope– knowing that while you cannot control some of what life does, you have possibilities and powers in any circumstance life might bring. The sturggle you have lived with for so many years, the struggle in your heart, has disappeared. You’re secure, at peace with yourself and your place in this world.

One day, you’ll awaken to your heart’s contentment. Let that day be today.

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More language of letting go

Say when it’s time to do that difficult thing

Sometimes, true windows of opportunity open in our lives. We get a chance to make that amend. The perfect time to end or resolve that relationship arises. It’s like a gift from God when that window opens up. All we need to do is gently step through. But sometimes, we need to help God open the window– especially when we’re working up the courage to do a difficult thing.

Maybe we’re waiting for just the right moment to end a relationship. Maybe we’re looking for an opportunity to make an amend, tell someone we’re sorry about something we’ve done that’s caused that person pain. Maybe we have a new project we’d like to begin. Sometimes, we can passively wait, and wait, and that window just seems painted shut and stuck.

Ask God to help open the window, but do your part,too. Make a decision that you’re going to do it– whatever it is. Then let go, but not too long. Remember your decision. Remember your commitment to opening that window. Don’t force it, but focus your attention. You may begin to feel the slightest crack in the energy, that opening you need. Or you may have to wiggle the window frame, push on it just the slightest bit, to crack it open yourself. Then you’ll see it. You’ll feel it move. There. It’s open.

Help God open the window in your life by deciding to do it.

God, help me remember that the time doesn’t always feel right. Help me honor my deepest urges to do what I must to take care of myself.

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The Benefits of Singing
Harmonizing with the Universe by Madisyn Taylor

The act of singing is one of the easiest ways of raising the vibration of your body as you harmonize with the universe.

Singing is an act of vibration. It takes music from the realm of the unformed– whether that is in your mind or from that magical space of inspiration–and moves it from within to without. From the first breath singing moves the energy in a circular way inside your body. As the breath fills your lungs, it brushes against the second and third chakras—the centers of creation and honoring self and others. Instead of merely exhaling, pushing the air past the fourth and fifth chakras where heart charka and the center of will and intention reside, singing engages both the heart and mind. Sound vibrations from vocal chords resonate in the sinus cavities, filling the head with motion and sound while the brain lights up with the processing of the mathematics of music. This marriage of activities brings the third eye into play and opens the door for inspiration from the crown chakra before sending the sound out into the world.

Once the vibration begins, it is sustained with each note, moving throughout your body and the space around you. This can help you to harmonize your frequency with the world and with the divine. The use of the voice can bring about catharsis, a cleansing from the expression of emotion, which is why we feel better after singing certain types of songs. All of this occurs even if we are not conscious of what we are singing, but when we really connect with an intention, the power of the voice and music together are powerful tools in creation.

Even if you are not a singer by nature or talent, you are not left out. If you have a voice, it is your birthright to celebrate life with song. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel you have a nice voice. Chanting or humming, singing solo or with others, your voice is yours to enjoy. Whether you sing along to the radio or use vocalization as part of your meditation time, singing and harmonizing are healing activities that bring your body’s vibrations into alignment with the universe. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When we’re new in The Program, we’re novices at reaching out for friendship — or even accepting it when it’s offered. Sometimes we’re not quite sure how to do it or, indeed, whether it will actually work. Gradually, however, we become restored; we become teachable. We learn, for example, as Moliere wrote, “The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them.” Just for today, will I not show anyone that my feelings are hurt?

Today I Pray

May God help me to discover what true friendship is. In my new relationships, I pray that I may not be so eager for approval that I will let myself be dishonest — through flattery, half-truths, false cheeriness, protective white lies.

Today I Will Remember

A friend is honest.

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One More Day

Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
– Kahlil Gibran

We rarely, if ever, thing of grief in terms of loss of good health, yet each of us moves through the grieving process. We have a tendency to drive away those who are closest to us — those who are willing to share our pain — because we are unsure of how to handle our crisis.

The period of time in which we grieve leaves us emotionally raw, open, and vulnerable. We may refuse help because of stubborn pride, totally unaware that the people who care about us are in pain and need to share as well. Fortunately grief passes, and while we will never be the same, we do heal.

Loss of good health is new to me, and I must learn how to be gracious to those who care about me.

************************************

Food For Thought

Delayed Gratification

One of the advantages of maturity is the ability to delay gratification of desires and needs. It is this ability, which makes possible the achievement of long-range goals and plans. We compulsive overeaters have permitted childish demands for immediate satisfaction to drive us into addictive habits. We still have some emotional growing up to do.

When we come to the OA program, we accept a reasonable plan for the gratification of our appetite and hunger. We know that we will eat three times a day, and we choose our food. As our appetite adjusts to eating smaller amounts less frequently, we may experience some discomfort. As maturing individuals, we can accept this discomfort in the interest of a healthier, more attractive body and a saner, more peaceful mind. Instead of having to have what we want now, this minute, we are able to wait until the appropriate time.

Working the Steps makes us aware of the emotional growing we need to do in order to have more satisfying relationships with other people. Here, too, we often have to delay immediate satisfaction in order to achieve larger, more important goals.

I pray for emotional and spiritual maturity.

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One Day At A Time

SHARING
”What most of us want is to be heard, to communicate.”
Dory Previn

When I am privileged to be involved in a meeting, hear sharing and have the opportunity to share, magic happens. For me, it is the end of isolation, the times of being alone with my mind and my thoughts that run away with me as long as they are stewing inside without me allowing myself to give them expression. That is why sharing is so important. If I receive constantly without giving, I stagnate. If I give consistently without taking the time to take in and be helped, I go bankrupt.

I need to share and listen for the God of my understanding in others’ voices. I often refer to others who share as “God with skin on.” I also need to share with others. For me, sharing is a type of prayer, talking to my Higher Power from my heart with others listening in on our conversation! That way I am heard by my HP and those at the meeting I am attending. That is the true magic of the program.

One day at a time…
I will reach out to others by sharing in meetings and allowing others to bless me with their sharing.
~ Carolyn H.

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, IF WE HAVE A LEGITIMATE REASON FOR BEING THERE. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties. To a person who has had experience with an alcoholic, this may seem like tempting Providence, but it isn’t.

You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, ‘Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?’ If you answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead! – Pgs. 101-102 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

When there is no way to get away from us, when we can’t get high enough to turn off the pain anymore, when we are worried and confused, then maybe it is time to try another way.

Right now I surrender to another way. Right now I will not get high and will walk this new road.

Fear

Today, I allow myself to experience my fears as fears, and not dictate or color my life circumstances because of them. They are real, and it is understandable that I have them. Healing mobilizes my deep fears, and they come up more intensely than ever. This is a part of my process of growth, and growth is not neat and tidy. When I am very afraid, I will comfort myself or seek comfort from someone else. I will understand that I am afraid and that even though I fear the worst, the worst will not necessarily happen. My feelings feel very powerful inside me, particularly when they have been repressed and are surfacing after many years, but they are not facts. I can survive my fears and understand that they will pass.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

One thing recovery teaches us, is that you can keep going long after you think you can’t. This is because you are stronger than you think. You have the accumulated strength of millions of clean and sober Twelve-Step members to bolster you.

I keep on keep’n on; I keep on trudging.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Criticism and finding fault are not spiritual gifts.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I celebrate myself today. I am alive. I am growing. I am willing to do all I am able to do to be the best of who I am.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I agree with the first speaker in that any answer you may want may be in the Big Book but sometimes the book may send you outside of AA to get the things you need to survive here. – Bob E.

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AA Thought for the Day

May 25

Honesty
Only God can fully know what absolute honesty is.
Therefore, each of us has to achieve what this great ideal may be — to the best of our ability.
– As Bill Sees It, p. 66

Thought to Ponder . . .
Honesty is the absence of the intent to deceive.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Choices
“Our necessities are certainly immense and compelling.
Each of us must conform reasonably well
to AA’s Steps and Traditions,
or else we shall go mad or die of alcoholism.
Therefore the compulsion among most of us
to survive and grow soon becomes far stronger
than the temptation to drink or misbehave.
Literally, we must ‘do or die.’
So we make the choice to live.
This, in turn, means the choice of AA
principles, practices, and attitudes.
This is our first great and critical choice.
Admittedly, this is made under the fearful and immediate
lash of John Barleycorn, the killer.
Plainly enough, this first choice is far more a necessity
than it is an act of virtue.”
Bill W., May 1960
1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, pp. 301-2

Thought to Consider . . .
It was either AA or amen.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*

AA
Attitude Adjustment

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Healing
From “We Walk This Way”:
“Our A.A. friends also had this positive belief in the child’s recovery. They did their best to revive my fast-dying energies,
and these positive forces of loving faith caused me to reassess my progress in the A.A. program. I was sober, but had I
turned my will over to the care of God as I understood Him? What was I doing about ‘conscious contact’ with my Higher
Power? Was the Tenth Step part of my daily life or only a once-tried effort?
“Most of the answers were negative. This meant that, while my daughter might be in a hopeless situation physically, I
was functioning in a way destined to retard any progress she might make spiritually and mentally. There was no other
solution than to get out of the child’s way and work on myself.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pgs. 107-08

*~*~*~*~*^Grapevine Quote^*~*~*~*~*

“We are not a sociological entity, although sociologists find us fascinating. We are not a therapy group, although
remarkable healing takes place among us. And we are not a religion, even though some people want to see us as such
… We are a spiritual entity.”
May 2006
“Tradition Five: What a Group ‘Ought’ to Be,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Some day we hope that Alcoholics Anonymous will help the public to
a better realization of the gravity of the alcoholic problem, but we
shall be of little use if our attitude is one of bitterness or
hostility. Drinkers will not stand for it.
After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a
symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We
have to!”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 103~

“Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to
find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and
direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal
consequences may be.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 79~

Almost from the beginning, we have been positive that face-to-face work with the alcoholic who suffers could be based
only on the desire to help and be helped.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 166

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Learning how to live in the greatest peace, partnership, and brotherhood with all men and women, of whatever
description, is a moving and fascinating adventure.
But every A.A. has found that he can make little headway in this new adventure of living until he first backtracks and
really makes an accurate and unsparing survey of the human wreckage he has left in his wake.
The readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at
the same time, is the very spirit of Step nine.
TWELVE AND TWELVE
1. P. 77
2. P. 87

Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, thank you for today and all that you do. I love you Lord with all my heart. Please help me show this love to others as I go about the day.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 10th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 10th

Daily Reflections

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.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., I came into a new world. A sober
world. A world of sobriety, peace, serenity, and happiness.
But I know that if I take just one drink, I’ll go right
back into that old world. That alcoholic world. That world
of drunkenness, conflict, and misery. That alcoholic world
is not a pleasant place for an alcoholic to live in. Looking
at the world through the bottom of a whiskey glass is no fun
after you’ve become an alcoholic. Do I want to go back to
that alcoholic world?

Meditation For The Day

Pride stands sentinel at the door of the heart and shuts out
the love of God. God can only dwell with the humble and the
obedient. Obedience to God’s will is the key unlocking the
door to God’s kingdom. You cannot obey God to the best of your
ability without in time realizing God’s love and responding to
that love. The rough stone steps of obedience lead up to where
the mosaic floor of love and joy is laid. Where God’s spirit
is, there is your home. There is heaven for you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God may make His home in my humble and obedient
heart. I pray that I may obey His guidance to the best of
my ability.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

The Forgotten Mountain, p. 100

When I was a child, I acquired some of the traits that had a lot to do
with my insatiable craving for alcohol. I was brought up in a little
town in Vermont, under the shadow of Mount Aeolus. An early
recollection is that of looking up at this vast and mysterious
mountain, wondering what it meant and whether I could ever climb
that high. But I was presently distracted by my aunt who, as a
fourth-birthday present, made me a plate of fudge. For the next
thirty-five years I pursued the fudge of life and quite forgot about the
mountain.

<< << << >> >> >>

When self-indulgence is less than ruinous, we have a milder word for
it. We call it “taking our comfort.”

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 52-53
2. 12 & 12, p. 67

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Walk in Dry Places

Protecting Sobriety
Though AA members never criticize drinking customs, we do tell  newcomers that it’s wise to avoid situations involving alcohol. Even this is not an absolute, because we also concede that it’s sometimes necessary to attend a cocktail reception or to lunch with a friend in a bar. So how do we distinguish between what’s safe and what’s likely to lead to trouble.
The litmus test is always to look at our own motives and spiritual guidance. A drink has no power over us unless we want to take the drink.  If we are not deliberately seeking out drinking situations, our motives are probably good. If our spiritual house is in order, our Higher Power will also protect us in any situation.

Wherever we go, however, we should also make our sobriety the first priority of business. Whatever the importance of any social event, it is insignificant compared with the importance of sobriety. Keep sobriety at the top of your list, and the other decisions will follow in proper order.
We should hole the additional thought that “walking in dry places” is really thinking of our selves as always being in dry places under God’s guidance.

..Today I will focus on the sober world I want to enjoy and share. The world of drinking has nothing for me.  I may encounter situations involving casual drinking today, but I will not be part of them in mind and spirit. I will think and walk in dry places.

***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making their nest in your head.—Chinese proverb
Life is full of feelings. We can be happy, sad, mad, scared. These feelings can come and go quickly. Or we may hang on to them. As recovering addicts, we used to hang on to feelings that made us feel bad. We let them make”nest” in our hair. We used our feelings as excuse to drink or use other drugs. Now we’re learning to hang on to our good feelings. We can let go of anger, hurt, and fear. We can shoo away the birds of sadness and welcome the birds of happiness.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me become a “bird watcher.” Help me learn from my feelings. And help me let go of the bad one so I can be happy.
Action For the Day:  If I need to get rid of the sadness or anger that I’m hanging on to, I’ll get help from my sponsor, a counselor, or a clergy person.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Even though I can’t solve your problems, I will be there as your sounding board whenever you need me.  –Sandra K. Lamberson
The prize we each have been given is our ability to offer full and interested attention to people seeking our counsel. And seldom does a day pass, that we aren’t given the opportunity to listen, to nurture, to offer hope where it’s been dashed.
We are not separate, one from another. Interdependence is our blessing; however, we fail to recognize it at our crucial crossroads. Alone we ponder. Around us, others, too, are often suffering in silence. These Steps that guide our lives push us to break the silence. The secrets we keep, keep us from the health we deserve.
Our emotional well-being is enhanced each time we share ourselves – our stories or our attentive ears. We need to be a part of someone else’s pain and growth in order to make use of the pain that we have grown beyond. Pain has its purpose in our lives. And in the lives of our friends, too. It’s our connection to one another, the bridge that closes the gap.
We dread our pain. We hate the suffering our friends must withstand. But each of us gains when we accept these challenges as our invitations for growth and closeness to others.
Secrets keep us sick. I will listen and share and be well.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

While I lay in the hospital the thought came that there were thousands of hopeless alcoholics who might be glad to have what had been so freely given me. Perhaps I could help some of them. They in turn might work with others.
My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.

pp. 14-15

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
After talking with him for a time, I heard myself saying, “Doc, I think I’m an alcoholic.”
“Yes,” he said, surprisingly, “you are.”
“Then why in God’s name haven’t you told me so during all these years?”
“Two reasons,” he said.  “First, I couldn’t be sure.  The line between a heavy drinker and an alcoholic is not always clear.  It wasn’t until just lately that, in your case, I could draw it.  Second, you wouldn’t have believed me even if I had told you.”

p. 385

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

Thus it was that under Tradition Four an A.A. group had exercised its right to be wrong. Moreover, it had performed a great service for Alcoholics Anonymous, because it had been humbly willing to apply the lessons it learned. It had picked itself up with a laugh and gone on to better things. Even the chief architect, standing in the ruins of his dream, could laugh at himself – and that is the very acme of humility.

p. 149

***********************************************************

May I look at my experiences, not as trouble, but as a way to use my
experience to help others.
–SweetyZee

When you make a mistake, make amends immediately.

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.
–Eric Hoffer

Life is like a mirror. If you frown at it, it frowns back. If you smile, it
returns the greeting.

“One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.”
–Jim Rohn

“Develop a benevolent world view; look for the good in the people and
circumstances around you.”
–Brian Tracy

***********************************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TODAY

“Real generosity towards the
future consists in giving all to
what is present.”
–Albert Camus

Much of the gratitude that I talk about needs to be centered in what I do
with today; I need to focus on the present, rather than procrastinate for
the future.

As a sick alcoholic I lived either in the guilt of yesterday or the fear of
tomorrow – missing the reality of the present. The present moment is all
that I have and through this “moment” I live and breathe and have my
existence!

My understanding of prayer is centered in the present moment because
any understanding of relationship and communication, especially with
God, must begin from where one is, rather than where one would like to
be. Spirituality is the reality of the moment.

Master, thank You for the life that is experienced in the moment.

***********************************************************

“O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.”
Psalm 30:12

“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for
You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”
Revelation 4:11

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the
kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he
said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will
never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this
child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:1-4

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Daily Inspiration

Let life’s lessons grow into wisdom so that you may be the light for someone else’s darkness. Lord, help me put to good use that which today brings so that I am better prepared for tomorrow.

To know someone doesn’t mean to know every detail of that person’s life. It means to feel affection, confidence and to believe in that person. Lord, may I really know You and have it reflect in how I treat others.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Too Busy

“We must use what we learn or we will lose it, no matter how long we have been clean.”
Basic Text, p. 82

After putting some clean time together, some of us have a tendency to forget what our most important priority is. Once a week or less we say, “I’ve gotta get to a meeting tonight. It’s been.. ” We’ve been caught up in other things, important for sure, but no more so than our continued participation in Narcotics Anonymous.

It happens gradually. We get jobs. We reunite with our families. We’re raising children, the dog is sick, or we’re going to school at night. The house needs to be cleaned. The lawn needs to be mowed. We have to work late. We’re tired. There’s a good show at the theater tonight. And all of a sudden, we notice that we haven’t called our sponsor, been to a meeting, spoken to a newcomer, or even talked to God in quite a while.

What do we do at this point? Well, we either renew our commitment to our recovery, or we continue being too busy to recover until something happens and our lives become unmanageable. Quite a choice! Our best bet is to put more of our energy into maintaining the foundation of recovery on which our lives are built. That foundation makes everything else possible, and it will surely crumble if we get too busy with everything else.

Just for today: I can’t afford to be too busy to recover. I will do something today that sustains my recovery.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
But don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden. –Beatrix Potter
Since we are members of a family, we are not free to do anything we like. We may not be able to go as far from home as we would like. We may have to get up earlier in the morning than we would like. We may have only limited use of the car. Families set up limits in order to maintain order and happiness. If each of us demanded something different for supper each night, the situation would be unmanageable.
Limits also keep us safe. When Peter Rabbit was told not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden, it was for his own good. Limits and restrictions are a form of love and protection, and we all have them. When we bump up against one of these limits, we can be assured they serve to point us in another direction, one with freedoms of its own which we may never have explored without being forced to.
What freedom can I discover in a limitation today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Chaos demands to be recognized and experienced before letting itself be converted into a new order. –Hermann Hesse
The forces of chaos and forces of order are always at work in the world. While many things are being built up, many are wearing down. It is a good thing, because life would be very boring in an unchanging state. But the chaos we met in our lives was often extreme and unusually destructive. We had to recognize it and feel the pain of it before we could build a new order. Looking back we can see that our First Step was just such an event.
All people have small chaotic events in their lives every day. If we take a moment and reflect on our present lives, we can certainly become aware of some ways in which things are in disarray. By simply letting ourselves know it in this moment, we get ready for the new order to begin.
I pray for courage and honesty to see the chaos which exists today. Help me become ready for the new order to evolve.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Even though I can’t solve your problems, I will be there as your sounding board whenever you need me. –Sandra K. Lamberson
The prize we each have been given is our ability to offer full and interested attention to people seeking our counsel. And seldom does a day pass, that we aren’t given the opportunity to listen, to nurture, to offer hope where it’s been dashed.
We are not separate, one from another. Interdependence is our blessing; however, we fail to recognize it at our crucial crossroads. Alone we ponder. Around us, others, too, are often suffering in silence. These Steps that guide our lives push us to break the silence. The secrets we keep, keep us from the health we deserve.
Our emotional well-being is enhanced each time we share ourselves – our stories or our attentive ears. We need to be a part of someone else’s pain and growth in order to make use of the pain that we have grown beyond. Pain has its purpose in our lives. And in the lives of our friends, too. It’s our connection to one another, the bridge that closes the gap.
We dread our pain. We hate the suffering our friends must withstand. But each of us gains when we accept these challenges as our invitations for growth and closeness to others.
Secrets keep us sick. I will listen and share and be well.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Using Others to Stop Our Pain
Our happiness is not a present someone else holds in his or her hands. Our well being is not held by another to be given or withheld at whim. If we reach out and try to force someone to give us what we believe he or she holds, we will be disappointed. We will discover that it is an illusion. The person didn’t hold it. He or she never shall. That beautifully wrapped box with the ribbon on it that we believed contained our happiness that someone was holding – its an illusion!
In those moments when we are trying to reach out and force someone to stop our pain and create our joy, if we can find the courage to stop flailing about and instead stand still and deal with our issues, we will find our happiness.
Yes, it is true that if someone steps on our foot, he or she is hurting us and therefore holds the power to stop our pain by removing his or her foot. But the pain is still ours. And so is the responsibility to tell someone to stop stepping on our feet.
Healing will come when were aware of how we attempt to use others to stop our pain and create our happiness. We will heal from the past. We will receive insights that can change the course of our relationships.
We will see that, all along, our happiness and our well being have been in our hands. We have held that box. The contents are ours for the opening.
God, help me remember that I hold the key to my own happiness. Give me the courage to stand still and deal with my own feelings. Give me the insights I need to improve my relationships. Help me stop doing the codependent dance and start doing the dance of recovery.

I am attracted to positive people and I attract positive people to me. Today I continue to seek and find people who are positive, healthy and nurturing. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Be Aware of the Energy Around You

I stopped at a quaint little store in the mountain city of Solvang, California. It was filled with clocks, tick, tick, ticking away. Some sang, some chirped. Some just ticked. “If you wind them together long enough, they’ll all soon begin ticking together in harmony,” the shopkeeper told me knowingly. I listened. What she said was true.

We are energy and vibration. When we’re open, how easy it is to begin ticking to the rhythm of those around us. If we had kept ourselves locked up and put away, it would be different. But since we’ve chosen to be open, to be sensitive, to open our hearts and souls, we’ll connect with, tick to, vibrations of those around us. Our energy fields will touch and merge. We’ll begin to feel, and sometimes visibly take on, the characteristics, rhythms, and vibrations of those in our field.

Pay attention to, choose carefully, those with whom you live, eat, and play. There may be times when you can handle their energy, and times it isn’t right for you. Sometimes, when we’re feeling off balance, it may be that we’re around energy that just isn’t right for us.

Stay conscious of who you travel with on this journey. See who you’re attracted to and notice who is attracted to you. See how much better you feel when you surround yourself with the energy of love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Make the hard calls

Sometimes we make choces with relative ease. One option feels right. We have no negative feelings about the other choice. On some occasions, we may be faced with what one man described as a “hard call.”

“I had raised my own children alone,” Jason said. “And I did a good job. I enjoyed my independence, but I relished the idea of being in a relationship at some time in my life. A few years after my two children left home, I met a woman I truly liked. We spent time together, got right up to the edge of being committed, but I had to back off.

“I liked her, but she had two children of her own. They were teenagers. They didn’t want me in their mother’s life. I didn’t want to lose this woman. But at a deeper level, I really didn’t want to be involved in the teenage years of raising someone else’s children. I knew I had to let her go,” he said. “It was a hard call.”

A hard call is when we don’t like either choice, but one option is unacceptable. Hard calls can take many shapes and forms. We may love someone who has a serious drinking problem and simply decide we can’t live with him or her– despite how we feel about the person. We may love someone who has physically abused us or displayed signs of violent behavior, while our feelings may be genuine, so is the danger. We can be faced with hard calls at work. At one point in my life, I could barely tolerate my supervisors. But I liked the work I was doing. I decided to stay; I’m still glad I did.

Hard calls are a part of life. They force us to examine our values and determine what’s genuinely important to us. They insist that we choose the path that’s in our highest good.

God, when I am faced with a tough decision, help me be gentle with myself and others as I sort out, with your help, what’s right for me.

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Know Your Food
Eating Close to the Earth

by Madisyn Taylor

Eating organic local food will change your life for the positive in so many ways as you connect with the earth and your community.

The food we eat is a multidimensional aspect of our lives. Food provides us with the energy that enables us to grow and prosper. Yet it can be, and frequently is, much, much more. Our food can be an experience in and of itself if we allow it to be. The dishes we remember from childhood offer unmatched comfort. The act of preparing meals can be an art form of the highest caliber. And the nourishment we derive from this fare promotes wellness within us. But many of us, distracted by daily affairs, forget that the profound pleasures of eating go beyond simple sustenance. We eat foods that are convenient or we eat unconsciously, snacking on whatever happens to be on hand. To understand the true value of food and the impact it can have on our lives, we should acknowledge and honor it by eating close to the earth.

If you have ever shelled and eaten garden-grown peas or bitten into a sun-warmed apple freshly plucked from its tree, you likely understand that there is a marked difference between these foods and those that are processed and stacked on supermarket shelves. Food recently picked contains more of its original life force and thus has a greater store of energy and nutrients. You can ensure you are eating close to the earth—and enjoying the many benefits of doing so—by shopping at a local farmers market and getting to know the individuals who grow your food. If you make the experience of shopping in this way enjoyable, you will be more apt to reject more convenient canned, packaged, and frozen foods in favor of the real delight you feel while browsing stalls of fresh foods nourished by the same soil you can find in your own backyard. You will soon learn what foods are in season in your area and how to prepare them.

As you savor the vivid flavors of juicy ripe fruits and the hearty crunch of unprocessed vegetables, you can also take pleasure in the fact that, by eating close to the earth, you are supporting farmers in your region, connecting with your local ecosystem, discouraging those who would waste precious fossil fuels by carting produce cross-country, and helping to preserve healthy culinary traditions that have existed for centuries. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from childish dependence to adult responsibility — all this and infinitely more represent change for the better. Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is. Do I accept the belief that lack of power was my dilemma? Have I found a power by which I can live — a Power greater than myself

Today I Pray

I pray that The Program will be, for me, an outline for change — for changing me. These days of transition from active addiction to sobriety, from powerlessness to power through God, may be rocky, as change can be. May my restlessness be stilled by the unchanging nature of God, in whom I place my trust. Only He is whole and perfect and predictable.

Today I Will Remember

I can count on my Higher Power.

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One More Day

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We may wonder what has happened to old friends we have lost touch with over the years. Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy lives we neglect our friendships.

We can rebuild or strengthened a relationship by taking the first step in reaching out to others. Old connections can be reestablished. They were important to us at one time in our lives and can be again. We may find they have been wondering about us as well.

Today, we can take up pen and paper and write to them about ourselves. Now is the time to find out what has happened to our old friends and let them know they’re in our thoughts.

I will try today to establish contact with an old friend.

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Food For Thought

Increasing Joy

Before we found OA, many of us felt depressed much of the time. The combination of too much food and too little inspiration was lethal. We existed and we did what we had to do, but there was a lack of deep joy in our lives.

When we get the poisons out of our systems, which have been deposited by refined starches and sugars and by overeating in general, we feel one hundred percent better. As we get rid of the poisons in our minds and hearts, our joy increases.

Gradually we are relieved of the guilt of overeating. We are also relieved of envy, anger, and fear – all of the negative emotions, which have poisoned our hearts.

Deep joy can only come from the deepest part of ourselves. That is the place where we find and come to know our Higher Power.

Thank You, God, for increasing joy.

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One Day At A Time

~ Aging ~
Those who love deeply never grow old;
they may die of old age, but they die young.
Benjamin Franklin

I used to be afraid of getting older. I was also afraid to become friends with older people, because I would come to love them and then they would die. I could not handle unpleasant feelings (other than if I overate to stop feeling them) because the feeling of unpleasantness would totally devastate me.

In working the Twelve Step program, my Higher Power has brought me great recovery in this area … I am now able to handle the grief and sorrow that come up when I allow myself to get to know and love older people and then they die. I am now free in this area! I get to enjoy the wisdom and beauty that they have to share, from all their life experiences, and from the beautiful people they are!

Another beautiful gift from my Higher Power came when I started relating to older people again. When the first one died, it really threw me, and I was very sad. But I got up the next day and had a great spiritual awakening: this person was missing and that was sad, but I looked around and saw all the other wonderful people still there in my life, with whom I got to share another day! Life suddenly became much more precious to me … to have one more day to be with and share with someone who touches my soul!

One Day at a Time . . .
I enjoy myself as I become older. I allow myself to enjoy friendships with those who are older than me. I thank my Higher Power for every day and every moment of precious life!
~ Lynne ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house. – Pg. 98 – Working With Others

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

When we feel like we can’t hold on for a whole day, we get a clock and hold on for an hour. When an hour is too long, we hold on for 10 minutes. At the end of 10, do another 10, and another and another, until it’s OK.

Help me make it from hour to hour, or minute to minute if need be!

Beyond What I See

I want to know in my heart that life has meaning and purpose beyond what I see. I want to train my eye for seeing what is beautiful in life the way that a musician trains his ear. I want to know that each day is a gift, that I can’t just expect it, that life is precious.

I say thank you for the gift of this day

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

Forgive yourself because your Spiritual Source already has. Who are you to argue about this?

T.G.I.F.: Thank God I’m Forgiven.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The wreckage of the past is environmentally safe and bio-degradable.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am attracted to positive people and I attract positive people to me. Today I continue to seek and find people who are positive, healthy and nurturing.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

If I don’t let go, I lose my grip. – Anon.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 10

Fear of Rejection
Almost without exception, my AA friends admitted that they had struggled with the same feelings.
Some claimed that their fear of rejection stemmed from a lack of self-worth;
some of the men laid the difficulty to feelings of inadequacy stimulated by years of drinking.
It was also asserted that we couldn’t stand the responsibility of being loved
and so sought rejection in subtle ways. About the only thing that everyone agreed upon completely
was that this problem, like our drinking problem, had a spiritual solution.
– The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p.16

Thought to Ponder . . .
A fear faced is a fear erased.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
Y A N A = You Are Not Aone.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Earnestness
“An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.
Our struggles with them are variously
strenuous, comic, and tragic.
One poor chap committed suicide in my home.
He could not, or would not, see our way of life.
There is, however, a vast amount of fun about it all.
I suppose some would be shocked at our
seeming worldliness and levity.
But just underneath there is
deadly earnestness.
Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day
in and through us,
or we perish.”
Bill W., Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 92

Thought to Consider….
Laughter is the sound effect of recovery.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
DEAD
Drinking Ends All Dreams

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Message
From “The Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous”:
“Three blocks away from the main office we have a good-sized loft space where all shipping and mailing is done. This
activity now runs into tons of material a month. Six busy lads spend full time at it. Last year they shipped about 40,000
books and hundreds of thousands of pamphlets, many of them newly designed and edited largely through the work of
Ralph, our consultant on pamphlet literature. They mailed about 30,000 letters and bulletins and did huge quantities of
mimeographing. [c. 1959]”
2001 AAWS, Inc.; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pg. 207

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“Finally came April 1939. The book was done. Tales of recovery for its story section had been supplied by Dr. Bob and
his Akron brethren. Others were supplied by New Yorkers, New Jerseyites. One came in from Cleveland and another
from Maryland. Chapters had been read and discussed at meetings. I had thought myself the author of the text until I
discovered I was just the umpire of the differences of opinion. After endless voting on a title for the new work we had
decided to call it The Way Out. But inquiry by Fitz M., our Maryland alcoholic, at The Library of Congress disclosed the
fact that 12 books already bore that title. Surely we couldn’t make our book the 13th. So we named it Alcoholics
Anonymous instead! Though we didn’t know it, our movement then got its name — a name which because of the
implication of humility and modesty has given us our treasured spiritual principle of anonymity.”
AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1947
“Book Publication Proved Discouraging Venture”
The Language of the Heart

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want
Him enough. At long last I saw, I felt, I believed. Scales of pride and
prejudice fell from my eyes. A new world came into view.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 12~

I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me.
-Alcoholics Anonymous p. 13 (Bill’s Story)

Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an
undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 89

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The Forgotten Mountain
When I was a child, I acquired some of the traits that had a lot to do with my insatiable craving for alcohol. I was brought
up in a little town in Vermont, under the shadow of Mount Aeolus. An early recollection is that of looking up at this vast
and mysterious mountain, wondering what it meant and whether I could ever climb that high. But I was presently
distracted by my aunt who, as a fourth-birthday present, made me a plate of fudge. For the next thirty-five years I
pursued the fudge of life and quite forgot about the mountain.
When self-indulgence is less than ruinous, we have a milder word for it. We call it ‘taking our comfort.’ 1. A.A. COMES
OF AGE, PP. 52-53BR>2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 67

Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, please protect me in my journey and light my way. Forgive me when I do wrong for I am trying.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 9th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 9th

Daily Reflections

FREEDOM FROM “KING ALCOHOL”

. . . let us not suppose even for an instant that we are not under
constraint. . . . Our former tyrant, King Alcohol, always stands ready
again to clutch us to him. Therefore, freedom from alcohol is the
great “must” that has to be achieved, else we go mad or die.
As Bill Sees It, p. 134

When drinking, I lived in spiritual, emotional, and sometimes, physical
confinement. I had constructed my prison with bars of self-will and
self-indulgence, from which I could not escape. Occasional dry spells
that seemed to promise freedom would turn out to be little more than
hopes of reprieve. True escape required a willingness to follow
whatever right actions were needed to turn the lock. With that
willingness and action, both the lock and the bars themselves opened
for me. Continued willingness and action keep me free–in a kind of
extended daily probation–that need never end.


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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Third, alcoholics recover their proper relationship with other people.
they think less about themselves and more about others. They try to
help other alcoholics. They make new friends so that they’re no
longer lonely. They try to live a life of service instead of selfishness.
All their relationships with other people are improved. They solve
their personality problems by recovering their personal integrity, their
faith in a Higher Power, and their way of fellowship and service to
others. Is my drink problem solved as long as my personality problem
is solved?

Meditation For The Day

All that depresses you, all that you fear, is really powerless to harm
you. These things are but phantoms. So arise from earth’s bonds,
from depression, distrust, fear, and all that hinders your new life.
Arise to beauty, joy, peace, and work inspired by love. Rise from
death to life. You do not even need to fear death. All past sins are
forgiven if you live and love and work with God. Let nothing hinder
your new life. Seek to know more and more of that new way of living.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may let God live in me as I work for Him. I pray that I
may go out into the sunlight and work with God.


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As Bill Sees It

The “Slipper” Needs Understanding, p. 99

“Slips can often be charged to rebellion; some of us are more rebellious
than others. Slips may be due to the illusion that one can be ‘cured’ of
alcoholism. Slips can also be charged to carelessness and
complacency. Many of us fail to ride out these periods sober. Things
go fine for two or three years–then the member is seen no more. Some
of us suffer extreme guilt because of vices or practices that we can’t or
won’t let go of. Too little self-forgiveness and too little prayer–well,
this combination adds up to slips.

“Then some of us are far more alcohol-damaged than others. Still
others encounter a series of calamities and cannot seem to find the
spiritual resources to meet them. There are those of us who are
physically ill. Others are subject to more or less continuous exhaustion,
anxiety, and depression. These conditions often play a part in
slips–sometimes they are utterly controlling.”

Talk, 1960

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Walk in Dry Places

Understanding Compulsion__Protecting Sobriety
Often called a “compulsive illness,” alcoholism is still a baffling mystery to most people. All we really know is that a single drink, a pleasant beverage for many, becomes a deadly trigger for alcoholics.  We may even think it’s unfair that we’re unable to enjoy the pleasant customs of social drinking.  If we let down our guard, we can even entertain the thought that we’ve somehow been cured of the compulsion to drink.
But we don’t have to understand the exact nature of compulsion to realize that we are victims of it. Bitter experience and the tragic examples of others should tell us that our compulsion exists and is activated by the first drink.  That’s really all the understanding we need for living successfully in sobriety.
If there’s anything we should question, it’s not whether we have the compulsion, but why we would have any doubts after so much bad experience with alcohol. After all, if we always had a bad reaction from any other food or beverage, we would soon give it up.  Why is there so much persistence in denying that we are compulsively attached to alcohol?
We still may be trying to convince ourselves that we can take a drink safely, and this delusion is another way the compulsion works. All we have to understand is that a single drink leads to our destruction.
I’ll remember today that I’ve accepted the fact that I am alcoholic and subject to disaster with a first drink.  I’ll live today with the knowledge that I only have to understand that I have a compulsion to drink.


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Keep It Simple

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day a time.  –Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln did great things for the United States. He took life One Day at a time.. He broke the future into manageable pieces. We can do the same. We can live in the present and focus on the task at hand.
Spirituality comes when we focus this way. When we stay in the present we find choice. And we worry less about the future. Still, we must have goals.
We must plan for the future.
Goals and plans help us give more credit to the present than to the future. And when we feel good about the present, we feel good about the future.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me focus. Help me keep my energy in the present. Have me live life One Day at a Time.
Action for the Day:  When I find myself drifting into the future, I’ll work at bring myself back to the present.

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Each Day a New Beginning

For is it not true that human progress is but a mighty growing pattern woven together by the tenuous single threads united in a common effort?  –Soong Mei-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek)
We each are spinning our individual threads, lending texture, color, pattern, to the “big design” that is serving us all. Person by person our actions, our thoughts, our values complement those of our sisters, those of the entire human race. We are heading toward the same destination, all of us, and our paths run parallel on occasion, intersect periodically, and veer off in singleness of purpose when inspiration calls us.
It’s comforting to be reminded that our lives are purposeful. What we are doing presently, our interactions with other people, our goals, have an impact that is felt by many others. We are interdependent. Our behavior is triggering important thoughts and responses in someone else, consistently and methodically. No one of us is without a contribution to make. Each one of us is giving what we are called upon to give when we are in a right relationship with God, who is the master artist in this design we are creating.
Prayer and meditation will direct my efforts today. My purpose can then be fulfilled.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

For a moment I was alarmed, and called my friend, the doctor, to ask if I were still sane. He listened in wonder as I talked.
Finally he shook his head saying, “Something has happened to you I don’t understand. But you had better hang on to it. Anything is better than the way you were.” The good doctor now sees many men who have such experiences. He knows that they are real.

p. 14

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
I’d had absolute faith in science, and only in science.  “Knowledge is power,” I’d always been taught.  Now I had to face up to the fact that knowledge of this sort, applied to my individual case, was not power.  Science could take my mind apart expertly, but it couldn’t seem to put it together again.  I crawled back to my analyst, not so much because I had faith in him, but because I had nowhere else to turn.

p. 385

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

When that lifted, a wonderful thing had happened. The head promoter wrote the Foundation office. He said he wished he’d paid some attention to A.A. experience. Then he did something else that was to become an A.A. classic. It all went on a little card about golf-score size. The cover read: “Middleton Group #1. Rule #62.” Once the card was unfolded, a single pungent sentence leaped to the eye: “Don’t take yourself too dam* seriously.”

p. 149

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You have to leave the city of your comfort and go unto the wilderness
of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll
discover will be yourself.
–Alan Alda

Right now, this moment, is the time to celebrate by dancing beneath
the warmth of the sun.
–Gary Barnes

When we are doing our best to live as God would have us live, if we
are in harmony with God, we shall feel and be at peace.
–SweetyZee

Silence is the great revelation.
–Lao Tzu

“God answers all kneel-mail.”
–Gary R.

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.

Make a conscious effort to thank God today.
–Patricia Ferris


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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

SERVICE

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Charles Dickens

As a drunk I thought that the world owed me a living. Everybody
existed for my employment and service; the world was waiting for my
telephone call! For years I manipulated people, and I was such a good
con artist they often left thanking me!

Today a part of my spiritual program requires service. I make the
coffee, put out the cookies, cook the meal and invite friends for
dinner. I make the telephone call, give the lectures, share in groups
and write articles. The life of service helps to keep me sober. I am
the message that I share. And I do it for me!

Thank you for making me aware of my need to give.

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It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3:26

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and
where thieves do not break through nor steal.
Matthew 6:20


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Daily Inspiration

Courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to go on in spite of it. Lord, may I be strong in my abilities and courageous in my beliefs.

In life it is those that persevere that will succeed. Lord, every day is a fresh beginning. With You, I will come closer to my goals each day if only I don’t give up and quit.

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NA Just For Today

Acting Out

“We learn to experience feelings and realize they can do us no harm unless we act on them.”
IP No. 16, “For the Newcomer”

Many of us came to Narcotics Anonymous with something less than an overwhelming desire to stop using. Sure, the drugs were causing us problems, and we wanted to be rid of the problems, but we didn’t want to stop getting high. Eventually, though, we saw that we couldn’t have one without the other Even though we really wanted to get loaded, we didn’t use; we weren’t willing to pay the price anymore. The longer we stayed clean and worked the program, the more freedom we experienced. Sooner or later, the compulsion to use was lifted from us completely, and we stayed clean because we wanted to live clean.

The same principles apply to other negative impulses that may plague us. We may feel like doing something destructive, just because we want to. We’ve done it before, and sometimes we think we’ve gotten away with it, but sometimes we haven’t. If we’re not willing to pay the price for acting on such feelings, we don’t have to act on them.

It may be hard, maybe even as hard as it was to stay clean in the beginning. But others have felt the same way and have found the freedom not to act on their negative impulses. By sharing about it and seeking the help of other recovering people and a Power greater than ourselves, we can find the direction, the support, and the strength we need to abstain from any destructive compulsion.

Just for today: It’s okay to feel my feelings. With the help of my sponsor, my NA friends, and my Higher Power, I am free not to act out my negative feelings.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
There are persons who have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. –Virginia Satir
Most of us feel pretty ordinary. We probably wish we were taller or shorter. Some of us are fat rather than thin. Few of us have perfect skin or teeth. Often we look at others, compare ourselves, and wish we were different. At these times, it’s important to remember that each of us is special. We differ from others because we’re created for different purposes.
Some of us will make a contribution to the world of sports, some to the art of music. Teaching or medicine will attract others and yet, no two of us will give to the world in the same way. Our unique mixture of looks, attitudes, and abilities will be special and very necessary to the people sharing our lifetime.
How can I give my special gift to the world today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can. –Sydney Smith
We are capable of far more than we think. The task before us sometimes seems mountainous, but we don’t have to do it all in one day. We can do only a little, although we want to accomplish the whole job at once. We must not let our desire for complete change all at once discourage us from doing what we can. We may need to look for a new job, or face the loneliness of ending a hurtful relationship, or hold firmly to our wisest fathering role with our children, or deal with an illness in ourselves or a loved one.
We do not have to face the tasks that challenge us by ourselves. We are all members of a large, quiet network of spiritual support for each other. We have our Twelve Step program, the loving strength of our Higher Power, and the companionship of other men and women in our group. With help, we can do what must be done. We only need to faithfully do a little at a time.
Today, I will remember that I am not alone. I have help in many forms, and I will do what I can.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
For is it not true that human progress is but a mighty growing pattern woven together by the tenuous single threads united in a common effort? –Soong Mei-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek)
We each are spinning our individual threads, lending texture, color, pattern, to the “big design” that is serving us all. Person by person our actions, our thoughts, our values complement those of our sisters, those of the entire human race. We are heading toward the same destination, all of us, and our paths run parallel on occasion, intersect periodically, and veer off in singleness of purpose when inspiration calls us.
It’s comforting to be reminded that our lives are purposeful. What we are doing presently, our interactions with other people, our goals, have an impact that is felt by many others. We are interdependent. Our behavior is triggering important thoughts and responses in someone else, consistently and methodically. No one of us is without a contribution to make. Each one of us is giving what we are called upon to give when we are in a right relationship with God, who is the master artist in this design we are creating.
Prayer and meditation will direct my efforts today. My purpose can then be fulfilled.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Giving
Learning to be a healthy giver can be a challenge. Many of us got caught up in compulsive giving – charitable acts motivated by uncharitable feelings of guilt, shame, obligations, pity, and moral superiority.
We now understand that catering and compulsive giving don’t work. They backfire.
Caretaking keeps us feeling victimized.
Many of us gave too much, thinking we were doing things right; then we became confused because our life and relationships weren’t working. Many of us gave so much for so long, thinking we were doing Gods will; then in recovery, we refused to give, care, or love for a time.
That’s okay. Perhaps we needed a rest. But healthy giving is part of healthy living. The goal in recovery is balance – caring that is motivated by a true desire to give, with an underlying attitude of respect for others and ourselves.
The goal in recovery is to choose what we want to give, to whom, when, and how much. The goal in recovery is to give, and not feel victimized by our giving.
Are we giving because we want to, because its our responsibility? Or are we giving because we feel obligated, guilty, ashamed, or superior? Are we giving because we feel afraid to say no?
Are the ways we try to assist people helpful, or do they prevent others from facing their true responsibilities?
Are we giving so that people will like us or feel obligated to us? Are we giving to prove were worthy? Or are we giving because we want to give and it feels right?
Recovery includes a cycle of giving and receiving. It keeps healthy energy flowing among our Higher Power, others, and us. It takes time to learn how to give in healthy ways. It takes time to learn to receive. Be patient. Balance will come.
God, please guide my giving and my motives today.

My heart is open to all that happens in my life today. There is such joy in being alive and feeling everything with a full and open heart. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Take Better Care of Yourself

Take better care of yourself than you ever have before. That’s what your heart is telling you to do.

Those times of driving yourself, depriving yourself, not being gentle and loving with yourself will no longer work. Punishing, criticizing, repressing, and denying won’t bring the feelings, the growth, the result you’re seeking. The harder you push, the more you relentlessly demand perfection, the worse you’ll feel.

Fall in love with yourself. Be gentle, loving, kind, and attentive. Take time throughout each day to tend to your needs, just as you would tend to someone you loved deeply and dearly. Loving and caring for yourself this way won’t waste time. It’s not a delay. Take better care of yourself, and life’s magic will return. Your life will improve. You’ll feel better,too.

Taking care of yourself is a simple act with profound consequences. The better and more often you care for yourself, the more you’ll align with the universe and God’s love.

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More Language Of Letting Go

You get to choose

Don’t forget that we get to choose.

I got my “A” license in skydiving. I continued to jump. But I was procrasitnating on buying my own parachute and gear. I used the rental gear, even though it didn’t fit my body comfortably and I was throwing money down the drain. I used the rental gear because the student parachutes were big.

A lot of sky divers start going for the smallest possible canopy as soon as they get into the sport. That didn’t work for me. As safe as I try to be and as much as I concentrate on landing properly, I usually land on my behind.

The bigger the canopy over my head, the better my behind feels when I land.

Whenever I discuss buying my own gear, the other skydivers would start insisting that I had to buy a small canopy, not to waste my money going big. So I put off the purchase, wondering when I’d want to jump and land with a canopy that small.

One day Eddy, a sky diver with more than ten thousand jumps and no injuries in the sport, pulled me aside. He asked me if I had bought my equipment. I told him no. He asked why. I told him because everybody had told me that when I bought my first canopy, it should be smaller than the size I was comfortable jumping.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Order the largest size you can. You’re the one jumping. You’re the one paying for the gear. Don’t let other people convince you that you shouldn’t have what you want. Do what’s right for you, and you’ll be in this sport for a long time.”

I was comforted and surprised by his words. How easy it is to let other people’s expectations control our thoughts and actions. Sometimes we just need a little reminder that it’s more than okay to choose what’s right for us– it’s what we’re meant to do.

God, help me set myself free from the limits that other people put on me.

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Learned Self-Reliance
The Negative Effects of Spoiling Children

Parents are moved by instinct to love, nurture, and provide for their offspring. Because our children are so much a part of us, we want to see them blissfully happy. Also, our own desire to be liked, materialist pressures, and a fervent wish that our children have everything we lacked as youngsters can prompt us to spoil them. However, while it might seem that buying your child expensive gifts will give them fond memories of childhood or that you can heal your emotional wounds by doting on your sons and daughters, you may be unconsciously interfering with your children’s evolutional development. One of the most precious gifts you can grant your children is the true independence they gain when they learn to earn what they covet and become stewards of their own happiness. Try allowing your children to experience life to the fullest. Let them work and earn what they want. When the time comes for them to go to college and enter the workforce, you will have the confidence that yo! u have raised a child that can both enter and contribute to society confidently.

When children are not afforded the opportunity to explore self-reliance, to understand that with possession comes price, and to fulfill their own needs, they develop a sense of entitlement that blinds them to the necessity of hard work and the needs of others. We may spoil children because giving them gifts is pleasurable. Or we may want to avoid conflict out of fear that our children won’t love us. Yet children who are given acceptance, love, and affection in abundance are often kinder, more charitable, and more responsible than those whose parents accede to their every material demand. They develop a strong sense of self that stretches beyond possessions and the approval of their peers, and as adults they understand that each individual is responsible for building the life they desire. If you find yourself giving in to your child’s every whim, ask yourself why. You may discover that you are trying to answer for what you feel is lacking in your own life.

Rearing your children to respect the value of money and self-sufficiency as they grow from infants to young adults is a challenging but rewarding process. It can be difficult to watch a child struggle to meet a personal goal yet wonderful to be by their side as they achieve it. Your choice not to spoil your children will bless you with more opportunities to show them understanding and compassion and to be fully present with them as they journey toward adulthood. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Faith is more than our greatest gift: its sharing with others that our greatest responsibility. May we of The Program continually seek the wisdom and the willingness by which we may well fulfill the immense trust of which the Giver of all. Perfect gifts has placed in our hands. If you pray, why worry? If you worry, why pray?

Today I Pray

Our God is a mighty fortress,m a bulwark who never fails us. Many we praise Him for our deliverance and for our protection. He gives us the right of faith to share. May we pass it along to others as best we know how and in the loving spirit in which He gave it to us.

Today I Will Remember

God will not fail us.

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One More Day

The comforter’s head never aches.
– Italian Proverb

Sometimes, people who undergo a family crisis, such as the sudden death of a loved one, hold up commendably during the most difficult times, only to collapse later. While none of us can always stay calm, we rarely buckle when our strength is needed by others.

We comfort our loved ones when they’re angry, hurt, or disappointed. We comfort friends who have undergone surgery or had other crises of their own. We sit by the bed of people we love as they wait to die. Again and again, we prove we are strong. Our experience in comforting others helps us recognize the strength of our friends and family when they comfort us in our anger or disappointment, in our sadness or illness.

I am proud I can give comfort and strength to those who need it. I am grateful for those who comfort me.

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Food For Thought

Retreats

OA retreats are a wonderful way to recharge our batteries and gain strength through sharing. Whether for a day or for a weekend, the retreat is an extremely effective tool for growth in our program.

If an organized retreat is not available when we need it, we can arrange our own personal retreat for a day or two. Choosing a day or a weekend when we can concentrate on our program may give us a boost we need when we are having difficulty. If a minimum of time is spent on necessary tasks, there will be many hours free for reading, writing, and meditating. We can plan our abstinent meals ahead of time so that they require as little preparation as possible.

A personal retreat may take place at home or, if there are many distractions and it is possible to leave for a day or two, we may go somewhere away from home where we can be quiet and reflect. Extra time spent in prayer and meditation yields enormous dividends, and we return with increased strength and perspective.

I seek the refreshment that comes from You.

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One Day At A Time

~ Feelings ~

Few are those who see with their own eyes
and feel with their own hearts.
Albert Einstein

Before working the Twelve Step program, one reason I used to overeat was that I couldn’t manage my feelings. My feelings were overwhelming and incapacitating to me. I would also overreact to feelings and this would make them truly more than I could handle. So I would then overeat to make the feelings stop. I would stuff myself, to stuff them down!

In working the Twelve Step program, I got a chance to work through past hurts and resentments that intensified my feelings. I learned to feel my feelings, just as they are, and how to stop overreacting to them. I learned to sort through messages my family gave me about feelings, that it’s not okay to have or feel or express them. I learned to decide what is true for me, today, about feelings. I also worked through my codependency issues and learned how to communicate feelings in an appropriate, effective and loving way.

Now feelings are a part of my life and not something overwhelming and incapacitating. In fact, they have become something beautiful that enrich my life and give it color and texture and even pleasure.

One Day at a Time . . .
I honor the blessing of having my feelings returned to me. I enjoy them, and I respect my feelings and those of others. I thank my Higher Power for this wonderful gift.
~ Lynne ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence. – Pg. 133 – The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

By witnessing the miracle of recovery happening for others, we can come to believe that this miracle can happen for us as well. Look at the miracles around you, 1 month off drugs, 3 months, 6 months or years. You are surrounded by living miracles.

Let me know that all the living miracles around me once felt as desperate as I–and that I too am a miracle every hour I stay away from that first fix, pill, drink, toke, or snort.

Empowering My Own Day

There are no victims, only volunteers. If there is something I don’t like in the way things are going for me, I will see what I can change. I can change the subject if someone goes on and on about things that I don’t want to talk about. I can change my routines or change the way I get to where I am going, I can set boundaries with my time if I am feeling over scheduled. My time and what I do with it is precious to me, it is all I have to call my very own. I won’t throw it away and then blame someone else gobbling it up. I have a right to protect the quiet and enjoyment of my day, to do more of those things that give me pleasure and fewer of those things that run me down. If I am living up to my responsibilities, that is enough.

I won’t throw my time away with both hands

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

One of the joys of this program is the path it provides us with to do the right thing. Our steps don’t give us a whole lot of room for justifications. There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

I learn to do the next right thing, not the next ‘me’ thing.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

Whenever you try to get even, you get even worse.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

My heart is open to all that happens in my life today. There is such joy in being alive and feeling everything with a full and open heart.

‘Sometimes we turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only to find out it is God who is shaking them.’ — Unknown

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I thought controlled drinking was; you drink all you can and then try to control yourself. – Sean A.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 9

Prayer
We finally did experiment, and when unexpected results followed, we felt different;
in fact, we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer.
And that, we have found, can happen to anybody who tries.
It has been well said that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.”
– Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 97

Thought to Ponder . . .
Trying to pray is praying.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
A S A P = Always Say A Prayer.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Vigilance
“Now that we’re in AA and sober,
winning back the esteem of our friends
and business associates,
we find that we still need to
exercise special vigilance.
As an insurance against
the dangers of big-shot-ism,
we can often check ourselves by remembering
that we are today sober only by
the grace of God
and that any success we may be having
is far more His success than ours.”
Bill W., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 92
As Bill Sees It, p. 19

Thought to Consider . . .
“Vigilance will always be the price of survival.”
Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, November 1960.
The Language of the Heart, p. 317

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
BUT
Being Unconvinced Totally

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

ODAAT
From “The Missing Link”:
“Exactly how was I supposed to not drink if my girlfriend breaks up with me, or if my best friend dies, or even through
happy times like graduations, weddings, and birthdays. They suggested I could just stay sober one day at a time. They
explained that it might be easier to set my sights on the twenty-four hours in front of me and to take on these other
situations when and if they ever arrived. I decided to give sobriety a try, one day at a time, and I’ve done it that way ever since.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 286-87

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“Success is more a state of heart and mind than a sum total of material assets.”
February 2007
“Change to Spare,”
Emotional Sobriety II: The Next Frontier

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be
able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for
inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take
it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right
answers come after we have tried this for a while.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86

“Many doctors and psychiatrists agree with our conclusions. One of
these men, staff member of a world-renowned hospital, recently made
this statement to some of us: ‘What you say about the general
hopelessness of the average alcoholic’s plight is, in my opinion,
correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no
doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from divine
help. Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would
not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you
are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound
respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most
cases, there is virtually no other solution.'”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 43~

To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety – in other words, to all of us – this
newfound peace is a priceless gift.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 74

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

The ‘Slipper’ Needs Understanding
‘Slips can often be charged to rebellion; some of us are more rebellious than others. Slips may be due to the illusion
that one can be ‘cured’ of alcoholism. Slips can also be charged to carelessness and complacency. Many of us fail to
ride out these periods sober. Things go fine for two or three years–then the member is seen no more. Some of us
suffer extreme guilt because of vices or practices that we can’t or won’t let go of. Too little self-forgiveness and too little
prayer–well, this combination adds up to slips.
‘Then some of us are far more alcohol-damaged than others. Still others encounter a series of calamities and cannot
seem to find the spiritual resources to meet them. There are those of us who are physically ill. Others are subject to
more or less continuous exhaustion, anxiety, and depression. These conditions often play a part in slips–sometimes
they are utterly controlling.’ TALK, 1960

Prayer For The Day: Dear Lord, know with all thy heart that I love you and thank you for each day. Grant me mercy and forgive me when I am wrong.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 8th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 8th

Daily Reflections

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!


***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

Second, alcoholics recover their faith in a Power greater
than themselves. They admit that they’re helpless by
themselves and they call on that Higher Power for help.
They surrender their lives to God, as they understand Him.
They put their drink problem in God’s hands and leave it
there. They recover their faith in a Higher Power that can
help them. Have I recovered my faith?

Meditation For The Day

You must make a stand for God. Believers in God are
considered by some as peculiar people. You must even be
willing to be deemed a fool for the sake of your faith.
You must be ready to stand aside and let the fashions and
customs of the world go by, when God’s purposes are thereby
forwarded. Be known by the marks that distinguish a believer
in God. These are honesty, purity, unselfishness, love,
gratitude, and humility.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be ready to profess my belief in God
before others. I pray that I may not be turned aside by
the skepticism and cynicism of unbelievers.


***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Anger–Personal and Group Enemy, p. 98

“As the book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ puts it, ‘Resentment is the
Number One offender.’ It is a primary cause of relapses into
drinking. How well we of A.A. know that for us ‘To drink is
eventually to go mad or die.’

“Much the same penalty overhangs every A.A. group. Given enough
anger, both unity and purpose are lost. Given still more ‘righteous’
indignation, the group can disintegrate; it can actually die. This is
why we avoid controversy. This is why we prescribe no punishments
for any misbehavior, no matter how grievous. Indeed, no alcoholic
can be deprived of his membership for any reason whatever.

“Punishment never heals. Only love can heal.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places

Keep it Simple, BUT not simple-minded
Working the Steps.
Dr. Bob Smith left little in the way of written material for AA’s future. His phrase “Keep it Simple,” however, is now a guiding slogan in the program. What did he really have in mind with this final piece of advice?
We can take it as certain that Dr. Bob…. A highly intelligent man… was not saying that we shouldn’t use our heads for real thinking and study. One of the blessings of sobriety, in fact, should be the ability to think clearly and effectively. It would be a mistake to believe that one must renounce a brainpower and education in order to stay sober.
The real aim of “keeping it simple” should be to stay mindful of the principles and essentials that are key to everybody else. Even the most difficult subject can usually be mattered by processes of simplification. The deepest book, for example, is still composed of only twenty-six letters.
We can “Keep it Simple” by building or lives around the principles of the Twelve Step program. When we discover new ideas, they’ll reinforce and expand what we’ve already learned. In this way, we should always be learning and growing… which is beautiful simple, but certainly not simple-minded.
I’ll be grateful today for the ability to think and to understand complicated subjects. With a strong foundation in the bedrock principles of AA, I can use my mind in constructive and progressive ways.


***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

It’s a simple formula: Do your best and somebody might like it.—Dorothy Baker
Our program is a selfish program. It tells us to let go of what others
think. We’re staying sober for ourselves, not for anyone else. Our body
and our spirit are at stack. And we know what we need to do to stay sober.
If we fell shaky about going to a party, we don’t go—no matter who gets upset.
If our job makes it hard to stay sober, we get a different one—no mater
who it upsets. It’s simple we must take good care of ourselves before we can be good to others. In doing this, we learn how to be a friend, a good parent, a good spouse. we have to care for ourselves to have good relationships. Do I believe it okay to be selfish when it comes to my program?
Prayer for the Day :  Higher Power, help me do what is best for my recovery, no matter what others think.
Action for the Day:  I will remind myself that staying sober is simple. I don’t use chemicals.
And I work the program.

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

Life is patchwork–here and there, scraps of pleasure and despair. Joined together, hit or miss.  –Anne Bronaugh
As you look ahead, to this day, you can count on unexpected experiences. You can count on moments of laughter. And you can count on twinges of fear. Life is seldom what we expect, but we can trust that we will survive the rough times. They will, in fact, soften our edges. Pleasure and pain share equally in the context of our lives.
We so easily forget that our growth comes through the challenges we label “problems.” We do have the tools at hand to reap the benefits inherent in the problems that may face us today. Let us move gently forward, take the program with us, and watch the barriers disappear.
There is no situation that a Step won’t help us with. Maybe we’ll need to “turn over” a dilemma today. Accepting powerlessness over our children, or spouse, or co-worker may free us of a burden today. Or perhaps amends will open the communication we seek with someone in our lives. The program will weave the events of our day together. It will give them meaning.
Today, well lived, will prepare me for both the pleasure and the pain of tomorrow.

***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.
Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.
These were revolutionary and drastic proposals, but the moment i fully accepted them, the effect was electric. There was a sense of victory, followed by such a peace and serenity as I had ever known. There was utter confidence. I felt lifted up, as though the great clean wind of a mountain top blew through and through. God comes to most men gradually, but His impact on me was sudden and profound.

pp. 13-14

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
After my last binge I came home and smashed my dining room furniture to splinters, kicked out six windows and two balustrades.  When I woke up sober, my handiwork confronted me.  It is impossible for me to reproduce my despair.

p. 385

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

But alas, this bright scene was not long in darkening. Confusion replaced serenity. It was found that some drunks yearned for education, but doubted if they were alcoholics. The personality defects of others could be cured maybe with a loan. Some were club-minded, but it was just a question of taking care of the lonely heart. Sometimes the swarming applicants would go for all three floors. Some would start at the top and come through to the bottom, becoming club members; others started in the club, pitched a binge, were hospitalized, then graduated to education on the third floor. It was a beehive of activity, all right, but unlike a beehive, it was confusion compounded. An A.A. group, as such, simply couldn’t handle this sort of project. All too late that was discovered. Then came the inevitable explosion – something like that day the boiler burst in Wombley’s Clapboard Factory. A chill chokedamp of fear and frustration fell over the group.

pp. 148-149

***********************************************************

I came to this program to save my butt and found out it was attached
to my soul.
–Anonymous

Just beyond the night, another day is breaking, bringing hope to all.
–D. Hockaday

Newness opens eyes
Be in love, at peace with all
Travel to know joy
–Tara

“Change is simply a combination of growing up and gaining
knowledge.”
–Jill Thomas

God, help me stay alert to the lessons of today.
-Melody Beattie

“If you’re not feeling God’s Presence, who moved?” God exists
everywhere. Whenever we feel abandoned by God, remember, it is we
who have moved. God is always fully present to us when we
remember to open our hearts to that Presence.
–Mary Manin Morrissey


***********************************************************

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

LIES

“It takes a wise man to handle a
lie; a fool had better remain
honest.”
–Norman Douglas

As a drinking alcoholic I was telling so many lies to cover the lies I had
previously told that I got lost in a maze of untruth! Most of the lies
were stupid, irrelevant and harmless – but they were all aimed at
building up my ego. Making me look good. Telling people I had more.
My memory could not keep up with my tongue and I became guilty,
ashamed and embarrassed.

Today I need to remember that there is nothing any lie can give me
that I need; there is nothing in the world of fabrication that I need; I
have what I need.

Today I have a relationship with a God and Friend that I can
understand and be vulnerable with; I don’t need to be perfect to be
loved.

Help me to seek the good life in those things that are good.

***********************************************************

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He
who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be
put away from you, along with all malice.
Ephesians 4:31


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

There is no good enough reason to ever feel we are a failure. No matter how hard we fall, God is there to restore our spirit and forgive our past. Lord, help me to understand that it is this moment that counts, not the last one and with each new moment, I have a new beginning.

They are wise who depend on God. Lord, Your perfect law revives my soul. Keeping Your law makes me rich.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Happiness

“We come to know happiness, joy and freedom.”
Basic Text p. 88

If someone stopped you on the street today and asked if you were happy, what would you say? “Well, gee, let’s see… I have a place to live, food in the refrigerator, a job, my car is running… Well, yes, I guess I’m happy” you might respond. These are outward examples of things that many of us have traditionally associated with happiness. We often forget, however, that happiness is a choice; no one can make us happy.

Happiness is what we find in our involvement with Narcotics Anonymous. The happiness we derive from a life focused on service to the addict who still suffers is great indeed. When we place service to others ahead of our own desires, we find that we take the focus off ourselves. As a result, we live a more contented, harmonious life. In being of service to others, we find our own needs more than fulfilled.

Happiness. What is it, really? We can think of happiness as contentment and satisfaction. Both of these states of mind seem to come to us when we least strive for them. As we live just for today, carrying the message to the addict who still suffers, we find contentment, happiness, and a deeply meaningful life.

Just for today: I am going to be happy. I will find my happiness by being of service to others.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Any time you sense you are getting overrun by outside influences and losing your feelings, put your attention inside your body. Relax. . ., let your breath sink low. . ., breathe in your abdomen. . . . –Anne Kent Rush
When we are feeling as though all our energy is scattered throughout our bodies, we need to practice centering, or focusing this energy into one place. Our center may change from day to day, and each of us feels it differently.
When we’re walking, we may feel power coming from our hips and spreading through the body, heart, and mind. When we’re in a meditative mood, we may feel warm energy at the back of the head. At other times, we might feel a real centering place in the middle of the chest, right where our heart and arms and breathing come together. There is no one way to be at peace. Centering is a way for each of us to find and picture to ourselves our focused energy. When we can do this, we increase our power to bring about those things we want from life, those things we really do deserve.
Where is my energy right now?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I’m not into isms and asms. There isn’t a Catholic moon and a Baptist sun. I know the universal God is universal…. I feel that the same God force that is the mother and father of the pope is also the mother and father of the loneliest wino on the planet.
–Dick Gregory
In this program we seek conscious contact with God as we understand God. Some people understand God in very specific ways as a Jewish God, or a Christian God, or Moslem Allah. Others understand God in very general and unspecific ways. To some, God is the spirit of group relationships, the deeper consciousness of each man, or the whole of creation. When the word God is used in this program, it respects the different knowing of each person.
Whatever understanding a man has, this program includes his perspective. It dictates none. This is a spiritual program, not a religious one. We often see our Higher Power was with us as a helpful force, long before we knew about it.
Today, I am grateful for God’s care. May I learn to increase in trust and. knowledge of God.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Life is patchwork–here and there, scraps of pleasure and despair. Joined together, hit or miss. –Anne Bronaugh
As you look ahead, to this day, you can count on unexpected experiences. You can count on moments of laughter. And you can count on twinges of fear. Life is seldom what we expect, but we can trust that we will survive the rough times. They will, in fact, soften our edges. Pleasure and pain share equally in the context of our lives.
We so easily forget that our growth comes through the challenges we label “problems.” We do have the tools at hand to reap the benefits inherent in the problems that may face us today. Let us move gently forward, take the program with us, and watch the barriers disappear.
There is no situation that a Step won’t help us with. Maybe we’ll need to “turn over” a dilemma today. Accepting powerlessness over our children, or spouse, or co-worker may free us of a burden today. Or perhaps amends will open the communication we seek with someone in our lives. The program will weave the events of our day together. It will give them meaning.
Today, well lived, will prepare me for both the pleasure and the pain of tomorrow.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Self Care
I don’t precisely know what you need to do to take care of yourself. But I know you can figure it out.
–Beyond Codependency
Rest when you’re tired.
Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty.
Call a friend when you’re lonely.
Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed.
Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard, when the problem is that were already pushed too hard.
Many of us are afraid the work wont get done if we rest when were tired. The work will get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe.
They are well timed, efficient, and Divinely led.
Today, I will practice loving self-care.

Today I can make peace within myself without needing the approval and agreement of others. Today I can love and respect people who do not always share my view of the world. –Ruth Fishel

************************************************** ***********

Journey To The Heart
April 8, 2013
Enjoy the Adventure

It was a cold night in Sedona, Arizona. An unexpected snowstorm had passed through the usually warm city, dumping several inches of snow in a short time. The electricity was off. The cabin I was staying in was freezing.

Great, I thought. I get to spend my last evening in Sedona fighting off hypothermia alone in the dark. I put on a heavy sweater, then wrapped myself in a blanket, trudged to a phone booth, and called a friend to complain.

“Change your perspective,” he said. “Pretend you’re four years old. Get your flashlight. Then make a tent in your bed out of all the pillows and blankets you can find. Enjoy the adventure.”

At first I balked, then I decided to try this idea. I made the tent. Bundled up. My complaints quickly turned to memories of what it was like to be a child, to play with life, to play with all the experiences life brings. Soon I fell asleep.

When I awoke in the morning, the heat was back on. The lights had returned. The snow had stopped falling. Capped in a frosty layer of white, the breathtaking city of rust-iron mesas looked like a wonderland. I had learned another lesson, practical and simple.

Change your perspective and enjoy the adventure. Let the child in you come out to play.

************************************************** ***********

Journey To The Heart

Enjoy the Adventure

It was a cold night in Sedona, Arizona. An unexpected snowstorm had passed through the usually warm city, dumping several inches of snow in a short time. The electricity was off. The cabin I was staying in was freezing.

Great, I thought. I get to spend my last evening in Sedona fighting off hypothermia alone in the dark. I put on a heavy sweater, then wrapped myself in a blanket, trudged to a phone booth, and called a friend to complain.

“Change your perspective,” he said. “Pretend you’re four years old. Get your flashlight. Then make a tent in your bed out of all the pillows and blankets you can find. Enjoy the adventure.”

At first I balked, then I decided to try this idea. I made the tent. Bundled up. My complaints quickly turned to memories of what it was like to be a child, to play with life, to play with all the experiences life brings. Soon I fell asleep.

When I awoke in the morning, the heat was back on. The lights had returned. The snow had stopped falling. Capped in a frosty layer of white, the breathtaking city of rust-iron mesas looked like a wonderland. I had learned another lesson, practical and simple.

Change your perspective and enjoy the adventure. Let the child in you come out to play.

*********************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Stop trapping yourself

“I found myself staying at home on weekends, not wandering far from home,” a woman said. “I was expecting myself to be there for my daughter whenever she wanted me, just like when she was a child. The problem was, she was in her mid-twenties and didn’t even live in the same city anymore.”

It’s easy to paint ourselves into a corner with what we’ve grown accustomed to expecting from ourselves. Sometimes we can work so hard to build that career, get that relationship, or become a certain way that we start living up to an image of ourselves that has become outdated.

Stop trapping yourself.

Those goals might have been what we wanted then, but they don’t work anymore. And just because we achieved them doesn’t mean we can’t go on and do something else. What do you expect from yourself? Have you taken a look? Do your expectations reflect the genuine desires of your heart, or do they reflect something else?

Are you grumbling and complaining about some aspect of your life– something you’re expected to do but resent? Maybe the only person expecting you to do that is yourself. Expectations can be subtle little things. Take them out and examine them. If some of them are outdated or useless, maybe it’s time to throw them away.

Can you feel the rush? Listen quietly. It’s there. It’s the sound of a life and spirit being set free.

God, help me aet myself free from ridiculous and unnecssary expectations.

Activity: If this were the last ten years of your life, what would you be doing? Where would you be living? What would you be doing for fun. work, friendship, and love? If the answer is different from where you currently are, maybe you should be someplace else.

*********************************************

Short Getaways
Taking A Day Trip

When vacations are not possible, consider a daytrip as an alternative for renewal and feeding your soul.

We tend to think of a vacation as something that requires an enormous amount of preparation, but small daylong excursions can be just as refreshing and fulfilling as their lengthier counterparts. A short drive can be the channel that transports you into a world of novel experiences and blissful relaxation. Solo day trips can be a wonderful way to unwind from the stresses of routine existence while simultaneously feeding the soul. And when you choose to share your day trip with someone you care about, a leisurely drive becomes a chance to talk about childhood, recall favorite songs, or simply spend time enjoying one another’s presence.

You may be surprised to see how many day-trip possibilities exist within a mere hour’s time from your home. Forests, beaches, lakes, mountains, rivers, and deserts can serve as the perfect spot for a minivacation. The physical and mental rejuvenation you experience in an unfamiliar and engaging setting are enhanced by meditation, journaling, deep breathing, or just being still with nature. Though the cost of gasoline can make taking a day trip seem frivolous, and our commitment to environmental well-being may cause us to hesitate before utilizing our cars in this manner, there are numerous ways we can effectively offset our carbon signature while still seeing to the needs of ourselves on a soul level.

Since day trips tend to require much smaller investments of time and money than traditional outings, you can enjoy a diverse range of experiences day by day. On one weekend, you may be motivated by a need to connect with your natural heritage to explore a vast state park or nature preserve. On another, your curiosity can inspire you to visit a historical site that has long piqued your interest. In the end, where you go will often be less important than your willingness to broaden your horizons by removing yourself from the environment already so familiar to you. Each minigetaway you take will imbue your existence with a sensation of renewal that prepares you for whatever lies ahead. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Time after time, we learn in The Program, newcomers try to keep to themselves “shoddy facts” about their lives. Trying to avoid the humbling experience of the Fifth Step, they turn to a seemingly easier and softer way. Almost invariably, they slip. Having persevered with the rest of The Program, they then wonder why they fell. The probable reasons is they they completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. Have I admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs?

Today I Pray

That I may include all of the sleaziness of my past, my cruelties and my dishonesty, in a complete moral inventory of myself. May I hold back nothing out of shame or pride, for the “exact nature” of my wrongs means just that — a thorough and exact recounting of past mistakes and character flaws. We have been provided with an appropriate “dumping-ground.” May I use it as it was intended. May all my throw-sways, the trash and outgrown costumes of the past, be foundation “fill” on which to build a new life.

Today I Will Remember

Trash can be a foundation for treasures.

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One More Day

Believe me, every man has his secret sorrow, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man col when he is only sad.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Let a person seem aloof or display a need to be apart from others, and we automatically assume we are getting a old shoulder. yet none of us has any ideas of all the components of another person’s life and feelings. We’re usually ignorant of others people’s personal characteristics. Sadness, shyness, and fear are just a few traits which can be misinterpreted.

Little disappointments, large failures, loss of a dream or a loved one — these are all problems which any one of us can have, but few can share. We can choose to overlook the real and imagined wrongs of others by reminding ourselves of how little we really know of each other.

My understanding of other people’s problems has been enhanced by my own illness, and I will not be so quick to judge.

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Food For Thought

The Enemy Within

Why do we self-destruct? The problem of evil has been with us ever since the serpent tempted Eve to eat the apple. We often feel at war internally, one self-fighting another self.

There are forces that would have us abandon our program, and usually we find the temptation coming from within. We become careless, bored, lackadaisical in our efforts. Instead of disciplining ourselves to further spiritual growth, we rest on our oars and then wonder why we are drifting downstream!

There is nothing wrong with our bodily appetites, except when we allow them to take control. Then they will destroy us. Sane, healthy living requires that we acknowledge our spiritual needs. When our Higher Power is in control, we work for emotional and spiritual growth as well as physical satisfaction. Instead of being divided internally, we are integrated. The enemy within is subdued in the only way possible – by God’s power.

Defeat the enemy within me. Lord.

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One Day At A Time

~ Willingness ~

I cannot change what I am unwilling to face.
James Baldwin

Before I found this program I was locked in a battle with myself. I knew I was eating too much, and I couldn’t help myself. I tried to control my eating, and for a while, I was able to keep the upper hand. Then something would happen in my life, and I’d lose that control.

I couldn’t face the fact that I was a compulsive eater. I couldn’t bear to think that I had a disease that kept me in bondage to food. So during the time I was in denial about my eating, I continued sinking deeper into my disease of compulsion. I sought comfort in food, and did some serious damage to my body, to my self-esteem, and to my relationships.

It was only after I hit bottom that I realized that I had to face the facts. I had a disease that had me in a death grip, and there wasn’t one thing I could do about it. When I found this program, I found hope. I discovered a Higher Power who could help me do what I’d never been able to do before. I slowly began to see the changes I’d tried all my life to effect on my own. But it didn’t happen until I became willing to face the truth, until I became willing to ask God for help.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am willing to face my disease
and let my Higher Power help me overcome it.
~ Jeff ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol. – Pg. 33 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Many times non-program people will go off on tangents of what religious, spiritual, or philosophical paths we now take. We do not engage with this type of conversation. We simply know that we will not drink or use drugs this hour and we will hang around other people who are doing the same thing.

I don’t need to figure anything out right now. It is alright to not engage in any confrontation and simply be in recovery.

Learning from Life

There are no ‘buts’ today. I am what I am, others are what they are, life is what it is. I will not parenthesize my growth with a ‘but,’ or hold back my forward-moving spirit with second-guesses. For today, I am living with things as they are. As I give this gift to myself I feel relieved. I am exactly where I am meant to be, learning what I need to learn. All I need do is move through situations with willingness to learn and openness to feel. When feelings are brought up, I can accept them as what is happening within me-no need to resist and analyze them. I can witness, allow, observe, share and process rather than shut down and hide. I can tolerate the intensity of my own inner world. I trust that my life is unfolding in such a way that what I need to learn will be before me. I am willing to learn.

I see the ‘table prepared.’

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

People will tell you to ‘work’ the steps and that may lead you to believe that the steps are our work in recovery. Working the steps is not doing our work, they are the foundation for doing our work. Our work is getting into the trenches and helping others.

When my life is not working the way I want it to, I find I may not be doing my real work.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

It gets worse, so you have to get better.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I can make peace within myself without needing the approval and agreement of others. Today I can love and respect people who do not always share my view of the world.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

We’re blessed with a disease where we’re forced to love people.  – Terry

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AA Thought for the Day

April 8

Reprieve
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels.
We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.
We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve,
contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
Every day we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Thought to Ponder . . .
AA is spiritual, is the eye of the hurricane, is my refuge and my comfort.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
K I S S = Keeping It Simple, Spiritually.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Change
“Let us never fear needed change.
Certainly we have to discriminate between
changes for worse and changes for better.
But once a need becomes clearly apparent in an individual,
in a group, or in AA as a whole,
it has long since been found out
that we cannot stand still and look the other way.”
Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, July 1965
As Bill Sees It, p. 115

Thought to Consider . . .
We’re responsible for the effort – not the outcome.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
C H A N G E
Choosing Honesty Allows New Growth Everyday.

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Objectivity
Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
“They comfort the melancholy one by first showing him that his case is not strange or different, that his character
defects are probably not more numerous or worse than those of anyone else in A.A. This the sponsor promptly proves
by talking freely and easily, and without exhibitionism, about his own defects, past and present. This calm, yet realistic,
stocktaking is immensely reassuring. The sponsor probably points out that the newcomer has some assets which can
be noted along with his liabilities. This tends to clear away morbidity and encourage balance. As soon as he begins to
be more objective, the newcomer can fearlessly, rather than fearfully, look at his own defects.”
1952, AAWS, Inc.; Printed 2005; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 46

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“Awareness is the most accessible doorway to spirituality.”
Emotional Sobriety II
Ames, Iowa, July 2010
“Binge Thinker,”
Emotional Sobriety II: The Next Frontier

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will
be immune to alcohol.
Pg. 33 – More About Alcoholism

“We know what you are thinking. You are saying to yourself: “I’m
jittery and alone. I couldn’t do that.” But you can. You forget that
you have just now tapped a source of power much greater than yourself.
To duplicate, with such backing, what we have accomplished is only a
matter of willingness, patience and labor.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 163~

Whenever our pencil falters, we can fortify and cheer ourselves by remembering what A.A. experience in this Step has meant to others.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 82

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Anger–Personal and Group Enemy
‘As the book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ puts it, ‘Resentment is the Number One offender,’ It is a primary cause of relapses
into drinking. How well we of A.A. know that for us ‘To drink is eventually to go mad or die.’
‘Much the same penalty overhangs every A.A. group. Given enough anger, both unity and purpose are lost. Given still
more ‘righteous’ indignation, the group can disintegrate; it can actually die. This is why we avoid controversy. This is
why we prescribe no punishments for any misbehavior, no matter how grievous. Indeed, no alcoholic can be deprived of
his membership for any reason whatever.
‘Punishment never heals. Only love can heal.’ LETTER, 1966

Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, thank you for this day. Help me better myself and those around me.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 7th

Bsober Listen

Daily Reflections

A WIDE ARC OF GRATITUDE

And, speaking for Dr. Bob and myself, I gratefully declare
that had it not been for our wives, Anne and Lois, neither
of us could have lived to see A.A.’s beginning.
THE A.A. WAY OF LIFE, p. 67

Am I capable of such generous tribute and gratitude to
my wife, parents and friends, without whose support I
might never have survived to reach A.A.’s doors? I will
work on this and try to see the plan my Higher Power is
showing me which links our lives together.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. alcoholics find a way to solve their personality
problems. They do this by recovering three things. First,
they recover their personal integrity. They pull themselves
together. They get honest with themselves and with other
people. They face themselves and their problems honestly,
instead of running away. They take a personal inventory of
themselves to see where they really stand. Then they face
the facts instead of making excuses for themselves. Have
I recovered my integrity?

Meditation For The Day

When trouble comes, do not say: “Why should this happen to
me?” Leave yourself out of the picture. Think of other people
and their troubles and you will forget about your own.
Gradually get away from yourself and you will know the
consolation of unselfish service to others. After a while,
it will not matter so much what happens to you. It is not
so important any more, except as your experience can be used
to help others who are in the same kind of trouble.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may become more unselfish. I pray that I may
not be thrown off the track by letting the old selfishness
creep back into my life.

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As Bill Sees It

Self-Respect Through Sacrifice, p. 97

At the beginning we sacrificed alcohol. We had to, or it would have
killed us. But we couldn’t get rid of alcohol unless we made other
sacrifices. We had to toss the self-justification, self-pity, and anger
right out the window. We had to quit the crazy contest for personal
prestige and big bank balances. We had to take personal
responsibility for our sorry state and quit blaming others for it.

Were these sacrifices? Yes, they were. To gain enough humility and
self-respect to stay alive at all, we had to give up what had really
been our dearest possessions–our ambitions and our illegitimate
pride.

A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 287

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Walk in Dry Places

Deserving Happiness___Emotional Control
Somewhere in the course of living sober, we should realize that we can deserve to be happy.  If happiness is eluding us, the fault may lie in a peculiar guilt from our past. In a perverse way, we may be using unhappiness as penance for our past wrongs.
We deserve to be happy if we are doing the things that should bring happiness to ourselves and others.  Thinking and living rightly is a path to happiness.  Meeting our obligations to society and others contributes to personal happiness.  Placing the overall responsibility for our lives in God’s hands is yet another route to happiness.
We can also learn from our experience. Did any of us ever meet a truly happy person who was totally self-seeking?  Do we remember any happy, serene people among our drinking companions?  Did any of our temporary successes and victories bring permanent happiness?
AA experience gives us the answers we need. Happiness is always in the direction of love and service, never in anything selfish.  We deserve to be happy, but we must plant seeds of happiness by our thoughts and actions.
I’ll be happy today. If I’m worrying about something, I’ll suspend the worry and let myself be happy in spite of it.  I deserve to be happy and I am usually the person who is responsible for this happiness.

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Keep It Simple

To make the world a friendly place One must show it a friendly face.—James Whitcomb Riley
We are beginning to learn that we get what we expect. Why? If we believe that people are out to get us, we’ll not treat them well. We will think it’s okay to “get them” before they “get us.” Then, they’ll be angry and want to get even. And on it goes. It’s great when we can meet the world with a balance. We are honest people. We can expect others to be fair with us. We get the faith, strength, and courage to do this because of our trust in our Higher Power.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I put my life in Your care. Use me to spread Your love to others.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll spread friendliness. I will greet people with a smile.

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Each Day a New Beginning

It is only when people begin to shake loose from their preconceptions, from the ideas that have dominated them, that we begin to receive a sense of opening, a sense of vision.  –Barbara Ward
A sense of vision, seeing who we can dare to be and what we can dare to accomplish, is possible if we focus intently on the present and always the present. We are all we need to be, right now. We can trust that. And we will be shown the way to become who we need to become, step by step, from one present moment to the next present moment. We can trust that, too.
The past that we hang onto stands in our way. Many of us needlessly spend much of our lives fighting a poor self-image. But we can overcome that. We can choose to believe we are capable and competent. We can be spontaneous, and our vision of all that life can offer will change–will excite us, will cultivate our confidence.
We can respond to life wholly. We can trust our instincts. And we will become all that we dare to become.
Each day is a new beginning. Each moment is a new opportunity to let go of all that has trapped me in the past. I am free. In the present, I am free.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great measure.

p. 13

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
My professional life looked fine on the surface.  I was now head of a publishing venture in which nearly a million dollars had been invested.  My opinions were quoted in Time and Newsweek along with pictures.  I addressed the public by radio and TV.  It was a fantastic structure, built on a crumbling foundation.  It was tottering and it had to fall.  It did.

p. 385

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

Of course, there was a promoter in the deal – a super-promoter. By his eloquence he allayed all fears, despite advice from the Foundation that it could issue no charter, and that ventures which mixed an A.A. group with medication and education had come to sticky ends elsewhere. To make things safer, the promoter organized three corporations and became president of them all. Freshly painted, the new center shone. The warmth of it all spread through the town. Soon things began to hum. to insure foolproof, continuous operation, sixty-one rules and regulations were adopted.

p. 148

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It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.
–Vince Lombardi

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always
yours. And if they don’t, they never were.
–Kahlil Gibran

“Devote uninterrupted chunks of time to the most important people in
your life.”
–Brian Tracy

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.
–John Powell

You can sit there choosing to live your life in pain, or you can choose
to take action and free yourself from the bondage.
–Gary Barnes

Nothing is better than experiencing joy except sharing it with someone
else.
–Deanna Smythe

There shall be an eternal summer in the grateful heart.
–Celia Thaxter

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

OLD AGE

“You just wake up one morning
and you got it!”
–Moms Mabley

I am so busy living I don’t think about “getting old”. I am so grateful in
my recovery from alcoholism that tomorrow, the future and age are
secondary.

In my sickness I was always living in the future; what would tomorrow
bring? Will I die crippled, lonely and afraid? My projections into the
future produced an emotional pain.

Today I do not need to do this. I welcome old age because I bring into
it the joy and experience of my sobriety. Will I be lonely? I doubt it if I
stick to my recovery program; I have so many friends all over the
world meeting together to face the disease on a daily basis. Also I
know that nothing could ever compare with the loneliness of my
drinking days.

My spiritual program reminds me to be grateful for my life and this
includes the inevitability of old age.

Lord, as I grow in age may I also grow in wisdom and tolerance.

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“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall
come forth as gold.”
Job 23:10

Do not plot harm against your neighbor who lives trustfully near you.
Proverbs 3:29

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Daily Inspiration

One of the best parts of receiving blessings is enjoying them. Lord, may I take time to recognize my blessings and appreciate their wonder.

As a mother sets aside gifts for her children long before they need them, so, too, has God prepared for our needs long before we call out to Him. Lord, I give thanks and place my trust in Your loving arms.

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NA Just For Today

The Value Of The Past

“This firsthand experience in all phases of illness and recovery is of unparalleled therapeutic value. We are here to share it freely with any addict who wants to recover.”
Basic Text p. 10

Most of us came into the program with some serious regrets. We had never finished high school, or we had missed going to college. We had destroyed friendships and marriages. We had lost jobs. And we knew that we couldn’t change any of it. We may have thought that we’d always be regretful and simply have to find a way to live with our regrets.

On the contrary, we find that our past represents an untapped gold mine the first time we are called on to share it with a struggling newcomer. As we listen to someone share their Fifth Step with us, we can give a special form of comfort that no one else could provide – our own experience. We’ve done the same things. We’ve had the same feelings of shame and remorse. We’ve suffered in the ways only an addict can suffer. We can relate – and so can they.

Our past is valuable – in fact, priceless – because we can use all of it to help the addict who still suffers. Our Higher Power can work through us when we share our past. That possibility is why we are here, and its fulfillment is the most important goal we have to accomplish.

Just for today: I no longer regret my past because, with it, I can share with other addicts, perhaps averting the pain or even death of another.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Take time every day to do something silly. –Philipa Walker
Spring fever may bring out our longings and our sense of unfilled needs for attention, play, or laughter. We may be afraid to express these needs because they are not often taken seriously, but thought of as childish. We may even be afraid our needs are so enormous that they will never be satisfied, and so we keep them bottled up inside ourselves, and all we can express to others is frustration.
Spring is a reminder that we can find a way to satisfy our needs. We can give ourselves a break from work or study, laugh a little, and try to share our laughter with someone else. There are many ways to fulfill a need, and by giving what we have to offer, we may find ourselves getting back exactly what we really need, even though it may not be what we had hoped for.
In the act of giving we learn we are worth giving to also. We learn that we deserve to be loved, most of all by ourselves.
What do I think I need today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Adversity introduces a man to himself. –Anonymous
After difficult or challenging times we often say, “I never would have chosen to go through that, but I learned a lot from it.” It could be a job situation, a failed relationship, or trouble with the law. When we bump up against something hard something that pushes back at us, our strength is tested, forcing us to draw on unknown reserves. A mountain climber standing on a safe ledge finds it difficult to move forward onto a more frightening spot. After he has completed the route, he looks back and feels good about himself because he met a challenge. We meet these challenges in many ways in our lives, and they help us build our self-respect.
Whatever difficulty is facing us today, we may have to deal with it ourselves, but we do not have to be alone while we do it. We can reach out for support while we do what we must. This difficulty is part of being human and can help us see more fully who we are.
I pray for the courage to face my adversity when I must and the ability to learn from it.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It is only when people begin to shake loose from their preconceptions, from the ideas that have dominated them, that we begin to receive a sense of opening, a sense of vision. –Barbara Ward
A sense of vision, seeing who we can dare to be and what we can dare to accomplish, is possible if we focus intently on the present and always the present. We are all we need to be, right now. We can trust that. And we will be shown the way to become who we need to become, step by step, from one present moment to the next present moment. We can trust that, too.
The past that we hang onto stands in our way. Many of us needlessly spend much of our lives fighting a poor self-image. But we can overcome that. We can choose to believe we are capable and competent. We can be spontaneous, and our vision of all that life can offer will change–will excite us, will cultivate our confidence.
We can respond to life wholly. We can trust our instincts. And we will become all that we dare to become.
Each day is a new beginning. Each moment is a new opportunity to let go of all that has trapped me in the past. I am free. In the present, I am free.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Those Old Time Feelings
I still have bad days. But that’s okay. I used to have bad years. –Anonymous
Sometimes, the old feelings creep back in. We may feel fearful, ashamed, and hopeless. We may feel not good enough, unlovable, victimized, helpless, and resentful about it all. This is codependency, a condition some describe as soul sickness.
Many of us felt this way when we began recovery. Sometimes, we slip back into these feelings after we’ve begun recovery. Sometimes there’s a reason. An event may trigger these reactions, such as ending a relationship, stress, problems on the job, at home, or in friendships. Times of change can trigger these reactions. So can physical illness.
Sometimes, these feelings return for no reason.
A return to the old feelings doesn’t mean were back to square one in our recovery. They do not mean we’ve failed at recovery. They do not mean were in for a long, painful session of feeling badly. They just are there.
The solution is the same: practicing the basics. Some of the basics are loving and trusting our self, detachment, dealing with feelings, giving and receiving support in the recovery community, using our affirmations, and having fun.
Another basic is working the Steps. Often, working the Steps is how we become enabled and empowered to practice the other basics, such as detachment and self-love.
If the old feelings come back, know for certain there is a way out that will work.
Today, if I find myself in the dark pit of codependency, I will work a Step to help myself climb out.

I am moving towards my goals today with just the right energy that I need. My progress will be perfect and I have the faith and trust that all the steps I take along the way will become clear when it is necessary. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

What Are You Resisting Most?

Be open to the whole journey, all parts of it.

Is there a feeling, a person, a thought, a project that you have been avoiding? Is there some part of your life that you’re refusing to deal with or open up to? Is there something you’re resisting, something that makes you stubbornly say no? Ignore the voice that says, This is how I decided it will be, so I will close off to that part, I will not consider it. That is the voice of resistance.

Be open to everything. Your most valuable lessons may well come from the things you’re resisting most.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Examine what others expect

“There’s a difference between saying we’re not going to live up to other people’s expectations and actually not living up to them,” a friend said to me one day.

Other people’s expectations, or even what we imagine others expect from us, can be a powerful and motivating force. We can feel antsy, uncomfortable, wrong, and off-center when we step out of our place. These feelings can occur when we’re not living up to what other people expect from us– even, and sometimes especially, if these expectations aren’t vocalized.

Expectations are silent demands.

Not living up to someone’s expectations can take effort on our part. What we’re really doing when we don’t comply with what others expect from us is standing our ground and saying no. That takes energy and time.

What do people expect from you? What have you trained or encouraged them to expect? Are they actually expecting this from you, or are you just imagining that expectation and imposing it on yourself?

An unexamined life isn’t worth living, or so they say. The problem with living up to other people’s expectations too much is that it doesn’t leave us time to have a life. Take a moment. Ask yourself this question, and don’t be afraid to look deeply: Are you allowing someone else’s expectations to control your life? Examine the expectations you’re living up to; then live by your own inner guide.

God, help me become aware of the controlling impact other people’s expectations have on my daily life. Help me know I don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations but my own.

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In God’s Care

When you pray for anyone you tend to modify your personal attitude toward him.
– Norman Vincent Peale

We experience a wonderful tansformation in attitude each time we, with God’s help, suppress our ego and ask for God’s blessings on someone we envy, fear, or simply don’t like. Any action we take out of genuine concern for someone else’s well-being will heighten our own – many times over.

Praying may be troublesome for some of us. But as we’ve learned the value of Acting As If in other instances, we can do so with praying too. There is no formula for praying. Each attempt to speak to God is a prayer, one that God hears. Each loving thought we have toward someone near or far can be considered a prayer. We can pray in the midst of a crowd, at supper with family, laying in bed, or on our knees. With practice, prayer becomes easier. Through prayer, life becomes easier too.

I will look at my attitude toward someone I’m having trouble with and work on changing it today, through prayer.

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Breathing into Order
Feeling Overwhelmed

Sometimes we may feel like there is just too much we need to do. Feeling overwhelmed may make it seem like the universe is picking on us, but the opposite is true: we are only given what we can handle. Difficult situations are opportunities to be our best selves, hone our skills and rise to the occasion.

The best place to start is to take a deep breath. As you do, remind yourself that the universe works in perfect order and therefore you can get everything done that needs to get done. As you exhale, release all the details that you have no control over. The universe with it‘s infinite organizing power will orchestrate the right outcome. Anytime stress begins to creep up, remember to breathe through it with these thoughts.

Then, make a list of everything you need to do. Note what needs to be done first, and mark the things others may be able to do for you or with you. Though we often think no one else can do it correctly or well, there are times when it is worth it to exhale, let go of our control, and ask for help from professionals or friends. With the remaining things that feel you must do yourself, take another breath and determine their true importance. Sometimes they are things we’d like to do, but aren’t really necessary. After taking these quick steps, you will find you have a plan laid out, freeing you from frenzied thoughts circling in your head. With calming deep breaths, you are now free to focus more fully on our priorities. Herbal teas or flower remedies along with wise choices about caffeine and food can help keep us from becoming frantic too. But with nothing further from us than our breath, we can breathe in our best intentions and let the rest go with an exhale. Keeping ourse! lves centered and breathing into and through life’s challenges helps us learn what we are truly capable of doing, and we will find we have the ability to rise to any occasion. Remember you aren’t being picked on, and you are never alone. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Our spiritual and emotional growth in The Program doesn’t depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks. If we bear this in mind, a relapse can have the effect of kicking us upstairs, instead of down. We in The Program have had no better teacher than Old Man Adversity, except in those cases where we refuse to let him teach us. Do I try to remain always teachable?

Today I Pray

May I respect the total Program, with its unending possibilities for spiritual and emotional growth, so that I can view a relapse as a learning experience, not “the end of the world.” May relapse for one of our fellowship serve to teach not only the person who slipped, but all of us. May it strengthen our shared resolve.

Today I Will Remember

If you slip, get up.

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One More Day

Sometimes I have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
– Lewis Carroll

While sitting at the table with an early morning cup of tea or coffee, we can get lost in reverie. Briefly, for a frozen moment in time, we can believe that we are capable of anything once again.

We sill have the joy of our imagination, and even if there are physical restrictions placed upon us by our long-term medical condition, we can still imagine ourselves achieving an impossible dream. It’s wonderful to get lost in pure fantasy about how we would like our lives to be. We can imagine ourselves richer in relationships and in friends. Even when our body betrays us, we need never betray the belief in ourselves.

I have the freedom to imagine whatever I want. My illness doesn’t restrict what I can accomplish in my mind.

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Food For Thought

Appetite

Appetite grows as it is fed. The more we eat, the more we want to eat. If we let any physical appetite take over – whether it is for food, sex, security, or whatever – we become its slave.

If we do not nurture our relationship with our Higher Power so that God is the ultimate authority for everything that we do and the object of our greatest desire, then we will be enslaved by one or more of our physical appetites. When God is perceived to be the greatest good and the source of all joy and satisfaction, then physical appetites fall into their proper place.

First we seek spiritual growth. Our primary desire is to do God’s will for us, as He enables us to do it. When He is our Master, His love feeds our spiritual appetite and we begin to know the inner peace and satisfaction, which the world cannot give.

May my desire be always for You.

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One Day At A Time

~ Higher Power ~

If you spend all your time looking for Him,
you might miss Her when She shows up.
Neale Donald Walsch

Our program of recovery teaches us that we each must lean on a Higher Power. This Higher Power is also known as “the God of my understanding.” There is nothing in this Twelve Step program of ours that says that my Higher Power must be the same as your Higher Power. For some, the Higher Power in their life is a deity. The program itself, or a weekly meeting, might be the Higher Power for someone else. It doesn’t matter what or who each person has for a Higher Power.

Recovery is possible for everyone. Those who believe in one God can come together with those who believe in many Gods, or maybe no God at all. The atheist has just as much chance of recovery as a very religious person. The beauty of this program is that it works for everybody, regardless of their approach to the spiritual aspect. That is why it is imperative that we accept each other’s ideas of a Higher Power. What works for one individual might not work for another. But one thing is sure … the program that works if you work it, regardless of which Higher Power you decide on.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program with my Higher Power, the God of my understanding, and allow others to work their program with the God of their understanding.
~ Jeff ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

Once an alcoholic, always and alcoholic.’ Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever. – Pg. 33 – More About Alcoholism

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

You may be angry with God at some point in your process of withdrawal and recovery which in turn is going to lead to guilt. You may not be sure it’s ‘safe’ to be angry with your Higher Power. It is, because God loves you just as you are and that includes your explosive emotions as well as the sweeter ones.

My God is a god of unconditional love and accepts me as I am today.

A Birthday Wish

Today I will make a wish. I will make a wish and trust that it will find wings. I will see it flying through the air, blown from a loving hand toward eternity. Birthdays are for wishing; wishing with a child’s excitement, with an innocent faith that what I wish for can come forth. I will see my wish as already fulfilled, I will experience it as if it is happening right now, as if it is real. I am making my wish right NOW.

My wishes have wings

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

People are always blaming their circumstances for being what they are. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.’ ~George Bernard Shaw

As long as I blame my past, I’m not free to claim my future.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

The Winners are stuck with me.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

I am moving towards my goals today with just the right energy that I need. My progress will be perfect and I have the faith an trust that all the steps I take along the way will become clear when it is necessary.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

I never drank to get drunk. I never got up in the morning and said: ‘God, it’s gorgeous outside. I think I’ll just get drunk and pee all over myself, maybe I’ll just shame my family – Y’know what? It’s so pretty, I’ll just pass some bad cheques too.’ – Charlie C.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 7

Joy
I have had my share of problems, heartaches, and disappointments, because that is life,
but also I have known a great deal of joy
and a peace that is the handmaiden of an inner freedom.
I have a wealth of friends and, with my AA friends, an unusual quality of fellowship.
For, to these people, I am truly related. First, through mutual pain and despair,
and later through mutual objectives and newfound faith and hope.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 276

Thought to Ponder . . .
Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H J F = Happy, Joyous, Free.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Fear
“At heart we had all been abnormally fearful.
It mattered little whether we had sat on the shore of life
drinking ourselves into forgetfulness
or had plunged in recklessly and willfully
beyond our depth and ability.
The result was the same –
all of us had nearly perished
in a sea of alcohol.”
Bill W., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 123-4

Thought to Consider . . .
I didn’t make it all the way to the beach
to drown in the sand.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
F E A R
Fools Every Alcoholic Repeatedly.

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Choices
From “The Family Afterward”:
“Many alcoholics are enthusiasts. They run to extremes. At the beginning of recovery a man will take, as a rule, one of
two directions. He may either plunge into a frantic attempt to get on his feet in business, or he may be so enthralled by
his new life that he talks or thinks of little else. In either case certain family problems will arise.”
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 126-26

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“May those who come to know the truth never forget it.”
Mulberry, Florida, June 2011
“This Wasted Life,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time
to outgrow that serious handicap.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 125~

“At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not
an end in itself.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 77~

For we had started to get perspective on ourselves, which is another way of saying that we were gaining in humility.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 48

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

Self-Respect Through Sacrifice
At the beginning we sacrificed alcohol. We had to, or it would have killed us. But we couldn’t get rid of alcohol unless we
made other sacrifices. We had to toss self-justification, self-pity, and anger right out the window. We had to quit the
crazy contest for personal prestige and big bank balances. We had to take personal responsibility for our sorry state
and quit blaming others for it.
Were these sacrifices? Yes, they were. To gain enough humility and self-respect to stay alive at all, we had to give up
what had really been our dearest possessions–our ambition and our illegitimate pride. A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 287

Prayer For The Day: Lord God, you are my strength. Hold my hand in my weakness and teach my heart to fly. With
you, there’s nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. Hold me tight in your embrace, so that I can be stronger than the
challenges in my life. Amen.

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 6th

Bsober Listen

Bsober & Listen-Daily Recovery Readings April 6th

Daily Reflections

A LIFETIME PROCESS

We were having trouble with personal relationships, we
couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey
to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we
had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we
were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to
other people. . . .
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 52

These words remind me that I have more problems than
alcohol, that alcohol is only a symptom of a more
pervasive disease. When I stopped drinking I began a
lifetime process of recovery from unruly emotions,
painful relationships, and unmanageable situations.
This process is too much for most of us without help
from a Higher Power and our friends in the Fellowship.
When I began working the Steps of the A.A. program,
many of these tangled threads unraveled but, little
by little, the most broken places of my life
straightened out. One day at a time, almost
imperceptibly, I healed. Like a thermostat being
turned down, my fears diminished. I began to experience
moments of contentment. My emotions became less
volatile. I am now once again a part of the human
family.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

All alcoholics have personality problems. They drink to
escape from life, to counteract feelings of loneliness or
inferiority, or because of some emotional conflict within
them, so that they cannot adjust themselves to life.
Alcoholics cannot stop drinking unless they find a way to
solve their personality problems. That’s why going on the
wagon doesn’t solve anything. That’s why taking the pledge
usually doesn’t work. Was my personality problem ever
solved by going on the wagon or taking the pledge?

Meditation For The Day

God irradiates your life with the warmth of His spirit.
You must open up like a flower to this divine irradiation.
Loosen your hold on earth, its cares, and its worries.
Unclasp your hold on material things, relax your grip, and
the tide of peace and serenity will flow in. Relinquish
every material thing and receive it back again from God.
Do not hold on to earth’s treasures so firmly that your
hands are too occupied to clasp God’s hands as He holds
them out to you in love.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be open to receive God’s blessing.
I pray that I may be willing to relinquish my hold on
material things and receive them back from God.

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As Bill Sees It

When Defects Are Less Than Deadly, p. 96

Practically everybody wishes to be rid of his most glaring and
destructive handicaps. No one wants to be so proud that he is
scorned as a braggart, nor so greedy that he is labeled a thief. No
one wants to be angry enough to murder, lustful enough to rape,
gluttonous enough to ruin his health. No one wants to be agonized by
chronic envy or paralyzed by sloth.

Of course, most human beings don’t suffer these defects at these
rock-bottom levels, and we who have escaped such extremes are apt
to congratulate ourselves. Yet can we? After all, hasn’t it been
self-interest that has enabled most of us to escape? Not much
spiritual effort is involved in avoiding excesses which will bring us
punishment anyway. But when we face up to the less violent aspects
of these very same defects, where do we stand then?

12 & 12, p. 66

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Walk in Dry Places

The Barrier of Sick Pride
Sharing Feelings
Pride can be either sick or healthy. It’s sick pride that keeps us in bondage to alcohol.  It’s healthy pride that emerges when we have high self-esteem. Finding the right path in sobriety always involves a battle to keep sick pride out of our lives.
What if I’m at a discussion meeting and I feel reluctant to admit that certain character defects are still giving me trouble?  Can this be sick pride carrying on the pretense that I have risen above such problems?  What if someone takes issue with a point I’ve tried to make in a discussion?  Does sick pride cause me to react in self-defense?
We learn in the 12 Step program that we gain nothing by attempting to conceal our character defects from our fellow members. We gain everything by sharing our true feelings and letting others know we are vulnerable human beings. There is never any need to defend or explain anything we’ve tried to say in a meeting.  The real message always comes through in our attitude, and it will reach those for whom it’s intended.
I’ll check myself today to see if sick pride is dictating what I say and do.  The more I can let others see me as I really am, the more honest my relationships will be.

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Keep It Simple

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.—Chinese proverb
We’re going down a new-road—in our recovery and in our lives. We don’t know the road. We only know we’re on the right one, because our Higher Power led us here. We ask for help from those who already know the road. We ask our sponsor, “How far is it until I get done feeling guilty?”
“How far to self-love?” “How bumpy is the road when I’m at Step Four?” We need people who have been in the program. They tell us where to slow down because this part of the trip is beautiful.
Someday, maybe today, we too will be called on to guide others.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You’ve put me on this road. You’ve also put others on this road. Let them be my guide. Let my guides become my friends.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll find someone who has been in the program two or more years longer than me. I’ll ask that person what the road ahead is like.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light.  –Jennie Jerome Churchill
Taking our friends and loved ones for granted, expecting perfection from them in every instance, greatly lessens the value we have in one another’s life. Being hard on those closest to us may relieve some of the tension we feel about our own imperfections, but it creates another tension, one that may result in our friends leaving us behind.
We need the reminder, perhaps, that our friends are special to our growth. Our paths have crossed with reason. We complete a portion of the plan for one another’s life. And for such gifts we need to offer gratitude.
Each of us is endowed with many qualities, some more enhancing than others; it is our hope, surely, that our lesser qualities will be ignored. We must do likewise for our friends. We can focus on the good, and it will flourish–in them, in ourselves, in all situations. A positive attitude nurtures everyone. Let us look for the good and, in time, it is all that will catch our attention.
I can make this day one to remember with fondness. I will appreciate a friend. I will let her know she matters in my life. Her life will be enhanced by my attention.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition

BILL’S STORY

My schoolmate visited me, and I fully acquainted him with my problems and deficiencies. We made a list of people I had hurt or toward whom I felt resentment. I expressed my entire willingness to approach these individuals, admitting my wrong. Never was I to be critical of them. I was to right all such matters to the utmost of my ability.

p. 13

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition Stories

ME AN ALCOHOLIC? – Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author–but he escaped quite whole.
Meanwhile I was getting worse, both as regards my inward misery and my drinking.  My daily alcoholic consumption remained about the same through all this, with perhaps a slight increase, and my binges remained one-nighters.  But they were occurring with alarming frequency.  In seven years the intervals between them decreased from eight months to ten days!  And they were growing uglier.  One night I barely made my downtown club; if I’d had to go another fifty feet, I’d have collapsed in the gutter.  On another occasion I arrived home covered with blood.  I’d deliberately smashed a window.  With all this it was becoming increasingly hard to maintain my front of distinction and respectability to the world.  My personality was stretched almost to splitting in the effort; schizophrenia stared me in the face, and one night I was in a suicidal despair.

pp. 384-385

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Four – “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

There were, though, a few conservative dissenters among the alcoholics. the wrote the Foundation*, A.A.’s headquarters in New York, wanting to know about this sort of streamlining. They understood that the elders, just to nail things down good, were about to apply to the Foundation for a charter. These few were disturbed and skeptical.

*In 1954, The name of the Alcoholic Foundation, Inc. was changed to the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc. and the Foundation office is now the General Service Office.

p. 148

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God, help me to let go of my need to control and to be open to the flow
of the universe.
-Melody Beattie

It becomes a hard life when we pray to God for all sorts of help but we
won’t be quiet, sit back, and listen for the answers God provides.
Don’t dominate the conversation: Be silent and listen a little. In other
words, meditate. Quiet down and observe your life.
–John-Roger

Positive mental energy, positive thinking, does not mean we think
unrealistically or revert to denial. If we don’t like something, we
respect our own opinion. If we spot a problem, we’re honest about it.
If something isn’t working out, we accept reality. But we don’t dwell
on the negative parts of our experience. Whatever we give energy to,
we empower.
–Melody Beattie

“Notice the acts of kindness other people do rather than their
wrongdoing. This is how the loving presence views you. We are all
good, decent, loving souls who occasionally get lost.”
–Wayne Dyer

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”
–Anon.

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
–Howard Ruff

We can trust God for daily protection.
–John D. Byers

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

PRIDE

“Though pride is not a virtue, it is
the parent of many virtues.”
–M. C. Collins

I need to remember that “pride” is not necessarily a negative. It is
sensible to have a balanced pride in my sobriety because self-esteem
will grow from the pride and respect I give to myself. God has made
me and is involved with me and, therefore, I am a beautiful person.

Balanced pride helps me with my appearance, grooming and personal
etiquette that comes with clothes, fashion and hairstyles. Pride helps
me with my communication skills – I work hard at being understood,
speaking out clearly and developing better methods of being
understood.

Pride stops me from being taken advantage of, enabling me to say
“no” to others while still feeling good about myself. A healthy sense of
pride is essential for spiritual growth.

Lord, let me have a realistic appreciation of myself that leads to
achievement.

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“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures
to all generations.”
Psalms 100:5

“If you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me.”
Jeremiah 29:13-14

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:2

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Daily Inspiration

Don’t think less of yourself than God thinks of you. He has created us with worth and value beyond our comprehension. Lord, help me to live daily knowing that I am very valuable and do make a difference.

The choices we make will affect our lives for better or for worse. Lord, You have given me all that I need to make wise choices. May I always take time to listen to You.

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NA Just For Today

Growing Honestly

“On a practical level, changes occur because what’s appropriate to one phase of recovery may not be for another.”
Basic Text p. 101

When we first came to Narcotics Anonymous, many of us had no legitimate occupation. Not all of us suddenly decide we’re going to become honest and productive model citizens the moment we arrive in NA. But we soon find, in recovery, that we are not so comfortable doing many of the things we once did without a second thought when we were using.

As we grow in our recovery, we begin to be honest in matters that probably hadn’t bothered us when we used. We start returning extra change a cashier may have given us by mistake, or admitting when we hit a parked car. We find that if we can begin to be honest in these small ways the bigger tests of our honesty become much easier to handle.

Many of us came here with very little capacity to be honest. But we find that as we work the Twelve Steps, our lives begin to change. We are no longer comfortable when we benefit at the expense of others. And we can feel good about our newfound honesty.

Just for today: I will examine the level of honesty in my life and see if I’m comfortable with it.

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You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
In quarreling about the shadow, we often lose the substance. –Aesop
There is a fable about a man and his camel who were hired by a wealthy man to get him across the desert. The journey was so hot that they stopped to rest one day, and the only shade to be found was in the shadow of the camel. The two of them began to argue about who had the rights to the camel’s shadow–the owner or the renter. They were so involved in their argument that the camel ran away and they didn’t notice until it was long gone.
Sometimes we get so caught up in being right that we become like these two, fighting over a shadow. Instead of paying attention to our journey and sharing what we have, we let ourselves get distracted. It is more important to notice what we have, to share it as best we can, and continue our journey.
What can I share with another today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
I had gone through life thinking I was better than everyone else and at the same time, being afraid of everyone. I was afraid to be me. –Dennis Wholey
Looking back to the codependent or addictive times in our lives, we see with the perfect vision of hindsight. It is both embarrassing and humorous to see how misguided and deluded we were then. Grandiose images of ourselves isolated us from those around us and cut us off from true friendships with others. Many of us had strong feelings about ourselves that were in conflict – we felt both special and unworthy.
In this program we grow over time to have a more realistic self-concept. We are not exactly like everyone else, but we are more like them than different. It’s okay to be like others, and it’s comforting, too. Accepting this, we grow fully into the whole men we were meant to be, and we relish the joy of friendship.
May I accept the guidance of my Higher Power in developing a realistic and comfortable self-image.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light. –Jennie Jerome Churchill
Taking our friends and loved ones for granted, expecting perfection from them in every instance, greatly lessens the value we have in one another’s life. Being hard on those closest to us may relieve some of the tension we feel about our own imperfections, but it creates another tension, one that may result in our friends leaving us behind.
We need the reminder, perhaps, that our friends are special to our growth. Our paths have crossed with reason. We complete a portion of the plan for one another’s life. And for such gifts we need to offer gratitude.
Each of us is endowed with many qualities, some more enhancing than others; it is our hope, surely, that our lesser qualities will be ignored. We must do likewise for our friends. We can focus on the good, and it will flourish–in them, in ourselves, in all situations. A positive attitude nurtures everyone. Let us look for the good and, in time, it is all that will catch our attention.
I can make this day one to remember with fondness. I will appreciate a friend. I will let her know she matters in my life. Her life will be enhanced by my attention.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Patience
How sick and tired we may become of people telling us to be patient or to learn patience. How frustrating it can be to want to finally have something, or to move forward, and then not have that happen. How irritating to have someone tell us to wait while our needs have not been met and were in the midst of anxiety, frustration, and inaction.
Do not confuse the suggestion to be patient with the old rule about not having feelings.
Being patient does not mean we go through the sometimes-grueling process of life and recovery without having feelings! Feel the frustration. Feel the impatience. Get as angry as you need to about not having your needs met. Feel your fear.
Controlling our feelings will not control the process!
We find patience by surrendering to our feelings. Patience cannot be forced. It is a gift, one that closely follows acceptance and gratitude. When we work through our feelings to fully accept who we are and what we have, we will be ready to be and have more.
Today, I will let myself have my feelings while I practice patience.

Today I am breaking out of old patterns, rewriting old tapes and letting my life flow with joy and love. –Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Be Present for Yourself

Learn to be present for yourself, fully present in a way that’s new and delightful. Be present for your thoughts and emotions. Be present for the gentle way in which your heart and body lead you on. Learn to be fully present for each step of your growth, each step of your journey.

Value yourself, who you are, what you think and feel, and how you grow. For many years you neglected yourself. It was as though you were unconscious of who you were, how you felt, what you believed. You believed that kept you safe, protected you from feelings you didn’t want to feel. You believed it was how you should live. Now you are learning another way. Survival is no longer enough. It does not meet the needs of your heart and your soul. Now you want to live fully and joyfully. To do that, you must be present for yourself.

Be fully present for others,too. Be present for their spirits, their emotions, the words thay have to say to you, but especially be present for their hearts. You no longer have to fear losing or neglecting yourself if you are present for others. You can do this safely now. You will not be consumed by their needs, you will not become trapped in the workings of their lives. And if you’re present for yourself, you’ll know how much presence to give others.

Be present for life– for the starlit skies and the chirping birds that sing in the morning sun. Be present for the earth and grass under your feet, for the feel of a snowflake in your hand. Be present for all the magic and mysteries of the universe.

But most of all, be present for yourself. Then your presence for others and life will naturally follow.

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More Language Of Letting Go

The power of thoughts

In 1922, Egypt hailed the discovery of King Tut’s tomb by archaeologist Harold Carter. On the walls of the tomb, the magicians had scrawled that a severe punishment would befall anyone disturbing the contents of the burial site.

Over the next ten years, more than twenty people involved with the excavation died suddenly or mysteriously.

Whether you call it a curse or a hypnotic suggestion of sorts, what we’re talking about is the tremendous impact that suggestions have on us. We’re talking about the power of belief.

Many of us spend thousands of dollars in therapy and years of our lifetime disentangling our thoughts from the beliefs of our parents, beliefs that were passed on to them by their parents, and their grandparents, and even further on down the ancestral line.

Sometimes, the effects of other people’s thoughts are less blatant, and even more controlling. We can react instinctively to the silent demands of a spouse or lover, or a boss. They smile or frown– or just look at us– and we know what they mean and expect. Sometimes a casual comment by a friend can send us into a tailspin when he or she suggests, You can’t do that; it won’t work. Do it this way. Months later, when the way we’re trying to do it isn’t working out and we still keep trying and wonder why, we look back and say, “Oh. My friend told me to do it this way. Maybe he was wrong.”

An important part of living in harmony with others means we enjoy doing things that please them, and we don’t unnecssarily or maliciously hurt those with whom we interact. An important part of being true to ourselves means checking ourselves from time to time to see if the things we’re doing are really what we want, or if we’re just a puppet and someone else is pulling our strings.

God, help me respect the power of belief.

Activity: Try a little experiment to prove to yourself how strong the mind is. Walk up to two people, whether you know them or not. Think something very positive and loving about them, but don’t say these thoughts out loud.

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In God’s Care

The life of the spirit is centrally and essentially a life of action. Spirituality is something done, not merely something believed or known or experienced.
~~ Mary McDermott Shideler

We often think of a spiritual life as a life of contemplation, of distancing ourselves from the rest of the world. Actually, spirituality is action. We can include spirituality in our day-to-day routines whenever we want. We can transform mundane activities into links to our Creator merely by offering a silent prayer.

As we open an envelope or listen to a sales presentation, we can think of the power and the love we are receiving this moment from God. As we hear the ring of a telephone or have the day’s first cup of coffee – any number of ordinary things – we can remember that we are here by the grace of God. When we extend a helping hand, we’re saying thanks to God. A smile, a kind word, a hug – all are everyday spiritual acts.

I can take spiritual action in ordinary living.

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Intelligence Speaks for Itself
The Fear of Appearing Dumb

The universal need to be accepted by others can be a barrier that prevents us from being ourselves around them. When we fear that the people we encounter will perceive us as inept or unintelligent, we frequently try to flaunt our grasp of large words or clever witticisms or our professional expertise in an effort to convince them that we are smart and capable. The reasons for feeling this way can be many, and they can often stem from as far back as your childhood. Many women in particular have the fear that they may appear not smart. Yet overcompensating for this fear can have the opposite effect if others are driven away by what they see as an immodest attitude or sense that you are urgently trying to prove yourself. The simple desire to be judged smart by both new and old acquaintances can cause you to reject your true self and adopt an affected persona. But in trying so persistently to project an image of supreme intelligence or capability, you deny others the opportunity! to become acquainted with the real and terrific individual you truly are.

The fear that others will perceive you as unintelligent can further influence your behavior, causing you to consciously avoid speaking your mind or asking questions. You may feel uncomfortable participating in activities if there is a chance that you won’t excel or taking part in discussions with others who may have more knowledge than you. In essence, you become ashamed of who you are and attempt to encase your identity in a veneer that others will find pleasing and impressive. It is, however, a common fear—one experienced by almost everyone at some point in their lives. The simplest way to combat it is to make a personal commitment to being yourself in your home, your workplace, and among strangers. Ask yourself how you believe the individuals you encounter will react should you speak awkwardly, need clarification, or fail to be the best at some activity. By being yourself, you will discover that all people make mistakes and ask questions and that others will like and resp! ect you because they recognize the goodness in your soul.

The fact that you are willing to be yourself, letting your many affirmative attributes express themselves naturally, will help you make a positive first impression on everyone you meet and earn the esteem of your family and friends. Your confidence and easygoing manner will say, “this is who I am and I am proud of the person I have become.” Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

What do we say to a person who has slipped, or one who calls for help? WE can carry the message, if they’re willing to listen; we can share our experience, strength and hope. Perhaps the most important thing we can do, however, is to tell the person that we love him or her, that we’re truly happy he or she is back, and that we want to help all we can. And we must mean it. Can I still “go to school” and continue to learn from the mistakes and adversities of others?

Today I Pray

May I always have enough love to welcome back to the group someone who has slipped. May I listen to that person’s story-of-woe, humbly. For there, but for my Higher Power, go I. May I learn from others’ mistakes and pray that i will not re-enact them.

Today I Will Remember

Sobriety is never fail-safe.

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One More Day

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
– Edward John Phelps

We feel so vulnerable when we have a chronic illness, almost as though we are specimens, displayed as oddities. Because of our vulnerable feelings, we may be reluctant to undertake new experiences out of fear that we may expose ourselves to ridicule. Yet, actually, few people take the time or trouble to stare.

Living a sequestered life and taking no chances is not the answer. There are always options available to us, but they may be different options from those we previously considered. We can decide to take new directions. The image we show to others is a reflection of the image we carry within.

Trying to reach past my mistakes into new successes enhances my life.

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Food For Thought

Giving Up Delusions

As we work the steps of the OA program, our new actions produce new thoughts. When we are ready, our Higher Power reveals new truths and gives us new insights.

Gradually, we give up old, deluded ways of thinking. We realize that we had put self at the center of the universe, and we see this to be a delusion. We may have secretly considered ourselves better than those around us. Once we honestly take inventory and face up to our defects, we can no longer believe this. Another common delusion is that material goals will bring us ultimate satisfaction. When we admit the pain we have caused ourselves and others by our insatiable cravings and demands for material things, we see that they are not the answer.

Most of us have harbored the delusion that one day we will be completely rid of the temptation to overeat, and that we will then be able to relax our efforts. It is our experience that continued effort is required to maintain abstinence and that only through daily dedication to the life of the spirit are we able to receive sanity, strength, and satisfaction from our Higher Power.

Take away my delusions, Lord, and show me Your truth.

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One Day At A Time

~ Courage ~

It takes a lot of courage
to show your dreams to someone else.
Erma Bombeck

I remember first starting my Twelve Step program. I had lots of expectations and dreams, but I couldn’t talk to anyone about them. I thought my dreams were stupid and that nobody there really cared about who I was or what I wanted to achieve.

This is a big problem with all of us compulsive overeaters. We all have hopes and dreams of losing our impulse to eat all the time, and of losing our excess weight. Thinking we’re not worth anyone’s time keeps us strong in our addiction.

As we work through the Steps and learn to trust our new family of choice, we get the courage to begin to open up and share our dreams and hopes. We all find our hidden courage by praying and trusting our Higher Power. We find the courage to tell people about ourselves and trust that nobody will put us down for our past or for the future we dream of achieving. Our dreams have no time limit; they don’t have to happen immediately. They may happen immediately, or it may take a long time of struggling, but as long as we have hope and courage, they will become a reality in Higher Power’s time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember that we learn that, together, things become much easier. As we share our experience, strength and dreams with others, they will help us learn how we can work with a special program and plan. With Higher Power and our recovery friends, our courage grows stronger, and we find we can and will succeed.
~ Jeanette ~

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AA ‘Big Book’ – Quote

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. – Pg. 84 – Into Action

Hour To Hour – Book – Quote

Vengeance sometimes seems the only way to get back at who’ve hurt us. But we’ve found the best vengeance is living well, practicing our principles, and letting our Higher Power take care of the offenders.

May I recognize and internalize that vengeance is an attribute of addiction, not recovery.

I Am Aware

Today, I see that my life is up to me. How I choose to live, what I will accomplish, how I conduct my intimate relationships, how I treat myself, all are in my own hands. They are gifts of awareness that I can give myself. I can process my most frustrating and difficult emotions and bring them into my conscious awareness so that I can put them into proportion. I can reframe and see things in a new and more helpful light. I can stop running from what clouds and confuses my inner being, what obscures my inner light. I am strong in the awareness that I can live as I choose to live. I am willing to walk a path of self discovery that, though difficult, builds a strength in me and a knowledge that I can survive my most difficult feelings. I do not need to be afraid of my life if I am not afraid of my inner world. I am comfortable in my own skin.

I am free to be who I am.

– Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor – Book – Quote

In order to grasp recovery we must learn, not accumulate knowledge, but really learn. Accumulating knowledge is moving from the known to the known, but learning is moving from the known to the unknown.

Each time I say, ‘Thy will, not mine, be done,’ I move from the known to the unknown and I can learn.

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book” – Book

When things go wrong don’t go with them.

Time for Joy – Book – Quote

Today I am breaking out of old patterns, rewriting old tapes and letting my life flow with joy and love.

Alkiespeak – Book – Quote

In the book ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’, the Indian man describes a vision he had watching his father drinking; He saw that as his father drank out of a spirit bottle, the bottle was drinking the spirit out of his father. That resonated with me – a lot. – Trip S.

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AA Thought for the Day

April 6

Emotional Sobriety
How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result,
and so into easy, happy, and good living —
well, that’s not only the neurotic’s problem, it’s the problem of life itself for all of us
who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all our affairs.
Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy may still elude us.
That’s the place so many of us AA oldsters have come to. And it’s a hell of a spot.
– The Language of the Heart, p. 237

Thought to Ponder . . .
Spiritual and emotional growth does not depend so much upon success
as it does upon failures and setbacks.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ . . .
H O P E = Hang On! Peace Exists.

*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Working With Others
“Life will take on a new meaning.
To watch people recover, to see them help others,
to watch loneliness vanish,
to see a fellowship grow up about you,
to have a host of friends–
this is an experience you must not miss.
We know you will not want to miss it.
Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other
is the bright spot of our lives.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Thought to Consider . . .
Service is spirituality in action.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
HELP
Hope, Encouragement, Love and Patience

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Need
From “An Open Heart”:
“Each day that I try to have a desire to be sober and to remember to keep an open heart, love and help flow into me.
These bounties are unlimited in A.A. if we are fortunate enough to have the desire.”
1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 51

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

“The good news is that anyone can become an old-timer if they’re willing to be willing to change and follow some direction.”
Menifee, California, July 2011
“A Matter of Time,”
AA Grapevine

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N’ Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

“If there be divorce or separation, there should be no undue haste
for the couple to get together. The man should be sure of his
recovery. The wife should fully understand his new way of life. If
their old relationship is to be resumed it must be on a better basis,
since the former did not work. This means a new attitude and spirit
all around. Sometimes it is to the best interests of all concerned
that a couple remain apart. Obviously, no rule can be laid down.
Let the alcoholic continue his program day by day. When the time for
living together has come, it will be apparent to both parties.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, Page 99~

” I had always believed in a Power greater that myself. I had often
pondered these things. I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for
that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe
originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes no where.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Bill’s Story, pg. 10~

They do not drive by mandate; they lead by example.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 135

Misc. AA Literature – Quote

When Defects Are Less than Deadly
Practically everybody wishes to be rid of his most glaring and destructive handicaps. No one wants to be so proud that he is scorned as a braggart, nor so greedy that he is labeled a thief. No one wants to be angry enough to ruin his health. No one wants to be agonized by chronic envy or paralyzed by sloth.
Of course, most human beings don’t suffer these defects at these rock-bottom levels, and we who have escaped such extremes are apt to congratulate ourselves. Yet can we? After all, Hasn’t it been self-interest that has enabled most of us to escape? Not much spiritual effort is involved in avoiding excesses which will bring us punishment anyway. But when we face up to the less violent aspects of these very same defects, where do we stand then? TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 66

Prayer For The Day: Lord, inspire me to give of my best and make good use of the talents you have given me. Show me how to be positive in attitude, appreciating and valuing others, always being ready to encourage and give praise. Sometimes I draw conclusions about people in terms of what I think is meant by “success” and “failure”, but the “failure” of one person might count as a great “success” of someone with other talents. Lead me never to judge people but to accept others as they are, knowing that it is together, each with our differences, that we build up your Kingdom. Amen.